Small Signal Audio Design

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22 July 2011

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My latest book deals with audio small signal design- the amplification and control of audio in the analogue domain, where the operations are performed with op-amps or discrete transistors, usually working at a nominal level of a Volt or less. It is a unique collection of detailed information on small-signal audio. From any good/big bookshop, or via Elsevier or Amazon. See links below:

556 pages. ISBN: 978-0-240-52177-0

Published by Focal Press, an imprint of Elsevier

Learn more about purchasing this book from:

The Elsevier Site

Amazon UK

Amazon USA


I try to make sure everything I write is wholly free from errors. I sometimes fail. There are a few typos which are listed here: Errata.
The first few chapters cover the principles of high-quality small-signal design, moving on to look closely at first hifi preamplifiers, and then mixing consoles. These two genres were chosen partly because they are of wide interest in themselves, but mainly because they use a large number of different functional blocks, with very little overlap between them. They cover a wide range of circuit functions that will be useful for all kinds of audio systems. You will find out how to adapt or design these building-blocks, and how to put them together to form a system. You should then be able to design pretty much anything in the small-signal audio field.


Chapter   1: Basics
Chapter   2: Components
Chapter   3: Designing with discrete transistors
Chapter   4: Opamps and their properties
Chapter   5: Filters
Chapter   6: Preamplifier architectures
Chapter   7: Moving-magnet disc inputs
Chapter   8: Moving-coil disc inputs
Chapter   9: Volume-control & balance
Chapter 10: Tone controls & equalisers
Chapter 11: A complete preamplifier
Chapter 12: Mixer architectures
Chapter 13: Microphone input amplifiers
Chapter 14: Line inputs
Chapter 15: Line outputs
Chapter 16: Signal switching
Chapter 17: Mixer subsystems
Chapter 18: Level indication & metering
Chapter 19: Level control & special circuits
Chapter 20: Power supplies
Chapter 21: Interfacing with the digital domain



The vinyl medium. 
Spurious signals
Maximum signal levels on vinyl
Equalisation and its discontents
The "Neumann pole"
Implementing RIAA equalisation
Passive and semi- passive RIAA equalisation
Calculating the RIAA equalisation components
RIAA equalisation component tolerances
Simulating inverse RIAA equalisation
Physical inverse RIAA equalisation
Overload margins
Cartridge impedances
Cartridge loading
Cartridge-preamplifier interaction
Cartridge DC and AC coupling
Discrete MM disc input stages
	Two-transistor configurations 
	Three-transistor configurations
	Many-transistor configurations
Opamp MM disc input stages
Noise in RIAA preamplifiers
RIAA noise measurements
Electronic cartridge loading
Subsonic filtering

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