Some years ago, Burson wished to create a small and refined power amplifier. Looking around at those amplifiers then available, Burson soon realized that small size power amplifiers were often Class-D, or variations of Class-D, such as Class-T or Z. Such designs are inconsistent with our ideals on two fronts. The first is Burson's refusal to use IC based audio building blocks. The second is that Class-D and Class-T chips were created for the car audio industry, and subsequently for the mobile phone industry, where power efficiency, size and budget are the driving design parameters, rendering audio performance secondary.
Therefore, instead of going with the flow, Burson went against it and set ourselves a seemingly impossible challenge. That is, Burson wanted to create a Class-D sized power amplifier with true-blue Burson ideals. That means a fully IC free class-AB power amplifier with a custom-built transformer and a linear power supply. Through the Timekeeper Burson is challenging the established beliefs of size vs performance.
Transparent and powerful, and with unique bridging functions, the Timekeeper will remain pertinent even as the rest of your audio system changes with time.
In Stereo Mode
Consistent with Burson's less is more philosophy, the Timekeeper employs a new symmetrical bipolar transistor voltage gain stage. The Timekeeper is powered by a customized 300W transformer delivering 80W RMS PC. With the Timekeeper's 40,000uF of power reserve, the Timekeeper is capable of achieving 300W of peak power which ensures absolute control with the finest micro details audible at all times.
In Bridged Mode
Apart from working as a stereo power amp the Timekeeper also works in mono block configuration delivering up to 240W RMS of power.
In this mode, when a standard line level signal comes into the Timekeeper, a FET input stage splits the signal into two halves. (+ and -). One of the Timekeeper channels then amplifies just the + signal while the other channel amplifies just the - signal. After amplification the two halves are recombined at the output. In this mode, the Timekeeper doubles in voltage swing. It not only improves macro-dynamics, but also micro-dynamics through its extra power reserve. In this mode, the Timekeeper will have even the most demanding speakers under its absolute control.
Furthermore, the Timekeeper accepts both RCA and XLR input signals when operating in Bridge Mode. This ensures that any source component and not just those with XLR output can take advantage of this configuration.
Space is always premium and audiophiles do not want to fill their living space with equipment unless its necessary. Therefore, we minimized the Timekeeper footprint to an absolute minimum.
Its beauty should be worthy of any listening space including the desktop of even the most refined audiophile. For this, we have redesigned every aspects of its design, every dimension of its case, every joint, every connection and every mounting technique. As a result the Timekeeper is even more beautiful on the inside than the outside.
Architecturally, the power amp is at the bottom of any audio system and therefore, we wanted the Timekeeper to possess two sonic characteristics. First it should be supportive and selfless. Like a subservient it should move aside to let the rest of the equipment perform. Then we wanted the Timekeeper to be powerful. It should generate powerful and accurate bass upon which music thrives.
Through it, Royal Garden Blues by Louis Armstrong sounded just right. Armstrong himself was in peerless form, his tone and attack magnificent. Billy Kyle's piano was second to none and the rest of the gang superb. At the back, humbled and dignified was the legendary bassist Milt Hinton, a man whom for seventy years retained the humanity and kindness to support. Slapping happy with his bass, keeping time. His unique and powerful bass, like an anchor kept the entire band grounded, forming a solid foundation for Armstrong's monumental music. On such a foundation Louis and his All Stars played. Their spirit and their energy filling the room.
Stereo Times Review By: Clement Perry
6moons Audio Review For The Burson Timekeeper
Audio Video Revolution Review By: Andre Marc