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Swapping ti NE5534AP with Signetics NE5534AN..
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Hans A
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17th May 2013
Old 17th May 2013
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Swapping ti NE5534AP with Signetics NE5534AN..

Hi,

Im thinking of swapping the TI 5534 AP's in my console with NE 5534 AN by Signetics. I have a batch of 15 pcs 'NE5534 N' and 7 pcs of the 'AN' version.
Are these chips interchangable, i mean the N and AN types?
Or are there differences that would impact the circuitry?

Um, yes.. Im not really that into electronics and there is one odd (for me) thing i noticed when checking out the mic pre stage in the console.
The existing TI 5534 that im thinking of replacing is sittting on top of a cylindrical aluminium thingy. Would be really cool to know what it is and does as part of the circuitry. Is it a heat sink maybe?

The 5534 is below the LL transformer. Sorry for the bad resolution pic.
Best Regards Hans

Best regards Hans
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17th May 2013
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Need a better close-up photo (without a shadow from that wire) to try to identify what that is. Looks pretty strange to me. I don't know why you would need a heat sink on a chip handling such small signal levels.

I wouldn't expect that you will hear any significant difference between the chips. IMHO, the risk of damage is greater than the possibility of improvement.
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Hans A
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17th May 2013
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Ok, i'll reconsider. Next time i'm in the studio i will take a better picture of the part!
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The "A" suffix is for the guaranteed lower input noise spec.

JR
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psst... over here.... stick an ma332 in there if you can find one. Drop in replacement with better specs and most importantly, sound.
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17th May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Need a better close-up photo (without a shadow from that wire) to try to identify what that is. Looks pretty strange to me. I don't know why you would need a heat sink on a chip handling such small signal levels.

I wouldn't expect that you will hear any significant difference between the chips. IMHO, the risk of damage is greater than the possibility of improvement.
I was always wondering what it is about those original signetics 5534/5532's. Read several posts on different forums from people raving about them as "the best replacement for newer 5532/5534's". Also saw some of those original Signetics going for crazy prices on eBay like 20$/piece - just one of those "magical NOS vintage" hypes, or is there really something about it?
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17th May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagelove View Post
psst... over here.... stick an ma332 in there if you can find one. Drop in replacement with better specs and most importantly, sound.
:D will consider that too.. Wisper wisper..
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17th May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRoberts View Post
The "A" suffix is for the guaranteed lower input noise spec.

JR
Ok, so its the same 'topology' but quality controlled?
Thanks!
Hans A
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Actually, im a bit hyped. But i was just lending an eye on the schematics for the micamp and saw it was a dual op amp design. I just dont know what im talking about. Have to read up this.
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If you really want the vintage vibe, I have a tube of C2003P pulled from an old MCI console.
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No, actually i dont want vintage, just optimise. Thanks though. I may try the signetics on one channel and see what happens.
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None of the 5534s are known as an amazing opamp so a change would likely be lateral. In 'upgrade' without testing could also lead to less than pleasing results. I would leave it alone as a 5534 may not be a hotrod but will perform just fine in a well designed circuit.
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18th May 2013
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Quote:
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Ok, so its the same 'topology' but quality controlled?
Thanks!
Yup,,, ICs of that heritage were often influenced by process noise, so graded or selected parts were sold for use in noise sensitive sockets.

JR
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18th May 2013
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Hi
Grading of parts happens everywhere from resistors, capacitors to ICs.
The 'A' signified it was a part measured by the manufacturer to be lower noise than it's classmates.
There will have been modifications to the process and even internal circuits of various chips, but whether they represent an 'upgrade/downgrade or just the same' design is a matter for the individual circuit.
Some chips could have been graded for 'speed' or 'linearity' but probably aren't or at least not sold on that basis.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
Grading of parts happens everywhere from resistors, capacitors to ICs.
The 'A' signified it was a part measured by the manufacturer to be lower noise than it's classmates.
There will have been modifications to the process and even internal circuits of various chips, but whether they represent an 'upgrade/downgrade or just the same' design is a matter for the individual circuit.
Some chips could have been graded for 'speed' or 'linearity' but probably aren't or at least not sold on that basis.
Matt S
I am not aware of this being widely practiced for passive components, while some DIYers may hand select some passive components for close matching.

In production it is generally a lot cheaper to engineer in the precision or low noise. Back 30 or 40 years ago when the 553x was new, that opamp was near the cutting edge, and people were willing to pay for selected parts.

Back at my old day job, we even paid for a graded/selected version of the 5532, (gave it our own house part number) but our noise spec was not the max input noise level but a shape or contour of the noise floor spectrum (avoiding chips with high 1/F LF noise). That was decades ago. Today it would be cheaper to buy a newer quieter opamp, than pay for special handling, but back in its day the 553x was a very good opamp, and we didn't have the wide selection of uber parts we have now.

Note: modern IC processes have gotten a lot better too. You couldn't make modern parts with the much smaller geometry using the old fab tolerance and purity levels.

JR
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modern IC processes have gotten a lot better too. You couldn't make modern parts with the much smaller geometry using the old fab tolerance and purity levels.
Indeed. But is that really a factor for the kind of linear parts we typically talk about in these forums? Most certainly it is a major contributor to the migration away from analog and to digital processing.
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Indeed. But is that really a factor for the kind of linear parts we typically talk about in these forums? Most certainly it is a major contributor to the migration away from analog and to digital processing.
Since we are talking about these 30-40 YO parts in this thread it seems appropriate. Part of the 553x input noise was dominated by geometry and design decisions like the amount of silicon budgeted for the input devices. Another fraction of that noise was purity or process related. I suspect that this process related noise fraction is smaller today running across a modern fab, just as an unintended consequence of process improvements to support smaller geometry.

JR
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19th May 2013
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Hi
For parts grading I was meaning that as no manufacturing process is 'perfect' there are ways of producing say 10K resistors with 1 percent tolerance.
You 'aim' to make them 'exact' and through statistical analysis and some measurements you set up the machinery to make them within the tolerance capability of the machines. If you want tighter tolerance you would select from this batch and charge a premium for the extra testing. Conversely you would not employ a machine capable of manufacturing components to 0.001 percent tolerance if you were making 2 percent tolerance parts.
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19th May 2013
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Since there so much talent here. Anyone who nows someone who built the mixing console Steve Dove was writing about in Studio Sound in -80 to -82. The "build your own proffessional mixing console" series?
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19th May 2013
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Dunno circuitwise but the Amek M2500 pretty much nailed signalflow and functuality of what Steve Dove wrote about inline recording desks. But then... the M2500 was available before SteveĀ“s article.
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19th May 2013
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Hi
I have a feeling but do not know exactly, but Steve Dove was working with Alice (Stancoil) the mixer manufacturer either before, after or during this series of articles.
Some of the circuit blocks 'appeared' in equipment around that time.
I have no idea whether the desk described ever got built or was an 'advanced concept using established subcircuits'.
No idea where he might be now.
Matt S
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Ok, i will check it out!
Thing is, i really like this mixer, it's based on the steve dove layouts and details. But its missing a master section.. Would like to get that fixed
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19th May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
I have a feeling but do not know exactly, but Steve Dove was working with Alice (Stancoil) the mixer manufacturer either before, after or during this series of articles.
Some of the circuit blocks 'appeared' in equipment around that time.
I have no idea whether the desk described ever got built or was an 'advanced concept using established subcircuits'.
No idea where he might be now.
Matt S
IIRC Steve did do some design work with/for Alice mixers. I didn't get the sense that Steve's series of articles in Studio Sound was a describing a specific console design as much as a general "how to" address different problems.

JR
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19th May 2013
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No, your right, (but there is actually a bit of layouts in it.). The guide is split up in parts, starting with an introduction on the topic, then he goes from front end to back end in an hilarious fashion. Great read even for me who's not that into DIY.
Every part of the 'modern' inline console is treated, with different suggestions on op amp's for the gain stage, to lots of different design choices for the eq section.
But the person who built my partcular console did'nt sadly enough finish the master section nor the stereo buss.
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