SS3602 Discrete Op Amp Reviews – Burmester Preamp
As promised, here I am back with my listening impression of the SS3602 in my Burmester preamp. I compared them to the DEXA opamps.
The SS3602 is really a no-brainer in every aspect while the DEXAs turned out to be more of a mixed bag, at least when trying to fit them in an electrically demanding environment such as my balanced preamp. The differences are not night & day, but I was able to discern them right away and repeatedly reproduce them. The SS3602 impressed me with its effortless, yet authoritative and clean seamless and natural presentation of any kind of music. Lively, neutral, but still full- bodied without any limitations at the frequency ends. It really does not stand in the way of the music, leaving everything intact and connecting every detail to a picture which is more of the sum of its parts, because it retains the feeling and atmosphere of the music. The best thing is that these capabilities were not dependent on their position in my preamp (input/gain/output/inverting stage):
The DEXAs reacted very differently on the places in the preamp where I tried them. While sounding neutral and very detailed in the input section, they got increasingly lean, grainy, and constrained the more i moved them towards the output of the preamp. Overall by comparison, even LM4562s were more convincing in these critical spots than the DEXAs. As far as I can tell, the DEXA’s problem is the low (limited) output current which does not make them the ideal candidates for line driving purposes. They might fare better in a less demanding application, as in a DAC output stage or in a CD player where no gain is applied and the load is easier to handle. The SS3602 used in electrically demanding applications keeps it wonderfully balanced and fluent in the presentation of whatever is sent to it.
If DEXA would publish the specs of their op amps, I’m sure one could find further evidence for their limitations. So my favorite is the SS3602 and I’m really impressed by your work and also the build quality. Their size makes them an easy fit. Both sonically and electrically they provide outstanding performance. I had expected much closer results in my comparison.
Again, congrats for your excellent work. I hope you will find many more enthusiastic customers.
Because the whole world needs to know