I didn't find such a thread here, so I started it. I own the Bushmaster TC-7530 for about a six month now and recently got the new Bushmaster MKII TC-7533 and I'd like to post here my comparison and impressions. Your impressions welcome too. So I'll start.
First off all, I'd like to say thanks to Stanley Beresford, the designer of these two DACs, for such an excellent work he'd done.
Now go to the comparison.
The new DAC has pretty similar design to its predecessor. The front panel has minor changes, including the new toggle switch and now there are used icons instead of text. The LEDs on the front panel are a bit bright, if you aren't a fun of bright LEDs - insulating tape is your best friend. The new DAC is available in two colors – silver and black (similar to the first Bushmaster).
The major difference is in the size. The depth of the BM-7533 is reduced to 140 mm, compare to 225 mm in BM-7530 (Bushmaster TC-7530). Reducing the depth of the new DAC caused increasing of its width – now 180 mm, compare to 170 mm in BM-7530. Overall, the new DAC has a smaller case; so, if size matters – the BM-7533 is a winner.
The photos aren't the best, but it's all I can do for now.
Headphone amplifiers comparison
Gear used for comparison: Sony MDR-V6 headphones. I know, these headphones aren’t hi-end, but these are the only low impedance headphones I have now.
The both DACs can drive these headphones with ease, still having a lot of power in the reserve. The only difference between both is that the BM-7530 (Bushmaster TC-7530) has linear volume control, while the BM-7533 (Bushmaster MKII TC-7533) – logarithmic.
Let’s start with the BM-7530. Since the BM-7530 has the Venom mod and it’s headphone out is optimized for low impedance headphones, it has a better performance over the stock version. The BM-7530 delivers excellent sound quality with a lot of detail and dynamics in the music. There is no background noise audible even at high volumes. The BM-7530 produces the sound you want to listen more and more. It adds some warmth to the music you listen, making it more enjoyable, you know what I mean.
Comparing to the BM-7533, there are some differences in the sound signature you can hear from the first seconds. Playing the same songs through the BM-7530 you can notice slight improvement in the dynamics and depth, music seems to have a bit more energy. In terms of detail – there is no clear winner. The Venom mod on the BM-7530 does its job. The main difference is in the sound signature - it's more neutral, there is no that warmth / smoothness in the music, that was in the BM-7530. Sometimes it can be a bit “lifeless”; nevertheless the DAC reproduces the music in the way it was conceived.
DAC output comparison
Gear used for comparison: Beyerdynamic DT880/600 Ohm headphones paired with Schiit Valhalla tube amp with standard tube set.
I should also mention, that the both DACs line output is fixed, so it cannot be used as a preamp. The volume knob is only for the headphone amp.
Again I will start from the BM-7530. Its line out sound signature is quite identical to the headphone amp section. This little DAC gave me what I want to hear in music - dynamics, detail, depth and clarity. There is also some warmth, that makes the sound more enjoyable. I was really pleased with the sound of the BM-7530, it added something special to every song I threw at it.
When listening to the same material through the BM-7533 the first you notice immediately is increased dynamics and clarity. It seems like you got rid of the wadding, which was in your ears. The soundstage is wider and instrument separation is better. And what is more noticeable - the level of details; the BM-7533 reveals all these microdetails, that you never knew were here. Regarding the sound signature, it is rather neutral than warm, compared to the BM-7530. But do not understand me wrong, the sound isn’t boring or fatiguing, contrariwise, all these new details and improved dynamics opens new horizons in the music, it’s as you are in love again, you know what I mean.
As the conclusion, I only can say that the Bushmaster MKII TC-7533 is a winner for me. It gave my music collection a new “life”. I do not have others DACs to compare to the Bushmasters, but what I can say for sure, for the price Stanley is asking that DAC is a real beast.
P.S. Sorry for my English.