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Burson Conductor Headphone Amplifier Preamp and DAC

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Burson Audio has now pushed their uncompromising 3 in 1 concept to a whole new level with the Conductor. Its a Headphone Amp, a Preamplifier and a DAC.  What more can we ask for?

The Conductor features a new Variable Output Stage (VOS). It enables the Conductor to match well with any type of headphone. Be it easy to drive high sensitivity in ear monitors or open back moving-coil designs. It can drive anything including the latest planar magnetic headphones with ease.

Combining the VOS with our new generation of step attenuator, volume control is always smooth and synergy is always perfect.

Hifi+ Review By: Alan Sircom

NEW Windows and Mac Drivers for the Burson Conductor Headphone Amp available for download here below.

**Working in Asynchronous Transfer Mode, the USB receiver requires the installation of a driver to work.  This is the case for both Windows OS and Mac OSX computers.

For the Windows 8 Driver Click Here

For Mac OS Driver Click Here



An Uncompromising 3 In 1.

When we introduced the HA-160D in 2010, it was met with initial skepticism. Many questioned our approach of combining three main functions; DAC, Preamp and Headphone amp into a small and elegant enclosure. Many were certain that something had to give and one if not all of those functions must be secondary and hence compromised.

The chief editor of 6moons was the first to realize that such worries were unfounded and in fact, each of those three functions were world class and competitive with the single function machines in their individual categories, which were much larger in size and more expensive in price. Furthermore, without the need to cable or equipment match three separate components, the HA-160D put music enjoyment back squarely into focus. It was initially honored with a Blue Moon award with many other recognitions to follow. More importantly it was embraced by audiophiles as a benchmark performer of the time.

We have now pushed our uncompromising 3 in 1 concept to a whole new level. And we have named it The Conductor.

The Headphone Amplifier

The Conductor also features our well regarded Soloist Headphone Amplifier. We had to deploy another 35W customised transformer to ensure that the Soloist circuitry is independent and optimised at all times. This is to ensure that its performance is exactly the same as the standalone Soloist.


At the heart of our DAC is the ESS SABRE32 Reference DAC chip. With patented 32-bit Hyper-stream DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator technology, the SABRE32 is one of the best and most expensive DAC chips in the world and is truly reference class .

While we are not the first, nor the only, company to use the impressive SABRE32, we are unique in refusing to use IC based building blocks anywhere in our circuitry. Instead, we aimed to unleash the full potential of this chip through the development of tailor designed circuitry. We did not even use our own award-winning discrete circuitry featured in the HA-160D. No, that circuitry was designed and optimised for another DAC chip. We started from scratch and developed a new circuit that is specific to the SABRE32. And the result is a true representation of what it can do when pushed by team Burson.

The High Performance Preamp

The Conductor is not your average headphone amp with an added preamp function. We did not simply solder a piece of wire from the headphone output jack to create an unrefined preamp.  Instead the preamp output has been extracted from the voltage gain stage before the current gain section, to create a preamp that reflects the full potential of our FET output stage, and our less is more philosophy. Coupled with the VOS, both performance and versatility are uncompromising. 


On the digital front, the Conductor features a 24bit/192khz Tenor TE8802 USB receiver working in Asynchronous Transfer Mode. It also accepts coaxial and Toslink inputs supporting 32bit/192khz audio files. On the analogue front, it accepts analogue input via RCA and outputs in 6.35mm headphone jack, line-level output (DAC) and variable output (preamp). With such versatility, the new conductor works perfectly with any audio system.


Additional Info

Working in Asynchronous Transfer Mode, the USB receiver requires the installation of a driver to work.  This is the case for both Windows OS and Mac OSX computers.

Windows 8 Driver Click Here

Mac OS Driver Click Here


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: >45W, internal, regulated power supply

DAC Specification
Channel Separation: 140 dB @ 1KHz, 130 dB @ 20KHz
THD+N: 0.0005% @ 1KHz, 0dBFS
COAX & Toslink / SPDIF : 32 bits / 44.1K, 48K, 88.2K, 96K, 176.4K, 192KHz

USB Specification
OS Requirement: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X
USB : 24 bits / 44.1K, 48K, 88.2K, 96K, 176.4K, 192KHz
Support up to 24bit @ 96Khz with 10ppm low jitter clock
Asynchronous Transfer Mode

1 x USB Connection
1 x Coaxial RCA (Support up to 24bit @ 192Khz)
1 x Toslink / SPDIF (Support up to 24bit @ 192Khz)
2 x RCA line level input

1 x headphone jacks 6.35mm
1 x RCA Pre Amp output
1 x RCA DAC direct line out

Weight: app. 6 kg
Colour: silver anodized aluminium
Dimensions: 265 mm x 255 mm x 80 mm

Package Content
1 x Conductor Headamp / Pre Amp / DAC
1 x Power cable 
1 x RCA pair input cable
1 x RCA Coaxial cable
1 x USB cable
1 x User Manual (including 24 months warranty registration information)


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