Burson Audio V5i Hybrid Opamp
The Burson V5i is a hybrid discrete/integrated component drop-in replacement for many types of op amp:
AD823, AD823AN, AD8066, AD8620, AD712, AD827, C4570, JRC4556AD, JRC4580, JRC5532, JRC5532D, JRC5532, LF353, LM4562, LME49860, LM833N, LME49720, MUSES8920, NE5532, NEC4520, NEC4570, NJM2068D, NJM2114, NJM2214D, NJM4558, NJM4558D, NJM4560, NJM5532, NJM4558P, OP275, OPA1612, OPA2277PA, OPA2132, OPA2134, OPA2604, JRC4558, RC4558D, RC4558P, TL052, TL072, MUSES01, MUSES02, MUSES8820, MUSES8920, MUSES8832, BA15532
NE5534, JRC5534, LT1122, TL071, OPA134, OPA627, AD811, AD829, AD844, OPA604, AD8610, AD711, AD797, LME49990, LME49710
For more details please see the Burson Audio V5i Hybrid Audio Opamp product information page.
Installation is easy, but please note that incorrect installation (wrong model or wrong orientation) will destroy your Opamp. Please read the detailed Burson V5i installation instructions in the "Installation Steps" section of the product information page before attempting installation.
To begin with, I've been an audiophile for a good 54 years now. When it comes to DIY scenarios such as changing out OpAmps, I am a novice and just recently became intrigued with doing things like this. This all began when I purchased the very inexpensive Douk Audio U3 Mini Class A Headphone Amplifier, which by itself costs less than $40. But what intrigued me was the reviews this little Headphone Amplifier has been receiving and the fact that you could change out Opamps at will. So I invested in one and was very impressed, with the Douk Audio punching far above its weight - giving many a competing headphone amplifier costing up to $150 a run for its money.
Now enter the use of the Burson Audio V5i Hybrid Opamp. As soon as I received the Doug U3 Mini Head Amp, even though it sounded superb in my particular set up (initially attached to the Schiit Modi 3 DAC), I began experimenting with different Opamps. In the process I purchased 7 different Opamps and let's face it, "most" Opamps run a dime a dozen. But I wasn't satisfied with all of those other Opamps (some making the sound too bright and harsh, while others made the sound a bit bland and overly homogenized). Then I read an article about this particular Burson Opamp. "Whoaaaa," I first thought - 'cause this Burson costs as much as I paid for the Douk Headphone Amplifier itself. I was almost ready to ignore purchasing this Burson Opamp, but the more I read, the more I realized that I should give it a try. And wow, am I glad that I did (the ole' adage, "you get what you pay for" really applies here).
Now where to even begin regarding perceptions of sound qualities. Alright, so I switched out the Opamp inside the Douk Audio Head Amp, exchanging their stock TI-NE5532 classical op amp (which sounded very nice in its own rite), with the Burson V5i unit. What occurred then had me doing a double loop. The resultant sound just opened up - by a large margin. You are literally (with good recordings of course) drawn into the performance. I became totally enveloped by the atmosphere and ambience of various performances. The sound staging opened up even more with an added amount of "air" around each instrument. More so, instruments come across as very smooth, and strings such as can be found in a large orchestra, had a silky sheen to them. Imaging is also improved. The best way to describe this Burson V5i unit Opamp is that it substantially enhances the spatial presentation of a musical performance.
Without exaggeration, inserting this Burson Opamp into my budget (yet highly competent) Douk Audio U3 Mini Head Amp, I began to hear audio qualities normally reserved for far more expensive units. I am stunned to be more exact.
I then (using this Douk Audio U3 with Burson Op Amp) began pairing up with other DAC units - and the results were the same - just a substantial improvement on the sound.
So I highly recommend this Burson Audio V5i Hybrid Opamp to anyone who has experimented with changing out Opamps. I am so glad that I did not pass this purchase by. It was well worth the money, and I can say - without exaggeration - that the audio performance I am now experiencing with the budget Douk Audio U3 Mini Head Amp, coupled with the insertion of the Burson Opamp has elevated everything.
Color me most satisfied and thus my 5-star rating.
Using the v5i with my Xduoo xd-05. The difference in sound is a bit more... hmmm... spatial. I have 2 of these amps and left the stock opamp in one of them for comparison purposes. The one with stock sounds a bit more like a smaller sound stage. With the burson v5i dual it opened up my he4xx's a bit. It's negligible but I feel that it's worth it.
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