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Burson Audio v5i op-amp for Topping D10


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Burson v5i op-amp

 

Pros: -Soundstage width increase
-Organic life like sound
-Music has meat to the bones
-Lovely mids with a fuller tone
-Lows goes a bit deeper

 

Cons: None that I can think of

 

Introduction

I was contacted by Burson Audio for a free trial of the V5i a few months ago. The v5i op-amp took a long time to arrive from Hong Kong. I was provided with one Op amp to test them in my Topping D10 dac.

I bought the Topping D10 as a 2nd hand unit for AUD$100, to use as a spare. My main dac(s) are Yggdrasil and Bifrost 2. So why did I buy the cheap Topping D10? One, I could use it as a spare and it's cheap. Can just keep it in the drawer and forget about it. I have always view the D10 as clear but digital sounding - which is another way of saying I don't like it.

I like a dac that is neutral sounding and also have a soul to the tone and the Topping D10 in it's original form isn't it.

The V5i Op Amp
I did not know about this op-amp before it arrives. I did not read up much about it because I want to experience it without being tainted by others impressions.

This is the tiny bugger.

 

IMG_2096.jpg

Edited by Odyssey
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Installing it into the Topping D10 dac is straight forward. Open up the D10 and see the picture below on how to install it.

In the first picture is the dac in it's original form. The black chip 'circled' is the original. In the 2nd picture, you can see the Burson v5i op-amp installed 'circled - and it must be installed with the words facing left like you see it in the picture. This is important as installing it the wrong way will result in no sound and may damage both the op-amp and dac.

 

InkedIMG_2170 (1)_LI.jpg

InkedIMG_2172 (1)_LI.jpg

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Test Setup.
My listening gear consists of :-

Source - PC, Schiit Wyrd > Topping D10 with v5i op-amp installed.
Amps - Ultrasonic Studios Oblivion and McChanson 300b amp for speakers and headphones.
Headphones - Audeze LCD4 ; HiFiMan He1000se

Music

Fourplay - 101 Eastbound

Dire Straits - Private Investigations

Holly Cole - Hold On

Jennifer Warnes - First We Take Manhattan

 

Lows
Lows goes deeper now. Quite a marked changed.

Mids
This where it stands out for me. Mid range and vocals are very engaging now and sound organic and natural. Love it !

Highs
Sound a bit rounded off but still very detailed. This makes for a non fatiguing listen especially for longer sessions.


Performance Closing thoughts:
I am used to Yggdrasil for 4 years and I won't lie when I say that the Topping D10 is so far from Yggdrasil's performance scale that it's not worth comparing.

However taken on it's own - Topping D10 with Burson v5i op-amp installed show a marked improvement that makes this cheap dac worthy as a spare dac in case I need one. In the company of my gear, it was still enjoyable and engaging enough. Recommended.


Value
Not knowing how much this v5i opamp cost, I can't comment on the value to performance ratio.

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  • 2 years later...

I got a Topping D10s for the PC setup, and just got this Burson op-amp as an upgrade. The sound improvements are exactly as @Odyssey says. The mids have a slightly fuller tone, more organic, and more low end, but at the same time just as much resolution, if not slightly more.

I only have 1 hour on it so it may even improve a bit with break in. Well worth doing for around $120 inc the shipping.

 

Just be aware, the new D10s, its socket positioning is the exact opposite of what is shown in this picture, i.e the Burson must be the other way around, despite the similarities of the nearly identical PCB layout.

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