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Burson Supreme Sound Opamp V5 experience
Burson Supreme Sound Opamp V5 experience
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Old 11th February 2019, 03:12 PM   #51
snax is offline snax  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Its just a shame Burson are a faceless company who are not prepared to interact with its customers.

Even though i was willing to pay, not look for free samples, i have had no responce from messages on this forum, PM's and email direct for over 2 months.

If this is what i should expect for support or if the product is at fault then its is far from what a consumer should expect.

I am now getting the feeling these favourable reviews are bought in some way
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Old 11th February 2019, 03:31 PM   #52
mazzer is offline mazzer  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pacific NW
Default The Long Story

What to do when a trusty old friend starts to get a bit long in the tooth? In the case of my old trusty Rotel 955AX CD player I decided to try and give it a new lease on life. A few years ago I replaced the power supply caps, added more TDA1541A decoupling caps, put the transformer outboard and replaced the original NE5532 Opamps with OPA2211's. The changes improved the sound considerably. Everything was great for a few years until the Rotel started to develop other issues with the display and disc carriage. What to do? I figured a good starting point would be the Philips TDA1541A DAC chip that was at the heart of the Rotel.

It is well known that this is an old DAC chip that, after some searching, I realized has quite a fan base. There seem to be many ideas on how best use the old chip. I decided to try the Analogmetric TDA1541A PCB. This board is pretty inexpensive and available. The layout seemed to have enough room on it to follow traces easily incase I needed to do any moding.

This board has very mixed reviews. Errors in the schematics etc. but the PCB's are workable but not necessarily optimized. Despite its issues it seemed to have been favorably reviewed by some with enough good documentation of successful builds to get me going. So I built it and it worked. This was my first digital project so I was pretty happy that it actually made music. I had ordered the PCB only (not the kit) so I picked all of the components. The whole build was rewarding.

Successfully implementing the Burson V5i's was not a simple task. The Opamps that I initially used for the build were the lowly UA741's. Mainly because I had some on hand and didn't care if their souls were let free in a puff of smoke.

After the DAC was functioning well with no issues that I could detect with my ears I replaced the UA741's with the Burson's. As soon as the disc started playing I could tell something was very wrong. I could hear the music (barely)
but the dominant sound was static and a strange fluttering sound that seemed to fluctuate with the frequency of the music. Fearing for the Burson's I shut it down immediately.

Not having much experience with digital I didn't know where to start. Time for some professional help. I contacted Burson's Tech Dept. The tech that helped me was very patient with my limited knowledge and after several emails he advised that it might need additional local decoupling from the power supply. His suggestion was to add a 100uf electrolytics across the positive and negative pins of each Opamp being careful to observe the polarity. I made the changes and cautiously turned the volume up. Instead of static being the first sound it was music. Great, time for burn in. The Burson Tech advised 100 hrs. of burn in so I turned the volume way down and let it run. After a day and a night I went to check on the progress. I gave it some volume and noticed something that I had not noticed on the first listen. The static sound had not completely gone. After more careful listening I could hear it hiding in the cymbals and snare drums smearing the sound. More work needed to be done.

What followed was a couple weeks of research, adding and removing components. Listening.....more adding and removing.....

My conclusion is that the Bursons (being very fast) requires VERY clean power. The cleaner the better. Every step that I made in that direction made the V5i's happier. Currently, I have decoupled both the positive and negative pins of each Opamp to ground using about 1uf's worth of film caps. I also added small 0.1uf ceramic caps in parallel with 0.1uf film caps locally to each Opamp for further decoupling. I have increased the power supply capacitors and added some ceramic caps in parallel with existing film caps in the final filter section of the onboard power supply. Each additional decoupling yielded better performance so why stop with the Opamps? A pretty big improvement was realized after the addition of 0.1uf film caps directly to the power pins of the TDA1541A.

I think more work could be done but for now I can't hear any smearing or static so I will live with it as is for now. But I'm already itching to try different things that might improve the music.

The whole build has been very educational. Having gone from a non working DAC to one that sounds better than anything that I have had before is quite rewarding plus, with all the research, I have learned a lot about digital music reproduction and can actually follow what people are talking about in that area (as long as it's not too deep). The folks at Burson were great to deal with and I really enjoy their product.
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Old 11th February 2019, 03:38 PM   #53
mazzer is offline mazzer  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pacific NW
Default Burson V5i's on board

Here are pics of the top and bottom of the boards as I am using them now.
The big output caps have been removed so you can actually see the boards.
All the alligator clips and leads will be removed or shortened once I am happy with it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PCB top closeup.JPG (594.9 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg PCB bottom.JPG (537.1 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg PCB.JPG (640.2 KB, 106 views)
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Old 11th February 2019, 06:01 PM   #54
snax is offline snax  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Well its good that you got some that work as I would doubt that SSaudio would ever get back to you.

With all this glowing review I would suggest that the samples went down well?
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Old 11th February 2019, 06:25 PM   #55
mazzer is offline mazzer  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pacific NW
Your experience with Burson is unfortunate.
I can only say that my contact with them has been very different. They always got back to me fairly quickly. When I asked them for some help they were very responsive, taking the time to look over my schematic and sent descriptive pictures to go along with their explanations.

Yes, they do sound good to me but it took some doing to get them there.
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Old 13th February 2019, 10:19 PM   #56
phase is offline phase  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
A few years back there was a version produced that didnít have the typical voltage threshold that a lot of equipment tends to use. The documentation stated the limits, but many were subjected to higher voltages and failed. As far as I know, these were all replaced by Burson.

A higher voltage model superseded the earlier ones, as I am sure there was a loss. however I am still using mine in an appropriate application daily.
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Old 14th February 2019, 06:51 PM   #57
mazzer is offline mazzer  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pacific NW
The latest data sheet that I could find showed +-16v as the max. The voltage on the board I used was, luckily, adjustable so Im using them at +-14v. I understand that there might be some advantages to using them at higher voltages but right now I'm "playing it safe". I might push it up some later to see if I can hear a difference.
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Old 27th February 2019, 12:21 PM   #58
kjb is offline kjb  Sweden
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Sweden
Follow up review of the V6 Vivid
For background and system description + pictures see my earlier post in this thread,

In my last review, I had only the V6 amps for part of the frequency register, above 1 KHz covering the upper mids and the tweeters.
I actually felt that that really made a difference in sq compared to the LM833N that was used before, giving me some flow and naturalness, less sharp sound to the music that I think wasn't there before.

Now I have been using the V6 Vivid opamps for the whole frequency range for a while and it is harder to make a certain conclusion if the two added op amps did much of a difference.
I believe there are some more improvements but they are smaller this time.

Here is a picture showing all four op amps on my Najda DSP.

So I thought the best way to know if there is a difference is to switch back to the original op amps and to have a listen with those with the bursons fresh in memory,
Said and done, I changed all the bursons to the original LM833N.
The feeling is that the sound got dryer, less spatial, less engaging.
Played through some tracks and there was something missing. I didn't thought I really would be able to tell the difference.

Putting back the Burson V6 Vivid amps and the sound came back to the way I had gotten used to.
More sweet and engaging.
Question is if the sound of the V6 Vivid are more correct, Its like something is added to the music. Or perhaps its just not hidden anymore.

However I like the sound of the burons amps a lot more so they will stay in the system.

Now I must say that that I was alone when I did the listening with no one else to confirm what I heard. And I knew what op amps was in all the time,
Its hard to do a double blind listening test when you are only one person.

Big thanks to SSAudio letting me review the Burson Supreme Audio V6 Vivid. I do recommend them highly.
Linkwitz Lx521.4, Seas Mimir (active xo), ME2
Hypex (Apollon Audio NC502MP, NC252MP), Ucd250LP, Ucd400OEM, ESP P3A
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