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Old 29th October 2009, 09:16 AM   #1
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Exclamation The best sounding audio integrated opamps

I've tried everything or nearly so, and these are the absolute best sounding (voltage feedback) opamps for audio, for my hearing...:

LT1028, OPA132UA, LME49723, LME49720HA


A slightly special mention to the OPA211 too, which isn't bad.
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Old 29th October 2009, 11:38 AM   #2
ratza is offline ratza  Romania
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What music did you use for comparison? What music source do you use?
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Old 29th October 2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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Music: XTC, Calexico, Gillian Welch, EELS, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, etc.

System: Cambridge Audio CD transport > CS4398-based DAC (here is where I've been putting the opamps) > Pioneer integrated amp > Polk Audio bookshelf speakers. Cables are all good quality.


I tried the OPA827 too - too bland and lifeless. The same is true about the LME49722, and others (LM6172 above all). The LM4562 is decent but the LME49723 sounds better. The OPA132UA is the best FET opamp that I know of.


I still want to try (in the DAC I mentioned) the THS4051 and the OPA1611.


The LT1028CS8 is what I use now and it's excellent..

Last edited by Andrea:; 29th October 2009 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 29th October 2009, 12:49 PM   #4
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Hi Andrea,

Nice to see you here

How would you comment on these: ADA4898-1, AD8599, AD797 and opa827?
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Old 29th October 2009, 01:05 PM   #5
ratza is offline ratza  Romania
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Andrea: thank you for informations. I'm using a OPA2134 based preamplifier and the sound transparency is great.
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Old 29th October 2009, 02:38 PM   #6
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I said above about the OPA827... it might be more interesting for I/V conversion.


Yup, the OPA2134 is a fine sounding opamp. Nevertheless, my favorite dual is the newer (and better?) LME49723.


AD opamps are my weak side, since those nice folks don't want to send samples to me.

However, my finding so far with all the AD opamps I've heard would be precisely summarised with "nice, but flawed". The AD845KN is one AD opamp that I like...

The AD797 is quite nice except that the mids aren't quite fluid and grainless.

The ADA4898-1 is interesting but I haven't managed to try it yet. The AD8599 was recently added in that big "opamp measurement shootout" and its distortion was disappointingly high (significantly worse than an OPA2132 for instance).


BTW the LT1028 absolutely blows the OPA827 out of the water for sound quality in simple DAC buffering.

Last edited by Andrea:; 29th October 2009 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 29th October 2009, 03:49 PM   #7
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Ah, I wanted to mention that I've also tried a few discrete opamps: OPA-Earth, OPA-Sun and OPA-Sun V2, from Audio-GD. The OPA-Earth was tonally dull and midbass lacking, the OPA-Sun was mechanic in the mids, the OPA-Sun V2 was the best sonically but produced a whopping 375 mV of DC offset where all of the chip opamps produced none.
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Old 29th October 2009, 04:02 PM   #8
Pano is online now Pano  United States
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Interesting. The OPA132UA & LME49720 are 2 that I like, just because they work well for me. Nice to know they are liked by others.
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Old 29th October 2009, 04:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea: View Post
I've tried everything or nearly so, and these are the absolute best sounding (voltage feedback) opamps for audio, for my hearing...:

LT1028, OPA132UA, LME49723, LME49720HA


A slightly special mention to the OPA211 too, which isn't bad.
Let me fill in here, if you want to have an opinion here we have two different answers.

1 Best opamp in your particular design.

2 Best opamp on a 100% perfect pcb with everything tuned in for the opamp in mind.

My answer to your question is that there is no answer because the opamp in mind will probably not work optimally.

Is the opamp for a vinyl amp, active filter, tone control, buffer or what? You must choose the opamp with taste and design a circuit with taste also.
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Old 29th October 2009, 05:07 PM   #10
adason is offline adason  United States
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Hi Andrea, best opamp is removed opamp. Try lampizator.
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