New, Burson Conductor 3 Reference: Dual 9038 DAC, 7.5Wpc Head Amp, Preamp, Changeable Opamps
Oct 11, 2019 at 7:08 AM Post #196 of 744
Maybe they'll pair well with C3-Ref, but not sure why purchasing a 7500mW amplifier to drive few mW IEM headphones? It's overkill, at least from my perspective.

The huge advantage of the C3-Ref. is that it can easily drive hard-to-drive cans and regular cans as well. If it will work or not with sensitive IEMs that is a different story.
Yeah definitely agree, I'm just playing around with it at the moment. Thanks for the reply though. What cans are you pairing your C3 with if you don't me asking?
Oct 11, 2019 at 12:04 PM Post #197 of 744
well it is now day 3 since I powered the conductor 3 up. I have been listening to it and the unit is improving. It is very analogue like. the thing that I noticed is the subtleties of the sound bring produced. There is a refined quality to the sound. I am leaving the unit powered up to speed up the break in process. The unit does get pretty warm after extended listening Especially the bottom plate.
Oct 12, 2019 at 8:27 AM Post #201 of 744
@raoultrifan agree with you about iem. Considering usual impedance of 16-32 ohm, the output power of c3 is too much(from 10 to 7 watt). For example, audio-gd in the site reports that the amplifiers are not suitable for iem.
In my opinion is a crazyness to drive iem in balanced mode with dap.
P.s. when i had my beta 22 i drove a grado ps1000 in balanced mode. So around 12 watt for a normal headphone. Was a completely absurd.
Last edited:
Oct 12, 2019 at 9:15 PM Post #202 of 744
My Foobar settings:
I use Super Audio CD Decoder to upsample playback to DSD256.

DSD: WASAPI (push): Speakers (BursonAudio USB Audio 2.0)

DSD Processor settings (I can't get DSD512 output to work, same with iFi Micro Black Label. If you got DSD512 to work, let me know?)

Burson Conductor 3 has white noise (hiss) with Solaris (sensitive IEM, i.e.. Zeus, Andromeda) even on Low gain. That’s my main disappointment with the device. The other is I can’t upsample to DSD512. The sound is amazing out of my Mr. Speaker Ether 2. I haven’t test with my other headphones. The device do get slightly warm after long session.
I'm fairly new to this, what does each setting mean? Does it upscale 44.1 kHz file to DSD256? And why are you setting DSD512 input to DSD256 output? Sorry if it seems like a dumb question.
Oct 12, 2019 at 11:33 PM Post #203 of 744
I'm fairly new to this, what does each setting mean? Does it upscale 44.1 kHz file to DSD256? And why are you setting DSD512 input to DSD256 output? Sorry if it seems like a dumb question.
The settings are for upsampling audio to DSD256 since I can’t get DSD512 to work.
Oct 13, 2019 at 11:57 PM Post #204 of 744
I posted this for my friends on FB, most of them unfamiliar with Burson Audio. I figured it belongs here too:

A little story from the past and present. Those who know me a little bit over the years know that I have a few hobbies to account for. Some may say I have expensive hobbies. My current affliction and reason to write this goes back to my teenage years when I pondered things like frequency range, distortion rates (is 0.1% THD good or bad??) and DIN 45500 (the HIFI norm). I was so proud of my first ITT Schaub Lorenz Stereo receiver with UKW (Stereo FM) and Beyer Dynamik DT headphones, it opened up a whole and an otherwise unattainable virtual world (growing up in West-Berlin with a physical wall around…). I recall listening to Alan Bangs of the BFBS, Wolfman Jack on AFN, on the terrible AM band. Alan Bangs was mostly stoned, hosted a 2-hour radio show Saturday’s from 22:00 to midnight, with stream-of-thought poetry and cool progressive UK music (mum’s nightmare, if she only knew what I had playing on those headphones…) I recall listening to Pink Floyd - Umma Gumma dosing off late-night only to the get violently startled by the manic scream in “Careful with the Axe Eugene”. I realized I was getting high on MUSIC without any real drugs involved...and it happened so many times :) A wonderful world and escape from reality.

Fast forward, nothing much has changed. Except my wallet is a little thicker with extra disposable income which makes it easier to feel less guilty about (occasionally) splurging on good HIFI gear. Nobody cares about DIN 4550 anymore and the term "HIFI" is old-fashioned, superseded by “Hi-Res” or “HD”. Everything is “HD” these days, but those basic norms back then would certainly not cut it anymore today.

And I am not talking about Sonos, Dr. Beat or Pepper or whatever other mass-consumer brand aims to take over the world. The story is about the “Banksy of Head-Fi”, as one blogger lovingly and recently described the company of which my latest affliction is all about: Burson Audio from Melbourne, AU, which specializes in headphone amps.

When was the last time you had shivers going down your back because something extraordinary pleasant or unexpected just happened? That was about the experience I had with the new version of the Conductor V3, which, unboxed and hastily connected to the laptop and Sennheiser headphones, provided that unexpected shiver down the spine. What may have caused it, I wondered. The level of detail in the reproduction, presentation and the dynamic presence made it happen. I felt like sitting in the first row of a Pat Metheney live concert, or in the studio of an Ahmed Jamal piano jazz recording, visualizing every instrument placed in the studio. A new meaning of “live” came to mind.

My ears have evolved and decayed over the years. Decayed for the high-frequency reception due to age, but evolved for the ability to “hear”, which is better than ever before. The Burson experience plays right into this, and it also felt a bit like a throw-back of the familiar HIFI experience back then, some 50 years ago now, but for different reasons.

Today it’s about the refinement of music, the live experience which can be equally satisfying depending on everyone’s personal taste. Sadly, most music productions in this day and age are crap, and I am sorry to be so blunt. You actually have to look for good recordings and well-produced music to appreciate the good ones. It takes dedication, patience and the willingness to step out into unchartered territory. Burson Audio has done this with their products, stepped out of the norm to develop something innovative and special. And while challenging the common Engineering approach, their gear remains affordable in part because they are not investing in big advertising budgets. The “Banksy of HIFI”.

Last year I bought their Conductor V2+ headphone DAC and pre-amp because I wanted to focus on good headphone reproduction. When they announced the new V3 this year, with the latest DAC technology and innovative power supply improvements, I pre-ordered one blindly. Usually, I wait, procrastinate and read endless reviews written by people who are 10 times more obsessed and equipped than myself, before making a purchase decision. Not so this time around. Instinct and blind trust took got the better of me.

And here it goes, the Conductor V3, or shall I say the “Herbert von Karajan” of headphone amps (Karajan was the most intense and brilliant conductor I have known - a German..) has arrived at my home, giving me shivers down the spine.

I can easily push DSD128/256 (upsampled) for all my digital music sources The RCA line-in inputs work well for vinyl and auxiliary sources (Raspberry Pi streamers). 0.0015% THD....the results are amazing.

Anyone interested in coming by for a sampling paired with some good Italian wine, I am more than happy to share some shivers with.


Oct 17, 2019 at 7:53 PM Post #207 of 744
I can easily push DSD128/256 (upsampled) for all my digital music sources The RCA line-in inputs work well for vinyl and auxiliary sources (Raspberry Pi streamers). 0.0015% THD....the results are amazing.

Anyone interested in coming by for a sampling paired with some good Italian wine, I am more than happy to share some shivers with.

Hmm, your photos looks cute/better than those from official site.

Btw, Chilean's wine is better. :p
Oct 18, 2019 at 9:43 PM Post #209 of 744
I have over one hundred and fifty hours on the conductor and it is sounding pretty settled in by now. I was wondering what the best options in the settings for the most resolution in reproduction. i am a cd guy and i listen to cds exclusively. i still have some listening to do to form an honest opinion of the sound that the new conductor reproduces. II have had experience with this dac chip with the project s2 dac/pre using the optional battery power supply that project makes for the s2 line. At this point I am feeling that at least in my opinion at this time that the project s2 dac has an advantage in the noise area being completely isolated from the power grid. I hear more low level information with the project s2 dac but some of what I am hearing may be due to projects exclusive optimal transient filter that project offers on the s2 dac/pre. That is why I am asking anyone for their findings of the best settings to get the most resolution from the conductor 3. these findings are based on the projects 2 dac being used as just a dac. Obviously the headphone amp on offer in the burson is on an entirely different level. Offering the kind of power it does it definitely is superior to the afterthought basic headphone amp offering in the project s2 dac/pre. I was using my old burson ha160 to drive the output of the project s2 dac/pre. The old burson HA160 is still a pretty decent unit after all this time. The ha 160 benefits enormously when you upgrade the fuse to a premium audiophile fuse and upgrade the power cord to an audiophile type as well as using some good isolation feet under the ha 160 .So I would appreciate any advice in getting the best resolution settings for the conductor 3.
Last edited:
Oct 19, 2019 at 2:25 AM Post #210 of 744
It is interesting that you find resolution of Burson C3 lacking. I found it master of high-res.
What is your device source and its output format?
What resolution is your source material?
Note that in case of using a computer, you typically set a fixed format in the OS, that may or may not match your source material resolution. The mismatch is to be avoided, as then you would depend on Apple's or Microsoft's way of upsampling or downsampling your music, before it even reaches your DAC.
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread