Review: Audio Power Amplifier Handbook, Self

Paul

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Bipolar Transistor Power Amplifier Bible

I can't imagine a better book about push-pull, audio bipolar power
amplifiers. Self covers virtually every possible configuration with
circuits, notes, simulations and measurements. This book includes an
excellent chapter on power, heat and reliability based on many years
of design , manufacturing and field service. He is truly an expert in
all aspects of this amplifier topology.
He doesn't hide his disdain for MOSFETS, single-ended amplifiers and
other "subjectivist" high-end concerns. Contrary to the findings of
many others in this field, Self finds Total Harmonic Distortion the
only measurement of amplifier quality that matters. He isn't
convincing to this reviewer.

A "must have" book for anyone designing audio power amplifiers.
 
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"Paul" <oatteaseffen@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:462bba80.0411111654.688f1858@posting.google.com
> Bipolar Transistor Power Amplifier Bible

> Contrary to the findings of
> many others in this field, Self finds Total Harmonic Distortion the
> only measurement of amplifier quality that matters. He isn't
> convincing to this reviewer.

Agreed. Either power output or source impedance are better predictors of the
sound quality of modern power amps.
 
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"Don Pearce" <donaldun@spamfreepearce.uk.com> wrote in message
news:4197d8b7.24711703@212.159.2.87

> And where exactly do you find any sources of audio that haven't been
> through any transistors? Still playing your 78s perhaps?

I suspect that most recordings made through the mid-60s were pretty much
free of contact with solid state audio devices. That includes a lot of LPs
that are probably still kicking around personal collections and thrift
stores.
 
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On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 10:40:14 -0500, "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com>
wrote:

>"Don Pearce" <donaldun@spamfreepearce.uk.com> wrote in message
>news:4197d8b7.24711703@212.159.2.87
>
>> And where exactly do you find any sources of audio that haven't been
>> through any transistors? Still playing your 78s perhaps?
>
>I suspect that most recordings made through the mid-60s were pretty much
>free of contact with solid state audio devices. That includes a lot of LPs
>that are probably still kicking around personal collections and thrift
>stores.
>
Wires, resistors, switches, capacitors, inductors - all solid state.
It is possible, of course to make electron or ion state equivalents
for most of them, but I'm not sure that even a valvophile would want
to try. I bet the sound would be heaps better if they did, though...

d
Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
 
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Paul wrote:

> Bipolar Transistor Power Amplifier Bible

< snip >

> He doesn't hide his disdain for MOSFETS,...... and
> other "subjectivist" high-end concerns. Contrary to the findings of
> many others in this field, Self finds Total Harmonic Distortion the
> only measurement of amplifier quality that matters. He isn't
> convincing to this reviewer.

Doug Self appears to be a self ( lol ) opiniated self aggrandised bigot.

The best THD figures I've ever achieved from an amplifier was 0.0008% (
measured - AP residual was 0.0006% ) @ 350W into 8 ohms @ 1 kHz.

-102dB SINAD if you prefer.

It was a MOSFET amplifier ! Bipolars don't have much of a chance of even
coming close. So - let THD be the yardstick ! I don't care if it's
subjective that MOSFETs provide excellent performance - not least a
relative absence of odd-order distortion products.

Oh, that amp sounded *stunning* btw. As transparent as I've ever heard.
Has to do comparative listening tests at night to minimise extraneous
sound.


Graham
 
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oatteaseffen@hotmail.com (Paul) wrote in message news:<462bba80.0411111654.688f1858@posting.google.com>...
> Bipolar Transistor Power Amplifier Bible
>
> I can't imagine a better book about push-pull, audio bipolar power
> amplifiers. Self covers virtually every possible configuration with
> circuits, notes, simulations and measurements. This book includes an
> excellent chapter on power, heat and reliability based on many years
> of design , manufacturing and field service. He is truly an expert in
> all aspects of this amplifier topology.
> He doesn't hide his disdain for MOSFETS, single-ended amplifiers and
> other "subjectivist" high-end concerns. Contrary to the findings of
> many others in this field, Self finds Total Harmonic Distortion the
> only measurement of amplifier quality that matters. He isn't
> convincing to this reviewer.
>
> A "must have" book for anyone designing audio power amplifiers.

Does this bible include IC power amps? Below 100 Watts, is there any
reason to do it with discrete transistors these days? The MOSFET
designs I have looked at all required relatively high power supply
voltages, i.e. they were inefficient. A pair of LM3886's in bridge
mode seems like the way to go.
 
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Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> said:

>Oh, that amp sounded *stunning* btw. As transparent as I've ever heard.
>Has to do comparative listening tests at night to minimise extraneous
>sound.

"Prove it via a DBT/ABX test".
(Standard Arny Krueger non-answer when someone he disagrees with
states his subjective opinion on amplifier sound).

I already knew for years that MOSFETs, and especially the Hitachi
types, are excellent for use in audio amplifiers.

--
Sander de Waal
" SOA of a KT88? Sufficient. "
 
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On Sun, 14 Nov 2004 17:46:07 +0100, Sander deWaal <nospam@wanadoo.nl>
wrote:

>Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> said:
>
>>Oh, that amp sounded *stunning* btw. As transparent as I've ever heard.
>>Has to do comparative listening tests at night to minimise extraneous
>>sound.
>
>"Prove it via a DBT/ABX test".
>(Standard Arny Krueger non-answer when someone he disagrees with
>states his subjective opinion on amplifier sound).

Actually, just a standard reality check for *anyone* making
extraordinary claims.

>I already knew for years that MOSFETs, and especially the Hitachi
>types, are excellent for use in audio amplifiers.

Sure, as are bipolar transistors, and even valves if you're good
enough and have the budget for top class transformers.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
 
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Pukey said:

> >"Prove it via a DBT/ABX test".
> >(Standard Arny Krueger non-answer when someone he disagrees with
> >states his subjective opinion on amplifier sound).
>
> Actually, just a standard reality check for *anyone* making
> extraordinary claims.

Propaganda about 'borg propaganda, Pukey?

Such a challenge is a guided snot-missile that has nothing to do with
reality. You would know that if you weren't still trying to spoon out your
own liver and eat it for dinner.
 
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Stewart Pinkerton <patent3@dircon.co.uk> said:

>>"Prove it via a DBT/ABX test".
>>(Standard Arny Krueger non-answer when someone he disagrees with
>>states his subjective opinion on amplifier sound).

>Actually, just a standard reality check for *anyone* making
>extraordinary claims.

Graham's claim wasn't that extraordinary IMO.

>>I already knew for years that MOSFETs, and especially the Hitachi
>>types, are excellent for use in audio amplifiers.

>Sure, as are bipolar transistors, and even valves if you're good
>enough and have the budget for top class transformers.

You're so cute when you're sober :)

--
Sander de Waal
" SOA of a KT88? Sufficient. "
 
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Sander deWaal wrote:

> Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> said:
>
> >Oh, that amp sounded *stunning* btw. As transparent as I've ever heard.
> >Has to do comparative listening tests at night to minimise extraneous
> >sound.
>
> "Prove it via a DBT/ABX test".
> (Standard Arny Krueger non-answer when someone he disagrees with
> states his subjective opinion on amplifier sound).
>
> I already knew for years that MOSFETs, and especially the Hitachi
> types, are excellent for use in audio amplifiers.

They were indeed Hitachi devices. Quite a few of them in fact.


Graham
 
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On Sun, 14 Nov 2004 13:54:03 -0500, George M. Middius
<Spam-B-Gone@resistance.org> wrote:

>
>
>Pukey said:
>
>> >"Prove it via a DBT/ABX test".
>> >(Standard Arny Krueger non-answer when someone he disagrees with
>> >states his subjective opinion on amplifier sound).
>>
>> Actually, just a standard reality check for *anyone* making
>> extraordinary claims.
>
>Propaganda about 'borg propaganda, Pukey?
>
>Such a challenge is a guided snot-missile that has nothing to do with
>reality. You would know that if you weren't still trying to spoon out your
>own liver and eat it for dinner.

Gorge, you wouldn't recognise reality if you fell over it on the
street. But we knew that already....................
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
 
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Pukey, your snot generator seems to have petered out. I think you need to
recharge it.

> >> >"Prove it via a DBT/ABX test".
> >> >(Standard Arny Krueger non-answer when someone he disagrees with
> >> >states his subjective opinion on amplifier sound).
> >>
> >> Actually, just a standard reality check for *anyone* making
> >> extraordinary claims.
> >
> >Propaganda about 'borg propaganda, Pukey?
> >
> >Such a challenge is a guided snot-missile that has nothing to do with
> >reality. You would know that if you weren't still trying to spoon out your
> >own liver and eat it for dinner.
>
> Gorge, you wouldn't recognise reality if you fell over it on the
> street. But we knew that already....................

Do you think the snottishness exercises have something to do with
"reality"? You're just as feeble a wannabe as Krooger, you know. You're not
an engineer, just a religious convert wearing a big pair of blinders. When
you finally quit boozing, I'm sure you'll be telling us of the "reality"
that God told you to sober up.
 
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On Sun, 14 Nov 2004 19:56:05 +0100, Sander deWaal <nospam@wanadoo.nl>
wrote:

>Stewart Pinkerton <patent3@dircon.co.uk> said:
>
>>>"Prove it via a DBT/ABX test".
>>>(Standard Arny Krueger non-answer when someone he disagrees with
>>>states his subjective opinion on amplifier sound).
>
>>Actually, just a standard reality check for *anyone* making
>>extraordinary claims.
>
>Graham's claim wasn't that extraordinary IMO.

Yes, but since your opinion is as valuable as a Turkish Lira, we won't
worry too much about it...............

>>>I already knew for years that MOSFETs, and especially the Hitachi
>>>types, are excellent for use in audio amplifiers.
>
>>Sure, as are bipolar transistors, and even valves if you're good
>>enough and have the budget for top class transformers.
>
>You're so cute when you're sober :)

I'm always cute, so the girls tell me :)
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
 
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Stewart Drinkerton <booze3@dircon.co.uk> said:

>>>Actually, just a standard reality check for *anyone* making
>>>extraordinary claims.

>>Graham's claim wasn't that extraordinary IMO.

>Yes, but since your opinion is as valuable as a Turkish Lira, we won't
>worry too much about it...............

Just wait a few years, they'll use Euros by then :)

>>You're so cute when you're sober :)

>I'm always cute, so the girls tell me :)

Next time you ask, leave the Aston Martin keys in the drawer. :)

--
Sander de Waal
" SOA of a KT88? Sufficient. "
 
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On 14 Nov 2004 13:38:07 -0800, Detector195@yahoo.com (Detector195)
wrote:

>oatteaseffen@hotmail.com (Paul) wrote in message news:<462bba80.0411111654.688f1858@posting.google.com>...
>> Bipolar Transistor Power Amplifier Bible
>>
>> I can't imagine a better book about push-pull, audio bipolar power
>> amplifiers. Self covers virtually every possible configuration with
>> circuits, notes, simulations and measurements. This book includes an
>> excellent chapter on power, heat and reliability based on many years
>> of design , manufacturing and field service. He is truly an expert in
>> all aspects of this amplifier topology.
>> He doesn't hide his disdain for MOSFETS, single-ended amplifiers and
>> other "subjectivist" high-end concerns. Contrary to the findings of
>> many others in this field, Self finds Total Harmonic Distortion the
>> only measurement of amplifier quality that matters. He isn't
>> convincing to this reviewer.
>>
>> A "must have" book for anyone designing audio power amplifiers.
>
>Does this bible include IC power amps? Below 100 Watts, is there any
>reason to do it with discrete transistors these days? The MOSFET
>designs I have looked at all required relatively high power supply
>voltages, i.e. they were inefficient. A pair of LM3886's in bridge
>mode seems like the way to go.

Not if you want to drive low-impedance speakers, it's not........

Even in standard mode, it's only a 40-watt amp with relatively poor
current capability.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
 
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"Detector195" <Detector195@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:6213f73a.0411141338.238f136a@posting.google.com


> Does this bible include IC power amps?

I doubt it. There's not a lot of technology in hooking up a modern chip amp.
Self's writings are typically about refined technology.

>Below 100 Watts, is there any
> reason to do it with discrete transistors these days?

As Pinkie points out, the chip amps are not necessarily the best solution
for low impedance loads. If you are impressed by THD numbers with lots of
leading zeroes, chip amps rate only mediocre.

If you look at what people are actually selling for after-market car audio,
other than very low-powered stuff, you still see a lot of discrete
transistor designs at power levels that look on paper like they are
well-covered by these chips.

OTOH, chip amps dominate OEM car audio which is genearlly limited to amps
running off rail voltages limited by car batteries and charging systems.

If you lift the covers on mid-fi receivers, you may see a lot of power
chips, but in many cases they turn out to be only the output devices for the
power amp sections.

> The MOSFET
> designs I have looked at all required relatively high power supply
> voltages, i.e. they were inefficient. A pair of LM3886's in bridge
> mode seems like the way to go.

They would seem to only go so far. They may turn out to be more costly than
discrete amps built in places where labor is still cheap.
 
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"Stewart Pinkerton" emitted :

>>"Prove it via a DBT/ABX test".
>>(Standard Arny Krueger non-answer when someone he disagrees with
>>states his subjective opinion on amplifier sound).
>
>Actually, just a standard reality check for *anyone* making
>extraordinary claims.

That argument has been debunked a gazillion times. Even your mentor
Jim Johnston never subscribed to the idea that consumers are compelled
to gouge out their visual organs.


S i g n a l @ l i n e o n e . n e t
-----------------------------------
It's Grim up north..
 
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"Paul Dormer" <signal@lineone.not> wrote in message
news:kjnhp0h8n59e9lh1aubg9g35ojlqp5npv2@4ax.com

> "Stewart Pinkerton" emitted :

>>"Sander deWaal" <nospam@wanadoo.nl> wrote in message
>>news:mo2fp0h4oncb9q5nst028veh88kf0jdmki@4ax.com

>>> "Prove it via a DBT/ABX test".
>>> (Standard Arny Krueger non-answer when someone he disagrees with
>>> states his subjective opinion on amplifier sound).

Actually, the purported quote has only been uttered by one Sander DeWaal,
according to google. I've never said it myself. S

>> Actually, just a standard reality check for *anyone* making
>> extraordinary claims.

Exactly, and if the comparison involved one the therminonic audible
distortion and noise generators that DeWall wants to stuff down all of our
throats as having superior reproduction of music, there would be IMO no need
for a DBT. Take music, add audible noise, add audible distortion, and why
wouldn't there be an audible difference?

> That argument has been debunked a gazillion times.

Since the purported argument is a fabrication of the tortured mind of Sander
deWall, I've got no problems with that sort of characterization.

> Even your mentor
> Jim Johnston never subscribed to the idea that consumers are compelled
> to gouge out their visual organs.

Nor have I. But deWall's mentor George Middius has suggested that be the
case.
 
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"Stewart Pinkerton" emitted :

>I'm always cute, so the girls tell me :)

That's highly implausible. Since when was Rab C Nesbitt cute?


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