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OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107

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Posted on December 22, 2016 at 16:38:35
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 697
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
I've replaced the old TL082 in my active crossover with opa2134.

The sound is much better but there's still something a bit "hi-fi" and "grey" in the presentation.
I'd like more liquidity and "bloom" without being too dark or veiled (I understand I might be asking for the impossible- after all, it's just opamps, not tubes- but if there would be a way, I woud try it).


I know OPA2134 is the common choice for active crossovers but I wonder if I coukd try something that would tilt the sound more to my liking.

Some people seem to like opa2107, is it "better" than opa2134?

I've replaced NE5532 with LM4562 in my CD player and they are fantastic, but then i was replacing bipolar with bipolar and now I'd like to replace FET with FET to minimise chances of havoc. (but is that necessary after all?)

anybody wants to comment opa2134 vs opa2107 vs opa2604 in such an application?

 

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RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 22, 2016 at 18:23:59
Cougar
Audiophile

Posts: 2413
Joined: June 25, 2001
Let them break-in before passing judgement. They will need at least 100 hours to come into their own.

Do a search, there is plenty of comments here, other forums and on the internet on all these IC's.

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 22, 2016 at 18:48:20
madisonears
Audiophile

Posts: 1191
Location: midwest
Joined: September 6, 2006
I got best results in my active xovers by mixing 2134 and 4562. The 4562 can make some hiss and get a bit too detailed but has nice air. The 2134 is very quiet but pretty dull and closed in. Don't know anything about the others you mentioned. I am now in the process of converting to OPA627, a pretty expensive process, but I hope one that will result in the highest fidelity.

Peace,
Tom E
berate is 8 and benign is 9

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 23, 2016 at 01:56:03
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12691
Joined: June 1, 2002
There is no fixed rule in swapping. The cost of trying is not significant and you might try AD852s on a dual carrier DIL 8 plug.

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 23, 2016 at 02:46:03
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 697
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
LM4562 in my revox player took more than 100 hours to sound good.
Before that, it was as sharp and cold as a swiss knife.

OPA2134 seems inoffensive and defined enough but it's got this flat, slightly recessed in the midrange presentation - not quite what I'd call "dull" but not bright, just a bit "hifi", it sounds like an entry-level Japanese solid-state amplifier, and there's not much openess and width to speak of. I've heard my system imaging from wall to wall so this sounds a bit uninspiring. everything stays between the speakers.

Say I'd mix LM4562 and OPA2134. I guess I have to try it myself but, what do you think would work best? LM4562 as input buffer and OPA2134 at the outputs? or the opposite? Or, maybe, OPA2134 on the lowpass outputs and LM4562 on the highpass?
I have this thought that the signal coming out of the lowpass should go trough the same active devices as the signal coming from the highpass to keep coherency at its max, but somehow I feel that's just overthinking and it's not going the feed the same amplifiers anyways so... maybe something to try.

 

burson audio op amps, posted on December 23, 2016 at 07:36:34
hawkmoon
Audiophile

Posts: 367
Location: cleveland
Joined: July 11, 2003
Are another option. I'm thinking of replacing the 2134 with them in my cd player

 

RE: burson audio op amps, posted on December 23, 2016 at 17:02:01
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 697
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
Ideally I would use discrete opamps -not bursons, I d rather go for Sparkos Labs- but then I need to completely redesign the PSU. I might build a nice external PSU later to be able to use them.

 

RE: burson audio op amps, posted on December 23, 2016 at 19:37:40
madisonears
Audiophile

Posts: 1191
Location: midwest
Joined: September 6, 2006
Well, that's one way to ensure you spend A LOT more money. As far as improving the sound, I don't know if that will be accomplished. These discrete opamp people do not publish any specs. All you have to go on is ad copy and testimonials, which are always suspect. I know specs don't tell the whole story, either, but I don't understand how one can throw money around in such a gamble. Other than expense, what is it, exactly, that makes a discrete opamp sound better? I am NOT an objectivist, but I am a realist.

Anyone care to discuss discrete opamps and how they improve the sound in a particular application?

Peace,
Tom E
berate is 8 and benign is 9

 

RE: burson audio op amp user experiences, posted on December 23, 2016 at 19:45:28
hawkmoon
Audiophile

Posts: 367
Location: cleveland
Joined: July 11, 2003
A pair to replace my 2134 op Amps is 140 dollars-not really big money. Though I, like you, would like to hear user experiences as well.

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 23, 2016 at 20:06:07
madisonears
Audiophile

Posts: 1191
Location: midwest
Joined: September 6, 2006
Call it what you will, but you get the idea that the 2134 leaves something out of the signal, while the 4562 adds something to it. I see using them together as an opportunity to extract the best balance from both. Coherence between the bands is determined by filter configuration, not parts. Coherence within the bands is the result of which parts are used. I used 4562 for input buffer and high pass, 2134 for low pass. You'll need to experiment. Do you use sockets or solder direct? You might consider sockets for experimentation, then direct solder the final configuration.

Of course, everything needs playing time to settle. Not sure it's a hundred hours (seems to be a number regularly stated but seldom confirmed), but mine played for months.

You must be aware that the passive parts produce sonic effects as well as the opamps. I have found filter component caps and resistors to contribute, especially in the high pass section. Hint: Wima caps, although good, are not the ultimate solution, primarily because they have magnetic leads, as do most cheap metal film resistors. Even the power supply caps can make a difference. Ultimate fidelity is a complex problem, with no simple solutions. Fiddling with opamps is only a start, but it's better than doing nothing. Don't neglect power supply bypassing and decoupling of faster opamps. You can add a .01uf cap right across pins 4 & 8 on the bottom of the board.

Peace,
Tom E
berate is 8 and benign is 9

 

Size V difference, posted on December 23, 2016 at 20:27:22
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16838
Location: 100 miles west of DC
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Contributor
  Since:
October 31, 2005
$140 is not a lot of money until you see that those op amps start at about $3 each.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

But does it sound better?, posted on December 23, 2016 at 21:02:46
hawkmoon
Audiophile

Posts: 367
Location: cleveland
Joined: July 11, 2003
I'm not worried about a few dollars if it sounds better.

 

RE: burson audio op amps, posted on December 24, 2016 at 02:05:51
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 697
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
As far as I'm concerned, I've had sensible jumps in sound quality from the smallest tweaks and improvements (for exemple, replacing a 1" jumper in my speakers passive crossover with a piece of solid copper resulted in a cleaner, smoother, and more open high range, but it took me 6 years before I thought of doing it)

...I guess it has become a fact that everything the signal has to go trough gives a color to the sound, substracts, detracts, distorts... even the material your preamp's PCB is made of, the quality of the CINCH sockets, not the mention the uber-obvious cables.

I don't know for sure, but to me it seems logical that a discrete opamp should sound better because of its construction. That's how I see things: take the same schematic, the same circuit - the "operation amplifier", you either squeeze everything in a chip the size of a flea, or you give the same circuit space to breathe, proper tracks, proper transistors. I'm no engineer, but as an audiophile, it seems logical that the discrete version would sound better.

I don't see why I would spend generous (if not crazy) amounts of cash on cables and have my signal go trough this bottleneck.
70$ might be steep compared to 3$, but if you think of it differently (it's an active device made of a vertain number of smaller components) it looks more reasonable to me than a pair of nordost interconnects. I mean, I'm an audiophile on the cheap, but what in hell is 70$ (multiplied by a factor of 6 or 10 even) compared to all the rest in the audio(phile) world?

 

RE: Size V difference, posted on December 24, 2016 at 02:10:56
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 697
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
That's the manufacturer talking. But as consumers, we don't have to worry about building a product to a price.
And yes, if you replace all opamps in a professional mixing table for exemple, it becomes A LOT of money, but we're talking about tweaking devices with a few chips only...

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 24, 2016 at 02:21:53
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 697
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
Thanks for your answer.
Right now I'm gonna let the opa2134 burn-in a little bit more but I know myself, I won't resist long the temptation to order a few LM4562.

I was thinking the same: 4562 as buffer and on the high-pass.

I'm using gold plated, machined sockets - I'm not giving up on using SS3602 from Sparkos labs one day and this is all a "temporary" solution. But I know I might well find the perfect balance with regular opamps and leave it as it is forever. I've stuffed a 0,1uF MLCC capacitor under each socket between pins 4 and 8.

I've replaced the coupling caps with back-to-back Silmics II (-++-) for now but I might add some bypass or squeeze some bigger film caps instead but that can wait. Back to back Silmics sound surprisingly good.

I've replaced the PSU caps with Nichicon muse KZ. One would argue that you don't need "audio" caps in that position but it sounds better than before so I'm happy with it.

 

RE: burson audio op amps, posted on December 24, 2016 at 12:58:15
madisonears
Audiophile

Posts: 1191
Location: midwest
Joined: September 6, 2006
All the little bits add up, even inches of wire. And the big bits.

You have the discrete/IC argument backwards. There is no reason why a discrete circuit should sound better, and many reasons why a chip can sound better. With the precision of modern manufacturing, every part of an IC can be made with better control and consistency. All the circuit paths will be shorter, sometimes by a huge factor, and have fewer soldered junctions, which is always a good thing. Thermal matching of active devices will always be more precise. There is no need for a circuit to breathe, unless it is producing heat. If opamps get more than fingertip warm, there is something wrong.

I'm not claiming that every IC will sound better than any discrete circuit, but there are reasons why they should. Unless the discrete guys know some secrets about circuit design or component performance, chances are good that a chip will sound better. I have yet to see any concrete proof that a discrete opamp performs better than an equivalent IC in any parameter. If it did, I wouldn't hesitate to spend whatever it cost to get one. I use input coupling caps that cost almost as much as my entire amplifier, so cost is not a limiting factor for me if performance justifies it. I have not seen such justification for discrete opamps, other than ad copy which claims that they sound better.

Now, if you want to discuss discrete buffers instead of discrete (or IC) opamps, that is a completely different approach, one that I would love to try. Any opamp wastes a lot of circuitry and a lot of gain for the little bit it needs to do in a crossover: present appropriate impedances to the filters. A discrete buffer is the perfect device, but nobody sells those and I'm not smart enough to make my own.

Peace,
Tom E
berate is 8 and benign is 9

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 24, 2016 at 21:39:22
Tweaker456
Audiophile

Posts: 2191
Location: No. Cal
Joined: January 19, 2012
The OPA2132 is the clearly superior fet device out of these four, IMO, from listening to it in the output of a dac. T456
"The Borg is the ultimate user. They're unlike any threat your Federation has ever faced."

- Q, 2365

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 27, 2016 at 20:54:55
jk
Audiophile

Posts: 347
Joined: October 4, 1999
Be careful with the OPA2604, they are not internally compensated. I lovedon't how the sounded in my DQLP1 but oscillation problems kept blowing fuses.

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 28, 2016 at 03:02:20
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 697
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
If my memory is correct DQLP1 has active low-pass and passive high-pass.
Pardon my question but why play with opamps if you only "hear" them on the low bass section? Can you really hear a difference between opamps at those frequencies?

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 28, 2016 at 18:21:04
jk
Audiophile

Posts: 347
Joined: October 4, 1999
Hi, great question. I am using Alon brand stereo subs. Alon, now called Nola, is owned by Carl Marchisoto the engineer who designed the Dahlquist DQLP1. Yes, oh boy yes, the sound from the subs changes with different options amps.

I recently spoke to carl about increasing the gain on the active low pass side, turns out to be just a resistor change. I mentioned to him I was running an accurus amp for the subs. He remembered that I own an Aragon 4004 too. He advised me to put the 4004 in. Wow, he was right. It makes a big improvement.

So long way of answering, yes it makes a noticeable improvement.

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 29, 2016 at 08:04:51
jk
Audiophile

Posts: 347
Joined: October 4, 1999
Wow, I'm having battles with this android. It inserts word corrections that confuse my message.

Above I tried to say I loved how it sounded. Regarding the 2604 in the DQLP1. Sorry for the confusion.

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on December 30, 2016 at 12:43:13
Tweaker456
Audiophile

Posts: 2191
Location: No. Cal
Joined: January 19, 2012
The OPA2604 is unity gain stable. I thinks that mandates or implies that it is internally compensated? T456
"The Borg is the ultimate user. They're unlike any threat your Federation has ever faced."

- Q, 2365

 

RE: burson audio op amps, posted on December 30, 2016 at 12:50:57
Tweaker456
Audiophile

Posts: 2191
Location: No. Cal
Joined: January 19, 2012
If I were you I would seriously consider giving the OPA2132 a try before the Burson's. These are very good sounding op amps. They way outclass the 2134 IMHO. Another significant improvement would be to put MG Chemicals 846 carbon conductive grease on the pins if you are using sockets. T456
"The Borg is the ultimate user. They're unlike any threat your Federation has ever faced."

- Q, 2365

 

RE: burson audio op amps, posted on December 31, 2016 at 08:27:06
KanedaK
Audiophile

Posts: 697
Location: Brussels
Joined: April 27, 2010
How would you describe the sound of 2132 vs 2134? I find 2134 slightly messy and possibly a bit bloated in the bass...

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on January 2, 2017 at 22:31:32
bobwire
Audiophile

Posts: 332
Joined: March 7, 2002
If you would like to hear what your op-amps really sound like, try putting 6800uf on every power pin. In this case pins 4-neg and 8-pos for duals or pin 7-pos singles. You will hear them as they really are. Good Luck, bobwire

 

RE: OPA2134 vs OPA2604 vs OPA2107, posted on January 3, 2017 at 19:35:51
jk
Audiophile

Posts: 347
Joined: October 4, 1999
I wish it was. I learned that it is not from the spec sheet. I'll post it to see what you think.

 

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