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Do Not Be Deceived By The Manufacturer Specifications Of Modern Power Amps

By Marta McBrian

The frequency response is just about the most frequently found parameter in order to characterize audio amps. Nevertheless, it might regularly be confusing and may not necessarily offer a good indication of the sound quality. In order to help you make a more intelligent purchasing decision, I'll clarify what this specification means and how to interpret it. This hopefully is going to guarantee you will get the ideal amplifier for your task.

An amp is going to amplify a sound signal which is within the frequency response range. If the frequency range is 20 Hz to 20 kHz as an example, the amp could amplify any signals with a frequency greater than 20 Hz and less than 20 kHz. Yet, there is a lot more to comprehending the amplifier's functionality than just considering these figures.

Yet, the frequency response commonly is utilized to deceive consumers by stretching out the frequency range a good deal past the range where the amp still functions effectively and in addition conceals the fact that the amp may not be linear. Ideally you ought to try to get a frequency response chart from the producer. In this diagram, you will discover the way the amp functions within the frequency response range. It's also possible to discover any kind of peaks and / or valleys the amplifier may have. Peaks as well as valleys may cause colorization of the music. If possible the amplifier should have a constant gain within the complete frequency response except for the drop off at the lower and upper limit. In addition to the frequency response, a phase response diagram will also tell a lot in regards to the performance and also quality of sound of the amp. The conditions under which the frequency response was calculated may also be crucial to comprehend. One condition which might influence the frequency response is the impedance of the speaker connected to the amp. Normal loudspeaker impedances vary from 2 to 16 Ohms. The lower the loudspeaker impedance the greater the load for the amplifier.

The conditions under which the frequency response was measured may also be necessary to comprehend. The fact is that numerous amplifiers will behave in a different way with different speaker loads. This is mainly because that different speaker loads can cause changes to the behavior of the output power stage of the amplifier. This change is most detectable with many digital amps, referred to as Class-D amps. Class-D amps employ a lowpass filter inside their output in order to reduce the switching components that are produced through the internal power FETs. A changing loudspeaker load will impact the filter response to some extent. Generally the lower the speaker impedance the lower the highest frequency of the amplifier. Furthermore, the linearity of the amplifier gain will be determined by the load.

Typically current digital or "Class-D" amplifiers can have changes in the frequency response with different loads. The primary reason is the fact that Class-D amplifiers make use of switching FETs as the power phase that generate a lot of switching components. These components are eliminated by using a filter that is part of the amplifier. A varying loudspeaker load is going to impact the filter response to a point. Commonly the lower the loudspeaker impedance the lower the maximum frequency of the amplifier. In addition, the linearity of the amplifier gain will be determined by the load. A few amp topologies offer a way to compensate for variations in the amplifier gain with various speaker loads. One of those approaches uses feedback. The amplifier output signal after the interior lowpass is input to the amplifier input for comparison. If not designed correctly, this method might cause instability of the amp however. Another approach utilizes audio transformers between the power stage of the amplifier and several outputs. Every single output was created to attach a different loudspeaker load. This method makes certain that the amplifier will be loaded equally and also increases amplifier efficiency.

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