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Old 15th November 2003, 11:29 AM   #1
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Default book-audio power amplifier by Douglas Self

Good book!
very in depth! slightly over my head in parts,im gona get it out again after my eletrotech exams so i can read properly



topics

the 'fear' of -ve feedback (hehe)
small input stages
output stage 1,2
compensation,slew rate and stability
power supplies and PSRR
class A
FET output stages
Thermal compensation and thermal dynamics
Protection
Grounding and practical matters


i like the 8 distortions part of the book,very good.action packed goodness!

he has distortion down to 0.005%and finds out that a certain technique lowers it by four fold by complicating the circuit by about 4x, but the distortions get very low from what he does.

He goes through each topology ,input /output stage type and its features- its good! i havent seen a book like it here in NZ

Cheers!
have u read? what do u think?!!!
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Old 15th November 2003, 02:45 PM   #2
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Default Great book.

I think this is a great book. It does examine the distortions as you said. It's not all maths and lots of it has measured results.

The only catch is that while one can keep trying to get distortions down , will it reallly show up well in listening tests ? The no feedback tube amps sound very good with large doses of distortion. Probably there should be a chapter devoted to the audible implications of distortions with some mention of some great amps and their audible performance and their electrical specifications.

I have this book and it needs to be read many times .
Cheers.
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Old 15th November 2003, 03:34 PM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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Self's stuff is very good indeed. It's not comprehensive, but in context, enormously useful.

I'm unconvinced that reducing distortion from, say, 0.1% to 0.001% makes much difference to the ear, but it's an interesting exercise to see how it's done. The biggest missing x-factor in Self's work is the thing that I've found actually makes real audible differences between otherwise-well-designed amps: overload recovery and clipping behavior. The comprehensive book on that for solid state circuits has yet, to my knowledge, been written. (Crowhurst repeatedly pounded that drum for tube circuits, and he was absolutely right)
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Old 15th November 2003, 03:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by SY
I'm unconvinced that reducing distortion from, say, 0.1% to 0.001% makes much difference to the ear, but it's an interesting exercise to see how it's done. The biggest missing x-factor in Self's work is the thing that I've found actually makes real audible differences between otherwise-well-designed amps: overload recovery and clipping behavior.
Yes, I agree that vanishingly low (sinewave) distortion is not mandatory.
Sonically acceptable overload behaviour however is mission critical to good sonics.
Many amplifiers suffer 'stiction' when recovering from momentary overload, and this is both ear and speaker damaging.
Clean and benign overload behaviour is a lot of what differentiates a good sounding amplifier from a 'bad' one.
Soar protection circuitry can also be a culprit here.

Eric.
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Old 15th November 2003, 06:16 PM   #5
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An essential book, but narrow in its scope. I get the impression that Self considers anyone who judges an amplifier by sound quality to be completely mad.

It's possible to design very low distortion conventional class-B power amplifiers... so what?
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Old 15th November 2003, 07:30 PM   #6
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Default Books

I found the book (second edition) very interesting. I like the way its based on experiments combined with reason. Im looking forward to reading the latest third edition.

However, I dont understand why Douglas Self completely avoids the topic about symmetric amplifiers.

This topic is covered to some detail in Randy Slones book on power amplifiers, but I would like some more theory and detail in this book.

Also, I need a book (maybe just a chapter in one of the mentioned books) on how different sounding amplifiers can measure more or less the same. Id also like to read more about no feedback amps.

\Jens
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Old 15th November 2003, 11:59 PM   #7
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The first difference would be that most published distortion figures are into a resistive load, and most amplifiers change when driving a reactive load.

Perhaps a measurement standard should be devised for measuring distortion when driven into a specified amount of overload - this may be revealling of overload behaviour in spec sheets.

Eric.
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Old 16th November 2003, 12:23 AM   #8
MikeW is offline MikeW  United States
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Good book. I would have liked to see more amps built. I don't see alot of feedback from people that built these designs.
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Old 16th November 2003, 01:16 AM   #9
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id prefer to simply buy a chip than make a blameless amp as designed in his book

:-P

life is short! ( il compromise on amps for awhile)
ive got stuff to do!

like 2 basshorns that i have plans for to build before christmas lol

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