Burson Soloist 3X Performance Head/Pre Amp - 8Wpc XLR with MUSE72320 volume control
Apr 23, 2022 at 5:18 PM Post #2,537 of 2,681

rmsanger

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For me the Sparkos + supercharger really helps the technical performance of this amp both with my 1266 Phi TC and my focal solo 6be monitors. I considered upgrading to the 3GT many times but the performance of the 3xp per $ is just hard to beat.

I would like to get a really great tube pre and try the 3XP in power amp mode to see if this improves performance.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 8:02 PM Post #2,538 of 2,681

Atriya

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Whoops, you're right! Classics in Input, Vivids in Volume.
I'm currently testing the opposite configuration: Classics in output, Vivids in input. With the reverse (i.e. what you were using) I frankly couldn't hear much of a difference from having Vivids in the input stage, except that mids seemed a tad harsher on my Arya SE. With Classics in the output stage now, I think I'm hearing a bit more of that warmer sound that Classics are reported to have by other people.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 8:12 PM Post #2,539 of 2,681

adeadcrab

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I'm currently testing the opposite configuration: Classics in output, Vivids in input. With the reverse (i.e. what you were using) I frankly couldn't hear much of a difference from having Vivids in the input stage, except that mids seemed a tad harsher on my Arya SE. With Classics in the output stage now, I think I'm hearing a bit more of that warmer sound that Classics are reported to have by other people.
From what I understand, the Vivid opamps are preferred in the volume stage as they handle volume changes more linearly with better detail retrieval as they are a quite clean opamp. The Classics used in the input stage would add that warmth to the signal and the Vivids in the volume stage would keep all the information there.

Burson recommend a few hours of burn-in for their opamps last I checked (or at least what is recommended in the opamp thread here). I noticed the Classics mellow more after a few hours of being broken in.
 
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Apr 23, 2022 at 8:20 PM Post #2,540 of 2,681

Atriya

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From what I understand, the Vivid opamps are preferred in the volume stage as they handle volume changes more linearly with better detail retrieval as they are a quite clean opamp. The Classics used in the input stage would add that warmth to the signal and the Vivids in the volume stage would keep all the information there.

Yes that makes sense, except that for some reason I don't seem to be hearing much of a change with Classics in input and Vivids in output. I'm also trying to figure out if the harsher midrange was caused by the Classics in input. Frankly there are so many variables here it's difficult to keep track of what's causing what. My Arya SEs are relatively new, and perhaps they just need to be burnt in more.
 
Apr 23, 2022 at 8:37 PM Post #2,541 of 2,681

adeadcrab

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Yes that makes sense, except that for some reason I don't seem to be hearing much of a change with Classics in input and Vivids in output. I'm also trying to figure out if the harsher midrange was caused by the Classics in input. Frankly there are so many variables here it's difficult to keep track of what's causing what. My Arya SEs are relatively new, and perhaps they just need to be burnt in more.
GIve the opamps some time, it has all discrete components like resistors and tiny caps unlike an IC opamp, which change over 10+ hours.

I definitely remember burning in my Vivid way back when; I really hated it for the first night but it stabilised while playing music overnight and was much better the following day.

example: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/bur...sion-and-reviews.854912/page-27#post-15285517
 
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Apr 24, 2022 at 1:27 AM Post #2,542 of 2,681

Mozbach

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Hi @godmax /@protoss /everyone

Been eyeing the SA1, Soloist 3xp, and GSX mini for some time. Il be paring it with Arya V2 and Hd6xx for now, with a TOTL headphone (Susvara) down the line. Im trying to get the best of out my Arya's espcially taming the treble brightness and adding some low end. Upstream components will be Ares2 or BF2. Im inclined to go for 3xp bcz its got a remote, aside from sound signature (im using HPs with extension cables). Both SA1 and GSX mini dont have a remote (not a deal breaker).

With the intended pairing, what would you/other folks recommend? Do note i will be buying this as my one and only headamp for next 4-5 yrs (yeah, want to stick to one instead of burning holes in my pocket).

Any pointers would be helpful. Thanks!
 
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Apr 24, 2022 at 1:56 AM Post #2,543 of 2,681

godmax

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Hi @godmax /@protoss /everyone

Been eyeing the SA1, Soloist 3xp, and GSX mini for some time. Il be paring it with Arya V2 and Hd6xx for now, with a TOTL headphone (Susvara) down the line. Im trying to get the best of out my Arya's espcially taming the treble brightness and adding some low end. Upstream components will be Ares2 or BF2. Im inclined to go for 3xp bcz its got a remote, aside from sound signature (im using HPs with extension cables). Both SA1 and GSX mini dont have a remote (not a deal breaker).

With the intended pairing, what would you/other folks recommend? Do note i will be buying this as my one and only headamp for next 4-5 yrs (yeah, want to stick to one instead of burning holes in my pocket).

Any pointers would be helpful. Thanks!
Even I cannot tell if one of the 3 mentioned amps will tame the brightness or add low end to your Arya, but they all are very competent amps for their respective price bracket.
I did buy them in the following order GS-X mini, Soloist 3XP than SA-1 and have all 3 still around and in daily use. If your ultimate goal is to drive the Susvara with in the next 1-2 years maybe you should head for a different amp (e.g. Ferrum OOR), because of the output power.
I did use the Ares II with the GS-X mini first for a long time and now with the SA-1, so from that perspective I have no objections regarding your plans. I use the Soloist 3XP mainly in power amp mode (and there you can't do much with the included remote anyway) together with the Composer 3XP, that mode and the possibilty to change op-amps are the differentiation features that the other two cannot offer.
Also the GS-X mini makes any headphone sound great, but can become very hot with prolonged use.
They all 3 could be your one and only amp, but if your headphone journey just started and don't want spend too much money and still get very good results, the SA-1 is a good choice.
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 2:19 AM Post #2,544 of 2,681

Mozbach

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Even I cannot tell if one of the 3 mentioned amps will tame the brightness or add low end to your Arya, but they all are very competent amps for their respective price bracket.
I did buy them in the following order GS-X mini, Soloist 3XP than SA-1 and have all 3 still around and in daily use. If your ultimate goal is to drive the Susvara with in the next 1-2 years maybe you should head for a different amp (e.g. Ferrum OOR), because of the output power.
I did use the Ares II with the GS-X mini first for a long time and now with the SA-1, so from that perspective I have no objections regarding your plans. I use the Soloist 3XP mainly in power amp mode (and there you can't do much with the included remote anyway) together with the Composer 3XP, that mode and the possibilty to change op-amps are the differentiation features that the other two cannot offer.
Also the GS-X mini makes any headphone sound great, but can become very hot with prolonged use.
They all 3 could be your one and only amp, but if your headphone journey just started and don't want spend too much money and still get very good results, the SA-1 is a good choice.
Thanks.. very helpful inputs!
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 4:25 AM Post #2,545 of 2,681

Terr0rSandmann

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Yes that makes sense, except that for some reason I don't seem to be hearing much of a change with Classics in input and Vivids in output. I'm also trying to figure out if the harsher midrange was caused by the Classics in input. Frankly there are so many variables here it's difficult to keep track of what's causing what. My Arya SEs are relatively new, and perhaps they just need to be burnt in more.
There are some people who can hear USB cable sound. On the other end, there are people who can not hear a difference between solid state amps. Both is fine, when both sides enjoy their audio.

If you do not hear a difference, give you and your brain more time. And if you still can not hear a difference, fine as well :) It does not help to just repeat sound experience from others. Everyone is different.
 
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Apr 24, 2022 at 4:31 AM Post #2,546 of 2,681

Sam Spade

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Hi @godmax /@protoss /everyone

Been eyeing the SA1, Soloist 3xp, and GSX mini for some time. Il be paring it with Arya V2 and Hd6xx for now, with a TOTL headphone (Susvara) down the line. Im trying to get the best of out my Arya's espcially taming the treble brightness and adding some low end. Upstream components will be Ares2 or BF2. Im inclined to go for 3xp bcz its got a remote, aside from sound signature (im using HPs with extension cables). Both SA1 and GSX mini dont have a remote (not a deal breaker).

With the intended pairing, what would you/other folks recommend? Do note i will be buying this as my one and only headamp for next 4-5 yrs (yeah, want to stick to one instead of burning holes in my pocket).

Any pointers would be helpful. Thanks!
Hi Mozbach, I'm running LCD3, LCD4, LCDxc. My most expensive combo is a heavily modded classic Marantz CD80 as transport --> Chord Qutest DAC --> Sparkos Aries headamp. My loungeroom DAC/Amp is a Burson Conductor 3x Reference fed by a Cambridge Audio 840C CD player. I also have a Chord Mojo 2 DAC/Amp.

All are awesome at their price, perhaps the Burson is the best value. For a portable the Mojo 2 is exceptional, but perhaps slightly fatiguing in long sessions at loud volumes. The Mojo is also a stunning DAC fed by my AK SP1000 driving a $10k Hertz car system with a Helix Ultra DSP.

So I can strongly recommend the Burson Conductor at about US$2,200, it is better value than the Sparkos at about US$3,000. My Sparkos/Chord Qutest combo (US$5,000) sounds better than the Conductor 3x, but it should as it is over double the price.

I can seriously recommend the Chord Mojo 2 as well at AU$900. It is remarkable for home, portable, car use.

Frankly, the Burson Conductor and Chord Mojo 2 are both exceptional value at their respective price points.
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 5:04 AM Post #2,547 of 2,681

headband

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So I got the GS-X Mini today. I’ve had the Soloist 3XP for a couple months now. I actually just started in this hobby and that was my first ever amp so I do feel a bit attached to it. I’m still forming an opinion on the Gsx. I love the Soloist BUT I can tell in the back of my head the GS-X mini is better. I’m gonna try to stay open minded till I get more familiar with it. Luckily I got the burson from headphones site so I have a year to return it (with a fee)
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 6:15 AM Post #2,548 of 2,681

Mozbach

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Hi Mozbach, I'm running LCD3, LCD4, LCDxc. My most expensive combo is a heavily modded classic Marantz CD80 as transport --> Chord Qutest DAC --> Sparkos Aries headamp. My loungeroom DAC/Amp is a Burson Conductor 3x Reference fed by a Cambridge Audio 840C CD player. I also have a Chord Mojo 2 DAC/Amp.

All are awesome at their price, perhaps the Burson is the best value. For a portable the Mojo 2 is exceptional, but perhaps slightly fatiguing in long sessions at loud volumes. The Mojo is also a stunning DAC fed by my AK SP1000 driving a $10k Hertz car system with a Helix Ultra DSP.

So I can strongly recommend the Burson Conductor at about US$2,200, it is better value than the Sparkos at about US$3,000. My Sparkos/Chord Qutest combo (US$5,000) sounds better than the Conductor 3x, but it should as it is over double the price.

I can seriously recommend the Chord Mojo 2 as well at AU$900. It is remarkable for home, portable, car use.

Frankly, the Burson Conductor and Chord Mojo 2 are both exceptional value at their respective price points.
i have the mojo 2 for portable use.. and not a huge budget for a desktop/lounge set up. Currently the marantz power amp (pm5005) is doing headphone amp duties. But i hear you!
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 6:24 AM Post #2,549 of 2,681

Mozbach

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There are some people who can hear USB cable sound. On the other end, there are people who can not hear a difference between solid state amps. Both is fine, if both sides enjoy their audio.

If you do not hear a difference, give you and your brain more time. And if you still can not hear a difference, fine as well :) It does not help to just repeat sound experience from others. Everyone is different.
Thats absolutely true. But since im having to go in blind (no returns possible from where im planning to buy), im taking a collective best guess :wink:

With the experience iv had with Aryav2 off a marantz power amp's headphone out, im quite impressed with all aspects i want (smoothness, lushness, air, soundstage width and depth, imaging)EXCEPT maybe the bass. From what i gather, in general, Planars are power and current hungry, which i attribute to the amp. Off the mojo, i hear better layering and depth in bass, vs mojo feeding the amp as a dac.

Overall enjoy the Hd6xx with Eufonika tube amp more for its organic-ness & intimacy and then the Aryas are great for granduer (movies, classical, live performances, etc.) & electronic. Btw - i do hear differences through well shielded RCA interconnects and copper vs silver headphone cables and some speaker cables (under 1000$), but thats where i kind of draw the line. In this case, i cant 'hear' anything :/ before buying it
 
Apr 24, 2022 at 8:05 AM Post #2,550 of 2,681

Sam Spade

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i have the mojo 2 for portable use.. and not a huge budget for a desktop/lounge set up. Currently the marantz power amp (pm5005) is doing headphone amp duties. But i hear you!
I have some Marantz gear including a PM80, 25 watt class A switchable to 100 watt class AB. It's an awesome amp but the headphone out doesn't cope with my planers. I'd seriously consider using the Mojo 2 to feed the best headphone amp you can afford. I suspect that's how you'll get the best sound for your dollar
 
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