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LM386 chips

East Texas

New member
Hi everyone, first post here. I have been building pedals off and on for about 15 years, mostly on perf board or hand etched pcbs. I just completed my first pedalpcb circuit - a Paradise Overdrive. I love the sound of it, but the build doc recommends the LM386-3 and all I have been able to locate is the LM386-1 chip, which has about half the output (325 mWatts versus 700 mWatts.) So I was wondering if anyone has compared the sound of these 2 chips in this type of circuit? The chip I used has plenty of output and sounds glorious, but I just wondered if there is an audible difference in the two?
 

daeg

Member
This is not my area of expertise, but I would think that you'd only get an audible difference under a heavy, heavy load. Remember that these chips are designed to drive 8 / 16 / 32 ohm speakers, not 100k volume pots.

A comparison would be worrying about driving a Ford F150 instead of an F250, when all you're hauling is your kids tricycle.
 

music6000

Well-known member
Hi everyone, first post here. I have been building pedals off and on for about 15 years, mostly on perf board or hand etched pcbs. I just completed my first pedalpcb circuit - a Paradise Overdrive. I love the sound of it, but the build doc recommends the LM386-3 and all I have been able to locate is the LM386-1 chip, which has about half the output (325 mWatts versus 700 mWatts.) So I was wondering if anyone has compared the sound of these 2 chips in this type of circuit? The chip I used has plenty of output and sounds glorious, but I just wondered if there is an audible difference in the two?
National Semi LM386N-3 is available from Mouser.
Here is a discussion about this pedal build :
https://forum.pedalpcb.com/threads/paradise-overdrive-gain-pot-motorboating.2535/#post-19680
 
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