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Old 16th October 2008, 01:32 PM   #1
Luke352 is offline Luke352  Australia
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Default Need some help deciding!

Hey guys,

I'm about to kick off a little Home Audio project and thought I wouldn't mind making up an amp at the same time.

Problem is I have no idea what I should be looking at for a first time builder. I've found the 41hz site and like the look of the kits, since there isn't too much soldering involved and the amps mostly have nice power ratings, yet there seems to be several different models that seem to offer similar power so I'm kinda lost, Amp1, Amp 5 and Amp10 were the ones that caught my attention but I have no idea why I should choose one over the other.

The other site that caught my attention was www.chipamp.com and the LM3886 Dual mono or Stereo kit yet again what is the differences between the chip amps and what I'm assuming are solid state amps on 41hz. Is one going to perform better, is one likely to be more reliable or is it purely the tone of sound that distinguishes them.

Any advice you could give would be great thanks.

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Old 16th October 2008, 02:31 PM   #2
lineup is offline lineup  Sweden
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Chip Amps like LM3886 LM3875 LM1875 are normal analog amplifiers
but all transistors are put into one chip, IC, with pins.
Amplifiers not using amplifier chips, IC-s, are called discrete amplifiers.
They can use many separate transistors.

These amplifiers uses Digital amplifier technique. Class-D.
The analog audio signal is converted into a high frequency digital signal.
At the output it is put back into analog for loudspeakers.

The main difference is that digital amplifiers have very low power losses.
Even at max output they do not get hot.
And as there is not much electrical power wasted, they will consume less current.

Chip amps, analog amplifiers will have losses. Usally more than 50 % of the power will produce heat in transistors.
Like for CPU Processors in PC, this requires coolers, heavy heatsinks of aluminium.
If those output transistors wouldn't be cooled, they would burn and get damaged.
These heatsinks and bigger transformers (to give more power) will make analog chip amplifiers bigger & hotter than digital amplifier.
But using Chip Amps you can build rather compact amplifiers, yet.
And they are not very difficult to build.

Here are 2 forums where you can get advice about DIGITAL amplifiers:
Our Class-D forum for digital amps:

Here is our Chip Amps forum, for Audio IC based analog amplifiers:
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Old 16th October 2008, 08:54 PM   #3
Luke352 is offline Luke352  Australia
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Thanks for that!!! I'll go ask in the relevant forum areas.

Are there any reasonable Solid State amp kit sites you could recommend?

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Old 16th October 2008, 09:50 PM   #4
jaycee is online now jaycee  United Kingdom
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Class D is *NOT* digital!!

They are amplifiers that work in a similar manner to a switched mode power supply. The advantage is that they are very efficient and produce very little heat. Some claim that they don't sound as good though.

Class D amps are less of a kit and more of an assembled module you have to hook up. This could be an advantage for you. On the other hand, a chipamp using LM3886 doesnt have many parts to solder.
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Old 17th October 2008, 12:10 AM   #5
lineup is offline lineup  Sweden
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In analog amplifiers transistor current can have any level on a scale.

Di = Duo = 2
A pulsed signal has only 2 levels = on/off.
In a Class-D amplifier transistors SWITCH on/off.
Just like in switched mode power supply
In this respect we can surely call pulse width modulated amplifiers for di-gital.

If I say digital power amplifier to someone,
he will not think I mean ordinary type of amplifiers. Class A, AB, B.
He will think of Class-D and similar.

And if an expression can make you understood,
convey an association, put through a message,
then it is correct.
Therefor I will continue to use term digital amplifier.
You do not have to do this
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Old 17th October 2008, 11:11 AM   #6
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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stop trying to confuse Members by deliberately misusing standard vocabulary.
regards Andrew T.
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Old 17th October 2008, 12:40 PM   #7
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi, D in class D is not digital, its simply the class after C, /sreten.
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