The Great Search: Alternatives to TL074 Op-Amps! #TheGreatSearch #DigiKey #Adafruit @DigiKey @Adafruit

The Great Search (video) is a series of videos focused on searching the Digi-Key catalog to narrow down to the parts you want to buy. This week:

We noticed a few synth-makers getting worried about not being about to source TL074 quad op-amps!
https://twitter.com/theavalkyrie/status/1381800012162666497
https://twitter.com/otdispace/status/1382920010042081283

We thought we’d spend this Great Search looking at the TL074 – why it’s so great and what to look for in an alternative. We asked ‘guest’ – the co-designer of the x0xb0x – to drop some knowledge on us:

The 074 is pretty much the Toyota Corolla of op-amps. It’s not the best at anything in particular, but pretty good at everything. It’s the second cheapest op-amp out there, comes in DIP and SOIC, has relatively low current consumption, low distortion, and reasonable bandwidth and slew rate. The noise is ok-ish low, but the thing that really makes it an all around performer is the low bias current. It’s down in the pico-amp range, which means you can use it for S/H or VCO, VCF, etc. that require a range of currents down to the nAs.  A lot of people used the LM358 because it is the cheapest op-amp, but it has high bias current. The ‘074 can also handle high voltage rails which helps with SNR. It was designed for audio use, and was one of the first real mass market op-amps back in the late 70s (if I recall correctly).  The 741 was the first, and this was meant as an improvement over that. The ‘074 and ‘084 were made at the same time, and ‘074s were selected for lower noise, better distortion, and lower offset voltage, and then marketed at the audio market. The ‘084 was sold to everyone else.

Who doesn’t love the TL074? Apparently a lot of people – so let’s look at a backup-option. It may not be as cheap/good but maybe it’ll be in stock!

See for yourself on Digi-Key at https://www.digikey.com/short/85mv3mrm

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2 Comments

  1. The TL074 and LF347 are pretty-much pin-for-pin drop-in interchangeable parts. Everyone (or most everyone) knows the LF347 was made like this intentionally to compete with and act as a second source for the TL074. So I don’t know why you would even begin a parametric search for a TL074 replacement part. The LF347 is it. Bam, done! BTW the primary manufacturers of “non-fake” TL074 and LF347 chips are Texas Instruments and ST Microelectronics.

    “We noticed a few synth-makers getting worried about not being about to source TL074 quad op-amps!”

    There is some pressure on certain TL074 variants, but not all. I tried Mouser today for example and even limited my search to quad TL074’s in the somewhat less common and more expensive 14PDIP package assuming that’s what the “Synth-Makers” want. TI TL074ACN: 3,619 available in-stock, 6-week lead time, Qty.-1 $0.99, Qty.-1k $0.464. OK, kinda’ pricey but not too bad otherwise.

    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Texas-Instruments/TL074ACN?qs=IEl3ej0IqwCwHW3RmzQ1ew%3D%3D

    However, there is a problem with the slightly cheaper TI TL074CN: Qty.-1 $0.75, Qty.-1k, $0.321. On order, 12,398 Expected 5/31/2021 (at my post time 27 days out), 24,100 Expected 6/7/2021 (34 days out), 18,850 Expected 1/6/2022 (nearly forever), Factory Lead-Time 35 Weeks (Ouch!)

    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Texas-Instruments/TL074CN?qs=AMJt07B76uv7dLYnj7iLiQ%3D%3D

    So there’s nothing catastrophic stopping the “Synth-Makers” from making their synths right now. They’ll just have to adjust their costs/prices a bit. But long term, the very long current lead times don’t bode well. Maybe the Chinese Counterfeiters can step in and fill the holes? (Maybe that was the plan all along?)

    And do you know about the TL074H? The legacy TL074/TL074B and LF347 parts cannot operate and meet datasheet specs at +/-3.3V. However, there is a newer-cheaper TL074H available that will run down to +/-2.25V. But the TL074H has double the noise of the older TL074 [37 vs. 18 nV/rtHz Vn at 1 kHz typ.], but that’s not a big deal for most applications. Unlike the legacy TL074 and LF374, it seems the TL074H is not available in an 8/14PDIP package. Also the TL074H is significantly cheaper than most TL074/LF347 variants, which makes it very popular.

    But at Mouser the TL074H is also under pressure: TI TL074H: Qty.-1 $0.44, Qty.-1k, $0.172 (nice). On Order: 2,490 Expected 10/4/2021, Factory Lead-Time: 44 Weeks (Yikes!). Keep an eye out for scalper-gougers on this one!

    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Texas-Instruments/TL074HIDR?qs=81r%252BiQLm7BSo1sbhfEy0IA%3D%3D

    And here’s a bonus for you (yeah I know, login needed for groups.io. Sigh):

    LTSpice TL074 Simulation:
    https://groups.io/g/LTspice/filessearch?q=TL074
    https://groups.io/g/LTspice/files/z_yahoo/Lib/TL074_test.zip

    LTSpice LF347 Simulation:
    https://groups.io/g/LTspice/filessearch?q=LF347
    https://groups.io/g/LTspice/files/z_yahoo/Lib/LF347_test.zip

  2. The TL074 and LF347 are pretty-much pin-for-pin drop-in interchangeable parts. Everyone (or most everyone) knows the LF347 was made like this intentionally to compete with and act as a second source for the TL074. So I don’t know why you would even begin a parametric search for a TL074 replacement part. The LF347 is it. Bam, done! BTW the primary manufacturers of "non-fake" TL074 and LF347 chips are Texas Instruments and ST Microelectronics.

    "We noticed a few synth-makers getting worried about not being about to source TL074 quad op-amps!"

    There is some pressure on certain TL074 variants, but not all. I tried Mouser today for example and even limited my search to quad TL074’s in the somewhat less common and more expensive 14PDIP package assuming that’s what the "Synth-Makers" want. TI TL074ACN: 3,619 available in-stock, 6-week lead time, Qty.-1 $0.99, Qty.-1k $0.464. OK, kinda’ pricey but not too bad otherwise.

    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Texas-Instruments/TL074ACN?qs=IEl3ej0IqwCwHW3RmzQ1ew%3D%3D

    However, there is a problem with the slightly cheaper TI TL074CN: Qty.-1 $0.75, Qty.-1k, $0.321. On order, 12,398 Expected 5/31/2021 (at my post time 27 days out), 24,100 Expected 6/7/2021 (34 days out), 18,850 Expected 1/6/2022 (nearly forever), Factory Lead-Time 35 Weeks (Ouch!)

    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Texas-Instruments/TL074CN?qs=AMJt07B76uv7dLYnj7iLiQ%3D%3D

    So there’s nothing catastrophic stopping the "Synth-Makers" from making their synths right now. They’ll just have to adjust their costs/prices a bit. But long term, the very long current lead times don’t bode well. Maybe the Chinese Counterfeiters can step in and fill the holes? (Maybe that was the plan all along?)

    And do you know about the TL074H? The legacy TL074/TL074B and LF347 parts cannot operate and meet datasheet specs at +/-3.3V. However, there is a newer-cheaper TL074H available that will run down to +/-2.25V. But the TL074H has double the noise of the older TL074 [37 vs. 18 nV/rtHz Vn at 1 kHz typ.], but that’s not a big deal for most applications. Unlike the legacy TL074 and LF374, it seems the TL074H is not available in an 8/14PDIP package. Also the TL074H is significantly cheaper than most TL074/LF347 variants, which makes it very popular.

    But at Mouser the TL074H is also under pressure: TI TL074H: Qty.-1 $0.44, Qty.-1k, $0.172 (nice). On Order: 2,490 Expected 10/4/2021, Factory Lead-Time: 44 Weeks (Yikes!). Keep an eye out for scalper-gougers on this one!

    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Texas-Instruments/TL074HIDR?qs=81r%252BiQLm7BSo1sbhfEy0IA%3D%3D

    And here’s a bonus for you (yeah I know, login needed for groups.io. Sigh):

    LTSpice TL074 Simulation:
    https://groups.io/g/LTspice/filessearch?q=TL074
    https://groups.io/g/LTspice/files/z_yahoo/Lib/TL074_test.zip

    LTSpice LF347 Simulation:
    https://groups.io/g/LTspice/filessearch?q=LF347
    https://groups.io/g/LTspice/files/z_yahoo/Lib/LF347_test.zip


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