A New Level In Our Understanding. The Burson Soloist is all new and it's a headphone amplifier with preamplifier, part of the new The Musicians Series.
The Soloist is a beautifully designed reference class headphone amplifier and pre amplifier (with 3 line level inputs) made to get the best sound and enjoyment of music from your headphones.
This model bridges the gap between the Burson Audio HA-160 headphone amplifier (without pre amplifier) and Burson Audio HA-160D (with pre amplifier but without DAC), making it a perfect partner for upto 3 line level music sources if you don't require a DAC - and bring a new level of refinement.
Most headphone amplifiers use standard IC Opamps in their designs. Such opamps are very cheap and easy to apply, however they are inferior. This is because they are not tailored for a particular audio circuitry, and they contain many low quality and unnecessary components which degrade audio signals.
Three years ago we developed the HA-160 headphone amplifier. Instead of using standard IC opamps on the signal path, we designed tailor made circuitry using high quality discrete components. Because of this, we were able to reduce components on the signal path to optimise its operation. It offered higher resolution and superior dynamics to any IC based design, and yet presented a mid range intonation that many thought only possible from top-tier tube amps. It was good, like a properly designed solid state should, and many in the industry saw it as a benchmark.
Instead of celebrating and introducing "newer" versions each year with small refinements, we have been studying and developing circuitries that can realise more of our ideals. Now, our dream of an even more idealistic circuitry, with even less components on the signal path is realised. And it sounds more beautiful than any of us could have conceptualised at the beginning of this project. We named this new headphone amp Soloist!
The New FET Input Stage
The input stage of the Soloist is a symmetrical current feedback circuit with only 21 components on its signal path (compare that to a typical IC Opamp of over 50). It's signal path is so short and with so little blockage on it, that it can achieve amazing sound. Also because we only had to select and match 21 components, the Soloist sounds absolutely amazing.
Variable Output Stage
With the new VOS headphone listener is able to select different level of output power to match to their headphone need. From the low level output of 0.18Wpc to a whooping 4Wpc the Soloist will ensure there is plenty of fine control for every type of headphone out there.
The new VOS provides 3 level of gain to the preamp function from 7db to 18db. With this level of flexibility the VOS will match with any system from low power tube amp to high power solid state muscle amps: From low efficiency closed box speaker to high efficiency horn loaded speaker.
For the Soloist, we have also redesigned the entire step attenuator volume control. Based on valuable lessons learnt from the HA-160, we have redesigned a gain curve for the attenuator using what we considered the best instrument in the world, our ears. Combining this new step attenuator with the new VOS, control is perfect regardless of situation.
High Resolution Volume Control
At the time when an audio signal is passing through the volume control, it is still at its weakest. At this stage, the audio signal is very vulnerable to noise pollution and interference. A major source of such distortion is the commonly used remote volume control adopted by most manufactures.
Low Noise Power Supply
An athlete needs clean air to perform at an optimum standard – audio equipment needs clean power to reproduce transparent and natural music.
The new Soloist has taken the already fanatical IC free power supply of our first generation HA-160 to the next level. The result is even cleaner even more energetic music reproduction.
Resonance Free Aluminium (RFA) Enclosure
The Soloist is housed in a 6mm case, constructed from high precision machined aluminium. This enclosure allows the Soloist, to achieve a very high mechanical damping factor, which reduces any microphonic effects, that may degrade the clarity of sonic performance.
The enclosure was also constructed to act as a giant heat-sink, which allows the Class-A headamp to run cooler, and remain optimised at all times.
Input impedance: 36.5 KOhms
Frequency response: ± 1 dB 0 - 50Khz
Signal to noise ratio: >96dB
THD: <0.03% at 30ohm with 1W ouput
Channel separation: <73dB
Output power: 4W at 16 Ohms
Input impedance: >8K Ohm @ 30 Ohm, 1W
Output impedance: <1 Ohm @ 30 Ohm, 1W
Power dissipation: >25W, internal, regulated power supply
3 x gold plated RCA (line level input)
1 x headphone jacks 6.35mm
1 x RCA Pre Amp output
1 x Soloist Headphone amp / Pre-Amp
1 x Power cable
1 x RCA pair input cable
1 x User Manual (including 24 months warranty registration information)
Weight: app. 4.5 kg
Colour: silver anodized aluminium
180 mm x 250 mm x 80 mm
Burson Audio at a glance
The Man Behind The Name
Burson Audio was named after Mark Burson, a well know audiophile in the Melbourne audio community.
For more than three decades Mark has worked tirelessly in the recording and broadcasting industry. Much of his leisure time was spent on audio projects like Dynaco and Hafler.
The kindness of Mark and his family has touched many. For over fifteen years, his three bedroom house in Epping became the weekend meeting place for local audio enthusiasts and emerging musicians. All were welcome, he even embraced the first timers like old friends. There, audiophiles exchanged ideas, initiated projects and talked about music. Cookies were always plentiful and we all contributed our fair share. Each audio project was passionately referred to as Burson projects.
Well into his retirement, Mark no longer takes active participation at Burson Audio. However, his passion for music is deeply rooted in the heart of team Burson, and his philosophy is reflected by every single Burson creation.
Formed around 1996 by a small group of passionate audiophiles, the sole purpose of the team was to pool various knowledge and experience to build and develop audio projects for the member's own enjoyment.
None of the projects were aimed to have any commercial value, they were either too costly or time consuming to produce on a large scale. Instead, they were always aimed to achieve perfection.
The team believes that making a piece of audio equipment is just like crafting a musical instrument; knowledge, patience and absolute passion are key to refinement! It took almost ten years before Team Burson formally introduced our first commercial product in 2005. We were both surprised and grateful by all the instant support and recognition had given by the global audiophile community.
Thank you for visiting and have a nice stay.