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Comparing 2 Different LM3886 Amplifier Modules
Comparing 2 Different LM3886 Amplifier Modules
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Old 22nd November 2018, 06:59 PM   #1
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Default Comparing 2 Different LM3886 Amplifier Modules

Hi


When searching eBay for LM3886, 2 ready-made modules that appear frequent, are these:

Click the image to open in full size.



As can easily be seen,
the black module has much more components on it, while the green module is quite a minimalist relative to it, in terms of the number of components..


My question:

I unfortunately do not have the circuit for either of these 2,
but from seeing the images, can you predict which one will give a better sound quality?


The easy answer that I could give to myself, is that the black module, since it's richer in components, might be better..

Yet sometimes adding more can do the opposite, when not done right,
and on the other hand doing with little, can bring a purer result..

So the easy answer (the black one) is not necessarily the correct one..

So I hope that from these images you can maybe give a better answer than mine


Thank you very much
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Old 22nd November 2018, 07:23 PM   #2
Bone is offline Bone  United Kingdom
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You cannot assess the quality of sound by the number of components used.
The black module has in addition a speaker protection relay and regulated supplies.
Sometimes less is more!
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Old 22nd November 2018, 07:35 PM   #3
bullittstang is offline bullittstang  United States
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I have used the green version and was surprised it sounded as good as it did. Especially considering the price. You will need a toroidal, PSU with caps and maybe a speaker relay/protection as well.
As mentioned the black one is a more complete option, as you only need a toroidal. Can’t comment on the sound though.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 07:40 PM   #4
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
You cannot assess the quality of sound by the number of components used.
Right,
that's why I created this thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
The black module has in addition a speaker protection relay and regulated supplies.
Right.
The speaker protection relay obviously will not affect the sound quality,
the regulated supplies will.


But there are other components on the black module, that do not exist on the green module,
for example,
there are 4 chips on the black module,
the first pair of them look like 5532,
and the second pair is quite impossible to see from the image..

What is the purpose of them?
(or at least, what is the purpose of the pair that we can see its number.. )
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Old 22nd November 2018, 10:35 PM   #5
Panelhead is offline Panelhead
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The black board looks the best to me. Do not like zorbel networks.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 10:47 PM   #6
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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What's zorbel networks?
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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:05 AM   #7
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman5 View Post
The speaker protection relay obviously will not affect the sound quality,
That depends on which relay they chose. Some relays do cause audible distortion. Also, relays tend to wear and this wear will cause a degradation in sound quality (audible distortion) over time. Also, relays may not offer any protection when they're needed. Rather, they tend to arc over and self-destruct, usually taking the speaker with them. You can see some examples of that (including some spectacular videos) here: Speaker DC protection with relays

Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman5 View Post
the regulated supplies will.
Regulating the supply for the LM3886 is more likely to improve the sound quality. That part is certainly true.

Tom
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Old 23rd November 2018, 09:42 AM   #8
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Hi tomchr

Regarding the speaker protection relay:
Scary

BTW, the black module comes as a kit, so whoever buys it, can simply decide not to solder the relay to the board.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 11:59 AM   #9
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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On the black board:
- The lm3886 operating on a lot less than 50V, there's less risk to blow a big relay like that. I woulnd't omit it.
- Regulation is obviously only for the opamps, not the lm3886.
- The overall layout seems much tighter.
- I don't like the fact they omitted the output LR filter.

On the green board:
- The long tracks and the perfectly symmetrical layout don't inspire a lot of confidence in optimal routing.
- Decoupling of the lm3886 doesn't look great on either board but at least the black board has the big caps relatively close by onboard.

Those boards are pretty much low quality stuff. What's the intended use ?
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Old 23rd November 2018, 12:17 PM   #10
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Thank you very much 00940,
really useful feedback.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post
On the black board:
...
- The overall layout seems much tighter.
You mean the components are more condensed on the PCB?
It should not matter to the listener in any way.. If I understand correctly..


Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post
Those boards are pretty much low quality stuff. What's the intended use ?
Music..

If they are low quality, can you maybe recommend another LM3886 option that is good, if you know one?
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