Australian manufacturer Burson’s Conductor Virtuoso V2+ comes with a DAC, a headphone amp and doubles the output of the original version to 8W into 16 Ohms. Janine Elliot dons her cans and takes this £1590 unit for a test drive. 

“Burson and I have two things in common. The first one is that we both don’t like op-amps. Op-amps might be great for pc’s and equipment short of space but there are many drawbacks having individual “components” printed on a miniscule composite the size of a grain of rice using a process of photolithography. The technology might be breath-taking almost following Moore’s law in that the number of components in the space seems to get more and more every year, but this does mean that because they get smaller and closer together there is more likelihood of EMI noise and less tolerance to heat, let alone reduced specification. An op-amp could easily have as many as 50 inferior components squeezed onto it. Burson Audio do manufacture 8-pin op-amps such as the V6 Classic and Vivid, and whilst they still fit into conventional 8-pin DIP sockets what makes them different is that they contain discrete full-size components meaning that the ‘box’ they are in is significantly bigger in size…”

Read the full review here

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