Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
vegan

Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso loaner program - impressions thread

Recommended Posts

Burson were kind enough to lend me their brand-spanking new 100W Timekeeper Virtuoso.

Alex said it had already had 100hrs on the clock for quality control. It's benefited from some more burn in time over the past week. The longer I've had it, the more I appreciate what it can do.

I will post some impressions soon. But keen to hear from others who have heard it too.

If you are interested in hearing one in your home, post it here and get in touch with Burson:

https://www.bursonaudio.com/products/timekeeper-virtuoso/

info@@BursonAudio.com

Luke 🎼

post-128729-0-71312400-1469189701_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll definitely put my hand up for that!  Can't wait to hear your impressions @@vegan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too would love to hear Burson Audio amps in my system, see signature below.

 

I listen to all types of music, from Classical to pop, but no friggin metal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I loved what their op-amps did in my Sony ES cd player.

Would swap my Audiolab front end for Burson in a heartbeat.

And I'd love a set of these power amps if I was not running my current active ESLs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies for my tardiness. As it kept getting better over time, I had to reassess a little.

Good to hear there's some interest. I suggest you guys get in touch with Alex to get a loaner.

Anyone in Perth who is interested in hearing one?

______

Burson's new Timekeeper Virtuoso is a damn sexy amp. It has the precision of a Swiss watch, the dynamic kick of a mule and seduction of new love. It looks magnificent under the Conductor. Superb industrial design, me thinks. It looks heavy. But feels heavier than I imagined. One quibble I have is about the LEDs. Personally, I would prefer an LED to be more understated. I really dig the Burson aesthetic, though.

Rig

FireWire drive + Mac mini (2010) + Audirvana Plus, with upsampling to DSD -> Burson Conductor V2+ -> Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso -> Gallo Strada + TR-3 sub

Reference amp: Scientific Audio Technology (SAT), Infinity monoblocks (450W, circa 1990s, hand built in Perth, Australia. Originally sold for Aus$18,000).

Sundries:

UpTone Regen

Blue Circle x6 Sillycone filter

Curious Cable Regen Links (x2)

DIY silver/gold ICs

Screen shot of A+ upsampling preferences.

(Limited by power of old Mac mini)

It was a thrill to get to review Burson's new Timekeeper Virtuoso. I've been a Burson fan for the past six years. I had their first pre and power amp duo from the 100 series. Their Conductor V2+ is the third DAC/pre/headphone amp I've owned.

Alex informed me that this TV had been burned in for 100 hours before being shipped for quality control. So I'd assume that would be true each and every TV. I certainly wonder if it might improve in the bass with more burn-in. It did improve over the few days I had it (as Alex suggested it would). Notes across the frequency range are rendered with military precision. Incisive violins stood up well at high volume. While as tight as the proverbial drum, I did wish for some added heft down low. This limited the visceral engagement that is so vital. It some fine finesse, but doesn't match the gravitas of the old fogeys (AKA, SAT Infinity monoblocks).

The Timekeeper Virtuoso (TV) is immaculate. Both in the aforementioned style, as well as in its presentation. It's impossibly clean. I feel like the noise floor fell to a basement I never knew existed. Details shine through with razor-sharp precision. Great for following all but unintelligible lyrics. I could imagine it being a great amp for music producers and mixers. Paraphrasing a good friend, detail in audio should not be about hearing a mouse fart in the studio. It should however, help to render more texture from every note. That would be pretty true of my experience with the TV. Save with the proviso that this texture wasn't always as rich and full as I might have liked it to be.

Referring back to its military precision, transients remind me of some high grade machine gun. (Why this pacifist resorts to military analogies is just embarrassing...) Early on, this was painful. The TV emphasised staccato, whilst the old foggy monos were all about legato. However, the sense of flow did improve over time.

Having now clocked some 100+ hours (some 200+ in total), it's now coming to life. Ella & Louis sound sumptuous swinging 'Stars Fell on Alabama'. Indeed, small group jazz and jazz vocals were generally most enjoyable. Peggy Lee's vocal whispers seduced on 'Why Don't You Do Right' (Chesky's Moments Like This). Sidestepping, Tom Waits' rusty musings and foley work was on full display on 'What's He Building In There?' I was particularly impressed with its startle factor. I think it was some kind of mechanical door that jumped out at me - making me wonder where it was coming from.

I return to my previous complaint: the bottom end is just too light. So I don't hear enough of Tom's raspy baritone. I'm greedy. I like to feel the impact of his voice in my chest. It's still Tom, don't get me wrong. He just sounds a little too clean-cut and sober for my liking.

Somewhat surprisingly, I didn't miss this lighter bass in many brighter recordings. Keith Jarrett's Koln Concert was really quite enjoyable. I always felt the bass was critical to enjoy this.

I'm very impressed by Marc Johnson's fabulous fret work on his upright bass on 'Autumn Leaves' from Patricia Barber's (Nightclub, DSD). While the bass balance may be a little lighter than I'm used to, what is there is quality. This lighter bottom end is most evident in recordings that really demand it. The fundamental bass lines that drive Massive Attack's epic 'Mezzanine' are notably lacking that visceral heartbeat. I have a few horrid room nodes below 80hZ. The Old Fogies excite them terribly. On the Timekeeper V, the nodes are pretty well behaved. While this is great on the one hand, I can't help but feel a little robbed of some bass weight.

Zinman's take on Mahler's 8th symphony (DSD) was the first recording I played on the Timekeeper V. Ambitious? Perhaps. That's how I roll. It says something about my expectations too. I hold Burson in high regard. But I was sorely deflated. I kept returning to it over time. Each time, it was a little better... From intolerable, to listenable... And now, I am really enjoying it. Finally playing it at full volume. It's not entirely resolving in the most intense cresendos, but pretty darn fine. Quieter passages are handled with great delicacy. Some of the first violin's work really stood out.

Analytics

Palpability?

Lacking that oomph in the bass detracted a little on this score.

Soundstage?

Soundstage width was fine from the get-go. However, the depth seems to have improved with time. Now, I get a much better sense of the concert hall and pit.

Boogie factor?

Check. Just listen to McBride/Brown/Clayton doing 'Taco with a Pork Chop'. I'm vegan and still gets me wiggling.

Sing-along factor?

Not so much. May well improve with more burn-in.

Noise floor?

TV has lower noise floor than the Ancient monoblocks.

Conclusion

Listening to Burson's TV, I was reminded of a tight fitting tuxedo. It looks mighty sharp with it's black and white contrast. With improved posture, you are more alert. You are as sharp as you look. Whilst the old monoblocks feel like slipping back into an old velvet suit. It may well be a little crumpled, shabby and faded, but it's oh-so comfy.

That analogy was written before the TV had really hit its straps. So it feels overblown now. Be patient. You will be rewarded. By the end of the night, the suit had more style and flair. And so much more relaxed. No fear of wedgies now.

What I imagine most of us look for is an experience. One that pins us to the seat. Demands attention. And won't let us walk away without a fight.

I had a few of those experiences with the Timekeeper. Not as many as I would have liked, but they made my time memorable.

post-128729-0-71452900-1469627892_thumb.

post-128729-0-83974100-1469627942_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that was a great read.Very insightful into the nature of the beast. It's amazing how many hundreds of hours a new piece of kit takes to sweeten up. Big ups to Burson. Another quality hifi manufacturer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks mikey

Well worth an audition. I'm most curious how they fair with different/better speakers. My Stradas may not be the best fit. I'll be sending the Timekeeper Virtuoso back to Melbourne unless I can find someone in Perth who wants to listen to them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


snip...

 

I'll be sending the Timekeeper Virtuoso back to Melbourne unless I can find someone in Perth who wants to listen to them?

 

How about they pause in Adelaide for a while, it's on the way? Not looking to jump any queues just logistically thinking is all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey @@warweary, if the Burson gear shows up before you move on the little LS-50s I'd love to hear your opinion on the Burson/KEF combo.  You up for that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any progress on this program guys?  Have the Bursons been sent in warweary's general direction?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Oh, I've just checked my emails and it looks like the Timekeeper Virtuoso is on its way to me next.  However the Conductor that was to accompany it was purchased (I wonder who by?) so a new one will have to be sent out in its place.  

 

Sorry there warweary it seems I've jumped in ahead of you.  I'll do my best not to detain them for too long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

post-130663-0-60509200-1471598418_thumb.

 

The Timekeeper Virtuoso has shown up and I'm giving it a run with my non-virtuoso conductor (the CV2+ has yet to arrive).

I have to say it's a heavy piece of gear, I had to open the box, turn it upside down and then lift the box off the amp and packing as there was no way I could lift the thing out of the box.  I just couldn't get any grip on it.

 

The box arrived in 3 pieces, very much the worse for wear.  Some courier man somewhere has done something he shouldn't have, I'm sure of it.  I'll have to patch it up with a very generous application of packing tape when it's time to move on.  Fortunately, since Burson components are built so damn tough, the amp appears not to have even noticed.

 

I'll wait for the CV2+ to arrive before I get serious, until then it's just casual listening and a bit more run in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By kenflux
      Item: Perreaux 6200b power amplifier
      Location: Wyoming 1 hour north of sydney
      Price: $550
      Item Condition: Used
      Reason for selling: no longer needed
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
      Extra Info:Selling this beauty of a power amp, its not overly pretty but that is not what it is designed to do.
      270W into 8ohm
      450W into 4ohm
      650W into 2ohm
      this thing is designed for power. I purchased it to run some power hungry Kef Reference 104/2  but have since changed directions. This thing is perfect for 2 channel listening or for giving some home theater speakers some real power. The fan has been removed for Hifi listening by the previous owner
      Buyer is welcome to Audition before purchasing.
      pickup is from Wyoming, 1 hour north of Sydney. Will not Ship, this thing weighs a ton. Thanks
       
       
      Power output: 270 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
      Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
      Total harmonic distortion: 0.09% Damping factor: 200
      Input sensitivity: 0.77V
      Speaker load impedance: 4Ω to 16Ω
      Dimensions: 483 x 177 x 447mm Weight: 25kg Year: 1986 Less
      Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.





    • By OZee
      Item: Primare a34.2 power amplifier 
      Location: Canberra, ACT
      Price: $1250 includes shipping
      Item Condition: good
      Reason for selling: want multichannel 
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only
      Extra Info: comes with box, cable , manual. ultra low distortion 2channel amplifier. 150w /ch or 550w bridged mode. Post anywhere in Australia
       
      Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.





    • By leqt1969
      Item: Audio Valve Baldur 70 Monoblocks
      Location: Bexley NSW
      Price: $5500 ono
      Item Condition: Excellent
      Reason for selling: too much power for avantgarde speakers
      Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal
      Extra Info:
      Advertise on behalf of a friend in Bexley NSW who doesn’t have SNA account.
      Bought brand new about 3.5 years ago and rarely used. Still has original boxes.
      2 set of tubes. Rca tubes and original set of tubes.
       
      Description: Push-pull, class-A, triode monoblock power amplifier. Tube complement: two 2AU7, 12AX7, two 6N6P; four 6AS7G.
      Maximum power output: 70W into 8 ohm load at 1% distortion (18.5dBW).
      THD at rated output: 0.3% (50W, 100Hz–10kHz).
      Power bandwidth: 10Hz–50kHz ±3dB.
      Damping factor: 20. Input sensitivity: 0dBm (775mV).
      Dimensions: 12.8" (325mm) W by 11.8" (300mm) H by 15" (385mm) D. Weight: 35.25 lbs (16kg).
       
       
      Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.



×
×
  • Create New...