LM3886 and co: 10 years ago, shameful devices - diyAudio
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Old 28th November 2008, 04:19 PM   #1
elac310 is offline elac310  France
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Default LM3886 and co: 10 years ago, shameful devices

I'm really pleased to see that such little beasts as LM3886, TDA7296, TDA1514 etc. have now definitely aquired a well-deserved positive image within the HIFI communities (at least some of them).

When the first papers on the LM3886 were published in electronic magazines in the early/mid 1990s, I immediately built an amplifier with those. Just to see.
My audio-club friends loughed at me until, one nice evening, I took my amp out "for a race" against a much more sophisticated amplifier.

The chain at our host's place consisted of
- CEC Belt-Driven CD player + Brinkman converter
- and/or EMT 930 LP player (with MacIntosh Pre)
- big PP300B mono-blocks (I'll leave the brand behind a curtain of decency)
- Klipshorn speakers

The LM3886 supporting PCB and power supply (500VA/2x12V trafo, standard 50A 600V bridge rectifier, 200,000uF caps) were mounted in a sealed enclosure and nobody knew exactly what was really inside it. So the test was semi-blind in a way (one suspected I had brought the little tube amp I was working on at that time).

In the above set up, using both the CD or LP source, everybody agreed the [LM3886-equiped] amp was much better in terms of bandwidth, dynamic, resolution etc.. OK, the 300B timbres on some classical or acoustical recordings remained unsurpassable in the midrange.

It was great fun seeing my friends' faces when I removed the cover of my amp's enclosure to convince them they had listened to these tiny little PCBs each equiped with a "lousy op amp"!

Things changed after that but most people remained fetichists of their sophisticated and expensive tube or transistor/mosfet amps. That's life; celebrity often prevails over quality, I presume!
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Old 28th November 2008, 04:56 PM   #2
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Is it possible Junji Kimura was a member of your audio club and stole your idea? Then cheapened and commercialised it.
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Old 28th November 2008, 05:49 PM   #3
Puffin is offline Puffin  United Kingdom
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Old 28th November 2008, 09:06 PM   #4
elac310 is offline elac310  France
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I can't remember talking to Mr Kimura...I would have loved to, though.
Anyway, there were quite enough articles published in 1994-1996 in electronic magazines about the LM3886, that he could have drawn inspiration from. And even before that, there was the LM12(CLK), the Burr Brown OPA512 etc.
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Old 9th December 2009, 10:00 PM   #5
elac310 is offline elac310  France
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Not really a follow-up; just a few words to say again how these little chips perform well (in fact the LM3886 which is the only one I can speak about in the light of personal experience). I have acquired a few more commercial amps for the fun and because of good opportunities I could not miss. These include Hafler 9505 and Crown Studio reference I. Borrowed equipment included valve equipment such as a single ended 805 driven by a 300B, PPEL34 etc.

The LM3886 compares very well with all these amps, no matter the difference of cost and amount of hardware involved. I can only recommend to those who haven't tried it yet and are still hesitant : go ahead and build a chip amp (with the LM3886 and a high VA power supply...).

Chris.
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Old 10th December 2009, 02:22 AM   #6
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The LM3886 compares very well with all these amps, no matter the difference of cost and amount of hardware involved. I can only recommend to those who haven't tried it yet and are still hesitant : go ahead and build a chip amp (with the LM3886 and a high VA power supply...).

Chris.[/QUOTE]

I can not agree more with you!.These "little" amps can kick some a$$.
I have compared with some good commercial amps and these diy amps are worthy to build for sure.
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Old 10th December 2009, 02:08 PM   #7
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanchile View Post
...... some good commercial amps
what's the definition you or the manufacturer are using?

1kW for $10 sounds like a very good amp, depending on your point of view.
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regards Andrew T.
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Old 11th December 2009, 12:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewT View Post
what's the definition you or the manufacturer are using?

1kW for $10 sounds like a very good amp, depending on your point of view.
Definition?......lol.You are always looking for the "fifth" leg of the cat!.I think you use too much your oscilloscope. if you do not like the sound of these $10 ic's amps it is OK....since it is your taste and some people are too deep into it. This is like people that like Bose speakers even though Bose is crab they still love it and they are happy with it. I am one of those people that love the sound of these $10 IC's.
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