DIP sockets

DIP sockets are popular for allowing convenient experimentation with different opamps. However, I am wondering if there is any objective loss as opposed a soldered PDIP opamp? It would seem likely that solder joints would be objectively superior to the friction joints into the sockets... and thus have a potential difference in performance or SQ. Has anyone tested this?
Round hole sockets ("turned pins") are usually much fussier about pin alignment, and are higher profile, I avoid them, standard sort work fine in my experience. They have a sharp edge to dig into the IC pin and make a good connection - at least the first few times - they are not designed for many mating cycles (use a ZIF socket for that).

The extra few mm of pin length isn't something to worry about with analog audio ICs - if it did matter then SMT is probably the best approach anyway, which are much easier to rework anyway (given a hot-air rework station).
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Donning my fireproof underwear-
Long ago there was a study of IC sockets. Round machined contacts didn't do as well as double leaf flat contacts. Not hard to believe when you look at the construction details. Next, gold only had benefits when both pin and socket are gold flashed. Otherwise you're better off with like materials. So for most of us, the plain jane double leaf contact is the better choice. I'd love to find that study again. Might have been a magazine or it might have been an IC manufacturer.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Joined 2009
Paid Member
The socket will add a bit of inductance due to the added lead length. That'll matter for RF but not much for audio. Do note that some "audio" opamps have gain at RF frequencies, though.

I've used many, many LM4562 opamps in sockets. It's a 55 MHz part. I've never been able to measure any difference in circuit performance with/without the socket.

Having the parts socketed greatly simplifies debugging because you can pull the part. That's why I specify sockets in all my DIY projects.

  • Like
Reactions: 1 user