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audioPT 20th September 2004 10:07 AM

-: Best audio OpAmps :-

Sorry about this silly question, but each diy'er indicate a different OpAmp as 'the best in audio'.

So, Witch is the 'really one'?

- single
- dual

- single
- dual

Thanks in advance

Pedro Martins

Geek 20th September 2004 10:50 AM

I'll only use 3 for audio:


audioPT 20th September 2004 11:18 AM


Originally posted by Geek
I'll only use 3 for audio:


Those are the ones I use also... But I know there are some better...

Swedish Chef 20th September 2004 11:41 AM

Yes, this is a silly question and so are most answers... :D

The question is pretty much like "what is the best car around?". Well, it kinda depends on your application at hand...:rolleyes:

Same goes for opamps. It is an unfortune fact that too many DIY:ers have a very limited technical understanding of what is going on here and which parameters are important and not for every single application. The opamp suitable as a low-noise preamp might greatly differ from the one suitable as a buffer or line driver and so on. There just isn't one part that can do it all.

A poor opamp can sound "good" if well implemented, a very good and expensive part can sound horrible if poorly implemented. Electrical engineering is a bit more than just piling up on a handful of expensive boutique components, making pretty boxes for them and hope some magical synergy effects will result.

Give us your application(s) at hand and the selection could be narrowed down a bit.


Circlotron 20th September 2004 11:53 AM


Originally posted by Geek
I'll only use 3 for audio:


Why would a TL074 not be as good as a TL072?
Are all four sections of a TL074 equally bad?
Is one half of a TL072 better than the other? :dodgy:

Upupa Epops 20th September 2004 12:08 PM

TL 07. use only for auxiliary circuits - they have very big distortion and bad controled settling time.

Lars Clausen 20th September 2004 01:05 PM

Upupa Epops: I agree with you :)

If money is no object, you will have a hard time shaking OPA627 as the best audio op-amp ever. The newer AD8065 / 8066 are in most cases as good as the OPA627, but they are more critical to have good decoupling of the supply rails.

For extreme micro detail listening, if this is what you are looking for, the AD811 is king! This one is really analythical!!!

Another great audio opamp is the LM6171 / 6172 from National. They have a very detailled, and neutral sound. Fits perfectly with most bit stream DAC's. But if combined with a multibit DAC, which are harder in the sound, it all gets too hard.

But be careful when you change to high speed op-amps. You should be sure good decoupling caps are near to the supply pins of the opamp, or you might experience oscillations.

TL072, TL074, NE5534, NE5532, LM833 etc were good alternatives 15-20 years ago. But now much better types exist!


jackinnj 20th September 2004 01:15 PM

You really should try this chip from Analog Devices:
SSM2019 -- it seems to be designed as a microphone preamp -- extremely low noise, balanced input, gain set with one resistor.

Here are the chips which i use most often:

LT1013, LT1014, LT1028 -- the first two are nice for instrumentation and are not expensive, the LT1028 is very quiet. The Texas Instruments version of the LT1013 (probably because some OEM needed a second source) are pretty inexpensive.

AD797, AD825 -- great in power supply error amplifiers.

OPA 3684, etc -- CFB opamps with shutdown feature -- you can do some very interesting things with current feedback opamps for filters.

polsol 21st September 2004 08:02 AM

There was a bunch of articles in Hi-Fi News and Record Review back in the '80s (from memory) by Ben Duncan entitled Amp-01 and Amp-02. He discusses Opamps in detail for audio use and although the material is dated the principles are pretty much the same IMO. At that time the various merits of the TL07, Ne 5532, OP 27 and OP 37 were discussed at length as well as Buf 01 for line driving. There was also a series of articles on Pas-01, a passive preamp.
Otherwise, these articles are a good read just for the sake of it and well writen (again IMO).


wim 21st September 2004 08:12 AM

Why does nobody talk about the LM2134 ?

Isn't this a good one?

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