Upgrading Burson Playmate to ... separated AMP & Dac

I’ve been a happy owner of the Burson Playmate. I have had this for some time now and have been loving it since then.

The issue is that I want to get some new gear due to support issues. Burson is amazing on customer support, the issue is that I’m from Portugal, and requesting support ( i already had to change the PCB once and it took 1.5 months to arrive and customs messed up ) always takes ages, customs process and i actually had to pay for the part I received under warranty because customs are used to all sort of tricks from people trying not to pay any taxes.

So right now I’m “more or less” certain on the DAC. It’s going to be a Soncoz LA-QXD1. I think it’s pretty good and simple, something i prefer since I’m not one of those people that are always messing with DACs ( usually it’s set and forget ) and i prefer without display since it’s one less part that can give me problems.

The issue now is the amp.
The main usage will be gaming, movies, and music. Pretty mainstream usage :slight_smile: I’m more a “HiFi” guy than actually, an audiophile must admit.

Music will come from Tidal.
Movies from various streaming services.
Gaming, it’s basically FPS and some of them although not competitive level, I’m “almost there” in terms of the needs.

For headphones, I have Fidelio’s X2HR and BeyerDynamics DT 900 Pro X.
In the future I want to get some high impedance ones, so the amp should be ready for that.

The issue is that I’m spoiled with Burson + V6 Vivid’s opamps sound signature.
So I was thinking of going with SingXer SA-1, not the same but from what i read it maybe be something that I will enjoy, but can’t say.

So the Combo would be SingXer SA-1 w/ Soncoz LA-QXD1.
Another 2 possibilities would be Jotunheim 2 or Rebel Amp.
I’m looking for some great imaging and soundstage. Great layer separation would also be great of course, but if i keep pointing out what i would love i would create the perfect amp that does not exist :smiley:

What is your opinion about this combo? Please, bring suggestions, opinions, or comments since all of those are more than welcome :smiley:

And sorry for the long message, but wanted to give the best context i could :slight_smile:

Regards from Portugal!

personally I think your better off just saving the money and buying a better headphone first. the burson might even sound better than the singxer sa-1 lol

1 Like

I think I’d second what @Blackrao said. You have a pretty decent DAC/amp that drastically outperforms the headphones you have.

Hey !! thank you for the replies.

I must admit, I’m not in urgency. The only fact is that I already had to replace one PCB … and I will not go through the “support” process again … it’s a PITA … mainly due to … well… distance from Portugal to Australia … and Customs … :x

That’s one of the reasons I want to change hardware. Although this is solid, for some reason I’m not 100% sure if in 1 month I won’t have problems again since… my Playmate had all kinds of problems since day 1 … and I want to change to some hardware that I actually can have some sort of support in Europe it would be way more simple…

What’s your budget?

i would love to be under the 1000 USD / 1000 EUR Mark, to be honest. The “gains” you get after that are very relative, and as you said, my headphones are not particularly high end nor i will be able to get those, since as i said … I love a great sound, really, but not going into the craziness of audiophiles level. My best sound sources will be Tidal/Apple lossless.

Just “the usual guy” that loves great, clean, dynamic sound … to work, consume media and play.

Of course, when we’re choosing new gear, we are all over the place :smiley: And since i started with a Burson Playmate … i may be spoiled by it :smiley:

1 Like

Those V6 vivid opamps are pretty nice and I’m a huge fan of them myself. If you want to try to keep that sound you might be able to find a topping a50 and swap the V6 vivids into it but they’re kinda hard to find these days since they got replaced with the a50s which I believe has the opamps soldered in place. On the DAC front, I tried pretty much all the Delta sigma DACs under $1000 and there isn’t a whole lot of difference and I actually settled on a mid priced one over more expensive ones with the gustard x16 with a douk U2 pro as an i2s bridge. I really liked how it handles bass compared to the topping DACs and pretty much everything else was the same. If you can find a topping a50 and swap the opamps I think it would hold you over pretty well until the day the itch comes back to dump money on a fancy amp but again I’d consider upgrading headphones before going crazy on an amp.

As you said, finding an A50 is impossible :frowning: the only one available is the A50S … pffff


Why don’t you keep your Playmate and if something is wrong ask here Audio Hum - Tienda especializada en Audio de Alta Fidelidad y Cine en casa
This is an authorised dealer.
Apart from that, the problems would probably have been better solved because of the EU.
Or a friendly request to Burson to send it to Spain and they will forward it to Portugal if possible.

The Singxer sounds quite good in itself.
But if you buy a Chinese product again, you’ll be in the same situation as before and could have stayed with the Burson.
And apart from that, the Chinese support is much worse than the Australian support.
If you really don’t want that, you’ll have to go with a European manufacturer.
We have a few of those, but we’re not savvy enough to recommend anything.
Spontaneously, the new Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 200 comes to mind, Feliks Echo 2 maybe.
If it should be something Chinese like the Singxer, then order it in Holland from Magnahifi or Audiophonics in France, both have good support.
This might help you to claim Chinese products in Europe in case of defects.
I think that is your main concern and then the products.

Wow. Thank you for your reply and hello to Spain?

I didn’t know about Audio Hum :slight_smile:

As for buying European brands, you’re right… we know more about external products than actually internal products … although Cambridge is from UK and they just step outside of EU though :smiley:

I guess Aune is still German :slight_smile:

But back to the topic … yes, the 2 stores I have in mind are both you said, Magnihifi and Audiophonics.

I must admit, it was so troublesome getting support for my Playmate, that i told myself i would not do it again … that is the main reason i wanted to step aside from more “exotic” brands. Again, the problem was not from Burson’s side, they really are amazing. It was the process of receiving the parts…

1 Like

No, I’m from Germany.:hugs:
I found the link at Burson under authorised dealers.
The shortest way would actually be Spain and then Portugal logically.

I understand that it is so stupid with the parts, unfortunately, these are really bad conditions as far as that is concerned.
I think Aune is a Chinese manufacturer.
You can actually buy Cambridge Audio anywhere, it doesn’t have to be via England.

It’s a bit difficult now to recommend something as there are no reports on the Songoz Dac.
And what are your preferences in audio.
I would definitely go after that, after you have listed the headphones and that customer support is important to you.
Otherwise, check with Audiophonics to see what they supply that you might like and then we can talk about it again.:blush:

If you’re looking for European brands, Lake people are from Germany, as well as their equivalent high-end brand Vioelectric. I do believe their sound signature may be different from Burson, but I didn’t own one specifically so take it with a grain of salt.

Technically Sennheiser, Beyer and Focal have amplifiers but I don’t believe they would be that much recommended, and at least the Focal Arche is more than a 1000 EUR new.

If UK is a possibility, I believe Chord and iFi are from there also, besides Cambridge Audio as mentioned by @Deleeh .

Finally, I believe @nymz is from Portugal also so maybe he can chime in for some opinion/option.

Thank you for the replies. I may have explained my situation in a not so clear way. I don’t want exclusively European brands. What I want is to buy in an European store so that warranties, replacements and support can be quicker and without customs processes in the mix.

But thank you so much for the info about the European brands :slight_smile: I will also explore those :slight_smile: