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Conductor V2 USB Soundcard, 8Watt Head Amp, Preamp - Indiegogo Campaign

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We are very excited to introduce the third generation of Burson Audio Conductor.  We named it Conductor V2.

 

Why Indiegogo it?  We need your help to set a lower price tag for it.     The previous Conductor is priced at 1999USD and with all the added performance and features, the V2 costs even more to build.  However, we want it to have a lower price so more audiophiles can own this truly amazing machine.  

 

Link to campaign (Burson Indiegogo)

 

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Now that looks like a tempting piece of gear, very nice!

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The new Conductor V2+ with DSD looks to be one enticing package. Am I the only one who is eager to hear it?

Has anyone heard one already? Care to share?

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I've had a Burson Conductor Virtuoso for a few months now. Superb piece of kit. I actually bought it equally for pre-amp, USB-DAC and headphones duties. Very happy in all respects, and I'm certainly listening to my headphones more than ever.

 

Be nice to hear the changes in the new model. 

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Nice, but why no balanced outputs?

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@@Mash - Does your amp not take RCAs?

@@enikoy - what were you using before the Virtuoso?

I shall be comparing it to my original Conductor. Not quite sure how all the upgrades will change the sound... Particularly keen to hear how my DSD albums sound (as opposed to being downsampled to PCM). But waiting to hear it for myself.

I've been enjoying the Audirvana remote update. It makes me all the more impatient to play with the V2+ - and its slick remote.. just wanna fondle it's buttons

But being able to browse my library with the A+ remote is making music even more of a joy. With music sounding so good right now, I wonder what the V2+ will bring to the table. I'm always wondering how much more texture might be had in a recording...

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It's actually my first amp with a headphone focus. I previously used the headphone out from integrated amps (new Yamaha, vintage Accuphase etc). As I mentioned before I chose the Virtuoso equally for it Headphone amp, Pre-amp and DAC functionality, and I got a sweet deal.

 

@@enikoy - what were you using before the Virtuoso?

 

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I'm not a head-fi guy, so have long felt I'm missing out on what most consider to be the Conductor's forte.

I've very much enjoyed it as a DAC+pre, though. Music is sounding awfully good right now... I wonder improvements your V1+ and the new V2+ bring.... Nice to see great gear like this being sold at such reasonable prices.

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@@Mash - Does your amp not take RCAs?

@@enikoy - what were you using before the Virtuoso?

I shall be comparing it to my original Conductor. Not quite sure how all the upgrades will change the sound... Particularly keen to hear how my DSD albums sound (as opposed to being downsampled to PCM). But waiting to hear it for myself.

I've been enjoying the Audirvana remote update. It makes me all the more impatient to play with the V2+ - and its slick remote.. just wanna fondle it's buttons

But being able to browse my library with the A+ remote is making music even more of a joy. With music sounding so good right now, I wonder what the V2+ will bring to the table. I'm always wondering how much more texture might be had in a recording...

 

I have ordered a v2+ and hopefully it will be here shortly, at which point I will relay my impressions. Also hoping to also get the Timekeeper Virtuoso at the same time as the two as a stack for me fulfil all of my requirements for a system these days.....

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Great Greg - please do share your impressions

I'm curious about the Timekeeper too.

What are the Bursons replacing?

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Great Greg - please do share your impressions

I'm curious about the Timekeeper too.

What are the Bursons replacing?

The V2+ is replacing a WA6SE and EE Minimax - need something in one box that fits in with my set up and my experience upgrading the Minimax to Burson V5 Opamps was so positive I decided to go the whole hog - Amp wise I was using the Usher R1.5, then replaced that with a home made 20w Class A amp (Hiraga Le Classe A (which blew the Usher r1.5 out of the water). I'm hoping the V2+ and Timekeeper Virtuoso will be a desktop Dac/Headamp/Preamp/Amp solution that will replace everything else with less fuss and cables etc....

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Intriguing.

From the little I could read of the Hirage, it seems like a special amp. I'd imagine you've got some very efficient speakers to go with the 20W Hirage?

I'm very curious how the Timekeeper compares in the nuance stakes with the Hirage.

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Intriguing.

From the little I could read of the Hirage, it seems like a special amp. I'd imagine you've got some very efficient speakers to go with the 20W Hirage?

I'm very curious how the Timekeeper compares in the nuance stakes with the Hirage.

I have Usher Mini Dancer 2's - 90db so reasonably efficient - The 20w Hiraga (I have both the Le Class A and the Le Monstre) both drive them to sufficient volume without much effort (and the Le Monstre puts out less than 15w). I did put a lot of capacitance/spare headroom in the power supply and also dual mono which is essential in these amps - they are both very special amps but if I could criticise them at all I would say the bass response is a little looser than the the speakers are capable of producing - Treble/Soundstage/Imaging etc is spot on. The Timekeeper Virtuoso will be an interesting comparison - also a lot neater than mine which looked like a retro steam punk amp.

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A lot to be said for a retro steam punk aesthetic, me thinks!

Hiraga - my bad.

You may want to hang onto one of them... They may not be he best for driving the Ushers, but may come into their own if you find the right speakers... (Says the woeful hoarder with a verandah full of junk to sort!).

I'll be keen to hear how the Timekeeper goes to capture the liquidity and soundstaging of the Hiraga amps. It would be strange if the Timekeeper didn't improve the grip, slam and dynamics a little.

Going from the 60W Burson 100 to the 450W monos didn't bring as great a difference to the mass of the bass as I expected. There wasn't really more bass, from what I could tell. Nor was the volume really impacted (I even suspect the volume may have had to go UP with the monos??). Hard to say which of the many benefits brought by the monos was down to the increase in power.

And equally curious on a similar score when you compare the V2+ to the Woo Audio amp. :-)

I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on the V2+

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A lot to be said for a retro steam punk aesthetic, me thinks!

Hiraga - my bad.

You may want to hang onto one of them... They may not be he best for driving the Ushers, but may come into their own if you find the right speakers... (Says the woeful hoarder with a verandah full of junk to sort!).

I'll be keen to hear how the Timekeeper goes to capture the liquidity and soundstaging of the Hiraga amps. It would be strange if the Timekeeper didn't improve the grip, slam and dynamics a little.

Going from the 60W Burson 100 to the 450W monos didn't bring as great a difference to the mass of the bass as I expected. There wasn't really more bass, from what I could tell. Nor was the volume really impacted (I even suspect the volume may have had to go UP with the monos??). Hard to say which of the many benefits brought by the monos was down to the increase in power.

And equally curious on a similar score when you compare the V2+ to the Woo Audio amp. :-)

I am very much looking forward to getting my hands on the V2+

Comparisons will be coming - but usually don't really need to as you know when something sounds just right when you have been through a good number of source/amp combos - all of the comparisons in the world don't cover the feeling you get when the synergy works!

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Fair enough

But for those of us who can't hear what your hearing, comparisons go a long way, me thinks. Even if they're not direct comparisons.

Having limited access to gear here, I've become enormously dependent on reading what feedback I can on stuff.

One guy on head-fi wrote a great review comparing a few DACs and headphone amps - with various cans - to the V2+. However, when someone reckoned the DAC on the V2+ was on par with the one in his Devialet, that made a much bigger impression on me than anything I'd read so far on the V2+.

I'll have the chance to hear the V2+ and timekeeper v here. But for those who can't, I will try to compare it the limited stuff I have here. Like I say, I am still most curious to read how well they stack up against alternatives

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Fair enough

But for those of us who can't hear what your hearing, comparisons go a long way, me thinks. Even if they're not direct comparisons.

Having limited access to gear here, I've become enormously dependent on reading what feedback I can on stuff.

One guy on head-fi wrote a great review comparing a few DACs and headphone amps - with various cans - to the V2+. However, when someone reckoned the DAC on the V2+ was on par with the one in his Devialet, that made a much bigger impression on me than anything I'd read so far on the V2+.

I'll have the chance to hear the V2+ and timekeeper v here. But for those who can't, I will try to compare it the limited stuff I have here. Like I say, I am still most curious to read how well they stack up against alternatives

Yes you are right in what you say about relying on other people's comparisons. Only problem being not many people have multiple components hanging around long enough to always do justice to a fair comparison between them, even then varying hearing ability/preferences mean even those comparisons need to be taken with a pinch of salt - The Schiit Bifrost with Uber was an example in point - well regarded but for me (as a personal preference) was unlistenable, discordant and harsh (even after burn in) - WAAAAY to forward sounding - soundly beaten by the line out on a Fiio x5 2nd gen.

 

I will compare it to what I have and what I have heard in the past as much as I can, Had the Metrum Hex/Octave/Cyrus Dac+ a while back and have the Minimax with V5 Opamps now, have also owned numerous mid tier DAP's. Will also compare to the WA6SE, Metrum Aurix.

 

My intolerance of anything out of place in the high frequency area has lead me along the Valve/NOS path previously - I will be looking for something that has some of the  magic I have heard in the Hex/WA6SE/Aurix combined with the resolution/transparency of the ESS Sabre - The v5 opamp upgrade in the Minimax actually has been a large step in the right direction.

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Brilliant, Greg :-)

I always take my own listening impressions with cup of salt...

You've had far more experience than I. Speaks volumes that you favour the Minimax over the Hex. Interesting that you didn't care for the Bifrost.

You've made me even more interested in what you make of the Burson duo :-)

What source are you using? Are you using any upsampling?

Edited by vegan

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Brilliant, Greg :-)

I always take my own listening impressions with cup of salt...

You've had far more experience than I. Speaks volumes that you favour the Minimax over the Hex. Interesting that you didn't care for the Bifrost.

You've made me even more interested in what you make of the Burson duo :-)

What source are you using? Are you using any upsampling?

 

My source is usually a mac mini if using USB or a Fiio X5 2nd Gen otherwise. The price difference between the Minimax (got mine for $350 + price of the Opamps ($280) and the Hex (rrp around 5k) is fairly substantial. The sound is different - If price were no object then I would have both...the minimax with the V5 has a far better more natural bass - less decay, more defined, more impact (but not boosted). The Treble on the Minimax is more extended - it was edging towards being harsh, grainy without the v5's but with them it manages to be highly resolving, defined but at the same time smooth and non fatiguing. For long term listening and with certain genres I would still favour the HEX but the financial reality meant that it had to go and get replaced by other hifi toys.  

 

I have also bypassed the v5 Opamps and upgraded internal caps to Silmic II and panasonic FC on the PSU with the minimax - So its not exactly comparing stock minimax to HEX - the Minimax with default Opamps or a decent tube with default internals was just 'okay' nothing special better than many in the Sub $1000 price range.

 

I tried to love the Bifrost - it just was too forward sounding and the treble to me was unnatural - metallic and not realistic at all.

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Nice to have that point of comparison: Hex Vs Minimax on steroids.

Aural memory is sketchy at the best of times, let alone trying to remember the sound of times past. But all the same, your experience with the Hex and others will give you a much better perspective on how the V2+ fairs than I can. I'm sure your review will be read with interest. I'd encourage you to post it far and wide :-)

If you used Audirvana, I'd be curious to know what upsampling - if any - you favour with the V2+. It's been fun to tinker with the sound just through upsampling settings. It has taken me some time, but time well spent, me thinks.

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Nice to have that point of comparison: Hex Vs Minimax on steroids.

Aural memory is sketchy at the best of times, let alone trying to remember the sound of times past. But all the same, your experience with the Hex and others will give you a much better perspective on how the V2+ fairs than I can. I'm sure your review will be read with interest. I'd encourage you to post it far and wide :-)

If you used Audirvana, I'd be curious to know what upsampling - if any - you favour with the V2+. It's been fun to tinker with the sound just through upsampling settings. It has taken me some time, but time well spent, me thinks.

I do use Audirvana - tried other options but have found this to be the best/simplest solution. I did try some tweaking with the Octave but when I moved onto the HEX I was happy leaving the default settings. Have not really tried with the Minimax as the USB implementation is pretty average to say the least.

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For me, improvements from using iZotope's upsampling haven't been vast, but very worthwhile - gaining a greater sense of presence and engagement.

I'm keen for Damien to allow A+ to convert PCM to DSD. (I'm too lazy and stingy to use HQ Player.)

The new ESS Pro chip has some appeal in that you can bypass its internal upsampling (ie. by feeding it upsampled material). Shame just swap chips, me thinks.

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For me, improvements from using iZotope's upsampling haven't been vast, but very worthwhile - gaining a greater sense of presence and engagement.

I'm keen for Damien to allow A+ to convert PCM to DSD. (I'm too lazy and stingy to use HQ Player.)

The new ESS Pro chip has some appeal in that you can bypass its internal upsampling (ie. by feeding it upsampled material). Shame just swap chips, me thinks.

Hadn't heard of the ESS pro. I got very satisfying improvements with the isotope's up sampling with the Octave due it being a NOS Dac - mainly for the same reasons as you have outlined - the settings added a sense of spaciousness to a lot of music when it was set up right - this for some reason didn't translate to the HEX which stubbornly sounded great regardless of the settings I put in. 

 

I am not sure of the advantages of converting PCM to DSD = DSD has largely bypassed me - haven't the bandwith to be downloading the albums!

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'... Shame we can't just swap out chips...', I was trying to say... D'oh.

The ESS Pro is very new and been used in only one DAC I've heard of (the name escapes me?). But perhaps Burson will bypass the Pro chip and devise their own fully discrete DAC next... which they'll offer as upgrade to swap out the Sabre boards ;-)

Nice that the Hex sounded good regardless of what you fed it :-)

In my excitement over the idea of upsampling to DSD, I've missed the fact that I'd need a new computer to do so. Leaving all the filtering to your computer seems to be appealing. But maybe not when you're using a 2010 Mac mini.... :-/

I hear you on the woeful state of download speeds in this country. We get what we vote for, I guess...

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