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Best Opamps to replace TL072's in TAC Scorpion-II
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donnie7
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29th August 2005
Old 29th August 2005
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Best Opamps to replace TL072's in TAC Scorpion-II

Hello Gear Slutz, We are a self funded school to keep kids off the streets in Boston and want to upgrade our console for the best possible sound. The 1101 input module, buss 3101 module and 4001 stereo master modules are most important. I have 25+ years in audio engineering and DIY skill-sets. Would like your honest opinions on this issue. The console uses TL072's throughout. Was wondering if we should use all OP275's for the 1101 input modules. Or use OP275 selectively for input/outputs and use the upgraded TLE2072's in the EQ section on the 1101 input modules?

Could we use BB OPA2604's or OPA2134's in the 3101 buss/subgroups and 4001 master output section? The goal here is the best possible sound quality without creating power supply overloading or circuit stability issues due to faster OPA's. Let us know if you need any more info to make a proper selection. Keep up the great audio and engineering work everyone is doing. Looking forward to your reply. With respect, Donnie Dixon.
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29th August 2005
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I did this upgrade in my TAC Scorpion console about 2 months ago, I was also concerned about power consuption issues... I replaced the single TL072 with Burr Brown OPA2406 at the very top of each input module strip near the gain stage and EQ driver... I also repalced each TL072 in the aux send/return section on console, on my console it's the S2000 module... I also replaced the critical TL072's in the master buss section of the console... I haven't upgraded the subgroups of my console yet, some other day.

the BB OPA2604 will heat up and create signal noise of sorts in the other slots of the input module

I must say that it's the best investement for the TAC, it's sounds stellar !
bass is tight, clear and the top end is smooth, very musical sounding... you cannot go wrong with this upgrade... highly recommended
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29th August 2005
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donnie7
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29th August 2005
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What specific opamp location for replacement?

QUESTION for you:
***Is that opamp you replaced at location U4 or U5 on the 1101?
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29th August 2005
Old 29th August 2005
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Hi Donnie!

Did you try out the amps I suggested before?

Avoid OP275's in the EQ circuit as they have too much bias current and will make the frequency pots scratch. Use either a high beta opamp like the LT1352 or a fet input opamp like OP2134. OP2604's may require extra psu bypassing and prehaps some local phase margine tweaks to stabilize. I also like AD825's mounted on a Brown Dog adaptor.

I like the LT1358's in the fader amp position of the 4001 inputs. You can remove all the coupling caps in that section if you use this opamp. It's also very good in the stereo sum amp position as noise is reduced and loop gain increases for lower buss distortion and better clarity when bussing a large number of inputs.

Jim Williams
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29th August 2005
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I have done this mod (LT1358s in the master section and jumpering the electrolytics) . . . and it is cool . . . I also replaced ressitors 56 and 57 with 22.1k ressistors (another Jim Williams tip) . . . this allows me to push my master faders all the way to the top . . . I like it much better. I would like to upgrade all the opamps in every channel (save the eqs which I rarely use) which opamps on the 1101 and 1201 channel strips are the input and fader drivers? And would a LT1358 be ideal here as well? Or are there other opamps that would be better in these positions?

Justin
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29th August 2005
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On 1001/1101 inputs the fader amp/insert return is U5. You can remove/jump the coupling caps here as well if you use a LT1358. If you hear any pot scratch you can always put back C22. The bottleneck is U1, the SSM2015. I don't like mixing through mic pre's so you can either use the insert return (very cool if you don't use the EQ), or fudge another preamp/line amp in there. If you don't need the EQ, this console is a good candidate as an outboard summing box.

Jim Williams
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donnie7
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30th August 2005
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Thank you all for posting/contributing...

Many thanks to Jim and other for sharing information. Yes Jim, we tried your OPA recommendations. Still testing and OPA rolling. Moving slow but steadily on this project. Just want to get the best possible perfomance out of the Scorpion as possible. PEACE and LOVE for everyone! With Respect, Donnie D. in Boston.
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30th August 2005
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Question for Jim Williams...

Jim,

What are the critical locations [Ux] for upgrading OPA's on the following modules?
Could you specify part numbers and any other important information.
What would be your best OPA choices for good bass, mids and highs?
Your advice is always welcome, used and appreciated.

1101 Input module, ours now has a real balanced line linput.
3101 Subgroup/Buss
4001 Stereo Master output

Thank you!
Maximum Respect,
Donnie Dixon
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30th August 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnie7
QUESTION for you:
***Is that opamp you replaced at location U4 or U5 on the 1101?

My modules are S1000, and I found that upgrading to BB in the U2 socket position to be the most successful.
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31st August 2005
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unrelated, yet related.....

I'd like to swap out the chips in the originial Amek Angela Blue series. The A10 cards have Ne5534's, 5532's and TL074's in them. Analog devices makes a chip swappable for the TL074 (AD713jn) - although that chip runs over $7. Any suggestions for the 5532,5534's ?

alan camlet
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31st August 2005
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I have a Tac Scorpion also. S1000 input modules
Are these chips socketed or do they have to be unsoldered and then soldered back in ?

Thanks
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1st September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maestro7879
I have a Tac Scorpion also. S1000 input modules
Are these chips socketed or do they have to be unsoldered and then soldered back in ?

Thanks

All socketed, easy swap... thank goodness !
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1st September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnie7
Jim,

What are the critical locations [Ux] for upgrading OPA's on the following modules?
Could you specify part numbers and any other important information.
What would be your best OPA choices for good bass, mids and highs?
Your advice is always welcome, used and appreciated.

1101 Input module, ours now has a real balanced line linput.
3101 Subgroup/Buss
4001 Stereo Master output

Thank you!
Maximum Respect,
Donnie Dixon
I use LT1352's in U2,3,4. OPA2134's can also be used. Add a few .1 uf mono ceramic caps on the power rails to ground. I use a LT1358 in U5.

On 4001's, I use LT1358's in U10, U5, U11, U12. R56, R57 are 22.1k. R12, R11 are shorted.

Jim Williams
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1st September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajcamlet
unrelated, yet related.....

I'd like to swap out the chips in the originial Amek Angela Blue series. The A10 cards have Ne5534's, 5532's and TL074's in them. Analog devices makes a chip swappable for the TL074 (AD713jn) - although that chip runs over $7. Any suggestions for the 5532,5534's ?

alan camlet
Don't waste money on the AD713. Use a BB OPA4134, OPA4132, LT1359 instead. Try LT1357's for 5534's and either LT1358's, OPA2134 or LM6172's in the 5532 spots. Add .1 uf psu bypass caps. Replace the sockets with Milimax machine sockets.

All are available through Digi-Key.

Jim Williams
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1st September 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
Don't waste money on the AD713. Use a BB OPA4134, OPA4132, LT1359 instead. Try LT1357's for 5534's and either LT1358's, OPA2134 or LM6172's in the 5532 spots. Add .1 uf psu bypass caps. Replace the sockets with Milimax machine sockets.

All are available through Digi-Key.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

any of those a dirict swap minus the cap addition?
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6th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
Don't waste money on the AD713. Use a BB OPA4134, OPA4132, LT1359 instead. Try LT1357's for 5534's and either LT1358's, OPA2134 or LM6172's in the 5532 spots. Add .1 uf psu bypass caps. Replace the sockets with Milimax machine sockets.

All are available through Digi-Key.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

all of these seem to be more expensive than the AD713jn...
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25th February 2010
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Can this kind of upgrade be done on a Soundtracs MRX?
donnie7
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26th February 2010
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Thumbs up Are you a tinkerer or experienced tech...

If you can't read schematics well or use a scope or VOM, or DVM... I'd be very careful. Changing a few chips here in there is quite OK. But to do a full upgrade, with compensating caps, optimizing your EQ section, selecting Bipolar vs. FET OPA's, you'll really need some chops. I'm quite sure you'll get some help here. But your level of skill will be the ultimate determining factor in your success. Best wishes, donsonic in Boston.
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13th July 2011
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Hi everyone,

I'm reviving this 6 years old thread in the need of some help.
I finally decided to upgrade my Scorpion I and before going shopping I would very much like to know what should I put in the basket.
I went through the entire thread and I have a good idea of what I'm looking for. Still I have a couple of questions that maybe someone can help me to sort them out.
Perhaps Mr. Jim Williams?

Basically I have S1000, S2000, S3000 & a S4000 module.
I use the S1000 modules mostly for tracking and I use the eq's so I would like to upgrade them too.
The S2000 modules I won't touch them as their use is for musicians foldback.
The S3000 modules I was thinking of using them for summing through the insert as Jim Williams suggested before, so I was wondering which poison should suit me best here.
And finally the S4000 module. I think I'll go as far as I can get here as it is crucial for the overall sounding of the board + I use it for monitoring (3 pairs) and it will be the return of the summing for the box.

For the S1000 & S3000 modules I would prefer just swapping opamps but I'll make some tweaking if necessary.

I have good soldering skills and I've already modded some gear, but I have basic technical knowledge.

Thanks and looking foward to hear your suggestions and opinions.


Sam
donnie7
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13th July 2011
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Thumbs up Audio Skillsets...

Greetings...
Please read my previous post right above yours. No matter what you do... If you don't have exact experience, it's going to take you some time to sort it.
This may help you get started: Audio Maintenance Limited Electronic Products
Best Wishes,

Donsonic
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13th July 2011
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Hi Donsonic,

I've been in AML site. I really like what they propose, but I would like to go a bit further.
Read your post, but as I have some spares I'm willing to give it a try.
Thanks,

Martin
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13th July 2011
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Anyway, I keep AML in mind just in case I fail to make this upgrade.
Thanks again,

Sam
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13th July 2011
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I believe AML has sub boards for replacing the SSM2015 chip. In recent years new devices have been released that would be a fine addition to the Scorpion.

In the stereo sum stage of the 4000 module I use the National LME49720NA. That is a very low noise opamp with huge open loop gain at 10k hz. That will clean up a stereo mix quite well. Coupling caps can be yanked out, those are precision devices.

In the S1000/1001 inputs, the new BurrBrown OPA1642 fet opamp is a winner in the EQ section, very low bias current (no pot scratch) and very low 5 nv noise. Use LME49720 for the fader amp and remove all the el caps there.
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14th July 2011
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Thanks for the tips Jim!!!

Still have a couple of doubts.

So U2,3,4 BB OPA1642. There's no need to add .1 uf mono ceramic caps on the power rails to ground? Hope not cause I'm kind of lost there...

U5 - LME49720 and remove all caps. (C22, C24, C25, C26, C27 & C29) It's that all or am I missing something? R51-R58 no need to change it for a 22.1k?

For the S3000 modules, there is no need to upgrade or should I also consider throwing some BB OPA1642 here too?

Thanks again,
I'm enormously greatful!


Sam
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14th July 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuelito View Post
There's no need to add .1 uf mono ceramic caps on the power rails to ground? Hope not cause I'm kind of lost there...

hardest thing is finding a suitable ground to join to,
then solder the cap (on the underneath of the board) from the power pins of the op amp (which you have socketed, before changing. And haven't installed the op amp yet only the socket) to the ground plane you just identified.


the easiest way to find a ground, is to find where the ground enters the board and follow the traces from there.
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16th July 2011
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Thanks oxide54,

I understand the concept, never did it though, but the only thing that worries me is to which leg of the socket should I solder it?
And in this case is necessary or is just fine without the caps to ground?
Thanks again,

Sam
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27th July 2011
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Would it be the same to change the ceramic caps beside each opamp and replace them with a .1uf cap, instead of soldering them on the other side of the board?

Are these 0.1uf caps?

Think I'm getting the idea...

Thanks again to everyone!!!

Cheers,


Sam
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2nd August 2011
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bump!

Anyone knowing where to get the adapting socket for mounting the OPA1642 through holes?

Thanks,

Sam
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