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Class D Switching Power Amplifiers and Power D/A conversion

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Old 4th June 2002, 07:26 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Class-T Audio Experiences

Has anyone else attempted to build a class-T Tripath amplifier? I have a custom design (including boards which I implemented and tested and ran. The efficiency was unbelievably high when the amplifier was set to the correct idle frequency. The sound quality was good as well. The frequency response was flat over the entire audio band and above to the cutoff frequency of the output stage. Would anyone else like to comment on their positive and negative experience with Tripath amplifiers? Are they discontinuing the TA010X series or drivers?

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Old 14th June 2002, 12:23 AM   #2
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BeanZ,

Thank for the kind words regarding our products. I just wanted to pop in to let you know that we are not discontinuing the TA010x product line.

As you may know, the TA3020 product was developed to provide a more compact and cost-effective solution for applications requiring up to 300 Watts per channel (4 Ohm, single ended). The TA3020 basically consolidated the TA0102 and TA0103 market applications under one part. The TA0104 was retained as part of our active product line, as it provided higher power output than was achievable with the TA3020.

As you can see on our website, the TA0104 has been designated "end of life" as of October of 2002. However, we will soon announce another TA010x product which will have power output which starts where the TA3020 drops off and goes beyond what the TA0104 was capable of.

Specifications for the new part are not final, but we are disclosing the part to customers. A final data sheet should appear on our website "real soon now".

Thanks again for your interest,

Scott Bobo
Tripath Technology
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Old 14th June 2002, 03:10 AM   #3
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Scott:

Could one of your 'Class T' amplifier chips be used to drive an extremly high voltage (say 2Kv) to direct drive an electrostatic speaker?
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Old 14th June 2002, 03:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
...'Class T' amplifier chips be used to drive an extremly high voltage (say 2Kv) to direct drive an electrostatic speaker?
The modules can handle up to 100 volts. The output devices limits the module. With some creative thinking. The modules can handle higher voltages. However, the output devices needs special attention.

As with piezo elements, it is best to use professional audio grade transformers.
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Old 14th June 2002, 07:50 AM   #5
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Since this is a rather unknown topic for me, can anyone explain the difference between Tripath and ICEPOWER? I imagine the price is one of them. The performance (if you're an audiophile) is higher also.

http://www.icepower.dk/
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Old 14th June 2002, 09:11 AM   #6
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I haven't heard Tripath's amplifiers or ICEpower's amplifiers, so I can't give you a good answer. ICEpower is fixed at a wattage level. Tripath is not fixed at a wattage level so the designer can pick a wattage level to stay within budget.
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Old 14th June 2002, 10:14 AM   #7
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Tripath use what is probably the most interesting modulation scheme in the industry and were early to the game.

They are however behind in that they do not have a "direct from digital". They indicated several years ago that they were going to move in that direction, but alas this has not yet happened. It is possible that they will introduce products now that move them back towards the front runners -- I recommend a wait and see approach.

If you do move with Tripath, I suspect much gain can be had from improving the output filter.

The industry needs more competition in this area so I certainly hope Tripath gets moving with this critical piece of interface.

Petter
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Old 14th June 2002, 01:16 PM   #8
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Default Tripath

Anyone interested in building a power amp based on the Tripath TA0104 "evaluation board" can visit my website below to retrieve an article I wrote about the project. The article contains several tweaks and upgrades that bring the Tripath into the realm of high-end audio (but of course that's just my biased opinion):

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/cbrodersen/home.html

Since I first made this article available two years ago, I have had nearly 100 inqueries from all over the world, with many going on to build their own. Most have written back that they were very satisfied with the results.

In addition, there was a thread earlier this year at DIYAudio by RJones (I think that was his name) outlining several additional tweaks and modifications, all of which are worth considering. A search on the Digital forum should enable you to find this.
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Old 14th June 2002, 06:33 PM   #9
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A very brief follow-up:

John - Electro has got it basically correct. There are no MOSFET devices on the market which would allow us to directly drive an electrostatic loudspeaker. A good tranformer is your best friend.

Petter - Check our website from time to time this summer.

Chris - All of our evaluation boards are designed to show large commercial customers both how good our audio performance can be AND how inexpensive it can be to implement. Compromises are made on both sides, and we freely acknowledge that our eval boards are neither the highest-performance (although I think they're very good) nor the lowest cost. The evaluation boards are a sales tool, and so must meet the needs of the volume markets. Tripath is gratified that the DIY community has taken an interest in our evaluation boards and we are happy to serve their needs as best we can.

Scott Bobo
Tripath Technology
http://www.tripath.com
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Old 14th June 2002, 06:42 PM   #10
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Scott:

Thanks for the info - the issue here is that a transformer limits the bandwidth, and I can't seem to find a transformer at a reasonable cost that will accomodate the high voltages required. A full range (minus subwoofer) according to Wagner goes to as high as 6-8Kv, most step up transformers seem to be rated at 2Kv.

I'm thinking though of just using something like your amp and doing say several hundred volts - still requiring a transformer, but I could use less turns and/or higher bandwidth.

If I had a dual voltage setup where the output devices had a higher voltage rail, would your devices work? Would slew rate be an issue?
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