First there were praises to the former benchmark. (The Burson HA-160D – The StereoTimes Most Wanted Award winner for 2011):
I often fall into an easy “like” with a lot of stuff I review … with the HA-160D it was love.
No matter the musical genre and no matter the transducer, its pace, bass, dynamism and tone captured me at first listen and it also had (and has) that certain intangible something that made me wanna keep listening.
The preamp’s a great preamp, the DAC’s a great DAC, and the headphone amp? C’mon! Thaz waz up!!
I can tell you the HA-160D sounds Goddamned (or “bloody,” as far as you Brits are concerned) great.
Then Came The Conductor Evaluation:
Yes, the Conductor en masse is more detailed than the HA-160D.
Yes, the Conductor is more grain-free than the HA-160D
and yes, the Conductor retains the staple PRaT, dynamism and sheer musical involvement of the 160D.
In particular, Battle’s voice was somewhat purer still, massed string tone had a bit more tonal weight behind the bright leading edge, and I could hear the reverb in the church venue linger on just a bit longer after vocal/orchestral tones died away.
The hat trick of improved detail, functional versatility and higher power output is no easy thing. That Burson could pull this off while steadfastly refusing to compromise the intangible something-ness that made the 160D great? Well– ’tis rare indeed.
I hereby and forthwith proclaim, pronounce and verily decree therefore that the Burson Conductor has handily and mightily outdone its older brother (HA-160D);
It is forthright, herewith and straight-up-now-tell-me, the greatest headphone listening device I have yet heard.
Full Review Here: http://www.stereotimes.com/amp012113.shtml