Wow what a step up from the 3xp.
The fan makes enough noise to bother me. The sound quality was similar to my McIntosh C49 preamp built in headphone amp. That is pretty good.
I recently ordered a Burson 3X GT 2023 upgrade version from Bloom. Ordering was smooth as silk and unit arrived on time and in good shape. Bloom friends were great answering initial set-up questions.
I won't repeat the many comments on the 3XGT already posted on Head-fi and other places, noting its excellent low-end punch and texture, superior soundstage, great extension at both ends of the frequency spectrum. The 2023 version with the quieter power chip is simply excellent. I did not have the prior version but compared to Soloist 3XP it is bigger and substantially better both technically and with respect to timbre, and the 3XP is no slouch; however, here I just comment on the fan noise, since this has been a concern that has been widely commented-upon in the audiophile community, some saying that a high-end amp with a fan is a self-contradiction for those seeking TOTL sound quality.
I used an iPhone app (Decibel Meter) to measure ambient sound in my listening room, which is about 40 db (mostly heating/AC background noise).. With the 3X GT Unit then switched on, and iPhone/app placed 10 cm from the fan (GT in the Cool Stand, front of the iPhone directly facing the top side of the GT Unit/fan) sound level increases to 48 db. Backing off 1 m, with the GT still switched on the and fan going, the app cannot measure a difference in db from the ambient room noise vs with the fan off. Having said that, I can still hear it in the room at that distance, but it's only just audible (this is while not wearing headphones/no music playing). From a total of 2 m distance, I can't hear a difference from ambient sound at all. Note that my listening room has sound dampening carpet and wall covering (bubble wrap).
My point here is that in the 2023 revised unit, the fan is now very quiet indeed, certainly not bothersome (to me at least, YMMV). If one is really wanting to hear the sound of purist "blackground" and is prone to obsession about room noise, don't get this amp (and then whinge about the fan). But for the rest of us, IMHO, the added sound quality benefits now fully eclipse the potential minimal dis-benefit of any added noise due to the fan.
I was so impressed with the Burson Soloist 3x, I purchased its big brother the GT. It takes all the great qualities of the 3x and puts them on steroids! It's more than a subtle improvement in sound quality!
I'm not using any of the extra features now, but nice to have as options. Unfortunately the Balance control only works with the Pre-amp output, NOT the headphone outputs (one of the reasons I purchased it). If you have any level of asymmetrical hearing loss (at least a 1/3 of the population does), this amp won't help you. Why do they include a balance control on a headphone amp and not allow it to be used with headphones ??? Seems like a real design flaw to me.
Cooling fan noise is audible when you get within a few feet of the unit (but not bad). With headphones on/music playing I don't think it would be a problem for most people.
Another issue (maybe just unique to me) is the GTs' infrared sensor "reads" some buttons on my cd transport remote control (which I use a lot). If I hit those buttons, the GT either switches inputs or changes volume. It's annoying, but there's nothing I can do about it, so I'm learning to live with it. I use the GT in my main audio rack, so I sit at a distance and need the remotes!
Despite the flaws and quirks I've decided to keep the amp just because it sounds so darn good (and with restock/shipping fees, it would cost over $250 to return it).
So, 5 stars for sound quality. Less for the rest.
This amp produces effortless gobs of power dead silently. The GT is beautifully designed and has been a joy to listen with. I use probably the most difficult to drive headphones (HE6se) and my pot sits around 40 on high gain (quieter recordings can bring the pot into the 70s… but headroom remains). The volume knob is beautifully knurled and operates almost frictionlessly (albeit, it can be too sensitive and slight adjustments can initially be difficult). However, the use of the remote solves this issue entirely. The active cooling allows for all the components to operate at its optimal temp while keeping the form factor small. It is not audible when just placing headphones on your head without music playing. This amp allows my headphone setup to be completely balanced and dual mono from DAC (Pontus II) to headphones.
The subwoofer out is a fun feature. I have connected a sub to it and the additional thump takes the experience out of your head more and makes it a more full-bodied experience. I have enjoyed using the crossfeed in the low setting, especially in live recording where many instruments are often focused more on one channel.
In all, this is a perfect amp for my use. I cannot imagine needing an upgrade for a very long time. I have not rolled op amps and don’t envision myself going down that road fearing I will just be tinkering and not enjoy the difference as much as stock.