Jaguar Audio Design is an authorized Burson dealer. This company is building a legendary reputation for its quality products at very reasonable prices. We also offer new units with a 4 week trial.
People love this DAC, one of the most popular we've seen in a long while. The DA-160 will beat most DACs in the $1-3k range. It's been a while since we've been as excited at Jaguar Audio Design about a new product as we are about Burson Audio's new DA-160 DAC. This is the next generation of Burson's HA-160D, minus the headphone section, but with a much-improved power supply and a 33% lower price. The new power supply is going to give this DAC a more refined sound, with higher resolution, wider frequency separation and richer micro-dynamics.
With Burson, it's important to note the character of their sound. It's very full and bold, without much tendency toward the light and airy variety of DACs. This is purely analog character, without much of the traits of digital. As 6 Moons put it:
"If your idea of a better time is a $1.000 turntable over a like-priced CD/DVD player or PC audio setup, the Burson belongs on your list."
"I'd call the HA-160D a Zu Essence plus subwoofer. That covers gutsy, fleshy, organic, slightly opaque from the midband on up, very potent in the bass and generally drawing softer fuzzier watercolour outlines."
These units are imported from Australia. Shipping cost to the US and is $30 (also discounted to other countries).
Note: you need to use an integrated amp or a preamp with this unit.
From the Burson Audio Website:
Our HA-160D 3 in 1 unit has been warmly received by fellow audiophiles since 2010. Since then, developing a stand alone DAC based on the DAC section of the HA-160D has always been on our minds. After taking into account feedback and many more valuable suggestions from the audiophile community, we have developed the DA-160, which is fully discrete, more refined in sound, with better compatibility and Connectivity. The result met all of our expectations.
Our dissatisfaction with IC based building blocks such as IC opamps and 3 pin power supply regulators have been well aired. The DA-160 is completely free of such cost focused building blocks. Instead we have built the entire DAC with idealistic circuitry designs and top quality discrete components. The focus of our discrete approach was purely on performance.
A more matured and refined sound
Although the DA-160 is based on the DAC section of the HA-160D, being a stand alone DAC we had more freedom to further optimise its performance. We decided to tweak the power supply network into a constant current source power supply and use two power transformers to lower the noise. The result is a more matured sound with even richer micro dynamics and substance.
The new DA-160 is designed to be the heart of an audio system, therefore connectivity is a must. We added two sets of USB inputs to make sharing the DAC between 2 PCs or wireless player easy. Apart from the standard RCA S/PDIF, an additional Optical Toslink was also added. Furthermore there are two sets of RCA outputs running parallel to make sharing the outputs of DA-160 between the two systems possible (eg, headphone amplifier and intergraded amplifier).
Burson HD Audio DAC
While most of the marketing spin centres on the DAC chip, the output stages are in fact the most critical stages in any audio DAC design. They are not getting the air time that they deserve because properly designed output stages are complex and expensive, and the concept is harder to sell to a customer compared to a DAC chip model number.
After the digital signals (0s and 1s) are converted by the DAC chip into stereo signals, A chain of output stages are needed to reconstruct, preserve and amplify the very weak analog signals. Any distortion and signal loss during these stages is irreversible. Unfortunately, due to the lack of customer awareness of the output stages, they are where most audio companies cut their costs, and it is common to see an output stage designed around a $20 IC opamp.
The DA-160 has fully discrete output stages that are independently powered. Operating in Class-A, they ensure the highest level of signal preservation. The result is higher resolution audio playback, with a completely transparent sonic signature consistent with our ideals.
Input impedance: 52 KOhms
Frequency response: 5Hz (-0.3dB) to 35 kHz (-1dB)
Signal to noise ratio: >101 dB at 0dB gain
Output impedance: line out 25 Ohms 45 Ohms (selectable)
Power dissipation: <25W, internal, regulated power supply
Dimensions: (180mm X 250mm X 80mm)
2 x USB Connection (Support up to 24bit @ 96Khz with 10ppm low jitter clock)
1 x Coaxial RCA (Support up to 24bit @ 192Khz)
1 x Toslink / SPDIF (Support up to 24bit @ 192Khz)
2 x RCA output (line level output with + 6dB gain selection)
Weight: app. 5 kg
Colour: silver anodized aluminium
Contact Jaguar Audio Design with any questions.