Anyone experienced Belles Soloist 3 Pre Amp?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by parcelmonkey, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. parcelmonkey

    parcelmonkey
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    Hello,

    In the not too distant future I will be in the market for a dedicated 2 channel pre amp. It must have ht passthrough. Once I've sorted my room acoustics issues out that is!

    My budget is about £1000 for either new or secondhand and google brought me here which looked like it might suit: Coherent Systems | Belles | Soloist 3 pre amplifier

    Searching around doesn't garner much info, from what I gather David Belles is highly regarded for his amps and I was wondering if anyone has experience of this little gem before I start making inroads for demo etc?

    Cheers...
     
  2. robertseymour

    robertseymour
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    The Parasound Halo stuff is supposed to be pretty good (P3, P7 etc)
     
  3. parcelmonkey

    parcelmonkey
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    Hi,

    I know, many thanks... :D

    I was going to say lots of things are supposed to be pretty good, however my initial thread was about the Belles Soloist 3, although not a lot of responses so I checked out your recommendation. A couple of links suggest it doesn't have ht passthrough but others say it does? So who knows :(

    I'll definitely put it on the list but the biggest plus was someone suggesting on a forum elsewhere that if you liked the Halo P3 then this other preamp [name witheld] should be looked at seriously. So inadvertenly you have possibly sent me off on a completely different path to audio nirvana [yep the reviews really were that good]

    Many thanks for replying...
     
  4. surayne

    surayne
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    I've had the Soloist on home demo, but it was in combination with the matching power amp. While it was decent enough, I was far more impressed by the Electrocompaniet integrated that was priced similarly and bought that instead.

    The preamp is a difficult component to get right, particularly if you need HT bypass (as I do). I eventually moved to a pre / power from my integrated amp; I used an Electrocompaniet EC4.5 for a while which sounds superb but lacked HT bypass, and eventually picked up a Musical Fidelity A1 FBP which is absolutely fantastic. These retailed at £1500 or so at launch but were then discounted very heavily towards the end of production, so used prices are ridiculously low for what it is - around £4-500 is normal. It's much better than a £2K Meridian G02 I briefly had in my system.

    I considered the Parasound P3 - there was one for sale elsewhere for a steal, but it lacks HT bypass. Also, many I spoke to who had compared the MF A1 to the P3 said that the MF was far, far better. Fully balanced operation was an issue for me as both my source and power amp are fully balanced designs and I didn't want to compromise with the pre. The P3 has XLR ins and outs, but isn't a balanced circuit design.

    My suggestion would be to look for a Musical Fidelity A1 FBP; if you don't like it, you can always move it on for not a lot of loss. In the meantime, you can keep auditioning - at £1K I would be looking at used Audio Research pres, you can sometimes find an LS16 for that price and it ticks all the boxes.
     
  5. parcelmonkey

    parcelmonkey
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    Looks like a great suggestion, typical that last year dealers were selling these off at £499 :eek:

    I've seen stock at £899 brand new but not sure if I want to pay that much when I now know I can get it cheaper, although it would mean I could hear it before I buy it... Decisions, decisions... :facepalm:

    A quick question if you don't mind? Any reviews I read all state they used it in balanced mode, something I won't be able to do, do you think that will make a huge difference?

    Cheers for the suggestion. :smashin:
     
  6. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    For detailed information, try Power Modules Inc - the home page of Belles' company. The reviews posted on that site are presumably carefully selected (there are three for the Soloist 3), but may still be worth looking at.
     

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