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Anybody OP amp rolling?

pozz

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#3

Newk Yuler

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#7
It's the equivalent of this:
Careful, now. You're gonna hurt some tender feelings. Like those good folks who think Elon's new truck looks awesome and those who think Rise of Skywalker is great when JJ Abrams is a hack. ;)

Opamp rolling is okay for anyone who wants to risk sacrificing a good measuring part for a dirty that subjectively sounds better. There will be times when the original measures worse than the replacement. You have to take into consideration asking this sort of question here is usually going to upset the purists. o_O (Says a guy who has played with the Bursons and enjoyed the results.)
 

Wombat

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#8
Easy to write-off expert contribututors as purists, so as to align with subjective beliefs, isn't it?

Remember the anecdote re giving enough monkeys a typewriter and enough time to tinker and then, statistically, a copy of the bible could result?
 

Mnyb

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#9
Hmmm is it not implementation ie the the total circuit design that rules , like in a DAC it’s the complete design that does not not which chip you happen to use .

So just plonk in some random op amp in a design you may not understand is well random .

I also wonder if you design a circuit for the purpose of op amp rolling, like the products shown in the first post ? It must be somewhat tolerant about the differences between suitable op amps . So this can not be the optimal design for any of the op amp you can use ?
Also most good audio op amps in correctly designed circuits used for their purpose is transparent anyway ?

So imo this is some kind of component fetishising , when you should care about the end result.

I do understand that some of you on this forum design amplifiers and other stuff and kits like these could be used for some evaluation test and if you design circuits you develop some favourite components that you like to use.

But when “joe blow” reads subjective reviews of op amps and swaps them around in his random DAC’s etc.
Then we have a snake oil situation even if the op amps themselves are perfectly valid designs.

Maybe not all of the discrete op amps you showed in this tread ?? They operate on the myth the IC is wrong somehow.
I don’t know the specifics of all of them , but if they perform worse than a standard IC but are portrayed as somehow better just because they are discrete then we are in snake oil territory again are we not ?
 

Wombat

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#10
Adding 'ownership' creds by easily done substitution or addition is usually an ego trip by those who know SFA about circuit/equipment design and performance but have wide open ears for internet gossip and fairy tales. Those who know better often encourage them in order to make a buck.

There are those who like dill pickles with peanut butter even if not pregnant. "No accounting for taste" is a saying.
 

solderdude

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#11
Actually the SIL opamps are pretty good.
Not sonically different of course but good performers and can actually run on +/-24V (in case one needs opamps to go slightly above the usual +/- 18V rails)

When rolling opamps having a 1GHz scope could come in handy.
Not all circuits / board layouts and opamps are suited to be simply swapped.
 

Mnyb

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#12
Actually the SIL opamps are pretty good.
Not sonically different of course but good performers and can actually run on +/-24V (in case one needs opamps to go slightly above the usual +/- 18V rails)

When rolling opamps having a 1GHz scope could come in handy.
Not all circuits / board layouts and opamps are suited to be simply swapped.
Ok cool are these in commercial designs or mostly used by hobby builders ( that are no so sensitive to parts costs )
 

Wombat

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#13
@solderdude, Opamp rollers mostly don't have measurement or analysis tools. If they did they might have some prior idea of what they were doing.

Mostly a 'kitchen table' tinkerer's fad.
 
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solderdude

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#14
@solderdude, Opamp rollers mostly don't have measurement or analysis tools. If they did they might have some prior idea of what they were doing.

Mostly a tinkerer's fad.
Indeed that's why I suggest to check for proper operation a high bandwidth scope... that will rule out the vast majority of people.
Unfortunately this doesn't deter the guys doing the swapping 'by ear'.

Ok cool are these in commercial designs or mostly used by hobby builders ( that are no so sensitive to parts costs )
I don't think these are used in commercial designs.
 

trl

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#15
A similar thread could be read here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...burson-sparkos-sonic994-1612.3305/post-153240.

I did rolled out few opamps myself too, so I'm sharing from my so-called "experience" of rolling opamps. :)

- 1) In ASUS Essence One I swapped the default NE5532P opamps with MUSES01 in I/V stage and got an increased soundstage and a more...musical sound. I found out later that this was due to increased THD (mostly the 3rd and 5th harmonics) and probably some ringing and oscillations I haven't measured yet, so I swapped back the MUSES01 with LME49720 or NE5532P and I got the best THD+N out of it. Essence One seems to be very sensitive to opamps rolling, probably due to it's poor grounding and very thin traces; also, the joints between the PCB layers was very poor, especially on the power supply ground plane (0.1...0.2 Ohms).
- 2) Same Essence One, but now the Low-Pass Filter: swapped NE5532P with OPA2604 and got an increased soundstage and less "nasal" voices and saxophone. It was do the OPA2604 opamps oscillations, lot of ringing I saw with my scope and both opamps were overheating a lot. So, I did got back to the default NE5532P/LME49720 opamps.
- 3) Same EssenceOne, but on the Voltage-Gain opamps (the loop for the LME49600 buffers), I got a better bass with Burson V5i opamps. When I did a frequency response check I noticed a bit of thump on the low-end frequencies, so I had them swapped with the default LME49720. V5i might be OK for those willing a small bass boost, but not for me.
- 4) Matrix HPA-3B: swapped the default LME49860 opamps from the Voltage-Amplification Stage with the following: Burson SS V6/MUSES01/02/8820/8920 etc. I noticed a decrease of the background noise, even when using LME49720, despite it should be identical with LME49860 (who knows, maybe these LME49860 were fakes). In the end I left inside the OPA1652 due to the lowest DC-voltage on outputs (e.g.: about 1mV vs. the SS V6 (5...10mV), but all of the above opamps were having about the same THD, just the noise (and THD+N) was a bit higher on the LME49860, not sure why.
- 5) Same Matrix HPA-3B: swapped the default LME49860 with Burson V5i, but on the low-gain I got a strange noise coming out of my headphones. Seems that under some circumstances V5i are not so great for unity gain or even for <2X gains, but for higher gains seems to do well.
- 6) In Burson PLAY v1.6 I swapped the default JRC5532 with AD8599 in I/V and and AD8672 in LPF to decrease the noise. About the same noise decrease was achieved when using MUSES01/02 or MUSES8920/8820. Same opamps used in PLAY v2.2 did not showed any improvements, but the v2.2 had already a lower background noise than previous v1.6, probably due to increased ground plane on both sides of the PCB.
- 7) In Burson PLAYMATE Everest I swapped the default SS V6 Classic & Vivid opamps with LME49720 in I/V and JRC5532D in LPF and VAS stages. I wasn't noticing any sound changes, the THD+N was about the same with Burson opampd as with the TI & JRC opamps as well. Probably the huge ground plane and the improved PCB quality is not so sensitive to opamps like PLAY used to be in the past. However, worth mentioning that the Vivids are having a more energy on the trebles, not sure why, but I like the Classics more (same neutral sound as 5532 and 49720 opamps).
- 8) In Burson C3X I swapped the default SS V6 Vivid opamps with JRC5532D; I couldn't feel any change in audio, but the trebles are having somehow more details if Vivids are used, although the freq. response seems pretty flat to me...kinda odd. However, I will leave the JRC5532D inside due to the lowest output DC (2...4mV with 5532D vs. the 5...10mV with the V6 opamps).
- 9) I swapped the default JRC4556 buffer opamps from the Objective2 with MUSES8920, just to lower the DC-voltage from 3...3.5mV to about 1mV (kinda crazy and not recommended mod). Also, I did swapped the default JRC2608D opamp from the voltage-gain with OPA1652 opamp to further decrease the background noise (this can only be felt only for gains higher than 3X; for lower gains makes no sense to do this).

Subjectively, I noticed a different sound flavour when swapping opamps, but only in DACs/headamps that probably were not having a perfect ground plane or the PCB was somehow poorly designed (Essence One, PLAY v1.6, HPA-3B maybe). The only device where I really noticed that an expensive opamp might make sense is the Matrix HPA-3B where the difference between SS V6 Classic and the default LME49720 was very obvious with sensitive cans (I'm only referring to background noise here; the audio quality was about the same in an A/B test).

Also, the noise decrease when swapping the default LME49860 with LME49720 (or other opamps) remains unexplained to me, but difference was pretty big. Basically, doesn't matters what opamp I stick into the DIP8 socket, the background noise is still lower then LME49860. Test done with only one channel swapped, so it's quite easy to compare this way (also swapped the opamp for the other channel, background noise moved into the other ear).

Technically speaking, it's really hard to beat opamps like AD797, AD8599, OPA1612, OPA1656, so it might be safer to use one of these over the "exotic" ones, unless swapping opamps is really fun for you and you have enough money to spend on this hobby. :)
 

Wombat

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#16
That is one hell of a subjective post with many suppositions.

For a brief moment I thought I was on one of those forums that ASR is the antethesis of.
 
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Phorize

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#17
That is one hell of a subjective post with many suppositions.

For a brief moment I thought I was on one of those forums that ASR is the antethesis of.
My reading of the above post takes it as being very clear that the subjective experiences are just that rather than ‘facts’ and that the measurements taken may explain some of them, and not others.
 

restorer-john

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#18
Generally I only change out OpAmps when they are faulty. Some old 1970s 8 pin pieces get "black leg" on the silver/tin plated copper legs which migrates into the wafer and causes noise. Some older OpAmps get noisy when run close to their Vmax, which a number of manufacturers did, perhaps they selected ones that could handle it, perhaps they didn't...
 

Wombat

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#19
My reading of the above post takes it as being very clear that the subjective experiences are just that rather than ‘facts’ and that the measurements taken may explain some of them, and not others.
Yes, but why post them without valid measurements and test details?
I got the impression that informal hearing impressions were posted along with the suppositions. As such, they are of personal impression only and not generally reliable.

How often does this need to be said?
whistle.gif
 
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LTig

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#20
There are many products touting OP amp rolling capability. Anybody doing it? Is it snake oil?


Don't do it:
  • Products which are not made for opamp rolling usually suffer in measured performance when rolling opamps, especially if you don't know what you're doing - you need at least the schematics and must be able to understand the circuit fully to choose a proper replacement opamp, and even then it may be necessary to change other parts as well (e.g. compensation caps).
  • Stay way from products especially made for opamp rolling. The design must ensure that opamp rolling does not lead to oscillations which means that the amplifier stage is overcompensated and therefore cannot work at its best in the first place.
  • Stay away from discrete opamps. With very few exceptions most technical parameters are worse compared to integrated opamps. Exceptions may be higher output current and higher supply voltage.
 

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