BURSON Soloist 3X Performance - Class A Headphone/Pre Amplifier

So I finally got the chance to use the pre-outs of the Soloist and compare it with that of the RME, and everything that was mentioned earlier in the thread about the headphone section holds true with the pre-amp section. I tested them with some Focal Shape 50s and everything is just “better” than the RME. RME was very clean and precise but is a bit fatiguing with the Shapes specifically. Soloist adds more soundstage and smoothness while retaining all details. A very excellent pre-amp! :ok_hand:

Time to jam out more! :headphones::notes:


I don’t as I only have the Bursons and several DAPs. Compared to the DAPs, the Bursons are neutral while still being vibrant and engaging. You could compare it to the best Astell&Kern DAPs but with more sparkle and impact in my opinion.

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@zekken , I just turned on my Soloist 3XP and tried listening to a track on both balanced and SE outputs within the first 2-3 minutes, and I couldn’t hear any hiss/noise/lack of sound.

I think it’s worth asking Burson if you have an issue, given that it goes away after a few minutes.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for the additional year of warranty. Honestly, I don’t know why manufacturers do that - why not just give you the additional year without making you carry out an additional step.


Thanks for double-checking this for me. I contacted the Burson team and they replied to me today. Charles from Burson told me that because this issue only shows up in the right channel, he asked me to try to play with the non-discrete op-amps included in the box.

I spend the rest of the day doing tests and I think I found the faulty op-amp, as after changing it, the noise has not been showing up any more (fingers crossed). I am going to send the faulty op-amp back to Burson.

Thanks @PaisleyUnderground for the help! :blush:


Just got an email saying Burson products are shipping now…I was wondering if you guys will have their op-amps as well @taronlissimore? Probably not but I thought I’d ask…

Edit: Taron said they’ll bring their op-amps in sometime in the near future


So you guys know that weird quirk the Soloist has where adjusting volume is inconsistent? Where turning the volume dial up actually lowers the volume at a certain point?

I finally got around to asking Burson about this and they suggested it is a glitch with the volume chip’s programming. So, they sent me a volume chip replacement to see if it fixes the issue…

Finally got it today and the first one didn’t work…it actually disabled everything! So, I tried the extra one they sent (two chips total) and viola! Volume is all good now and issue is fixed…

Just wanted to let y’all know if the “volume issue” with the Soloist bothers some of you that there is a solution. Just hit up Burson email and they’ll send you replacement chips…

It’s very easy to replace…all you need to do is pull out the old volume chip which is the little black chip right next to the volume screen inside…then just pop in the new one and you’re done. Hope this was helpful!

UPDATE: The two chips that were sent to me were different versions and they didn’t know which one I had so they sent both…so try both


:face_with_monocle::thinking:@hifiDJ was this an issue with early units or all soloist units?

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The only volume-related quirk I have is when it jumps significantly around 51 or 52. Is that what you’re talking about?

That I cannot answer…I’d like to assume this issue isn’t widespread. Though honestly I don’t think it’s a serious issue as in actual use, it didn’t bother me that much. But of course it shouldn’t be an excuse as well. Burson may have no control over it as they don’t make these volume chips (just a guess)…

Yup! But it also happens between 19-25 (19 gets loud then volume drops until 25) and 30-35 (same thing) at least for me. This is all in med gain btw but this is what I’ve found to be inconsistent with my unit.


Soundnews reviewed the Soloist 3X and actually plotted a graph of the volume behavior:

His full review here:

Glad to know a replacement volume chip fixes this to some degree.


I’m just curious does anybody here use the headphone power amp feature of the Soloist regularly? If so, what DAC/pre-amp are you using?

I’ve tried it before and it didn’t sound that good but I’m assuming it’s because using the RME as a pre-amp isn’t the best…

Makes me wonder what a top-notch pre-amp would contribute.

Question for the Soloist owners out of curiosity, does your unit have a notched or smooth action volume control? Burson sent me a replacement front plate (unrelated warranty issue) and I was delighted to see they changed to a smooth volume control. Feels much better to me. I thought the notched one felt cheap.

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It should have a notched feeling…

I’m not sure if they changed it or not. I am receiving a replacement front plate as well so I should be able to find out soon.

In the meantime, I’d send Burson an email just in case nothing bad happens.

Did you see if the piece itself was notched…when you removed the volume knob?


Mine is notched. I like the fact that each click equates to one unit of volume on the display.

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Mine is notched too. I am still having issues with my remote, out of curiosity, does changing the front plate potentially fix the inconsistent remote issues?

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I hardly ever use the remote, so I can’t tell. The only remote issue I am aware of is that Composer and Soloist use the same remote and “channel” which makes the remote pretty much useless in this combination.

Interesting, mine had a misaligned display. Why is yours getting replaced?

Oh, I had a small incident where my headphones fell onto the front plate and chipped a small piece of it.

It’s very small but I kept getting bothered by it so I requested for one…

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has anyone gotten the chance to compare the soloist 3x with the singxer sa-1? i would love to hear about that

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Lots of great reviews in this thread. Thank you all.

I really hope I have the same finding. Personally, I found that the Singxer SA-1 I bought recently made the veil worse compared to my other solid state amps lol