So far, we’ve established that we have a very well-built, very good-looking, very capable shiny box on our hands that also happens to sound pretty bloody great. So at $1,744, does it represent good value? And who exactly should be considering a Burson Audio Conductor 3?
In terms of straight-up dollar-value, I have to say the Conductor 3 represents genuinely remarkable performance and features for the asking price. Compared to another DAC/amp/pre-amp combination I’ve spent time with recently – the iFi Audio Pro iDSD, the Burson is honestly more flexible and usable as an all-in-one unit. While the iFi has tube mode, balanced output, and a host of tricksy digital features such as wifi streaming, the Conductor’s analogue capabilities and simple Bluetooth connectivity make it an easier prospect to simply sit down and want to listen to. It’s easy to like. And, it’s $600 cheaper.
To frame things a little differently for a moment, I think the Conductor 3 is best viewed from a long term perspective. Why? There’s a very pronounced trend of people looking for ‘upgrades’ in personal audio – the continual search for something more. More features. More power. Middier mids. 0.0000000001% THD. And as a result, audio components have become throw-away stepping stones which add to clutter on our desktops and get in the way of musical enjoyment. What Burson Audio has made in the Conductor 3 is the one-box solution for the person who’s ready to stop looking, and find themselves a genuine legacy piece that will comfortably remain top-tier in terms of performance for many, many years.
Add to that the fact that the Conductor 3 can continue to be upgraded via firmware and swappable op-amps, and this handsome sucker will no doubt continue to delight for the foreseeable future.
If you’re going to invest in a Conductor 3, you’re going to want to use it, and look at it – a lot. And you should too because it’s a knockout. So if you spend a lot of time at a desk in your home office, or have a cozy nook with a nice listening chair, the Conductor 3 could certainly rightly take pride of place there. It’ll look great there too.