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Old 15th September 2013, 05:56 PM   #51
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
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Can anybody explain the staircase effect?
regards Andrew T.
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Old 15th September 2013, 06:56 PM   #52
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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It's only when that rail is not pushing the signal. The flat parts are between charging pulses. The rises are when charging pulses are recharging the caps. When voltage is lower, the rises are larger, because more of the charging pulse gets used. The stairsteps' rises thus taper off with an exponential characteristic.
The electrolytic capacitors ARE the signal path:
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Old 24th September 2013, 05:48 AM   #53
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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In one sense this is nothing new, but I've been doing some simulating with real, not macromodel, opamp circuits - transistor level in other words - investigating how they behave when presented with realistic power supplies; this is part of an exercise to understand the interplay of all the factors in real world circuits ...

And what's striking is what happens when there is transient clipping event - this occurs not in the normal sense of the input waveform climbing towards a fixed voltage ceiling as far as the output stage is concerned, but rather that the voltage across that output stage has sagged, plus being hit in turn by a transient spike which momentarily, a split second event, causes the circuit to lose sufficient, adequate operating voltages.

Tom of course has been investigating this for quite some time, and others would be aware that such is possible, so this is not news. But what is remarkable is the amount and type of damage done to the output waveform, quite a nasty glitch - and, a particularly nasty spike in the supply current drawn at this point, with very high frequency components.

The precise nature of this aberrant behaviour will obviously depend on the circuit topology in every area - but it gives a strong hint as to why amplifiers can turn quite subjectively nasty when working hard, much more than the simple conceptual model of clipping would imply ...

Last edited by fas42; 24th September 2013 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 24th September 2013, 08:56 AM   #54
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
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This fits with Cordell's supposition that all amplifiers sound the same when they are behaving and the signal is not being clipped.
They sound different when the amplifier is asked to abuse the signal.

Or roughly that meaning !
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