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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. jarza
    Got my new Playmate about two weeks ago and overall I´m happy with it. Before I got Play and these new improvements are very welcome and nice. This was basic version but before I have Play Vivid so put those op-amps in Playmate and ordered one Vivid more. Background on my headphones are now totally silent and I like that bit "relaxed" sound compared to Play (my opinion) but there is something on treble that is off vs Play. I think Play has more pronounced treble. Playmate´s treble is not bad I´m not saying that but there could be bit more that somehow. Offcourse this is matter of opinion. I have HD650 headphones and it should be good match for this headphone amp with Vivid op-amps. Maybe gonna try coin mod on my HD650 to get more treble come out. I recommend this unit for sure :)
  2. DjBobby
    Have you switched the de-emphasis to off? Default is on and it cuts the treble massively.
    Also in order to compare better the Playmate vs the Play, try to change the filter settings on the Playmate to LP Fast, because that's the filter that the Play is using by default.
  3. jarza
    @DjBobby Thanks. Yes de-emphasis is off. My unit actually come it off when I was checking the menu options. Also newest firmware was applied. I was testing different filter setting but it was suddle differences between modes but good to know that LP fast is same as Play filter mode. Now I use AP fast that was default. Also liked MP fast a bit
  4. DjBobby
    I have or had previously several dacs with ES9018K2M and ES9038Q2M dac chips, as used in the Play and the Playmate. Overall impression was that the newer ES9038 sounds smoother and warmer, with less crispy highs. When experimenting with the upsampling in the Audirvana, I got very similar impression with the older ES9018. Once upsampled, the sound got smoother and the treble less edgy. I suspect that the ES9038 uses by default much higher internal umpsampling, something which all modern dacs, except the NOS, nowadays do. The Chord uses it to the extreme in all their dacs, including the Mojo. It is possible that the ESS tech applied the philosophy in their newer dac chips, which would explain different treble rendering.
  5. alota
    good point. i had mojo and hugo and about ess products i have the 9028(mobile)in my lg v30 and the 9038 in playmate. i read several time that ess chip sounds digital and unnatural. i had never tried ladder dac but i had dacs with several chip from wolfson to akm, etc. Honestly i like the sound of ess chip
  6. LexBurson
    Ive been wondering about these filters. (I bought a Burson Swing basic model DAC to use with another headphone amp and to send a signal to small powered A2+ desktop speakers from Audio Engine. Wow the Burson DAC makes the A2+ speakers sing. I had a damn sound stage on my desk listening to .) Anyway, I get the SWING and Im working through the MICROSCOPIC screen menu and realizing none of this is explained in the manual. They use these worthless filters which they don't even bother to explain in the manual. WTH? The only filter that makes a noticeable change is EMPHASIS which Burson encourages you leave OFF.

    Its kinda mickey mouse. Its as if they stopped half way through the design process and gave up. I guess that's what happens when you buy someone else's chip?
  7. raoultrifan
  8. LexBurson
    Why wouldnt they need to explain their product to their end user? Why put in filters that have no effect? I've used other stand alone DACS before but I still dont know what the difference between these filter options for this chip is nor do the explanations in the technical sheets provide much assistance.

    Its just lazy design and implementation on the part of Burson.
  9. raoultrifan
    @LexBurson I guess you also choose your username based on your frustration with Burson, which is not OK, but it's your choice

    If you're not pleased with SWING's datasheet from here https://drive.google.com/file/d/10sz2gMwyesnSJEU1CCjgF7-JtxIUyPAR/view, then I strongly suggest you to contact BURSON if you have any complains.

    Instead, if you really want to learn about digital filter, then please read my above posts and also find Head-Fi dedicated thread about what each filter does to the output sound.

    Meanwhile, feel free to read the below too:
    - http://file2.dzsc.com/product/18/05/25/829029_170233543.pdf - ESS datasheet, of course, nothing about how each filter sounds, and remember: this is chip manufacturer's datasheet!
    - http://www.ti.com/lit/an/slyt375/slyt375.pdf - TI has a very good application note about digital filters, worth a read
    - https://www.audiostream.com/content...ed-todays-audio-dacs-resonessence-labs-tech-3 - how Resonance Lab explains the digital filters from it's flagship 6000 USD DAC
    - http://cv.cs.nthu.edu.tw/upload/courses/14/uploads/CS3570_Chapter5_part2.pdf - it shows us that behind every digital filter (FIR) there's pure math and nothing else.

    So it's all about pre-ringing, post-ringing and frequency linearity, but if you or any other head-fier will be able or not to differentiate the output sound between these filters it's a different topic.
  10. LexBurson
    Don't get your panties ruffled. Its all in fun.

    Alex at Burson said the only filter worth changing is EMPHASIS to OFF. If that's the case, I say, why even include them?
  11. Fasterball
    You seem trollish @LexBurson. @raoultrifan gave you a well thought out and we'll reasoned response that took time to compose and you tell him/her not to get the panties ruffled. That's pretty disrespectful. Let's keep it above board.
    raoultrifan likes this.
  12. Postmodum
    Same here, updated it without any issues.
    One thing that i was not able to, that was using the windows speaker volume, now works. Other than that, everything working smoothly.
  13. alota
    if i understand correct, the firmware upgrade is not necessary for android, right?
  14. Eiffel
    Only to use new Burson driver for Windows.
    alota likes this.
  15. escalibur
    Courier just brought me something to 'play' with... :) More to follow...

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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