Some nice expressions
Out there on the net you can read opinions how certain audio parts sounds like and I'm amazed how people express themselves. I can't even relate to these expressions in swedish. I have collected some nice stuff.
- TLE2142 is a bit colorless, dark and loses tiny details. I can agree the trebles lack openness, and air I think.
- LME49860 is better but LM4562 presents things very 2D which makes it good for analytical detail. (Notice that these opamps are identical. It's only a marketing thing!)
- Anyway, I recently swapped LM4562 for a LME49860 and to my ears they sound very different! yet many people swear they are the same...
- AD823 – quite popular in voltage stages of amplifiers and CD players after upgrades, doing fine but keeping it's own timbre, not allowing for full color reproduction.
- AD8620 – the A series is a bit harsh and aggressive, the B series is smooth but still too present in the sound. Going to the bright side and keeping sounds a bit confined. I'd appreciate more independence.
- AD8397 – this is a smart one, really. At the first moment you think it does everything perfect, the sound is complete with no obvious flaws and predefined timbre. What it does bad is shrinking and flattening of sounds, some offensive forwardness due to the thinned sound contour.
- OPA2111KP – holly crap, this one is pretty neutral and sounds better than you could expect from the specs. Very similar to the OPA2107 in this regard but sonics just better. Truer bass with more impact, more coherent and convincing rest of the spectrum. On the bad side is a piece of mess and congestion. Sounds get mixed and interfering each other starting from higher midrange sometimes.
- 2x AD825 – man, I've liked this one for a very long time. I still could find use for these, like entry level headphone amps or budgetary DAC output stages. This one is lively, rich, fast, with long treble finish, nice midrange timbre. Sounds like a sweet spot between the AD8620 and the AD744 which gets to warm, thick and uncontrolled sometimes. The AD825's unique midrange can “save” your rig when you cannot achieve enough transparency. The overall order and separation is less than perfect but not obviously flawed. I blame the highs for being a bit accentuated and with artificially sustained decay.
- OPA2604 – a classic audio op-amp. This one can sound really bad when supplied badly. Just see its PSRR specs. Mere 84dB. I could confirm it. Unregulated power supply makes it sound congested, harsh, unstable, messed-up and offensive. Well regulated and filtered supply voltages keep it quite neutral, with dimmed and unfocused trebles, good pace (LOL at the 2x OPA627A here) and overall good tone.
- LM4562 – just a lesser version of the LME49720. Its midrange is on the warm-bright side instead of neutral, overall good and rich presentation, unfortunately too obviously defined hence predictive and limited sometimes.
- AD8599 – this one can do things most other op-amps cannot do, period. It's like a sport car with big supercharged engine and huge carbon brakes. It can accelerate and brake rapidly thus keeping perfect rhythm, pace and timing, proper release and decay and exact texture. It's warmer than the LT, with more delicate, thinner trebles, no nervousness but this strange direction of the soundstage.
- I hate to break this to you but all the audio-gd modules need at least 250+ hours to settle completely. They will all improve dramatically once you get past 175 hours with incremental further improvements to 300 hours. They take a long time to form for some reason.
- AD797ANZ is as worse as the BRZ series, as the LT1028CN8 is worse than ACN8 series. Both suffer slight dryness, while the ACN8 is British rich and smooth.
- Absolute number one: LME49860, Audio-gd Sun v.2 They are both pretty similar sounding, with the LME being a bit richer harmonically and the Sun v.2 being slightly more analytical and showing very slight instability on vocals only.
- Fasfelen lägger sin milda slöja över skärpan i upplösningen, Ulf B Strange, swedish audio magazine journalist. The phase errors add their gentle veil over the sharpness of the resolution. It was about a CD player in the 80's.
- It's a little bit better than the AD845KN -- slightly smoother and heavier mids, slightly more neutral tonality.
- ..the LME serie was totally unbearable for me trebles-wise on my Manufaktur DT770/600Ω, which is sibilant to death to begin with
- it's hard to know whether it's missing stuff or if that's the other opamps that add their own coloration...it doesn't sound thin, just really not hifi, more like hardcore flat.