Burson were kind enough to supply samples of their top of the range FET discrete opamps the Classic V6. I was keen to try these in my version of the DDDAC1794 NOS DAC. My version of this DAC uses a single Opamp as the output stage rather than the popular output transformer approach. The transformer option seems to need multiple DDDAC1794 boards to work well whereas with an opamp output stage a single board is adequate I think, keeping cost down. Before trying the Classic V6 I have tried most of the Ti audio grade opamps and mostly used OPA1612 so this review is comparing the Classic V6 to this opamp. My current DDDAC1794 is integrated with DSP crossovers to feed 2 DDDAC1794 boards driving modified Apogee Stage speakers. So the DAC takes 2 dual Opamps one for Bass/ Mid & one for Mid/Treble.
Well how do the Classic V6’s sound. :- Definitely an improvement over OPA1612, immediately I noticed more sense of acoustic around instruments & vocals. Vocals were clear and well presented, no hashness here. Pianos sounded well more like pianos. Treble was sweet with rivet cymbals sounding good. Mixing the opamps (one Classic & one opa1612) and the biggest improvement with the Classic was with the Mid/Treble which is above 500Hz.
I did have a quick try with the Burson V6 Vivid but prefer the Classic. The Vivid seemed to give a little more detail but also a little harshness with some female vocals. My Apogee Stage system is very revealing, a less revealing system might work better with the Vivid’s.
Technical Stuff:- No difference between the opamps, noise & distortion both very low. No RF instability detected .If your existing opamps are already installed in 8pin DIL sockets they very easy to install. A tip if you want to change soldered in DIL opamps is to cut the pins with small cutters, desolder each pin individually and remove solder from holes with desoldering wick. Less risk of damaging circuit board this way.
Overall despite the big increase in price over integrated opamps I can defintely recommend the V6 Classic which sounded neutral and natural. Pretty good coming from someone who has not been a great fan of FET transistor based opamps, up and till now that is :-
Vivid Single opamps in Trichord Dino also an improved sound quality over integrated opamps :-
Please note this is the original Dino, You can’t just swap the output opamp its a non standard design, circuit modifications are needed. Also for this upgrade a DC servo board has been added to reduce DC on the output to less than 1mV.