[sdiy] favorite "magical" opamp?

Harry Bissell harrybissell at wowway.com
Wed Oct 6 21:20:04 CEST 2010


when I was fixing a 360 Systems "Slavedriver" guitar synth interface, I took out the
4558 opamps thinking I could ~easily~ do better than that. Good thing I put in sockets, because at the end of the day
I couldn't find a superior opamp and put them back in :^)

I like the 4558, its good cheap and not TOO fast :^)

H^) harry

----- Original Message -----
From: Scott Nordlund <gsn10 at hotmail.com>
To: synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl
Sent: Wed, 06 Oct 2010 15:06:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [sdiy] favorite "magical" opamp?

> First Annual Op Amp Oscars
> ------------------------------------------
> Best, all-around, "I don't give a rip about specs": LM324
> Favorite audio amp: 5532
> Best DC amp: OP37
> Best use-anywhere jelly-bean amp: TL0xx
> Wackiest amp: LM675 power opamp
> Special award: LME710/LME600 amp/buffer combo
> Lifetime achievement award: LM741

I think it's kind of funny that people making "studio grade" mixers and preamps, and enthusiast hi fi gear overwhelmingly look down on TL074 and 5532 type op amps, while they're about the highest quality parts you're likely to find in most synths or effect processors, regardless of price or reputation.  Most gear is often 4558s or worse, and 741s aren't uncommon in vintage stuff.

Moreover, I think there's some weird "god of the gaps" thing going on when judging perceived sound quality and what design factors contribute good or bad qualities.  People resort to all sorts of bizarre stuff, describing something entirely analog as "sounding digital", equating things that are entirely different, making nonsensical categorical statements, i.e. that software emulating vintage digital gear will never measure up to the original DSP-based hardware, or favoring vintage DACs with measurably poor performance.  I'd just accept that such things are highly subjective, that shitty is sometimes better, but people hold these opinions so strongly.  I wonder how much is an honest appraisal and how much amounts to cognitive bias upheld as profound wisdom.  It's as though things are too good now, if you can pick between 100 different but equally great options, rather than weigh the merits of each it's better to adopt some obsolete "vintage" opinion, as though people in the past possessed some insight not available to us now.  By listening to their wisdom, you're giving yourself a special and irrefutable legitimacy.
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Harry Bissell & Nora Abdullah 4eva

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