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Old Meets New: Kenwood’s C-2 Meets Burson Audio’s V5-OPA and V5i op-amps!

Update 6/2/18: I completed the discrete op-amp modification after I got the replacement diodes. You need to replace Diodes 11, 12, 13, & 14 with 16V Zener diodes. If you fail to do this, your op-amps will be getting +18 and -18V (36V total). This is a pretty high voltage to use on op-amps, these days we usually see 15V to 16V. If you skip this step, you should at the very least contact the manufacturer of your op-amps to ask what the recommended max voltage is (or check the data sheet).

I have been running the Kenwood C-2 with the Burson Audio op-amps for about 2 weeks. Overall I have been very impressed with an already excellent pre-amp. I noticed better high frequency extension (without being fatiguing on the ears), surprisingly the low frequencies also seemed to be clearer with less distortion during bass tests (I used DSD256 reference disks). Overall I am very pleased with this small little mod. If things continue to go well I am considering giving this a page that can be hit from the header menu.

Update 6/25/18: Now I have been running a different setup for about 2 weeks. I am running dual V5-OPA-S op-amps using an adapter and flexible extensions from Burson Audio. Overall I have been running this setup for a little over 3 weeks and the performance has been remarkable. I also added a Siemens 1uF (EPCOS) 450V film capacitor across the output instead of the stacked MKT I had in before also made by Siemens.
The heat output from the op-amps has been much better since doing the 16V Zener diode mod detailed more below. This mod is essential to making this a safe mod longevity wise. You might get by running +- 18V for a while, but over time it will kill the components faster than with normal use in modern circuits. Keep this in mind when you are looking to change the C-2’s op-amps.




One of the other projects moving through my workbench is this sweet combination of excellent bare bones pre-amps using discrete op-amps from Burson Audio! For now I just have a few pictures to share, but stay tuned to hear more about how this pre-amp will play a role in my reviews and how it is used with normal amplifiers.

Here we have the Burson V6-OPA-D “Vivid”

A shot of the V5i op-amps in the tone stack/EQ circuits/filter circuits.


More to come later, including a recap and a few community sourced mod ideas.

See one of the threads on DIYAudio here:

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