Integrated Amps & Audio Separates
Burson Audio - Soloist - Headphone Amplifier and Pre-Amplifier
Instead of celebrating and introducing "newer" versions each year with small refinements, Burson Audio has been studying and developing circuitries that can realize more of their ideals. Now, the dream of an even more idealistic circuitry, with even less components on the signal path is realized. And it sounds more beautiful than anyone could have conceptualized at the beginning of the project. Burson Audio named this new headphone amp Soloist!
In his latest report, Tyll Hertsens of Inner-Fidelity tested 21 popular headphone amps from around the world, from high power desktops to battery powered portables.
Please visit here for the highlights and the full lab results
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The New FET Input Stage
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). It's 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.
Variable Output Stage
The new Soloist has taken the already fanatical IC free power supply of the generation HA-160 to the next level. The result is even cleaner even more energetic music reproduction.
When power leaves the generating station it is pretty clean. Unfortunately, every device attached to it draws a current which corrupts the purity of the voltage wave form. Open air high voltage cables can pick up radio signals from all kinds of sources. Transformers throughout the national grid are running close to saturation point, which creates more distortion. From large electric motors such as those used in factories, to baby alarms and hairdryers, all can pollute to intolerable levels.
It does not end there! The power supply from most hi-fi equipment are amongst the worst polluters. A large amount of interference is generated by the standard IC voltage regulators; they inject noise of their own due to the nature of their operation, blocking out musical detail that we work tirelessly to preserve.
High Resolution Volume Control
At the time when an audio signal is passing through the volume control, it is still at its weakest. At this stage, the audio signal is very vulnerable to noise pollution and interference. A major source of such distortion is the commonly used remote volume control adopted by most manufacturers.
Burson designed a 24 stepped attenuator specifically for the P-160 series. Unlike commonly available stepped attenuators on the DIY market, ours only involves one < 0.1% metal film resistor on the signal path. The result is a total elimination of any distortions introduced by the volume control (which can vary up to 7% on a conventional pot)
The Burson stepped attenuator is built with premium quality components combined with our solid machined aluminium knob. It ensures a smooth and well controlled mechanical movement. The volum e curve was tailor made to suit our 160 line giving the user a smooth control over the entire spectrum. The decision to adopt a custom built step attenuator over a remote volume control was controversial but the result was certainly not!
Resonance Free Aluminum (RFA) Enclosure
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 head-amp to run cooler, and remain optimized at all times.
Sometimes called "the safe" by Burson customers, the Burson RFA enclosure is constructed from precision machined aluminium panels. Only 8 stainless steel bolts were required to join the enclosure, which then became virtually indestructible.
Input impedance: 36.5 KOhms Frequency response: ± 1 dB 0 - 50Khz Signal to noise ratio: >96dB THD: <0.03% at 30ohm with 1W ouput 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
General Weight: app. 10 lbs Color: silver anodized aluminum
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