Speakers are Loewe L2A (separate active & passive inputs) ...
Active inputs used for Home Cinema (audio interconnect from Loewe TV's internal Dolby Digital module). I plan to use 4ohm passive inputs for totally separate 2-channel playback.
Linn seemed an obvious choice (particularly as the L2A use Linn drives, so you would hope they are a good match) ... but the Quattro seems a nice package (extremely intuitive operation & simple remote ... and offers a very good upgrade path). Only problem is I can't find any Quattros in to compare (very few decent hi-fi shops left in Dublin).
** Has anyone had experience with Quattro (ideally in a head-to-head comparison with Classik) ?
Ive only heard the Linn Classik with £600 Linn Katan speakers, I could easily live with this combo as a system, excellent device. The Solo has a DAB tuner which is crap as a medium, thats whats sets it apart from the Classik/Quattro, Id rather have a decent FM tuner than a DAB effort TBH. You can pick up Classiks for £700 - a bargain.
I heard a Solo compared directly to a LINN Classic for about a 2hr demo. Speakers were LINN Katans. Hate to say it but I'd say musically the Arcam had the slight edge. I think it probably gets the nod looks wise as well.
Good piece of kit, but then again the Classic can be snapped up and is still a very good player.
One other thing to bear in mind (although perhaps not so relevant in this particular case) is the expandability of the two systems. I'm looking at getting a Classik Movie Di, and part of my reason is that it will be with an external power amp and will also be linked to a multi-room system, and the Classik is able to cope with all of that admirably.
One problem some people have had though, to be honest, is fan noise. Mine will be in a cupboard, so I'm not that worried, but I'd say it's worth having a good listen (at normal listening volumes) to see if it bothers you.
You make a fair point wrt expandability. The Solo has a simple second zone output at line level which has an independent volume control and a rear input for external IR control; the source is not independently selectable though. This is good for the kitchen, bathroom etc. Solo has a pair of pre-amp outputs which can feed an external power amplifier and the whole unit is also controllable through a RS232 serial port.
It was an important part of the Solo design specification NOT to have a fan, yet to have enough grunt to run loud continuously. This accounts for the fairly big heatsinks on the back of the unit!
Thanks all or the replies. I just listened to Solo with a pair of B&W 600 s3. Compared it with a Rotel RA 01 and Rotel cd player (forgot the model, doh!). The Solo was nice. Very mellow. Listened to Rush's Tom Sawyer/YYZ and Clapton's Unplugged (Old Love). I was rather impressed with the RA 01 on the Rush tracks. Though with the live cd the midrange was a little too forward. The Solo pleased me on the Clapton track. At the moment however the Rotel combo is better fr me budget-wise. I' just startng my search though. Plenty of time still...