Burson Audio - Conductor SL 1793 - Headphone Amplifier and DAC

General Information

Improvements over the HA-160D Based on what Burson learned from the Conductor project, they developed a new FET input stage specifically for the PCM1793 DAC chip. It has significantly less components on the signal path. This resulted in an even more transparent sound. The driving power of its headphone amplifier has been increased from its original 0.25 Watts pc (@8ohm) to over 2 Watts pc. With such power, the Conductor SL can drive most if not all headphones to their full potential. Coupled with a 2 level gain switch, it offers infinite flexibility. The Conductor SL (1793) is housed in a refined and precision folded 3 mm aluminium casing that is unmistakably Burson. This case also works as a singular heat-sink for the entire machine ensuring stable and optimized performance at all times. This case really puts the conventional 1 mm folded steel case and generic heat fins to shame. Variable Output Stage (VOS) The Conductor SL features a new Variable Output Stage (VOS). It enables the Conductor to match well with any type of headphone. Be it easy to drive high sensitivity in ear monitors or open back moving-coil designs. It can drive anything including the latest planar magnetic headphones with ease. With the VOS, volume control is always smooth and synergy is always perfect. Low Noise Power Supply An athlete needs clean air to perform at an optimum standard - audio equipment needs clean power to reproduce transparent and natural music. The new Musician Series has taken the already fanatical IC free power supply of our Classic Series to the next level. The result is even cleaner even more energetic music reproduction. The Conductor SL9018 is like a luxury dining experience. Tablecloth crisp, glasses chilled, the cuisine painstakingly prepared and every minute detail ready for examination. Every moment is the result of people (us) pushing the boundaries of possibility. It is a timeout from your life and it deserves your full attention in your best suit.

Latest reviews

Pros: Wide soundstage, airy midrange, well controlled bass
Cons: A little bit on the arm side so headphone match should be considered with that in mind
I've hear better separates but for a 2 in 1 this is one of the best ever made. Soundstage is huge, very three dimensional. Treble is delicate without any harshness. Bass and upper bass well controlled. Prat could be a bit better but other than that this unit is sheer perfection. Paired with my Sennheiser HD600's I'm very happy.
Pros: Stereo Imaging, Warmth, Dynamics
Cons: Price, lack of headphone outputs
preview spot for my Conductor SL review on the 1793 chip

Burson Conductor SL - 1793 Chip

The original Burson HA-160 has been my absolute favorite amplifier...well, ever really.  Perfect amount of warmth, beauty and style in a small package.  Lacking the power to drive the greedy Planar Magnetics out there like the LCD-3 and similar, the HA-160 house signature faded out in the first incarnation of the Conductor, which was an amplifier that sounded more pure, less warm and offering a ton more wattage output over it's little brother the HA-160.  The 1793 is a blatant upgrade over the HA-160s dac chip.  It respects the original HA-160s amazing warmth and flavor and provides a hefty increase in overall clarity.  Warm headphone lovers should opt for this chip over the 9018 if that is what you prefer.  Expect a colored experience with plenty of that original HA-160 flavor and stlye.  Headphones like the Denon D-5000, the MrSpeakers Mad Dog 3.2, JVC-DX700 and any other slightly colored and warm, bassy headphone would be very at home with this version of the Conductor SL.  Nothing short of stellar with a relaxed upper region, an almost tube like euphoric feeling in the airiness and with a gentle coloration to the sonic experience, the 1793 will make musical headphones sound that much more musical, or even add musicality to a more neutral or dry sounding headphone like the LCD-2, Hifiman HE-500 and the AKG K-712.  The low end on this headphone works very well with basshead headphones like the Denon D-5000 and even adding a much needed warmth to my Denon D-7000, in turn providing a broad and silky smooth, lighter less precise bass experience with most headphones I've tested with.  
I just plugged in my new Conductor SL with 1793 dac chip after coming from the HA 160D. I have to agree with a lot of what you said. The increase in overall clarity and soundstage is immediately apparent! I do love that they respected the sound of the original HA 160, that good ole Burson signature is still there, but everything is just better. Great review, thats all im going to say right now but so far im impressed with the clarity level of this amp. 
i just got this amp/dac and im not happy with the sounds of the q701 when its gets busy,mids are muffled and no separation (pop/rock). whats a better headphone to complete this amp/dac i feel im not doing this amp justice with the q701 and there is unleashed potential in better headphones.


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