Posted on Sunday, January 30, 2011 • Category: Amplifiers
Many electronic projects require the use of a small audio amplifier. Be it a radio transceiver, a digital voice recorder, or an intercom, they all call for an audio amp that is small, cheap, and has enough power to provide adequate loudness to fill a room, without pretending to serve a disco! About one Watt RMS seems to be a convenient size, and this is also about the highest power that a simple amplifier fed from 12V can put into an 8 Ohm speaker. A very low saturation amplifier may go as high up as 2 Watt, but any higher power requires the use of a higher voltage power supply, lower speaker impedance, a bridge circuit, or a combination of those.
During my many years building electronic things I have needed small audio amps many times, and have pretty much standardized on a few IC solutions, first and and foremost the LM386, which is small, cheap, and very easy to use. But it does not produce high quality audio... For many applications, the advantages weigh more than the distortion and noise of this chip, so that I used it anyway. In other cases I used different chips, which perform better but need more complex circuits. Often these chips were no longer available the next time I needed a small amplifier. LM3886 Amplifier Gainclone 100W Car Subwoofer Amplifier 400W Stereo Marshall Leach Amplifier 700W Leach Amplifier LM386 Audio Amplifier Stereo Audio Amplifier with TDA2616 General Purpose 2 Watt Stereo Power Amplifier LM3875 Gainclone Amplifier Battery Powered Amplifier LM386 Amplifier
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