Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

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Gravitar8
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Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by Gravitar8 » 18 Jul 2019 13:03

It sat in the box in which it was carefully packed by the seller for the past month. I had been too busy to get the DNF-1201A into service. That meant re-arranging the audio rack for starters....then there was the set up procedure (not lengthy at all really and that turned out to be a lot of fun) and digging out patch cables. So it sat and seemed like a low priority.
Then finally I found a free day (Monday) and went to work freeing the unit and getting it hooked up via the pre-amp tape loop. I chose my 'go to' LP (EP?) for comparing (I am infinitely familiar with the sound) Thomas Dolby's Canadian LP issue Blinded by Science. W O W what a tight, black, engaging and robust result. Using the PDF manual, I discovered that a lot of flexibility can be found in the 1201A- engaging multiple buttons in the "IN" position resulted in various frequency ranges sort of like the "Q" in a parametric. This thing was fun. The effects were subtle...but when not being used there was definitely a quality that was missing and was missed....a 'liveliness'?
Anyone else (properly!) using a 1201A and enjoying? Anyone not impressed with it (improper settings?) and have one sitting somewhere in a box? Let me know because I want another one for the bedroom system :_ )

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by rewfew » 18 Jul 2019 15:46

Sorry, I don't have such a device for you. But I've used and have been similarly impressed with a device used in recording and PA system use. I've been using the Aphex aural exciter now for about 20 years. It's a permanent fixture to my phono output. I rarely even compare it's bypass switch for unprocessed sound. It's a given that dynamics and musicality are always superior with processing. It's considered sacrilege by the audio purist type. But I go by personal gratification. Hope you can find another unit for your other system. Or try out the Aphex if so inclined.

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by Gravitar8 » 18 Jul 2019 16:02

The Aphex Exciter (especially Type C) I have had experience with- in the recording studio in its hardware form and as a virtual VST plug in for home recording. It is a great unit, one which i have and would still pair with a DBX subharmonic synth if i had the $ and the equipment rack space.
In terms of audio purist sacrilege- their opines are really only truly valid when speaking of unprocessed recordings. That rules out rock and roll and even some classical LP's. Sure there's the 'odd ball' single condenser recording or blumlein microphone(s) arrangement recording but even these are treated to compression, limiters, eq's and spatial effects including reverb...though most 'pure' classical orchestra recordings run things simple- one or more mics into the console etc directly.
I think it's a travesty to our hobby to avoid signal processing. Do we not enjoy food with salt/pepper and spice? Should we eat only raw, unprocessed food? Perhaps this isn't the best analogy but it serves purpose. We eat to survive and we eat to enjoy the taste. The same is true of home audio (and video) listening (watching).
Interestingly, I find I am more and more reluctant to bypass the Burwen and that's with me picking out a vast amount of LP types. It just makes everything sound dare I say? Better.
There I said it. And another thing to share- it is whisper quiet with no added noise that I can hear...though Im getting older now and 9K is about the peak of my listening golden range. I certainly still hear 80HZ hum in other systems but not even the tiniest hint in mine- with or without the Burwen.
Thanks for your reply- I will keep eyes open for an Aphex.
rewfew wrote:
18 Jul 2019 15:46
Sorry, I don't have such a device for you. But I've used and have been similarly impressed with a device used in recording and PA system use. I've been using the Aphex aural exciter now for about 20 years. It's a permanent fixture to my phono output. I rarely even compare it's bypass switch for unprocessed sound. It's a given that dynamics and musicality are always superior with processing. It's considered sacrilege by the audio purist type. But I go by personal gratification. Hope you can find another unit for your other system. Or try out the Aphex if so inclined.

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by rewfew » 18 Jul 2019 16:32

You don't need that subharmonic synth add on. The Aphex has a Big Bottom built in. Glad to hear someone else not being assimilated to the audio elite hegemony. If you had someone unknowing, listening comparing with to without, you'd get a response, "what the hell happened to the music".

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by Gravitar8 » 18 Jul 2019 18:33

To quote Tobias Funke (Arrested development) "There's dozens of us- dozens of us!"lol
But seriously, how anyone would want to castrate their listening options and prevent the fun of trying "black boxes" in this (expensive and time consuming) hobby is beyond me.
The Big Bottom is decent though IME I did (would) prefer the DBX sub harmonic processing. Perhaps we should talk about the Carver Sonic Holography 'black box' that if memory serves, was roundly ACCEPTED by the audio reviewers of the day. Stereophile included?
rewfew wrote:
18 Jul 2019 16:32
You don't need that subharmonic synth add on. The Aphex has a Big Bottom built in. Glad to hear someone else not being assimilated to the audio elite hegemony. If you had someone unknowing, listening comparing with to without, you'd get a response, "what the hell happened to the music".

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by b+v8an » 18 Jul 2019 18:46

Wait,What !.I've never heard of these devices. I just did a little search and now I wonder why everyone doesn't have one. I may be old and slow ,etc. ,etc.,but where does one place this device in the signal path for vinyl ? Before the preamp ,after, or could I just use it instead of a phono preamp, with a SUT or something? Perhaps I am not understanding the use of the device?
Enlighten me. Please.

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by Gravitar8 » 18 Jul 2019 18:55

You need to use a tape monitor though some like the Burwen can be also hooked up "in line" with the output of your phono preamp. I think it is vastly better to use a tape loop though since you can completely remove the device from the signal path and better make comparisons on effect, noise floor etc.
Soooo
They connect (can be daisy chained for more than one unit) in the tape loop of a pre-amp. It helps to think of the tape loop this way- (more advanced audio folks can equate the tape loop with a patch bay)
If you were to hook up a cassette deck (or reel to reel or DAT or CD burner or...) into your vinyl system you would do so to record vinyl right? Well the tape loop on a pre-amp (or receiver) has a record and play set of jacks. The record out jacks simply route whatever source is playing not only to your speakers but also a copy of that source signal is sent (as a line level signal) to the cassette deck.
This makes it easy to record: whatever is 'playing' is routed to the tape deck so you can record it.
Instead of hooking up a cassette deck, just treat the Burwen (or Aphex or....)the same way and hook up as a tape deck. Now when you listen to your source you must select the Tape Monitor switch on your pre-amp. This 'tells' the pre-amp that you want to listen to the source AFTER it has been sent to the black box.
This probably all sounds confusing and it's hard to explain in a forum post but the bottom line is it isnt that hard to do and manuals will help you as well as the fact that- if properly hooked up you will hear things :) if not properly hooked up you won't.
b+v8an wrote:
18 Jul 2019 18:46
Wait,What !.I've never heard of these devices. I just did a little search and now I wonder why everyone doesn't have one. I may be old and slow ,etc. ,etc.,but where does one place this device in the signal path for vinyl ? Before the preamp ,after, or could I just use it instead of a phono preamp, with a SUT or something? Perhaps I am not understanding the use of the device?
Enlighten me. Please.

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by JoeE SP9 » 18 Jul 2019 19:22

It should be pointed out that the Burwen and the Aphex are totally different products with very different agenda's.

The Burwen removes and/or decreases noise in the signal. The Aphex adds extra harmonic content to the signal.

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by Gravitar8 » 18 Jul 2019 22:34

The Burwen does something besides noise removal- it compresses the signal and re-expands (with the noise circuit effect)hence the name "Dynamic" noise filter
')
JoeE SP9 wrote:
18 Jul 2019 19:22
It should be pointed out that the Burwen and the Aphex are totally different products with very different agenda's.

The Burwen removes and/or decreases noise in the signal. The Aphex adds extra harmonic content to the signal.

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by rewfew » 19 Jul 2019 00:44

There is only one agenda I consider. Enjoyable music listening. I use tube amplification and high sensitivity loudspeakers. And with that topology even there is a perceived improvement to the dynamics and musicality using a side chain of enhancement. What the Burwen does for Gravitar seems within what my experience is with the Aphex. It may be of another circuit design but the key aspect is a greater sense of dynamics and enhancement of the musical experience. I don't have a tape monitor on my preamp, the Aphex has a bypass switch like a tape monitor that allows for the original signal to pass. My phono preamp plugs into the input of the Aphex, and out to my stereo preamp. I think Gravitar and I are of a mind that any perceived and enjoyable improvement to the stereo experience is not confined to what a platitude of reviewers and audio forum experts expound upon as the best way to allow quality stereo playback. There are devices that have and are available which give a boost to this perception which we find desirable to our enjoyment in the stereo sound experience. Whether or not it's found to be acceptable to the audio intelligentsia is of no merit in my experience and what I gathered from Gravitar's reply's. B+v8n, I learned of the Aphex from KAB Electro Accoustics. A source for Technics 1200 turntable modifications. https://www.kabusa.com
Look under Aphex systems on that page if interested.

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by chgc » 19 Jul 2019 03:44

I am no purist (I won’t use the “a word”) or member of the audio intelligentsia. I’m firmly in the “whatever floats your boat” camp. As soon as you touch the volume knob you’re adjusting the sound. If I found a Dynamic Filter or an Aural Exciter in my closet, I’d definitely give it a listen.

But I’m also interested in hearing what’s on the record/tape/file without additional processing.

Sometimes I listen to stuff i don’t like. Sometimes stuff i didn’t like at first grows on me. Sometimes I get sick of stuff I liked at first. Sometimes the artist is intentionally making music that is hard to listen to or “challenging.” I don’t want to grind off rough edges or juice a tired recording because that may be how the artist intended it to sound. And that’s what I’m interested in hearing.

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by b+v8an » 19 Jul 2019 06:36

Thank you Graitar8, for the explanation.So it needs a line level signal and gets hooked up like a graphic eq. That makes sense,and rewfew, has his hooked up differently. These products sound like fun to me!
I guess I was wondering if either (Burwen or Aphex),could be used instead of a phono stage. Since we all have our favorite carts,and styli to produce sounds that we tailor to our own personal enjoyment, these products ,, seem to be another way to achieve that goal.I believe that better or worse is a subjective observation, but if one could make it better but different,I believe that would be worthwhile.
I have a stereo setup,and a nice surround system.I just can't seem to leave the controls alone for more than a couple of hours,even if it sounds great, just.....because!

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by Gravitar8 » 19 Jul 2019 11:37

Excellent post!
rewfew wrote:
19 Jul 2019 00:44
There is only one agenda I consider. Enjoyable music listening. I use tube amplification and high sensitivity loudspeakers. And with that topology even there is a perceived improvement to the dynamics and musicality using a side chain of enhancement. What the Burwen does for Gravitar seems within what my experience is with the Aphex. It may be of another circuit design but the key aspect is a greater sense of dynamics and enhancement of the musical experience. I don't have a tape monitor on my preamp, the Aphex has a bypass switch like a tape monitor that allows for the original signal to pass. My phono preamp plugs into the input of the Aphex, and out to my stereo preamp. I think Gravitar and I are of a mind that any perceived and enjoyable improvement to the stereo experience is not confined to what a platitude of reviewers and audio forum experts expound upon as the best way to allow quality stereo playback. There are devices that have and are available which give a boost to this perception which we find desirable to our enjoyment in the stereo sound experience. Whether or not it's found to be acceptable to the audio intelligentsia is of no merit in my experience and what I gathered from Gravitar's reply's. B+v8n, I learned of the Aphex from KAB Electro Accoustics. A source for Technics 1200 turntable modifications. https://www.kabusa.com
Look under Aphex systems on that page if interested.

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by Gravitar8 » 19 Jul 2019 11:47

No problem! Hope you try out either (or any) device and always trust your ears as well. rewfew has his hooked up in the direct fashion since like he said, no tape loop available in his setup. As far as I know no manufacturer made a combination phono preamp + "black box" but I could be wrong. Perhaps Carver (sonic holography circuitry) did?
ps I am also a 5.1 fan and have not been moved enough to go beyond that many channels. I seldom use any surround when listening to LP's but for some LPs I do. The original LP Power Windows by RUSH being an LP that has a lot of ambient (out of phase?) signals 'hidden' when in 2 channel listening. The bottom line is- create your own vinyl reality one that is enjoyable and fun through experimentation and experience not by someone else's perceived 'audio recipe'.
b+v8an wrote:
19 Jul 2019 06:36
Thank you Graitar8, for the explanation.So it needs a line level signal and gets hooked up like a graphic eq. That makes sense,and rewfew, has his hooked up differently. These products sound like fun to me!
I guess I was wondering if either (Burwen or Aphex),could be used instead of a phono stage. Since we all have our favorite carts,and styli to produce sounds that we tailor to our own personal enjoyment, these products ,, seem to be another way to achieve that goal.I believe that better or worse is a subjective observation, but if one could make it better but different,I believe that would be worthwhile.
I have a stereo setup,and a nice surround system.I just can't seem to leave the controls alone for more than a couple of hours,even if it sounds great, just.....because!

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Re: Anyone else using Burwen Research Dynamic Filter for LP playback?

Post by JoeE SP9 » 19 Jul 2019 15:24

Sheesh! I was only pointing out that the Aphex and Burwen do entirely different things to the sound. A DNF (Dynamic Noise Filter) and an Aural Exciter are very different devices. One removes noise the other adds to the signal.

Nothing I posted or intended was in any way negative about either device.

For those who are curious here are a few links that discuss the 1201.
http://scrounge.org/speak/burwen/
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=80832
http://www.dplay.com/tutorial/burwen/DNFdesc.html
http://www.dplay.com/tutorial/burwen/DNFsche.GIF
"basically it is a variation of a noise gate. the consensus is that though they were great at the time, modern devices + technology have surpassed and outperform them by a large margin".

The quote is from Stereophile as are the links.


This is from Wiki concerning the Aural Exciter.
For other uses, see Exciter (disambiguation).
An exciter (also called a harmonic exciter or aural exciter) is an audio signal processing technique used to enhance a signal by dynamic equalization, phase manipulation, harmonic synthesis of (usually) high frequency signals, and through the addition of subtle harmonic distortion. Dynamic equalization involves variation of the equalizer characteristics in the time domain as a function of the input. Due to the varying nature, noise is reduced compared to static equalizers. Harmonic synthesis involves the creation of higher order harmonics from the fundamental frequency signals present in the recording. As noise is usually more prevalent at higher frequencies, the harmonics are derived from a purer frequency band resulting in clearer highs. Exciters are also used to synthesize harmonics of low frequency signals to simulate deep bass in smaller speakers.
Originally made in valve (tube) based equipment, they are now implemented as part of a digital signal processor, often trying to emulate analogue Exciters. Exciters are mostly found as plug-ins for sound editing software and in sound enhancement processors.

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