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distortions in amplifiers

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by adam k, Dec 3, 2003.

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  1. adam k

    adam k Guest

    if i was to build an amplifier what are the main types of distortion
    you think i will come across and what could be done to reduce or avoid
  2. That's a question that can be answered by getting degrees in EE, not a
    simple question to answer, many test have been written on this subject and
    still being written. On the other hand there's the vacuum tube guys who
    like ceratain kinds of distortion! Go figure.
    hank wd5jfr
  3. Baphomet

    Baphomet Guest

    Warmth...if you please ;-)
  4. CFoley1064

    CFoley1064 Guest

    if i was to build an amplifier what are the main types of distortion
    Hi, Adam. A pretty good basic answer to your question is contained on the
    following web page:

    Try Googling audio distortion for more.

    If you want a good answer, you should give more information, but...

    As a beginner, you might want to go with one of the many kits that are
    available for audio (I assume) amplifiers. There are a wide variety in many
    price ranges. If your soldering and construction skills are a little light,
    get one of the less expensive kits to start with. Measuring distortion usually
    requires some pretty expensive equipment, which the home hobbyist doesn't have.
    Also, there's quite a bit of math and electronics theory behind designing a
    good low distortion amplifier, as well as various pitfalls in construction,
    layout, &c. It might not be a good place to start.

    Good luck.
  5. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Assuming you mean a power amp and not a preamp, there are a few
    general concepts. One of the nastiest types is crossover distortion,
    which happens in push-pull output stages when there isn't enough
    bias; there is a gap where a sine wave goes to zero, stays there until
    the other half of the push-pull starts conducting, and then resumes.
    It makes lots of odd-order hamonics, but the real problem is that it
    is worse (as a percentage of signal) at lower levels.

    At high levels on any amp you can get clipping distortion if you
    overdrive it, which is odd-order and generally unpleasant.
    (Well, unless you are into heavy-metal guitar, exclusively!)

    On any amp with top-bottom asymmetry, such as anything
    that is *not* push-pull, you tend to get more even-order
    distortions. The golden-ears crowd is fond of Class A
    amps, which exhibit tons of distortion (few percent) but
    they like the more pleasing sound of even-order harmonics.

    Then there is slew distortion, where the sharp vertical
    edges of square waves can't be followed fast enough, so
    you get trapezoids or triangles instead.

    Any of these distortion types can/will also cause intermodulation
    distortion, where an input of two tones gives not just
    the orginals and their harmonics, but also "inharmonics"
    based upon the sum and difference. Nasty sound, since
    the new frequencies are unrelated to the note being played.

    And on, and on......

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
  6. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

  7. Ian Bell

    Ian Bell Guest

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