Burson Conductor 3XP Review

Burson Conductor 3XP

Opamp Rolling

 

 

Burson Audio is not only famous for their DAC/AMPs but they are also highly prised for their (rollable) Opamps (like in the FUN).

The Conductor Performance comes with Burson V6 Vivid discrete Opamps but the Conductor encourages Opamp rolling with gold plated DIP8 sockets along its signal path. With hundreds of audio Opamps out there, you have the freedom to tailor your listening experience to your preference.

You can find out more about Burson’s V6 Opamp right here: https://www.bursonaudio.com/products/supreme-sound-opamp-v6/

Pricing & Accessories

 Even though high end, Burson never sells its units for ridiculous amounts of money. They go with the following philosophy: We don’t advertise, buy reviews, nor attend trade-shows, and we certainly don’t markup prices to cover such costs.”

The Burson Audio Conductor 3X Performance (what a name!) sells for $1,344 USD, and you can get it directly from them via their online shop here: https://www.bursonaudio.com/product/conductor-3x-performance/ or from one of their dealers.

Inside the box you will find:

The 3XP unit (with Vivid V6 Opamps)

A small footprint remote

An OTG USB to USB-C Adaptor

A Power cable

A USB-Cable

An external 24V power unit

We unfortunately can’t show you any pictures of the final package as that wasn’t available yet when the unit was sent to us.

 Design & Build Quality

I like the 3XP’s design: it’s simple, elegant and it works well. You could even say they have an industrial look with the typical cool case they are using in this series (the case serves as a unified heat-sink keeping the Class-A Conductor cool and optimized).

The amplifier also has a small footprint and it measures only 35 X 30 X 15cm. It’s 30% smaller than the original Conductor Reference and it disappears on your office desk. It’s the kind of unit of which your wife will ask herself if it was there before or not. With its 5Kg it’s not the lightest but don’t forget this is a Class-A design with a case as heat-sink. It also means the unit won’t “move” on your desk when you’re plugging headphones in and out, and that’s always a good thing.

The build quality is extremely good. Burson Audio only delivers top quality units, and that’s been the case since the beginning. There’s nothing to worry about in this regard when ordering a Burson device.

Lay-Out

On the front you on the left side have tiny power button and next to it the balanced XLR headphone output, the 6.3mm single ended headphone output and the 3.5mm single ended headphone output. In the middle you have a small screen and next to it the volume dial/option selector. The tiny button on the right of the volume know is to enter the unit’s menu. Below this button is the remote control IR eye.

The back is were you can find all the connections and you will find from left to right: the power plug, the BT-antenna, the USB input, coaxial/optical input, RCA Preamp/DAC output and the XLR Preamp/DAC output.

Burson Conductor 3XP

This means you can’t bypass the unit’s internal DAC section and you can only use it as a DAC/AMP or a preamp/DAC. The P-version doesn’t feature any analogue inputs. In this review we’ll only look at the 3XP’s qualities as a DAC/AMP.

Tech Specs

Input Impedance: 39KOhms

Frequency Response: ± 1 dB 0 – 58Khz

THD: <0.0015%

Output Impedance (Headphone amp): 0,5 Ohm

Output Impedance (Pre Out / DAC out): 1 Ohm / 25 Ohm

The full list of specs and the measurements can be found right here: https://www.bursonaudio.com/products/conductor-3x-performance/#tab-7f3447633d2e748d210

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

7 Comments

  • Reply June 10, 2020

    Mike I

    Very nice review, Lieven, especially the comparison between all those excellent headphones.
    I’m glad to read that you will do the same comparison with the Topping DX7 Pro. It would be very nice to do this again in the future in the Headfonia reviews of desktop amps and DAC-amps !

    • Reply June 10, 2020

      Lieven

      Thank you!
      I can’t promise I can or will cover them all, but some fir sure will be mentionned in the test report.

  • Reply July 8, 2020

    Alfred

    Love the review. Will this be a huge jump from my ifi micro iDSD ( non- Black Label)? I’m deciding between the 3XP and McIntosh D100. No DSD.

    • Reply July 8, 2020

      Lieven

      The Mc and Burson will be quite the upgrade, but also a different sound signature. Where iFi is more digital sounding, these sound more analogue to me.

  • Reply July 14, 2020

    Radosław

    Thank you for the reviews. Is Zmf a good connection to Burson? Thank you

    • Reply July 14, 2020

      Lieven

      I don’t have any ZMF here to test with, but Burson in general is really great for Planar magnetic headphones (as well as with Dynamic drivers). SO I would not worry

  • Reply July 17, 2020

    sgcoolguy

    Great review as always. If I have HD800S, you suggest this or the Xduoo TA30 that was just reviewed?

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