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Review Hardware Info: v2.0 vs. v1.6 Burson Audio Play

Play v2 ESS ES9018K2M Zoomed Out 2

Burson Audio sent me a new revision of their Play’s primary PCB which is now v2.0 vs. v1.6. The primary upgrades were an increase in filtering by an increase in the number of ELNA SILMIC-II capacitors on-board. They replaced both Bourns trim pots with fixed Dale resistors (all other non-surface mounted resistors are Dales). For the -15V rail of the DAC/Amp, the v1.6 used an XL6008E1 while v2.0 uses an XL6019E1 IC. For the +15V rail of the DAC/Amp, the v1.6 used an XL4005E1 while the v2.0 model uses an XL4015E1 IC. The last two changes I noticed were the inclusion of an inline + removable 5A miniature-fuse with the 12V Molex connector and the 5W cement resistor was replaced with dual 2W carbon comp resistors in parallel. As you can guess from the names, most of these IC changes are newer revisions of the previous model (thus should be higher performing parts). From my conversations with Burson and what I have read, the main focus was lowering the noise floor without losing power. Increasing the quality of the power components will surely help out in this area.

Play v1_6 XL6008E1

Play v2 XL6019E1

Play v1_6 XL4005E1

Play v2 XL4015E1

I talked with Alex from Burson Audio on the topic of what was changed from v1.6 to v2.0 (to confirm my observations) and as I thought from inspection, it mainly has to do with the ICs used for the power delivery of the positive and negative op-amp voltage rails. Burson also wanted to remove the trim-pots due to Dale resistors being less likely to cause noise in the signal path. This latest revision has excellent depth characteristics that shine during my PC gaming sessions. Surely a lower noise floor can help give the listener the purist audio possible (free of audible noise). I was also told that Burson is no longer making the v1.6 Play, so I stopped my detailed comparison between the two from a sound standpoint. If enough people want this comparison, I’ll bring it back.

Play v1_6 100 MHz Oscillator
This is the primary DAC’s main 100 MHz clock/oscillator! (It’s tiny)

Play v1_6 ESS ES9018K2M Zoomed Out

Play v1_6 ESS ES9018K2M

Play v2 ESS ES9018K2M

Play v2 ESS ES9018K2M Zoomed Out 3

Play v2 ESS ES9018K2M Zoomed Out 2

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