Does the "chip" matter?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Jack DeVille, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Jack DeVille

    Jack DeVille Gold Supporting Member

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    Does the "IC chip" used in a given pedal or circuit matter/influence the tone, or perceived tonal characteristics of the actual effect?

    E.g.s:
    "the JRC4558D is necessary and vital for authentic vintage overdrive tones"
    or
    "the ON Semiconductor *insert semiconductor of choice* sounds better than the TI branded equivalent part"
    or
    "I prefer the way AD's SHARC family of processors sound/perform vs the Blackfin family of processors vs Motorola's DSP56x series"
    or
    "Metal can 308 opamps sound warmer than plastic packages"
    or
    "1N4148s exhibit a softer clipping characteristic when compared to 1N914s"
    or
    "The JFET front end on the TL0xx series sounds brighter than YYY"

    Etc.

    As they say: a penny for your thoughts...
     
  2. Humble Texan Fan

    Humble Texan Fan Member

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    Analogue or logical circuits used for analogue clipping do matter to some extent asto their recovery rate and the overtone content this ceeates. But then the myth tends to hold stronger than the truth.

    DSPs are a different matter being digital from beginning to end.
     
  3. Jackie Treehorn

    Jackie Treehorn Member

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    Opamps absolutely sound different. Even when you have a handful of the same type, there can be a standout.
     
  4. andrekp

    andrekp Member

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    Opamps can be different, but all the circuitry around them is way more important in the sense that it can have a greater affect. Yes, they sound different, but swapping out a cap for a different value changes the sound much more. And consider that caps have a 20 percent variance. Two different circuits can have the same opamp and sound very different.

    diodes are all about forward voltage. If you match the forward voltage, they are largely interchangeable. Especially as a shunt to ground. Magic diodes are a myth used to sell pedals. If a manufacturer says they have special diodes it’s because they found the last remaining motherload of some particular type and they need to convince the uninformed to pay $300 and be on a waiting list for 48 months to get a pedal with the special diodes inside.
     
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  5. Dusty Offski

    Dusty Offski Member

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    Not usually a humongous difference. CMOS chips definitely behave differently from FET op-amps, for example. But usually a comparison between a JRC4558 and a TL071 or something is just audiophile cork sniffing that isn't worth your time at all, imo.
     
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  6. mabinogeon

    mabinogeon A really hoopy frood. Silver Supporting Member

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    Maybe in the living room?

    But in a band context, most subtleties are lost.
     
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  7. rollyfoster

    rollyfoster Silver Supporting Member

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    Not around here, they don’t.
     
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  8. tonewoody

    tonewoody Member

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    Depends on the circuit....

    almost everything matters unless you are neutering widgets with a brick ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  9. roquero

    roquero Supporting Member

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    It’s not the chip it’s the chap who designs the circuit. The chap matters.
     
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  10. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

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    Here, yes.
    In real life, no.
     
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  11. WWW

    WWW Supporting Member

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    I messed around a little bit, purely unscientific, and usually under some liquid influence. I never heard much of a difference even in controlled environments.

    Gotta say thanks to the builders that offer socketed chip/transistor options though.
     
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  12. Ringo

    Ringo Supporting Member

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    May not be definitive but certainly interesting video about op amps

     
  13. Jack DeVille

    Jack DeVille Gold Supporting Member

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    So on "cork sniffing..."

    A 4558, from any manufacturer, is a dual opamp in an 8 pin package and a TL071 is a single opamp in an 8 pin package, with offset adjustment...

    BS/snobbery aside, what I hear is:
    It's about the same, and not worth the time? I.E. the "JFET front end" on the TL0xx family contributes nominally to performance/sonic characteristics when compared to the "BJT front end" on the 4558?
    Is that correctly interpreted?
     
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  14. MAGICboy

    MAGICboy Gold Supporting Member

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    I like turtles
     
  15. Jack DeVille

    Jack DeVille Gold Supporting Member

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    I like you.
     
  16. MAGICboy

    MAGICboy Gold Supporting Member

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    Lol
    You know I'm always obsessing over this topic!! I want answers!! Haha
     
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  17. mjl577655

    mjl577655 Member

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    I remember I would always see TL022s and MC1458s in the signal path of old DOD pedals and think to myself “this will sound so much better and have a lower noise level when I switch out that nasty op amp!”

    But for some reason, they never did.
     
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  18. tonewoody

    tonewoody Member

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    Seriously... Jack, lecture bait...? Why stoop?

    I appreciate your insights and cranky manner. Spit it out already!

    do tubes matter?

    do solid state turtles taste as good as vintage?

    Answers? Pithy observations? Golden inspiration?

    ****
    Spoiler: Ya $hit matters if you have a clue and good ears... ( so not to most people)
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
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  19. captaincoconut

    captaincoconut Member

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    Does anything matter at all in the greater scheme of the universe?
     
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  20. mildew

    mildew Member

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    Special case is dirt boxes where the behavior of the opamp when driven outside of spec is what makes the distortion - Rat and Hotcake, possibly others. When used in a correctly designed circuit opamps are very linear - changing opamp type might be changing the tone because the replacement no longer matches the circuit it is running in.
     
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