Fido sez. If a canine aviator as headphone stand could talk, ours would bark incessantly that at ~70 on their dials, both set to high gain, these decks achieved perfect lift-off with HifiMan's notorious Susvara planarmagnetics. That left plenty of SPL reserves in the tank for when music is recorded at low median levels like a lot of classical tends to be; or for headbangers to abuse their ears with. In practice, no headphone currently made should fall outside their gain grasp. The force and nothing but the full force will be with Susvara owners regardless of amplifier choice.
Sonically meanwhile, the Conductor got more juice or fruitiness from these under its charge. By contrast, with the DS-10 wielding the baton, they responded a bit drier, leaner and on tonal fullness not as committed. Dynamically too, the Aussie tackled and charged harder which paid particular dividends in the low registers. The Gold Note was shockingly Susvara-ready for a DAC/pre/streamer whose headfi function is more fourth than first wheel. The Burson felt custom-made for this very task to hold the advantage. As thin-film designs, these planars are inherently not as dynamic or full-bodied as first-rate dynamics. On hard-to-drive cans or others in search for some extra materialization and weightiness, it was a clear 1:0 win for Down Under.
Our 105dB/16Ω Final Sonorous X occupy the opposite end of the sensitivity equation. Both decks now sat in low gain. Again they produced matching SPL within a few steps from each other at now ~30. I had plenty of fine volume gradation to not transition from 'too quiet' to 'too loud' in a click or three.
For perfectly vexing reasons, the Conductor now simply suffered an annoyingly loud hum regardless of volume. Not even disconnecting all other gear from the Puritan Audio Labs AC/DC conditioner eliminated it. Burson's own power cord terminates in a two- not three-prong plug to float its Chinese Lianyunda LYD2403000 switching power adapter with 100-240V 50/60Hz 1.6A input and 24V/3A output.
Music signal naturally papered over the hum. Coming off HifiMan's top planars, the all-metal sealed Japanese presented as instantly bassier, thicker, slower, more closed in, tonally chunkier and dynamically more loaded. All this dovetailed better with Gold Note's airier treble and leaner overall balance. The tribal elder polling opinion declared 1:0 for Italy. The tally had equalized.
Pre-fazor Audeze LCD-2 followed Final's example to favor the DS-10, Sennheiser HD800, Beyerdynamic T1 and HifiMan HE-1000 lined up behind Susvara to show even better on the Burson. To test the Conductor's USB, I next moved into the main system where a dedicated fully loaded 27" iMac serves up locally hosted files through Audirvana 3.