The Amplifier Institute Library: The Book Stacks.

Updated: 8 Mar 2001
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I have a lot of books, but very few that I actively use in audio design. It is pretty rare that a problem can be solved just by opening a book and reading the answer. Often the best you can hope for is some more information about the problem, which may or may not lead you to a solution. If you're grappling with a power amp problem, reading about a truly clever piece of analogue IC design is unlikely to be of any direct help, but at least it reminds you just what the human brain can do when we get down to it.

The titles below are some of my favourites, because they go beyond the obvious "me too" textbooks which endlessly repeat the basics. Very worthy, no doubt, but you need something to get your teeth into when you've done the basics. Here is a slice of my bookshelf.

FeuchtHandbook of Analog Circuit DesignAcademic Press 1990
A first class textbook on electronics that goes well beyond the usual textbooks. Contains material I have not seen anywhere else. For example, it has the only serious discussion I have ever seen on parasitic oscillation in emitter-followers.ISBN 0-12-254240-1

Williams edAnalog Circuit Design: Art, Science, & PersonalitiesButterworth-Heinemann 1991
A quite brilliant collection of technical articles by Jim Williams, Bob Pease, Derek Bowers, George Erdi, Paul Brokaw, and others. Contains much fascinating personal and historical info as well as lots of hardcore tech.ISBN 0-7506-9166-2

Williams edThe Art & Science of Analog Circuit DesignButterworth-Heinemann 1995
Another brilliant collection. Downright Inspirational! Articles by Richard Feynmann, Barrie Gilbert, and other luminaries.ISBN 0-7506-9505-6

Langford-SmithRadio Designer's HandbookAcademic Press 1990
The classic handbook on valve design, with the emphasis on radios, but with lots of stuff on valve pre and power amplifiers.ISBN 0-7506-3635-1

AntognettiPower Integrated Circuits: Physics, Design, and Applications.McGraw-Hill
If you think that IC power amps are cheap and nasty, then you're dead right. However, this goes into more detail on general audio power amplifier design than most books do. Useful stuff on reactive loads.ISBN 0-07-002129-5

Roulston Bipolar Semiconductor DevicesMcGraw-Hill
If you need to get really involved with the details of how bipolar transistors work, this is more accessible than most textbooks. There is plenty of mathematics but most of it is fairly straightforward. ISBN 0-07-100887-X

Smith, J IModern Operational Circuit Design.Wiley-Interscience 1971
This is a wonderful book that offers real insight into general design with op-amps. Beautifully written. Out of print, but if you can get hold of a copy, do. I searched with and found one copy at Zubal Books in Cleveland, priced at $80; they clearly know what a gem they have...ISBN 0-471-80194-1

Jerald Graeme (Burr-Brown)Amplifier Applications of OpampsMcGraw-Hill 1999
A really detailed examination of opamps as amplifiers. For audio the chapters on variable-gain amplifiers, differential-input amps and differential-output amps are very good, with some non-obvious circuitry. Configurations are analysed in remorseless detail.ISBN: 0-07-134642-2

Jerald Graeme (Burr-Brown)Designing With Operational Amplifiers: Applications Alternatives.McGraw-Hill 1977
Excellent. More on general applications, rather than just amplifier stages, from one of the top experts.ISBN: 0-07-023891-X

FrederiksonIntuitive Operational AmplifiersMcGraw-Hill
One of the best books on opamps. Details of internal operation (remember a power amp is just a big opamp) as well as useful applications. Very readable.ISBN 0-07-021967-2

Jung, W GAudio IC Op-Amp ApplicationsSams. 3rd edn 1987
A useful guide to opamps. There is a nice little nugget on stages with defined output impedance on p207. There are some useful datasheets at the back.ISBN 0-672-22452-6

Williams & TaylorElectronic Filter Design Handbook.McGraw-Hill
A mighty tome. If you need to get into some serious filter design, this is a good resource. Comes with a CD which I have never had time to start up.ISBN 0-07-070441-4

I use:
Pspice 5.4 for DOSA very old version of Pspice for DOS, in fact. Given the outrageous price of the Windows version, I don't see me upgrading any time soon. PSpice has the ability to do calculations and plot the result, so you can examine quantities like instantaneous power dissipation just by plotting V*I. This is so useful that a simulator without it is just junk as far as I'm concerned.
Mathcad 6.0Much better for complicated calculations than a spreadsheet, and with superior graphing capabilities. 6.0 is another ancient version, so no doubt the modern one is better.

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