The OPA 627’s arrived yesterday and needless to say they were in the JD9 within 15 minutes. YEAH no soldering; they simply plug in the IC sockets.. SWEET!. However, if you are going to change them be careful when you install them. The legs are delicate and if you don’t have them perfectly aligned with the sockets you could easily mangle them, kind like I did with one of them and then had to very carefully and very gently un-mangle them. That happens you can easily break off a leg so to speak..lol It seems that I always have to have an adventure with anything I do, like the shelves I built for my classical collection, Jazz collection, box sets etc.. only to find out that I used the wrong stain, so here we go again, sanding and re-staining.. And here’s the kicker I am not exactly known for my patience. Oh and I am old enough that It is virtually impossible for me to learn patience..
Now the review of the Burr Brown or I should say TI OPA627’s. I was not really expecting too much of an improvement simply because some of the reviews state that Op amps don’t make much of a difference and that the BR 627’s are no exception. To those reviewers I would have to say that either they are going by what they read somewhere and never compared the 627’s themselves or there is something wrong with their equipment or, hate to say it, there is something wrong with their ears..
Well to put it simply the OPA627’s made a huge difference, in my case I think they made the most improvement yet. The background is quitter, blacker, and a lot clearer. The mids are more liquid and pronounced. The lows and highs are a lot more extended. The symbols shimmer a lot more and are much clearer. The drum brushes now sound a lot more like drum brushes as opposed to a slushing sound. The Base gained a bit more slam and became rounder. But here’s where the 627’s shine; the separation of instruments. The imaging and separation of instruments is amazing. I was listening to Stan Getz’s Jazz Samba Encore which I have listened to hundreds of times. In one of the tracks (incidentally that album has one of the best channel separation recordings I have heard) and on the right channel there is a segment of a piano and guitar being played. Now before I installed the 627’s I could hear the guitar and the piano playing together and the imaging was fine too but when I listen to it after I installed the 627’s I could actually hear the guitar being played in front of the piano and a little to the right. I have never heard that before. You can actually visualize the guitar player standing a few of feet in front of the piano and a little to right playing the guitar. That’s how good the separation of instruments became. So much air around the instruments now it is almost orga.. (I don’t know if I can use this word here but you get my drift). In a sense it made the Jolida seem to have more gain (like it needs it). Now moving on to classical music. The violins and the instruments are now a group of individual instruments of the orchestra as opposed to a big mass of instruments.
As much as I liked the Jolida’s sound before installing the 627’s, I always felt that there was a little something missing. The opa 627’s fixed all that and brought everything the Jolida has to offer together. Now I am hearing layers upon layers of instruments and music and hearing things that went missing without the separation the 627’s brought. I also seem to have lost control of my feet; they seem to have developed mind of their own and start tapping on their own whenever they hear music.
All of that and I am still using the inferior stock tubes that came with the Jolida. Not to worry the Psvane 12AX7-T tubes are on the way. Can’t wait to roll those. After that I’ll change the load resistor and then the WORLD Pinky.. The world..
In short the Burrs are purring in my Jolida.. Burr.. Purr.. Purr.. Purr.. Good kitty..
jjrenman wrote:FWIW, I'd suggest that you continue your mods in other areas first as my gut tells me that the loading resistors are not yet your weakest link. Also I'd target the op amps. check out the Burr Brown OPA 627's. Then I'd roll the tubes.
Jjrenman, you were so right about the weakest link. Thank you for opening my eyes about the 627’s and the info you provided.