equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Review
Denon AVR-S700W& Envaya Bluetooth Speaker Reviews
CLONES Audio 25p Power Amplifier Review
Audioengine A2+ Desktop Speakers Review
Latest AV News
Power Amplifier Forum Topics:
Classic Power Amplifier Reviews
Past Power Amplifier News
 
The Burson Conductor & Timekeeper Review  Print E-mail
Home Theater Power Amplifiers Stereo Amplifiers
Written by Andre Marc   
Tuesday, 10 September 2013
Article Index
The Burson Conductor & Timekeeper Review 
The Conductor
The Timekeeper
Conclusion

Burson Audio has been creating a buzz for seventeen years. Their extremely loyal customer base raves about their DACs and headphone amplifiers. The company is based in Melbourne, Australia, half a world away, but they have commendably developed an excellent and far reaching international distribution chain and dealer network. Audiophile buddies have told me on a pretty consistent basis that Burson should be high on my list as a source for review components. When trusted aficionados speak, I tend to listen.

In conversations with the folks at Burson, I pieced together their basic design philosophies and general outlook. There is what can be called the Burson Approach. In essence, this means they take a pass on off-the-shelf parts and standard circuit designs, and they strongly believe in the simple audio paths. All of this to make sure the electronics stay out of the way of the music.

Burson said, "the less the equipment tampers with the music, the greater the music becomes. This has been the core design philosophy of Burson Audio since 1996. If the equipment is honest and transparent then the proper tempo, dynamics and tone will materialize as a natural expression of the music and it becomes unnecessary to flavor the original sound. We believe that this ideal can never be achieved through standard circuitry building blocks such as op-amps, IC regulators or even standard transformers. Instead we work towards this ideal through the research and development of customized solid state circuitries that are developed specifically to suit our applications."

In various email exchanges with Burson, we can summarize the Burson Approach as: Less = More, Discrete over IC, and Tailored design over standardized building blocks. As a reviewer, I personally don’t see these design goals on any regular basis in high end audio. More often we see manufacturers chase fads, use copycat designs, and spend too much appealing to the eye rather than the ear -- all while charging high prices for the privilege.

Burson shipped me their Conductor DAC/Preamp/Headphone amp, and their new Timekeeper power amplifier for review. These are both extremely versatile, feature rich, and interestingly designed products. Given their versatility, I knew this would be a very time consuming and fun set of electronics to evaluate. The Conductor retails for $1850, and the Timekeeper is priced at $2600.

Let’s first take a look at the Conductor inside and out. It is housed in attractive and solid silver case work, with a large volume knob dead center on the front end. There are also input and level output selectors, a power indicator light, and a 1/4-inch headphone jack. Around back are TosLink, Coax, and USB 2.0 inputs all handling sample rates up to 192 Khz. There is a set of analog inputs for analog sources as well. There are two sets of analog outputs -- one for fixed line level out for use with an integrated amp or preamp, and one variable output when the Conductor is going to be used as a preamp/DAC.



 

 
  home theater news  |  equipment reviews 
  blu-ray reviews  |  dvd  |  theatrical reviews  
  music download reviews  |  music disc reviews
  contact  |  about-us  |  careers   |  brands 
  Subscribe to Us   |   RSS   |  AVRev Forums
  front page  |  virtual tours  |  dealer locator
  how to features  |   lifestyle & design articles
  Want Your Home Theater Featured on MHT?
   CE Partners: HDD  |  HDF  |  VGT  |  SD  |  DVD
   
  Advertise with Us | Specs | Disclaimer
  Sponsors | privacy policy | terms of use
  909 N. Sepulveda Blvd. El Segundo, CA 90245
  Ads: 310.280.4476 | Contact Us
  Content: 310.280.4575 | Mike Flacy