Picture Sunday: An op-amp tight fit?

Relevant links:
headfonia: Burson / Supreme Sound Lycan
ohm-image: RMAA: Venturecraft Valoq 24-bit

Picture Sunday, yo! Audiophiles cross the crazy line all the time. Special headphones for this song, tailor-made EQ for that one, separate DAPs for hip hop and jazz. If you’re a VentureCraft Valoq owner, you can spend 600$ on an op-amp set. Lo’ and behold, each set makes actual, measurable difference, not to mention skews sound.

So when you’ve got Burson’s bristling op-amps and no Lycan, what do you do? You plug in the bristler to the Valoq you borrowed from Musica Acoustics. God, it looks cool. But wait, you can’t plug both sides at the same time.

Venturecraft Valoq - op-amps-1

Which is when you really really wish Valoq’s op-amp slots were spaced farther apart. While there aren’t that many custom op-amp trees out there, you can be sure that enterprising makers will, because there is a will, find a way.

And if they’re smart – able to see the insanity of the audiophile for what it is ($$$) – DAP makers will follow with transformer cases, bulging chassis, etc., in order to mix up the game.

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

14 Comments

  • Reply May 29, 2016

    Boogie6301

    I got a big smile on my face when I read this article. I was contemplating on modding my Practical Devices HM6 with the Lycan. If the V5 had a drop in replacement for the OPA627 I may have gone through with it.

    • Reply May 29, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      But they are replaceable? I’ve used both opamps

      • Reply May 29, 2016

        Boogie6301

        I recall the last time I opened the amp that the OPA627 chips are the SMT type so it’ll take a lot of work.

  • Reply May 29, 2016

    Barun C

    Hey Nathan. Used to do op-amp rolling a while back with my previous portable headphone amp and DAC, had a discussion with Lieven about it in his BURSON / SUPREME SOUND LYCAN review, but when you say ” DAP makers will follow with transformer cases, bulging chassis, etc., in order to mix up the game” I believe it will also happen with mobile phone manufacturers, as Project Ara is suppose to launch next year with the swap-able modules, and there are a few phones already with DAC and op-amps like LG V10, Vivo X5 Max, LG G5 etc.

    • Reply May 29, 2016

      ohm image

      We certainly will see. You’re a bigger audiophile than I am, but I love the _idea_ of all this geek stuff.

      • Reply May 29, 2016

        Barun C

        Trust me, am just a beginner. But the details of your second photo, did you use the A7R for that shot, cause the intricate details are just so clear, everything in the middle is absolutely in focus with a touch of vignetting in the left edges. Am assuming it was a standard macro lens?

        • Reply May 30, 2016

          dalethorn

          Speaking of macro lenses, look what I did with a Mont Blanc ballpoint – the ball end of the refill. The ball must have been wet since it reflected some detail of the shop where I was sitting. BTW, iPhone 6s-plus:

          http://dalethorn.com/Photos/iPhone6sp/Pen02.jpg

          • Reply May 30, 2016

            ohm image

            My reply didn’t make it through the moderation team. Yeah, small sensor/lens systems can get VERY close. My macro set up (bellows) can’t get anywhere near that close. Amazing.

            • Reply May 30, 2016

              Headfonia_L.

              Auto Spamfilter: Too many spammy links to external sites 😀

          • Reply May 30, 2016

            Barun C

            Thats pretty great for a mobile phone camera. I have been using the One M8 for a couple of years, which is really good with low light photography and bokeh in portraits, but it might not be this good in portraying this amount of detail in almost microscopic level like here, especially considering its megapixel count is 4, which is 1/3rd of 6S, although it has a faster lens at f/2.0. Again, great shot.

            • Reply May 30, 2016

              ohm image

              I’ll try to answer you again: I don’t have any traditional lenses in my arsenal. I use digital enlargement lenses from Rodenstock. They lack helicoids for focusing so much be mounted to racks or bellows for close-up work.

              My favourite is the Sinaron 80/4 Digital, which I mount to a Novoflex BALPRO T/S. I reviewed the bellows at Fujirumors (just google balpro t/s review) and a few lenses.

              The image in this review was taken with a Sony A7r and either that lens, or the lens I use for work, a 125/5,6 APO-Macro Digital Sironar lens, which now sits permanently tied to a Linhof M679cs.

              • Reply May 30, 2016

                dalethorn

                I used to have a couple of copy stands in the Army lab, then I used a Minox at home with ‘dokumentenfilm’ (Agepe FF). Ah those were the days – the days I really don’t miss. Hopefully I’ll get out the tabletop tripod and iPhone clamp this week, and see what the little iPhone lens can do. My LF gear has been collecting dust for years.

                • Reply May 30, 2016

                  dalethorn

                  I should add that with most of my macro and telephoto images, I don’t have a requirement for full sharpness much beyond the center area, or center focus area. So if the optical technology is good enough, it can overcome the limitations of a small sensor to a large degree. Of course, the great advances that have been made for miniature camera shooting are usually back-engineered to the larger cameras, but in those cases the sales numbers are relatively small, the costs are high, and mobility is a problem.

              • Reply May 31, 2016

                Barun C

                I just learned about several camera gear manufacturers who I never knew of(except sinaron) at once. The references were all eye openers especially the Rodenstock lenses. Thanks.

                Last I read your stuff with regard to medium formats was late last year with the GX680III, where I found I could relate cause I started out of with a Compact Digital Camera sx20IS(Canon), used it for 5 years before upgrading to Eos70d, but now and again I go back to my dads old Olympus OM-1 and for some reason I like the results far more than any digital camera I’ve owned or used. To me the unpredictability of the results of a shoot along with the limited number of chances one gets with film is something, which makes me a consistent photographer, although I admit there are major benefits in the digital world.

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