Asus Essence One Headphone Amp/DAC (CeBIT 2011)

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by g-san, Mar 3, 2011.
  1. EternalChampion
    What are those V5s doing there into the I/V sockets. :sweat:

    Btw, looking at your pic my thought was instant: Where are the Vivids? I think they would blend nicely. Or perhaps, heavenly!
  2. raoultrifan
    Well, sound is vivid and sparkling enough, perhaps on the brightest side a little bit, so don't think Vivids will help much here. :)

    However, LPF opamps are changing sound character indeed, so you can actually adjust if you want the sound on the bright or dark side (subtile, of course, but on A/B tests is quite evident).
  3. EternalChampion
    The V6 Vivid are a touch warmer/colorful than V5 according to the Burson graph. And better than all the rest. If I understand correctly, the "brightest side" is something you don't really want, right? So they'll give you a bit of warmth and a performance boost at the same time. :L3000:

    Btw, I'm curious to know why you decided to take the risk going against Burson recommendation, and install the V5 on the I/V sockets. What I see there looks more like a suicide attempt :floatsmile:
  4. raoultrifan
    Looks like Burson is having SS V5 in I/V on the Play DAC/amp combo, so most likely I was wrong in the past (can't even remember who told me not to place them in I/V in the first place).
  5. raoultrifan
    Hello again,

    My heavily modified ASUS Essence One MUSES MKii just got modified again recently and became ASUS Essence One BURSON MKii. :ksc75smile:

    WP_20171108_22_01_06_Pro.jpg WP_20171108_21_57_53_Pro.jpg

    I've used for this the following BURSON opamps:
    - 4 x SS V5-D in I/V stage
    - 2 x SS V6-D Classic in Low Pass Filter stage
    - 2 x V5i-D in Voltage Amplification stage

    After several hours of usage and intensive testing I found no oscillations when using the above combination, no opamp overheating and on top of this I got 1st class quality sound! :L3000:

    I was listening to many songs like Chesky, hip-hop/dance, rock, jazz, classic etc. and I realized that changes in Low Pass filter are subtle indeed, like other Head-Fiers noticed too, but these changes can make the sound a bit mellow or perhaps a bit rough, depending on the opamps used, and can also modify the scene and how instruments are perceived.

    I was swapping the above opamps for several times and I've lost many nights to do happy listening and to test these babies until I got the above "opamps-arrangement". Yes, indeed, SS V6-D when used in LPF stage sounds better than anything else I've tested and combining them with SS V5-D in I/V will amplify the beneficial effect.

    What I got after this modding is:
    - Neutral sound with a bit of warmth and lot of details.
    - A bigger scene, sound is more wide open and very spacious.
    - Voices are very clear, a bit more upfront, but with a very good clarity.
    - Sound is less fatiguing, more peaceful, voices are not shouting at you...even when screaming, shouts are smoother and music is more enjoyable.
    - Sub-bass seems a bit more present, though all-round bass is having normal "size" and impact.

    Now speaking about how these opamps sound inside the Essence One, I'll try to summarize below:
    • 2 x V5i-D in VAS: 100% compatible, not much sound changing over the stock opamps (LME49720), just a tad on the bass side, but could be my ears; however, sound is accurate and pleasant.
    • 2 x V5i-D in LPF (Low Pass Filter): compatible, but sound was a bit bright and sparky, so you might need some "dark" headphones to pair with.
    • 2 x SS V5-D in VAS: 100% compatible, not much sound changing over the stock opamps (LME49720), but I liked the clarity and sound-stage.
    • 2 x SS V5-D in LPF: not 100% compatible (when moving pot. volume from 90% to 100% some oscillations could be present; however, at least opamps are not overheating and music could be reproduced perfectly), but sound was neutral with very good clarity, sound-stage increase, perhaps a bit bright but not as much as the V5i.
    • 4 x SS V5-D in I/V stage: 100% compatible, lot of details and very good clarity, increase in sound-stage, better instrument separation, maybe a little bit on the bright side, so could be picky by someone with Grado headphones or Beyers DT 880 for example.
    • 2 x SS V6-D Classic in VAS: 100% compatible, very detailed with neutral sound, very good sound-stage, every instrument sounds perfect and is positioned where it should be on the scene.
    • 2 x SS V6-D Classic in LPF: 100% compatible, very detailed, good instrument separation, totally neutral and a very good sound-stage too.
    Bottom of line I can totally recommend BURSON SS V6 Classic solid-state opamps, especially for those trying to upgrade regular opamps by replacing them with real high quality solid-state devices, but also for those of us wanting to get the best from their Hi-Fi gears. Seems that SS V6 Classic is compatible with all I've got at home (Matrix M-Stage, Objective 2, DIY headphone amplifier) and sound is just perfect. I also did a test recently with my Matrix M-Stage HPA-3B and paring was like siblings. :darthsmile:

    Below is how the SS V6 Classic looks inside, in case you want to check the solid-state quality components from inside Burson opamps. :)

    IMG_3689 copy.jpg

    Do not open up the protective plastic shell like I did! It will void opamp warranty and you'll risk to short-circuit your device.

    To properly close the top case of Essence One you'll need to use Extension Lead wires from Burson or similar, but also 90 degrees DIP8 adapters could do.

    Many thanks to Charles from BURSON who provided me these samples for testing!

    Best regards and happy listening,
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
    DMarasovic likes this.
  6. Hopup
    Does Burson not use that wax kind of stuff inside the opamps anymore or is that just the new model what is without it?
  7. raoultrifan
    No, not anymore for the SS V6 opamps...and I find this a good thing for increased inside ventilation, especially that the new SS V6 devices can be powered up to +/-16.5V or 33V power supply, unlike the former SS V5 and V5i that could only be powered with max. +/-15V or 30V (well, latest SS V5 opamps seems that can tolerate up to +/-16V).
  8. mBTX
    I'd take those V5s out ASAP. They're %100 NOT recommended for use in the I/V section of that dac. It's just more voltage than they're designed to handle.
  9. raoultrifan
    Well, I thought that myself, but looks like Burson got them installed in their PLAY DAC, so seems to be safe.
  10. mBTX
    No no no.... They're different units using different voltages. The Play was designed around the V5's specs.
  11. mBTX
    Sorry about the double post, I can't seem to edit for some reason....

    Hopefully, the Burson audio guy will pop in and enlighten us.

    I can tell you though, I have 4 V5's that make a sizzling noise from running in the Voltage section of the EO. $240 that I can't even use as a paperweight. (too light)
  12. raoultrifan
    By EO you mean Essence One? I've used 4 x SS V5 in I/V without issues and without getting overtemps or oscillations. Well, I must admit I have a custom power source in my E1, so maybe this would be the difference.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  13. mBTX
    oooooh, I had thought about getting a modded power supply from audiogd, but in the end didn't really know enough to mess with it.
  14. RiseFall123

    Everybody knows if it possible to connect iPhone to the E1 using the Apple camera kit cable?
  15. r343
    Bought Essence on Muses edition from Black Friday sale and paired it with HD800, i think it sounds very great, is there anything that should be done to make better or leave as it is.

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