SS3602 Discrete Op Amp Review – Graeme Newman

The SS3602 Dual Discrete Op Amp has been reviewed by Graeme Newman

in a custom DIY preamp.


SS3602Here’s a brief personal review of Sparkos Labs discrete op-amps (TLO82 equivalent). I substituted the original Texas Instruments op-amps in a line stage preamp that was designed by 2 guys named “Rabe and Schauer”, and extensively modified by myself. I used milled gold IC sockets with the intention to try various makes of TLO82 op-amps. It sounded good with the Texas Instruments op-amps and initially I didn’t pursue any other manufacturers of TLO82’s.  Then I saw Andrew Sparks posts regarding his new discrete op-amps, and knew I had to try them! I’m glad I did! The original sound with TI’s TLO82’s was excellent, being clear and razor-sharp, but the Sparkos Lab’s discrete IC’s take it one-step closer to sonic holography! The sound is even sharper, crystal-clear, and you can hear INTO the music, along with all the details of

the musicians breathing SS3602and chair-squeaks etc.. The level of detail is astonishing! The thwack of a kick-drum has a crack and slam at the instant of impact, and you can hear the impact and details of sticks and brushes on the drum skins! Listening to Gragorian Chant in a large cathedral is astonishing in it’s conveyance of the space and sonic environment of the huge space. Switching to Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew”, his trumpet jumped out at me, followed by wooden blocks and cymbal crashes, which actually sounded like a real cymbal, not a smashing slush of tizzy noise. Listening to the “Chris Mitchell Quintet” was clean and clear, but very flat-sounding, clearly indicating it was done in a small studio with no ambiance. My point is you can clearly tell where the music was recorded now, whereas before I was more impressed with this CBC recording.

If you’re a DIY’er in audio, try Sparkos Labs IC’s! You won’t be disappointed!

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Discrete Op Amps
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