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Review and Measurements of Burson Fun

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#1
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maty

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#2
My two cents

Op-Amp table. THD and THD+N.



Left channel is always than right channel but the values are very close. But there are an exception: Burson v5i. The company do not seem to measure them before selling these discrete op-amp.

The other discrete op-amp of the table is Sparkos SS3601. It seems that its quality control is much better than Burson's, as cheap integrated op-amps.

https://sparkoslabs.com/product/single-discrete-op-amp-ss3601/

I do not know which one of ALL will sound better or different but it sure is better not to buy the v5i, I think. It is assumed that the Burson Fun headphone amplifier should stand out with its own discrete op-amps, and thus justify the price, but according to that table no.
 
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bunkbail

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#3
Thanks for the measurements, I own this amp for more than half a year now, I really love it! Unlike my Gustard H10, swapping the stock NE5543 opamps to Sparkos SS3601 really gave sonic advantages to my ears, especially when used as a preamp (sighted, level-matched). I never did any DBX tests because it would require me to get another unit with stock opamps or a switcher (for comparisons against no preamp). I might try to conduct a test using a switcher someday...
 

LTig

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#4
Amir can modify this thread in case this came at the wrong place..

Here are some interesting measurements of Burson Fun (an amp this site is not having measurements of)

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/burson-audio-fun.23238/reviews#review-22603



The table tells us that this particular unit is perfectly matched to the good old NE5534. It also tells us that op amp rolling with op amps designed for other applications makes no sense:
  • although the AD797 also gives similar good results its real performance advantage is wasted in this circuit. It is a very low noise design optimized for very low source impedances like low output MC cartridges (I use it in my DIY MC phono preamp for exact this purpose, because its voltage noise is about 4 times lower than that of the NE5534A). Using it here means paying about 13 times the price for gaining nothing.
  • The same is true for other specialized opamps like the OPA627 which costs 22 times more than the NE5534A and also gains nothing.
  • The LM6171 is a high speed opamp with comparatively bad noise specs (4 times higher than the NE5534A) and therefore not well suited for this kind of audio application. Just read the data sheet. And it's 3 times more expensive than the NE5534A.
Even if a better opamp than the NE5543A also suited to this circuit may perform better it is still possible that THD+N are dominated by other stages prior or after the opamp stage (that's my bet here). Then a better opamp is just wasted money.
 

solderdude

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#6
You can hear 2nd harm. at -90dB and 3rd at -100dB ... with music ?
How loud do you play ?
 

maty

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#7
You know, the famous harmonic profile. H2 at -73 dB is audible. Problem: it works very good with few instruments, usually jazz and vocal but it is a bad idea with orchestral or electronic music because so many harmonics blur the sound. An amplifier, preamplifier or DAC that could easily switch between that profile and another harmonic cleaner would be a winner, as I have been saying for a long time.

* https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ality-of-the-implementations.7918/post-223873

* https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ality-of-the-implementations.7918/post-223893

* https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ality-of-the-implementations.7918/post-223951

And, it seems, that harmonics decay monotonously creates a more pleasant and credible sensation, because that is what happens in the physical world, with acoustic instrumentation at least. In other words, even if all harmonics are below 90 dB, it is better to keep the monotonous drop. I guess it will also depend on the type of recording heard and the amount of processing it has suffered in the studio.
 
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solderdude

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#8
Except... the H2 is NOT at -73dB but below 84dB (0.006%) in the left channel and below 97.8dB (0.001%)at the right channel.
H3 will be lower than the H2 as that is dominant.
Good luck with hearing that, considering masking exists as well as music masking it further.
Of course you can always claim you can hear that and suspect your claim has to do with this or that. ;)

The Burson is the least performing one for sure though.
 

maty

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#9
I am talking in general. I have not searched if the harmonic profiles of the different op-amps of the table are available, since I am not interested in any of them.

As for the Burson, if the company is unable to match performance between the two channels, its discrete op-amps do not interest me at all.

You are right about H2 at -84 dB. But presumably, if the main harmonic, at 1 kHz, was 0 dBm, maybe the H2 level would be similar and the difference would be closer to 73 dB. Without the measurement better not to guess, especially about a product of questionable quality.
 
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maty

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#10

solderdude

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#12
About H2 at -84 dB, it is a good compromise between -73 dB and -90 dB to play ALL kind of recordings. Like Simpelstark+ ODNF v1.3 DIY class AB speaker amplifier.
Of course this is a plot of a speaker amp with a resistive load.
It also has nothing to do with the Burson Fun.
Why post totally irrelevant things ?
 

maty

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#13
Because someone can not generalize by saying that all op-amps, discrete or not, sound the same. I easily passed some tests that PMA (diyaudio.com) did on op-amp, to his surprise and disbelief.

It is not irrelevant, because assuming that the only thing that matters is distortion and ALL harmonics are all below 90 dB is the best thing is not correct.
 

solderdude

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#14
I don't. The uA741 or TL061 won't perform/sound as good as the 5532.
Besides, when opamps tend to get an audible sound signature they are generally used out of spec.
Say when one uses opamps to drive 16 or 32 Ohm headphones for instance and this near their limits.

When you have detailed results of well preformed blind tests in 'buffer' or other low gain circuits please link to those.
Not to subjective results from sighted tests... in that case it is very easy to hear differences.
 

maty

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#15
Many people have reported audible differences between Sonic Imagery and Sparkos in boutique Hypex NC500 buffers. Both measure very well and the buffers are correctly designed for operation, especially the SI, as it was initially designed to meet its specifications. Later versions of the buffer allowed to expand the number of compatible op-amps.

They have no reason to lie, like bunkabail, they only tell their experiences with their equipment, usually very expensive and in some cases with well-acoustically treated rooms. And, the most important thing for me, is that the sound is spectacular with both but with none it is possible to transmit emotion. That is why, years ago, many sold in their day the Hypex NC400, how well they measure in ASR. And now the boutique NC500. But they lacked of two major improvements that PURIFI do have, which maybe allow class-D amps to convey emotion when they power the tweeters.
 

Veri

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#16
Maty what don't you understand about the fact that, something 'people reported', in good faith or not, does not make it true.

Statements need verification, preferably via controlled testing. Letting "audiophiles" perform their own enthusiast tests provides nothing but unreliable anecdotes ...
 

solderdude

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#17
Is 'emotion' a separate signal that passes thorugh some components (and can be amplified) but not through other components ?
Only 'guru's' have the ability to design electronics that can handle emotion ?
Is the only way to quantify 'emotion' in music by the human brain ?
If so is that equally 'reliable' as hearing, vision and touch ?
Is it supposed to travel through components in a yet unmeasurable way ? The illusive 'missing signal' ?
Is there a chart of list with components/gear that can convey emotion and components gear that does not ?

Could it be that whether or not one gets emotions may have to do with mindset ?

And I have to stress this again... it has absolutely nothing to do with lying at all. It is caused by lack of rigor in evaluation and test methods.

I know you are sincere (like a lot of audiophiles that report stuff). I have been there, done that but eventually realised that it is easier to trick your own brain than it is to measure/test with rigor.

Is it relevant to the Burson measurements ?
Can you link 'emotions' to the listed opamps and certain specifications ?

So many questions pop up that are hard to understand when you have some knowledge of electronics.
 

maty

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#18
My answer: Is it necessary to deceive others by saying that all op-amps of similar measurements and uses sound indifferent?

Again, here it seems that only some have knowledge of electronics, those who share the same idea, wrong, that good measurements necessarily imply great sound. Well no, in the audio world, unfortunately it is not. It is a very backward world compared to other technological fields. Only a few, like Bruno Putzeys and others, are giving a good push.
 

solderdude

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#19
Well no, in the audio world, unfortunately it is not
When it comes to transducers I guess you have a point.
When it comes to acoustics... certainly there is more work to be done here (although it is not totally not-understood at all).
When it comes to electronics the only time there is no clear relation is when sighted and or not controlled 'tests' and comparisons are done.
We are discussing the Burson here.
Can you show me the clear subjective and objective relation that is shared between these 'evaluation' methods ?
Is it really the harmonic distortion and 'profile' ?
And what has Bruno Putzeys to do with this ?
Deceiving and lying ? What's all that about ?
Seems more like it is something that is seen a lot more in subjective based reviews than in measurements on this website.
 
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Veri

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#20
My answer: Is it necessary to deceive others by saying that all op-amps of similar measurements and uses sound indifferent?
Seriously, are you trolling? Deceiving others? Nothing on this entire website has found op-amps to perform reliably different unless in a broken implementation. Usually the original designer sticks to proven and stable op-amps.
Next to NO difference in the Topping D10 https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ng-replacing-op-amps-in-topping-d10-dac.4576/
Very little difference in the Gustard https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...amps-in-gustard-h20-headphone-amplifier.7407/
Or in Amir's concluding words: no resulting difference

Heck there's next to no real difference in your own referenced THD comparisons here!
Op-Amp table. THD and THD+N.

What do you explain you might even be hearing if there's nothing objectively to account for ?!!
 

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