Integrated better than separates? I think so...

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by ODS123, Mar 10, 2018.

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  1. E-Stat

    E-Stat Addicted Member

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    The best discrete devices sound better. They don't require massive amounts of corrective feedback in order to achieve linearity resulting in better transparency and focus. Lumped sum distortion measurements using uncorrelated sine waves provide information - but no useful knowledge as to how audio gear sounds playing music. I recently upgraded my garage system's DAC using discrete FET replacements for the OPA2134s used with it. Such is easy to do with socket mounted op amps.

    They just don't.
     
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  2. ODS123

    ODS123 Well-Known Member

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    You're using a lot of techy sounding jargon but you haven't told me how my MA6600 would sound better if it's op-amps were, say, $3, instead $.50?? Nor have you told me why all the pricier op-amps couldn't just as easily be used in an integrated?
     
  3. E-Stat

    E-Stat Addicted Member

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    They wouldn't as the challenge isn't their *price*. It's the inherent design and requirements for use in a circuit. They do keep the overall price point of a component down. Which is why you find the same op amp used with inexpensive sound cards like the M Audio 2496 I use.

    Do you understand that THD measurements are performed on sine waves (test tones)? Music, by contrast, is dynamically changing structures of fundamentals mixed with rich harmonics.

    Replacing chip based op amps with more linear discrete devices using simpler topologies, however, can improve the sound quality. Did you follow my link (text in blue) in the previous post?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  4. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

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    Not necessarily, and not in general. Whilst there are unquestionably low-spec, noisy integrated circuit OP amps (e.g. http://www.onsemi.com/PowerSolutions/product.do?id=LMV324) used in audio equipment, it is equally possible to use high-spec integrated circuit OP amps (e.g. https://www.mouser.co.uk/new/maximic/maxopamp/).

    In general, integrated circuit technology permits much better quality control, precision, noise rejection, and thermal stability over equivalent discrete devices. This is particularly true in precision-sensitive devices like DACs, where it's impossible to achieve the same precision and thermal equivalence with discrete resistor ladders than it is with integrated circuits.
     
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  5. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So things are built better than others at a higher price point?
     
  6. E-Stat

    E-Stat Addicted Member

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    Just poorer audible performance using copious amounts of corrective feedback! ;)
     

     

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  7. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Dave,
    Why are you using tech sounding jargon? :confused:That’s the only thing that frustrates me slightly on here. You give a technical explaination, example or experience to people who have never seen the pointy end of a probe and think audio circuits are somehow different from other electrical circuits so they “don’t buy it”.
    :beerchug:
     
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  8. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    There are beasties of both separates and integrated - both are fine. Now this integrated is a beastie - Jeff Rowland Daemon - 1500 WPC!!!

    [​IMG]

    Max. Power Output, 8 Ω: 1500 WPC

    Max. Power Output, 4 Ω: 2500 WPC

    Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 70 kHz

    THD+N (20 Hz - 20 kHz ): < 0.05%

    Intermodulation Distortion (CCIF): 18 kHz +19 kHz, 10 W, 8Ω 0.001%

    Peak Output Current: 30 A

    Absolute Phase: Non-Inverting

    Analog Inputs: 3x RCA Unbalanced / 2x XLR Balanced

    Digital Inputs: 2x RCA SPDIF / 2x BNC SPDIF / 1x AES/EBU / 1x USB / 3x TOSLINK

    Volume Control Range: 99.5 dB

    Weight: 99 lbs / 45 kg

    DIMS (h/w/d): 9.25” x 17.5” x 17.25” / 235 x 445 x 438 mm
     
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  9. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

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    Why do you think so?
     
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  10. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

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    I can only speak to those who have at least some real electronics experience. Without that, if someone's going to believe audio circuits have special properties not found in every other kind of circuit, there's nothing I can do to convince them otherwise.
     
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  11. E-Stat

    E-Stat Addicted Member

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    Empirical observation. I do more than look at datasheets, stroke my chin and declare outcomes.

    Provide a couple examples of the best sounding gear you've heard using op amps for analog output. This should be interesting.
     

     

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  12. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Not saying this is E’s case but a lot of people seen to be spec number warriors. I tend to be to a point but just as a guide for making decisions. If I went truely by numbers I probably would not be running tubes.
     
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  13. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

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    I've never heard any audio gear. I'm completely deaf. I'm only in it for the spec sheets.
     
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  14. E-Stat

    E-Stat Addicted Member

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    Not an entirely unexpected response. I would likewise be challenged to think of good answers.
     
  15. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

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    Point taken, but at the same time, some of the "discrete uber alles" brigade seem to ignore recognised attributes -- and benefits -- of integrated circuits, which are why integrated circuits are now used almost exclusively over discrete components in sensitive test equipment, low-signal-level RF amplifiers, and the like.

    To ignore that is to effectively attribute magic to audio circuits, which is obviously wrong.
     
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  16. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    You have read the high end cable ads and reviews - they wax poetic in the magic area. Jes saying - if people want to buy them - fine.
     
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  17. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Since joining the world of Internet audio forums I have noticed this a lot from seemingly intelligent people. But intent and meaning rarely come across in a post. I prefer face to face technical discussions. Also, just a quick rant. Why is it that these discussions get slapped down for diversions off topic? If we where discussing these topics in someone’s living room over a beer and music then it would be taking all kinds of turns. Just an observation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  18. ODS123

    ODS123 Well-Known Member

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    Empirical observation? In otherwords, your evidence is merely anecdotal. ..This hobby will never be fully respected as a true scientific endeavor (ie., accurate reproduction of a musical event) until it embraces even basic validity controls such as blinded testing. ..So you replaced the op-amps in your DAC? .Well, it's then predictable - after doing all that work - that you hear a difference. ..But that doesn't really prove there is a difference, much less an improvement. Ditto someone who trades in their well-engineered modern integrated for separates.
     
  19. E-Stat

    E-Stat Addicted Member

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    And that of the best designers in the industry including Nelson Pass, John Curl, William Z. Johnson, et. al. Even McIntosh!

    Music appreciation is not a scientific endeavor.

    It literally took minutes to swap them out since they are socket mounted. And I could have returned them if I didn't find a valuable improvement. I've purchased a number of audio components to try out that I either sent back or sold. While it didn't transform the modest Music Hall DAC into the performance of the Audio Research, it certainly brought it closer. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  20. GChief

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    :dunno:
     
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