Burson Conductor 3 Reference Review reviews

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My written review can be found here: https://soundnews.net/sources/dacs/burson-conductor-3-reference-review-calm-like-a-bomb/
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Desktop headphones I’m using:
🎧 Audeze LCD-4: https://bit.ly/35LFYAK
🎧 Quad ERA-1: https://bit.ly/3fE50pV
🎧 Hifiman Arya: https://amzn.to/3eQEsS6
🎧 Erzetich Phobos: https://amzn.to/2SbbMcQ

Portable headphones I’m using:
🎧 Meze 99 Classics: https://bit.ly/3bjTqwX
🎧 Sennheiser Momentum 3: https://amzn.to/2SrzzWf
🎧 Sony WH1000XM3: https://amzn.to/35b9pfa

IEMs I’m using:
πŸ‘‚ FiiO FH7: https://amzn.to/2VDw0xU
πŸ‘‚ Moondrop Starfield: https://bit.ly/2Ah3wlv

Loudspeakers I’m using:
πŸ”Š KEF LS50W: https://amzn.to/2y3IPIP
πŸ”Š Buchardt S400: https://bit.ly/2xTOCkt

Integrated/Power Amps I’m using:
πŸ’ͺ Hegel H190: https://bit.ly/2yQboK8
πŸ’ͺ KECES S125: https://bit.ly/2W5mMJZ

Best DACs I have tried:
πŸ₯‡ Matrix Audio Element X: https://bit.ly/2xU6hbC
πŸ₯‡ Gustard A22: https://bit.ly/2WExwPK
πŸ₯‡ Topping D90 MQA: https://bit.ly/2zHWSo2
πŸ₯‡ Audio-GD R7 (2020 Version): https://bit.ly/3fpNUfl
πŸ₯‡ Denafrips Venus: https://amzn.to/35kgHh7

Best Mid-Fi DACs:
πŸ₯ˆ Topping DX7 PRO: https://bit.ly/2Lh5S67
πŸ₯ˆ SMSL M500: https://bit.ly/2WlPbwC
πŸ₯ˆ Mytek Brooklyn DAC+: https://amzn.to/3aHGuAw
πŸ₯ˆ Benchmark DAC3B: https://amzn.to/2KC5saf
πŸ₯ˆ Chord Hugo2: https://amzn.to/2Y88T05

Best Entry-Level DACs:
πŸ₯‰ Topping E30: https://bit.ly/35OWW1p
πŸ₯‰ SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKII: https://amzn.to/3cSe1tC
πŸ₯‰ Loxjie D20: https://amzn.to/3cSaqM1

Best DAC + Headphone Amp combos:
🎢 Flux Lab Acoustics FCN-10: https://bit.ly/2Y74daK
🎢 Burson Audio Conductor 3: https://amzn.to/2xcfSKx
🎢 Audio-GD D.28 Full: https://bit.ly/359E6S5

Best Headphone amps:
πŸ’£Benchmark HPA4: https://bit.ly/2xb6hn5
πŸ’£Sparkos Labs Aries: https://bit.ly/2xcOps1
πŸ’£Kinki Studio THR-1: https://bit.ly/2y2fVZL

Best DAPs:
🎡 FiiO M15: https://amzn.to/2SdxxIX
🎡 FiiO M11 PRO: https://amzn.to/2Y8n31i
🎡 Shanling M6: https://amzn.to/3eXG8Jq

My Video/Photo Gear:
πŸ“· / πŸŽ₯ https://amzn.to/2VHeNnf
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These are my honest opinions in different categories. Some of them are affiliated links that help me manage this YouTube channel at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

#BursonAudio #Conductor3 #Review

Music by: Kevin MacLeod – Inspired

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26 reviews for Burson Conductor 3 Reference Review reviews

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  1. Nicholas

    Does this have a 4.4 balanced input?

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  2. Henrik SΓΈrensen

    Meze empyrian a good match??

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  3. Oliver

    Has the Conductor 3X Ref got more or the same Power as Soloist 3X Perf?
    I know that the Solist measured way higher than they mention in the spec Sheet

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  4. Nick L

    I use this with Abyss Diana v2, pairs incredibly well, speechless every time I listen.

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  5. Lars V

    A year after this video, did you encounter another preamp DAC that is better than the Conductor 3 for a lower price? I have 3 amps I am experimenting with currently, XTZ Edge, Musical Fidelity M5si and the new NAD C298 (with Quad Z2 speakers). I steam from Tidal Hifi and Qobuz through the Bluesound Node 2i. I like a natural, slightly warmer sound, rather than overly detailed, lean, sharp (listening fatigue). Now testing a Topping E30 and a SMSL SU-9 dac. Have not found my preference yet (or lets just say I am still hoping to fine tune my system. Thinking about a Musical Paradise tube DAC or adding the Musical Paradise MP 701 tube pre amp. But the Burson Conductor 3R sounds very good as well. So would you, a year later, still refer the Conductor 3 or have you encounter another preamp DAC that is better than the Conductor 3 for a lower price?

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  6. Ace of Spades

    This was a fun review… I went back and listened to it twice to soak in all of the details especially in comparison to the 3XP review that you just recently did. I hope you're able to get the Burson Soloist and perhaps composer at some point. TNBT and P4S just did recent review of the Soloist and Thomas got the Composer although none really compared that closely to the Composer 3XP / 3XR. The general assumption on headif is that seperates of Composer + Soloist should be better than the AIO Conductor but that isn't clear. Also it's called the Soloist 3XP but the power specs are that of the Composer 3XR so it's a bit mismatched on naming/performance. Finally a user on headfi called "Raoul" has measure the soloist to 15 watts per channel @ 32ohms so it's right up there with the FA-10 in terms of power but it's "fully balanced". Anyway might be some interesting content…

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  7. Casey O’Donnell

    Very interest review. I have a Topping A30 with the Burson V5i opamps in it and it completely transformed that little amp. Given how good your review of the Topping D90 and A90 were (which weren't around when you did this review) I was considering that as my next step up from my current daily SMSL SU8 Massdrop THX AAA 789 setup. I'm getting too much gear on my desk so, if you were only going to pick one do you think you'd go with the Topping stack or the Conductor 3? My only experience with Burson was those opamps but if they can make a cheap amp like the A30 sound as good as it does I can only imagine what they an do with more of a budget. Cheers and thanks for the content!

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  8. alfred tolentino

    Do you know how this compares β€˜musically’ to the Performance series?Also how well does it perform as a dedicated dac in my main system? Many thanks.

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  9. Gravity Gaming

    @Soundnews how does it compare with Chord Hugo 2? I am thinking between buying Chord Hugo 2 and Burson Conductor 3X – will probably listen to both of them next week – but would also like to hear Your opinion on this πŸ˜‰

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  10. _Naum

    This one + V6 vivid or Topping D90?

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  11. Dejan Stajic

    Hello Sandu thanks for the great review ! How will it pair with my Denon ah d9200 wich has the following specs
    Impedance 24ohm Sensitivity
    105dB/mW Maximum Power input
    1.800mW. I am afraid I will be subject to the hiss you mention ?

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  12. Ozymandias

    What program do you use on your computer for your music?

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  13. Ozymandias

    Noob question here… The RCA/Analogue outputs on the source i.e. CD player or whatever, has already been converted via the sources internal DAC, correct? So if I want to utilize the DAC inside the Burson ACV2+ I need to connect either the coaxial or Toslink output from the source, yeah?

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  14. Derd Horvat

    First let me say that your reviews man are… What can I say… It's almost like going to a store and hearing the gear for yourself! Amazing job!

    But since it's not quite like that πŸ™‚ I have a question since I'm in your usual "audiophile virgin trying to figure out what gear to buy online" conundrum.

    I recently sold my Hegel H360 integrated. Wasn't happy with it at all, probably because they were driving towers that are quite hard to drive (Dynaudio Excite 44), but maybe it's over-hyped. In any case, I found a great deal on an old Karan dual mono amp (420watts into 8 ohms) – a real beast that was pretty serious gear back in it's day. So, now, together with my dilema, I'm sitting on a pair of speakers and an amp and some more of that "mortgage-free money". I will also be buying a headphone amp cos I have a pair of HD650s that I power off of my motherboard (I know right?). After extensive research things are definitely clearing up, I'm at the stage where I feel my trigger finger itching, but due to my lack of experience and knowledge and given my previous experience with the Hegel are still confused and would greatly appreciate your input!

    So (and please don't laugh if some of these options make no sense) I was thinking the following:
    1: buy the Topping D90 and a let's say Violectric V200 or some other decent headphone amp with no dac (does it make sense to use the Topping as a preamp into the Karan?) How would the volume control on such a "cheap" dac perform in such a system? Would it be too big of a bottleneck?
    2: buy the Burson Conductor 3 only and use it as a preamp and headphone amp. Is it's dac good enough to leave 700$ in my pocket?
    3: buy both the Burson and the Topping D90 to have more "flavor" with the D to A conversion. The speakers lack soundstage (overall they are really nice but I have a hunch the Topping would add detail, warmth and width to them which I'd say would benefit a lot).
    4: Buy only the Matrix Element X since it powers cans, is a tremendous Dac, streams and all the other good stuff. This option would be the most appealing if I didn't feel that the headphone amp part of it will not leave me satisfied, in witch case it's bad value for money cos I'd be left with a feature I paid a lot for and am not using at all. Also, for no reason I could explain, I'm more drawn to a AKM chip.

    If you were me what would you go for?

    Thanks in advance

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  15. True Human Potential

    Paired with an amplifier to loudspeakers, is this DAC better than the Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA)? I am shopping for a stand-alone DAC, but then this comes out, and is cheaper, with included headphone amp.

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  16. H H

    How does the sound compare to the topping dx7 pro , less power but the PRO sabre chip ?

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  17. Geremias Yaguana

    No USB input?

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  18. Airidas Laugalis

    I found Burson released balanced version of Conductor 3. Which version would you recommend balanced or not balanced? Thanks.

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  19. John McKay

    terrific unit from this Australian brand. mine did need 100 hours to break in…

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  20. Vlad Alex

    Felicitari pentru prima mie de abonati, keep up the good work.

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  21. Lucas

    The way you describe the soundstsging is similar to the Aune S6's. Although the Aune doesn't have the same output power or isn't that dynamic.

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  22. Zeis Siez

    Another great review by Sandu, thanks! Do you hear digital glare from the unit, given that it's based on Sabre DAC chips. Do you think they sound natural like those R2R or AKM based DACs? Thanks!

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  23. Maaruks

    I have got this amp. There is very audible and annoying background noise with sensitive headphones like Stellia or HD515. I can't use C3Ref with those headphones.
    I listened to tracks you mentioned. You are right , C3Ref does sound better than my Topping Dx7 Pro.

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  24. Alain Williams

    very interesting review, maybe a very good DAC chip implementation!

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  25. Sebastian Filip

    Doar intrare coaxiala si optica ?

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  26. Flavius

    Well…I'm impressed! Is there anything these guys haven't thought about? Beautiful crafted ,very adaptable, powerful, top of the line specs, TRULY ALL IN ONE. DOESN'T seem that expensive now if you take all advantages in consideration. Also quality review, one of the most detailed you pulled out. Congratulations!

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