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Burson Audio Conductor 3X Grand Tourer or RME ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition

ragingspeed

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Hi,

Thanks for welcoming me into this forum. This is my first post although been in the audio world for many years

I am looking into buying an all in one DAC+Headphone AMP and have narrowed down my options to the "Burson Audio Conductor 3X Grand Tourer" or the "RME ADI-2 Pro FS R Black Edition"

I want to use it, obviously, both as a DAC+Amp for my headphones and as a DAC for my Hifi system. While I know that the Burson costs twice as much as the RME, I still wish to ask you guys to give me your honest comments and feedback and suggestions which to go for between the two. Features-wise RME would win I highly suppose (especially the EQ tempts me big time) however audio quality is the first and foremost importance I would say.

Thanks in advance and looking forward for a very very long list of fruitful comments and guidance on this matter :)

Thanks,

Geoff
Malta, Europe
 

Matias

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Welcome to ASR. Measurements of the RME runs circles around the Burson, while being smaller, lighter, doesn't heat as much, plus all the features.

Note there is a new RME coming out soon, more expensive and more powerful than the current Pro, maybe it interests you.

 

xaviescacs

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Welcome! I really like Malta, I only hope you've replaced the old buses since last time I went there. :)

The RME Pro is fully transparent DAC and ADC, the Burson almost surely not. Subjectively it can happen that you prefer the Burson, but that would probably mean it has some flaw that you happen to like. I have the RME DAC, not the pro, and I love it, it's a great device, unique really, just compare the remotes of both.
 
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ragingspeed

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Hello friends. Thanks so much for your immediate replies. I have also watched the post relating to the 2/4 model coming out soon and put a watch on that post as this dramatically changes my decision making.

Yes, in Malta we changed the very old (yet very traditional) buses therefore no more super-hot diesel engines running next to your feet while you are sweating with hot temperatures :D :D We will son (again) change the buses to fully electric (hope they cope with our scorching summer temps!)

Thing is that unfortunately, me living on this tiny island, means I cannot audition any of such high end devices so I have to rely on my own judgement on reviews as much in detail as possible

I am though leaning towards the RME since they are from Germany it is a better options for shipping to my country (both EU, while Burson from Australia would mean alot of crazy high customs charges plus it is way more expensive too)
 

xaviescacs

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;)Yes, in Malta we changed the very old (yet very traditional) buses therefore no more super-hot diesel engines running next to your feet while you are sweating with hot temperatures :D :D
That was exactly my experience!
We will son (again) change the buses to fully electric (hope they cope with our scorching summer temps!)
Glad to hear that! Then you only need to replace the ferries with electric ones too! ;)
Thing is that unfortunately, me living on this tiny island, means I cannot audition any of such high end devices so I have to rely on my own judgement on reviews as much in detail as possible
As I've said, you don't need to listen to those devices if you seek transparency to the source, the RME is transparent, it doesn't add nor subtracts anything. The Burson probably isn't, I can't find the specs on their website. If only subjective preference is important to you, then you'll need to find a way to listen to them, as other's opinions are superfluous, IMHO.

Finally, be sure you need the ADC part of the RME, otherwise the DAC FS, not the pro version, could be enough for you. Be aware that the DAC FS plus a decent interface is still cheaper than the RME Pro, which is really for pros.
 

Matias

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The only people that don't like the RME that I have seen are those that cannot stand the complex menu operation, because soundwise you cannot go wrong.
 
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ragingspeed

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Ferries usage are supposed to be drastically reduced to bare minimum (though there's harsh business conflicts here) since there is an under-sea tunnel OR bridge between the two islands being proposed therefore one would only need to drive straight between the two islands ;)

Transparency is what I seek 100% therefore +1 for RME

Was interested in the PRO mostly because of its 2 x Phones Output that can be controlled individually due to separate DACs (I stand to be corrected here, I'm really not an expert here, but I have the impression that quality is even higher here)
 

xaviescacs

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Ferries usage are supposed to be drastically reduced to bare minimum (though there's harsh business conflicts here) since there is an under-sea tunnel OR bridge between the two islands being proposed therefore one would only need to drive straight between the two islands ;)
I liked very much to take the ferrie between Sliema and Valletta. :)
Was interested in the PRO mostly because of its 2 x Phones Output that can be controlled individually due to separate DACs (I stand to be corrected here, I'm really not an expert here, but I have the impression that quality is even higher here)
The DAC FS version has two headphone outputs, were you can apply different settings as well, but one specially suited is for IEMs. I would take a careful look at both versions before deciding. RME has a lot of videos on youtube about both. Have fun!
 

Matias

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Was interested in the PRO mostly because of its 2 x Phones Output that can be controlled individually due to separate DACs (I stand to be corrected here, I'm really not an expert here, but I have the impression that quality is even higher here)
You get 2 headphone outputs that can be combined into balanced mode for extra power. You would still need to buy an adapter cable 2 x 6.35mm to 4 pin XLR that is the most common balanced cable out there.

index.php


Still, unless you have HE6 or Susvara or K1000 or any other extremely insensitive headphones, the regular output of a regular ADI-2 already has power for most headphones (dark blue and green curves in the graph above), plus the 3.5mm output is useful for IEMs if you use them too.

 
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ragingspeed

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I shall look at the non-pro version then and maybe go for that one, that will save me a good sum of money that I can invest in another pair of good IEMs :) is there also going to be another new non-Pro model same as with the Pro one?
 

Matias

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I shall look at the non-pro version then and maybe go for that one, that will save me a good sum of money that I can invest in another pair of good IEMs :) is there also going to be another new non-Pro model same as with the Pro one?
Nothing announced, they just had to refresh to v3 by changing AKM to ESS, so I don't think they want yet another v4 so soon.
 
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ragingspeed

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ah yes I saw the chip change online due to AKM chips shortage. I hope/wonder if that affected the quality or anything (considering that it's RME, I don't think anything affected though)
 

Jimbob54

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Based on the reviews I have read and measurements on here of the RME ADI 2 DAC (not sure if the pro has been covered but I understand it measures a hair worse in SINAD terms) , and assuming the Burson GT performs similarly to the Burson Conductor 3 recently reviewed here, there is no contest in terms of objective performance, the RME is clearly superior. Whether that translates to audibly different is a separate question.

Where the Burson will be better is for absolute power - the standard Conductor 3 is a mighty beast. the GT more so it even needs its own cooling fan! But again, who needs that power and for what I know not.

All other things being equal , personally I would get the RME ADI 2 dac unless you need the ADC inputs of the pro or have headphones as insensitive as the Hifiman HE 6 or Susvara or the like, then I would still get the RME Pro over any Burson- in its balanced mode it should handle those headphones.

And yes, the RME pro has 2 dac chips and the standard DAC the one so you could have different outputs using totally separate DACs but I am not sure why that would be needed.
 

Matias

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Even for difficult headphones I would add a Topping A90 to the RME ADI-2 DAC for +500 usd and have tons of power, cheaper than both the ADI-2 Pro and the Burson Conductor 3X GT, but yes no longer a combo DAC+amp unit. I would live with that. :)

 
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ragingspeed

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Apparently, the new ADI PRO is estimated to come out October/November this year. A long long wait :(
 

DonDish

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The new ADI 2-4 PRO se, or what its gonna be called will have bigger feature set and bigger FPGA. Because of that it will also have a bump in price. It hasnt really been announced to the full. What seems to be true is that it will have two sets of balanced outputs at the back, ch 1/2 and 3/4, there the current pro model only has one(ch1/2, XLR) that is duplicated to two TS outputs. The TS outputs will now be balanced TRS to carry ch 3/4. This also implies X-over functions. The current PRO revision can do this already to some extent, but you will have to use Y-splitter at HP out to access ch 3/4 and x-over is limited to common high- and low-pass. The new PRO will also have pentaconn, and the IEM output from ADI-2 DAC fs. 12v trigger will also be there(americans love that).

I recently bought an ADI-2 pro fs r be. I already have the ADI-2 DAC fs(AKM4493 version). Bought the PRO after the ADI 2-4 PRO se was announced. My thinkng is
1. I always wanted the PRO version for its AD capabilities, better digital I/O(DAC only has inputs, PRO has whole gamut of AES,spdif,adat I/O). Sample rate converter is a nice feature too. PRO is future proof to drive ANY headphone to more than decent levels.
2. Money. With the new model to go up in price and inflation is rising. Better spend it while its still worth something. I already see prices for gear is going up. I got a nice deal at €1750 incl tax from Thomann.
3. I see myself as a PRO guy :D

So one has to ask oneself. --- I will probably get the new model anyway if RME can keep pricing below €2500 incl taxes. I just love RME gear.
 
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ragingspeed

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yepp ... I am going to wait for the new PRO version to come out. I wish to be a happy owner of such device. Until then, yesterday I ordered the Topping A90 and Topping D90, which according to this forum, are a couple of excellent gear :)
 

DonDish

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I never listened to Topping. Excellent numbers so I bet they sound nice :) Congrats!
 

Trell

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The new ADI 2-4 PRO se, or what its gonna be called will have bigger feature set and bigger FPGA. Because of that it will also have a bump in price. It hasnt really been announced to the full. What seems to be true is that it will have two sets of balanced outputs at the back, ch 1/2 and 3/4, there the current pro model only has one(ch1/2, XLR) that is duplicated to two TS outputs. The TS outputs will now be balanced TRS to carry ch 3/4. This also implies X-over functions. The current PRO revision can do this already to some extent, but you will have to use Y-splitter at HP out to access ch 3/4 and x-over is limited to common high- and low-pass. The new PRO will also have pentaconn, and the IEM output from ADI-2 DAC fs. 12v trigger will also be there(americans love that).

I recently bought an ADI-2 pro fs r be. I already have the ADI-2 DAC fs(AKM4493 version). Bought the PRO after the ADI 2-4 PRO se was announced. My thinkng is
1. I always wanted the PRO version for its AD capabilities, better digital I/O(DAC only has inputs, PRO has whole gamut of AES,spdif,adat I/O). Sample rate converter is a nice feature too. PRO is future proof to drive ANY headphone to more than decent levels.
2. Money. With the new model to go up in price and inflation is rising. Better spend it while its still worth something. I already see prices for gear is going up. I got a nice deal at €1750 incl tax from Thomann.
3. I see myself as a PRO guy :D

So one has to ask oneself. --- I will probably get the new model anyway if RME can keep pricing below €2500 incl taxes. I just love RME gear.

The x-over functionality has not been confirmed by RME, as seen in the RME user forum thread linked to earlier.
 
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