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Old 27th August 2008, 04:15 AM   #1
Nevod is offline Nevod  Russian Federation
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Default What to read on SS amp design? (valve-ish style)

Sorry to post a somewhat off-topic thread there, but it seems to be the place to search. I've posted this in Solid State, but think I should've posted it there from beginning.

I've began my dive into electronics just a couple years ago. For the beginning, i've read 3 first chapters of "Art of Electronics" and went into tube world, being interested in ESL loudspeakers.

Tubes are easy to understand, easy (more or less) to design, and there's loads of books on them - mostly old, some are new. But they are troublesome to be actually used, and aren't cheap. Especially in case of DD amp. So i've decided to look into transistors again. Hovewer, it seems that my brain is plagued with tubes.

Most of the transistor designs I've seen are really complex. They became somewhat less complex and more understandable if you split them into "building blocks", but still complex they are. Or at least that's what I see. Of all designs, I liked Nelson Pass's ones the most, for they are simple and, yes, somewhat tube-like Plus, their design (well, not of all of them), at least in my opinion, follows some of the design giudelines i've tried to follow, at least theoretically: class A operation, fully differential design, cascoding, current source loading, less components in the path. But just looking at someone's design is not enough.

I've read a great Douglas Self's book on designing a Blameless amplifier, but it's more devoted to practice than theory. Plus, the Blameless amplifier discussed in the book is a common transistor topology amplifier, not something I've searched for. I'm also reading on Leach amp, but again - there's no insight in how it has really been calculated. What I want to know is how to select and set operation point, how to select devices, what parameters to look at. And, one more - I'm more inclined to FETs than bipolars, and only N-channel ones - just because I'm tube-ish.

I don't ask for a super comprehensive guide, but i'd like to read about at least a few hints. Sorry if the above text looks too arrogant.
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Old 27th August 2008, 07:16 AM   #2
h_a is offline h_a  Europe
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Well, Nevod you already have all answers. You know the 3 basic configurations of a transistor, so you know how to calculate gain of a single stage.

Regarding biasing:

If you want to read on how to use jfets, I can point you to Borbelys articles ("The new frontier")

http://www.borbelyaudio.com/special_articles.asp

Bipolar and fet biasing you know already from "art of electronics" or from any datasheet showing IC/UBE-relations.

So you know the basics.

If you're interested in more, you can read all articles of Nelson Pass, they're very comprehensive http://www.passdiy.com/articles.htm

But more or less you're on your own now. You can investigate designs that you find appealing, calculate voltages, currents, open-loog gain.

I'm sure the Horowitz and Hill has also a chapter about negative feedback, so you can calculate that as well.

For your own circuits you will find plenty of important details in Self's book.

As long as you're not self confident in what you do, I would recommend to stay away from simulators.

However, how all that theory connects to sound you will have to find out yourself by building, thinking, listening

Have fun, Hannes
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