Review: Burson Audio Cable+, 120cm of improvement

Sound / Testing

Burson claims the following: Soundstage becomes wider and deeper. Bass notes carry weight, texture, and impact while vocal and high notes are crisp and transparent; the way music should be. All sonic details once lost, will be fully reproduced to create a complete experience. Play familiar – very familiar – material, and you will hear the finest details fully resolved, while the fundamentals take on a new level of life and solidity. That “harsh digital sound” replaced by a wider and more three-dimensional soundstage.”

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical when I read about the Cable+ for the very first time but I really wanted to hear for it myself before forming an opinion. I’ve always liked Burson’s build quality and sound (awesome with orthodynamic headphones btw) so I was quite curious about it.

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Setup 1:

Violectric V850 DAC (Laptop with ASIO)
Violectric V281 Amp
Hifiman HE-1000 V1 and V2
ICs: Handmade Audio GD

Subjectively that’s a very good +€7000 Euro setup and yet the effect of the Cable+ was immediately audible. It keeps all the detail but displays it in a cleaner, more relaxed (dare I say analog) way, removing the top harshness (if you can call it that) which was still left in the original system. Some might not like the immediate effect as it’s somewhat different (to me anyway) but after listening to a full album and switching back to the original setup without the Cable+, my ears clearly preferred the Cable+ setup. It sounded effortless and less digital.

Setup 2:

Samsung S4
Violectric V281 Amp
Hifiman HE-1000 V1 and V2
Standard 3.5 to RCA cable

It’s a setup I never use and I hate using my smartphone as a music player but for this “device” it’s the excellent source. First thing you notice is how the perceived volume goes down a little. Sound wise the music playing (Nirvana – In Bloom at the moment) sounds more spacious, energetic and dynamic. It’s less sharp and as a result it sounds richer with better layering. Like in setup 1, it sounds very natural and effortless. It’s definitely an improvement with the Cable+ in the system.

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Setup 3:

Chord Electronics HUGO (Laptop with ASIO)
Violectric V281 Amp
Sennheiser HD800

The Chord Hugo is one of my favorite DAC/AMP units but in this test it is set to the “line-out” function, connected to the V281. Source is my laptop with Roon streaming “Lossless” from TIDAL HIFI. On the stock cheap cable this already sounds very good but with the Cable+ you get more detail and better dynamics. It’s a richer sound that is more natural and precise.

Setup 4:

iPhone 6S
Violectric V281 Amp
Hifiman HE-1000 V1 and V2

With the iPhone streaming Tidal Hifi the result without the Cable+ is better compared to the Samsung S4 from setup 2 but the Cable+ impact still is audible. The result is a livelier, more energetic sound with more detail and better depth. Vocals are more energetic and the overal experience is one of a higher level sound.

Setup 5:

Hifiman Supermini
Violectric V281 Amp
Sennheiser HD800

I started testing the Hifiman Supermini this week. It’s a fun little back to basics player that plays all the high resolution files but after a short initial testing period, I feel the sound is more to the warmer and “bassy” side. I have to admit I was very surprised to see its $399 price tag as the sound quality hasn’t convinced me yet. It’s also audible when connected to the V281 directly. With the Cable+ connected the sound was more lively with better micro detailing and it especially sounded more energetic and lively with a snappier bass.

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Conclusion

In all the setups I tried the Cable+ had a positive impact and I’ll surely be using the Cable+ for my non-review listening at home. In general I find the Cable+ to deliver more detail and an airier sound with an increased level of liveliness. The Cable+ makes your setup sound less digital and more natural in a way. Listening to your setup with the Cable+ is more relaxed as well removing some of the sharpness but keeping all the detail and showing it even more.

I bet this will be hard to believe for some and I didn’t really believe it myself before I had tried it but the Cable+ does really impact the sound in a positive way. To the non-believers I can only say: try it and be surprised. I haven’t found any second hand cables for sale yet, so it does look like I’m not the only one appreciating Burson’s latest product. If you’re looking for that easy to afford tweak that improves your setup at home, I really advise to give the Cable+ a listen. At the $149 price it’s going for – including free shipping worldwide! – it’s something everyone can try.

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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.

5 Comments

  • Reply December 3, 2016

    Matt

    Lieven,

    In setups 1 & 3 you’re using the Cable+ as an interconnect between the DAC and Amp if I’m reading correctly?

  • Reply December 28, 2016

    Long Pham

    So in setup 1. Cable + is used between the Dac and AmP. What about the Source (Laptop) to Dac? Regular usb 2.0 A to B connector?

  • Reply December 28, 2016

    Lieven

    Yes indeed.

  • Reply January 4, 2017

    chopstix

    I’m thinking of this in a few configs.. from laptop to chord mojo (or dragonly red) to powered monitors.

    Or from laptop to ifi mercury cable and ipurifier2 to micro idsd..Then out to burson and to powered monitors

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