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OP-Amp MM RIAA-Phonostage and Sonic Character like Tube-Phonostage, e. g. EAR834
OP-Amp MM RIAA-Phonostage and Sonic Character like Tube-Phonostage, e. g. EAR834
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Old 29th August 2016, 05:53 PM   #1
tiefbassuebertr is offline tiefbassuebertr  Germany
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Default OP-Amp MM RIAA-Phonostage and Sonic Character like Tube-Phonostage, e. g. EAR834

I am looking for appropriate OP-Amp type to get a sonic character like phono-preamp model like EAR834 or similar
I have heard, that OP-Amp IC types like follow are good therefore, because one will get sound like tubeamps:
1) AD817 (used in SLEE from Graham) - go to
Vinyl Asylum
2) AD746 = dual version AD744 (used in replacement phono unit from Rowland's C1) - go to post #92 under
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid...wanted-10.html
3) AD829 - discrete Version of that internal circuit you will find here:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid...sterpiece.html
4) OPA604/2604 (only one gain stage created with folded cascode)

Who can give me advices for more OPA types, which sounded similar like tube ?
Thanks in advance.

This threads don't provide any advices:
Favorite op-amps for RIAA preamp?
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analo...p-op-amps.html

Last edited by tiefbassuebertr; 5th September 2016 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 29th August 2016, 08:46 PM   #2
Hans Polak is online now Hans Polak  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiefbassuebertr View Post
I am looking for appropriate OP-Amp type to get a sonic character like phono-preamp model like EAR834 or similar
I have heard, that OP-Amp IC types like follow are good therefore, because one will get sound like tubeamps:
1) AD817 (used in SLEE from Graham) - go to
Vinyl Asylum
2) AD746 = dual version AD744 (used in replacement phono unit from Rowland's C1) - go to post #92 under
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid...wanted-10.html
3) AD829 - discrete Version of that internal circuit you will find here:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid...sterpiece.html
4) OPA604/2604 (only one gain stage created with folded cascode

Who can give me advices for more OPA types, which sounded similar like tube ?
Thanks in advance.

This threads don't provide any advices:
Favorite op-amps for RIAA preamp?
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analo...p-op-amps.html
One of the best OPA's for a MM Riaa is the OPA1642.

Hans
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Old 29th August 2016, 10:00 PM   #3
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Europe
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Self swears by the NE5534 and I've built a few RIAA's based on them - they are outstanding in my view.

If you want to tweak the sonic character, I would look carefully at the EAR EQ conformance and try to emulate that rather than change the active gain element.
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Old 29th August 2016, 11:08 PM   #4
Bare is offline Bare  Canada
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Hmmm I have a 5534 based Phono. Stereo-pile touted it as a Grade B recomendation. Works OK to be honest.
However My diy Maad_K super simple version of Le pacific ...Seriously Shames it though.
just my 2 pfennings.
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Old 30th August 2016, 09:30 AM   #5
Hans Polak is online now Hans Polak  Netherlands
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What I see is that for many designers, sound quality is equal to low distortion and they do not even take the trouble of listening to their design.
But Audio is all about listening. Measuring can give a useful support to detect any design flaws, but it is not conclusive.
There is hardly a Cart on the market producing less than 1% distortion, but their sound differs quite a lot between them.

So do you really need a 0.00001% distortion Amp to play the signal from a Cart with 1% distortion?
I don't think so.
Do different OPA's have a different sound signature, although their distortion figures are ridiculously low, yes they do.
So when your design has been finished, try different OPA's who's specs fit within your design.

The 5534 is a great performer in many respects, but I was never charmed by the sound of it.

Hans
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Old 30th August 2016, 09:42 AM   #6
billshurv is offline billshurv  United Kingdom
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OP-Amp MM RIAA-Phonostage and Sonic Character like Tube-Phonostage, e. g. EAR834
'Charmed by the sound'. That to me would indicate you want a tone control rather than a neutral part? Sure that is not what you meant to say?
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Old 30th August 2016, 10:19 AM   #7
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Polak
What I see is that for many designers, sound quality is equal to low distortion and they do not even take the trouble of listening to their design.
If good quality sound reproduction is the aim (which it often is not) then adequately low distortion is certainly necessary, although not sufficient. Good designers know this. Bad designers either get worked up about unnecessarily low distortion or (more commonly these days) ignore distortion and hence ignore sound reproduction.

Quote:
Measuring can give a useful support to detect any design flaws, but it is not conclusive.
A good measurement can be conclusive about what is being measured. It won't, of course, tell you whether you like the result - especially if sound reproduction is not the aim.

Quote:
There is hardly a Cart on the market producing less than 1% distortion, but their sound differs quite a lot between them.
The former is part of the reason for the latter. I would replace "but" with "therefore".

Quote:
So do you really need a 0.00001% distortion Amp to play the signal from a Cart with 1% distortion?
I don't think so.
I doubt if anyone else thinks so either. However, saying that we don't need 0.00001% distortion is not an argument for preferring 0.1% distortion when 0.01% is possible without further compromise. Saying that really low distortion is not needed does not mean that higher distortion is better.

Quote:
The 5534 is a great performer in many respects, but I was never charmed by the sound of it.
If an opamp is doing its job then it would be impossible to be charmed by the sound of it because it has no sound. Any opamp which charms you is thus by definition failing to act as an opamp should act.
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Old 30th August 2016, 12:08 PM   #8
Hans Polak is online now Hans Polak  Netherlands
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"If an opamp is doing its job then it would be impossible to be charmed by the sound of it because it has no sound".
It is exactly this kind of black and white prejudiced thinking that I addressed in my posting.
If things are not white, they can only be black and vice versa.

With an open mind, you will notice there are lots of different colours.

Hans
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Old 30th August 2016, 12:38 PM   #9
billshurv is offline billshurv  United Kingdom
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OP-Amp MM RIAA-Phonostage and Sonic Character like Tube-Phonostage, e. g. EAR834
I never said things were black and white. However 'charm' is very hard to describe or point a finger at and is to some synonymous with the dull/exiting descriptions some use. I am boring and I want my electronics to get out the way and be neutral to the source. If a component charms me I would interpret that as its adding colouration. Or at least consider that an option to investigate.

Currently (for financial and time reasons) I am using a cheap ebay phono stage that was made c. 1989 using thick film hybrid op-amps. It reviewed poorly at the time due a lack of 'excitement', but I see it as being neutral, albeit with a poor overload margin by most standards. One day I should measure it.

I guess it comes down to 'can neutral be exciting'?
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Old 30th August 2016, 02:36 PM   #10
Hans Polak is online now Hans Polak  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billshurv View Post
I never said things were black and white. However 'charm' is very hard to describe or point a finger at and is to some synonymous with the dull/exiting descriptions some use. I am boring and I want my electronics to get out the way and be neutral to the source. If a component charms me I would interpret that as its adding colouration. Or at least consider that an option to investigate.

Currently (for financial and time reasons) I am using a cheap ebay phono stage that was made c. 1989 using thick film hybrid op-amps. It reviewed poorly at the time due a lack of 'excitement', but I see it as being neutral, albeit with a poor overload margin by most standards. One day I should measure it.

I guess it comes down to 'can neutral be exciting'?
That's a good point, but it almost implies that the 5534 is neutral and the others are not.
My feeling is that I am not charmed by the 5534 because it isn't that neutral as more modern OPA's.

Stan Curtis, the former head of development of Cambridge Audio recently wrote in an article: Give 3 designers the same circuit diagram of an amp and let them make a PCB for it. The result will be 3 amps sounding differently.
Another test from the New Jersey Audio Society was performed to assess the effect on the sound of and amp by switching between 13 different types of power supplies.
The result was astounding, not 2 were alike and a large difference was noticed between no 1 and no 13 in the ranking.

So can you say that an OPA sounds neutral without taking other parameters into acount ?

What also strikes me is that a well respected magazine Stereophile is mentioning frequently that a component does not add anything, and acts like a wire with gain. Nevertheless the same is said some time later from another component that sounds better than the previous one.
So to conclude, I do not think neutral = boring, but the human ear is so complex that we still have no idea why we can hear differences that cannot be measured, and that we don't care about some distortions that can be very well measured.

Hans
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