At our Audio Show East event in September 2015, Arcam brought along a pre-production Solo Movie. It was running through an Arcam’s Muso Sat / Solo Sub combo and sounded very good indeed.
It’s impossible to judge all aspects of a source component in this way, so our judgement was being reserved until we had some hands-on experience. We’ve also been holding out for the arrival of the £1500 Solo music.
After a chat with Richard Trotter at Arcam we’ve relented and agreed that maybe the £2000 Solo Movie makes sense after all.
Firstly, it’s actually available. Solo Music is due in April 2016.
Secondly, we are assured that it sounds every bit as good as the two channel one and having it now effectively gives us two devices to demonstrate instead of one.
Anyway, we now have it here. With Bluetooth, DAB / FM Radio, SACD, CD replay and audio streaming on the ‘Music’. The ‘Movie’ adds Blu-Ray, DVD and video streaming, so it has features.
This is all pointless, of course, if it does not sound any good. Our initial play has been on a pair of PMC twenty 23s and, thankfully, it turns out that audio quality really is superb. It’s very much in the mould of the other new and very impressive class ‘G’ products, so it’s musical and engaging. Punchy and subjectively powerful too. Very suited to a wide range of musical styles.
At the asking price, the features and performance are almost beyond reproach.
Our only gripe is that, whilst the streaming board is better sorted than the CDS27, it still does not seem able to support gapless play. If you work to playlists or normal ‘tracked’ albums, there is no issue. With classical, operatic works or plain old concept albums of old, this could be irksome.
We are hoping that it’s just a software update away from resolution because it sounded superb playing some opera over our network. Still, for now at least, you can always just play the CD or SACDs!