A Quick Explanation Of Audio Amps

None of modern audio products would be feasible without the aid of todays stereo amps which strive to satisfy higher and higher demands regarding power and audio fidelity. All of these vary when it comes to performance. I will explain some of the most widespread amp terms like "class-A", "class-D" and "t amps" to help you figure out which of these amps is ideal for your application. Furthermore, after understanding this article you should be able to comprehend the amplifier specifications that producers issue.

The main operating principle of an audio amplifier is fairly simple. Tube amps used to be widespread a couple of decades ago. A tube is able to control the current flow in accordance to a control voltage that is connected to the tube. Consequently tube amps have generally been replaced by solid-state mini stereo amplifiers which I will glance at next.

The first generation models of solid state amps are often known as "Class-A" amps. Solid-state amplifiers make use of a semiconductor instead of a tube to amplify the signal. Class-AB amps improve on the efficiency of class-A amps. They use a number of transistors in order to break up the large-level signals into 2 separate regions, each of which can be amplified more efficiently. As such, class-AB amps are usually smaller than class-A amps. However, this architecture adds some non-linearity or distortion in the region where the signal switches between those areas. Typical switching frequencies are in the range of 300 kHz and 1 MHz. The difference signal is then utilized to correct the switching stage and compensate for the nonlinearity. A well-known topology which uses this kind of feedback is known as "class-T". Class-T amplifiers or "t amps" attain audio distortion that compares with the audio distortion of class-A amps while at the same time exhibiting the power efficiency of class-D amps. Consequently t amps can be made extremely small and still attain high audio fidelity.

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