Burson Supreme Sound Audio V5-OPA-D,V5-OPA-S Review
Dec 15, 2015 at 5:43 PM Post #61 of 173


100+ Head-Fier
Dec 4, 2007
Hi Guys, 
I want to share my review of Burson V5s with you.

For years I experimented with different opamps, starting from the first trip, which began on DAC Lampucera (http://www.lampizator.eu/lampizator/LAMPUCERA/MAX/maxi-lampucera.html). The modification was done by replacing the standard NE5532. I did a lot of experimentation finally settled on a combination of AD797BRZ and OPA627BP.  With time I discovered more and more fine pieces of audio equipment with a possibility to replace standard opamps. I was reaching also for more and more interesting and exotic opamps. From this galaxy, the cream de la cream was for me  ADA4627-1, ADA4637-1, OPA1612, OPA1642 and LME49990 and MUSES01 and MUSES02.

Currently I have a device with is based on opamps for I/V conversion, and also for LP filter. It is Cayin HA3 with an essentially bookish application of PCM1792 D/A chip. Encouraged by my previous experiences with opamps and basing on the fact that even with standard opamps Cayin sounds very good, I decided that this time I will reach for something more. For quite some time I was tempted to try the discrete Burson opamps, especially since I am a satisfied user of  Burson DA-160 DAC. Finally I decided to go for them and did tests against few of my favorites AD797, OPA627, ADA4627-1, LME49990 and MUSES02. Burson team spent almost 10 years on R D, resulting in a 5th generation of discrete opamps enclosed in a plastic housing, a big plus in comparison to the competition, whose discreet opamps tend to be larger and have no housing at all, so quite more susceptible to damage.

In Cayin HA3 it is quite small amount of free space to use, but the via the Burson website you can order high quality extenders, allowing you to mount opamps in such a way that you can entirely close the Cayin’s case. Ordering those extenders is a good decision if you know that in your audio gear is not enough space to install Burson opamps, especially to close the case. After assembly, I allowed Cayin to play for two days to complete burn in, just for the sake of peace.






For the purpose of this review, I used Ultrasone Edition 5 Unlimited and the Shure SE535.

I have to admit that for long time, nothing impressed me in such positive manner from the very beginning. I did not expect such far-reaching changes. It is about not only improvement in the technical aspects of the presentation, sound, but improvement of  the way how Cayin plays1.
After installation of Burson opamps, Cayin’s sound gained primarily much more depth. It's almost as the move from 2D to 3D. Ultrasone Edition 5 already playing in a very three-dimensional and holographic manner, cam divide the sound of each instrument to thousands of bands moving through the air, but now all this has been clearly divided into space-time projections. It's like mix of a Ultrasone’s precision and their penchant to onstage order and somehow romantic sound of Grado GS1000 regarding their endless and vibrating space.
What is most noticeable is definitely a muddy sound, which belongs to standard opamps in Cayin -  AD827 and OPA604. This curtain is also taken off by ADA4627-1 and LME49990, but definitely not completely removed as in the case of Burson discrete opamps. Moreover, LME49990 tends to play very spatially, but far from here to the sound of Burson, LME49990 can be somehow aggressive in the context of upper midrange while Burson’s omamps are free of that and have. very natural timbre. The vocals sound really convincing on Burson’s opamps. The sound is very detailed, but fatigue-free. This is the top class and the purpose for which engineers should create audio equipment. It is easier to design the equipment which sounds musical or analytical, but a combination of both at the same time is a higher class. This is the grade of Burson opamps.
Technical details of the sound

Bass has the largest impact compared to all opamps tested, but it is also very well controlled. Additionally, it has the very three-dimensionality characteristics and very good texture. The mids are given very truly, really, but not too aggressive or rough, nor is overly smooth. Guitar and vocals, however, have their claws and can be very resonant. Transients are pristine, Highs are given in Burson style, very well layered with sparkle but not offensive. Highs have a glow, but I do not get tired with time while listening to the sound. In fact, I find it hard to find any flaws here. For some people that open sound may at first be seen as a drawback. If anyone has so far listened to muddy sounding opamp like  OPA2604, replacing them by Burson opamps is huge experience. That's what makes the greatest effect, especially at the very beginning before tasting all the flavors of the sound, the scene and holography, separation and positioning of instruments. In relation to the other opamps it is almost like the transition from 2D to 3D. Other opamps have clearly audible character compared to Burson V5s. AD797, OPA627 dryness or harshness in upper midrange of the LME49990. MUSES02 has his own character as well. I am certain that after some time with Burson’s V5s moving back to some integrated traditional opamps will be difficult. Competitive discrete designs, which I have heard are playing generally more dry and digitally. The red color of V5s is well choosed. The sound is definitely not a clinically white, silver or gray. Nor is it overly dark. The color temperature is just like the red color. It’s arouses emotions.

It’s very nice to write such a positive review. Burson opamps are more expensive than standard opamps, but for me the choice is obvious. This is a one-way trip. I think now there is simply no chance to go back. I can imagine only one situation when other opamps may be "better". If someone has really sharp and aggressive and bright sounding headphones and needs something very dark and lazy. Then actually for the tonal balance only  and not in terms of better quality moving back to something in lower class but sounding very dark can be the solution. I however, recommend definitively to try Burson V5s.
Dec 30, 2015 at 8:08 PM Post #63 of 173


1000+ Head-Fier
Jan 23, 2014
Port Richey, Florida
  Supreme Sound (Burson) Audio V5-OPA Dual Opamp Impressions with HT Omega Claro Halo
Let me start by stating that this is my first review of an audio product. I am an audio enthusiast, being that I spend tons of money on decent audio gear. I can tell what sounds good to me, and that generally falls in line with the general consensus amongst fellow audio enthusiasts. So take from this what you can, especially with my lack of audio vocab.
Equipment wise, I own/have owned HT Omega Claro Halo, K702, HD650, K550, Beats Studio, SE535 Reshelled (CIEM), Xiaomi Piston 2, TTPOD T1-E, Xuelin ihifi960, Blox BE03, Brainwavz S5, Bravo Audio Ocean, PreSonus HP4, Racoon SG-300. So I get a good sense of what I can get in terms of sound quality for the extra cost. My favourite combination is Foobar with ASIO playback to HT Omega to my K702. Source is very important, and most of my music is in FLAC.
The fact is, after upgrading from the stock JRC to Burr Browns, things got a tiny bit better. I only noticed that the music was a bit more dynamic, hence more bass. I didn't really think my ears can hear the difference of a "better" dac or opamp. My dual wolfson DAP was fantastic, but not significantly better sounding than my Claro Halo. So I thought, why not give opamp rolling another shot. Many people sang praises for AD797BRZ and Muse01/02, but they were all pretty expensive or sort of complicated. Either sourcing them or the authenticity. So I figured if I was going to spend big bucks (relative to the sound card $200), then I would go full out and try the Supreme Sound V5-OPA. I figured that would be the end game unless I really disliked their sound. There wasn't much information on the V5s, and what I did find was a bit vague and based on the V4. Reading through many forum gave me one simple conclusion. Burson Audio is a highly regarded/respected company when it comes to the quality of their products and customer service.
Purchasing these were very easy through Ebay. I purchased 4 of the Dual Discrete Opamps, and they were shipped out promptly. The delivery was a tad slower than their Ebay estimate, but their staff was very good to keep me updated.
When I first got these, I was a bit shocked by the size. It was a whole lot smaller than I expected, which is very good because I do not need to mod my case. Without moving the extension sockets that came with the V5s, the whole card is under 4cm. So it fits in dual slot format.
The test will be kept simple; I will be listening to 4 songs all in CD quality FLAC. I will be listening to the OPA2134PA,  then V5-OPA after 50+ Hrs Burn-in (I've read that it does make a bit of a difference)
Song Selection
1. Lady Gaga - Starstruck (Feat. Space Cowboy @ Flo Rida)
Massive bass in the beginning with lots of synthesized notes
2. Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence
An older simple recording with great vocal harmony and instrument accompaniment
3. Within Temptation - Somewhere(Black Symphony)
My favourite female-female duet, live with symphony
4.Andrea Bocelli - Dare to Live (Vivere) Duet with Laura Pausini
I love duets and harmonies, you probably already caught on. Andrea and Laura's Vivere just contains pure pleasure covering highs and lows. The strength and the beautiful placement of their notes is just breathtaking.
Lady Gaga - Starstruck (Feat. Space Cowboy @ Flo Rida)
The bass in this song is very powerful, with good impact. It reaches very low and vibrates in a way that makes you really feel it. Though strong, it is quite muddy in the sense that you KNOW it's there, but it is not tight enough to precisely know exactly when one bass note ends, and   another starts. Nevertheless satisfying, like when I first heard the Beats by Dre Studios. The high synthesized notes are very delicate, and accurately observable within the soundstage. They bounce around with great energy, but they are what I would call "sharp" to my ears. Whether the correct term is harshness; it's just that they fatigue my ears very quickly. Overall, this song is not as enjoyable on this system as out of a phone into the Beats Studio. It is just not very musical as the voices and the synthesized notes do not merge well; and each element sounds like they are doing their own thing.
                Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence
This song starts for me with very unique presentation. The piano lightly enters near center, then followed by the guitar from far right, almost 3 O'clock. Then comes in Simon and Garfunkel from above center; I have always described it as if they were singing to us from heaven. Right after 30 seconds, the guitar becomes louder and moves toward 1:30, then enters the percussions. Once again, I find the guitar high notes to be quite sharp/harsh to my ears. I also find that the instrumentals lack detail; I know they are there and the notes that are played, but it doesn't sound like I'm right there in the recording room. This might be a bit high expectation, but I find many songs to give me this kind of pleasant presentation. Overall, the instruments just do not sound real to me. In a way, it could be that most of my complaints are just that the K702 are sometimes just too analytical for some recordings.
                Within Temptation - Somewhere(Black Symphony)
Even though this was mixed from a live concert, the soundstage feels intimate and close. Parts of the song you can tell that there are cheering fans and such, and those moments broadens the soundstage. Aside from those moments, it feel like you are the only audience onstage as these amazing vocalists sing to you. The only negatives comes from the instruments again; it just sounds like the symphony and other instruments are behind a curtain, and a bit too far away from the vocals.
                Andrea Bocelli - Dare to Live (Vivere) Duet with Laura Pausini
The song is simply stunning to the ears. The piano notes are very clear and realistic. Their voice is just so powerful and rich. The cymbols are light and crisp. The instruments are very much involved in the song, just must softer to let the voices shine; therefore, there isn't much bass to discuss here. At this point, it seems like we see the pattern that the highs extend well, but in a way that is just too sharp/harsh.
                Lady Gaga - Starstruck (Feat. Space Cowboy @ Flo Rida)
This song received two major changes after the swap; and both to me are improvements. First the bass became much tighter/quicker which cleaned up the low end significantly. It made the OPA2123PA sound bloated and lazy; however, it almost feels like the song is progressing a little quick. I don't quite understand that observation, but I do find the song more energetic. Second, The high synthesized notes seemed to sparkle a little more, whatever that means... I guess it could be a little more detail, but mostly the sharp/harshness has been removed. Lastly, the        soundstage seemed to have tightened a bit. Just a little so that a lot of the notes and voices are overlapping in source; this created a more musical listening experience.
                Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence
The instruments gained a fair bit of detail; where the individual percussion hits differentiated    from each other, and the guitar notes had a lot more natural string sound. It doesn't make these instruments the best sounding I have ever heard, but it is a great improvement over the OPA2134PA. Another example is how it is easier to differentiate the kick drum from the low bass notes.
                Within Temptation - Somewhere(Black Symphony)
Even though the voices were already very well presented, the V5s made them just a little more intimate and immersive. The "curtain" / extra distance between the instruments and singers have been significantly diminished. The band/symphony is still behind Sharon and Anneke, they just complement each other better. The highs do not sound sharp/harsh at all, but it may even sound a little pulled back. I have not decided whether that is an improvement or not.
                Andrea Bocelli - Dare to Live (Vivere) Duet with Laura Pausini
This song was already pretty perfect coming out of the OPA2134PA, it has been simply refined by the V5s. The V5s are just able to pick up a little more detail, and control the highs better.
In summary, I feel that my observations of the 4 songs between the 2 opamps are very consistent. I did not notice any significant differences of the 50+ Hrs break in. The highs were simply too harsh coming out of the OPA2134PA, and were removed completely (if not a little bit pulled back) by the V5-OPA. There was significantly more detail retrieval from the V5-OPA, and the bass is more controlled. The bass did not lose any impact, just cleaner. Ultimately, I am a value based guy so I must talk about cost. These opamps costs $130 per pair, about $70USD each after shipping. Together they cost more than the sound card that they go in. It feels more like a transplant, instead of a minor upgrade. The key point to note is that, I cannot imagine life without my HT Omega Claro Halo. I just love its sound and capabilities. So if I had the money (Obviously I found some), I would definitely do this upgrade. No regrets.
My next upgrade to my sound system, which may be my end game would be a OPPO BDP 105 with KEF LS50. But that will be when I get a major promotion :p
Thanks to anyone who stuck with me until the end of this review.












Where can the Supreme Sound (Burson) Audio V5-OPA Dual Opamp be purchased?
Dec 31, 2015 at 1:25 PM Post #66 of 173
Apr 28, 2007
  Where can the Supreme Sound (Burson) Audio V5-OPA Dual Opamp be purchased?

Also have a look at this post and photos by pelopidas:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/432749/the-opamp-thread/5055#post_12185207
I don't know if you're interested, but you can get SILMIC II 35V 10uf caps from this guy (100% feedback, ships from California vs. China or HK):
And for DIP 8 extenders...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pack-8-Pin-DIP-IC-Sockets-Machined-Pins-Gold-Internal-Contacts-NEW-/172018715688 (100% feedback, ships from Rhode Island)
Jan 7, 2016 at 4:06 PM Post #71 of 173


New Head-Fier
Nov 9, 2009
Hi friends,
After I came to know that Burson Audio has developed a new dual opamp,I was just eager to know how much can a company improve further when they have already a very good solution(V4).
 I was happy with Burson audio supreme dual V4 opamp in my SSP (Super simple preamp). Still need to see if V5 can improve my SSP further as hifi journey never ends. I was waiting to check some reviews too before I think to buy new. Finally I pulled the trigger and got the lattest V5 opamp in my SSP.I would like share my views here-
The First look-

The new opamp certainly has a different look than earlier and all circuit is hidden inside the red cover. I think it’s a good way that you won’t touch the opamp parts while swapping it. Secondly its smaller and shorter in size which is again a better move. It simply fits to opamp socket and don’t need extra space around. Also height is lesser than V4. Hence it can be used in CD/DVD/Bluray players which has short height. You can just take a look the next image-

V5 vs V4-

First impression-
As soon as I received a well packed V5 opamp, I placed it in my SSP and just stared playing some song. The first impression was that it sounded warm out of the box. I felt Bass was little more and fine details in the treble were very less. Even I felt soundstage was smaller than V4.But as per the golden rule in hifi, I need to some time for burn-in and then listen seriously. So kept the the opamp running for more than 10 days and then started it to compare it.
After 10 days-
By this time, V5 has improved in better way. I listened it seriously and compared with some other opamps too.
I used following setup-
DIY SSP- preamp-

Power amp- Rotel RB 890

Energy CB-5

Energy RC-50

Source player- Pioneer Bluray player 
DIY Preamp- SSP (Super Simple preamp)
Power amp- Rotel RB 890
Bookshelf speakers- Energy CB5
Tower speakers- Energy RC50
DAC Xtreme core speaker cables
Songs played-
Keith Don't Go
Alanis Morissette- You oughta know
Antonio forcione - Tears Of Joy
Dire Straits- You And Your Friend 
Hotel California
Taufiq - The Tree of Rhythm
Bozzio cut Levin Stevens - Duende
And few others

Listening impression-
Initially we played songs with bookshelf speakers then towers.
After burning in for few days,the magic did happen.The sound signature did change in positive way. 
As I said earlier,first impression was not that great over V4 as sound was not open. Mids and vocals were recessed. After 10 days of use, mids opened far better. Infact they sound much natural. Some systems may struggle to maintain natural tonality of vocals,but bot in case of V5.
While playing Dire straits, I could easily follow his vocal texture. It sounded like typical male vocals. Not to thin or sharp. 
When played “You oughta know”, Alanis Morissette did not sound lean or edgy.Vocals were smooth and natural in tone. One will enjoy the mids very well. Indian classical songs with vocal can be enjoyed easily.
Coming to Bass, yes there is certain improvement.Comparing to V4, Bass sounds deeper and fuller. V4 has enough Bass punch,but V5 adds extra depth.Mid bass is not bad at all.
Listening to “Nils_Lofgren_-_Bass_&_Drum_Intro”, one can easily feel the thump coming out of speakers easily. Bass is tight enough to express well. Drums again sounded natural and powerful.Listening to Bass guitar was a pleasure.
While listening to “Taufiq - The Tree of Rhythm”, Tabla had near perfect tone.Vocals in recording popped up in natural way.One can get the feel of live performance.
Treble seems to get little rolled off,but not much.If one needs to listen music for long, very high frequencies can cause ear fatigue which V5 does not. Treble is very easy on ears.Rounded treble is joy to listen. If I said, highs are rolled off,that doesn’t mean that you loose much. Listening to “Keith Don't Go”, strings never pierce your ears.The louder note did not forced us to lower volume. Infact you can enjoy them even at higher volumes. Guitar strings have certain energy and presence. Treble is sweet in nature than V4.
“Bozzio cut Levin Stevens – Duende” has all together, Instruments with Bass and trebles. It was joy to enjoy pure music.I did not felt any of frequencies was dominating rest of spectrum. That’s the great achievement over V4 I guess. Dynamic range is better than V4. I can hear vocals in center and overall involving sound. 
After listening for few hours,I can say that Burson audio supreme dual opamp is easy on ears and pure musical toy in my ssp. It can cause addiction to all types of music.:) Audiophiles should like this op-amp for the level of performance V5 delivers.
If I want to compare with V4 opamp, I can say that V4 has marginally better and more gap between instruments in my setup. V4 also sounds more lively than V5 with some recording.But V5 has overall balanced and musical sound. Infact  V4 can sound sharp with some songs, which is not with V5. You can enjoy hifi sound for longer. V5 background is also darker than V4. Better and deep bass is big plus with V5. More over V5 is near analog sounding opamp.
Comparing with other op-amps-
I have  BB-OPA2134, , LM1458N,  LME49990 to compare with and results are as follow.

BB-OPA2134 is a reputed budget opamp which has a warm character. When compared to Burson’s V5, it sounded 2 dimensional. V5 sounded more dynamic and clear than it.Instrument separation was much better with V5. Attack was not that great with some songs with 2134.Bass was better in V5. V5 sounded spacious as deep.Though there was no fatigu, OPA-2134 did sound little digital.Not to mentioned I enjoyed V5 more than 2134.
 LM1458N[ is just a low-fi opamp which sounded smaller in soundstage and weight. Infact it sounded open and transparent than OPA-2134, but not better than V5. Bass was much lesser than V5.Overall presentation was noway near to V5.
LME-49990 is dual mono in my setup. I must admit that it has the darkest background than any other opamp I used to compare. Even it gave better gain to my poweramp. I felt my bookshelf turned into little bigger speakers. But it failed to give natural sound. One can easily know that it has its own colored sound signature. It even struggled to get vocals in dead center. Again I preferred V5 sound as it sounded natural and balanced.
Final thought-

 Overall sound from Burson’s supreme dual opamp is clean,well balanced and natural to most of the recordings. It delivers smooth musical sound in my setup which I am enjoying much. Its much better than other IC-based op-amps. There is certainly more improvement over V4 as said earlier, still V4 has it own plus. I will prefer V5 in musical setups (like in CD player) and V4 in homethereater devices like AVR, Bluray players due to little more attack. I am sure that V5 will improve further with more burn-in time.Finally I congratulate Burson Audio team for developing successful new supreme opamp.
Other opamp pics-



Jan 13, 2016 at 9:12 PM Post #73 of 173
Feb 4, 2015
This is the new DIP8 to SOP kit we offer. Now installed our V5 opamp into SMD format is easier than ever. 
So, any one who want to trail out the new SMD + V5 in their project please post your photo here (in the next couple of weeks). We will select a few guys for some free samples:) We love to see fellow DIYers put them into action. :)
Burson Audio Stay updated on Burson Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
https://www.facebook.com/BursonAudio https://twitter.com/bursonaudio http://www.bursonaudio.com/products/
Jan 14, 2016 at 5:15 AM Post #74 of 173

Michael V

100+ Head-Fier
Nov 11, 2011
New Jersey
  This is the new DIP8 to SOP kit we offer. Now installed our V5 opamp into SMD format is easier than ever. 
So, any one who want to trail out the new SMD + V5 in their project please post your photo here (in the next couple of weeks). We will select a few guys for some free samples:) We love to see fellow DIYers put them into action. :)

What does this kit do? I just purchased a V5 opamp from you guys a few minutes ago. 
Also I'm going to do the mod like pelopidas did a few posts up on this thread. He used SILMIC II 35V 10uf caps. But I see you guys have silmic 2 35v 220uf caps listed on your website under the v5 op amp. Is there a difference if I use either cap? Thanks.
Jan 14, 2016 at 7:12 PM Post #75 of 173

Audio Addict

Headphoneus Supremus
Aug 5, 2001
This is the new DIP8 to SOP kit we offer. Now installed our V5 opamp into SMD format is easier than ever. 

So, any one who want to trail out the new SMD + V5 in their project please post your photo here (in the next couple of weeks). We will select a few guys for some free samples:) We love to see fellow DIYers put them into action. :)


That looks like soldering required. Beyond my skills.

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