I was surprised to find no thread for this product when I was researching prior to purchase so I thought I would get one going.
While I have steadily upgraded both my headphones and amps over the past couple years my DACs have pretty much stayed mid-fi. Part of this was because I just wasn’t sure if there was an actual difference in DACs as I hadn’t really heard much of a difference, if any, between my Aune X1S Anniversary, my Pro-Ject Prebox S2 Digital, and my SMSL M500. And as someone approaching geezerdom I wasn’t sure I could actually hear a difference even if there was one.
I’ve acquired a couple amps I LOVE so very much - the Hagerman Tuba and the Flux FA10. These two drive my Clears, HE6SEv2, and Aeolus (and pretty much anything you plug into them) to levels of quality that I hadn’t imagined possible. The next logical upgrade was a DAC. I have been casually and hesitantly looking for a few months, researching, reading, and watching our community reviewers.
The thought was to get something I perceived as an upgrade I would hear if at all possible. I finally decided to pull the trigger when I found an almost new, one owner, used Burson Conductor 3XP for $950, saving a nice chunk of change over new.
So let me state this directly. I hear a very large difference from this DAC when listening through the Tuba, the FA10, and the internal amp. Size, space, impact, the “reality” of the struck string or skin - it is just a massive, yes massive, upgrade from what I have been listening to. And yes, I am hearing the cliched “details I have never heard before” in albums I have been listening to for +45 years. If it is simply placebo as some will argue, then sign me up cuz I loves me some placebo! This is some absolutely killer placebo.
One last thing. The amp in the Burson is able to drive the HE6Sev2 quite well through the balanced outputs - which is quite an accomplishment.