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Best books for solid state design?
Best books for solid state design?
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Old 10th December 2009, 07:50 AM   #1
Bitrex is offline Bitrex  United States
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Default Best books for solid state design?

I have looked through copies of both Douglas Self's power amp design book and the book "High Power Audio Amplifier Construction Manual" by G. Randy Slone, and I get the feeling that even after reading one of them I will still not have the foggiest idea of how to go about designing my own amplifier. They don't really appear to be design handbooks per se, but more like books detailing the author's own philosophies towards design of "the best" amplifier. There are very few equations in either of them, unlike say the great "RF Circuit Design" by Chris Bowick. Are there any other solid state audio amplifier design books that anyone on the forum would recommend - preferably with more equations? The previous two books would probably be a lot more helpful once one is able to build _a_ amplifier - then I can go back and read those and find out how to build "the best" amplifier. Something like the material on the ESP web page would be great, unfortunately that set of small articles just isn't comprehensive enough.
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Old 10th December 2009, 12:03 PM   #2
h_a is offline h_a  Europe
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most of the equations you need you will find in Wikipedia in the articles about common emitter, common collector and common base circuits. There you find the equations for gain (voltage/current) which allows you to understand the building blocks.

Putting the building blocks on top of eachother and then you will probably want to get distortion down and you can do that by using negative feedback, that is closing the loop. There is also an article in Wikipedia on that topic.

At some point the whole thing will be no longer stable and you may want to read about stability and compensation. Wikipedia is also your friend, as are (free) application notes by Ron Mancini from Texas Instruments.

I am not aware of a 1-2-3 step book for amp design, but putting an amp together is really not so difficult and you will get pretty far by reading above articles.

Self's books are intended to read after these articles.

Have fun, Hannes
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Old 12th December 2009, 02:49 AM   #3
djoffe is offline djoffe  United States
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Default Try Gray and Meyer

You might like "Analysis and Design of Analog Integrated Circuits", by Paul Gray and Robert Meyer...an older edition would be fine, maybe better for what you seek...checking my edition from 1977, we see:
chapter 3-single transisotr and trwo transisotr amplifiers
chapter 4-transistor current sources and active loads
chapter 5 - output stages
chapter 6 - op amps
chapter 7 - freq response of integrated circuits
chapter 8 - feedback
chapter 9 - freq response and stability of feedback amplifiers

Newer editions have similar stuff, but maybe more focus on MOSFET, rather than bipolar design...my newer copy is at work, so I couldn't say for sure...

Good Designing...

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Old 12th December 2009, 07:48 AM   #4
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Best books for solid state design?
No quick answer I'm afraid... as to being able to design an amp, as years of experience come into play... in all fields, design, PSU, wiring layout etc

This was a good book I seem to remember,
The art of electronics - Google Books
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Old 15th December 2009, 03:56 AM   #5
djoffe is offline djoffe  United States
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Default Some more books

Depending on where you are in your reading, this old, out of print book might be handy:

How to Build and Use Electronic Devices Without Frustration Panic Mountains of Money or an Engineer Degree, by Stuart Hoenig

This one, also out of print, really takes you step by step through a lot of the design stuff...If it's your first time through this, you may find it valuable and accessible...
Practical Transistor Circuit Design and Analysis by Gerald E. Williams (Hardcover - Sep 1973)

Both are available used on Amazon
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Old 15th December 2009, 05:33 AM   #6
benchtester is offline benchtester  United States
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I would include:

"High Performance Audio Power Amplifiers" by Ben Duncan published by Newnes

I don't know if it is easy to find, a quick search didn't show up much.

Amazon does list it (last one?).

Amazon.com: High Performance Audio Power Amplifiers (9780750626293): Ben Duncan: Books

There is something on-line (ebook?)
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It is a general overview, so it may not be a good tutorial to design an amp for yourself, but it is an easy read (except for Ch. 4 which is well worth the slog) and very enlightening as to the real problems encountered by power amps. It definitely makes you more sophisticated about amp design. It also described the major design elements to date.

Found it:

Last edited by benchtester; 15th December 2009 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 15th December 2009, 06:41 PM   #7
cbdb is offline cbdb  Canada
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I would also recommend "Analysis and Design of Analog Integrated Circuits", by Paul Gray and Robert Meyer... its still the book I go back to when I have questions about analogue transistor stages.
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Old 15th December 2009, 07:10 PM   #8
tiefbassuebertr is offline tiefbassuebertr  Germany
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in this case this thread could be of interest:
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Old 15th December 2009, 07:24 PM   #9
EUVL is offline EUVL  Europe
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IMHO, many of these books tell you basics or give a collection of circuits, without explanations and being specific on sonic performances and trade-offs. Also little if anything on active devices & passive component choices, specific pros and cons for certain circuit techniques (like cascode, folded cascode, .....) IMHO you are better off reading Nelson Pass and other Guru s on the forum.

Perhaps one day, the likes of Nelson, John, Bob, Scott, ..... would care to pass on their life-long experience by writing a book. That would certainly be the greatest gift for the next generation.

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Old 15th December 2009, 08:12 PM   #10
teemuk is offline teemuk  Finland
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I learned the basic stuff from a generic book discussing analog electronics. They usually have at least one chapter that covers the basic power amplifier topology (input stage + voltage amplifier + emitter follower push-pull current amp output). Art of electronics, for example, has a pretty good tutorial. After becoming familiar with that stuff Self's book began to open up much more efficiently.

I also liked Ben Duncan's book about amplifiers (High Performance Audio Power Amplifiers). Yet, it really doesn't teach any designing or alike. It's more a generic overview of circuit topologies but discusses many topics that Self (and Slone) omitted. Many of those are in wide use, such as OpAmp -based voltage amplifiers or inputs.

I also "schematic surf" and usually seeing the stuff that books discuss in theory put into action in actual circuits helps to understand the overall scheme much better. Tools like SPICE simulations may also help to open up the theoretical bits.

I think it's overall a pretty individual process for everyone. Not all books suit each individual. For example, the ones that are too math oriented in teaching how things work don't really open up to me. If the same principle is discussed in plain words (instead of some complex equation) I have a much better chance to understand it - and possibly then later also learn what the deal with the complex equation was as well.
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