MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Favorite op amps, caps, etc
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Favorite op amps, caps, etc
s'mores
I've been playing around with different op amps and capacitors in a few recent Random Source builds. I was really pleasantly surprised by the combo of LME49720's with C0G caps throughout, very clean and neutral sound, slight but not unpleasant raspiness when overdriven, compared to a more liquid, resonant sound with OPA2134 and mica caps. Tried Wima's with several different opamps and they sounded like pure shit (not in a good way lol). What are some of your favorite combos? Do you find that some timing caps play better with certain opamps and vice versa?
Jarno
Panasonic FC for the electrolytics (Nichicon Muse if audio)
Wima MKS2, for the film caps
Ceramic 0805 100n for decoupling
OPA2134 for "quality audio" (or OPA4227/4228, OPA4132, OPA4134)
TL074 for the rest
av500
sound files for comparison uploaded where?
tojpeters
Have you tried the TLE207x series?
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tle2074.pdf
loki
av500 wrote:
sound files for comparison uploaded where?


How will you know if you are hearing artifacts of the A/D and D/A conversion process instead of the op-amps? And those converters are surrounded by op-amps that are probably not the type you are testing.

You will need an ABX tester to make sure you a actually hearing a difference. Actually doing listening tests is difficult!
s'mores
oh yeah, I'm aware of all the highly subjective hype surrounding caps, opamps, etc hihi

TLE2074's are new to me! I'll have to try some out. edit: HOLY BATMAN those are expensive.

Maybe when I finish my new mixer design I'll actually A/B some opamps. If there's a huge difference, could be interesting to have them be selectable via switch...
av500
loki wrote:
av500 wrote:
sound files for comparison uploaded where?


How will you know if you are hearing artifacts of the A/D and D/A conversion process instead of the op-amps? And those converters are surrounded by op-amps that are probably not the type you are testing.

You will need an ABX tester to make sure you a actually hearing a difference. Actually doing listening tests is difficult!


well, what use is a better opamp if the only way to enjoy it with a fully analog sound chain that will never have any other opamps or AD/DA conversion involved? wink

one opamp being "raspi" when overdriven vs another one sounding "resonant" should be easy to record and demonstrate, no?
fuzzbass
Try being old like me. Then, your ears can't hear the difference and costs go down. nanners
Jarno
av500 wrote:
loki wrote:
av500 wrote:
sound files for comparison uploaded where?


How will you know if you are hearing artifacts of the A/D and D/A conversion process instead of the op-amps? And those converters are surrounded by op-amps that are probably not the type you are testing.

You will need an ABX tester to make sure you a actually hearing a difference. Actually doing listening tests is difficult!


well, what use is a better opamp if the only way to enjoy it with a fully analog sound chain that will never have any other opamps or AD/DA conversion involved? wink

one opamp being "raspi" when overdriven vs another one sounding "resonant" should be easy to record and demonstrate, no?


Like this!


Oh wait grin
tojpeters
TLE207x op amps are expensive for the same reason divorce is. It's worth it.
plushterry
I built a CMOY pocket headphone amp for my mate, we tried several different op amps on it and they definitely sounded a bit different, not massive difference but certainly noticeable. I didn't tell him which was which so it was sort of a blind test. We both wrote 'secret' notes during the listening and afterwards we both picked the OPA2604 IIRC, and our notes nearly exactly matched one another.

I realise that it's a different circuit to a tube screamer (where I'm guessing most of the 'tone' would come from the diode clipping?)
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
tojpeters wrote:
TLE207x op amps are expensive for the same reason divorce is. It's worth it.


I've only used TLE207Xs over TL07Xs for one reason: the higher slew rate. And I'm not convinced that it made any difference whatsoever. Everywhere else, it's TL07Xs.
s'mores
one thing I just thought of: is it possible that faster op amps sound different because their faster slew rate allows for sharper transients? I'm playing my synth through some not-very-expensive monitors, so maybe any perceived raspiness / distortion could be speaker distortion from the rapid changes in voltage (yes, I'm aware that's probably bad for my speakers - that's precisely why I use cheap ones, in case I accidentally blow them up). In this case a slower slew rate might be preferable for some synth applictions - leading to a more "rounded off" square wave, for example
s'mores
av500 wrote:
sound files for comparison uploaded where?


I should also mention I own exactly zero pieces of recording equipment. I do this for fun, and I'm only an amateur. That's why I figured I should ask you more experienced wigglers cool

I will say I've got two of the Random Source VCFQ's built up now, and the only differences are op amps, caps, and 100k pots on one vs 50k pots on the other. Also different colored knobs w00t They sound very different to my ears!
cygmu
s'mores wrote:
av500 wrote:
sound files for comparison uploaded where?


I should also mention I own exactly zero pieces of recording equipment. I do this for fun, and I'm only an amateur. That's why I figured I should ask you more experienced wigglers cool

I will say I've got two of the Random Source VCFQ's built up now, and the only differences are op amps, caps, and 100k pots on one vs 50k pots on the other. Also different colored knobs w00t They sound very different to my ears!


Capacitor tolerances will make a huge difference in a circuit like that, wouldn't they?
tojpeters
Capacitor types also. I'm a firm believer in using the good stuff. A filter built with all ceramic caps vs. all film and mica will sound different. Only the user could say which is better.
I built a Plan B LPG from the boards CGS has.
At some point I exchanged the TLO74 for a TLE2074.
I thought there was a huge difference. Richer,more low end.
I talked to Peter about it,and after a few months he tried it and agreed, even publishing a recommendation to upgrade.
PWM
tojpeters wrote:
Capacitor types also. I'm a firm believer in using the good stuff. A filter built with all ceramic caps vs. all film and mica will sound different. Only the user could say which is better.
I built a Plan B LPG from the boards CGS has.
At some point I exchanged the TLO74 for a TLE2074.
I thought there was a huge difference. Richer,more low end.
I talked to Peter about it,and after a few months he tried it and agreed, even publishing a recommendation to upgrade.



This could be a design 'flaw' I build my Buchla Lopass gate clone with 4558's ( I like these for audio becouse they're not 'hi-fi') and it has loads of bottom end.

I like a vintage sound so I use vintage type components (especially in the signal path), even though these parts have different specs these days.
I guess I like the look of those green film caps.

P.S. You can't really do a good comparison of sound when you change the parts yourself and know what parts you're hearing, imo.
gruebleengourd
My experience is that despite everyone saying it shouldn't matter -- it always matters. I think especially for musical applications we are attuned to the subtle differences in opamps despite them all being 'over spec.' Not that a TL072 can't be sufficient, but 'sufficient' is engineering talk and not musical instrument.

I modded a yamaha 8 channel preamp with sockets so that I could compare a bunch of different opamps in the same circuit (Jim williams suggested this someplace).

My absolute favorite tone wise (neutral/warmish but not harsh) was the opa2228 and I use this all the time 'upgrading' circuits without a miss yet. There are others that sound more 'precision' which I might sometimes use, but I almost always favor the 2228. More so that the common opa2134.

I'm sure we can argue about subjectivity, and how well a particular circuit is designed for a particular opamp, however most all those arguements are moot, because you can just try it and use your ears. It's either clear to you or not. Even though the model circuit I used for the comparison is not the same as what I find in the synths I mod, the same general tonal character has translated every time.
gruebleengourd
PWM wrote:


This could be a design 'flaw' I build my Buchla Lopass gate clone with 4558's ( I like these for audio becouse they're not 'hi-fi') and it has loads of bottom end.


I hate those for audio because they are hissy and ringy. hihi
flts
gruebleengourd wrote:
I'm sure we can argue about subjectivity, and how well a particular circuit is designed for a particular opamp, however most all those arguements are moot, because you can just try it and use your ears. It's either clear to you or not. Even though the model circuit I used for the comparison is not the same as what I find in the synths I mod, the same general tonal character has translated every time.


This is a valid point in its own way, as long as one keeps it in the subjective domain. Arguing about matter of taste and subjective observations is pretty much pointless. So everyone is free to experiment and choose whatever they think sounds / feels the best for their own purpose, whether it's about different capacitor types or brands, opamps or speaker cables.

The problem is when someone starts to argue that something is actually worth it for everyone and objectively "an upgrade", "better" or "higher fidelity" without backing that up with anything. Not just "I tried out stuff and ended up with this, works best for me".

At that point one can with good reason request if a proper double blind test has been performed or objective measurements have been made. And at that point many people often get angry when their claims are contested with "how do you know it's not a psychological effect and there's not much actual difference, you just think it's different because you know you're using these and these things" or "are you sure it's higher fidelity and just not more pleasing distortion to your ear?" Because those are entirely valid suspicions, even though they do not need to be considered when one does stuff for himself as a hobby.
megaohm
flts wrote:

At that point one can with good reason request if a proper double blind test has been performed or objective measurements have been made. And at that point many people often get angry when their claims are contested with "how do you know it's not a psychological effect and there's not much actual difference, you just think it's different because you know you're using these and these things" or "are you sure it's higher fidelity and just not more pleasing distortion to your ear?" Because those are entirely valid suspicions, even though they do not need to be considered when one does stuff for himself as a hobby.


That is a good point you are making. It can be hard to be diplomatic when some people take any questioning as a threat to their hearing abilities (it's not!).
We should be suspicious of statements from those who are offended this way.
My guess is that they don't understand what the sense of hearing is and how easily it is influenced by non-sound things. But that goes for all our senses.
All of them can be "tricked" if you are creative enough and honest enough with yourself (the McGurk effect is a simple/classic example).

The most bothersome and glaring problem with all the "this is better than that" statements is that they are mere statements of text only. It is very rare to get any actual sound files to back up these claims.
That alone should make everyone suspicious.
Why believe something without any evidence?
fuzzbass
flts wrote:
gruebleengourd wrote:
I'm sure we can argue about subjectivity, and how well a particular circuit is designed for a particular opamp, however most all those arguements are moot, because you can just try it and use your ears. It's either clear to you or not. Even though the model circuit I used for the comparison is not the same as what I find in the synths I mod, the same general tonal character has translated every time.


This is a valid point in its own way, as long as one keeps it in the subjective domain. Arguing about matter of taste and subjective observations is pretty much pointless. So everyone is free to experiment and choose whatever they think sounds / feels the best for their own purpose, whether it's about different capacitor types or brands, opamps or speaker cables.

The problem is when someone starts to argue that something is actually worth it for everyone and objectively "an upgrade", "better" or "higher fidelity" without backing that up with anything. Not just "I tried out stuff and ended up with this, works best for me".

At that point one can with good reason request if a proper double blind test has been performed or objective measurements have been made. And at that point many people often get angry when their claims are contested with "how do you know it's not a psychological effect and there's not much actual difference, you just think it's different because you know you're using these and these things" or "are you sure it's higher fidelity and just not more pleasing distortion to your ear?" Because those are entirely valid suspicions, even though they do not need to be considered when one does stuff for himself as a hobby.

Also keep in mind that these circuits were designed to perform some function at minimal cost and complexity. It makes no difference putting a high end op amp into an output stage if said output runs through a 1k metal film resistor. You are going to get a certain amount of distortion from the resistor.
loki
fuzzbass wrote:

Also keep in mind that these circuits were designed to perform some function at minimal cost and complexity. It makes no difference putting a high end op amp into an output stage if said output runs through a 1k metal film resistor. You are going to get a certain amount of distortion from the resistor.


Research has been done into the distortion of passive components. By, I think, Richard Cabot and published by the Audio Engineering Society. If there is interest, I will try to dig it out and post it. The distortion level of a metal film resistor is really low.
nurbivore
I use Wima caps whenever I can, but only because I really like their matte red finish.
s'mores
nurbivore wrote:
I use Wima caps whenever I can, but only because I really like their matte red finish.


I like your way of thinking!

Almost bought some NOS green matte Wimas on eBay the other day just cause they looked so nice
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Page 1 of 2
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group