Power Amplifier PCB-layout / Board design
I would like to hear your opinion on how you think a High End Power Amplifier PCB-layout /
board design should be, and which considerations you take into mind….
I know there are properly as many opinions as there are people in this forum, however it could
be fun to see if some kind of conclusion could be extracted from this thread…
What are you going for, when you are making PCB’s
- Symmetrical track layout for pos./neg. sections ?
- Super High Density (min. size) ?
- Shortest possible tracks ?
- Logical layout with each section grouped ?
Also what kind of board design do you prefer and think is most versatile ?
(here I’m thinking of complete boards with output devices)
- A long narrow PCB to fit along the side of the Amp-Casing / Heatsinks ?
- A shorter square PCB to fit either vertically or horizontally ?
Or should it be divided into two boards (Input/Output boards)???
Let me hear about your experiences.
I prefer the shortest possible tracks as can be made without any coupling problems of any kind rearing their ugly head(thermal/magnetic/field/mechanical, etc).
The supporting hardware and parts should be arranged to be as close to the board as posible, but still far enough away to not create any interference or coupling (thermal/magnetic/etc....)
The layout should be mechanically, electrically, and physically symmetrical. Smaller boards and simple circuits are desired as well, of course?
Complex circuits are to be avoided at all costs.. as the sonic/ qualitive costs are high...as we all know.
I prefer to use as little circuit board as possible and with reinforced traces on those boards. As high a oz. copper weighting as is possible on PS tacks of course, and signal tracing as far away from that as is practical.
It's an art. Many times if the board actually looks pretty, the circuit, if properly laid out --- will sound good too.
A audio item only sounds as good as the builder or designer of that cirucit can make it be. Mechanical aspects such as all of the above are as critical as anything.
One of my old favorites is the Belles 450 MOS-FET power amplifier. The whole signal path is about 6" (15cm) from input to output. With a small amount of help, it can be turned into a stellar performer of an amplifier. It has become difficult to find on the used market, due to this fact. Age playes a part as well, as the design is now a full decade or more old.
Just my opinion....
Re: Power Amplifier PCB-layout / Board design
- Super High Density (min. size) ? Not necessary - I would like to keep it in groups, with some distance to minimize crosstalk between tracks.. Some kind of balanced track routing. To minimize loops...
- Shortest possible tracks ? -Yes and wide.
- Logical layout with each section grouped ? Yes
Thanks for the inputs sofare ;)
What's your opinion on one vs. two boards (one for the input and voltage amp and one for the output devices) ??
As you has guessed i like highspeed design. Two boards are fine as long we can avoid long wires.
I am more into like it is done in the new ML. with copperbars. screwed together. This way you can repeat the electrical data.
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