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Beresford Bushmaster TC-7530 and Bushmaster MKII TC-7533 Comparison & Impressions

post #1 of 259
Thread Starter 

Hi everybody,

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.

Design 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.

 

Conclusion

 

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.

 

Alexander

post #2 of 259

awesome stuff, might pick the TC-7533 up myself

post #3 of 259

Wow. It's amazing how a thread can shrivel and die so quickly. There is no love (overt) on this forum for Beresford. Too bad. He puts out a quality product at an affordable price. I like his DAC's better than others I've spent time with that cost 5x as much.

 

This is why Head-fi is no longer a cool place with cool people.

 

Just my .02

 

PS. Thanks for the review. I enjoyed it.


Edited by etys rule - 1/17/14 at 11:44am
post #4 of 259

I've had an MKII for a week or so actually.. it's a phenomenal DAC/amp.. I've owned a lot of pretty good gear.. this ranks up there with the best of them.  I'm spending more time with it before commenting is all.

post #5 of 259
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by etys rule View Post
 

Wow. It's amazing how a thread can shrivel and die so quickly. There is no love (overt) on this forum for Beresford. Too bad. He puts out a quality product at an affordable price. I like his DAC's better than others I've spent time with that cost 5x as much.

 

This is why Head-fi is no longer a cool place with cool people.

 

Just my .02

 

PS. Thanks for the review. I enjoyed it.

Thanks. That's the real truth, I've also found that Stan's products aren't popular here. But his DACs, actually, can compete with some good known brands, that cost much more money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post
 

I've had an MKII for a week or so actually.. it's a phenomenal DAC/amp.. I've owned a lot of pretty good gear.. this ranks up there with the best of them.  I'm spending more time with it before commenting is all.

Yeah, it's phenomenal, as you said, especially at the price Stan is asking.

post #6 of 259

Hi,

 

I ordered the TC-7533 (black) on Thursday.  I should have it in a few days. Joy!

 

Does anyone know if the 11V-to-15V DC power jack at the rear of the Bushmaster MkII is fused, internally? 

(I've searched this thread, but the strings "fuse" and "fuze" cannot be found.)

If not, I will want to add an inline fuse on the + side of my battery leads, which would then beg the question, "How many amps?" 

With a maximum power consumption of 2W (per the photos I've seen of printing below the power jack), and a 9V regulator, I'm thinking the BM2 can't pull more than about 250mA normally, so a 1-Amp fast-blow fuse would probably be OK, if not something less than that.

I would appreciate any information on this, especially given that I've thus far been unable to learn anything definitive at TheArtOfSound forum, regarding fuses for the Bushmaster:

 

http://theartofsound.net/forum/showthread.php?28325-High-End-battery-solution-for-the-TC-7533-Bushmaster-MKII&p=520156#post520156

 

Thanks!

Mike

post #7 of 259

Ahh...  

 

I just found this post, which shows pictures of the TC-7530 having a blue, 5x20mm fuse holder on the PCB, but I can't really assume that the same is true for the TC-7533, even though it's highly likely.  And I can't tell from the photos what the amp rating of the stock fuse is.

 

Does anyone know what type of fuse, if any, the TC-7533 has?

 

Thanks again,

 

Mike

post #8 of 259

I own the Bushmaster mk2 for a week now, and using lithium battery, it is an awesome DAC for the money, even betters my Audio-GD in many ways! Very neutral and balanced, mucho detailed and gives gwonderful dynamics and good soundstage..

 

My GS1000 and AKG K501 work great on this little wonder...

 

Stan's service is all you can wish for and more, as is his DAC!


Edited by Quinto - 1/31/14 at 8:52am
post #9 of 259
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinto View Post
 

I own the Bushmaster mk2 for a week now, and using lithium battery, it is an awesome DAC for the money, even betters my Audio-GD in many ways! Very neutral and balanced, mucho detailed and gives gwonderful dynamics and good soundstage..

 

My GS1000 and AKG K501 work great on this little wonder...

 

Stan's service is all you can wish for and more, as is his DAC!


Glad to hear your positive impressions on the Bushmaster DAC. Enjoy!

post #10 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

Ahh...  

 

I just found this post, which shows pictures of the TC-7530 having a blue, 5x20mm fuse holder on the PCB, but I can't really assume that the same is true for the TC-7533, even though it's highly likely.  And I can't tell from the photos what the amp rating of the stock fuse is.

 

Does anyone know what type of fuse, if any, the TC-7533 has?

 

Thanks again,

 

Mike

 

Now that I've received the Bushmaster, I've also received (and read) the manual.  For the record, it has an internal 2A fuse - in case anyone else comes along who's interested.

 

And yes, I'm astonished at how good the Bushmaster sounds with both the HD600 and, to a lesser extent, the HD800.  It's really special. It works so well with these Sennheisers, I've ordered the HD650. Something's going to go up for sale, soon, but it's not going to be the Bushmaster MkII.

 

 

My brief first impressions can be found in a post I made to the Concero thread.

 

More on my battery for powering the Bushmaster can be found at TheArtOfSound

 

Mike

post #11 of 259

hmm I was considering the HD600 but I have trouble choosing between the Senn and the Shure 1840..:o

post #12 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

 

Now that I've received the Bushmaster, I've also received (and read) the manual.  For the record, it has an internal 2A fuse - in case anyone else comes along who's interested.

 

And yes, I'm astonished at how good the Bushmaster sounds with both the HD600 and, to a lesser extent, the HD800.  It's really special. It works so well with these Sennheisers, I've ordered the HD650. Something's going to go up for sale, soon, but it's not going to be the Bushmaster MkII.

 

 

My brief first impressions can be found in a post I made to the Concero thread.

 

More on my battery for powering the Bushmaster can be found at TheArtOfSound

 

Mike

I'd love to hear some impressions on the HD 650's. TC-7533 should be able to drive them without additional amplification?

post #13 of 259
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zojokkeli View Post
 

I'd love to hear some impressions on the HD 650's. TC-7533 should be able to drive them without additional amplification?


TC-7533 can drive the HD 650 fine, but not to a sufficient level. You shouldn't expect a lot from that pairing. As Stanley claimed, the headphone output delivers about 4Vrms, but 250Ohm headphones and higher are capable to handle 8Vrms and more. On TheArtOfSound forum Stan said, that to drive high impedance headphones Bushmaster needs some modification. Seems, that he is still working on it.

post #14 of 259

Yes...  Buy the Bushmaster MkII (a.k.a. BM2) for its incredible DAC, not for its amp.  In fact, it offers no analog inputs, so it's impossible to use the amp section without also using the DAC.  :-)

 

I've been playing with the BM2's analog outputs to other amps and can tell the magic is in the DAC section, for sure.  And that's why he has a big following in the HiFi crowd - using it with speaker amps.

 

In fact, I've come pretty close to "emulating" the sound of the BM2's amp section by rolling op-amps in my iBasso PB2 Pelican, taking a signal from the BM2's analog outputs. Take this with a grain of salt, as I don't trust my ears enough to say that it's an exact match, but I'm using OPA1612s in the input gain stage with dummy buffers.  

 

I'm convinced that literally any more powerful headphone amp that is both neutral and transparent - very much so on both counts - when sourced by the BM2's analog outputs, will give you the same tonal signature that's coming from the BM2's headphone jack, at the risk of losing some transparency, the rock bottom noise floor, micro-details in low-level signals, etc.  How neutral and transparent is your external amp?  That's the question.

 

I haven't tried it yet, but I suspect the Meier Audio Stepdance or Quickstep could be a worthy candidate for increasing the BM2's power without corrupting anything, but ultimately, I'm sure the "cleanest" way to go is to just use the BM2's amp - assuming your headphone is efficient enough. Still, my experiments with the PB2 have revealed that the magic is in the DAC section.

 

What magic?

 

Quoting  http://www.*************/products/TC-7530DC.html

 

 The Bushmaster DAC was designed to overcome a number of technical challenges that DAC designers have been faced with for years, but without coming to a satisfactory or affordable solution. Some of those problems have been:

 

  1. grainy treble
  2. weak and floppy bass
  3. reliance on muting transistors or relays to mask signal noise when no music is playing
  4. poor power supply noise rejection
  5. high jitter
  6. overwhelming sibilance
  7. listening fatigue

 

Despite my finding more power with an external amp, as a complete, integrated solution, the HD600 sounds pretty awesome right off the headphone jack, and I know of two HD650 owners who consider it to sound "end game" with Bushmaster MkII, with one of them saying it sounds amazingly similar to his Speedballed Crack + HD650 (fed by a neutral DAC, I presume). 

 

I'll have the HD650 on Wednesday.  

 

Joy!

 

Mike

post #15 of 259

Nice stuff, guys.

Colour me subscribed!

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