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Old 16th August 2014, 08:32 PM   #11
ammel68 is offline ammel68  United States
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Thank you for all the info.

Care to point me in the direction of a kit that uses what you're talking about above?

I see that you're a fan of the TPA6120 after reading some of your posts over at Head-Fi.
Are you talking about using this IC specifically, or another IC?
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Old 18th August 2014, 12:46 AM   #12
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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I use the TPA6120 largely for the excellent datasheet audio specs - no guessing required

other DSL or CFA may do really well too, I expect most beat commonly used unity gain buffer chips which never show the raw chip' distortion numbers - only the composite amp

Scott Wurcer snuck in a audio frequency THD plot on the AD815 DS

getting the heat out is an issue if you need to operate at higher power, hand soldering the various power pad arrangements probably have slowed hobbyist use

but for HD595 you really don't need to solder down the power pad - the TPA6120 chip is fine dissipating over a watt without soldering to the bottom pad
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Old 18th August 2014, 02:37 AM   #13
ammel68 is offline ammel68  United States
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Yeah, the biggest problem I see with using the TPA6120 or the AD815 is a PCB.

I'm not into making my own PCB's. I'm not experienced enough to design boards nor do I have the money to have only a few boards manufactured.
My understanding is board layout, ground planes, etc. are really critical when working with these high-speed IC's.

Would one of these units off Ebay, pictured below, be a good choice to begin with? Looks as though I can install whichever op-amp I want.
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Old 18th August 2014, 02:51 AM   #14
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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could be a platform to hack - likely not optimum feedback/gnd layout by CFA standards but if its not oscillating...

much cheaper than you could do without already having the tools
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Old 18th August 2014, 03:14 AM   #15
ammel68 is offline ammel68  United States
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Okay, so where can I get PCB's, for a 6120 and a DIP-8 op-amp, that are better?
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Old 18th August 2014, 03:17 AM   #16
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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not saying you can - I don't keep up with kits or cheap mass market offerings

but generally in consumer electronics anything someone tools up to build in the thousands will be sold retail for less than a hobbyist can even buy the raw parts for in singles

at ~$50-60 that amp looks like its offering great value - even if I would like to see some differences in layout, would need schematic and parts list, PCB to guess more

Last edited by jcx; 18th August 2014 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 18th August 2014, 03:48 AM   #17
ammel68 is offline ammel68  United States
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I think I'll get one just so I can get some idea of how the 6120 sounds.

The power supply is a 24V wall wart. How do you obtain positive and negative rails from a single DC supply?
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Old 18th August 2014, 04:18 AM   #18
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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active "supply splitter" makes a buffered 1/2 way point between the supply V, call it ground and you're good
as long as the input power is isolated, floats to accommodate anything you plug into on the signal gnd side

unfortunately the idea, while it can be implemented with acceptable quality, costs power

and some on Headwize got bored and invented the technically flawed "3-channel" idea that separates the signal gnd from the buffered "output gnd" - adding the buffer's noise, distortion, crosstalk to the output

but they insist "it soundz good" despite it objectively failing several of their own claims of what technical aspects they think it improves - the O2 site has measurements verifying the circuit theory analysis of "3-channel gnd" failings

Last edited by jcx; 18th August 2014 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 18th August 2014, 05:00 AM   #19
ammel68 is offline ammel68  United States
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Jcx, thank you for all the great information!
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Old 18th August 2014, 05:07 AM   #20
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I have an old bluetooth audio receiver meant for Apple products that uses a 6120 for the outputs and runs off a single supply.

I bought it to try and use with non-apple devices but it had a weird "blip" in the sound every few seconds so I never really used it. I've thought about converting it to a headphone amp.
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