The V6 Vivid is a discrete op-amp and is the result of 12 years of research by Burson Audio. The V6 Vivid retails at $85 for the dual x 1 and $145 for the dual x 2.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Burson Audio for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Blacker background and enhanced imaging
Transparency and micro-detail retrieval
Larger than most opamps
Pricey if upgrading multiple opamps
Burson Audio V6 Vivid
Op-amp model: V6 Vivid
Design: fully discrete
Min voltage: ±3.5V/ 7 VDC
Max voltage: ± 16.5V / 33VDC
Current consumption: Single 7mA | Dual 14mA
Unity gain stable: Yes
Reverse-voltage protection: Yes
In terms of size and form, the Burson V6 Vivid is the same as the V6 Classic. That means it’s rather big (12.4mm X 14.5mm X 29mm), something you may need to keep in mind depending on where you plan to use it. For example, when I put the V6 Classic in my Topping DX7 Pro, I discovered I could no longer put the top of the chassis back on due to the opamp’s height. There are workarounds, such as Burson’s 35mm extension lead, so it’s not a big concern but something worth considering.
The Burson V6 Vivid has built-in reverse-voltage protection, so it should be protected from incorrect insertion. For added peace of mind, Burson’s V6 opamps are covered by a lifetime warranty. When handling the V6 Vivid, I once again felt confident thanks to the strength of the pins compared to other opamps.
The amp getting the special treatment this time is Burson’s own Funk. Swapping out the stock Texas Instruments NE5532 opamps for the V6 Vivid was a simple task. It was quite a lot easier than doing the same operation on the Topping DX7 Pro as the Funk has more space around the opamp sockets for my chunky man fingers.
The process went smoothly and I was done within minutes. I was also relieved to find that the top of the chassis fits back on comfortably with the V6 Vivids in place; obviously, it has been designed with this specific upgrade in mind.
Like I experienced with the V6 Classic, the Burson V6 Vivid has an immediate effect on the soundstage. But whereas the Classic has a softer airiness and rounder notes, the V6 Vivid expands the soundstage by the way of better note density and a more organized stage. It has less of a tube-type sound and more of a solid-state presentation.
However, that does not mean the Vivid isn’t musical: it’s just more transparent and uncoloured in comparison. It has an even blacker background, which enhances the spacing between instruments. So, while the Classic already has lovely imaging and layering, the V6 Vivid takes it a step further with increased pinpoint accuracy.
Speaking of accuracy, those looking for it will appreciate V6 Vivid’s uncoloured and unbiased approach. It’s truly transparent and renders a more precise timbre. Another benefit of transparency is greater detail retrieval which is another thing Vivid is especially good at. If you’re one who likes to pick out every micro-detail in a recording, this will enhance your experience. Treble notes have more definition compared to the Classic’s slightly rounded ones, making positional cues clearer.
The V6 Vivid is a better match for speakers or headphones with a fuller bass response. All of the extension is still there but the speed of decay and thus the control and definition are improved. It might not provide the same level of warmth as the Classic but it gives you a more tangible level of precision.
In the end, the Burson V6 Vivid is a stellar opamp that (at least in my opinion) is worthy of the asking price. I think it works better with warmer or more “musical” setups while the V6 Classic is a better match for more analytical or drier sounding systems. The beauty of it all is you get to choose which one works best for you and your specific gear.
I was impressed by the V6 Classic and I like the Burson V6 Vivid even more. It elevates my Burson Funk amp to a new level with an expanded soundstage, more precise imaging and blacker background. The added transparency enhances micro-detail retrieval and produces accurate timbre across the spectrum. If you’re looking for an opamp to breathe new life into your system, I can easily recommend this one.