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By din of its compact dimensions, Burson's signature all'round 6mm aluminum vault construction seems even chunkier for the DA-160 than usual. Four output transistors bolt directly to the bottom panel (along the right edge of the exposed half of the lower board). Quality details abound. Where the far costlier Zodiac Gold runs plastic snap-on stand-offs, Burson uses metal posts with quality bolts. The inward cheeks of the power transformers run beefy metal covers to shield the circuitry from radiation. Circuitry is executed in dual mono for maximum noise separation and the signal path over PCB traces is less than 6cm long. Parts include Elna Audio caps and Dale military-grade resistors. Overall build quality is very high and frankly extraordinary in this price range.

The chassis corners show picture-frame construction where right-angle channel brackets bolt everything together.

Discrete power transformers for digital and analog circuitry. Output transistors in positions C5171 and A1930.

The shipment includes an 'accessory kit' consisting of an AC cord, RCA interconnects, coaxial and USB digital cables and a user manual with warranty registration instructions. The standard 12-month warranty can be extended to 24 months by e-mailing Burson a photo of your system with some honest comments they may post in their website feedback section.

A small but welcome wrinkle for those who are tired of blue's ongoing reign of terror in hifi are the LEDs for the input selector and output impedance switches. Unlike the power light they're yellow. Conveniently the two analog line-outs are always live. This avoids another switch. You could simultaneously feed a preamp in the main system and a can amp like Burson's own HA-160 for headfi sessions. It tends to be a good idea however to power down the unused component so the converter won't see two loads at once.

My review loaner arrived with Burson-clocked preconditioning time on it so I could be up and running right away.