The second generation of Burson opamp was developed in collaboration with some of the world’s most passionate musicians, sound engineers and recording artists. This project has taken two years to complete, with an end result reaching beyond our greatest expectations of musical reproduction. Its qualities have been pushed to the very frontier of studio technology. Like a photographer’s latest favourite lens, it is being utilized by recording artists around the world, to better capture the moments that last for an eternity
THE ANGRY REALIZATION
The function of Opamps at the output stage is as important as the lens on a cinema projector. Regardless of the analytical capability of the audio gear, an inferior opamp will halve a machine’s performance, and distort every dB of sonic imagery.
For fellow audio enthusiasts, there inevitably comes a time to explore opamp upgrades for their equipment. After hopping from forum to forum, and checking every pricelist, it’s all too easy to become confused with the subsequent findings. That humble pair of IC opamps in their machine is worth less than a can of coca-cola. Replacing them with another pair of IC opamps, worth a little less than a McDonalds burger will noticeably improve the overall performance of their mega dollar machines.
One question then burns in the minds of such audio enthusiast;
How could the manufacturer’s, with their respectable brand, history, and self proclaimed team of world leading audio scientists not know that a simple opamp switch could lift the performance of their product? Why wouldn’t they have adopted “that” opamp initially, when their production costs would be increased by only 1%.
Then comes the incredibly infuriating realisation that the manufacturers would have known this all along! Unfortunately however, their focus is solely on profit. Even after pricing the machine with a large profit margin, a profit driven manufacturer will never hesitate to continually lower their production cost at the expense of quality sounding music! Then, after paying a very high price for what is presumably a respectable piece of equipment, a passionate audio enthusiast still has to risk it all by tweaking their machine with a soldiering iron.
It may be true that we live in a profit driven world now, but when the promise of a high calibre sound system falls short, and excellent sound quality music is the victim, it still angers us all!
THE WHOLE TRUTH
Unfortunately, that is not the whole truth. The whole truth about IC opamps is that they are in that machine for one reason and one reason only. It is simply a cost saving exercise at the expense of high calibre sounding music!
ICs are cheap and sticking an IC opamp onto a PCB simplifies the entire design, assembly and quality control process. However, IC opamps have countless faults that make them unsuitable for audio application. Below are just some of them.
IC Opamps are not designed with a focus on Audio.
IC opamps are highly inconsistent in quality:
IC opamps are poorly conducted and degrades musical signal at all level
IC opamps suffer from EMI noise
BURSON AUDIO OPAMP
We at Burson Audio have realised the inferior quality of IC Opamps for quite some time. We love music and it’s always been our philosophy to enhance sound quality wherever possible. We’re aware that the only way to overcome the IC opamp problem, is to replace them with a well designed discrete circuitry.
BUIDING THE BURSON OPAMP
The team at Burson Audio has been developing the Burson opamp project for a number of years now. From the first version to the current production, improvement has been made along the way, as part of the quest for perfection.
The foundation of the Burson Opamp is a sophisticated Voltage Differential Amplification network. The entire opamp is constructed from audio graded transistors and resistors. Such a design will ensure minimal colouration and maximum dynamics, but this design feature also posed a great challenge to production; without rigid component matching, it would be easy for sonic imbalance to occur.
An easy solution to the above problem would be to add a blue trim pot in our design. This would allow for adjustments to be made to accommodate for any imperfections in the component matching. But we weren’t prepared to accept the signal loss that would come with such an approach.
Instead, we employed the BURN and MATCH procedure. We only use a 1% tolerant resistor. Before soldering them onto the PCB, we put them through a component burn-in module. After 50 hours of burn-in, each resistor will then be retested and matched before proceeding to our assembly line. The result of such a quality control process, is a further 10% of component rejection. This strict and very expensive BURN and MATCH process ensures the stability of the circuit. It ensures a perfect balance of sonic imagery across the entire frequency spectrum. It also guarantees a stable and realistic sound stage between the speakers.
Furthermore we insisted on a top quality lead free solder and temperature controlled soldering process. This was the only solution to reducing heat stress on our components, and minimising short circuits caused by a soldering bath used in large-scale production.
Cost focused manufacturers would never adopt such an approach due to the significant increase in production costs. Burson Audio on the other hand knows that only our level of quality control can produce opamps worthy of our badge. Only our level of quality control can produce the best Opamp in the market.
WILL BURSON OPAMP WORK FOR YOU?
It is easy to find out if the Discrete Op-amp will work for you. Just open up your CD player or DAC and locate the analog RCA output (where you plug your interconnection cable). You should see one pair or more of the standard Opamps.
Take down the model number and compare it to our list. If you find your Opamp on the list, then the Burson Discrete Op-amp will work for you!
Direct Replacement for the following Opamps
AD712, AD827, C4570, JRC4580, JRC5532, JRC5532D, JRC5534, LF353, LM833N, NE5532, NEC4520, NEC4570, NJM2068D, NJM2114, NJM2214D, NJM4558, NJM4558D, NJM4560, NJM5532, NJM4558P, OP275, OPA2132, OPA2134, OPA2604, RC4558D, RC4558P, TL052, TL072
NE5534, LT1122, OPA627, AD811, AD844, etc.
Drop us an email if your opamp is not listed above.
How to install the Discrete Op-amp? See page 101
- Record the direction of the IC-opamp. (where the half moon chip is pointing)
- De-solder the existing Op-amps and replace them with the Burson opamp (same direction).
- 100 hours of burn-in, then enjoy the music!
Please read "Burson Discrete Op-amp 101". (It is a simple guide that assists you getting the most out from our Discrete Op-amp module.)
- Working voltage: +/-12-25v DC
- Current Draw: 25mA (each module)
- THD: Less than 0.001%
- Dimensions: 48mm x 22mm x 12mm (single) 48mm x 22mm x 24mm (double)
- Weight: 28g
Disclaimer: Each module is individually tested before dispatch. However, incorrect installation of the product will risk damaging the CD player. We are not responsible for any damages incurred from the installation of this module.