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Old 15th April 2015, 03:19 AM   #1
gabdx is offline gabdx  Canada
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Default Sound card conspiracy

Hello there,

I recently bought a HIFI sound card which came with 3 opamps and a dedicated headphone out for high impedance cans.

Ok, I tried it and it improves the sound vs. motherboard. But there is some very thick sound and the high frequencies are muffled.

So I skipped the headphone dual opamps and connected the headphone to RCA out. Better high frequencies and a slight loss of bass.

So I connected the headphones in balanced mode straight to the dac chip opamps. High frequencies came back to full power and muddiness gone.

Long post to say... is this a conspiracy that designers sabotage good sound with so many opamps when only 1 or 2 are required???
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Old 15th April 2015, 07:07 AM   #2
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Yes I think it is a worldwide conspiracy, to make us all buy more mp3. Because that is where the money is. And in opamp sales, of course.

Jan
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Old 15th April 2015, 09:50 AM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Designers have to use lots of opamps because the factories which produce them cannot reduce production without creating problems with yield. If people used fewer opamps then there would be opamp mountains building up around the world. So they add extra ones as fixed tone controls (otherwise known as filters) and hope the user is wise enough to bypass the ones he doesn't need.

Some more enlightened designers do the same thing with rare NOS valves. In order to stop them piling up in random places they add them to their circuits (e.g. as unnecessary buffers before chip amps). This restores the equilibrium and prevents the world from wobbling too much.
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Old 15th April 2015, 11:38 AM   #4
gabdx is offline gabdx  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
(...)

Some more enlightened designers do the same thing with rare NOS valves. In order to stop them piling up in random places they add them to their circuits (e.g. as unnecessary buffers before chip amps). This restores the equilibrium and prevents the world from wobbling too much.
So true, they 'soften' the too perfect sound of chip amps by adding 'tube warmth'. this is so true everywhere DF96.
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Old 15th April 2015, 11:46 AM   #5
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Some sound card manufacturers also encourage op-amp rolling and will put extra op-amps in to give the discerning buyer true choice. The headphone socket may need voicing differently from the line out. This level of consumer choice should be welcomed.
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Old 15th April 2015, 06:12 PM   #6
gabdx is offline gabdx  Canada
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Billshury do you realize the difference is minor from all the opamps rolling??? Each opamp adds layers of stuff... There is no need for a headphone socket unless you listen to 120 DB and have loss your hearing.

The worst I have seen is mods with 'discrete' opamps after other opamps or in the middle of a chain of opamps with no regards for dac circuit.

There is forums with dozens of pages of posts on how the opamp rolling made a difference. Really? They don't make any!!

To give substance to my argument, the ad8620 can drive 1K load with capacitance or inductance +-1.5 V of the power supply with 0.01% distortion!!!!!!
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Old 15th April 2015, 06:54 PM   #7
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A lot of headphones are much lower than 1k impedance. The opamp makers know this and make opamps that purposefully cannot drive headphones to force manufacturers to use more.
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Old 15th April 2015, 07:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by billshurv View Post
A lot of headphones are much lower than 1k impedance. The opamp makers know this and make opamps that purposefully cannot drive headphones to force manufacturers to use more.
You are joking right ? The manufacturers (TI, Maxim, etc) have dozens of specialized headphones drivers. It's not their fault if soundcard makers are using sub-optimal ICs at the wrong place.
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Old 15th April 2015, 07:09 PM   #9
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you blew it :P have you not read the other replies...
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Old 15th April 2015, 07:28 PM   #10
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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Ooopsie, I didn't see DF96's post.

Sorry
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