Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 • Category: Amplifiers
Several years ago, National Semiconductor came up with some very high performance, easy to use audio power amplifier LM3886 circuits. I needed an extra amp so I can bi-amp some of my homemade electrostatic speakers so I tried the LM3886 chip. LM3886 amplifier was chosen because of ease of use, performance, low distortion and a built-in protection against short circuits and thermal instability. There is not much to remove a power amp, than asking. When driving electrostatic speakers, you can not be much protection.
There are people who have “golden ears” and the feeling, provided that no application note scheme is never good enough for it to “Optimize” to “improvements” to make a claim. The problem is that most of them do not engineers and have no idea what the possible consequences of their “improvements” can be. For example, for a few years if these chips were popular with the audiophile crowd, it was all the rage at minimum power filter caps for “Best Sound” to use. We are talking about 500 uF on each power rail for each chip used LM3886 amplifier. This is clearly insufficient and leads to a distortion in the volume low enough that the power supply sags under load. The problem was that some of the golden ears of the large power supply rejection IC spec saw and thought it meant that the chip could tolerate the 10V power supply ripple. The pendulum has swung the other way, and now many music lovers are sufficient amounts of energy storage in the diet.
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