The Burson Conductor 3 Performance is a great DAC/Amp in its own right, with clear, accurate output and huge soundstage. It also happens to be a great choice if you’re familiar with the Burson Conductor line, and want the Conductor 3 sound at a lower price point and with a smaller footprint.
Some DAC/Amps claim to give you the front row experience in exchange for less soundstage. Others promise a 3D soundstage in trade for fewer details. The Conductor 3 Performance simply gives you everything in the recording, without sugar-coating, the good and sometimes the ugly. You can locate a tapping foot on the stage while enjoying that lingering vibration of air after a keystroke.
The Conductor uses the SABRE32/ESS9038Q2M DAC and XMOS USB receiver chips, the most advanced and expensive in the industry. Its Customised USB driver by Thesycon Germany ensures low latency bit-perfect audio playback. The result is incredible processing power, accurately playing back DSD512 and 38bit/786khz audio.
It also features a Qualcomm/CSR8675 Bluetooth 5.0 receiver. Playing back at 24bit/96khz with aptX HD audio codec. , it pushes sound quality and ease of use to the highest level.
The Power Supply
The Conductor Performance features the same Max Current Power Supply (MCPS) that has made the Conductor Reference legendary.
A technology developed, owned and used exclusively by Burson Audio, the MCPS raises voltage frequency from 50Hz to 170kHz, pushing noise beyond human hearing. It completely overcomings the disadvantages of both linear power supplies and conventional switching power supplies, resulting in incredible dynamic and micro-details.
The Cool Case
We like to turn Class-A amplifiers from monsters with heat-fins into elegant, desktop-friendly machines, and we do it through the Cool Case. Made from high-density aluminium and electroplated to space-grey, the Cool Case is a unified heat-sink keeping the Class-A Conductor cool and optimised. Critics such as Headfonics called it “the new standard” in the audio industry.
Having a footprint that is 30% less than the Conductor Reference and a volume similar to a lunch box, it is beautiful but unobstructive. Take it to work, and no one will raise an eyebrow.
Opamp Rolling Fun
The Conductor Performance comes with Burson V6 Vivid discrete opamps. But don’t let us or anyone dictate your listening experience. The Conductor encourages opamp rolling with gold plated DIP8 sockets along its signal path. With hundreds of audio opamps out there, you have the freedom to tailor your listening experience to your preference.
While our Conductor Reference is like Huge Jackman in Kate and Leopold, the completed package, the Conductor Performance is the shredded Wolverine. It’s still him but stripped down! Power and total control of that power will be the overwhelming first impression. It energises every note and space in between, bringing accuracy and micro-details. The C3 performance is for the perfectionist who works hard and plays harder.
|Input impedance:||38 KOhms||Conductor 3 Performance.
Model # M180
|Frequency response:||± 1 dB 0 – 58Khz||Remote Control||OTG Adapter|
|THD:||<0.0017%||RCA Cable||24V Power Unit|
|Output impedance (Headphone Amp):||0.6 Ohm||Power Cable|
|Output impedance (Pre Out / DAC Out):||1 Ohm / 25 Ohm|
|Inputs:||USB, Optical Toslink, BlueTooth 5.0, microphone||Weight:||app. 3 kg|
|Outputs:||1 x RCA Pre Amp
1 X RCA Line Level DAC
1 x 6.3mm Headphone
|Dimensions:||200 X 250 X 60(mm)|
|Impedance (Headphone Jack)||Power||Signal to Noise Ratio||Separation|
|DAC Spec||Asynchronous Isochronous USB Spec|
|Channel Separation:||142 dB @ 1KHz, 135 dB @ 20KHz||Desktop OS:||Windows XP, 7, 8, 10 Mac OSX|
|THD+N:||0.0005% @ 1KHz, 0dBFS||Desktop OS:||iOS* , Android (OTG support)|
|COAX & Toslink / SPDIF :||up to 24bit 192K||PCM Support:||PCM ? 768kHz @ 16, 24 or 32bits|
|Native DSD:||Native DSD 64 / 128 / 256 / 512|
|Bluetooth Input||Bluetooth 5.0 aptX HD (Qualcomm CSR8675)||DSD over PCM:||DoP64 / DoP128 / DoP256/Dop512|
Conductor 3 Comparison
|Model||Retail Price||Dimensions (mm)||Digital||Analogue||Power Supply||Others|
|Conductor 3XR||2,199USD||255 x 270 x 70||ESS9038Q2M DAC X 2
||7.5Wpc XLR / 3.5Wpc SE
||MCPS X 5||Analogue Inputs X 2|
|Conductor 3R||1,799USD||255 x 270 x 70||ESS9038Q2M DAC X 2||7.5Wpc SE||MCPS X 5||Analogue Inputs X 2|
|Conductor 3XP||1,399USD||200 X 250 X 60||ESS9038Q2M DAC X 1||6Wpc XLR / 3Wpc SE||MCPS X 3|
|Conductor 3P||1,099USD||200 X 250 X 60||ESS9038Q2M DAC X 1||4Wpc SE||MCPS X 3|
Customer ReviewsWrite a review
This is my third Burson product so far, I still use the Funk for a bedroom set up, and upgraded from the Playmate 2 to the Conductor 3. If you haven’t tried Burson yet you are missing out. These things are extremely well built and sound great. They are also at a price that although not cheap is more than fair for what you get. I will probably always have a Burson option with my headset set ups going forward.