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AlexanderT  
#1 Posted : Saturday, May 24, 2014 1:19:45 PM(UTC)
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Hello,
i built Buffalo 3 with Legato 3.1 just recently and so far i'm happy about many traits of it's sound, except for couple of moments - to my ears the overall sound character is a little bit too sweet/bright and forward compared to what i'm used to (maybe need more burn-in). This could be related to LM4562 since it's what it sometimes do in my experience so i thought maybe i try a few other opamps to see what will happen.

Maybe someone can recommend opamps that will work well as drop-in replacement and fit well here? Something with darker\deeper sound character. Maybe someone tried those MUSES opamps people are talking about?

Edited by user Tuesday, June 10, 2014 3:47:08 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

AlexanderT  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 8:29:07 PM(UTC)
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I guess there's not too many people who roll opamps so maybe someone will find it usefull: I tried and yes - opamp in ballsie do affect sound significantly and can change overall sound character of the dac if needed.
The first Opamp i tried is OPA2134PA. (just swaped, haven't looked into specs/requirements yet, but seem to work ok)

Compared to LM4562 - the change is significant, the sound is no longer as bright/sweet/sunny and more neutral to my ears (in my system) +more bass with stronger punch. However, it doesn't feel so round/clean/smooth as with LM4562 especially at top end. I feel that overall performance is probably a bit worse, especially at top end, but like character better. Some say OPA2132 should be better here so it and OPA2604 are probably my next stop, i also plan to try some LT (Linear Technology) opamps and some other LMEs, just need to figure out which will fit well here...

Edited by user Wednesday, June 11, 2014 10:46:07 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

kesgreen  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 8:55:58 PM(UTC)
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I thought the Legato only had op-amps on the SE outputs? If so, you could bypass them altogether with balanced amp/s.

Personally, I think that if an op-amp does what it's supposed to in a circuit, then changing it for another will make either no difference or (if one does not know exactly how the circuit works) make it worse.

I don't think Russ or Brian choose the cheapest components or ones at random.
Brian Donegan  
#4 Posted : Thursday, June 12, 2014 2:41:50 PM(UTC)
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We picked what we thing is a great op amp for the job.

We also included a socket for it, because we know some like to experiment.

Carry on...
AlexanderT  
#5 Posted : Saturday, June 14, 2014 11:00:15 PM(UTC)
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The next opamp i tried is LME49860. This opamp is supposedly just a variation of LM4562 like many in LME498xx line and is said to be the best of them. Idealy it should sound the same... But in reality - it is somewhat similar to LM4562 but has different tonality. It is darker sounding, more laid-back, has more bass, less highs, larger soundstage. It's easy to listen to, not fatiguing, with much less of that top-end "glare" the LM4562 was giving me. This is probably the solution to those who may want to change only the tonality to darker one while keeping rest +\- the same

Edited by user Sunday, June 15, 2014 9:15:18 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

AlexanderT  
#6 Posted : Saturday, June 21, 2014 11:18:14 AM(UTC)
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Next i tried OPA2604 - it sounded the best so far and offered everything i wanted in my setup. Deep, dark (neutral) sound with strong bass and smooth highs that feel like a sparkle in the night - the most musical and interesting to listen to among the ones i tried here yet.

Soon i'm planing to compare different opamps on fully-balanced setup and see which ones in BAL>SE stage will sound closest to pure balanced output
AlexanderT  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, August 27, 2014 7:45:52 PM(UTC)
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Just wanted to report that i finally measured all opamps in my Buffalo IIIse+Legato on very good friend's equipment and none showed any sign of oscillation or any wrong behavior otherwise. My biggest concern was behavior of single opamps in single-to-dual adapter, but they worked fine.

Final impressions on most interesting ones:
Compared to LME49860 (which i selected as the best dual) - the OPA627 perform a bit faster and cleaner, however it's sound is a bit more forward and mid-centric, there's less bass vs mid. Otherwise it sounds as good as expected of it, i just wish it had a bit more bass (or less mid?)...
On the contrary - OPA827 is more bass-centric and has deep and dark, warm, laid-back sound with impressive soundstage. It even feels somewhat "too dark" and too bassy sometimes, but it's quite pleasant to listen to. I'm yet to decide on this one...
LME49860 is a very good all arounder. It's not better at any specific area compared to single opamps, but overall sound is very good. It has powerfull bass, good soundstage, detailed highs. Maybe just a slightly "synthetic" highs like of all LM opamps, but i find it better than LM4562 in every way, especially bass, soundstage and detail.

Edited by user Wednesday, August 27, 2014 7:50:28 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 1 user thanked AlexanderT for this useful post.
MykhailoM on 4/25/2016(UTC)
visaton  
#8 Posted : Saturday, September 6, 2014 11:57:30 AM(UTC)
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Try some discrete opamps like Burson or NewclassD. You'll be surprised. Just dont forget to readjust DC offset at 0V.
Newclass from Dexa sounds fantastic, Burson is softer, somewhat meater in sound.
thanks 1 user thanked visaton for this useful post.
AlexanderT on 9/10/2014(UTC)
biggsd  
#9 Posted : Saturday, September 13, 2014 11:28:04 AM(UTC)
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so, has anyone tried a Muses?
MykhailoM  
#10 Posted : Monday, April 25, 2016 12:33:29 AM(UTC)
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Hi audiophiles,

How may op-amps the Buffalo-IIISE DAC can take? seems as I can not find these information. Will it take only mono or dual or mix?

I was thinking to use MUSES8920 (dual) and AD797ANZ (mono) is it possible to use all mono op-amps?

Thanks
Brian Donegan  
#11 Posted : Monday, April 25, 2016 6:17:11 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: MykhailoM Go to Quoted Post
Hi audiophiles,

How may op-amps the Buffalo-IIISE DAC can take? seems as I can not find these information. Will it take only mono or dual or mix?

I was thinking to use MUSES8920 (dual) and AD797ANZ (mono) is it possible to use all mono op-amps?

Thanks


The Buffalo DAC does not have any opamps on it at all. The Legato uses one dual opamp for Balanced to SE conversion.
MykhailoM  
#12 Posted : Monday, April 25, 2016 7:53:41 PM(UTC)
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Hi Brian,

Can you please explain the reason of not having opamps in the Buffalo DAC design. I found it confusing and difficult to understand the signal path or forming without opamps as other latest ES9018 DAC boards have at least 6 Monos in their design. Would you think it`s sonically better or more natural sounding etc.?

Thanks

Edited by user Monday, April 25, 2016 9:43:58 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Brian Donegan  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, April 26, 2016 4:22:12 PM(UTC)
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The Buffalo, like all of our products, is a modular design. It does not have an integrated output stage to allow people to select the type of output stage they want to use. We have several options available, and there are even more available elsewhere that people can choose from.
MykhailoM  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, April 26, 2016 7:16:50 PM(UTC)
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Hi Brian,

If I was to order the option Buffalo-IIISE 2-Channel DAC for $379 USD will that be enough to connect all of the parts together to use the Buffalo DAC board? or will I still need to add opamps to have it functional as well as transformer? or what is available to substitute or use the opamps?

Edited by user Tuesday, April 26, 2016 7:17:28 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

avr300  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, April 27, 2016 4:11:54 PM(UTC)
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You might benefit from reading the first 8 pages and page 72 of this excellent document:

http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/docs/community_docs/leonvb-Buffalo_III_DAC_Integration_Guide_V2.1.3.pdf

All you need to know about planning and building a Buffalo DAC is covered in this document.


Answer to your question,

In general you won't have to "add opamps", as in "just add opamps".

You will to add an output stage. Either the Legato or the IVY (or another output stage)
And you need power supplies (could be Placid) and transformers.
narla  
#16 Posted : Sunday, August 18, 2019 5:43:31 AM(UTC)
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Not sure if anyone is still looking at this thread, but I recently changed op amps on the Legato from Burson 6 Vivid to Sparkos Labs discrete. The Sparkos is outstanding in every respect. Easy install, with a few minor adjustments. Well worth the effort for all Single ended Legato users.
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