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Old 22nd April 2010, 10:40 AM   #1
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Default What was the first Complementary AB bipolar amplifiers?

I realised the other day that while I know many of the milestone points in amplifer design (Loftin-White, Williamsone, JLH etc) I have no idea of the history of the classic complementary AB transistor amplifier (as typified by the 741 op-amp)
a) first proposed complementary bipolar AB (or class A)
b) first successfully implemented it as an audio power amp
c) first used the venerable 2N3055/2N2955 pair in a product

Was it NatSemi or Philips? Or someone in Japan? Even "The Art" just assumes it is too obvious to bother attributing the design to someone.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 11:32 AM   #2
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Default early complementary output

bailey 1968
blomley 1971
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Old 22nd April 2010, 01:32 PM   #3
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Taiwan
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Bart Locanthi was at least 2 years earlier than that - see Marshal Leach's web page for a mention. Now we are at 1966.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 01:34 PM   #4
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Taiwan
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Edit. HC Lin (the 'Lin' topology) was in the 1950's (while he was at Bell Labs I think). He definitely proposed a class B output stage, but maybe class AB
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Old 22nd April 2010, 06:07 PM   #5
latala is offline latala  United Kingdom
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The first quality amplifier that was complimentary output was the Radford Sca 30 designed as mentioned by Arthur Bailey It also featured a twin thyristor regulated supply that works well Also it features a large non polarised output capacitor !! I have one of these amplifiers in my collection That I have restored but it still needs a few pushbutton knobs
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Old 22nd April 2010, 06:18 PM   #6
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The first complementary silicon output power transistors were made by Motorola in 1966. I was working in industry, when they were first announced. These were the 2N3716 and the 2N3792. The pnp device cost about $13 each at the time, and that was a day's pay. For comparison, you could buy a matched pair of Genelex KT88 output tubes for about $13 at the time. The 2N3055 did not get a complement until several years, later. We were all waiting for the complementary output pair, hoping for a new age in solid state power amp design.

Last edited by john curl; 22nd April 2010 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 06:30 PM   #7
latala is offline latala  United Kingdom
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Is there any thing as a true complimentary pair ? I have read articles where it is stated that matching is only ever nominal as they have diifferant properties re speed junction area and capacitance etc.
I have also read that some designs such as Naim etc still prefer the quasi output stage as the output devices can be exact matches
Allthough in the case of a quas the top transistor is operating an a emmitter follower and the bottom as a common emmitter wity its load in the collector
Myself I am yet to work it out!
Regards Trevor
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Old 22nd April 2010, 06:31 PM   #8
taj is offline taj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john curl View Post
The pnp device cost about $13 each at the time, and that was a day's pay.
Flipping burgers back then, John? My dad (a tradesman) was earning $9-10/hour in 1966. It wasn't 1936.

..Todd
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Old 22nd April 2010, 06:33 PM   #9
latala is offline latala  United Kingdom
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Taj
your dad must have been a Plumber
regards Trev
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Old 22nd April 2010, 06:36 PM   #10
bocka is offline bocka  Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john curl View Post
The first complementary output power transistors were made by Motorola in 1966. I was working in industry, when they were first announced. These were the 2N3716 and the 2N3792.
I think you was refering to the first high power silicon bipolar transistor. AFAIK the gemanium types AD161/AD162 are still older.
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