Burson Audio

Found by a small team of audio engineers over 20 years ago, Burson Audio is based in Melbourne, Australia. We design benchmark setting audio equipment and premium quality audio design building blocks for fellow audio enthusiasts and manufacturing partners.

Our philosophy is simple; the less our components interfere with the audio signal the more complete your musical experience. This is our core design philosophy since we began in 1996. If our equipment is designed well and transparent enough — and it is — then the pace, rhythm, timing dynamics and tonality becomes a natural expression of the music. We feel this can never be achieved with standard circuit building blocks like IC chip op-amps, IC regulators, or even standard transformers. Instead we research and develop customized discrete circuits specifically to suit their applications. Only then does each and every component in the signal path perform at its peak. And only then will the end result match our expectations.

Burson Soloist

The Burson Audio Soloist Headphone Amplifier is Burson’s first new head-amp since 2009.

And just like the HA-160, it will become a benchmark for years to come. Staying true to Burson’s less is more design principle, the input stage of the Soloist has only 21 components on the signal path. That’s almost 60% less components than any IC opamp output stage and 30% less than their own HA-160.

The Soloist features a new Variable Output Stage (VOS). It enables the Soloist to match well with any type of headphone. Be it easy to drive high sensitivity in ear monitors or open back moving-coil designs. It can drive anything including the latest planar magnetic headphones with ease. Combining the VOS with the new generation of step attenuator, volume control is always smooth and synergy is always perfect.

With the new VOS, headphone listeners are able to select different levels of output power to match their headphones. From a low level output of 0.18Wpc to 4Wpc, the Soloist will ensure plenty of fine control for every type of headphone. As a preamp, the Soloist provides 3 levels of gain to the preamp output from 7db to 18db. It ensures perfect matching with any power amps. Burson has redesigned a gain curve for the attenuator. Combining it with the new VOS, control is always perfect.

The input stage of the Soloist is a symmetrical current feedback circuit with only 21 components on its signal path (compare that to a typical IC Opamp of over 50). Its signal path is so short and with so little blockage on it, that it can achieve amazing sound. Also because Burson only had to select and match 21 components, the Soloist sounds absolutely amazing.

The Soloist features a low noise power supply. An athlete needs clean air to perform at an optimum standard – audio equipment needs clean power to reproduce transparent and natural music. The new Soloist has taken the already fanatical IC free power supply of Burson’s first generation HA-160 to the next level. The result is even cleaner even more energetic music reproduction.

The Soloist is housed in a 6mm case, constructed from high precision machined aluminum. This enclosure allows the Soloist, to achieve a very high mechanical damping factor, which reduces any microphonic effects, that may degrade the clarity of sonic performance. The enclosure was also constructed to act as a giant heat-sink, which allows the Class-A headamp to run cooler, and remain optimized at all times.

Burson Audio Soloist Headphone Amplifier Features

  • All New FET Input Stage
  • New Variable Output Stage
  • New 24 Step Attenuator
  • Low Noise Power Supply
  • High Resolution Volume Control
  • Resonance Free Aluminum Enclosure
  • Fully discrete circuitry
  • Fully symmetrical FET input stage
  • Pure Class A operation
  • 3 Levels VOS output stage
  • Pre Amp: 7-18dB
  • Headphone Amp: 0.18W – 4W
  • Quality Components
    • ELNA Slimic 2
    • DALE Military Grade Resistor
    • Low noise toroidal transformer
  • Reference Class HeadAmp & Pre Amp

Burson Audio Soloist Headphone Amplifier Specifications

  • Input impedance: 36.5 KOhms
  • Frequency response: ± 1 dB 0 – 50Khz
  • Signal to noise ratio: >96dB
  • THD: <0.03% at 30ohm with 1W output
  • Channel separation: <73dB
  • Output power: 4W at 16 Ohms
  • Input impedance: >8K Ohm @ 30 Ohm, 1W
  • Output impedance: <1 Ohm @ 30 Ohm, 1W
  • Power dissipation: >25W, internal, regulated power supply
  • Inputs: 3 x gold plated RCA (line level input)
  • Outputs
    • 1 x headphone jacks 6.35mm
    • 1 x RCA Pre Amp output
  • Package content
    • 1 x Soloist Headphone amp / Pre-Amp
    • 1 x Power cable
    • 1 x RCA pair input cable
    • 1 x User Manual (including 24 months warranty registration information)
  • Weight: app. 4.5 kg
  • Color: silver anodized aluminum
  • Dimensions: 180 mm x 250 mm x 80 mm
Soloist
Soloist SL
Max Output Power @ 8 Ohm
4W
2W
VOS Output Stage
3 Levels
2 Levels
Pre Amp Out
Yes
No
Volume Control
24 Stepped Attenuator
ALPS Pots
Enclosure
6mm Machined Aluminum
2mm Folded Aluminum

The Conductor Virtuoso

The Conductor Virtuoso is a USB DAC, Headphone Amp and Preamplifier.
The Conductor Virtuoso

The Conductor Virtuoso is a USB DAC, Headphone Amp and Preamplifier. Most enthusiasts use its DAC and amplifier to drive their prized headphones with one beautifully-built, modestly-priced component. With over 4 watts of power on tap the Conductor Virtuoso will drive any headphone with ease. The Conductor Virtuoso’s headphone amp section is essentially the Soloist which reviewers have raved about. Or use the Conductor Virtuoso’s preamp functions to make it the center of a headphone and speaker-based desktop system with headphone option.

How Virtuoso is it?

Burson has significantly upgraded and refined previous generations of the Conductor. There is now a stunning 100-step of volume control with a new, easy-to-read display. When the Conductor Virtuoso is on the volume indicators appear on the face of the thick, anti-resonant aluminum front plate. You can choose from two interchangeable DAC boards with different sonic characteristics and the modular design makes for no-fuss upgrades. As always, Burson eschews densely-packed opamps and designs all discrete circuitry for superior tonality, clarity and a lower noise floor.

DAC Options are ESS9018 DAC or PCM1793 DAC

The remote control is worthy of the Burson badge, carved from solid aluminum with no visible screws. The touch and feel of Burson products matches their irresistible sound that pulls you into the music in a visceral, exciting way.

Measurement
  • Input impedance: 36.5 Kilo Ohms
  • Frequency response: ± 1 dB 0 – 50 KHz
  • Signal to noise ratio: >94dB
  • THD: <0.03% at 30ohm with 1W output
  • Channel separation: >73dB
  • Output power: 4W at 16 Ohms
  • Input impedance: >8K Ohm @ 1W
  • Output impedance (Headphone Amp): 3 Ohm
  • Output impedance (Line Level): 30 Ohm
  • Power dissipation: 35W internal, regulated power supply
DAC Specification
  • Channel Separation: 140 dB @ 1KHz, 130 dB @ 20KHz
  • THD+N: 0.0005% @ 1KHz, 0dBFS
  • COAX & Toslink / SPDIF : 24 bits / 44.1K, 48K, 88.2K, 96K, 176.4K, 192KHz
USB Specification
  • OS Requirement: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X
  • USB: 24 bits / 44.1K, 48K, 88.2K, 96K, 176.4K, 192KHz
  • Support up to 24bit @ 192 KHz with 10ppm low jitter clock
  • Asynchronous Transfer Mode
Inputs
  • 1 x USB Connection (CM6631a USB Module)
  • 1 x Coaxial RCA (Support up to 24bit @ 192Khz)
  • 1 x Toslink / SPDIF (Support up to 24bit @ 192Khz)
  • 2 x RCA line level input
Outputs
  • 1 x headphone jacks 6.35mm
  • 1 x RCA Pre out
  • 1 x RCA DAC out
General
  • Weight: app. 6 kg
  • Color: silver anodized aluminum
  • Dimensions: 265 x 255 x 80 mm

Soloist MK2

The Soloist SL MKII delivers benchmark setting performance in a tiny package and very affordable pricing.

Running in pure Class-A, it is a concentrated version of our award-winning Soloist. At 5.5in x 3in x 8in it takes less room on your desktop. The power output is a robust 2.5Wpc into 16 ohms and drives most if not all headphones to their full potential.

Compared to the standard Soloist SL, the MK2 is 25% more powerful, It is very dynamic, yet with more refined mid and mid high. Coupled with a 2-level gain switch the Soloist SL MK2 offers infinite flexibility. Small size yet big performance. Burson’s oversize transformers and power supplies deliver pure class-A peak driving power, a muscular 2.5Wpc into 16 ohms. Inside, you’ll find a custom 30VA transformer ensuring the Soloist SL MKII is capable of a sustained 2 .5 watts at all times. The Soloist power supply is built around a custom noise-filtering network employing twice as many filtering stages as most conventional designs resulting in superior noise rejection. That’s why the Soloist SL delivers such clean and stable power with beautiful music emerging from a pitch-black background.

Timekeeper

A perfect fit in any living space

We’re all living in smaller, compressed and more costly living space. Burson believes that should be respected and so makes beautifully-constructed, densely-packed, small-scale components that do the job like… virtuosos.

The new Timekeeper Virtuoso amplifier is a huge upgrade to the previous Timekeeper, delivering a transparent, nuanced and rich-with-detail presentation. Nevertheless it also has the power to drive desktop and larger floor standing speakers.

Power, a lot of it

The custom-built 1500W transformer is five times the size of the previous model and occupies the entire ground floor of the amplifier! The Virtuoso puts out a stable, linear 100wpc into 8 ohms, 200wpc into 4 ohms, and a whopping 350wpc into 2 ohms. Do you want more power? Bridge a pair for 300wpc into 8 ohms and 600wpc into 4 ohms for serious driving power.

Craft to Perfection

The Timekeeper Virtuoso features attractive, vault-like, beautifully-machined aluminum casework making an elegant, understated package. Circuits are fully discrete — no op-amps — allied with a special Burson-designed FET input stage and a class-AB output stage.

Burson goes to these great lengths to deliver an immersive, engaging sound that always expresses the beauty of music that’s exactly what we want to share with you.