Audio amplifiers are at the very heart of every home theater system. As the quality and output power requirements of today’s loudspeakers increase, so do the demands of audio amps. It is hard to pick an amplifier given the large number of models and fashions. I will explain some of the most common amplifier designs including “tube amps”, “linear amps”, “class-AB” and “class-D” in addition to “class-T amps” to help you understand some of the terms widely used by amplifier manufacturers. This informative guide must also enable you to figure out which topology is ideal for your particular application.
In other words, the goal of Cayin A100t is always to convert a minimal-power audio signal into a high-power audio signal. The high-power signal is big enough to drive a speaker sufficiently loud. In order to do that, an amp uses several elements which can be controlled by the low-power signal to create a large-power signal. These elements range between tubes, bipolar transistors to FET transistors.
Tube amplifiers used to be common a couple of decades ago. A tube is able to control the present flow based on a control voltage which is attached to the tube. Unfortunately, tube amplifiers have a fairly high quantity of distortion. From a technical perspective, tube amplifiers will introduce higher harmonics to the signal. However, this characteristic of tube amps still makes these popular. Many individuals describe tube amps as possessing a warm sound versus the cold sound of solid state amps.
Another drawback of tube amps, though, will be the low power efficiency. Nearly all power which tube amps consume is being dissipated as heat and merely a fraction is being transformed into audio power. Also, tubes are quite expensive to make. Thus tube amps have mostly been replaced by solid-state amps that i will look at next.
Solid state amps replace the tube with semiconductor elements, typically bipolar transistors or FETs. The earliest type of solid-state amps is called class-A amps. In class-A amps a transistor controls the present flow based on a tiny-level signal. Some amps make use of a feedback mechanism to be able to minimize the harmonic distortion. Class-A amps have the lowest distortion and in most cases also the lowest level of noise for any amplifier architecture. Should you need ultra-low distortion then you should take a closer look at class-A models. The key drawback is the fact much like tube amps class A amps have suprisingly low efficiency. Because of this these amps require large heat sinks to dissipate the wasted energy and they are usually fairly bulky.
Class-AB amps improve on the efficiency of Speaker Cable. They normally use several transistors to break up the large-level signals into two separate areas, all of which may be amplified more effectively. Therefore, class-AB amps are usually small compared to class-A amps. However, this topology adds some non-linearity or distortion in the region where signal switches between those areas. As such class-AB amps normally have higher distortion than class-A amps.
Class-D amps improve on the efficiency of class-AB amps further using a switching transistor which is constantly being switched on or off. Thereby this switching stage hardly dissipates any power and phczif the energy efficiency of class-D amps usually exceeds 90%. The switching transistor has been controlled by a pulse-width modulator. The switched large-level signal needs to be lowpass filtered to be able to remove the switching signal and recover the audio signal. Because of non-linearities from the pulse-width modulator and also the switching transistor itself, class-D amps by nature have amongst the highest audio distortion of the audio amplifier.
To resolve the situation of high audio distortion, newer Line Magnetic 518ia incorporate feedback. The amplified signal is compared with the original low-level signal and errors are corrected. A highly-known architecture which uses this sort of feedback is referred to as “class-T”. Class-T amps or “t amps” achieve audio distortion which compares with the audio distortion of class-A amps while on the same.