Author Topic: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!  (Read 29384 times)

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Offline Zero999

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More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« on: September 20, 2014, 11:12:10 pm »
I found this when I was researching op-amp design and couldn't believe the stupidity and ignorance!
http://www.bursonaudio.com/creations/discrete-opamp/
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2014, 11:26:18 pm »
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Perfectly matched transistors

:-DD
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Offline miguelvp

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Offline Marco

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2014, 01:22:12 am »
Quote
The resolution and texture of the Supreme Sound Opamps completely surpasses IC opamps. Compared with any IC opamps, it provides a fuller texture with more refined detail. At the same time the bass is well controlled and very punchy. Double bass can now clearly take shape on a very three-dimensional sound stage. Classical music reproduction becomes much more realistic where the string section becomes a group of individual musicians rather than just a group. All in all the Burson SS Opamp is a very listenable and engaging performer. It will bring pure music to your soul, without listening fatigue to your ears.

And everyone wins buzzword bingo.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2014, 01:24:19 am »
I get that, and I didn't read the article until now, but I don't know why the matched paired transistors claim is soo funny.
 

Online tautech

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2014, 07:16:47 am »
I get that, and I didn't read the article until now, but I don't know why the matched paired transistors claim is soo funny.

"Perfectly matched" was the claim....is there such a thing???????
Depends in how good your test gear is, no doubt.  ;)
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Offline miguelvp

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2014, 07:33:24 am »
I get that, and I didn't read the article until now, but I don't know why the matched paired transistors claim is soo funny.

"Perfectly matched" was the claim....is there such a thing???????
Depends in how good your test gear is, no doubt.  ;)

To me it does sound the same, but I guess it has some marketing flare in a more common non electronic language.
But matched transistors will make a difference and as far as "perfectly" one could say that's the design intent.

 

Offline PE1RKI

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2014, 07:39:54 am »
someone should buy one and test it against a 741   ^-^
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2014, 09:55:25 am »
One of my side hobbies is collecting weird audio stuff, forget expensive cables, some guys claim that you can affect the sound by changing the knobs on the front panel.  :palm:

However............................

If you are building a low-level amplifier you have a choice of either using an IC (such as an op-amp) or using discrete transistors. For example:

http://sound.westhost.com/p66-f1.gif

That transistor configuration on the front looks just like an op-amp and I'm guessing that the good Mr Elliott knows what he's talking about, this simple design has very low noise, close to the theoretical minimum, high hum rejection and variable gain with a single rotary pot

So, if we try to ignore the wank word bingo we may find that these guys are right.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Offline NANDBlog

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2014, 10:17:49 am »
Well, transistor based amplifier circuits have their benefits. Like driving high loads. Or working with higher voltages. Also, a cheap single transistor works easily at higher frequencies than a more expensive opamp. So it is not all bullshit what they say.
But there are thing that you cannot replicate with discrete design. Like temperature coupling, compensation, and tolerances. The truth, as always are in the middle.

But again, this is for audio. Does it matter? No. That sound went 50 times through a 5532 before the recording was made.
 

Offline timb

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2014, 10:20:59 am »
I bought a nice mid-range headphone amp a few years back that has socketed op-amps. The idea being you can change them out to match your listening style. Different OpAmps have different characteristics, OK, makes sense I guess. But going all discrete? These guys just like throwing away money.

By the way, go onto HeadFi or so other forum and bring up DBT; see how long it takes for your post to be removed. That's how far down these guys have their heads buried in the sand.


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Offline dannyf

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2014, 10:23:04 am »
Quote
couldn't believe the stupidity and ignorance!

It takes stupidity / ignorance to not see that a discrete opamp ****CAN**** out-perform an IC opamp.

Whether this particular discrete opamp out-performs an IC opamp is a separate discussion.
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Offline Circlotron

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2014, 10:32:27 am »
So you fit these things and finally have the perfect amplifier.
Only trouble is, nothing is going to fix the [alleged] sonic contribution of dozens of opamps upstream in the recording chain.

...Except the magic power cords I sell.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 10:34:37 am by Circlotron »
 

Offline David Aurora

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2014, 11:03:36 am »
I bought a nice mid-range headphone amp a few years back that has socketed op-amps. The idea being you can change them out to match your listening style. Different OpAmps have different characteristics, OK, makes sense I guess. But going all discrete? These guys just like throwing away money.

By the way, go onto HeadFi or so other forum and bring up DBT; see how long it takes for your post to be removed. That's how far down these guys have their heads buried in the sand.


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Offline timb

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2014, 11:13:44 am »

Quote
couldn't believe the stupidity and ignorance!

It takes stupidity / ignorance to not see that a discrete opamp ****CAN**** out-perform an IC opamp.

Whether this particular discrete opamp out-performs an IC opamp is a separate discussion.

Somehow I doubt a modern high performance OpAmp from TI, AD or LT isn't going to be better than what 99.9% of people will be able to produce discreetly.

First, you need access to the equipment to characterize and match the transistors. Then you need the knowledge and talent to build a layout that minimizes noise and interference. They requires using simulators and a lot of time.

Finally, in terms of using it for audio, the human auditory system is pretty shitty. There's no way you can hear the benefit of something like this.

That said, for something like use in very specialized instrumentation, sure, a discrete OpAmp could perform better.


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Offline Zero999

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2014, 11:18:35 am »
Quote
couldn't believe the stupidity and ignorance!

It takes stupidity / ignorance to not see that a discrete opamp ****CAN**** out-perform an IC opamp.

Whether this particular discrete opamp out-performs an IC opamp is a separate discussion.
Yes of course, a discrete design can beat some monolithic op-amps, in certain applications. For example, it's easy to design a discrete op-amp with lower noise and a higher bandwidth than the 741 but the idea that just simply ripping out all the op-amp ICs in a design and replacing them with discrete op-amps will magically improve the performance is utter nonsense.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2014, 11:20:51 am »
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Somehow I doubt a modern high performance OpAmp from TI, AD or LT isn't going to be better than what 99.9% of people will be able to produce discreetly.

That's probably true and not contradictory to what I said earlier.

My statement can be further demonstrated by these two statements:

1) for any given IC Opamp, you can make a discrete Opamp that will outperform the IC opamp on at least one measurement.
2) for any given discrete Opamp, you can make an IC Opamp that will outperform the discrete opamp on at least one measurement.

The two statements are not mutually exclusive and 99.99% of the time, they are true at the same time for any two discrete / IC opamps.
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Offline dannyf

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2014, 11:44:02 am »
Quote
just simply ripping out all the op-amp ICs in a design and replacing them with discrete op-amps will magically improve the performance is utter nonsense.

Agreed.
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Offline c4757p

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Offline penfold

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2014, 12:17:17 pm »
Well, a pair of transistors matched within 2% isn't anywhere near as good as I can get using an analogue multimeter (because they sound better) and adjusting my head to get the best view on on the needle hovering exactly over the right value!  I'm sure that perfect matching is possible if they use my soon-to-be-patent-pending measurement technique
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2014, 12:28:04 pm »
Circlotron mentioned magic power cables, ask and thou shalt receive  :)

http://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-NRG-WEL-Signature-Series/dp/B0055OM9WS/ref=rec_dp_1

$6900 USD for a six foot power cable. Make sure you read the reviews because they have a high comedy content.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Offline VK5RC

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2014, 12:42:29 pm »
Thanks for the link to the NRG-WEL, only 10 left so we had better be quick, I think I might lock up my wife after reading one of the reviews! Priceless. :-DD
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2014, 05:04:23 pm »
Well, a pair of transistors matched within 2% isn't anywhere near as good as I can get using an analogue multimeter (because they sound better) and adjusting my head to get the best view on on the needle hovering exactly over the right value!  I'm sure that perfect matching is possible if they use my soon-to-be-patent-pending measurement technique

That link was just for reference, didn't look too much into it and used the first hit, but for example these ones are 0.5% typical.

http://www.analog.com/en/special-linear-functions/matched-transistors/mat12/products/product.html

But I didn't search too deep.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2014, 05:26:53 pm »
Quote
within 2% isn't anywhere near as good as

Aside from "what parameters are you trying to match?" and "Are you matching point to point or along a curve?", there is also a question of "do you need to match them?".

I would submit that with sufficient degenerative resistors, a random pair of transistors is practically no different from a well matched pair of transistors, discrete or integrated, in an opamp.
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Offline denelec

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Re: More audiophoolery: discrete op-amps better than ICs!
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2014, 05:52:56 pm »
I guess it's a matter of nostalgia.
If you're old enough, vacuum tubes amplifiers will deliver the best sound to your ears.
Followed by germanium transistors, silicon transistors and finally IC's.
Similarly, a vinyl record will sound better than a CD.

The best electric guitars amps are made with tubes and the best fuzz pedals are made with germanium transistors. Nostalgia...
http://www.guitarplayer.com/guitar-player/1011/all-about-germanium-transistors/25357

Beauty is in the ear of the beholder  ;)
 


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