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About this book

This extensively reworked 2nd edition of the book includes ten new chapters. It also features an updated discussion of simulation software tools, covering topics such as simulating complex and / or expensive amplifier structures with the free LTspice software by developing a broad range of additional simulation models, especially those for triodes and transformers.

The book adopts the structure used in The Sound of Silence books, with the first part, Basics - Calculations and Simulations, providing deep simulation-triggered insights into the gain and noise mechanisms of differential amplifiers, BJTs, resistors, and triodes. The second part then discusses the RIAA Phono-Amp Engine II, describing all the necessary design, simulation, calculation, construction and measurement processes for this multi-functional MC amplifier.

The third part, Knowledge Transfer, presents new ideas on draft designs of the linear low-noise MC input stages (also an extremely low-noise one) and a range of practical measurement tools. Additionally, it includes a chapter on MM amplifiers and their noise production, and offers some surprising solutions. The brand new and extensive chapter on all the simulation models developed and used in the book rounds-out the voyage through the jungle of compromises, allowing best-in-class balanced MC phono-amplifiers to be produced.

Lastly, the book also features an extensive index, and free downloads of all Mathcad worksheets are available on Springer's Extra Materials website (extra.springer.com).

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Basics - Calculations and Simulations

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. The Differential Amplifier (DIFA)

Chapter 1 dives deep into the design of differential amplifiers (DIFA), their 100% correlated & 100% un-correlated noise productions, adequate simulation approaches, and the different calculation methods.

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Chapter 2. Mathcad Worksheets of DIFAs

Chapter 2 presents the Mathcad Worksheets for three different DIFAs.

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Chapter 3. DIFA Example (DIFA-Ex)

Chapter 3 sums-up the findings of Chapters 1 & 2 a) by building-up an actual DIFA and b) by comparison of the calculated, measured, and simulated results.

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Chapter 4. Mathcad Worksheets of the DIFA Example

Chapter 4 offers two Mathcad Worksheets for the Chapter 3 comparisons.

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Chapter 5. Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) and Noise

Chapter 5 dives deep into BJT configured amplification, its noise production, the corresponding calculation approaches, and different simulation paths.

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Chapter 6. Mathcad Worksheets of BJTs and Noise

Chapter 6 contains a collection of 8 Mathcad worksheets that allow calculating the various gain and noise evaluation approaches of Chapter 5.

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Chapter 7. Resistors and Noise

Chapter 7 handles ways on how to calculate and/or simulate resistor noise, including excess noise.

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Chapter 8. Triodes and Noise

Chapter 8 dives deep into Triode configured amplification, its noise production, the corresponding calculation approaches, and different simulation paths. A single ended phono-amp rounds-up the given new calculation and simulation approaches.

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Chapter 9. Mathcad Worksheets of Resistors and Triodes

Chapter 9 and its five Mathcad Worksheets shows ways to calculate triode gains and noise productions in various configurations, including the Chapter 8 phono-amp example.

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Example Phono-Amp - The RIAA Phono-Amp Engine II

Frontmatter

Chapter 10. The Complete Engine II – Overview

Chapter 10 covers the development goals of the RIAA Phono-Amp Engine II, the RIAA transfer function solution, the circuit diagrams of the Engine’s central amplifying stages, and the case construction.

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Chapter 11. The Triode Driven Central Amplifier Amp3

Chapter 11 explains the function of the Engine II’s triode driven central Amp3. Additionally, the rather complex approach of the noise voltage calculation and the simulation are given in detail. Measurement results challenge the simulated and calculated ones.

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Chapter 12. Mathcad Worksheets Amp3

Chapter 12 presents the Mathcad Worksheets that allow calculating gain and signal-to-noise ratios of Amp3 and of the amp chain Amp3 + Amp5 + Output Transformer.

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Chapter 13. The Solid-State (Op-Amp) Driven Central Amplifier Amp4

Chapter 13 explains the function of the Engine II’s op-amp driven central Amp4. Additionally, the simulation approach together with the calculation approach are explained. Measurement results challenge the simulated and calculated ones.

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Chapter 14. Mathcad Worksheets Amp4

Chapter 14 presents the Mathcad Worksheets that allow calculating gain and signal-to-noise ratios of Amp4 and of the amp chain Amp4 + Amp5 + Output Transformer.

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Chapter 15. The Op-Amp and Transformer Driven Output Stage Amp5

Chapter 15 explains the function of the Engine II’s op-amp driven output gain stage Amp5 and its possibility to integrate a special output transformer into the signal path. Additionally, all necessary simulation approaches are given. Measurement results challenge the simulated and calculated ones.

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Chapter 16. Mathcad Worksheets Amp5

Chapter 16 presents the Mathcad worksheet that allows calculating gain and signal-to-noise ratios of Amp5.

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Chapter 17. The Op-Amp and Transformer Driven Amp1

Chapter 17 explains the function of the input transformer and op-amp driven Amp1 Engine II input amplifier. Additionally, the noise voltage calculation and simulation approaches are given. Measurement results challenge the simulated and calculated ones.

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Chapter 18. Mathcad Worksheets Amp1

Chapter 18 presents the Mathcad Worksheet that allows calculating gain and signal-to-noise ratios of Amp1 according to the real data.

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Chapter 19. The BJT and Op-Amp Driven Input Stage Amp2

Chapter 19 explains the function of the BJT and op-amp driven Amp2 Engine II input amplifier. Additionally, for the 1/f-noise infected BJTs and the whole amplifier Amp2 the rather complex noise voltage calculation and simulation approaches are given. Measurement results challenge the simulated and calculated ones.

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Chapter 20. Mathcad Worksheets Amp2

Chapter 20 presents two Mathcad Worksheets that allow calculating noise voltages and gains of two different Amp2 versions, equipped with different pairs of NPN and PNP BJTs.

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Chapter 21. Engine II Performance

Chapter 21 presents the measured visible (graphs) and audible (via the author’s and other people’s ears) results of the many Engine II performance tests.

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Knowledge Transfer

Frontmatter

Chapter 22. Selection of Draft Designs of Other Input Stages

Chapter 22 describes eight very different linear input amplifier approaches (balanced in + balanced out and un-balanced in + balanced out), based on BJT, JFET, triode, or transformer driven solutions. Among them, we find a new gain stage with extremely low input noise voltage.

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Chapter 23. Mathcad Worksheets of Draft Designs

Chapter 23 presents six Mathcad worksheets that allow calculating gain and signal-to-noise ratios of the versions of Chapter 13.

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Chapter 24. Measurement Tools and Trimming

Chapter 24 describes the author’s computer test system, its signal-to-noise ratio & THD & IMD figures, and additional hardware measurement tools. A discussion about TRUE versus PSEUDO signal-to-noise ratios rounds-up this chapter.

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Chapter 25. Mathcad Worksheet of Measurement Tools

Chapter 25 presents the Mathcad Worksheets of the measurement tools and the True vs. Pseudo SNs.

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Chapter 26. The Very Low-Noise Balanced Measurement Amp PMMA

Chapter 26 gives a detailed look into all electronic aspects and measurement mechanisms of a very low-noise fully differential measurement amplifier with a gain of 1000 (PMMA).

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Chapter 27. Mathcad Worksheets of the PMMA

Chapter 27 presents five Mathcad Worksheets of the PMMA.

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Chapter 28. The Galvanically Isolated Measurement Amp PFMA

Chapter 28 gives a detailed look into all electronic aspects and measurement mechanisms of a galvanically isolated balanced-in/balanced-out measurement amplifier with gains 100 & 10 (PFMA).

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Chapter 29. Mathcad Worksheets of the PFMA

Chapter 29 presents two Mathcad Worksheets of the PFMA.

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Chapter 30. Electronic Load Synthesis (ELS) A Unique Noise Reduction Method for MM Phono-Amps

Chapter 30 describes a unique noise reduction method for MM phono-amplifiers; based on the ‘load synthesis’ concept (another key-word is ‘resistor cooling’).

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Chapter 31. Mathcad Worksheets of MM Noise Reduction

Chapter 31 presents five Mathcad Worksheets of the unique noise reduction approach given in Chapter 30.

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Chapter 32. Simulation Models and Other Spice Related Problems

Chapter 32 offers a collection of the numerous simulation models used in this book.

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Chapter 33. Old Stuff?

Chapter 33 discusses the necessity of adequate analogue measurement tools, like eg test records and tracking force measurement instruments.

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Backmatter

Additional information