Anyone else read Cordesman's review of the Burmester in TAS?


#1

In this month’s TAS, Anthony Cordesman reviewed the Burmester MC151 digital DAC/Server. I normally consider his reviews as generally having little or no “audio reviewer spin” in them, but this time around I felt like he was trying just a little too hard to convince readers the Burmester was very good despite the things it couldn’t do. I also thought for such an expensive product that apparently has some interesting technology in it, the readers (this one anyway) very much would have wanted to hear how Burmester was doing its digital conversion.

I’m sure it does sound very good - I’ve heard Burmester gear in the past, but what I found very interesting was his comparison to the DS. In reading a little between the lines, it sounds very much like the MC151 really didn’t overwhelm him as being superior to the DS. From the sound of his comparisons, I’m guessing he was using the PP FW. The areas he described as being not quite as good in the DS sound very much like the areas that have been improved with the Yale release. I admit I’m making a huge set of assumptions here, but one wonders how that comparison would have turned out if he was using YF. I take it as another testament to just how amazing the DS really is.


#2

I read the Burmeister review --very interesting. I too got a sense of “protesting too much,” in Shakespeare’s phrase. Regarding the DS comparison, it’s telling that he used the word ‘slight’ (slight advantage, slight difference, something like that) to describe the Burmeister. In other words, spending an extra $19,000 doesn’t get you all that much. Yes indeed, the DS can play with the big boys. It would have been good to know what OS he was using, I agree.

Cordesman made some other interesting comments. I agree that the listeners shouldn’t be fixated on higher sampling rates. While 24/192 can sound great, I have some absolutely superb-sounding 24/96 albums. Much more depends on how carefully the material was recorded and subsequently processed. But I don’t he quite gave DSD its due (and I don’t think his calling DSD ‘SACD’ all the time is the best practice). It’s true that many albums sold as DSD are either converted from PCM or recorded to DSD but converted to PCM for processing. Such albums can sound just fine, but there is no point in paying a premium or assuming they must be better. Where I part company with Mr. Cordesman is in regard to albums recorded in DSD (or converted directly from older analog sources, as with many reissues) and never converted to PCM. I have heard some really special things here and would not dismiss such true DSD recordings as part of the ‘sampling rate arms race’–at least for those listeners who are in search of the most natural, non-digital sounding presentation.

I was also pleased to see his comments about the poor ergonomics of many servers and control points. Manufacturers, take note.


#3

+1 to all your points.


#4
magister said ... While 24/192 can sound great, I have some absolutely superb-sounding 24/96 albums....
And I have some superb-sounding 16/44.1 albums as well, alas I no longer own a DS to enjoy their superbness.

Curiously I mention a discussion I had earlier this week with my local dealer. He has received as trade-ins three DS in the past month from owners who then went and bought a different DAC from him. One of those owners only had his DS for 2 weeks. Hardly giving it a fair break-in if only keeping it for 2 weeks before abandoning it for something else (in this case the guy bought a new Ayon Stealth DAC).

[Excuse me for being slightly grumpy…I just woke up and it’s raining. My new Magico speakers have been sitting outside in the rain in their crate since last Monday because @200 kg shipping weight they are too heavy for me to man-handle inside by myself cant-believe-my-eyes-smiley-emoticon_gif]


#5

I nice artical who depicts the ds well


#6

brodricj said

Curiously I mention a discussion I had earlier this week with my local dealer. He has received as trade-ins three DS in the past month from owners who then went and bought a different DAC from him. One of those owners only had his DS for 2 weeks. Hardly giving it a fair break-in if only keeping it for 2 weeks before abandoning it for something else (in this case the guy bought a new Ayon Stealth DAC).
do you have some coordinates? Still looking for a second hand, somewhat more affordable DS! Appologees if this question is not allowed in this forum.

Berlin