[SOLVED] Where Should I upgrade the op amp

Lyong_Min

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Hi, there
I have a separate DAC and AMP set up on my PC. Which is better?

1. Upgrade the op amp on my DAC ony?

2. Or, upgrade the op amp on my AMP only?

3. Or, upgrade the op amp for both DAC and AMP?

I already checked my AMP and DAC both have an socketed OP AMP.

Thanks!
 

anort3

Titan
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Good Lord I dunno if we have that kind members here, we are talking the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard 0.1% audiophile stuff. ^)

Ask me how to connect yellow jack to yellow plug and I can tell u :D
Nah, not at all. More like tube rolling than anything else but tubes are where you really get expensive. Good Burson op amps are in the ~$100 range.

 

Lyong_Min

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What amp and DAC do you have now? What are you outputting to? What is your source? What are you hoping to get out of swapping op amps?
I'm on a limited budget so I have a cheap CHi Fi setup. That have better than sounds than my onboard audio. And just looking for a way to further improve the sound stage.

1. My Amp is a FX Audio XL-2.1 (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2017-New-FX-Audio-XL-2-1BL-Hifi-Digital-Audio-Power-Amplifier-Bluetooth-4-0-CSR8635/32826096474.html ) powering my custom built 2.1 passive speakers. And connected to

2. Topping D10 DAC (http://www.tpdz.net/products_detail/productId=30.html ). And connected to

3. PC via USB

Thanks!
 
May 16, 2019
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Replacing opamps with different opamps is generally a very bad idea unless you have the electronics knowledge to understand how it's going to affect performance. Just throwing in a better specced opamp can drastically decrease audio quality unless the rest of the circuitry surrounding it is tailored for the opamp in question.

The only absolute exception to this is when an opamp is specifically designed to be a higher quality replacement for a previous model of opamp.

Opamps are not simply directly interchangeable magic black boxes.
 
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anort3

Titan
Moderator
There's nothing wrong with what you've got now. The D10 is amazing for the price. I use a D30 to an Aune X7S as my main desktop headphone amp/DAC. That little FX Audio amp looks pretty good too. If anything I'm sure there are Head-Fi threads devoted to op amp swapping in both. I'm not sure I'd bother unless people that have done it report magic results. For the price of swapping op amps you could just upgrade to a higher quality component tier. Topping D50 - any one of a number of good little amps. You could also pre amp what you have now with tubes.

 
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Lyong_Min

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Both items in question seems quite good quality, especially for the price.
What about the speakers you use?
Maybe they just need to be better?
The speakers came from my defective Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 speakers. I just removed the amp and power module inside the sub woofer and the control module on the front right speakers. Since I can't get it working any more, so I just used a separate DAC and AMP to power it up.
 

AllanGH

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Mar 10, 2019
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More like tube rolling than anything else but tubes are where you really get expensive.
I actually miss the good-ole days of "foot warmers".

Prices on tubes, though, are ridiculous, these days.....$24.95 for a 50C5, $34.95 for a GZ34, and $79.95 for a 7189A or a 6V6GT, before taxes and shipping????

* choke *
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
While I don't doubt those are capable speakers they were designed around the amp that came with them. If you're going to spend a few hundred on op amps I suggest you put that money in a better speaker that's designed to be powered externally. You'll find that the VAST majority of a sound signature comes from the speakers/headphones and a very small percent comes from the amp/DAC chain. Like 96% from the speaker, 3% from the amp and 1% or less from the DAC. Repurposed computer speakers aren't at the resolution level where the amp/DAC chain is going to be noticeable.
 
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Lyong_Min

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While I don't doubt those are capable speakers they were designed around the amp that came with them. If you're going to sped a few hundred on op amps I suggest you put that money in a better speaker that's designed to be powered externally. You'll find that the VAST majority of a sound signature comes from the speakers/headphones and a very small percent comes from the amp/DAC chain. Like 96% from the speaker, 3% from the amp and 1% or less from the DAC. Repurposed computer speakers aren't at the resolution level where the amp/DAC chain is going to be noticeable.
Thanks anort3, for the advise. Can you point me to a bang for the buck 2.1 passive speakers for my setup?
 

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