The Audio Power Amplifier Design Handbook.

Greatly expanded Fifth Edition out now

Page updated:
29 Mar 2010

ISBN 978-0-240-52162-6

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"I have written a slim monograph, Watson, on the 500 varieties of cigar ash..."

This book is a unique collection of detailed information on audio power amplifier design. The Fifth Edition is a major update which adds more than 50% in size. Almost every section contains new content. From any good/big bookshop, or via Elsevier or Amazon. See link below:

583 pages. ISBN 978-0-240-52162-6
Published by Focal Press, an imprint of Elsevier.

Learn more about purchasing this book from:

The Elsevier Site

Amazon books UK

Amazon books USA



I try to make sure everything I write is wholly free from errors. Being but human and fallible, I sometimes fail.

On p98, Fig 4.19: TR1, TR2, TR3, TR5, TR8, TR9, TR13 are shown as NPN; they should all be PNP.

On p102, Fig 4.19: TR1, TR2, TR3, TR5, TR13, TR14 are shown as NPN; they should all be PNP.

On p561, Fig 20.23a, pins 1 and 2 of the XLR have been swopped in error.


Early copies of the First Edition had Fig 9.7 on p207, and Fig 9.19 on p220 corrupted. You can download clean versions here:

Fig 9.7 (19K file) . Fig 9.19 (21K file)

This is a uniquely detailed guide to the theory and practice of audio power amplifiers, running from the elegantly simple mathematics of the differential pair to the practicalities of bolting down power transistors properly.

It includes the first complete explanation of the complex business of power amplifier distortion. It shows how the many sources of non-linearity can be eliminated or minimised, allowing amplifiers to be designed and constructed with performance that would have been thought impossible a few years ago. It provides information that is indispensable whether you are making one amplifier for the ultimate home system, or setting up a production line to make 10,000 units a year.

	New Findings in amplifier design
	Science & Subjectivism
	The Performance Requirements
	A Short History of Amplifier Design
	How Negative Feedback really works
	The Eight distortion mechanisms
	Diagnosis via distortion residuals
	The input stage: how it can cancel distortion
	The Voltage-Amplifier Stage
	Output stages
	Amplifiers and reactive loads
	Anomalous loudspeaker behaviour
	Interchannel crosstalk
	Compensation, Slew-Rate, and Stability
	Power Supplies and PSRR
	Class-A amplifiers, with a design example
	Class-G amplifiers
	FET output stages: why they are a bad idea
	Load Invariant Power Amplifiers
	Thermal compensation and thermal dynamics
	Amplifier and Loudspeaker protection
	Grounding systems
	Mechanical design constraints
	Testing, Fault-finding and safety requirements

	Completely new chapter on the Class-XD Crossover-Displacement
	principle as used by Cambridge Audio

	Big new section on double input stages
	A big new section on power transistors with internal sensing diodes
	Big new section on input stage common-mode distortion

	More on:
	Four-stage amplifier architectures
	Amplifier bridging
	Amplifier stability
	Advanced line input stages
	Ultra-low-noise design
	Better DC servo design
	Output stages with gain
	Inrush current suppression
	Transformers and hum fields
	The subtleties of cooling fan control
	Thermal protection
	DC offset protection
	Infra-red control
	Signal activation
	12V trigger activation
	Professional power amplifiers 
	The latest safety regulations and requirements

	... and much more

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