Do you pay for quality in an op amp ?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by easilyconfused, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. easilyconfused

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    When purchasing op amps, is there any need to use a 'name brand' for general purpose use ?

    I'm new to electronics and I'm starting to look at purchasing a small inventory of bits and pieces.

    I've noticed that op amp prices vary dramatically, with 'name brand' products costing 5-10 times more than the equivalent 'no name' item.

    Are they worth the extra money ? (if so, in what way ?)
  2. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    It depends on the source of 'no name' item. If it came from China it might be an empty leadframe in a plastic package. That's the favorite trick of counterfeiters. My recommendation is to buy from a reputable distributor like Digi-Key or Mouser in the US. Our foreign members can recommend their favorite distributors in their countries. You are getting an implicit guarantee that the parts will match the datasheet specifications or you'll get a replacement. I always bought name brand products for manufacturing, it just eliminated a number of headaches.

    What you want to avoid is NTE parts destined for the replacement and repair market. People usually buy just 1 at the price multiplier you quoted.

    Example: TI TL081 is $.49 in single quantity

    Would you consider that exhorbitant?
  3. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    I quite agree that no-name parts are false economy, but I'd also like to say that when a dozen different part numbers will do the job, you can find a price range among them. That's why there is a sort function for price on the parametric search engines. Define your needs and then find out that a few of the part numbers are high production quantities and have a really nice price.
  4. OBW0549

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Yes, I pay for quality-- always. And that means name brand parts made by reputable manufacturers. Anything else is almost certain to be garbage.

    But that does NOT mean everything I design always uses the most expensive parts I can find, far from it. Wherever a generic, "jellybean", "garden variety" part will do the job, that's what I use. But when I need a high-performance, cutting-edge part with very specific characteristics, I'll pay whatever it costs. It all depends on the application.

    Maybe if you could tell us what sorts of things you are interested in making/experimenting with, we could give you some guidance on what components (opamps or otherwise) would be good to use and not too expensive.

    But please-- don't buy "no name" junk. You'll regret it.
  5. easilyconfused

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 25, 2015
    Okay guys, thanks for your input....... it saves me buying stuff to fill the garbage bin :rolleyes: