From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Lm386)
LM386 in DIP-8 package

The LM386 is an integrated circuit containing a low-voltage audio power amplifier.[1] It is suitable for battery-powered devices such as radios, guitar amplifiers, and hobby electronics projects. The IC consists of an 8-pin dual in-line package (DIP-8) and can output 0.25 to 1 watts of power, depending on the model, using a 9-volt power supply.

Part numbers[edit]

There are three different models of the LM386 that have slightly different specifications, outlined below.

Supply voltage, V Min Speaker impedance, Ω Output power, mW
Min. Max. Min. Typical
LM386N-1 4 12 4 250 325 @ Vs=6V, Rl=8Ω
LM386N-3 4 12 4 500 700 @ Vs=9V, Rl=8Ω
LM386N-4 5 18 4 700 1000 @ Vs=16V, Rl=32Ω

Almost identical versions of the device are available from Unisonic (Unisonic Technologies Co. or UTC) as the LM386[2] and the New Japan Radio Co. Ltd. (JRC)[3] as the NJM386[4] and NJM386B.[5]

The JRC devices are also available in a single-in-line package.[6]

JRC devices, marked as 386 JRC, are sometimes misleadingly referred to as the JRC386.

SPICE simulation models[edit]

Although National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments (who bought National Semiconductor in 2011[7]) do not provide an official SPICE model for the LM386, there are two independently developed models freely available:

  • The original "No-Frills LM386 Model" by Dave Dilatush.[8]
  • An improved model, "The EasyEDA LM386EE spice model" developed for the simulations of the "Tesseract Guitar Practice Amplifier" project.[9]

Usage in guitar amplifiers[edit]

  • The LM386 is one of the most common amps used in DIY guitar preamplifiers and sustainers due to its ability to run on a single 9V battery.
  • The EasyEDA "Tesseract" Guitar Practice Amplifier is a versatile design based on the LM386 and features distortion and full-wave rectification effects.[10]
  • The well-known "Smokey Amp" created by Bruce Zinky uses an LM386 and is notable for being able to fit in a cigarette package.
  • The "Little Gem" and "Little Gem MkII" are modified/cloned versions of the "Smokey Amp".[11]
  • The "Ruby" amp[12] is a modified version of a Little Gem amplifier.

Usage in amateur radio[edit]

The LM386 is very commonly used in the audio amplifier of low power QRP amateur radio rigs such as the Pixie.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Data Sheet (National Semiconductor)" (PDF). Texas Instruments. 2017. Retrieved 26 Nov 2021.
  2. ^ "Data Sheet (Unisonic Technologies Co.)" (PDF). Unisonic Technologies Co. 2014. Retrieved 2 Sep 2015.
  3. ^ "Data Sheet (New Japan Radio Co. Ltd.)" (PDF). New Japan Radio Co. Ltd. Retrieved 29 Aug 2015.
  4. ^ "Data Sheet (New Japan Radio Co. Ltd.)" (PDF). New Japan Radio Co. Ltd. Retrieved 29 Aug 2015.
  5. ^ "Data Sheet (New Japan Radio Co. Ltd.)" (PDF). New Japan Radio Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2 Sep 2015.
  6. ^ "Single-in-line package outline drawing (New Japan Radio Co. Ltd.)" (PDF). New Japan Radio Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2 Sep 2015.
  7. ^ "Texas Instruments completes acquisition of National Semiconductor".
  8. ^ "LM386 audio amp Spice model?".
  9. ^ "The EasyEDA Tesseract Guitar Practice Amp simulation files".
  10. ^ "Tesseract Guitar Practice Amp".
  11. ^ "Little Gem amps at runoffgroove".
  12. ^ "Ruby amp at runoffgroove".

External links[edit]

Historical Data Books