SOLARIS

Product Description

https://www.audiovalve.info/to/images/solarisweb_3.jpg

an  multifunctional ultimate headphone amplifier for all headphones on this planet

 

 

 

Darren Henley of thenewold.co wrote (October 2019):
"...the Solaris is a remarkable headphone amplifier that drove every headphone I tested with power and grace. By grace, I mean it balances its impressive technical strengths with supreme musicality. It delivers a near-perfect blend of tonal weight, color, dynamics, force, and immediacy. Of course, this is in my system, with my headphones, and is based on my preferences... the Solaris has the immediacy and speed of a SET amp, and in my experience doesn’t prioritize recorded artifacts over the musical content. That’s not to say it doesn’t check all the little boxes: rock-solid imaging, extended bandwidth, exceptionally natural dimension, SET-like speed, and power on demand..."



Barrie Martins of The StereoTimes concluded (September 2019):
"...this sophisticated headphone amplifier brought a new sense of focus and clarity to the music that I hadn’t heard before through a pair of headphones. I’ve heard planner loudspeakers before and loved them, but this was an animal of a different color. Based on my experience this is a winning combination headphone amplifier and set of headphones if I ever heard one. I’ve a new appreciation for CanJam and all those in pursuits of personal gear for either their desktop or by their bedside. I am hereby smitten! Highly recommended!" CLICK HERE to read the entire review.
Lieven of Headfonia.com wrote (Feb.2018):

"...another thing I really love about the Solaris are the dynamics and speed with which it delivers your music, the Solaris has great PRaT. On top of all this from bass to treble you get a very high resolution, the level of detail just is impressive. A high level of detail doesn’t mean this amplifier is analytical, cause it is not. Think musicality over pure analytics but always with great clarity. If female vocals are your thing (they are for me), then you will love this amp, but in general the Solaris voices are exceptionally good, natural and romantic... the Solaris does everything so effortless, it is a pure pleasure to listen to. It’s musical, rich, extended, easy on the ear and completely non-fatiguing. What’s not to like?"
CLICK HERE to check out the entire review ..LATEST CUSTOMER FEEDBACK:


"...Solaris is a genuine high-end amplifier, and the best sounding headphone amp I have ever experienced and rivals the best 2-channel amps. It is completely dead silent until the signal hits, it can drive any headphone including electrostatics and dynamics, it is beautifully designed and finished. It is truly "universal" in that it also drives loudspeakers. An end-game piece of equipment finished like audio art, Solaris is highly recommended...""...After living with Solaris now for three weeks I am in love. It is a beautiful piece of work. The sound quality is astounding. My headphone enjoyment has gone up by a lot. I was able to listen to two electrostatics with it and have just ordered the MrSpeakers Voce which I preferred to the Stax 009. It also drives my 91db efficient office speakers to decent listening levels. I just wanted to again thank you for the great piece of equipment. I am now curious to hear your large 2-channel amps." :) - David - One more:  I am using it now with MrSpeakers Ether C Flow dynamic headphones and they sound much improved in ways that my previouys amps from Woo Audio and Schiit could not achieve. I look forward to the upgrade to the Voce and will let you know what I think".

"...After living with Solaris now for three weeks I am in love. It is a beautiful piece of work. The sound quality is astounding. My headphone enjoyment has gone up by a lot. I was able to listen to two electrostatics with it and have just ordered the MrSpeakers Voce which I preferred to the Stax 009. It also drives my 91db efficient office speakers to decent listening levels. I just wanted to again thank you for the great piece of equipment. I am now curious to hear your large 2-channel amps." :) - David - One more:  I am using it now with MrSpeakers Ether C Flow dynamic headphones and they sound much improved in ways that my previouys amps from Woo Audio and Schiit could not achieve. I look forward to the upgrade to the Voce and will let you know what I think".

 

 

Dear reader,

When you have arrived here, your journey in search of the possibly best headphone amplifier in the world has come to an end. With SOLARIS you have reached the goal of what can be technically and musically developed and produced at the highest level. But you will have heard it somewhere else - otherwise you would not be here. The history of SOLARIS goes back to 1982. At that time I (Becker) developed the so-called RKV2 and applied for a patent. At the time, this work was trend-setting in the hi-fi industry in terms of the technical implementation in a circuit with simultaneous use of tubes and semiconductors in a symiosis.

At this point in time, however, the customer's demand for good hearing was not yet so pronounced that everyone perceived the musical qualities of the concept. It was another decades before the RKV also made its well-deserved entry into the Audio Olympus. That was about 2010. The internet helped to carry the concept far beyond the country's borders into the audiophile world. From then on, it was only going forward. Various updates and extensions followed, and these in turn culminated in products such as the RKV 3 and SOLARIS. One speaks in the context of such developments of so-called "grown structures", these are developments which, based on the origin of a great idea, strive towards constant further completion without ever leaving the base. At least that's how we do it at AudioValve. In other companies, on the other hand, concepts are completely abandoned because their technological continuation turns out to be no longer up-to-date due to changing framework conditions and then culminates in a model change.

So you see, there are two camps, one that holds on to what has always been too good - like us - and the other that has to recognize that their concept is proving to be invalid and can only be cleaned up by a radical cut can, which means something like - give up and make new. DAC`s e.g. are such products, they are hardly finished, they are already out of date again, so quickly is the technology progress.

 

Audio Valve Solaris-DAC  - State-of-the-Art - more than just a headphone amp!

The latest 2018 version. Based on the concept of Audio Valve's Luminare, the form and equipment of Solaris has been adapted to RKV 3. In addition to extended features like balance-control, more inputs and a remote control which has been integrated for volume, the front plate of Solaris now has the same connection options as Luminare while offering twice the performance on all outputs which on average is 8-12 watt per channel, depending on the headphones' impedance. Solaris-DAC is the logical synthesis of Luminare and RKV 3 and reflects perfectly what the Audio Valve team defines as STATE-OF-THE-ART product in the premium class of headphone applications when talking to a number of customers worldwide.

 

 

The Solaris-DAC is more than just a headphone amp, it's more like a Swiss Army Knife in the Audio World, a full-fledged desktop system. It provides inputs for all sorts of headphones including Stax, analog inputs, USB input for music server and computer, MM phono input, pre-amp out for power amps, direct speaker output for high sensitive loudspeaker... ..and THE ONE AND ONLY headphone amplifier on the market that is able to drive all standard headphone loads, starting from 3 Ohm up to 145 kOhm and speakers too.

 

BRAND NEW REVIEWS:

Martin Mertens about the Solaris w/DAC in the Ear-In magazine (May 2018):  "...the Solaris DAC from AudioValve is a high-end headphone amp that boosts all headphones to a new level of sound reproduction. In addition, the Solaris is very generous with its connections, offering every type of standard connector. Best we've heard..." CLICK HERE to read the entire review (in German)

 

 

( high recommend german test review click here )

HiFiMan Susvara & Audiovalve Solaris

techn. features  ...

consequence double mono design
2 * 0,15mm copper for top and bottom layer
multi VIA layer grounding basis, pcb design is based on the
theoretical principles of the "kelvin - wiring"
heavy 3 mm laser cuted steel case - couted
8 power tubes ( 4 per channel ) - ECL85 / 6F5P
2 x 12 watt rms ( 200 ohm load )
full automatic DC / AC servo biasing
multi match transfomers ( PIKATRON ) included
power output mode selector - OTL / match - transfomers
ALPS volume control
BALANCE pot. +/- 3dB
PRE-OUT for active speakers or power amplifiers
remote control

2 * NEUTRIK output combi headphone jackets - 6,3mm & XLR
5 * inputs; 2 * RCA & XLR; 2 * RCA only; 1* RCA phono MM out
1 * RCA - REC output, offer all connected soures and PHONO too for sec. line ( pre ) amps
1 * pair XLR jackets for "power out" for power amps ( OTL output ratio: 10:1 )
4 * isolated heavy gold plated stereo speaker terminals for speakers

green illuminated main power switch for power ON mode and iluminated front glass
heating and plate voltage "soft start" circuit
headphone protector circuit
reversible heating / plate current limiter
installed selected OPA 134
highly accurate implementated stereo MM phono modul - "old school design"

OPTIONS:

1 - case color: standard - black standard ( or silver )
2 - "limited EDITION ivory white colored case" - hand selected parts < 1% tolerances and a lot of more expensive specails  ( also available in black at 2020 )

Based on the concept of LUMINARE, the form and equipment of SOLARIS has been adapted to RKV 3.  In addition to extended equipment features like BALANCE – control, more inputs and a remote control which has been integrated for VOLUME, the front plate of SOLARIS now has the same connection options as LUMINARE while offering twice the performance on all outputs which on average is 8 to 11 Watts per channel, depending on the headphones’ impedance. SOLARIS is the logical synthesis of LUMINARE and RKV 3 and reflects perfectly what the AudioValve team defines as “STATE OF THE ART” product in the premium class of headphone applications when talking to a number of customers worldwide. SOLARIS can be updated and equipped with DAC and is then called “SOLARIS – DAC”. SOLARIS is available in black and ivory (with surcharge), combined with golden or chrome control knobs.

tech. describtion:

OTL - transformer outless tube amplifier ( design 1982 )
double mono construction
power output: each channel 12 watt sin at 220R load in OTL mode
bandwide: 15 - > 100 000 hz
damping 3600 !
s/n ratio 100 dB
distortion 0,002 % at 1 Watt-200 Ohm load
max. OTL - mode: output 120 VAC eff
max. STAX - mode: output 480 VAC
Gain: OTL mode 34dB, STAX +12dB by output transformer ratio
PRE - GAIN:  switchable in 4 positions for all modes: -15 dB / - 10dB / 0 dB / +10 dB
input sensitifity. 0dBm, resistens 47k
Bias voltage: 300 + 580 VDC
IC - full autom. - controlled bias - class - a mode
patent full automatic servo tube biasing
power consumption min. 100 watt
size 360*320*140 mm (d.w.h.)
weight 10kg

green illuminated main power switch for power ON mode
heating and plate voltage "soft start" circuit
headphone protector circuit
reversible heating / plate current limiter
installed OPA 134
highly accurate implementated stereo MM phono modul - "old school design"

SOLARIS the ONE AND ONLY
headphone amplifier on the market that is able to drive all
standard headphone loads, starting from 3 ohm up to
145.000 ohms.

 

 

Warranty and tube Note:
On each board is the model name of the product and the name of the tubes is set. So if you are not sure which tube you need, please look at the circuit board and watch what is written there (PCL805 - or ECL85 (6F5P) In mid-2015 has been changed from PCL805 on ECL85 that affects the models RKV all, Luminare and Solaris. The warranty is void if the top glass of the amplifier is taken within the warranty period. Also void the warranty, if other than that we offer tubes are used for the so-called "tube rolling". To buy new tubes, please contact your dealer, he  has recommended tubes on stock. Incidentally Tube Rolling is simply stupid in the models RKV, Luminare and Solaris. You can convince yourself by knocking on the tubes, they will not hear any knocking sounds in the headphones.

we use a 2 channel RF remote control for the volume up and down function

Technical explanations that show why this concept provides such good results

The lower picture shows the the hum and noise that the amplifier produces -
        nothing produces the amplifier, it is absolute quiet. (screen: 2mV/div.)
 
 
      
      


The picture below shows the rectangle in OTL mode at 10kHz - simply impeccable.
The pixels are from the
memory scope


The picture below shows you the max. Output voltage before soft clipping in OTL mode at 220 Ohm load
per channel - at 50 Vrms are on each channel 11.3
watts

     


The picture below shows you the max. rms output voltage before soft clipping in STAX mode.


Following some graphics for technically interested people ...

The switch to the use of OPA 134 clearly shows the added value of the signal quality