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Burson Soloist SL MK2 Appreciation/Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by nordkapp, Jan 3, 2016.
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  1. nordkapp
    burson_soloist_sl_mkii.jpg
    Hey guys-I am looking for a small, simple, SS, class A biased amp within the SL MK2s price range($500-1000). At this point in time I can't find any objective formal or informal reviews. Any thoughts/comments are appreciated. Could this thing be a giant killer? Let's get a decent discussion started. I need help.......
     
  2. iDesign
    While I have not listed to the Conductor SL MkII, I have a lot of experience with Burson headphone amplifiers including the Lycan, HA-160D, Conductor SL, and Conductor Virtuoso. You can read my review of the Conductor Virtuoso here which is similar to the Conductor SL MkII: 
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/burson-audio-conductor-virtuoso-dac1-ess9018-dac-and-headphone-preamp/reviews/14244 
     
  3. nordkapp
    Thanks for the input. Given the fact that you preferred the Virtuoso through it's digital rather than line level input, would you still consider it in the same light. I ask this because of several reasons 1) I have two excellent DACs already 2) I do not need the massive output of their upper level offerings and 3) I also don't need pre outs. All of which led me to the smaller soloist sl. I have decades worth of listening/owning bigger, dedicated 2 channel stereo amps of all flavors. I am looking for that warmer midrange of the class A biasing. And I am finished with tubes all together. I prefer to stay away from 1 box do-it-alls. At this point would you recommend it from your experience & intuition. See my profile gear if that helps. Thanks so much.
     
  4. nordkapp
    Actually I think I misspoke earlier regarding midrange "warmth". More like a desire for more incisive presence of ALL frequencies w/o any shortening of frequency extension. My vhp-2 is really fun and detailed but I just wonder if there is more "there", there in the soloist sl.
     
  5. nordkapp
    Soloist-SL-MK2-S2.jpg
    Soloist-SL-MK2-S3.jpg
     
  6. iDesign
     
    Absolutely and that is primarily because I feel it is good match with the HD 580, HD 600, and HD 650 headphones. As an amplifier, the Conductor Virtuoso seems to be well balanced in its presentation and never harsh or sibilant. I have fed the Conductor Virtuoso with the Chord Mojo and Hugo DACs as well as an ModWright Ultra Truth modified Sony ES SACD player and noticed subtle changes in the sound. In the end, I prefer the Conductor Virtuoso's ESS Technology SABRE32 ESS9018S DAC because it is plenty sufficient and its a tidy 3-in-1 solution. By using your existing DAC you will be able to further adjust the sound to your preferences. The Conductor SL MkII is a very capable and powerful amplifier that should allow you to use many different headphones for years to come.  
     
  7. nordkapp
    Great! My Concero HD uses the similar ESS chipset (Sabre 32 bit, 9018-2M) so at this point the SL MK2 would be a great match. I think that for what they charge for this MK2 version it is a no brainer for me. I will likely pull the trigger soon and get back w/my thoughts. Appreciated.
     
  8. cmacsocial
    Did you end up buying the MK2? Thoughts?
     
  9. nordkapp
    Hi there. Unfortunately I did not. I struggled for a while with this decision too. I bought the Bryston BHA 1. I had read somewhere that it was/is (soloist sl mk2) great but lacking in ultimate resolution which is what I crave. There are a ton of reviews on the BHA1 so I had complete confidence buying it and I must say it is pretty damn impressive. Do you have any thoughts on the Burson?
     
  10. torpedorag
    Is there any difference aside from 2W-2.5W and the volume knob from the mk1??

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk
     
  11. nordkapp
    Judging by what I have read regarding it-no, there is not. That being said I am not the best qualified to answer that question.
     
  12. torpedorag
    Thanks! I might just get the mkI since I have no hard to drive phones anyway. My LCD-2 is surprisingly sensitive.
     
  13. nordkapp
    Good idea-don't blame you there. I was after a little more power for my 600 ohm T1.2s and for possible future purchase of any insensitive phones. Good Luck. 
     
  14. torpedorag
     
    I'll order it this month. It'll be my first decent desktop amp. Aside from my iDSD micro haha. [​IMG]
     
  15. cmacsocial
    Thanks. My only reservation with the Burson is I read it doesn't add much bass. I listen to rock and house, so a little punch is my goal--the EL-8C with the HA-2 doesn't deliver (though that amp is underpowering them anyway).
     
    Other amps I'm considering for the EL-8C (and eventually the LCD-XC) are Woo Audio WA7 or WA6-SE, Violectric V200, and ALO Audio PAN-AM--the BHA-1 is a little excessive for work [​IMG]. Have any experience with these?
     
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