Choosing a good Audio Op Amp


Question: What’s a good Op Amp for audio? The answer: depends. There are many factors to consider and there’s no single best answer. There was a time when I was quite happy with the cheap and simple TL072 for most tasks. If I needed something better, then there’s the more expensive (at the time) 5532. It’s notable that after all these years, these critters are still quite capable…

Note: this blog entry has been superseded by the Op Amp Shootout page. The page is continually being updated.

 

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Carl
Carl
9 years ago

I was thinking of suggesting the excellent TI OPA2277 and OPA2107 as these are ridiculously good in the various pre-amps I make. They are however crucifyingly expensive….however TI will happily send you three of each as samples….

Carl
Carl
9 years ago

OPA2277

Slew Rate – 0,8v/µS

GBP – 1MHz

THD+N – 0,002%

Supply – 4v .. 36v, 800µA/amp

OPA2107

Slew Rate – 13-18v/µS (!!!)

GBP – 4.5Mhz@G=100

THD+N – 0,001%

Supply – 9v .. 36v, 4.5mA/amp

Carl
Carl
9 years ago
Reply to  Joel de Guzman

Great point! I've never dated these op-amps and I'm surprised at how "old" they are. Still, far superior to the 4558 which pedal fanboys clamour over.

In my experience, the first two of the points in your checklist are not that important in non-hifi unity gain applications such as guitars. Micro power op-amp's seem to suffer in the slew rate area at ultra-low voltages which directly impacts high end. The pre-amps used in EMG pickups for example, are run very close to the bone…. any lower and the treble would roll off.

I fear that using a low supply voltage would be a large problem since pickups can create quite high transients requiring significant headroom. My "darling" pre-amp buffer circuit uses dual op-amps such as the 2277/2107 in a differential configuration to totally kill noise but uses a relatively high supply of ±9v. I'll email you the design when I get to my desk….

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