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|22nd September 2018, 09:20 PM||#32|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Arizona USA
Hi what follows is my review of the Burson V5i-D Integrated Circuit Replacement (referred to hereafter as the V5). A bit lengthy, but I have never been accused of doing things halfway.
The V5 is a small module that will fit in a DIP socket and is designed to replace standard dual integrated circuits in audio equipment. Details on the module are on the company website Burson Audio – Lavish Musical Experience The only peculiarities I noted were that it requires very clean power and it has significant dc gain so blocking capacitors are needed in the inverting input. It is shown in the photo in one of my prototype IC phonograph preamplifiers.
What you might hear versus what I hear is likely to be different, but I will describe what I heard so as to guide others who may wish to use these modules in place of standard ICs. All my comparisons are with a like unit with OPA2134 ICs, a Simaudio Moon LP3 and my reference all tube personal unit. I picked an assortment of music that covered what I consider reasonably typical. Some selections are very lush and some rather energetic. The V5 did not exhibit any distortion or unusual behavior at any time.
1. Custom diy direct drive (using an EDS1000 drive and control system – ex Dual 701) with a Jelco 370H tonearm and Grado Sonata II moving iron cartridge. A smooth and refined combination well suited for vocal music.
2. Empire 598 with an Origin Live tonearm and Dynavector Karat23MR-RS LOMC cartridge with Softone step up transformers. An energetic and lively combination that is great on jazz and rock music.
Line Stage Preamp:
Fully passive, digitally selected relay controlled volume and source selection
Crossover: Behringer CX3400, used to separate the range into 45HZ and below to the subs
Power Amps: 4 identical custom all tube push-pull class A amplifiers
Speakers: Main, Martin Logan Vista ESLs
Speakers: Subwoofers, custom designed 200 liter volume with 30 cm Great Plains Audio drivers.
Alyson Krass, Windy City, Capitol B002539601, “Windy City”
Nora Jones, Come Away With Me, Blue Note BTE32088, “Lonestar”
Emmylou Harris, All I intended to Be, Nonesuch 480444-1, “Beyond the Great Divide”
Exotic Guitars, The Sounds Of, Ranwood RS-1, “High Noon”
Byrds, Mr. Tambourine Man, Columbia CG 33645, “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better”
Enoch Light, Permissive Polyphonics, Project 3 PR5048SD, “Marrakesh Express”
Al Hirt, Cotton Candy, RCA Dynagroove LSP-2917, “Cotton Candy”
The V5s are quite nice and easy to listen to. I did not find any obvious flaws in the sonic presentation. Wide sound stage, unfatiguing. Generally I would say they are warmer than the generic ICs they can replace and do better in the mid-range. Female vocal selections seem “sweeter”. Standard ICs in these preamps tend to be quite precise and nearly analytical in presentation. This is not necessarily a bad thing as some cartridges will benefit from it. The V5s were similar but again slightly sweeter than the Moon LP3. It is what I call a precision preamp, but more analytical than I prefer. I use it to archive music. In my system the electrostatic speakers tend to dictate what the overall sound is like and they are extremely fast and detailed. This tends to necessitate a “warmer” sounding cartridge and preamplifier. In this area the V5s were clearly better and more suitable than the generic IC based one and Moon LP3. They did not surpass the all tube preamplifier though. That was not a surprise as the tube one has been favorably compared to ones in the over $2000 range and has a full rich sound. An unfair comparison but still the V5 based one held up well. When I bench tested the V5 preamp it measured well in overall response, but did show a slight rise in the very bottom end. It measured approximately 1.5 db higher in the 20 and 30HZ range than the same preamp with an OPA 2134. This would not likely be noticed and in many cases welcome. I measured the response from 40HZ to past 20KHZ to be quite accurate and virtually identical between the V5 and OPA2134. So is it better? Yes in that the mid-range is nicer and it does nothing that would detract from the source material. Will it work in all preamplifiers, possibly not as it requires very clean power and provisions to prevent DC gain. Since the price is quite reasonable it is certainly worth a try. I give it a thumbs up.
Last edited by gofar99; 22nd September 2018 at 09:25 PM.
|25th September 2018, 04:08 AM||#33|
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Woodinville, WA
This is my review of the Burson Audio v5i integrated circuit, a semi-discrete replacement for standard DIP8 operational amplifiers. I call them semi-discrete as they combine layered circuit boards containing both SMD passive components and a surface-mount op-amp. The intent of the Burson is to provide improved performance over commonly available op-amps.
In the interests of full disclosure, a pair of Burson v5i op-amps were provided to me for review by the quite pleasant folks at Burson. For the purposes of comparison, I used two otherwise identical Hypnotoad AD797 HQMC moving-coil phono preamplifier boards, one equipped with a pair of Burson v5i op amps in the secondary gain stage, and a second equipped first with LME49710 op amps, and then the now (sadly) NLA LME49990 op amps. Both phono stages shared the same Pete Millett Linear PSU.
Turntable: Technics SP15 with FA6042 speed control daughterboard
Arm: Sumiko FT-3 with micrometer VTA
Cartridge: Denon DL103r with Paradox Pulse body and Soundsmith super-eliptical stylus
Phono Pre: Hypnotoad AD797 HQMC
Line Stage: GlassWare Aikido LV with Amperex 6GM8 tubes and OPS linear PSU
Amplifier: DIYTube Get*SET*Go 6B4G DHT
Speakers: Realistic Solo 103 (AlNiCo) – ported
Sub: Optimus 12” ported sub with 100W Class D plate amp
Wire – Pink Flag (Harvest)
Nick Drake – Bryter Layter (Back to Black)
King Gizzard & the Wizard Lizard – Nonagon Infinity (ATO)
Pink Floyd – Meddle (Harvest)
Steely Dan – Can’t Buy A Thrill (ABC)
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five (Columbia ‘6-Eyes’ Stereo)
David Bowie – Hunky Dory (RCA), Aladdin Sane (RCA), The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars (BOWIE-2014)
Chicago Pro Musica – L’Histoire du Soldat (Reference Recordings)
Itzhak Perlman / Leinsdorf / Boston Symphony – Tchaikovsky / Dvorak – Concerto in D, Op 35 / Romance in F, Op 11 (RCA Gold Seal
The Burson v5i is quite an ingenious bit of kit. In an initial head-to-head with the AD797 HQMC equipped with the pretty-good but not truly great LME49710, the Burson easily dominated. On Bryter Layter, the v5i had a more open soundstage, rich-but-not-bloated midrange, more controlled bass, and more extended highs than the LME49710. Likewise on Nonagon Infinity, the crash cymbals sounded far more authentic than with the LME49710, and there was less grain on (admittedly) a non-high-fidelity recording. Similar sonic characteristics of the Burson were noted with Meddle (guitar on ‘Pillow of Winds’ was a treat), Can’t Buy A Thrill (piano, guitar tone, and soundstage), Hunky Dory (the tone and attack of Rick Wakeman’s piano on ‘Life on Mars’, Mick Ronson’s Les Paul on ‘Queen Bitch’), and L’Histoire du Soldat (overall tonal and dynamic qualities of brass and tympani).
Raising the stakes a bit (OK, a lot), I swapped in a pair of LME49990 op-amps in the second gain stage of the ‘control’ AD797 HQMC. This was a lot closer. On some pieces or in some musical aspects, the LME49990 held a small edge - Itzhak Perlman’s Stradivarius tone on Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in D, Op 35, midrange smoothness and bass extension on Bryter Layter (‘Hazey Jane I’ , ‘Introduction’, ‘Poor Boy’), David Gilmour’s slide guitar on ‘Pillar of Winds’, and soundstaging on ‘Reeling in the Years’ – while on others, the Burson held the edge - more extended highs on Bryter Layter, better crash cymbal on Nonagon Infinity’s ‘Gamma Knife’, wider soundstage on Steely Dan’s ‘Reelin’ In the Years’. However, the longer I listened to both the Burson and the LME49990, the more I was struck by how similar in many ways they were to each other. This is high praise indeed, given the LME49990’s legendary performance.
If this were a comparison between the Burson v5i and the LME49990, I would be hard-pressed to pick a winner. Both are excellent performers when used properly, and the difference comes down largely to preference and how much you may want to spend (the Burson’s list price is about 2x the original list price of the LME49990). They are that close.
However, Texas Instruments discontinued the LME49990 over a year ago, and now any you may find are either used examples, or more likely a 3rd-party knock-off that does not meet the specs of an authentic LME49990.
That leaves the LME49710 as the next best option in the AD797 HQMC, and it isn’t even close. While the LME49710 is certainly not a bad op amp, it was not up to the standards of the LME49990, and, after careful audition, it is clearly not up to the standards of the Burson v5i. The Burson was noticeably superior in my listening tests when compared to the LME49710 - both acoustic and amplified instruments sounded more natural with the Burson, the soundstage was wider, there was more detail and smoother tone with Burson, and the overall response was more balanced (better defined bass and more extended treble) across the frequency spectrum.
If you have an AD797 HQMC (or are planning on building one), and if you do not have access to an authentic set of LME49990 op-amps, then your only choice for getting the best performance out of the HQMC is to use a set of Bursons.
|25th September 2018, 10:55 PM||#34|
Join Date: Jun 2015
Thank you for testing the Burson Audio Products. I'm ready for sending free V5i & V6 samples to those interested for the next month. Please pm me.
|5th October 2018, 01:57 AM||#35|
Join Date: Jul 2010
So, I got the Burson Audio v5iD opamps for my CNC phonostage. I have tried variety of opamps like LME49720, OPA2134, OPA1602,LM4562, LME49720 and LME49990 mounted on SOIC to DIP adapters. My reference was LME49990 opamps and they sound really good in this phonostage. The V5iD opamps are even better in every accepts. I didn't believe until I listen. Sound is more 3 dimensional now, very good imaging, low noise, good bass and great highs with no harshness. I am really thankful to Charles and Burson Audio for sending me free samples. I highly recommend their products. here is a pic of my phonostage.
|5th October 2018, 05:10 AM||#36|
Join Date: Oct 2016
Happy to try
Hi SSAudio, I would be more than happy to try out your V5 or even V6 replacement op-amps if they are still available. I am using a AD797 phono amp with a Koetsu Rosewood mounted on a Temmd Titanium 12" tonearm with VDH wire.
|6th October 2018, 09:47 AM||#37|
Join Date: Dec 2017
Hi SSAudio, I'm already use V5 in my DAC with pleasure I would be happy if I try V5i & V6. Thank you! D'
Last edited by Deenoo; 6th October 2018 at 10:02 AM.
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