The reason for all the excitement? Enter the Burson Audio AB-160 audio buffer. As he put it the AB-160 and among other enhancements Burson Audio buffer removes any impedance mismatching by acting as an isolation platform between the Ipod and downstream amplifiers (preamp, intergraded amp, etc). And according to the folks as Burson, It is guaranteed to improve dynamics, tightness and deeper more meaningful bass.
After doing some additional reading about impedance mismatches and some reviews as well as some rather glowing user reports, I was willing to bite. I asked to order one but was still pretty skeptical. I mean jeeze we are talking the addition of the buffer and all its guts and 2 extra interconnects in the signal path, eh?
After about a week the AB-160 arrives:
ALO iPhone Fidelity Bamboo Dock
Interconnects: ALO SXC Cryo 4 wire
Amplifier: Red Wine Audio Isabella Preamp, Red Wine Audio Signature 30.2
Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage
Speaker Cables: ALO 6 Shooter SXC Hybrid copper/silver
I que up Pink Martini’s Amado Mio from the Sympathique album
with out the buffer. Ok, then add the buffer, fire up the track, whoa what’s this? yeah it was pretty noticeable difference. The thing I noticed first was about a 5db increase in volume but clearly there was a significant improvement in the low to mid range dynamics and over all tightness, much better bottom end. The set up with out the AB-160 sounded thin pale and stark in comparison. I mean I was really blown away! I wrote John back saying how much I was impressed with the buffer; of course he wants ALO to buy a bunch I express my concern that while the cost clearly is worth the price for what you get, I mean this is arguably a better improvement from going from an ipod to an iMod. My concern is that many of my customers also have a Wadia iTransport and would arguably be using a iTransport, thus would not need something like the AB-160. John suggested I put the AB-160 in line between the iTransport and the amp. Ok ?
So I run out to my shop and give it a go, well the AB-160 is a permanent member of the rig now, the AB-160 with the iTransport was awesome and reflected a terrific improvement in body and dynamics coupled with the iTransport. Personally some times the iTransport to me can be a bit on the analytical side compared to my iMOd set up with the V-cap Dock. The AB-160 clearly took the edge off my iTransport rig, with all a more dynamic and musical presentation, and again better bass. The ipod or ipod with iTransport proved to be a no brainer for any ipod based system. It was one of those gear improvements that permanently ruins you, where one is spoiled for the lack of the component is just not right. John suggested I also try it with my CD player as well.
So I was pretty excited to carry the buffer and want to see if there might be any interest in a group buy and take advantage of a discount. The AB-160 is retail $500 plus SH but if I can get enough folks in on a group buy (dead line is end August 22) I can offer the AB-160 at $425 plus SH. If anyone is interested or has any questions please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
More info on the AB-160 can be found HERE AB-160 INFO
Add one of our new Bamboo iPhone/iPod docking stations (comes with 5v charger) and a .5 meter ALO SXC Cryo IC, and our newest generation Bamboo iPhone/iPod dock for $299! Our new iPhone docks now use ALO/RWA ipod dock PCB board. The new Bamboo docks are slightly taller and are bottom weighted.
Our new ipod PCB dock boards!