Burson Conductor 3 Performance-Bloom Audio
Burson Conductor 3 Performance-Bloom Audio
Burson Conductor 3 Performance-Bloom Audio
Burson Conductor 3 Performance-Bloom Audio
Burson Conductor 3 Performance-Bloom Audio

Burson Conductor 3 Performance | Headphone Amp, DAC, and Preamp

Sale price$1,044.00

Our Take

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.

From Burson

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.

Advanced Digital

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.

Burson Conductor 3 Performance

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.

The Sound

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.


Measurement Package Content
Input impedance: 38 KOhms Conductor 3 Performance.
Model # M180
USB Cable
Frequency response: ± 1 dB 0 – 58Khz Remote Control 24V Power Unit
THD: <0.0017% RCA Cable
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
16 Ohm 4W 95db 99%
32 Ohm 2W 97db 99%
100 Ohm 640mW 94db 99%
150 Ohm 420mW 95db 99%
300 Ohm 160mW 95db 99.5%
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

In the Box

  • Burson Conductor Unit
  • IC Opamps for warranty diagnostic use.
  • USB-C to USB-C Cable
  • Remote Control
  • Hex key
  • Power Supply 


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Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Thomas Davis
Love this amplifier!

Having been a music lover for over fifty years it's fair to say that I have owned and listened to quite a variety of audio gear in my time. From the simple record player with built in speakers to my first Panasonic All-In-One system, to the vast variety of receivers, integrated and power amplifiers, loudspeakers, tape decks, turntables, etc., while my goal within the hobby has never wavered, I have simply wished to listen to music at the highest level of which I could afford. I have never considered myself the proverbial audiophile, but rather a music enthusiast. I don't know, I've witnessed a certain degree of snobbishness from some folks over the decades of which I want no part of. I don't care about certain things in this pursuit, such as physical media to hold in my hand, or liner notes from the days when I was buying LP's. I just want to listen to music on the best sounding system I can afford to own. To each his/her own and if you are different than me in that regard then that's fine.

Being a father of an autistic son has required me to make some changes in the way I listen to my music as he can easily become overloaded when the main system is turned on. It's for this reason that I began putting a desktop system together and using headphones instead of firing up my 300 wpc Emotiva XPA-2 which feeds some vintage KEF Reference floorstanders that can make the building shake even at a low volume level.

This Christmas I treated myself to a pair of Audeze LCD-X. I already owned the LCD-2 but had heard so many great things about the X. I just couldn't resist. WOW... they are really terrific! I was feeding them with either a Dragonfly Cobalt while away from my desk with my laptop, or through an Emotiva XDA-2 DAC/Headphone Amplifier, which while perfectly fine, I want to put it back in the loop with the main system. So I started looking at amplifiers. So did I want separates or an all-in-one solution? Much to think about!

You know, there sure are a LOT of new names in the audio world since I got into this hobby! And many of the old names have either gone out of business or sadly become irrelevant. I had to do a lot of research about these new brands at the same time keeping within my budget. I liked some Schiit products well enough to at least try them out but didn't care to wait 6-8 weeks before they shipped. And shipping charges were added to the cost. In the end I chose the Burson Conductor 3 Performance Headphone Amp/DAC/Preamp. And I just love it!

First off, I have mine standing upright on my desk using the optional "Cool Stand" which gives the amplifiers aesthetic a real kick in the pants. It doesn't look like any amplifier I am aware of. And the stand helps in dissipating heat. I can't speak to how much but I don't find the amplifier to be too HOT after three or four hours of listening. And it takes up far less desk space; the XPA-2 is a full 17 1/2 inches wide! I certainly appreciate that.

This particular amplifier doesn't feature a ton of inputs/outputs but does include all that I need. I can connect my Maranze CDP to it with the optical toslink connection if I want to. I appreciate the Pre-amp functionality as a means to use my powered M25's when I wish. I can't speak too much about the opamps as I have not tried any but the Vivid V6, but they sound darn fine. While not a master of definition what I'm hearing is an impressive audio display of both power and finess within the capability of the Conductor 3 Performance. Music is presented with a sense of power and authority, as if the amp is just cruising along, never breaking a sweat. It's ultra silent between tracks and during quiet passages; I hear no noise whatsoever. I was listening to Collective Soul's "See What You Started By Continuing" yesterday, the second disc is a Greatest Hits mash-up. I became enthralled just listening to the bass line in the song "Better Now". It came across as smooth, effortless and quite punchy. Nice. I like the synergy between this little amplifier and the LCD series. My system would seem to be more refined than it had been before. It sounds lush, the detail is impressive and I find nothing to be offensive. It's sweet and polite when listening to female vocalists but comes alive when the big boys want to rock. In a sentence, this is the best set-up I have ever owned.

This is a well built piece of gear that sounds great. I bought an open box which looks brand new and couldn't be happier.

Patrick Andresen
Burson Conductor 3 Performance.

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.

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