BURSON Conductor 3 Reference - Head amp / Preamp / HiRes DAC


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Headphones impedance:
16-300 Ω
2x RCA, USB, Toslink, BlueTooth, microphone
RCA Pre Amp, RCA DAC Out, 2x 6.3mm Headphones
D/A converter:
2x Sabre ESS9038Q2M
Digital formats:
DSD 64-512, PCM 32-768 kHz, 16-32 bit
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The Best BURSON Audio XLR DAC / Headphone Amp / Preamp

  • 7,5W Class A Headphone Out
  • 2x Sabre ESS9038 DAC
  • Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX HD codec
  • OpAmp Rolling ready (upgradable opamps, changing possible for different sound character)
  • 5x Max Power - 5 sets of MCPS Power Supplies
  • 3x Cooler - All New Aluminum Enclosure
  • Quality Parts - ELNA Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors, DALE MELF Resistors, 10ppm Low Jitter Clock

The Best DAC / Headphone Amp / Preamp

Being the best of its time. This has been the sole design goal of each Burson Conductor since 2007. The C3 Reference took 3 years to built and it leaves the competition for dust.


Advanced Digital


The SABRE32/ESS9038Q2M DAC and XMOS USB receiver chips are the most advanced and expensive in the industry. There are two ESS9038 DAC chips in our C3 Reference and its USB receiver comes with customized driver by Thesycon, Germany. The result is unsurpassed processing power, perfectly playing back DSD512 and 38bit/786khz audio. The C3 Reference also features a Bluetooth 5.0 receiver Qualcomm/CSR8675 [+] with aptX HD audio codec. It pushes Bluetooth playback beyond CD quality and ease of use to the highest level.

Max Power X 5


Max Current Power Supply (MCPS) [+] raises voltage frequency from 50Hz to 170kHz, pushing noise beyond human hearing. Its low impedance ensures abundant and instant energy for output transistors. The C3 Reference uses 5 sets of MCPS: Which means, Display/Functionality, DAC, analogue left and analogue right are all separately powered.

The Cool Case


Let’s face it, most audio equipment cases are ugly and impractical. They usually have visible screws everywhere, sharp corners and boring colours. Class-A amplifiers even have finger cutting heat-sinks! They diminish the aesthetic of any living space especially modern desktops where every other electronic is slick and refined.

Made from high-density aluminum and electroplated to space-grey. The Cool Case [+] has only 4 visible screws under its belly. It is also a unified heat-sink that is 300% more efficient than previous Conductors. It is audio jewellery at its finest and It looks and plays very cool.

Smooth Control


The all-new OLED screen and interface program deliver a calming and intuitive user experience. Its machined solid aluminum knob offers the fines control and feels luxurious.

The Sound 


Through a quieter, darker background, micro dynamics propels forward by the sheer energy of the Conductor 3X.  It lets you dive even deeper into the miracle we called music.

When listening to Sinner’s Prayer by Ray Charles and B.B. King.    Ray’s authentic vocal dramatics, frail yet still capable of true emotion and flashes of fire like a dimming star mixing with King’s stinging guitar and barking vocals  Two partners in soul and titans of music, trying to top each other, ripping the joint apart and put it back together again, competitive yet completely in tune and sharing their love for music.  A perfect balance of soul, love and heart displaying in full gory.



Measurement   Package Content  
Input impedance: 40 KOhms Conductor V3 Ref.
Model # R180
USB Cable
Frequency response: ± 1 dB 0 – 58Khz Remote Control Warranty Card
THD: <0.0015% RCA Cable 24V Power Unit
Output impedance (Headphone Amp): 0.5 Ohm Power Cable  
Output impedance (Pre Out / DAC Out): 1 Ohm / 25 Ohm    
Inputs: 2 x RCA line-level input, USB, Optical Toslink, BlueTooth 5.0, microphone Weight: app. 5 kg
Outputs: 1 x RCA Pre Amp, 1 X Line Level DAC Out, 2 x 6.3mm Headphone Jack Dimensions: 255mm x 270mm x 70mm
Impedance (Headphone Jack) Power Signal to Noise Ratio Separation
16 Ohm 7.5W 95db 99%
32 Ohm 5W 97db 99%
100 Ohm 1.75W 94db 99%
150 Ohm 1.16W 95db 99%
300 Ohm 0.58W 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
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