Little Dot MK1 opamp rolling
Mar 7, 2008 at 2:54 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12


500+ Head-Fier
Jul 11, 2006
Seattle, WA
Alright, for all the Little Dot MK1 fans out there. I got a few opamps and have been comparing them.

The opamps:
LT1364 (as recommended in the other LD MK1 thread)
LM4562 (stock)

Songs used: (all FLAC)
Beethoven Symphony No.9 Adagio molto e cantabile - Andante moderato
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 Adagio Un Poco Mosso
Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 8 Pathetique Adagio cantabile

De La Soul - It's like that
De La Soul - He Comes
De La Soul - Days of Our Lives
N.E.R.D. - Things are getting better

A Perfect Circle - The Hollow
A Perfect Circle - Judith
A Perfect Circle - 3 Libras

BB King w/ Eric Clapton - Gunfight at the apollo (whole live recording)

Rockapella in concert (various songs from album)

logarithmic frequency sweep

Quick and dirty lineup with detailed explanations coming later tonight...
LT1364 > OPA2111 > LM4562 > LT1469

I'm going to give them all another listen through before posting full thoughts and finalizing that order.

Starting with the stock LM4562...
Everyone who's heard a LD MK1 knows the sound. It's very accurate and has pretty good extension on both ends. It leans towards bright and the mid-bass is a bit on the lacking side. It does a good job presenting piano; though in the lower ends it lacks some body and depth. Also it lacks a visceral feel when presenting a bass riff for rock music. For voice, it feels intimate but slightly veiled... like you're listening on the side of the stage kinda. The bass impact is there on the low end and the extension doesn't clip off on De La Soul - It's like that. I usually lose a little off the bottom end on that song. It still is a bit rough though the whole bass end, but not enough to detract from anything.

The LT1469 is very fatiguing on the high end. The veil has been lifted, but it is very bright IMO. The shimmer on the cymbals and high hats is too much. This would not pair well with a grado, but maybe it would be good for countering a particularly dark headphone. If you're listening to a song that is pretty mid range intensive, it sounds really nice; but if you pick up some female vocals or any sort of music with drums, it gets fatiguing too fast. Ideally, this is nice for colorizing male voices or some classical music. Maybe acoustic, but definitely not blues, jazz, or hip hop. The vocals are again intimate and I already said earlier the veil is lifted. Male vocals sound nice on this for sure. Bottom end has little impact and the extension isn't as nice and rolls off fairly early. Listening to a log sweep... jeez, once you hit the mids, the decibels really go up. It is pretty glaring that these have major bass roll off.

The OPA2111 has the bass that the LM4562 and LT1469 are lacking. The spatial presentation is much better compared to the previous two; it's less intimate, but more spatially accurate IMO. This opamp pretty much played nice with anything I threw at it. On the log sweep, I heard a bump in decibels starting just in the midbass region and just before high mids, then there's a slight recession in the highs but it picks back up. I think this a pretty good all around opamp. It's a little bright, but just enough for some treble sparkle. It's a little bass heavy, but only in a range that presents rock/blues well. The bass thump needed for hip hop music isn't as strong as I would like, but it sounds nice. Um... as for vocals, piano, blah blah blah... everything just sounds nice on this how else can I describe it? hahaha

The bread and butter for the MK1 according to the other thread. Where do I start with this one? So the mids and highs are really nice on this. Guitar riffs sound awesome. Bass lines aren't as nice the OPA2111, it lacks the visceral feel. The voice presentation is a little more veiled compared to the OPA2111, but it is much more open compared to the LM4562. The treble is much less bright but it isn't dark, it feels fairly neutral. This is probably the cause of the less open feel. The mids are very strong (which is why guitar riffs sound so awesome). Listening to the log sweep, the bass extension is the best but it lacks that midbass hump which helps the OPA2111 with its bass performance. The mids have a jump in decibels compared to the other opamps also. This also sounds great with everything, but in a different way.

OPA2111 and LT1364 are the best of this batch. Looking below, every > symbol represents a noticeable degree difference in comparison between the two units. So if there is ">>" then it is two times more noticeable that it is better.
bass OPA2111 > LT1364 > LM4562 >>>> LT1469
mid LT1364 > OPA2111 >> LM4562 >> LT1469
high LT1364 = OPA2111 > LM4562 > LT1469
male voice presentation LT1469 > LT1364 > OPA2111 > LM4562
female voice presentation LT1364 > OPA2111 >> LM4562 >>>> LT1469
classical presentation LT1364 = OPA2111 >> LM4562 >>> LT1469
guitar presentation LT1364 >> OPA2111 >> LM4562 >> LT 1469
bass guitar presentation OPA2111 >> LT1365 >> LM4562 >>>> LT1469
acoustic presentation LT1365 > OPA2111 >> LM4562 >>> LT1462

-I know that headphones don't really give the gut visceral feel, but it can still sound visceral like it should give that feeling.
-I listened to a couple other songs with female vocals but I didn't listen too hard/long for me to really list them. I don't really use them as testing tracks like the ones I listed anyway.
-It has come to my attention that the opa2111 has a little bit of artifacting somewhere in the midrange. I'm pretty sure it's because the gain on the mk1 only goes to 8, the thing probably needs more juice.
Mar 7, 2008 at 6:41 AM Post #3 of 12
Thanks for the impressions!

This would really help =3
Mar 7, 2008 at 7:49 AM Post #4 of 12
Thanks, now if only someone hadn't stolen my Mk1 on route from Jasmine I'd be able to try this op-amp swapping myself.
Mar 7, 2008 at 8:46 AM Post #5 of 12
the op2111 has a very little bit of artifacting. it probably needs an even higher gain level to really get the sound going on this thing.

edit: it's still my personal favorite though. I'm a basshead
Sep 15, 2008 at 8:00 PM Post #6 of 12
bumping this thread. has anyone tried using a descrete opamp such as OPA-Earth or OPA-Sun from Audio-gd??
May 22, 2009 at 2:43 AM Post #7 of 12
If the Earth, Moon and Sun are compatible in the LDMKI I will be willing to try them out as I got all 3...

On another note, is there any difference in sound stage between the OPA2111 and LT1364?
May 22, 2009 at 5:47 AM Post #8 of 12

Originally Posted by zeroibis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If the Earth, Moon and Sun are compatible in the LDMKI I will be willing to try them out as I got all 3...

Interesting if they are, though I doubt you'd be able to close the case up!

Very comprehensive review, FooTemps.
Oct 8, 2009 at 4:10 PM Post #9 of 12

Originally Posted by FooTemps /img/forum/go_quote.gif
the op2111 has a very little bit of artifacting. it probably needs an even higher gain level to really get the sound going on this thing.

edit: it's still my personal favorite though. I'm a basshead

If your a basshead, have you tried the OPA2227. These are said to have some of the best bass in the BurrBrown family E.g. OPA2134,OPA2132..etc..
Aug 3, 2011 at 8:22 PM Post #11 of 12
I currently own the Little Dot MKI and decided to do an A/B comparison between the stock LM4562 and the Linear Technologies LT1364.  I prefer the sound of the LT1364 over the LM4562 in many regards.  Warmer, full bodied, and smoother with a realistic sound stage presentation.  This is my two cents. 
Hope this helps

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