X-Meridian OpAmp Update
A few months back I posted a short review of the Auzentech X-Meridian sound card, as well my thoughts on a few of the popular aftermarket opamp upgrades. My decision at the time was that I preferred the TI/Burr Brown OPA2107 for its lack of the typical Burr Brown sound with a solid mid-to-high range and cleaner bass.
That said, 4 months later all four OPA2107 opamps have failed!
To clarify, it's not that they've stopped outputting sound all together or have fried my card (in fact, it may have been the other way around), it's just that they all pop and click almost constantly when any signal level passes through them.
In my original review I had mentioned that I had also intended on trying the newer National LM4562 but that some supply chain issues prevented me from receiving them until about a week after I had wanted to install the card. Well, this was as good a time as any and I decided to toss them in and give them a try.
If I had to sum up the LM4562 in one word it would have to be "accurate". These opamps aren't as "boomy" or "warm" as the Burr Brown alternatives so if your source is of poor quality, <cough>MP3s</cough>, they'll let you know. I also found myself adjusting the "Bass" knob on my Klipsch speakers up a point to compensate.
In any case, out of the four types of opamps I've tried (OPA2134, OPA2227, OP2107, and now LM4562) the LM4562s are now my favorite. I still like the OPA2107 (and if you're a compressed music lover then these may be the best for you) but am a little concerned that it may have been the card itself that fried them and not that it was just a bad batch of chips.