Burmester 808 MK5 Reference Preamplifier

The flagship among the Burmester preamplifiers, which has been produced in various versions since 1980, has undergone new and extensive modifications and now carries the name 808 MK 5. Well-tried characteristics remain the same, but many things were fundamentally adapted, as if leaping a fifth, in order to prepare for the next millennium. (Due to this leap of a fifth, there is no MK 4 version. 4 is also an unlucky number in Asia, and with respect to this important market we will no longer have a 4 in our newer model names.)

In the year 2000 the 808 celebrated its 20th anniversary, it has been in production continually since August 1980 (hence the name: 80=1980, 8=August). Several reasons for Burmester Audiosystems to celebrate:
• new reference titles, for example in the USA (5 stars from The Absolute Sound)
• most sold version of the 808
• the encasement, the module slots as well as the bottom plate are now painted/anodized silver.
This way, the 808 matches the design of the other Reference Line models.
The 808 has often been compared to the 911 Porsche: ‘This one you’ll probably be building forever!’ We are happy about the lively encouragement for the 808 with its unique concept and design (copies exist: see Cello).


The modular concept, which connects the input and output modules by using a bus system, was newly optimized with great effort. A completely new addition is the IR remote control. Volume is set in 60 logarithmically tuned steps by a passive R-2R network consisting of precision resistors and gold-plated Reed relays. Only this extreme sophistication can guarantee the desired 100 percent equal channel balance. In remote mode, the mechanical precision volume control functions to set a maximum volume limit. The new metal hand-held remote control 003 is supplied as standard.
The complete internal circuitry for signal paths now consists of Burmester silver cable, which is shielded electrically as well as magnetically. The power supply of the 808 MK 5 has been completely reworked and is now housed in a casing as big as a basic power amp. This power supply provides the DC necessary for the 808 MK 5 (and only DC is transferred into the preamp from the power supply via an 18-pin shielded cable). Two 50VA transformers with overall 163.000 μF filtering capacitance provide an ultra clean and stable power supply, and steep roll-off HF-filters provide an extremely clean DC-voltage. The individual audio amplification stages of the 808 are decoupled against the supply voltages.
As with the 808 MK 3 XLR version, the four possible balanced inputs are now connected using gold-plated 3-pin Cannon (XLR) terminals located on the rear of the component. Depending on preference, six of the ten inputs can be equipped with balanced or unbalanced modules.
All modules of the 808 MK 5 are equipped with class-A X-amp amplification stages. Layout design of all modules is discrete, which means their components have been carefully selected and paired using a special colour code. The input and output modules are adjustable via proprietary potentiometers individually for each channel. If the controls are turned to their maximum level, they function as a switch and are shorted out of the signal path.
Two 24-step precision volume controls for the separately controlled outputs allow a direct comparison of two power amps, as well as independent access to different living areas. Like all Burmester Reference Line components, the 808 MK 5 now rests on a 15 mm thick bottom plate made of aluminum. In connection with the spiked feet, which rest on carbon fiber spring pucks, vibrations and footfall effects of any kind are effectively avoided. The MC2 module is a completely new design; its sophisticated circuitry was partially realized in SMD technology. The MC2 offers fully balanced signal processing and DC-coupling. The 808 MK 5 has remote facilities to switch up to four Burmester power amps on and off.



  • Inputs: max. 4 XLR / 7 RCA
  • Phono Input: optional MM / MC
  • Outputs: 2 XLR, 2 RCA, 2 tape out, (1 XLR, 1 RCA)
  • Module slots: Input: 6, Output: 2
  • Optional modules: Phono MC / MM, Line
  • Surround Thruput: yes
  • Remote controlled: yes
  • Input Impedance XLR/RCA: 10 kΩ/ 10 kΩ
  • Output Impedance XLR/RCA: 40 Ω/ 26 Ω
  • Input Sensitivity re. 1 V: 110 mV
  • Max. output level: 21.5 V
  • Frequency response -3 dB: < 10 Hz - 680 kHz
  • Signal-to-noise-ratio: > 107 dB
  • Special features: Dual zone operation
  • Width: 483 mm (19,1’’) x Height: 174.5 mm (6.9’’) x Depth: 378 mm (14.9’’)
  • Weight: 22 kg (48.5 Ibs)

  • Weight: 10 kg
  • Width: 482 mm x Height: 96 mm x Depth: 335 mm


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Availability: This product is available for purchase in-store only. Contact us for more information.