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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. Eiffel
    It's the 2-nd revision they sent with Play v2.
    A bit smaller than the first model - still same inside, but different manufacturer.
  2. Eiffel
    It could have, but must be some reasons the Swing must be at the same price than Playmate, without having an amplifier inside. This is one of them.
    SPDIF in both forms is natively supported by 9038 chips. It wasn't the case with the older 9018.
  3. raoultrifan
    i do
    Adding a BNC plug and a coax-isolator should not change PLAYMATE or SWING/s price. By looking at the pics I'm not sure there's enough room left for that; also, not sure everyone told that to BURSON on PLAY's thread (AFAIK PLAYMATE is an upgrade to PLAY and was done based on customer's wishes and opinions).

    It's funny that you got CV2+ & Soloist MK II and FUN, so...wondering why. I do have CV2+ and FUN myself too, but I don't see me buying Soloist for sure, because I don't see me gaining anything out of that. As a headamp, CV2+ is above the Soloist you recently purchased, and FUN is...a different implementation, size and design, so I don't see me getting rid of the FUN. :)
    Also, what DACs are yo using for each, please? Thanks!
  4. Mouseman
    I've been going back and forth on purchasing this, I finally decided to pull the trigger. Take my money Burson!

    I love their opamps and expect this will be not only a great buy, but a really good piece of kit. I can't wait to get it in January.
  5. raoultrifan
    The pre-ordering price is lower than Chinese products price, so I see no reasons why not buying both PLAYMATE and SWING products ASAP. :)

    BTW, what have you purchased, please?
  6. Asahi Templar
    I went ahead and preordered the Playmate Everest version. The silver looks nice and since I am not planning on putting it in a PC I can go for it.

    The Everest version puts 2 V6 Classic op amps in the I/V section and 2 V6 Vivid in the LP and Amplifier sections for those wondering where they slot the op amps by default. Dont think t hey mention that on the website.

    They based this off the feedback from the Play thread here on Headfi as people seemed to like that combo and Burson themselves says its the best possible combo in their opinion.

    The Playmate seems like everything one could want in a DAC/AMP combo. The only thing lacking for my taste, is that I wish it had selectable digital filters. They dont make a massive difference in most cases but I particularly like the linear phase fast roll off filter offered by the 9038 chip as it quickly rolls off everything after 18k which I cant hear anyway.
    raoultrifan likes this.
  7. raoultrifan
    I never considered the fast-rolloff an advantage, instead I think the slow-rolloff might sound better, but YMMV. Also, worth checking Archimago’s blog for his findings too.

    Looking further for your review!
    Asahi Templar likes this.
  8. Asahi Templar
    I like fast rolloff because I am a bit paranoid about ultrasonic frequencies. I have a 16 month old son that is always running around me, I am worried that some of the frequencies leaking out my open headphones might be irritating his ears. I cant hear them so I cant be sure of their volume. I am sure its not a realistic worry but I prefer to be safe rather than sorry.

    I cant hear over around 17.5khz based on playing around with a frequency generator so I prefer to just start rolling it off after that. That filter stays pretty much flat until 18k then quickly rolls off making it ideal for me.

    Topping has a FR graph with all the different filters the 9038 can do on their D50 page. I might ask Burson which one they will use with the Playmate just out of curiosity.

    Archimagos blog is a great read, a lot of wonderful information. I especially liked his work with MQA, helped me realize I didnt need it at all and that my cd flacs are already perfect. Gives a lot more options for DACs as you dont have to worry about getting a MQA one!
    raoultrifan likes this.
  9. Eiffel
    In my opinion too. It's almost a year since I've asked them to send me a Play with that configuration. They were surprised but they did it. I'm still stuck with it, even if I tried other ones.

    About filters I was also surprised they didn't implement it. Perhaps they want people to change OP-AMP's instead of filters.

    It's lower, but at full price I think they have a solid competitor in Audio-gd NFB-11.38
    It's 419 USD but it has the 9038 Pro in it. Also it has more power for the amp. It has 2 sound settings - warm and neutral, plus ESS standard filters - selectable with jumpers inside the case.
    The downside - it's size - cannot fit in a PC.
  10. raoultrifan
    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and paranoia can be treated, you should consult a shrink. :)

    I wouldn't worry about the high freq getting out of the headphones, really. However, if any high freq. sounds will pass outside your cans, your kid will not be affected anyway, because it's definitely a very low sound level. Good news there will be no mosquitos around. :)

    Around 18KHz is the frequency my ears stops hearing, but only on speakers. When using headphones the frequency is even lower...around 16KHz, not sure why.
    Asahi Templar likes this.
  11. Asahi Templar
    Well I just got a answer from Burson and Alex said that the filters are actually selectable this time! Huzzah!

    So my complaint has already been addressed!

    They have implemented all 7 of the 9038 filters. Seems that button next to the knob is a menu button and you can use that to set the gain (2 levels) and which filter to use.

    It seems Burson has addressed every short coming of the original Play, very nice!

    The NFB-11.38 doesnt have a mic input either, which is a big deal for the Playmate as the only real comparable all in one dacs with high end amps are the original play and the Mayflower ARC. I guess you could also include the Creative AMP/DACs but they dont have anywhere near the power of the Playmate.

    Also Audio GDs other products did really poorly in Amir over at Audio Science Reviews measurements, wheras the original Play did pretty well. It really only had the issue of amping the RCA outs too much, not so much an issue if you kneo to drop the volume to 40-43 or so when using it as a preamp.

    Makes me doubt Audio GDs ability to implement the 9038 Pro well as from what I understand its a pretty difficult chip to use well.
    Eiffel and raoultrifan like this.
  12. raoultrifan
    It would be nice to see some measurements of this NFB combo, because I personally don't like how NFB devices are measuring (besides the really pricy and high-end products). Usually, non-feedback audio products are not measuring very well, so I'm not into this "NFB game", sorry. :frowning2:

    Also, I assume the 9038 PRO inside is used in stereo-mode with only 2 channels connected to outputs, so...not sure where would be the advantage of 9038PRO over the low-priced version (ex.: ES9038Q2M)? Isn't the same SNR and THD after all, just more digital filters on the PRO chip? From my understanding DAC channels need to get paralleled if measurement improvements are required, otherwise...no need for the PRO version, unless more digital filters are required.

    However, the NFB-11.38 seems well constructed, with many small PSUs inside, lot NOVER caps. Also, seems to be having DC-servo created with 2 opamps, so no caps in signal path, which is a good thing.
  13. raoultrifan
    I'll measure what kind of digital filters are used with ARTA, if/when I'll get a PLAYMATE. I think in PLAY they used the slow-rolloff, can't remember well now...
  14. raoultrifan
    Hey, good to know that, thank you! :)

    That's my understanding as well. I think they said this once inside the thread...or was it in one of my conversation with them via email? However, it's good that they really listen to us, the customers. Working back from the customers is what we need!
  15. Eiffel
    From what I know from other products made by them they use 2 group of 4 channels in mono mode. But I don't have it.
    Yes, some measurements would be nice, but didn't seem anywhere. The product is made by request only now.
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