[sdiy] Anyone try the Cool Audio chips?

Mattias Rickardsson mr at analogue.org
Tue Nov 29 17:13:33 CET 2016

I've used the V2164 Quad VCA and the V411 Quad Analog Switch without
much problems, but right now I actually found a couple of 2164s (two
ICs in the same device, strangely) that seem to give a large voltage
offset after the OP-amp. (Once in a while I've also run into slight
problems using them in filters, which makes me think it could be
caused by the same fault.) Has anybody experienced this error before?

On 10 November 2016 at 05:23,  <rsdio at audiobanshee.com> wrote:
> I didn't realize that Analog Devices currently marks the SSM2164 as "obsolete."

Probably some 5 years ago. :-)

> THAT Corp still makes their THAT2162, if you want better specs rather than worse.

On 10 November 2016 at 05:37, Quincas Moreira <quincas at gmail.com> wrote:
> Brian, are you saying the Cool Audio version is inferior? in what way?

On 10 November 2016 at 05:45,  <rsdio at audiobanshee.com> wrote:
> People were sharing their experience with the Cool Audio BBDs having less supply voltage range and thus worse signal-to-noise performance. I know that Analog Devices and particularly THAT Corp are excellent quality, so I assume that the Cool Audio VCA might not be as good. No direct experience, though, other than fellow engineers noting that the Cool Audio chips are in the lowest-cost products these days.

I haven't actually heard about anyone measuring worse performance in
Coolaudio's V2164 than in AD's SSM2164, rather the opposite. All such
experiences would be interesting to hear though.

But if you also mean that the 2162 Dual VCA is better than the 2164
Quad VCA you are right - actually the 2164 can show a remarkably high
THD at high levels (skewing sinewaves) or low levels (introducing
zero-crossing distortion).

> On Nov 9, 2016, at 8:01 PM, Pete Hartman <pete.hartman at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Cool Audio V2164 is a staple of many designs and manufacturers.  I have some of their other cloney chips, but haven't actually gotten around to trying to apply them (e.g. the BBDs, the companders).  The BBDs are definitely low-voltage versions though, the data sheet for the V3205 says 5V operation.....  So you lose headroom....

The datasheets specify 4-10 V supply voltage for both 3207 & 3208 from
both Panasonic & Coolaudio & Shanghai Belling. Coolaudio's V3205 says
4-8 V supply, Panasonic's original MN3205 says 4-9 V. They do however
say "low voltage operation (VDD=5V)" as a sales pitch in the text
description, but I guess the performance is better if you run them at
higher supplies?

>> On Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 9:45 PM, AlanP <alan.p at orcon.net.nz> wrote:
>>> I've used a pair of the CoolAudio v3205d chips in a Memory Man clone a couple years ago. Very noisy, compared to vintage MN3005 or modern XVIVE3005 reproductions. (This could be partly due to a 9v vs 15v difference.)

Sounds probable.

>>> For MN3207 duties, I prefer BeiLing reproductions if vintage chips are not available.

Have you compared them to the Coolaudio ones?

Btw, are there any wholesale resellers of Coolaudio chips, apart from
Coolaudio themselves?


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