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

I always turn the volume down before swapping and when I turn an amp off.
I leave my headphones plugged in, and turn on from the source, off from the amp, old 2Ch habit.
I’ve not heard a modern headphone amp with a significant POP turning on or off, and in my case the WA33 specifically states it shouldn’t be run without a load for any significant time.


Yes it’s generally best practice to do this. Especially when you’re trying other people’s gear as I notice that people have a tendency to unplug / plug with volume up and music playing quite often with gear that does not belong to them.


A question I just realized to ask: Does it matter the cables used to plug into the DAC? Is that a thing you also have to consider as far as having the combination work together?

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Oh boy! Can of controversy there. See the cable discussion threads…! Some say absolutely while others say h**l no. Most say cables should be the last thing to consider after other things. You can often hear a truly bad cable through its errors or dropouts, but there’s much less agreement about alternative good cables.

They range in price from $2 to $10,000 plus…


Which cables are you referring to? The usb cable or the interconnect cables? Or both?

In my experience, the soloist is best used using balanced throughout. So, balanced out from the DAC, balanced input into the soloist, and then balanced out to the VC. Make sure the DAC you’re getting was designed with balanced in mind to get the full benefit.

Just to clarify, balanced isn’t better than unbalanced. But if a product was intended for balanced then it will usually be the better option to use.

As for the usb cable, imo, I would prioritize getting a nicer one over all the other cables with the exception of the headphone cable. Upgrading the usb cable brings noticeable improvement to my ears.

But I wouldn’t worry about them too much until you’ve finalized and are fully satisfied with your system. Then it would be up to you if you would like to explore the world of cables. In the meantime, I would get well-built ones. Examples include cables from ‘world’s best cables’ (name of brand), pangea, audioquest, and supra (there are more but these are what pop in my head). I use supra xlr because their connections are very solidly built and supra usb because I think they sound good for the money.

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Right now the interconnect cables.

[quote=“hifiDJ, post:366, topic:9115”]
Make sure the DAC you’re getting was designed with balance

The USB carries a digital signal, does it really affect quality? My partner is of the opinion that analog cables can only do that.

Just looking to learn, if you can point me to the correct forum for this type of discourse.

Either way I’m combining it with the Bifrost 2 so I will definitely try to keep the balanced uniform.

I just want to make sure I can connect both AMP/DAC since it seems like this doesn’t come in the box.

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Oh boy honestly not trying to delve into that I just want to make sure I have the right cables to connect my DAC to my AMP because this is my first set up haha

I’m a baby, not ready to jump into that at all


Have a read of this thread, first.

The TL;DR is that USB cables can affect audio, but not in the ways (or via the mechanisms) people like to imagine.

If you’re not getting dropouts, then any “performance” deltas are generally in the realm of the cable picking up EMI/RFI … and then the DAC also being sensitive to having that on the power lines of the cable.

Which is fundamentally about a) cable shielding and b) what’s near the USB cable in question and c) the design of the input stage in the DAC.


Bifrost 2 → Burson Soloist: Use balanced cables because Burson designed the amp to be better using the balanced inputs (per an email conversation I had with Burson when I had the same question). Blue Jeans cables are frequently recommended as great value because they’re well built and the company is transparent about what components it uses and how their cables measure. World’s Best Cables are also popular, and similar to Blue Jeans, they are very transparent about the components they use, mostly studio quality like Mogami or Canare wire, Neutrik connectors. They have a store on Amazon, so just search for “World’s Best Cables XLR cable” on Amazon to find them. I can’t remember why I didn’t go for Blue Jeans, but I ended up with Pangea XLR cables and they are fine too, albeit a little more expensive.

PC → Bifrost 2: Schiit sells a Pyst USB cable, made by Straight Wire, for $20 and it’s good value IMO. I’ve never used a Supra USB cable, but have talked to many people on this forum who have told me that their Supra USB cable has changed the sound for the better. USB cables tend to be a controversial topic, so it’s hard to get recommendations. I have a pricey Black Cat USB cable, which I bought out of curiosity to see if there was a difference in sound quality. Yes, it was better than the Schiit cable and I have no idea why. The Black Cat was a lot more expensive, and therefore I wouldn’t recommend it based on value. In hindsight, had I known about Supra at the time, I probably would have satisfied my curiosity with one of their (much cheaper) USB cables.


The soloist comes with an rca interconnect (mine did) that will let you connect it to a DAC via unbalanced connection, which will get you setup if you don’t have any cables ready yet.


I mostly use WBC these days, plus random stuff.


Thanks again everyone for all the replies!