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Burson Conductor - DAC/amp successor to the HA-160D - Page 7  

post #91 of 1991

In response to my previous post (answering my own questions), the Conductor has no problem with unshielded interconnects, is more detailed with the new DAC chip, and has roughly the same spatial presentation when used with speakers (sound is in the same plane as the speakers, not forward).  What everyone has said about the Conductor is true in terms of its strengths -- an absolutely amazing tone with plucked strings and percussion being so lifelike and organic.  Cymbals are like liquid mercury, with great decay and delicacy.  Bass is textured and full.  PRaT is outstanding and I actually did find myself involuntarily tapping my toes constantly.  However, highlighting that tastes are personal, this DAC might not be for everyone.  One reviewer mentioned it was less intimate than his other DAC, with instruments harder to pick out on the stage.  That is exactly my impression.  There is almost no imaging -- just a wash of music and sound like a wave hitting you.  Ultimately, I think this it the "Burson sound" some professional reviewers talk about, and it's a particular sonic signature that I wouldn't call neutral.  I found myself searching for the vocalist and trying to find instruments on the stage (but couldn't).  Despite it's strengths, that was a sound I just couldn't get used to and I realized that I do value a little more sculpture to the instruments and musicians.  My tube amp is a Bob Latino ST-70 clone and I think it pairs better with a leaner, rather than juicier, DAC.  I did not try headphones, so my experience is limited to pre-amp/DAC functionality only.  This is my personal opinion only, and the Conductor might be exactly what someone else is looking for.

post #92 of 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Covenant View Post

 

All that being said, I won't be keeping my Conductor (nor my beloved LCD-2's). My lifestyle has changed to the point that I get very little time for listening to my home rig anymore, thus it is being liquidated to fund an improved portable system (I've already bought a Sennheiser Momentum).

 

So alas this will probably be the last item from Team Burson that I'll audition. It was a fun journey though, and I'm glad to see how the little Melbourne company has grown into a audio giant.

 

We are going to miss your reviews/impressions on full size gear, i hope you keep writing about portable headphone rigs. 

 

Btw, im going to listen the conductor to a friend's house next week. smile.gif

post #93 of 1991

I just received my conductor a few hours ago, but had to go out right afterward and am only just listening to it now.  I can already tell, though, that it's cleaner sounding than the HA160D.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by phototristan View Post

 

There are plenty of DACs that can connect via USB that do not require third party software though. Why is it needed on the Burson?

 

I can't speak for all of those, but it seems to me that DAC's need additional drivers to exceed the bitrate limitation imposed by the USB interface.  My Wyred4Sound DAC-2 needed an install as well.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phototristan View Post


It's also about headroom, especially on orthodynamics cans, they like a lot. The Lyr is definitely cleaner than the Burson, it's more effortless, less harsh highs, smoother and clearer sound overall.

 

Okay... have you heard the Burson Conductor?  I really wouldn't feel right testifying on its behalf so soon, but your insistence on the Lyr being some be-all/end-all Audez'e amp seems a bit odd to me as someone who's owned the LCD cans, the HA160D, and the Lyr for awhile now (and found the Lyr to be mediocre with the LCD-3's and unusable with a lot of other cans).  The Lyr bests the amp section of the HA160D, yeah, but the later still quite capable of driving them well.  The Conductor is a completely different unit from the HA160D anyways, though, and everyone here (and maybe myself in a day or two) is saying that it bests the older model in pretty much every way. 

 

-Edit-

 

To further elaborate, I've gotten better results with the Audez'e cans using my WA22 and in an audition with the Eddie Current Balancing Act (especially! So much so that I'll soon own one), both of which are less powerful than the Lyr.  I'd add my audition of the Liquid Fire too, but I was a bit distracted at the time, so my impressions may not be fair.


Edited by driver 8 - 11/27/12 at 11:17pm
post #94 of 1991

Anyone paired the Conductor with T1s yet?

post #95 of 1991

I've posted previously and expressed how great the Burson Conductor sounds.  I now unfortunately have some negatives to share as well.  I don't think it would be biased or untruthful for me to claim that Burson apparently has some quality issues to sort out regarding the Conductor.  

 

Here's a list of the Conductors I went through before I got a (so far) fully functional unit with no problems:

 

Conductor #1:  Missing accessories & manual (Burson ships crates to retailers with the individual boxes unsealed--possibly the fault of the retailer rather than Burson)

Conductor #2:  Once warmed up, periodic clicking noise (same noise as when turning on or changing source) which interrupts sound.  Also, periodic popping in left channel.

 

At this point, I went to the retailer in person rather than deal with shipping.

 

Conductor #3:  Tested in store.  Turned on, but could not select source or gain.  No sound output.  Did not show up in Mac OS X as an output.

Conductor #4:  Tested in store.  Completely dead out of the box.

Conductor #5:  Tested in store.  Seems to be working so far...

 

To make a long story short, I still recommend the product.  If it works, it works beautifully.  However, be prepared to be a victim of whatever seems to be afflicting Burson's early production run of Conductors.  Another thing worth mentioning--I had to deal with Burson's tech support when I wanted to return Conductor #2 to the retailer.  Burson was relentless with having me try different setups, sources, inputs, outputs, and suggested dirty power as a culprit, etc.  I tried to accommodate as much as my setup would allow.  At one point, Burson wanted it shipped to them (in Australia) for testing and then would either return that one back to me at my cost or send a new one if it was truly faulty.

 

Without a doubt, if this 5th unit develops any problems, I will return it and get Schiit Audio products.  It's somewhat equivalent and they're based in the U.S.  Kudos to my retailer for all of their assistance in getting the matter resolved as well.

post #96 of 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by BowlOfPetunias View Post

I've posted previously and expressed how great the Burson Conductor sounds.  I now unfortunately have some negatives to share as well.  I don't think it would be biased or untruthful for me to claim that Burson apparently has some quality issues to sort out regarding the Conductor.  

 

Here's a list of the Conductors I went through before I got a (so far) fully functional unit with no problems:

 

Conductor #1:  Missing accessories & manual (Burson ships crates to retailers with the individual boxes unsealed--possibly the fault of the retailer rather than Burson)

Conductor #2:  Once warmed up, periodic clicking noise (same noise as when turning on or changing source) which interrupts sound.  Also, periodic popping in left channel.

 

At this point, I went to the retailer in person rather than deal with shipping.

 

Conductor #3:  Tested in store.  Turned on, but could not select source or gain.  No sound output.  Did not show up in Mac OS X as an output.

Conductor #4:  Tested in store.  Completely dead out of the box.

Conductor #5:  Tested in store.  Seems to be working so far...

 

To make a long story short, I still recommend the product.  If it works, it works beautifully.  However, be prepared to be a victim of whatever seems to be afflicting Burson's early production run of Conductors.  Another thing worth mentioning--I had to deal with Burson's tech support when I wanted to return Conductor #2 to the retailer.  Burson was relentless with having me try different setups, sources, inputs, outputs, and suggested dirty power as a culprit, etc.  I tried to accommodate as much as my setup would allow.  At one point, Burson wanted it shipped to them (in Australia) for testing and then would either return that one back to me at my cost or send a new one if it was truly faulty.

 

Without a doubt, if this 5th unit develops any problems, I will return it and get Schiit Audio products.  It's somewhat equivalent and they're based in the U.S.  Kudos to my retailer for all of their assistance in getting the matter resolved as well.

 

Wow, sounds like a total hassle. Having to send to Australia for warranty service at the customer expense seems like a royal pain too. 

 

At least one review I read said that vocals on the Conductor were difficult to place and seemed 'weak'. Have you noticed this?


Edited by phototristan - 11/28/12 at 1:20pm
post #97 of 1991

Hmm, listening to the HE-500's with it right now I'd definitely say they're less forward than some other setups I've heard.  I don't think I'd call it "weak" though.  Their positioning seems typical.  Maybe the review unit had some issues?  From the images at 6moons of the internals and these stories it seems like there are definite QC issues going on.

post #98 of 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by phototristan View Post

 

Wow, sounds like a total hassle. Having to send to Australia for warranty service at the customer expense seems like a royal pain too. 

 

At least one review I read said that vocals on the Conductor were difficult to place and seemed 'weak'. Have you noticed this?

No.  If it works, it performs like a champ.  I had the HA-160D and this is a solid improvement in every metric while still managing to sound characteristically Burson.  Soundstage and directional qualities were not impeded by the Burson at all.  In fact, vocals sound amazing whether I'm using my HD800s, HE-6, or LCD-3s.  Interestingly, the HD800 pairs amazingly with the Conductor whereas it was merely adequate with the HA-160D.  The only negative that I can attribute to the Conductor in terms of performance is that you aren't getting a fully lush tube sound, but then again, these are two separate camps of taste anyway.

post #99 of 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver 8 View Post

Hmm, listening to the HE-500's with it right now I'd definitely say they're less forward than some other setups I've heard.  I don't think I'd call it "weak" though.  Their positioning seems typical.  Maybe the review unit had some issues?  From the images at 6moons of the internals and these stories it seems like there are definite QC issues going on.

I just read the 6moons review.  I got my unit first day of release, so I never read anything other than previews prior to experiencing it for myself.  Yeah, I saw how they had the dreaded "clicking" too.  It's a problem.  Not every unit has this issue based on the five that I've had the displeasure of owning/auditioning.

 

Even so, I think this is a great buy.  Although, it wouldn't hurt to wait a couple months for issues to be ironed out.

post #100 of 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post
 
the musicality and warmness.

Ahh yes, musicality.


Edited by devgru - 11/28/12 at 8:42pm
post #101 of 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by BowlOfPetunias View Post

Interestingly, the HD800 pairs amazingly with the Conductor whereas it was merely adequate with the HA-160D.

Gold words !

I found the same !

With 160D, HD800 sounded not so extended, it sounded closed in and tiny, soundstage was not so wide and the sound was not so smooth. With Conductor HD800 shines, smoothness is back, wide extended soundstage is back, bass slam is very good. I'm very impressed by Conductor.

 

Regarding QC issues that some of you found, on my first two days with Conductor, I had very few and occasional issues, like losing connection with my PC and maybe a pop sound once or twice a day. But after burn-in period, all issues are gone now. No clicking, no popping, just pure musical bliss :-)

post #102 of 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by BowlOfPetunias View Post

I've posted previously and expressed how great the Burson Conductor sounds.  I now unfortunately have some negatives to share as well.  I don't think it would be biased or untruthful for me to claim that Burson apparently has some quality issues to sort out regarding the Conductor.  

 

Here's a list of the Conductors I went through before I got a (so far) fully functional unit with no problems:

 

Conductor #1:  Missing accessories & manual (Burson ships crates to retailers with the individual boxes unsealed--possibly the fault of the retailer rather than Burson)

Conductor #2:  Once warmed up, periodic clicking noise (same noise as when turning on or changing source) which interrupts sound.  Also, periodic popping in left channel.

 

At this point, I went to the retailer in person rather than deal with shipping.

 

Conductor #3:  Tested in store.  Turned on, but could not select source or gain.  No sound output.  Did not show up in Mac OS X as an output.

Conductor #4:  Tested in store.  Completely dead out of the box.

Conductor #5:  Tested in store.  Seems to be working so far...

 

To make a long story short, I still recommend the product.  If it works, it works beautifully.  However, be prepared to be a victim of whatever seems to be afflicting Burson's early production run of Conductors.  Another thing worth mentioning--I had to deal with Burson's tech support when I wanted to return Conductor #2 to the retailer.  Burson was relentless with having me try different setups, sources, inputs, outputs, and suggested dirty power as a culprit, etc.  I tried to accommodate as much as my setup would allow.  At one point, Burson wanted it shipped to them (in Australia) for testing and then would either return that one back to me at my cost or send a new one if it was truly faulty.

 

Without a doubt, if this 5th unit develops any problems, I will return it and get Schiit Audio products.  It's somewhat equivalent and they're based in the U.S.  Kudos to my retailer for all of their assistance in getting the matter resolved as well.

I have experienced some clicking in the sound too. Sometimes the device disappears from windows device manager and I have to restart Burson or Windows and then it works again.
Sometimes in the music it gives some noise on a random channel. If i restart the song it disappears, if i change the progress bar further and backwards the noise disappears.
It could be a software problem with the new Burson Async driver or the Burson Audio USB Async Control Panel. THe buffer there may get corrupted or something.

 

At least i hope it is software.

However this occurs rarely for now.

Edit:

I have discovered I had the USB AI Charger+ activated from Asus. I don't think that it is good in this combination.


700

I
 have deactivated that and also I had all the USB2 ports from the controller occupied. I have moved all to USB 3 and left only the Conductor on the USB2 Controller. 

I feel the sound to be improved a little and did not get any more weird sounds yet. Will get back with more details after more tests.


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 11/29/12 at 7:01am
post #103 of 1991

Just received mine yesterday.  Have a PS1000 and LCD-3 so will post thoughts in a few days once I've had ample time to use it.

 

Initial thoughts after going from a FiiO E11 to an Audio Engine D1 and now to this is that it's definitely a major upgrade and everything sounds much better.  Just getting into Head-Fi so don't have much experience with a lot other products like many of the vets on this forum.

 

My unit has the "dreaded clicking" when changing bit rates so will be interesting to see if this fades over time.  Darku how long did it take before you noticed it gone?  Other than that, it seems really good.

 

By the way, anyone able to get WASAPI working with this with USB input?  Is it even possible since their driver is ASIO?  ASIO works fine (Win7 64bit, Foobar2k).

post #104 of 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1122 View Post

Just received mine yesterday.  Have a PS1000 and LCD-3 so will post thoughts in a few days once I've had ample time to use it.

 

Initial thoughts after going from a FiiO E11 to an Audio Engine D1 and now to this is that it's definitely a major upgrade and everything sounds much better.  Just getting into Head-Fi so don't have much experience with a lot other products like many of the vets on this forum.

 

My unit has the "dreaded clicking" when changing bit rates so will be interesting to see if this fades over time.  Darku how long did it take before you noticed it gone?  Other than that, it seems really good.

 

By the way, anyone able to get WASAPI working with this with USB input?  Is it even possible since their driver is ASIO?  ASIO works fine (Win7 64bit, Foobar2k).

I have tried the wassapi and it doesn't work. KS works. However the Asio Burson Async is better.

post #105 of 1991
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1122 View Post


 

My unit has the "dreaded clicking" when changing bit rates so will be interesting to see if this fades over time.  Darku how long did it take before you noticed it gone?  Other than that, it seems really good.

 

By the way, anyone able to get WASAPI working with this with USB input?  Is it even possible since their driver is ASIO?  ASIO works fine (Win7 64bit, Foobar2k).

It is normal to have the clicking sound when changing bit rates, the relays are changing the bit rates, that is why this occurs.

It works with KS and with proprietary Asio Burson Async driver, I prefer the latter.

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