Author Topic: Op amps  (Read 336 times)

Offline Nikkel

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Op amps
« on: February 07, 2017, 01:10:04 PM »
Hi Guys

I've searched and found quite a few threads but didn't wana bump those...

Can any of you give me some advice or point me in the right direction regarding op amps please?

My setup: PC>JRiver MC 22>Asus Essence ST>RCA out to A-S501 integrated.

I would like to change the op amps on the DAC

What I'm after is a slightly warmer sound, slightly wider sound stage and a tighter bass...I'm happy with the vocals and highs but open to what changes might come.

There's a VAST amount of info on the web and its become a bit overwhelming for me to take it all in :point:

I've registered an account with RS Components...Just not too entirely which three I should go for :vsad: and what to put where.

The Burson Audio V5D and V5i caught my attention but its waaay to pricey at the moment  :point: so would like to start out cheap for now

Offline Nikkel

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Re: Op amps
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 02:02:08 PM »
General consensus is to go 2xLME49720 and 1xLM6172


Offline kamikazi

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Re: Op amps
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2017, 03:12:50 PM »
For a warmer sound use the OPA2134. It's not an improvement on the LM sound staging wise, but it has more bass and warmth. As far as I know the latter give you more staging, but they have less body and bass. For a combination of the two I'd look at the MUSES opamps, but they are probably cost as much as the card itself.

Offline pwatts

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Re: Op amps
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 07:23:43 PM »
Opamps are such a highly subjective topic that there only is one way and that is to try yourself. Many are even going back to the venerable NE553x lately. Whatever you do, avoid the super high-speed stuff e.g. AD797. Even the highly popular yet misunderstood OPA627 can give poor results when used wrong. OPA2134 is a very nice opamp, partly because it plays it safe in both the technical and the sonic domains. I like using them when I need FET opamps, and LM4562 for bipolar.

Offline Nikkel

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Re: Op amps
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 08:36:28 PM »
Thanks guys!

Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Op amps
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 09:59:00 PM »
So well put on OPA2134. 

I wish OP176 was still around. 


"If it sounds good, it IS good."
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Offline Rick

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Re: Op amps
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 12:26:47 AM »
Opamps are such a highly subjective topic that there only is one way and that is to try yourself. Many are even going back to the venerable NE553x lately. Whatever you do, avoid the super high-speed stuff e.g. AD797. Even the highly popular yet misunderstood OPA627 can give poor results when used wrong. OPA2134 is a very nice opamp, partly because it plays it safe in both the technical and the sonic domains. I like using them when I need FET opamps, and LM4562 for bipolar.

All of the above is a great stash to fiddle with, maybe add AD827, OP275 is an interesting one too.

NE5532/4 Most music purchased has been processed through hundreds of these already, quality and THD can vary between makes, nothing wrong with them IMHO.
AD797 Nice but also the slew rate can cause an issue
OPA627 My all time choice, dark background from which beautiful noises appear drive hard and bump the bass a little, can oscillate in some circuits nothing a small cap cant fix, I truly love these
OPA2132/4 Smooth nice balanced neutral, warm definitely.
LM4562 Flipping brilliant but you will hear every single detail in the music with total clarity (not always such a good thing), can sound seriously bright
AD827 similar to the OPA627

Basically get some and try them out against the originals its a bunch of fun and generally one doesn't pick up issues.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 12:30:38 AM by Rick »

Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Op amps
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 05:40:27 AM »
I prefer 2604 over 2134 and find an appropriate mix of 4562 and 2604 often works rather nicely. 

The OP176 was an AD device specifically designed as a drop in higher performance for 5534 and it was great.


"If it sounds good, it IS good."
Duke Ellington
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Offline kamikazi

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Re: Op amps
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 08:05:04 AM »
The OPA2604 did not work as well in the Essence STX, I think the 2604 likes higher voltage rails for lower noise. The LPF on the Essence STX already use a 4562 so it's a decent combination with the 2134.

You can also try some of Rick's suggestions, I had trouble sourcing them at the time from RS Components, but the market and supply has changed quite a bit since a couple of years and due to consolidation and takeovers in the semi conductor industry. The are a couple of very nice Analog Devices opamps but with the Essence STX you have to be careful about stability.