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 tough to pick an amplifier due to the multitude of models and styles. I will explain probably the most common amplifier designs such as “tube amps”, “linear amps”, “class-AB” and “class-D” along with “class-T amps” to help you understand some of the terms widely used by amplifier manufacturers. The following information also needs to assist you to figure out which topology is perfect for your particular application.
To put it simply, the goal of Cayin 300B is always to convert a small-power audio signal in to a high-power audio signal. Our prime-power signal is big enough to get a speaker sufficiently loud. To carry out that, an amp uses several elements which can be controlled by the low-power signal to generate a big-power signal. These elements vary from tubes, bipolar transistors to FET transistors.
Tube amplifiers was previously common several decades ago. A tube is able to control the existing flow in accordance with a control voltage which can be connected to the tube. Unfortunately, tube amplifiers use a fairly high level of distortion. From a technical perspective, tube amplifiers will introduce higher harmonics to the signal. However, this manifestation of tube amps still makes these popular. Many people describe tube amps as having a warm sound versus the cold sound of solid state amps.
Another drawback of tube amps, though, is definitely the low power efficiency. The majority of power which tube amps consume will be dissipated as heat and only a fraction will be changed into audio power. Also, tubes are usually expensive to make. Thus tube amps have mostly been replaced by solid-state amps that i can look at next.
Solid state amps replace the tube with semiconductor elements, typically bipolar transistors or FETs. The earliest form of solid-state amps is called class-A amps. In class-A amps a transistor controls the existing flow based on a tiny-level signal. Some amps use a feedback mechanism in order to minimize the harmonic distortion. Class-A amps possess the lowest distortion and often also the lowest quantity of noise of the amplifier architecture. If 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 therefore are usually fairly bulky.
Class-AB amps improve on the efficiency of Audiophile Cables. They normally use a series of transistors to get rid of in the large-level signals into two separate areas, all of which can be amplified more effectively. Therefore, class-AB amps are often smaller than class-A amps. However, this topology adds some non-linearity or distortion in the area where signal switches between those areas. Therefore class-AB amps normally have higher distortion than class-A amps.
Class-D amps improve on the efficiency of class-AB amps even more by using a switching transistor which can be constantly being switched on or off. Thereby this switching stage hardly dissipates any power and phczif the power efficiency of class-D amps usually exceeds 90%. The switching transistor will be controlled by way of a pulse-width modulator. The switched large-level signal needs to be lowpass filtered to be able to eliminate the switching signal and recover the audio signal. As a result of non-linearities from the pulse-width modulator as well as the switching transistor itself, class-D amps naturally have amongst the highest audio distortion of the audio amplifier.
To resolve the situation of high audio distortion, newer Line Magnetic 219ia incorporate feedback. The amplified signal is in contrast to the initial low-level signal and errors are corrected. A well-known architecture which uses this kind of feedback is referred to as “class-T”. Class-T amps or “t amps” achieve audio distortion which compares with all the audio distortion of class-A amps while at the same.