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robmil 27th April 2011 01:12 PM

sound of discrete opamps
 
Hi all

Has anybody here listened to various DIY discrete opamps?

I have made a clone JE990 and it is very good but wondered if there is anything A LOT better out there - soundwise?

I looked at the various Sam Groner opamps as well as the line-up modified 918 as well as the plenty on the net.

I suppose I am asking what shouldn't I bother with as a DIY experiment:)

Rob

Ken Newton 27th April 2011 02:59 PM

Here is just one thread from diyaudio on the topic of discrete op-amps. There are others such threads here as well, just search this site. Listening experiences will vary with application, system context, and circuit implementation details.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digit...amp-class.html

DF96 27th April 2011 03:28 PM

In some cases you may actually be listening to the feedback resistors and/or grounding arrangements rather than the op-amp, whether discrete or chip.

fotios 1st May 2011 11:01 AM

From LOW up to MID frequencies, discrete implementations are unsurpassed. From MID up to HIGH frequencies, enough ICs are competitive to discrete.
The only objective test - as i have mentioned a lot of times - is the use of instruments: an oscilloscope at the output, and a square wave as stimulus.

Bonsai 1st May 2011 02:03 PM

Just stick to IC op-amps.

;-)

AndrewT 1st May 2011 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bonsai (Post 2557658)
Just stick to IC op-amps.

;-)

and remember to design around the few uA of output stage bias.

Arty 1st May 2011 02:25 PM

i simply do not see a real advantage of discrete opamps vs chips.
possibly can improve figures, but i allways had doubts about how usefull is it anyways.
I could be very wrong, but for example 0.001% thd or 0.00001 % thd makes no difference for me.
Then i check on valve amps and find rather high thd, reason to love a valve amp is its unique distorsion.

sounds a bit.. like split personality.
sure better to have and not need than need but not have, i agree with that, but is it realy worth it?
i dunno..

as a DIY project, creating Your own discrete opamp on the otherhand sounds more than nice :D

AndrewT 1st May 2011 02:45 PM

I see two big differences between discrete opamps designed for audio duty and designed to sound good, vs IC opamps designed to be universal.

First is the number of components used in the respective topologies.
Second is the minuscule output stage bias.

I think the factors of 100 or so between the two make for a well designed discrete generally sounding better than IC.

wakibaki 1st May 2011 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robmil (Post 2552897)
I have made a clone JE990 and it is very good but wondered if there is anything A LOT better out there - soundwise?

It's unlikely.

There might be something that is minutely better, but a LOT better, no. There won't be anything that's a LOT better.

I say this without the benefit of listening. These days, for an amplifier to be a LOT better than another amplifier, one has to be a LOT worse than an amplifier can be.

You have to remember that amplifiers can only GET so good. There isn't room for improvement ad infinitum. Its an asymptote to perfection, not a straight line rising into the future for all time.

w

fotios 1st May 2011 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wakibaki (Post 2557765)
There isn't room for improvement ad infinitum. Its an asymptote to perfection, not a straight line rising into the future for all time.

Very nice phrasing Wakibaki. Mathematics is the corner-stone of Physics.
ad infinitum = without interruption.
asymptote = not going to meet; never.


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