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Author Topic: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?  (Read 34345 times)

Offline Ki Choi

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Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« on: April 26, 2010, 04:14:21 PM »
The 5532 opamp is considered to be very low noise and good sounding opamp (as the opamps go..., I guess).  It is used widely in Studer A810 and A820's (and other models as well) from tape head pre-preamp module in the headstack down the entire signal chain. 

I was talking to a very knowledgeable studio person, and he thought finding a replacement opamp for 5532 would improve the sound drastically (but he couldn't remember the new opamp number...)

Any comments and suggestions would be much appreciated. 
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 04:44:40 PM by Ki Choi »
Ki Choi

Offline docb

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 04:55:34 PM »
Linear LT1469. Last time I checked they were about $9 each, and that was probably from Digi-Key.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 05:31:24 PM »
Yeah, I kinda researched the 5532 a while back. Some postings where folks were hating them dated way, way back and I had to wonder why manufacturers of some pretty high class gear were still using them.
One of the arguments (and the only one that stuck in my mind) was that guys that do a lot of multi tracking prefer the way they sound (or rather, they don't like the way other op amps sound) when the tracks are layered pretty thickly.
I could see how a sound that's real rich could get muddy pretty quickly if you overdubbed so maybe it's better to err on the lean side with some pro gear.

I don't know if that's the real reason but it did strike me as a consideration that end users might not consider.
Of course, that doesn't really apply to the 810/820 but a lot of water has gone under the op amp bridge since they were produced.
steve koto
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Offline stellavox

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 07:57:14 PM »
Been there - done some of that.

The Burr Brown OPA2604 is pin for pin compatible and sounds better to me.  Then there are the whole "new" series of products from National - among them the LM4562 and others just released - even better!

As Opamps have "improved", their distortion, current draw and perhaps most importantly offset voltages have gone way down.  A lot of the pro machines used cascaded opamps with a number of reasonably large (5 - 10ufd) electrolytic coupling caps necessary between them to isolate offset voltages - which otherwise could get "multiplied" by amplifying devices further down the chain.  If you have the ability and time you could go through the tape electronics, replace the older op amps with new and potentially eliminate a number of those caps - which probably affect the sound more than anything.

If you want to go numb or into overload quickly - peruse some of the websites like DIYaudio.com and search for "best opamps".

Better yet - don't!  Load a TP tape and relax with a  ......


Charles   

 

Offline jcmusic

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 11:49:03 PM »
Load a TP tape and relax with a  ......

With a what??? With a what??? Charles???

Jay
Redpoint Model D TT/Soundsmith Sotto Voce Cartridge Otari MX 5050 BII/BH Tube Repro deHavilland Model 222
 Ah Njoe Tjoeb 4000, Rogue Magnum 99, Korneff 45 SET Amp, Klipsch K-Horns Bass Bins/2" Tractrix Horns 2" BMS Drivers, Vintage Tubes.

Offline Ki Choi

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 11:33:20 AM »
Thanks guys for your input.

After posting the question, I thought to myself - I may have opened a can of worms - talking about replacing opamps...

The audio section of A810 and A820 have (from my memory - that's fading fast) five 5532s in Record Amp, four in Repro Amp, three in Line Amp, and one in Repro pre-amp, etc.  So, it would take at least 26 new-and-improved opamps per machine...  I guess it's relatively low cost for obtaining any improvement in pure audiophile (madness) terms... but made me think about the cost and benefits aspect.

I think Chalres meant for me to stop pondering about the opamps and chill with a cup of Starbucks (yes, it's raining in Seattle) or was it supposed to be a glass of stiff one?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 11:40:43 AM by Ki Choi »
Ki Choi

Offline tapepath

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 01:42:40 PM »
Hello,
One approach is to consider the discrete opamps made by Burson Audio.  These are circuit boards made from individual transistors, caps and resistors made to fit where the IC plugs in.
Regards, Ken

Offline docb

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2010, 11:56:42 PM »
I would suggest that if one is going to change to op amps without other changes to the circuit that they consider the operating point that the original chip is running at. The chip I recommended is an actual drop in replacement, that is looking for the same range of op points as a 5532. Other op amps may want different operating conditions to sound their best.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline traf

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2010, 01:19:58 AM »
Hello Ki,
I agree with Stellavox that the best resuts could be achieved if along with the opamp upgrade you would be able to reduce the values of the so many 47uF L'ytics so that you can fit film caps inthere. I am still contemplating around that (lost in calculations). So far I have successfully used AD8066 (with smd adaptors) in several A810 machines and RevoxPR99. Those are for me the best cost-effective replacements.
Let us know how it goes,
Tod

Offline stellavox

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp? OT
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2010, 04:58:44 AM »
Close Jay and Ki - I was thinking about a cold drink / or warm companion / or both... 

Or then again maybe "silence" and contemplation....  How do you folks listen / connect ???...

Somewhat OT - I'm hoping to take a trip cross country in July to "deliver" my daughter to a camp at Crater Lake OR, then take the rest of the time to work my way back East camping on "the Northern route".  if this works out I'd like to visit some of you'se Pacific NW tapesters; enjoy a listen - and a cold one!

Charles

Offline jcmusic

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2010, 07:25:12 AM »
Thanks guys for your input.

After posting the question, I thought to myself - I may have opened a can of worms - talking about replacing opamps...

The audio section of A810 and A820 have (from my memory - that's fading fast) five 5532s in Record Amp, four in Repro Amp, three in Line Amp, and one in Repro pre-amp, etc.  So, it would take at least 26 new-and-improved opamps per machine...  I guess it's relatively low cost for obtaining any improvement in pure audiophile (madness) terms... but made me think about the cost and benefits aspect.

I think Chalres meant for me to stop pondering about the opamps and chill with a cup of Starbucks (yes, it's raining in Seattle) or was it supposed to be a glass of stiff one?
Ki isn't always raining in Seattle??? LOL!!!

Jay
Redpoint Model D TT/Soundsmith Sotto Voce Cartridge Otari MX 5050 BII/BH Tube Repro deHavilland Model 222
 Ah Njoe Tjoeb 4000, Rogue Magnum 99, Korneff 45 SET Amp, Klipsch K-Horns Bass Bins/2" Tractrix Horns 2" BMS Drivers, Vintage Tubes.

Offline Cyrano

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2010, 07:49:38 AM »
Hi Tod,

Does AD8066 preserve vocal qualities of RC4559 in your testing?  No other changes but IC swap?  This is very good result a must try!

Best
ANdrew

Offline Ki Choi

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2010, 11:56:24 AM »
Hi Charles:

We have high concentration of tapeheads in NW area.  You might need to allocate more than few days to visit all of us.

It would be great to have you visit my tape pasture and check out the herd - listen to choice TP tapes with some cold drinks I would provide.  However, you will have to bring your own warm companion.

Ki
Ki Choi

Offline microstrip

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2010, 03:00:33 PM »
Hi Dan,
Can I ask you what ICs you are using in the ATR 100 used to record the Tapeproject tapes? They sound great!
Regards
Francisco
Francisco

Offline Ki Choi

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Re: Possible replacement for 5532 opamp?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2010, 04:57:00 PM »
Hello Ki,
I agree with Stellavox that the best resuts could be achieved if along with the opamp upgrade you would be able to reduce the values of the so many 47uF L'ytics so that you can fit film caps inthere. I am still contemplating around that (lost in calculations). So far I have successfully used AD8066 (with smd adaptors) in several A810 machines and RevoxPR99. Those are for me the best cost-effective replacements.
Let us know how it goes,
Tod

Hi Tod:

thanks for your posts.  From top of my head, I would associate the 47uF caps being mostly seen in the A80 audio cards but haven't spent too much time finding it in other models.  The AD8066 is available only in surface mounting form in Digikey site.  Let me know if you have more info on the SMD adaptors you had mentioned for A810.
Ki Choi