New, Burson Conductor 3 Reference: Dual 9038 DAC, 7.5Wpc Head Amp, Preamp, Changeable Opamps
Apr 21, 2020 at 9:33 PM Post #436 of 589

ladavid

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three more comments - early days here:

1. I don't mind the interface once I have used it a couple of times - the visual is better than I thought it would be, nice and easy to read
2. love the feel of the volume nob but also have lots of gain - have read you can adjust gain may have to check that out
3. headphones - easily best I have heard, using Fostex Purplehearts but yikes to dynamics

see sparkos has a sale on - may have to check them out but might not be a rush with this sounding so good so far.

I used to have an Uptone LPS, but wasn't using anymore so sold - may have to check it out again.
 
Apr 21, 2020 at 11:53 PM Post #437 of 589

Slim1970

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Apr 21, 2020 at 11:54 PM Post #438 of 589

Bucketron

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Apr 21, 2020 at 11:55 PM Post #439 of 589

Slim1970

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three more comments - early days here:

1. I don't mind the interface once I have used it a couple of times - the visual is better than I thought it would be, nice and easy to read
2. love the feel of the volume nob but also have lots of gain - have read you can adjust gain may have to check that out
3. headphones - easily best I have heard, using Fostex Purplehearts but yikes to dynamics

see sparkos has a sale on - may have to check them out but might not be a rush with this sounding so good so far.

I used to have an Uptone LPS, but wasn't using anymore so sold - may have to check it out again.
The V6 Vivids are good but the Sparkos take things up a level. :)
 
Apr 22, 2020 at 6:36 AM Post #440 of 589

Womaz

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I like the option of being able to change the op amps in the future. Sometimes its just a different sound signature we need.
So far I am loving my 3XR. I wish I could turn the display off, but so far this is my only gripe.
The soundstage and instrument separation with my HD800S is stunning, like genuinely makes me widen my eyes at times
 
Apr 22, 2020 at 12:58 PM Post #442 of 589

Slim1970

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In which direction would you describe the biggest difference as compared to Vivids?
I talk about the differences here in my post in the 3XR thread.
 
Apr 22, 2020 at 1:27 PM Post #443 of 589

DjBobby

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I talk about the differences here in my post in the 3XR thread.
Thanks a lot. Sounds very interesting. I have spent some time back playing with the opamps in the Play, Playmate, Fun and the Swing, where it did quite a lot of difference.
With the C3 I was not sure if I should start the game, because I liked the sound with the stock opamps to the point that I didn't want to change anything. I was not sure if on this level of sound quality, there will be much space left for dramatic improvement. But of course it sounds tempting :)
 
Apr 22, 2020 at 1:41 PM Post #444 of 589

Slim1970

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Thanks a lot. Sounds very interesting. I have spent some time back playing with the opamps in the Play, Playmate, Fun and the Swing, where it did quite a lot of difference.
With the C3 I was not sure if I should start the game, because I liked the sound with the stock opamps to the point that I didn't want to change anything. I was not sure if on this level of sound quality, there will be much space left for dramatic improvement. But of course it sounds tempting :)
Same here, I ended up with the SS3601’s in the Fun. The SS3602 in the Bang and the dual V6 Classics and V6 Vivid singles in the Swing. The 3X/3XR with the V6 Vivids sounds very good indeed. But with the SS3602’s installed, makes it sound even more endgame. I only expect the sound to get better with burn-in.
 
Apr 22, 2020 at 2:07 PM Post #445 of 589

EternalChampion

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I talk about the differences here in my post in the 3XR thread.

How about their brightness compared to the Vivid? They are said to be very bright and sometimes even fatiguing with bright headphones.

Also, regarding the instrument/vocal placement, do you find them to bring the music contents closer to you or push them back further away?

I detest distant audio!
 
Apr 22, 2020 at 3:36 PM Post #446 of 589

Slim1970

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They are not bright sounding at all on my 3XR. The treble sounds much like the V6 Vivids but with faster transients. Cymbals sound crisp with a more focused attack. Instrument placement seems spot on. Vocals don’t sound to forward or pushed back. They are just more expressive.

I think recessed mids are more of the headphones tuning. But some amps do put and emphasis on certain frequencies. Lucky for us, Burson prefers to focus on musicality, dynamics, and detail. Where the midrange is at the heart of music. The midrange could be enhanced even more if you swap the V6 Vivids with the V6 Classics. Then you’ll get tube like warmth to your sound.
 
Apr 25, 2020 at 12:12 AM Post #447 of 589

AnaKinDV8

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So this finally arrived after some maneuvering with the lockdown and some issues with logistics. Many thanks to Alex of Burson for accomodating my questions about the amp. This is a big jump for me coming from separates (Mytek Liberty + Beta22), I am aware of the risks and the lack of flexibility with integrateds but was very curious about the new approach that Burson did with this version of the Conductor.

Only the second day so hopefully there's some improvement still from burn in, meanwhile here are my initial findings:

1. It's not always what I do but reading the manual (pdf from Burson website) helped simplify initial setup, including installing the Windows USB drivers first, selecting the correct settings in Windows and managing through the amp's front panel UI.
2. Despite not being in the list of compatible devices, Roon recognized the Burson USB Audio device and MQA playback works (front panel displays correct sampling rate).
3. The amp responds well to USB cables and conditioning/regeneration. In my setup, the sound improved changing from Cardas Clear to DH Labs Silversonic USB cable, and then some more from iFi USB purifier 3 to Uptone Regen with LPS. This tells me my PC is really a bad source as well. I have a Lavricable dual silver USB cable coming, hopefully this improves further on the DH Labs. Also, that USB C input is just inconvenient and necessitates the use of multiple connectors.
4. Still curious if the SMPS can be improved upon as everything else seems to take this amp to yet another level, maybe an iFi DC purifier initially?

As it is now I can say the setup has improved on the sound of the C3R significantly. I'll try to work on the power connection as the amp continues with burn in, if there is even any improvement to be gained there. Too early to say if this is better than my other setup, or just different.

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Apr 27, 2020 at 3:18 PM Post #449 of 589

EternalChampion

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I wonder what digital filter is everyone using on this device. I always find myself switching between MP_FAST and LP_FAST depending on the tracks as I like their soft drum presentation and the overall smoother signature. Default AP_FAST is the "audiophile" setting but that's just too much of aggression for my ears at sometimes. Too bad moving away from this I lose the very last sub-bass layer available.

Definitely not the same as changing the op-amps yet the surgical intervention of the filters makes the difference.
 
Apr 28, 2020 at 4:00 AM Post #450 of 589

DjBobby

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I wonder what digital filter is everyone using on this device. I always find myself switching between MP_FAST and LP_FAST depending on the tracks as I like their soft drum presentation and the overall smoother signature. Default AP_FAST is the "audiophile" setting but that's just too much of aggression for my ears at sometimes. Too bad moving away from this I lose the very last sub-bass layer available.

Definitely not the same as changing the op-amps yet the surgical intervention of the filters makes the difference.
I wouldn't call Apodizing Fast filter "audiophile", rather a "compromise". It is jack of all trades, master of none. AP FAST adds some distortion and phase shift, making the instruments changing the timbre.

AP FAST filter reduces somewhat the pre-ringing, but not as much as the Minimum Phase Fast. It has more phase linearity than the MP FAST but less than the Linear Phase Fast, because it introduces phase shifting in the higher frequency range, where the ear is supposed to be less sensitive, at least hypothetically. The AP FAST has definitely more phase "errors" than the LP FAST filter.

LP FAST has perfect linearity which is crucial for the proper imaging and instruments localization, especially when listening through the loudspeakers. On the other side it has pre- and post ringing which could add some glare when listening through the headphones, close to the eardrum.

MP FAST trades pre-ringing with longer post-ringing and phase shift. The note attacks sound cleaner and less smeared, there is minimum of reverberation which makes the sound less dry. On the other side, there is a phase shift, the lower frequencies rich the ear earlier than the higher. It makes the sound subjectively warmer, fuller and richer, but also less precise for the instrument localization because the brain is confused that not all frequencies reach the ear at the same time.

Generally using the C3 as a dac with a speakers, the LP FAST gives due to the perfect phase linearity best imaging and instrument placement.
Using the C3 as headphone amp, I would try the MP FAST because it sounds warmer and fuller.

Personally, when listening classical, especially symphonic, I am using the LP FAST, because the preference is on imaging and instrument localization in space.
When listening to jazz and pop, I always switch to MP FAST, because it sounds less fatiguing and adds some analog warmth.
 

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