Op-Amp Swapping

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Op-Amp Swapping

Postby RussB » Sat May 09, 2009 12:52 am

Many cool (at least to me) threads were lost with people's experiences with different Op-Amps in their Barber pedals.

Anyone care to share?

Snow White Auto Wah > Tone Press > Octron > CC Hybrid > Aqua-Vibe > B-Buff > Dirty Bomb > Timmy v2 > Turbo Tuner > Carbon Copy > Quantum Leap > Flint - - -18 Watt TMB - - - JCM 800 - - - Single Recto
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Re: Op-Amp Swapping

Postby DreamTheaterRules » Sun May 10, 2009 12:07 am

Russ,

I preferred both the TLC 2272 and the OPA 2134 over the stock op in the direct drive. The differences are not humongous, but you can hear them and can choose what YOU want. I would not say that that would universally apply to other Barbers, but I also preferred the OPA 2134 in my Small Fry. I'm going to try NE5532 in both my Launch Pad and Barb EQ, and then of course the 2134 and 2272. In my LTD V2, I'm going to try the .... 2272 and 2134. I do have a couple others, but holy crap I have amps to mod, pedals to build etc... I just don't have time to do everything I want too. And again, most Barbers sound so good stock, that you are only making small improvements if you find a chip you prefer. But I won't discount that "small" difference as sometimes it's what takes good to great, or great to superb.
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Re: Op-Amp Swapping

Postby RussB » Sun May 10, 2009 8:56 am

Hmm, I'll have to re-visit the 2134 in my DDSS. So far I prefer the BB OPA2604 in that box. I have tried,

JRC 4559D
LM1458
LM388
OPA 2134OPA 2604
TL072
TI 4558

I prefer the 2604. It has this added clarity/presense thing going on. Harmonics seem to increased as well


I have also made stacks of almost every possible combination, with the JRC 4558/OPA 2134 sounding pretty good. It also changes the character of the pedal if you increase the operating voltage. My Supa-Chargers let you run pedals at 9, 12 and 16v.

Dirty Bomb

I tried a BB OPA 4228PA in it, and took it back out after a half-hour or so. There seems to be some added harshness associated with this chip. The stock JRC 074D sounds much better.

I keep thinking of creating some sort of op-amp switch box, so you could A/B op-amps with the flick of a switch.

Snow White Auto Wah > Tone Press > Octron > CC Hybrid > Aqua-Vibe > B-Buff > Dirty Bomb > Timmy v2 > Turbo Tuner > Carbon Copy > Quantum Leap > Flint - - -18 Watt TMB - - - JCM 800 - - - Single Recto
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Re: Op-Amp Swapping

Postby DreamTheaterRules » Mon May 11, 2009 11:53 am

Russ,

FYI, I didn't have to try/compare a 2604 compared to the 2134. They are both Burr Brown, and your description of the 2604 sounds similar to what I heard in the 2134. More clarity. Cleaner. Tighter. Overall, just a bit more "hi-fi" if you will.
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Re: Op-Amp Swapping

Postby ringmod » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:07 am

I currently have an LM1458 in my LTD SR. I dig it. The difference is very subtle.
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Re: Op-Amp Swapping

Postby ringmod » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:35 pm

FYI, I have since gone back to the 4558.
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Re: Op-Amp Swapping

Postby metz420 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:07 am

Does opamp swapping really make that much of a difference? There is a Youtube clip from Visual Sound that is getting pretty popular that seems to debunk this myth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpTv2jAree8

Granted, a lot of things through YouTube don't sound as they would in real like but the crowd sure doesn't seem to notice any major differences.

Just curious.
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EFFECTS | Dunlop Original Crybaby > Korg Pitchblack > BBE Soul Vibe > Barber Burn Unit EQ > Barber Small Fry > Fulltone OCD v4 > BBE Two Timer Delay > BBE Sonic Stomp (in loop)
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Re: Op-Amp Swapping

Postby ringmod » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:35 am

They said the difference is subtle; I agree. I think it can affect the feel of the pedal/tone under your fingers rather than truly changing the characteristic of the drive itself.
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Re: Op-Amp Swapping

Postby hobbyist789 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:41 pm

Just for giggles, I swapped out the stock 4559P (..I think.?) in my Small Fry for one of the JRC4558D chips that are in all my other Barbers. To my ears it seemed to lower the gain and maybe become a bit clearer, too. I swapped it back to stock, though--the other pedal needed its brain back. Really, though, I imagine any differences from one chip to another could been mitigated by tweaking the gain knob, or the "mids" and/or "presence" trimmers. But in those pedals where you don't have trim-pots and you want to tailor the sound (tube screamers, boss, etc.), this would probably be just the ticket.

I'll go on record arguing that the difference from one op-amp to another can be heard/felt by a player familiar with his/her equipment, but perhaps not always, and most likely not to an independent listener. The perceived difference probably varies from circuit-to-circuit, too. I'd put this in the same category along with swapping out strings, cables and picks ..and underwear.
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Re: Op-Amp Swapping

Postby J.LaGrassa » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:44 am

I've tried a few of the common IC substitutes and there are subtle changes but in the end Dave already has the best op amps in his pedals!
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