GUSTARD H10 High-current Discrete Class A output Stage Headphone Amplifier

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by phcassa, Sep 23, 2014.
  1. VRacer-111
    Just finished slotting the top cover (will need some touchup later and filter screens made, but got it functional at least for now):


    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  2. manishex
    It doesn't seem like any of your headphones need gain. Gain is inherently worse, it's stretching the power at a lower quality and higher distortion so only useful if your headphones are being severely under powered.
  3. mandrake50
    If the gain stage is well designed all it does is boost the input signal cleanly. If the amp has the headroom there will be no degradation of the sound.

    When you think about it, all amplifiers have gain, or they wouldn't do much. Many have a fixed level of gain, but they all by virtue of being amplifiers have gain. All headphones need gain, or they would not produce sound at all. Whether the gain is fixed or variable, is not important. All that is important is that it is executed well.

    Yes there is a potential for an additional gain stage to add distortion, but if it is done so that the amp remains within specifications it really should not be noticeable.

    The gain setting subject is related to the H10 and Burson V5 opamps. At one point a Burson rep posted that some gain settings produce less heat in the opamps. Those settings were +6 or +12 Db.
    I do not remember any discussion from the Burson team indicating that either or both made any difference in the sound (other than level, which is a given).

    Now, I was pretty surprised to read that there is any detectable difference in the sound of those two setting, other than level. I would like to think that, volume matched, they would sound identical. This should be the case if the amp is well designed.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  4. mandrake50
    Have you had any time to listen and compare the Vivid and the Classic V6s? Or even the Bursons versus stock. I know you have two H10s so it should be pretty easy.
    I put the V6 Vivids in mine last Friday. I have been putting some hours on them. I ran them over the weekend for around 75 hours. I have not swapped back to the V5s yet for a comparison.
    I can see why some may say they are "technically" better than the V5. From memory there is a bit more air around voices and instruments. This may be because they produce a bit more emphasis in the treble range Bass is really nice. I need to put a few more hours on them then swap them with the V5s to get a better idea of the real differences. Some of what I am hearing could also be due to using the DAC output from the Burson CV2 which I received at the same time as I did the full set of V6 Vivids.. This is a new variable that I need to Take into consideration before I draw any final conclusions. So far, I do like what I am hearing, both from the H10 +V6 and from the Conductor V2+.
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  5. alphanumerix1
    Be interested in your opinion on how you compare the v5 and v6 vivid.

    Also from what i've read the v5 were quite unreliable has that been sorted now>?
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  6. mandrake50
    I just need to get some time to compare. With work and summer activities, house maintenance etc. I just do not have much time for listening. The system has not been turned on for a week now.
    V5s ? I don't know. There was lots of discussion on this earlier in the thread. I think Burson had some sets for the H10 that were selected for higher voltage tolerance. I am not sure how those worked out. This thread went pretty dead for awhile. If you go back a ways you can check it out. My set of V5s was one of the first batch shipped. I never had any problems with them working correctly. I did notice that, when I put the V6 in, one of the singles had the red case pushed up about 1/4". I just heated it with a hair dryer and pushed it back together. It did not show any of the blistering or other signs that people posted pictures of when their had completely died. I guess I may have just been lucky... but I did what Burson suggested as far as running the device that they provided to couple the output device heat sink to the case and running either +6 or +12 gain settings. I also added copper pin heat sinks to the regulators. It had several hundred hours on it with that configuration and I had no issues with the V5s functioning.
  7. Greg121986
    I would have to say no, the reliability has not been sorted with the V5 in the Gustard H10. I used my V5 for only about 6 weeks before one of them popped. I am told by Burson that the Gustard H10 operates at 16V which is the upper limit for the V5 tolerance. I had mine powered on consistently for about 3 - 5 days per week for this 6 week period. It turns out the V5 cannot handle this. Burson tells me the V6 is equipped to handle the higher voltage of the Gustard H10 and is thus a better match. They requested that I send the single V5 opamp back to them for warranty replacement but shipping alone would cost me more than $60. I can buy a full new set for $120. We are still trying to sort out the details of the situation. I'd prefer to just upgrade to the V6, but there is still a bad taste in my mouth having spent $220 for the V5 set just a few months ago. The V5 sounded glorious in the H10, but it is quite a costly upgrade for something that proves to be a gamble for reliability.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  8. mandrake50
    305 days per week ?? I know that is a typo, but what did you mean?
    Anyway, I never ran mine constantly over long periods of time. I probably never exceeded 18 hours straight. Even at that, this was pretty rare. It was 10 hours occasionally and more often under 6 to 8 hours. Perhaps this may be why I did not see the problems that others did.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  9. Greg121986
    Fixed. It was powered on in my office for 3 - 5 days per week for about 6 weeks. This is a VERY high estimate on my part. There were many days where I knew I would not be in the office so I left the system off. But I'm certain leaving the H10 powered on with the V5 installed is what caused its failure. It seems as though the Burson V5 installation into the Gustard H10 is more of a "let's try it and hope for the best" situation. It is really too bad because I love the way it sounds. The rest of my chain is a Schiit Multibit Bifrost (now returned for the Gen 5 USB upgrade) and Focal Elear. Source material is TIDAL or Foobar PCM. This is the closest I've ever been to a system that eliminates upgradeitis!
  10. mtoc
    regarding the architecture, the signal goes in, it goes directly into the pot, unbufferly?
  11. Dachink
    Just replaced my Burson V5 duals with the V6 classics. Takes the Gustard to another level :). Can't wait for the singles to arrive. :beerchug:
  12. mandrake50
    What level is that?
    I did get a full set of the v6 Vivid units. I did some listening, but not a huge amount. I got a new Conductor V2+ at the same time.
    Initial impressions led me to believe that the Vivid opened up the top end quite a bit. They make things a bit sharper and more defined. Bass is still the Gustard H10 signature. Big and deep.

    I wish I had more time to listen. When I have time I use the CV2+. Anyway, though the V6s changed the sound, for the better I think, I am not sure about this "another level", but then the definition of level is important here.
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  13. wwmhf
    I really like that HANDLE!
  14. mandrake50
    @VRacer-111 .
    I am curious to hear how all of the mods are working out for thermal control.
    I too think the handle a neat innovation. Taking the top off of the H10 can be a bit of a pain.
    I couldn't use it for my setup because I stack, but I sure like the idea. Especially if one has to split the case frequently.
  15. wwmhf
    I have been using Burson's dual V4s in two my H10 amps and I like them better than all other regular dual op amps.

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