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

Vivid. Red x 4. Default I believe.

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Have a Cool Stand coming too. The unit runs a little warm. I have a DC fan blowing some air across it.


TLDR: Burson Soloist in balanced mode: “It’s good”. Needs a volume knob. Runs warm. Has handy feature set. Mfadio Out

It is becoming difficult for me to think of what to write for amp impressions. I only really shop for things already well approved, and don’t pay attention to sinad. I don’t have a stable of headphones from which to play mix and match, which is often what people are looking for. If you came here looking for a “How does the FlatulatorXX match with the DairyAire3i” I can’t help you.

I usually listen straight of the tap of a Chord TT2 these days. I thought the Bryston BHA-1 was a tiny bit better, but not worth the money to have sitting around. I think the Burson is a tiny bit worse. I am borrowing a Bryston this week from a fellow solid state Class A degenerate and will run them next to each other to try and grok why I think one is a tiny bit better and one a tiny bit not as better.

Regarding the recent issues with reliability. This Burson performed flawlessly from day 1. The missing volume knob continues to amuse, as it is such an obvious fumble for a company to turn the delight of a new toy into disappointment so completely. However, it did not affect the sound in any way. I do like to let the thing warm up a little, maybe for 20 minutes or so before I start listening.

The Burson sits on my shelf between the TT2 and a Bottlehead Crack. This might as well be the spectrum of sound profile, from warm to clean, lush to revealing, tubey-tude to licking the digital bit socket. Every time I went to get impressions off the Soloist, I wound up just preferring to listen to music. In fairness, my life has gotten busy and difficult lately, and I’m tired, over worked, over stressed and uninterested in vanishingly small differences between high-end solid-state headphone amplifiers. In fact, I think that’s your review:

“Every time I went to listen to the Burson Soloist’s absolute and relative performance, I wound up just listening to the music instead.”

So. With caveats about build quality and the terrible reality that it only comes in silver. Recommended.


I had the same issue on a brand new Cayin IHA6. Worked for an hour maybe, then pop, building static, pop pop, static pop. im out.

Send it back and haven’t touched Cayin since. My friend had his 300B blow up too. So thats enough for me not to bother with them again.

And based on peoples experiences with Burson, which I seem to keep seeing, I won’t bother. Even though they are Australian. Shame.

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Good luck buying anything if you bail after a handful of bad reviews or DOAs. Every product has a percentage of failure. The people with bad experiences are generally the loudest, and rightly so.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of us are enjoying our 3XPs.


This is gold. I think I have felt this from the beginning. About all things audio.

In normal situations, I think this is true. The thing that gives me pause is there is a remarkable number of “it took my headphones with it” reports.

I have had a number of faulty devices, an ifi idsd micro signature that played static randomly (the second one did not), an smsl stack that just quit playing music until turned off/on. An he6se v2 that the right cup died while I was listening to it. In no cases did any of these products take down another product with their flaw. Had they, I would probably be avoiding that brand for a while.

That said, I have yet to find an amp I want to hear more than the burson soloist. And I am sure I will heard it eventually. And, as it stands now, probably buy it. But, it’s certainly not high on the priority list currently.


I think it’s kind of silly to get upset at others for wanting to do some research and deciding not to get something because of their research.

It’s definitely easier to lose trust than to gain trust. Now that Burson has lost trust from potential customers for the soloist, there’s not a lot they can do imo.

I was seriously considering this too until I saw the reports. I’m not going to risk my headphones and amplifier just for potential good sound. There are so many products out there that even if the Soloist is the absolute best amp at its price point, I’d probably either buy something cheaper or save up and grab something better.

I’ve had plenty of experiences with amps that do not and have not had reports of them exploding or damaging headphones. I think it’s a bad assumption that all products are faulty.


I received my Conductor 3XRef, and I took notice with the reported failures. For the first 24 hours I used an old set of headphones (Senn HD595) as test subjects. If they would have blown up, I wouldn’t have lost too much. They actually sounded better than I remembered them. Not as bright.

No problems thus far. Listened to the Conductor all day yesterday with the Ether CX. Real nice.


I am certainly not upset. I agree with the sentiment. Just offering input as a happy Burson customer, trying to balance. I would absolutely have pause if I didn’t already own. I have seen 2 blown headphone cases (not saying thats all there is), and Burson replaced the headphones in 1. The 2nd is still playing out afaik.


DHL just dropped off my Soloist. Excited to give it a go!


My knob is in the mail! This is exciting. I may need to post daily updates until I have received my knob.


Yes do keep us up to date with your knob

Where’s the WITB pic for this glorious knob?!

While you’re at it, might as well post a livestream of you attaching this knob!

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I will post as soon as it is here, I am breathlessly following it’s path across the Pacific, and will keep you in the loop!

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Mine did get here today, too. Interested to see and hear what you guys think about it, too. Next to my VC and HD800 and have a Heddphone on loan and I’ll be interested to find out how that pairing works …


I use the RME/Soloist/VC combo and really like it, but I can tell the RME is definitely the bottleneck of the chain.

Are you using the RME too?

Yes. RME being used here, too. I’m really at a loss with reference to the doc topic. I must admit I do kinda feel the same about the RME. But I’m not sure about it - and more critically I do not know what to go for instead …

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Yeah I’d suggest you try out that combo first to see if you like it. If you do then great!

However, if you’re in the market for a DAC then try something that uses a different technology (ie. multibit, R2R, ESS, tube, etc…). I’m in the market right now actually and have narrowed it down to a Holo Spring 3. The Holo seems to check all the criteria I’m looking for in a DAC. My second option is an Aqua La Voce S3 where it’s about the same price as the Holo in the used market. I do still plan on keeping the RME tho mainly because of the analyzer which adds to the listening experience for me.

Anyway, I digress let us know what you think of yours too!

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Your post reminded me of a song I used to like.


Such a fun song for 20 characters.