To indulge users with preferences for certain audio tonal characteristics, the Sound Blaster ZxR features a convenient option to swap op-amps. Op-amps play an essential role in amplifying delicate analog signals and also influence the overall audio texture. With the Sound Blaster ZxR, you can easily swap the op-amps (available separately) to define your music’s tonal characteristics to your heart’s content.

Basically, there are 2 groups of op-amps that can be swapped on the Sound Blaster ZxR:

Dual Op-Amps
Single Op-Amps

The stock op-amps on the Sound Blaster ZxR are:
Dual op-amps: New Japan Radio NJM2114D
Single op-amps: Texas Instruments LME49710

This pair gives the most balanced performance in our objective and subjective tests, across a wide variety of music genres, and pairs very well with the superior Burr-Brown DAC (PCM1794).

Although we do not see the mass need for users to change these op-amps, some may wish to experiment and swap the stock op-amps to suit their personal tastes. Here is a list of alternative op-amps we’ve tested and the combinations that meet the Sound Blaster ZxR SNR and THD performance which you can try out.

Dual op-amps: Single op-amps:
New Japan Radio MUSES8920D Burr-Brown OPA627
Texas Instruments LME49720
Burr-Brown OPA2132

Dual op-amps Single op-amps
NJM2114D OPA627
MUSES8920D LME49710
LME49720 LME49710
LME49720 OPA627
OPA2132 LME49710
OPA2132 OPA627

The final tonal characteristics will also be contingent on the types of cables, headphones and speakers used. Nonetheless, these combinations meet the strict SNR and THD specifications of the Sound Blaster ZxR and are good for great music reproduction.

A few things to take note of when changing these op-amps: