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Pro Audio Amplifiers

Amplifiers are specialized pieces of electronic equipment that take an audio signal and increase its amplitude before sending it on to a speaker or other sound device. Amplifiers have applications in numerous electronic circuits; they are used in everything from televisions to radios and computers. These numerous applications make amplifiers useful technology with a wide degree of adaptability.

What is an audio amplifier used for?

Audio amplifiers are used to increase the strength of an audio signal so that it can be used to power a speaker. Low-power audio signals are often not strong enough to drive loudspeakers sufficiently, so an amplifier is used to increase the strength of the signal. This makes it possible to activate the loudspeaker appropriately. The applications of this type of amplifier are great and varied. They include everything from home entertainment systems to public address systems. Audio amplifiers often have a volume control on them, which enables the user to adjust the strength and control the volume of the sound output.

How does an audio amplifier work?

Amplifiers work by taking an input signal and uses a specialized electronic circuit to increase or amplify the strength of the signal to be used in a different piece of equipment. In the case of an audio amplifier, the received signal is one from some other piece of audio equipment, such as a mobile device or electronic guitar. This signal is then strengthened by the amplifier before being sent on to a speaker or other equipment. In some cases, the strength of the input signal is not enough for the amplifier to accept it; in this case, a preamplifier, or preamp, must be used to get the input sound level up to the appropriate power to be accepted by the main amplifier.

What are the different classes of amplifiers?

There are several different amplifier classes, each of which is designed to fit a different situation or different set of audio needs.

  • Classes A, B, and AB: These are the simplest classes with relatively basic circuitry powering the amp. A class A amp is one of the most linear types of amp, using just one transistor, which is very useful in situations where a high degree of audio linearity is important. Class B uses two transistors, one positive and one negative, and switches between the two during use. This gives improved efficiency over a Class A but can have issues with audio quality. The Class AB combines the pros of both Class A and Class B, giving a new setup that is highly efficient and has excellent audio quality.
  • Class D: The increase in battery-powered mobile devices required a new type of amplifier that could preserve batteries. The Class D is very efficient, making it an excellent choice for mobile devices that have to minimize power consumption.
  • Classes G, DG, and H: These classes are more advanced than the others with features such as varying input voltages based on signal strength or using multiple input voltages to increase efficiency.
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