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Burson Audio Cable+

Rating:
4.45/5,
  1. dan.gheorghe
    The Match-Maker
    Written by dan.gheorghe
    Published May 1, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - If it fixes a miss-match between components you will get a livelier, more vibrant and more energetic sound with more details and more natural tonality
    Cons - Needs another USB cable for power
    Needs a linear USB power supply to really shine
    If you are into this hobby for a few years now, I am sure that you have heard about equipment matching on lots of occasions. Between dacs and amps, between amps and speakers, etc.

    And indeed, I have noticed a lot of situations when for example a pair of speakers sounded great with an amplifier and dull with another amplifier. In this situation it's mostly related to the needs of the speakers. One reason can be that some speakers might have impedance peaks/dips that need more current on some parts of the frequencies. Some people would now say that you need a stronger amplifier or an amplifier that can handler bigger current loads. Indeed, but more powerful doesn't necessarily mean better in all cases. It might solve your immediate problem related to dynamics, energy and even tonality, but maybe it won't be as transparent or clean as your less powerful amplifier that sounded wonderful with your previous speakers.

    Besides the situation from above you can also get a mismatch between your DAC and your amplifier/pre. Now let's say that it could also be a miss-match in tonality, both being on the bright side for example, or both being on the warm side. I think this is still possible, but it seems that some of these situations are also generated by the impedance miss-match between your dac and your amplifier. Looking at the specs in general, you will see that there is no standard in dac impedance output or amp impedance input. Most companies have different philosophies / approaches to this matter.

    This is where Burson comes in with the Cable Plus Pro which is actually an audio buffer that eliminates the impedance miss-match between your components. This is not a normal cable as it becomes an active component in your system.

    [​IMG]

    Presentation and Specs
    There are a few version of these cables that can be used in your system depending on your input/output needs.

    [​IMG]

    This is what Burson claims the cable with do in your system if you have a missmatch:

    Once the Cable+ is in place, sonic details once lost, will be fully reproduced to create a complete experience. Play familiar – very familiar – material, and you will hear the finest details fully resolved, while the fundamentals take on a new level of life and solidity. That “harsh digital sound” replaced by a wider and more three-dimensional soundstage.

    Specs

    Measurement Package Content
    Input impedance: 250 KOhms 1 x Cable+ / PRO AUX to RCA / AUX to AUX /RCA to RCA
    Frequency response: ± 1 dB 0 – 55Khz 1 x USB Power Cable
    THD: <0.005% 1 x USB Power Supply
    Output impedance 3 Ohm General
    Signal to Noise Ratio >118dB at 6dB gain Weight: app. 200 (net)
    Power Dissipation 5W (1VA USB Power) Cable Length: Appx 120cm / 47.2in
    [​IMG]
    Tests & Listening Impressions

    I have tested this cable in two sound systems:

    • MSB Analog Dac9 (53 Ohms on RCA Output, 106 on XLR) , Audio GD Master 10 (47K @RCA, 94K @ XLR) , Martin Logan Impressions ESL-11A Speakers
    • Chord Mojo(75 Ohms Output) , Indiana Line Puro 800 Amplifier (47 K ohms input), Piega Coax 30.2 Speakers
    This cable is active and needs an usb connection for power. What I observed here is that the sound improved if I used a linear usb power supply, in this case Ifi Audio Micro USB 3.0.

    In the first system I have noticed differences, but in it's case, all components are quite strong and even the interconnects I have are not bad at all. I am talking about a pair of Audioquest Sky which I manage to get at 25% of the original asking price. While overall, the Cable Pro infused a little more energy into the system, the clarity, extension & details were better on the sky. However, considering the price difference, I can tell you for sure that the differences were not that big and it didn't justify the price of the Sky compared to Cable Plus.

    Now, in the second system, where the amplifier is not the best option for Piega Coax 30.2 and it shows it it's struggling, putting the cable plus between Chord Mojo and Indiana Line Puro 800 was more obvious, improving the dynamics & energy in the sound.

    One thing to note in both cases is that with cable plus, the sound was louder at the same volume, so I had to lower the volume to match the db for tests. In the first seconds you might have the feeling that the energy & dynamics are much much better, however this might be because you didn't match the db in your tests.

    Now, even after I matched the volumes, I still felt improvement in dynamics, energy & details. The description from below is for the second system.

    Bass

    The punch became stronger and and more engaging. Didn't notice any big changes in the depth department.

    Midrange

    The midrange seem to have more vibrant & detailed textures, being a little more forward and lively.

    Treble

    I have noticed a little more air in the scenes and this is also because of a more focused and detailed treble.

    Soundstage

    The soundstage expanded, showing more air and bigger width.

    Details

    With Cable Plus, the details were more apparent & vibrant. The guitar plucks and strings in general are more lively and seem to displace more air around them.

    Energy, Dynamics & Prat

    This is maybe the area that is the most obvious in terms of improvement. The sound overall had better prat, energy and macro dynamics.

    Transients

    What I noticed here is that the attack was stronger, but I haven't noticed big differences in the decay section.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion
    While it didn't solve the problem of the amplifier in my second system, it sure improved the sound to a degree where I am not so anxious to change it. Is this cable worth it? Personally I was impressed by it.

    If you test a lot of equipment, if you think that there is something wrong in your sound after a current amp/dac upgrade, or if you just think your sound might need some improvement in terms of tonality/energy, I definitely think the Cable Plus Pro deserves a chance and comes in handy to have in your house. It might not fix your problem if there is a mismatch between your amp and your speakers/headphones, but it definitely has a chance to fix the problem between your dac and your amp/pre-amp.

    Pros

    • Punchier and more energetic bass
    • More vibrant and livelier midrange
    • Better focused treble with more air
    • Expanded and more airy soundstage
    • More apparent details
    • Better energy and macro dynamics
    • More powerful transients
    Cons

    • It needs another usb cable for power
    • You will get better sound with a linear usb power supply to power up the cable plus (fortunately I already had one with one free output)
  2. mistersprinkles
    Cable+ Pro really makes a difference
    Written by mistersprinkles
    Published Jan 15, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Better sound
    Cons - Requires to be plugged into USB outlet.
    *Disclaimer: I received this as a free review sample and did not pay for it

    I have been testing the Burson Cable+ PRO A2R 3.5mm to RCA cable.

    I used it between my iphone and my imac (both standard 3.5mm outputs on these devices) and my schiit magni 2 amp. First I listened using a standard 3.5mm to RCA cable, then I listened using the Burson Cable+ PRO A2R. I used Oppo PM3 headphones.

    These are my thoughts.

    I listened to a variety of different types of music, streaming lossless files from TIDAL. I tried to listen to as many genres of music as possible to get a feel for the improvement that the cable delivered, if any.

    I listened to the following:

    Eagles-Hotel California (rock)
    ZZ-Top-Legs (rock/pop)
    Paul Simon-Baby in the bubble (80s folk pop)
    Motley Crue- Girls, girls, girls (80s hair rock)
    The Weeknd- Can't feel my face (hip hop)
    All that she wants- Ace of Base (90's pop/dance)
    Ice Ice Baby (re-recorded)-Vanilla Ice (90's dance/hip hop)
    Vivaldi-Four Seasons (entire album) (classical)
    Jogging- YELLE (francophone pop)

    These are my thoughts. Overall, the Burson cable seemed to somehow deliver what I perceived as a more punchy and powerful sound. I was actually surprised that this sound was coming from my iPhone 6, and my mac. The sound quality from which I have never been impressed by in the past. There seemed to be more clarity and detail, and overall the sound was more precise and warm. It almost sounded like I was using a decent DAC, rather than an iPhone.

    The following are my thoughts on the individual songs I listened to, and my feelings about the burson cable+ versus a standard cable for each:

    Eagles-Hotel California (rock)
    Immediately when the drums kick in at the beginning of the song I noticed a greater sense of power and presence. The entire song was clearer sounding, and it sounded like I was using a higher quality source than I was. Vocals were more rounded, and the overall sound was more analog than with the standard cable, by which I mean that it didn't sound paper thin the way most digital files normally do.

    ZZ-Top-Legs (rock/pop)
    The looping guitar riff in this song sounded so much more detailed with the burson cable than it did with the standard cable. I have normally found the vocals in this song to sound rather muddy if not using a high quality source, but in this case they seemed more defined. So far, I was impressed with the Cable+.

    Paul Simon-Baby in the bubble (80s folk pop)
    I was impressed by the increased punch of the organ and powerful drums at the beginning of this song. The rest of the song for some reason I was not able to discern a major difference between the cables I tested. The Burson cable did sound a bit better but the difference was minor and I'm unable to quantify it in words. The intro section definitely sounded better on the cable+ though.

    Motley Crue- Girls, girls, girls (80s hair rock)
    This is one of my favorite songs. It sounded "louder" to me with the cable+ which is not a good description, I know, but it definitely sounded punchier and "bigger" somehow with the burson. Sort of like listening on an 80s over the shoulder boom box versus listening on a decent entry level HIFI system. The overall sound with the burson cable was larger and more impressive.

    The Weeknd- Can't feel my face (hip hop)
    Unfortunately I could not discern any sort of difference with this particular track. Perhaps that is due to the fact that it is "loud" as heck to begin with in the way it is recorded. Certainly, the burson didn't sound any worse, but overall I found both cables too similar sounding to tell a difference. Not to my ears, anyways.

    All that she wants- Ace of Base (90's pop/dance)
    The vocals in this track, which usually sound flaky and recessed with a cheaper source, actually sounded very good. More "forward" than usual. This is an effect I have found with this song when using a good DAC but I was able to accomplish the same difference using the burson cable+ which certainly impressed me. The rest of the track sounded very similar. There was slightly more depth and a bit more of an analog (not too thin sounding) sound with the cable+.

    Ice Ice Baby (re-recorded)-Vanilla Ice (90's dance/hip hop)
    The re-recorded version of this song has a digital "hi hat" that hits extremely hard. Almost ear-splitting hard, actually. There was definitely a difference with the burson cable in that it sounded less ear splitting. It was certainly still there and certainly just as loud, but it was somehow less harsh, wider, and better rounded sounding than with the cheap cable. A definite improvement and another point for the cable+

    Vivaldi-Four Seasons (entire album) (classical)
    Being a classical piece, and an analog (old) recording transferred to digital, there really isn't a lot of dynamics or loudness to this album in the way that there is with a lot of modern music, and certainly there was no difference in this department. I did however notice an improved level of detail and I was perceiving sounds in the background with the cable+ that I did not detect with the normal cable.

    Jogging- YELLE (francophone pop)
    This is an extremely loud song. The recording engineer had everything at 11, for sure. I did not notice a difference with this song, perhaps because it is so loud to begin with and it's just attacking the ears all the way through.

    Conclusions:

    Overall I feel that, with the sources I used (iphone 6, imac 2017) and the amp I used (Schiit Magni 2) and the headphones (Oppo PM3) there is definite improvement to be had using the cable+ from Burson. I did not pay out of pocket to test this cable so I can't express whether I would have any sort of buyers remorse or not given the relatively high cost of this cable (at least to a broke audiophile like myself) but it definitely improves the sound quality when using mis-matched devices. I kind of wish I had asked for the RCA>RCA version so I could test it with the schiit Magni and modi stack. However as I understand it, this product (cable+) is intended to be used with mis-matched HIFI devices that are from different mfgs and from different product ranges, and it somehow normalizes the signal between the two devices that are interconnected with it.

    Did it make a difference? Yes. Was the difference desirable and positive? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. The only knock I have for this product is that the "business" section (a bulge in the middle with the electronics inside) requires power via USB (Usb cable and wall wart come in the box) and I feel like, maybe that's one cable too many? But I'm not complaining.

    10/10.
      taffy2207 likes this.
  3. nycdoi
    Burson Audio Cable+
    Written by nycdoi
    Published Sep 27, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Increase volume
    Improved bass
    slight improvement of sound-stage
    improves certain amp/volume pot's channel imbalance or hiss at certain volume.
    Cons - Requires power
    Fixed Length
    lacking mobility.
    Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Bhav from Burson Audio. I'm not affiliated to Burson Audio in anyway. Burson shipped me the RCA to RCA configuration. However I do not have any source with RCA output on hand so I had to purchase RCA to aux adapters in order to use this cable. This review is done by using these rca to aux adapters. It may or may not reflect the true performance of the cable.



    I'm not a technical person, so please refer to the official link for all the technical details and pricing. https://www.bursonaudio.com/products/cable-plus-a2r/



    I was skeptical at the beginning as I always try to keep the audio gears chain minimum, fearing the added components will increase interference but I have not detect any noise switching from a regular mini to mini to the Cable+.



    On the cable itself...

    [​IMG]

    The cable is very well built over all. It has a fix length with the module part being closer to the output end of the cable. The cable+ is directional. It cannot be reversed. This is printed on the back of the audio module. I'm little bit too paranoid to leave the power connect to the cable when im not listening. This has yet to cause me problems because I'm mainly using this cable with a pseudo portable setup right now but I'm sure it would be pretty troublesome to reach to the back of a desktop/fullsize amp(because the power is located closer to the output side of the cable) and disconnect the power from the cable.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Set up:



    Onkyo Dp-X1 → Cable+ → RSA SR71B → Final Audio Piano Forte IX
    [​IMG]


    When I was invited to review the cable+, this set up is the first thing that comes into my mind. The RSA SR71B was a 7~8 years old amp with older volume pots. Although those volume pots had great quality, however, it still causes hiss when the pot is past 1 o'clock and that is the volume I listen to.

    Hiss doesn't sit well with me, there were many occasions I returned or stopped using certain amps/daps because of the hiss. I really dig the sr71b → piano forte IX combo for that it pushes the vocal even more forward while making the piano forte's flat but wide soundstage more 3D'ish. but the hiss was getting unbearable.

    With cable+ acting as a pre-amp, I was able to listen at the same volume with the pot sitting at 12 o'clock. This time, without the hiss! The slow jazz that were ruined by the hiss are getting more playtime these days.

    Although the cable+ solved the hiss problem of this combo, but due to the lack of mobility this set up has been relegated to a bedroom setup. Even though I can no longer carry this setup around my house(not that the piano forte sits tight in my ears while on the move). It is still my current favorite setup.

    Thanks the the extreme colored piano forte, the change of performance by the Cable+ is not that apparent. There is a slight position shift of instruments around the lows in the overall sound-stage. The drums has little more impact although it is much harder to tell with the piano forte.


    Conclusion:

    This is by no mean the end of my review. I will be updating this with my full size set up very soon. I feel like the sound improvement will be much more apparently with my full size headphones (Fostex TH-X00 PH, Beyerdynamic T1) and the WA7 firefly amp.

    here the sneak peek:
    [​IMG]

    if you have amps with channel balancing issue or hissing at higher volume. This cable+/pro would be one of the easiest solution out there that doesn't break your bank.



    P.S

    I had to go on a business trip for a month and did not bring the cable+ with me because it is pretty clumsy. Thanks to that i didn't spend much time on the cable after burning it for 60 hours. In hindsight, the packing box it came with could've made carrying the cable much easier.
  4. gearofwar
    Not just a cable
    Written by gearofwar
    Published Aug 16, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound improvements, impedance matching
    Cons - Need to be powered to run (depend on version),
    Disclaimer: If you are absolutely sure that cables make no change to the system and no matter how much it evolves, it won’t change this fact on measurement and in this case, you can just go head and ignore my review; However, if you still believe in the possibility of what it can do to audio chain, you might be in right place to consider the product below.

    Personal experience:

    Cables improving and altering the sound in the audio system has always been a subjective topic with countless of arguments and debates in audio world. From my personal experiences, having owned several expensive cables from different manufacturers, I have come to realize that cables, in fact, do alter and even improve the sound of the system to certain degrees. When talking about cables, I don’t usually buy into expensive cables that’s advertised being made purely of gold with splashy looks etc. Some even say that gold or silver cables could provide better sound quality against copper ones. What people actually ignore here in my opinion is that it’s all about the techniques and the methods being used in combined with carefully selected material behind making those cables. Comparing 2 similar-looking silver cables from different price tags and manufacturers will tell you that they won’t sound the same. Nevertheless, I have seen people arguing on lab measurement proving that cable understand this someone else’s perspective when they have limit chances to get to try the better cables out there and only being surrounded by “snake oil” products around, but not because of that we should be generalizing all the products and based everything on theory and measurement only without any actual experiences. Yes, they do make sense on papers but I just enjoy being an audio enthusiast using my actual sense to experience them first for now, it’s more rewarding and interesting, just my two cents.


    Moving onto the product, Cable + is a new product line which Burson advertised with “no snake oil” but a cable with “proper engineering”. There are few different types Cable + being sold with mine being the RCA version, one of the others can also be used with portable devices terminated with 3.5mm. There is an explanation behind the technology being used on their webpage and in fact, I don’t usually trust those without actual experiences; however, I was being proven wrong and that’s for later parts. In few lines below I will do my best to summarize.

    IMG_4518.JPG
    IMG_4519.JPG

    According to Burson, every single piece of audio equipment unless were being manufactured in the same facility from the same company in case all of the devices were designed to match with each other in output and input, they would all possess what’s known as “mismatched impedance”. This problem could be found in any audio chain with amplifiers, sources and speakers alike where each of them might not match each other in connection and this could lead to different sound impressions when switching to different source, amplifier or speaker. Understanding this, Burson began creating this Cable+ with the little regulator module attached to solve the problem in case making it more of an impedance regulator than just a conventional cable.

    FullSizeRender.jpg

    Accessories:


    The cable comes in with a clear plastic square case, the case is durable enough to hold it without fails, not a premium looking package but compact enough and more importantly it just does the job well. A generic wall charger as well as micro usb cable are included in the package as required to power the cable.

    Build Quality:

    Nothing too fancy here but a normal looking cable. It’s covered with a common black rubber-plastic mixed sleeve that you can normally find on any stock AC power cable. It’s thick enough to give a good durability and also has a good flexibility without being too stiff. On the other hands, RCA connectors are covered with glossy metal barrels which actually give the cable a more premium touch easily distinguished from any generic RCA cables. The thing that stands out most and quite special about this cable is actually the metal box where this impedance regulator resides; it seems to be well-protected inside with thick metal casing.

    FullSizeRender (1).jpg

    Operation:

    This cable requires directional input and output meaning you have to connect the input and output in a certain direction between the source and the amplifier as there is no reverse. To make it easy to navigate, there are markings on the main regulator device where both side of cable exit. Simply put, the correct way to connect is: Input > source, output > amplifier or powered speaker. In order for the cable to function, it needs to be powered properly with micro usb. Without supply, the cable can’t simply be used at all even passively. Luckily, this cable doesn’t require the hefty voltage to power it, just simply connect it to any USB hub or computer will make it work normally.

    IMG_4560.JPG

    Testing and Sound Impression:

    I let the cable run for about 100 hours before writing this impression. It was tested on Schiit Valhalla amp, Auralic Taurus mk2 amp and Schiit Gumby all connected with the Cable + on Single-ended (SE).

    I was completely startled for a minute or two switching from the stock generic RCA cable to Cable +. There were a noticeable improvement in overall in frequency responses and more importantly, the noise is significantly reduced leaving only the much clearer sound. While the jump is not considered huge or massive (your few hundred system won’t be the thousand one) but it was still large enough to give the wow effect to any listeners for the first time.

    From top to bottom, everything just become clearer and more natural. There was an added openness to the stage forming a broader sense of space with more layers. Instrument separation was highly improved and also finest sense were added to the details making them easily pop out.

    Bass region gained more definitions, more articulated and even tighter while the vocal became clearer with a more natural and pleasant tone. The upper mid seems to be a bit brighter but even so it’s still not harsh at all thus even feel more organic and extended. In the treble region, the similar story happened when this region became clearer, cleaner and more natural sounding. With the treble improved, I could easily hear more nuances in recording compared to before and it’s done so in effortless manner.

    One thing I have to mention during this test is that not only the cable managed to improve the overall sound but it actually transformed the output of the system with identical performance to that of the balance output as there were no audible differences between them and only when switching back to the stock RCA the balance mode truly just left the SE behind in volume and sound quality. This finding might be the instant buy factor to someone who doesn’t go balance on their audio chain and would prefer to stick with the SE because the cable + just does an outstanding job of matching performance even on SE mode, unexpectedly.
    IMG_4523.JPG

    Final words:

    Cable + is one of most outstanding cable products I have ever come across. Whereas conventional cables rely on high-quality conductors, better solder, better shielding and carefully selected materials to give better improvement to the sound, Cable + uses a totally different approach where technology and proper engineering are integrated to solve mismatch problem in audio chain, the result was simply spectacular. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for proper solution in connecting their equipment. So far, the price is well reasonable enough and the performance I have heard worth many times than it should be. There is a more expensive version of this cable also being sold which seems be a better version and for how much I can’t confirm now until getting my hands on but there Is one thing for sure I can’t go back choosing conventional options from now, seriously.
  5. Spider fan
    Adding some Pizzazz to my Dap to Amp Setups
    Written by Spider fan
    Published Jul 26, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Fuller Bass and Mids
    Bigger Soundstage with 3 dimensional sound
    More Microdetails and Separation
    Cons - Has to be powered
    Burson Cable+ RCA to RCA

    I am not going to go into details about the product because many reviews have done a much greater and more through job than I ever could. Burson also has a nicely detailed website explaining the product and science behind the Cable+.

    https://www.bursonaudio.com/products/cable-plus-a2r/

    I am only going to express what I heard testing some of my DAPS going into my Sansui 881. I was very curious to see if I could improve the musicality going into the vintage receiver.

    As stated I used the well regarded Sansui 881

    IMG_20170630_1552591.jpg

    I used the Cable+ in this configuration using an Aukey Power Bank for isolated power. Since my Cable+ is the RCA to RCA version, I used a quality RCA to 3.5 adapter made with Canare cable and high quality connectors inorder to hook up to the respective Daps.


    IMG_20170725_150638.jpg

    The draw must not be too great since I never had to recharge the power bank during the week I used it heavily. I also did not hear any extra noise using it in this manner. I did not try it through a wall power outlet to check for noise.

    I used my 300 ohm Sennheiser HD540 Reference II which is my favorite of the HD line since it is the most natural and uncolored of the HD line. I also used my VE Zen 2.0 Black which a highend earbud which is 320 ohms so it is a better fit than most iems or earbuds with very high output impedance vintage receiver's headphone outs produce.

    IMG_20170725_182836.jpg
    I'll admit it was very hard to do comparisons at first since auditory memory is not very long lasting atleast not mine. I finally devised a way to have a very quick back and forth between the Cable+ and a normal cable. I ended up using a splitter on my Daps and connected the Cable+ to the Tape 1 input and the normal cable onto the Tape 2 input. The way the Sansui works is when the Tape input 2 is pushed it takes priority over Tape input 1. Thus I could have Input 1 playing with the Cable+ and then turn on and off Tape input 2 with my old normal cable. I could go back and forth quickly thus being able to focus on specific parts of the music like soundstage, bass quality, instrument separation etc etc.

    IMG_20170725_150033.jpg

    IMG_20170630_165529.jpg

    First up was the old reliable Ipod 5.5 with Rockbox with a combination of high quality Alac files ripped from cds IMG_20170725_150938.jpg

    I am going to group my Ipod and Clip Zip together since they both had similiar improvements once the Cable+ was used. Both are have low output impedance. The ipod is 5ohm and the Zip is between 1 and 2 ohms.

    As stated earlier I had the Cable+ on Tape input 1 and when I pushed on Tape input 2 the input with the normal cable would play and Cable+ input 1 would stop. The first thing that was obvious was the Cable+ was louder. This is entirely expected since the Cable+ increases signal strength with higher voltage.

    It was very easy to hear that the Cable+ made the bass more apparent and full. I think generally differences in bass are much easier to hear than differences in mids, highs and soundstage. This is where being able to switch back and forth quickly helped me hear and remember the improvements. With the quick switching back and forth I could hear more prominent vocals with them being moved alittle bit forward when using the Cable+. Being a vocal lover, I really enjoyed this aspect.

    When it cames to the highs and soundstage I got alittle bit of a WOW moment. I really didnt know what I was missing until I was able to do the quick switching back and forth. I was listening on input 1 with the Cable+ and it was on some Madonna song from the Immaculate Collection. It was an ALAC file on the ipod. I pushed input 2 to switch to the regular cable and I could hear the soundstage very apparently lose width on both sides. But what really got me was the soundstage also sunk on the top and depth went away. In the song there were very prominent strings being played in the right and left corners behind the vocals. They all but disappeared with the regular cable no matter how much louder I made the volume. This proved to me that the Cable+ was adding microdetails, dynamics, soundstage size, separation and most importunately to me 3d Imagery.

    IMG_20170630_154556.jpg


    Just as a quick mention, I also did the same quick switch test with the recent Walnut V2 Dap using only WAV files ripped from CDs. It is pretty popular here on Head-fi. One odd thing about it is the the output has a strange measurement of 100ohms. When connected with the normal cable to the Sansui 881 the bass was very bloated and mushy. Switching to the Cable+ actually reduced the bass alittle and tightened it up considerably. The rest of the positives mentioned on the Ipod and Zip improvements were also similar. I just separated them because the way the bass was initially and the type of bass improvements made were different.

    In the future, I want to try the Cable+ in more different configurations such as between my Dacs and Amps. When I do I'll add to my review. For now in this Daps to Amp setup, the Burson Cable+ certainly hits the target for it's intended improvements.
  6. bowei006
    Want Fuller Sound? Look no further
    Written by bowei006
    Published Jul 12, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - More dynamic Sounding,
    Prominent Vocals and instruments,
    Great build and connector options,
    Burson Name
    Cons - Bit of extra noise,
    Was a bit finicky to set up properly,
    Only fits the equipment of some users,
    A bit overcompensated at times and could be too warm for some
    Not sure if voltage matching really did the job
    The Burson Cable+ is a device that acts as an intermediate between your Source DAC output and final amplifier. It is marketed to match the voltages between them so that the two are matched more evenly through using Burson’s custom V5i audio module as a buffer.

    I wish to thank Burson for offering this to me as a review unit.

    You can choose to outfit the Cable+ with multiple combinations of input and output termination standards; RCA or 3.5mm are the choices available. This means that three total options are available depending on your needs. All units come with a micro USB cable and USB wall plug to provide 5V power.

    Build:

    The main body of the Cable+ is a beautiful block of machined aluminum. It is sturdy without any abnormal signs of free play where the cables exit from the unit. The bottom case section also looks to be a near exact fit to the top unit. These are aspects that impressed me due to the precision required to produce.

    Usability:

    The Cable+ looks deceptively simple. It’s two simple AUX connectors with a USB connector right? Despite its simple I/O, using it is restricted to those with separate DAC and Amplification units that also sport the proper connectors. Users with All-in-One setups or without the right prerequisites for using it are going to be left out. It’s a simple idea but I was surprised by how many devices I had to rule out from my collection. I was left with about 2-3 combinations I could use with the Cable+ out of tens of devices.

    Another use aspect that may not stand out at first is power requirements and cable noise from it. While using and moving devices around, I noticed that some of the USB cables I was using as Data/Power were introducing more noise. This happened with some units but not on others with the same cable.

    I also tested switching from using a powered USB3.0 hub to a dedicated USB wall plug to eliminate noise. My findings from this are that using a high quality genuine USB wall plug and a shielded USB cable are key. I was surprised at how many USB cables I owned that didn’t have these simple features. The included white Burson wall plug was good enough but I had slightly better results with a brand name Aukey wall plug.

    As the Cable+ will be near other units(Amp/DAC), I had problems with noise from my plethora of ‘cheap’ USB cables at my computer desktop. I had to keep my devices separate and without overlapping cables to reduce some stray noise I was getting. The noise may not have been completely from the Cable+ but possibly from my other devices, but either way I had to move stuff around.

    Testing:

    The setup I used for testing were a SABRE ES9018S as the DAC from a FiiO X7 fed from its Line-Out into the Cable+ (by 3.5mm). The Cable+ was then connected to a Project-H Amplifier (by RCA). The sound can thus be compared by connecting the DAC to the Amp directly by 3.5mm -> RCA or by using the Cable+ as the in between.

    Sound:

    The sound from the Cable+ is undeniably ‘fuller’ with what seems to be more dynamic range while using it than without. The most notable improvements to be were in the mid-range with both the vocals and instruments. Listening to artists like OneRepublic, Imagine Dragons, and Eminem which all feature prominent and strong male vocals brought out the differences that the Cable+ made. The vocals are more in front and prominent. It sounds rich and brings truth to Burson’s claims of more dynamic sounding music. It’s more natural sounding than an EQ but at the same time, may not be for those that want a colder sound. Its empowering of the mid vocal ranges could leave some dissatisfied and could be taken as over-coloration in some cases.

    What I am unsure of now is if this is due to an additional audio module (the V5i) in the Cable+ functioning as a pre-amp or the voltage matching which is the premiere functionality of the device. Either way, it improved my enjoyment of music and that is all that matters to some users.

    I liked the way my music sounded with the Cable+ and would highly recommend it to users that have split units for the DAC and Amplifier with I/O that fits the Cable+. However, it was a bit finicky to get ‘right’ for me and doesn’t fit everyone. Only a few of my units supported it properly. I also noticed slight increased amounts of noise at higher volumes while using the Cable+ than without it.

    If you’ve got the right equipment for it and want some fuller sounding music at an affordable price. I would recommend the Cable+ in those cases. Just be warned, it’s a bit finicky and could take about 30 minutes to setup, test, and repeat until you get the optimal placement and routing without extra noise.

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  7. seamon
    The Facilitator
    Written by seamon
    Published Jun 7, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sounds great with poor sources
    Introduction
    Burson has always been known in the audio world for their revolutionary op-amps and robust solid-state amps. My first experience with Burson dates back to the time when I was just started out in the audiophile world. I had a modest soundcard back then and after some op-amp rolling, I settled on their V5 series. In my opinion, they are some of the best performing op-amps in the world. When they announced the Cable+, it piqued my interest and now finally I am able to review one.
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    The Burson Cable+ is an active wire which serves as a pre-amp utilizing one of their esteemed V5i op-amp. I have had a very good experience with this particular op-amp in the past. The Cable+ is meant to be used with low quality sources to make them better.

    Equipment
    For critical reviewing, an iBasso DX200 was used as the DAC, Cavalli Liquid Carbon was used as the amp and a pair of LCD 3 headphones were used.

    PC->well shielded USB 3.1 cable->iBasso DX200->Burson Cable+/Moon Audio Silver Dragon->Cavalli Liquid Carbon->Moon Audio Silver Dragon->Audeze LCD 3F

    For additional testing, my PC and a HTC One M9 cell phone were used as sources.

    PC/HTC One M9->Burson Cable+/ Moon Audio Silver Dragon ->Cavalli Liquid Carbon->Moon Audio Silver Dragon->Audeze LCD 3F

    Volume Matching between Cable+ and Moon Audio Silver Dragon was done using a cellphone microphone.
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    A Note about Noise
    I noticed quite a bit of noise induced when I first tried the Cable+ powered out of a USB port using the stock micro USB cable. However, after switching to a clean wall source using a much better micro USB cable, the background was completely black.
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    Sound Impressions
    Without much further ado, let’s talk about what the Burson Cable+ does.

    The sub-bass quantity rumbling is increased by a small amount. The mid-bass is better controlled and the impact is tightened. What this does is change the bass texture a bit. This allows the listener to better separate the sub-bass from the mid-bass. In a way, you can say that the bass separation is made better. However, in higher end sources, this takes away the evenness of the bass. In lower end sources, since there wasn’t much texture to begin with, this allows the listener to have a much better experience with the bass texture.

    The mids are by far the most affected by the Cable+. The note placement of the mids are changed entirely. The mids are now placed much closer than before. The mids are now what is commonly referred to as “In your face”. Vocals are now just thrown at you. What this creates is better retrieval of details and micro-details. Since the mids are closer to you than any time before, you can now make out subtle nuances with any source. With higher end sources, it was already possible to distinguish the subtle nuances in sound so you just get the feeling of everything being closer to you. However, with lower end sources, you will almost universally hear details and micro-details better even at lower volumes.

    Next up is the soundstage. The cable+, to compensate for bringing the notes closer to you decreases the soundstage by a small amount. What it also does is create a wall at the end of the soundstage. Lingering notes no longer decay but stop abruptly. With higher end equipment, this is a clear disadvantage. However, with lower end sources you get a more well-defined soundstage and the loss in soundstage is not that noticeable.

    Tonally, the Cable+ makes the sound quite a bit warmer.
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    Conclusion
    The Cable+ is great tool for making lower end sources bearable for the general audiophile. While travelling, you might not always have the means to bring along heavy high end desktop sources with you. In this scenario, the Cable+ is a great tool that can help you make music out of your phone or laptop bearable.

    The Facilitator delivers. It might make a few compromises along the way but it always delivers.
  8. Armaegis
    very limited use case
    Written by Armaegis
    Published May 22, 2017
    2.0/5,
    Pros - potential improvement for devices with limited or compromised output capabilities
    Cons - for the most part does not offer improvement over sources with good output stages
    I have a more comprehensive review posted here:
    http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=150423

    But in summary, the Cable+ is an active buffer held back by needing a good power source (better than the one supplied). Without one, you're not doing the sound any favours. With one, it's a bit of a tossup whether you'll find improvement or not, and at that point the setup is complex enough you might as well consider adding an active preamp to your chain.

    The build quality itself is nice. Cable length is sufficient for most uses, although the supplied power cord needs to be longer.

    In the world of audiophile cables, the pricing is not ridiculous and you do get the active element which has potential benefit with sources which have weak output stages. For the general schmuck though, I'd give this pass and spend funds on upgrading the rest of my equipment first.
  9. gr8soundz
    Surprising audio improvements from a cable.
    Written by gr8soundz
    Published May 15, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Strengthens source signal.
    Improves overall sound quality.
    Cons - A bit pricey.
    Some additional noise at higher volumes.
    Requires USB power.
    Burson Audio Cable+ Active Interconnection Cable With V5i Audio Module

    Note: I am not affiliated with Burson Audio and received the Cable+ directly from them in exchange for my honest opinion.

    The Cable+ is $149 and comes in three versions including the RCA to RCA version here and two others with either a 3.5mm connector on the input side or dual 3.5mm jacks on both the input and output ends. I opted for the dual RCA version to match my main setup and used an RCA to 3.5mm adapter when connecting the Cable+ to non-RCA sources.

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    Similar to their opamps, Burson ships the Cable+ in a hard plastic shell with snap enclosure. The protective case has a thick foam interior with the metal portion of the Cable+ securely separately from the RCA connectors (capped in rubber for shipping) plus the included USB cable and power adapter.

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    The Cable+ is a total of 51 inches long, with 38 inches of wiring on the input side and 10 inches on the output end. Its center housing is all brushed aluminum and the included USB power cord is 36 inches (3ft) in length. The USB power plug is rated for 5V 2A but I was easily able to power the Cable+ from any USB 2.0 or 3.0 ports on my computers without issue.

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    The Cable+ is directional (as labeled on the bottom and side) and needs to be connected it in the right direction between the input source and output.

    Removing the single bottom screw, the Cable+ interior reveals a lone V5i-D opamp atop a small red PCB to which the strongly secured input and output wires are connected. Burson also makes a Cable+ Pro for another $50 ($199) with what appears to be heavier gauge wiring, higher quality connectors, and a discrete internal design mimicking their V5 technology. I haven’t tried their Pro cable but I know Burson’s V5i opamps well and the V5 is universally regarded as better sounding so I can’t imagine the Cable+ Pro not following that trend.

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    The Cable+ is fully active and requires power via its micro-USB port to work. Think of it as an inline preamp with a fixed output. There is a tiny, unobtrusive blue LED light on top letting you know it’s receiving power. When the light is off no sound will be output since the Cable+ does not work passively. It does not get warm but, after being on for a few hours, feels much closer to room temperature.

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    After over 100 hours of burn-in, I connected the Cable+ to my main desktop setup including a Soekris dac1101 (at -1dB line output), a Schiit Vali amp, and Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation and Oppo PM-3 headphones. I started by listening to several of my favorite tracks including 16/44 wavs up to 24/88 hi-res flac albums with no EQ, no filtering, and bitperfect output via Foobar 2000. I then switched off the amp, leaving volume at the same level, and swapped out my 6-inch directional Canare RCA cables for the R2R (RCA to RCA version) Cable+. Immediately after restarting playback, I had to lower the volume dial from about 10:30 to 9:30 to get the same level as before. I noticed an increase in soundstage width although with a bit less depth. The sound possessed more clarity and had more low-end impact. Overall, everything sounded more dynamic with the Cable+ in place.

    There is some added background noise when using the Cable+ but it’s only noticeable at very high volumes; well beyond safe levels. I also tried it with multiple sources ranging from +10dB to -12dB output. That included lowering the output from my Roland Mobile UA DAC to -6dB and -12dB since I initially thought the 0dB output was too high. Using wall power instead of a PC USB port and after attenuating the output, I noticed no change in background hiss. However, when connecting the Cable+ to the noisier headphone output directly from my Asus Windows 10 laptop (with its volume at 100%), hiss was much more noticeable even at medium volumes. So, as long as your source outputs a clean signal, audible noise shouldn’t be an issue on all but the most sensitive headphones.

    I didn’t try the Cable+ with my desktop speakers since the source sound card I use there already has three V5i opamps mounted to it and I felt as though adding a 4th would be redundant.

    Overall, the Cable+ is ideal for better matching of quiet, high quality sources with amplifiers and/or for setups where opamp swaps are desired but not possible. As expected with an active cable, it boosts source output by a good margin. However, the Cable+ doesn’t sacrifice detail in doing so. What I didn’t expect were the added soundstage, bass impact, and extra clarity. I’ve heard similar improvements when swapping sound card opamps but, admittedly, hearing those effects via an inline cable is still a bit surprising.

    While not cheap, the value of the Cable+ is definitely worth it for the right setups, especially those with components using soldered opamps. The Cable+ may be the only way to inject Burson’s V5i audio quality into such systems while strengthening the signal and increasing audio quality at the same time.
  10. blackwolf1006
    Amazing cable with a few issues
    Written by blackwolf1006
    Published Apr 4, 2017
    3.5/5,
    Pros - great cable for cellphones and low power mp3 players. premium connectors,
    Cons - requires external power for it to work, Hissing sound when connected to AC power, no significant improvement on higher end devices
    I was offered an opportunity to do a review on the Burson Cable+. They asked that I do an unbiased review of the cable. I will attempt to do that to the best of my ability.

    Opening the box you’re greeted by the Cable+ and a micro USB power cable. The Cable+ seem to have a midrange to premium feel. It has a USB powered low noise power supply which should improve sound quality and help with listening fatigue. The ideas for the cable are brilliant and it works fairly well.

     

    Pros: Premium connectors, less harsh sounding. This cable coupled with the WA8 provided one of the warmest sound signature I have ever herd.

    Con: The low noise power supply require external power, Hissing/buzzing sound when connected to home power outlet. Not good for a on the go setup due to the power requirements.

     

    Songs

    Norah Jones – don’t know why – Iphone 7 plus (256k) > Cable+ > Woo Audio WA8 > JH Layla, SE846, and HD800

    Norah Jones – don’t know why – ak240 (24/192)> Cable+ > Woo Audio WA8 > JH Layla, SE846 and HD800

    Adel – fire to the rain – ak240 (24/192)> Cable+ > Woo Audio WA8 > JH Layla, SE846, HD800

     

    Yo-Yo Ma – The mission – Gabriel’s Oboe > Cable+ > Woo Audio WA8 > JH Layla, SE846, HD800

    Bob Marley & the Wailers – Is this love > Cable+ > Woo Audio WA8 > JH Layla, SE846, HD800

     

     

     

    I find that the Cable+ paired with the WA8 provide a warmer sound by reducing some of the detail, bass and sound stage. This becomes very apparent when using the HD800. Very clean sound when connecting to my car stereo.

     

    In conclusion, the cable is an amazing investment if you are not planning on moving you gear around a lot. This would be perfect if it had some kind of built in battery option.This would help cut down on the interference

     

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    1. Cinder
      Interesting review. I find that the Cable+ works most of its magic on devices with large impedance differences. For example, my Sherwood AD230B has a really high impedance (the exact number has been lost in time. No one remembers anymore since it is from the 80's), but my Nexus 6P has a low impedance. As such, the Cable+ is able to perfectly match the Nexus 6P, yeilding noticable improvements over a standard 3.5mm to RCA adapter.
      Cinder, Apr 5, 2017