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Novice question about Op-Amps

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm curious about all the different audio op-amps that are used. Do certain op-amps actually sound better than others,or does it also depend on the design and the surrounding components in the circuit?

For example: If you use an OPA604 op-amp; will it primarily give you the same results as far as sound and performance no matter what the design layout is? or will it sound better or worse depending on the design?
post #2 of 6
Yes and yes. Some op-amps sound better (different) than others. The other components also play a huge role in the sound including the power supply.

For example, you could use a *great* op-amp and it could sound like junk with crappy parts and the opposite also holds true.

It's also important to remember that the op-amp is just a *component* in a *system*. Think about the weakest-link theory, a chain is only as strong as the weakest link and the same holds true with amp designs.

Also keep in mind that what some people call a great sound others will call garbage so there's a *lot* of subjective analysis here.
post #3 of 6
Another thing to note is that some of the best-sounding opamps require careful and knowledgeable design, or they'll sound horrible. Like, you could try and use an OPA637 but pull a bonehead move like using a gain of 4 -- after all, the OPA134s you swapped out worked just fine with that gain, right? Also, some opamps are very "fast", which is good for the sound, but means you can't put them in a marginal circuit.
post #4 of 6

When we say horrible sounding, we mean that the opamp oscillates.

post #5 of 6
what does it sound like when it oscillates?

Just curious...never heard it before.
post #6 of 6

oscillation generally result in hum or harshness. Either way you will know since the sound will be very annoying and very conspicuous.

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