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Here's the pinout diagram for an LM358

lm358 dual op-amp

Here's the pinout diagram for the LM386:

lm386 op-amp

Here's a very basic circuit showing an audio amplifier created using an LM386:

audio amplifier via lm386

  • If I built the equivalent circuit using the LM358, would it work in a similar way? Or would it fail since the chip has no gain? (I've built the equivalent circuit and it did not seem to work. Didn't know if I was doing something else incorrectly though.)

  • Is there a way to compensate for the lack of gain in the LM358?

  • Is it possible to create a very simple audio amplifier using an LM358 or is it basically not feasible due to its characteristics / abilities?

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    \$\begingroup\$ what do you mean has no gain? the LM358 has enormous gain, that's the entire point of an op amp. \$\endgroup\$ – Hearth Apr 29 '19 at 0:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ They're not interchangeable. LM386 is an audio amp, intended to drive a speaker. It's not any kind of opamp like the LM358 is. \$\endgroup\$ – brhans Apr 29 '19 at 0:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Never use the LM358 for audio. Even for intermediate stages. Too many better choices, so find something better. And as others have mentioned the LM386 is a power amplifier and never used for similar applications as the LM358. Different horses for different courses, entirely. You can see some of the LM380 (similar to the LM386) here. \$\endgroup\$ – jonk Apr 29 '19 at 3:12
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You can add feedback resistors to obtain a reasonable gain. But, your problem is that the LM358 isn't designed to drive a speaker.

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They're two completely different parts, even though they share a schematic symbol.

The LM358 is a dual op amp, the LM386 is a power amplifier with default gain set and designed to drive a small speaker.

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I recently tried to see if I could get the lm358n to work as an audio amp but had no luck so I would just go for the lm386

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to EE.SE but it's not clear what the point of your post is. Luck isn't going to make an op-amp work as a power amplifier. The explanation has been given several times in the other answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jun 10 '20 at 21:29

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