Orange has just announced their very own Dual Discrete Op-Amp. This one has, they claim, a more “natural” and “musical” sound, offering “real”-sounding transients. Are these promises enough to get you to pull out a soldering iron and have a go at some of your audio equipment? Or is this just ‘audio snake oil’?
This discrete Op-Amp is designed for audio applications, like a CD player, a DAC, or preamplifier running on DIP 8-based IC dual op-amp types.
The DIP 8 format is a the most common format for this component and Orange has decided to make their own. They believe their effort is a lot better suited to audio circuit applications compared to the standard OP-Amps that would usually be used in these designs.
Have a watch of the interview video below with Ade Emsley and see what you think. Personally, I think it is great that they are making components like these from the ground up for music applications. I would love to hear some in action. Below is the specifications taken directly from the Orange site, so you can see where you can use these in your circuits. Here’s some of their marketing on the new component:
The overall soundstage and transient detail will be greatly improved when used in pretty much all audio equipment that it can physically be fitted to. It has a very low noise Jfet front end so it can run with input impedances above 1M Ohms if needed. It can replace the following, provided the equipment it’s being used in has 22mm of height clearance and 5mm side clearance (per side).
Audio snake oil?
Now the big question is: will you want to spend £42 on each one? The even bigger question is: will you actually be able to hear any difference in the sound quality? Or is it just ‘audio snake oil’?
I cannot really say, as I haven’t heard any yet myself, but I think that it is interesting that Orange are trying to make actual components specifically for audio, and not just relying on what is already available. Time will tell. Have you heard any A/B comparisons between the Orange Op Amp and “standard” ones? If you have, let us know in the comments section.
Orange Dual Discrete Op-Amp product page