816 Discrete OpAmp

The 816 discrete Op-Amp provides pristine tone and outstanding performance in a common DOA format. MCAudioLab 816 is an hand-built op-amps using selected top quality components: if you’re looking for a high performance signal path, the 816 is an easy to install replacement for your gear’s onboard op-amps.

What actually 'discrete' means

Op-Amps (Operational Amplifiers) are a key component for amplifying and processing audio signals. “Discrete” is that the audio circuit made up of a large number of small individual components: transistors, diodes, resistors, capacitors. The opposite of this design is “monolithic”, which means that everything is contained within a single enclosure, like a normal integrated circuit. An IC Opamp is entirely constructed on a single dice of a silicon wafer. Conversely a discrete design uses individual components to accomplish the same thing that the single chip (IC) does.

Discrete circuits offer some distinct advantages over monolithic design  – when we’re talking about audio. One of the most important benefit is that we choose the best component for every single part in the circuit where monolithic chips have to fit everything on the same single piece of silicon. When a discrete OpAmp, is used in a professional audio gear, we can achieve better audio performance than a monolithic design can.

Discrete design for superior performance

Our op-amps features a discrete design because it allows us to choose the best audio grade components to provide high headroom. Low noise floor and large bandwidth are improved too. In the 816 every single component is carefully selected and tested to provide top notch sonic audio performance for the most demanding applications.

The 816 OpAmp is designed for the audio only!  Very good linearity to deliver a natural sound, rich details and an excellent  tonal balance.

Standard format, easy drop-in replacement

The MCAudioLab 816 conforms to the 2520/990 series discrete op-amp footprint, which is very common in both vintage and modern gear. The replacement process is fast and easy, and doesn’t require any soldering or special technical skills. Fitting our op-amps in your gear is a matter of seconds. If you’re interested in the 816 but you’re not sure if it’s compatible with your gear, get in touch with us and we’ll do the research for you.

The 816 operates on a dual rail power supply (up to 20V), and can be used as a direct replacement for any 2520/990 format op-amp. It can handle low and high level signals in input and heavy loads in output; read: more headroom, lower noise floor and distortion.

Every MCAudioLab 500 series module has a built-in 816 discrete OpAmp on board as well as the 8P (eight channel solid-state mic preamp).

The picture below shows the 816 on a MP1 mic preamp – click to enlarge.


  • Discrete op-amp – full-size components – NO SMD!
  • Standard 2520/990 format
  • Low noise floor and distortion, high headroom and bandwidth
  • Easy drop-in replacement
  • 816 accepts 16 to 20 V power supply voltage
  • direct replacement of other gear with 2520/990 footprint opamps.

Price: 45,00 € (+VAT if applicable)

Please Contact us if you want to buy directly.

We can provide direct sale on the countries without an official MCA distributor.

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