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New, Burson Playmate 9038 DAC, 2Wpc HeadAmp, Preamp, Changeable opamps.

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by raoultrifan, Dec 3, 2018.
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  1. TheMaestro335
    Hello all,
    I got mine as well. They must have been reading this forum

  2. horatiu

    I have received mine a few days ago.
    I have installed the Xmos-USB-(Win10)-V4.130.zip driver (looks old...)
    The device sounds nice (as far as I can figure out) but there is a big problem - it goes completely silent after just a few minutes (one song or so) and it only comes back after I switch it off and then back on.

    Any of you have seen this behaviour? Burson is not responding on email - I wrote them 3 days ago and again, today.

    Other issues:
    - it gets quite hot during those few minutes of playtime
    - when it starts, the output volume is lower than the displayed volume. For example, if I left it at 70 when I switch it on it shows 70 but it sounds quieter, like 50 or so. If I then change the volume just slightly to 69, it sounds like 69 should sound.

  3. Mouseman
    I have had the same issue with it going silent, but I traced it to the cable (had to patch something together including the one they provided). I haven't had the issue since then, but I haven't had a lot of time on the unit.

    I've also had the issue with the volume, but generally only when I change something in the menu (like the filter). I turn it down one and back up. I ordered a remote from Burson so I don't have to reach over and do that, but I also decided I wasn't messing with filters anymore since I can't hear a significant difference.
  4. horatiu
    I am using the cable I was using with the DAC this replaced, a Burson Conductor.
    I don't think it's the cable, honestly. But I'll swap with the one they included in the package, just in case.
  5. raoultrifan
    Servus @horatiu ,

    Why don't you completely uninstall Burson drivers, remove the USB cable, restart your computer and plug your DAC into a different USB port, then let Windows install default MS drivers. Then give it a try and see is sound is OK now.

    Are you speaking about the default blue cables from Conductor? They should be fine cables, but I would still use a DMM to measure if one of the RCA plugs is not short-circuited, by accident.

    BTW, what do you mean by hot? Inside of a 25C room, after 2 hours of intensive operation, the temperature on top should not exceed 45C (50C is the absolute max. temperature of an electronic device case, otherwise it's either forbidden to get it manufactured, either it need to have a warning sign to describe the excessive temperature).

    P.S.: Why did you got rid of the Conductor, please? Also, what exact version was it?
  6. horatiu
    Hi Raoul,

    Burson replied to my email.
    They have also suggested removing all drivers as they are not necessary on Win10.
    That is surprising because the manual says I should go to their download page and get the driver (they don say which one...)
    Anyhow, I've done that. When powering the device Windows automatically installs an XMOS driver. The problem with this is that it has no ASIO, just WASAPI. I've tried that and it still goes silent after a few minutes.

    The other thing they've suggested was to plug it directly in the wall socket. I have it plugged in an Isotek Orion, same as I use to have the Conductor. I plugged directly in the wall - no changes.

    Regarding the temperature, I haven't measure it but it pretty high. Burson said it's normal, being a pure class A amp.

    The Conductor is the ess9018 version with an upgraded USB card (CM6631A). I did not get rid of it (yet). There are 2 reasons for the switch - I wanted to see how the ESS9038PRO with V6 op-amps sounds like, and secondly, I wanted something smaller.
    I use it at work and I get too many questions about "what's that big metal box on your desk" :)
  7. raoultrifan
    Hi Horatiu,

    So...it's not a driver related issue, hmmm... How is the power LED when PLAYMATE goes silent? What about the LCD menu control, is it available? What happens if you try to change anything inside the menus, perhaps filter setting...does the music reappears after doing that?

    Have you tried to open up the case and see if everything's OK in there? Maybe a capacitor that has one of the pins partially removed from the board (shipping issue). Maybe the USB transport card is loose and need some tightening?

    If your coworkers ask again, just tell them it's a 7 Kg power amplifier able to deliver 2x500 Watts, they'll probably believe you. :)
  8. horatiu

    The LED display stays on, I can make changes in the menu, but the sound does not come back. JRiver Media Center does not complain that it can't play, there is progress in the UI, which means the data is reaching the DAC.
    I do not want to open the case unless Burson tells me to do so - I don't want to risk doing something bad and voiding my warranty.

    I'll let you know what they say, I've sent this info to them as well.
  9. raoultrifan
    I understand, just try the PLAYMATE on a different computer/laptop and see if same issue happens (leave Win10 drivers only). I'm sure it will do the same, but at least you'll update Burson about this.
  10. St4v0
    I tried contacting them via email regarding their drivers and them not allowing frequencies above 192khz in the options,no reply.
  11. blavine
    Getting a very underwhelming feeling about Playmate at this point. Are there a few success stories to hear about? Having weathered a particularly ugly pre-shipping phase, I'm not getting the warm and fuzzies expected. Would love to hear some positive reviews about the unit. Or did they just drop the ball?
  12. St4v0
    I can't speak for the people suffering from disconnects but personally myself it seems like a very out of date xmos driver.
    The Microsoft driver works but as pointed out above is wasapi only.
    The Microsoft driver also seems to have a higher latency which is visible in utube and twitch.
    Bursons own driver is better on latency but does not support the advertised frequencies for the play or playmate.
  13. Asahi Templar

    This may be a bad xmos card to be honest. I had those exact problems (obvious delay, not able to do above 192khz) when I had the original Play and replacing the XMOS card fixed it.

    The outdated driver is definitely an issue too. One more thing people can try is using a different type of USB port, eg if you are using a USB 3.1 port, try a 3.0 or a 2.0 port. I have had issues with XMOS dacs and USB 3.1 ports before.
  14. St4v0
  15. raoultrifan
    This has been discussed on the PLAY forum actually, as it's the same driver for all BURSON DACs, so...just get the ASIO4ALL and install it upon the existing Win10 drivers. Also, the Thesycon driver (old, but good) from Khadas Tone board might be good enough for most of us to listen to DSD files with ASIO.

    However, both jRiver and Foobar are using "transparent" algorithms that are converting in real-time DSDs into WAVEs so we can listen perfectly (there are several reviews about this on dedicated threads, but you may want to have a look into jRiver forum first).

    For best compatibility just use the default OS drivers combined with software decoding of the DSDs. Alternate WASAPI with Kernel Streaming for the best sound, if needed.
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