Firstly I would like to thank Burson for sending me these op-amps for review, as always I will try to write and honest review. These received over 100hrs of burn-in as is suggested by many users.
Topping D30 > A30 > German Maestro GMP8.35d / Dita Dream / Hifiman RE2000 and more.
Op-Amp Rolling, Packaging and Build:
First off I have done some op-amp rolling in the past with cmoy type amps, and believe op-amps make a small change in sound, and it can be for better or worse depending on the circuit and headphones being used.
I recently got the Topping A30 which is a fantastic budget amp, and I wanted to see how good it could sound. Burson were really helpful, and the A30 needs the dual op-amps, as the stock ones are OPA2134, they are a drop in replacement, and the A30 has sockets in it for easy op-amp rolling.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL TO INSTALL THE OP-AMPS THE CORRECT WAY AROUND, YOU WILL KILL THEM OTHERWISE (instructions on the Burson website)
The V5i come in a small plastic box with the op-amps snugly in place in the foam inlay. They are very well protected.
The V5i are well built, they are well put together and are slightly wider and taller than normal chip op-amps so they may not fit in all designs.
Now as stated before I believe in small differences between op-amps, but putting this in was the biggest difference I have heard between op-amps.
Instantly I was surprised at how the sound opened up compared to the slightly closed in sound of the OPA2134. The soundstage got more holographic and accurate, the bass also gained a little body and now digs deeper and has more realistic punch.
There is more air around all instruments and overall just a more defined and realistic sound.
Now this really was quite a big difference in sound from the OPA2134 and this little amp is now even better value.
These will set you back around $70 which is quite a lot considering the amp is not a lot more, but op-amps are a key part of the circuitry and these brought some very welcome changes that enhanced my listening experience. To be honest I was shocked by how good they made the amp sound, so if you can afford them, depending on your amp, they can bring some welcome differences.
Sound Perfection Rating: 8/10 (excellent upgrade in my amp, adds a small amount of warmth)