You are on page 1of 12

Build a MOSFET Citation 12

art by K IRK R A D E R

Audio Amateur has published a number of THE HARMON KARDON IG. 1 f

projects modifying popular kits, usually CITATION 12 I I
Dynaco’s. Obviously it is much less ex-
pensive to use the chassis and power The Citation 12, introduced about 10
supply, pots, connectors, switches, PC years ago, is based on the circuitry
boards, and heat sinks that can be had found in the RCA transistor manuals
for the price of a kit than to buy the com- (for example, see RCA data sheet file
ponents individually or have them #647). This circuitry was the basis for
made. Creating a one-off copy commer- nearly all the quasi-complementary Fil. 1. Morft, tube, and bipolar drawing.
cially typically costs as much as making L-

10 copies of the same item, because the _

dominant costs are design and set-up IG. * lO.OOA
time which do not increase with quanti-
ty. Small wonder then that most techni-
cians and designers who write for this
and similar magazines base their pro- /RF-I00
jects on yesterday’s readily available BIPOLAR MOSFET
kits, which, often as not, languish unap-
preciated in closets and basements. This
is one such project.
We will, however, do two things here
you may not have seen before. We’ll
modify the Harmon Kardon Citation
12, a popular device which has somehow
escaped the kit modifier’s attention; and l.OOA
we’ll do so with power mosfet circuitry
instead of the traditional bipolar power
transistors. This project is for experienc-
ed builders only, and Harmon Kardon
want me to remind you that it will void
any warranty coverage on the Citation
12: .3OA

After this article was prepared In-
ternational Rectifier withdrew the
IRF-100 from production and dis-
tribution and offered an alter- .0/A
native, the IRF-130 as a replace- GRID 2 =
ment. 3oov
Author Pass has tested these new
devices in the prototype and re-
ports that performance is as good
or better than that using the .0_3A
IRF-100’s. The change came too ov /V 2v 3v 4v 5v 6V 7v 8V
late to alter the diagrams so the text B I P O L A R - MOSFET ‘ON ’ V O L T A G E -

and drawings have been left in -35v -30v -25v -20v -/sv -/ov -5v ov
their original form. In all cases 7027A GRID ! ‘CONTROL’ VOLTAGE VS CURRENT
where IRF-100 is indicated, the
Fit. 2 Characteristics of Mosfts, tubes, and bipolars.
IRF-130 should be used.-EDITOR.


=IG. 3
designs in existence, as typified by the 200
large power amplifiers of the early ‘70’s.
so --
In its time the Citation 12 was a truly 2N3055
excellent amplifier, e m p l o y i n g a VCE’4
number of concepts which have only
recently become popular: dual split 100 --

power supplies, DC output coupling, 70 --

and no active current limiting. These HFE 5 0 - -

characteristics allowed it to sonically
outperform the Dynaco 120 which was 30 --
its popular competitor. It could drive
anything with high reliability, and in the 20 --

time I spent as a repair technician I

fixed a few Dynaco, Phase Linear,
M c I n t o s h , Pioneer, a n d S a n s u i 10 -1
.2 .3 .5 .7 I 2 3 5 7 IO 2 0
amplifiers, but I’ve never seen a broken DC COLLECTOR CURRENT (AMPS)
Citation 12. Fig. 3. Bipolar current gain cwuc.
I have another, nostalgic, reason for
choosing the Citation 12: it was the first
amplifier I built myself. About eight :IG.4 20A

years ago, when I was an impecunious

student working part-time for ESS Inc. vG5= 7 V
(no, I did not design their electronics),
the home-brew power amplifier built by
a friend broke down, leaving me without
music. Like most of you in a similar
position, I decided to do without some
other necessity, and shortly my kitchen
table was covered with solder blobs and
the parts to the Citation 12. 1 6V

I decided to fire up the completed unit i2A - -

on a variac instead of merely plugging it

into the wall: and was dismayed to
discover that both channels exhibited ex-
tremely large DC offset when I applied
AC power. After some weeks of recheck- 8A--
ing my work and finding no errors, I 5v
finally decided to connect it up and plug /
it into the wall anyway?* When I did,
the woofers on my speakers plunged ful-
ly forward as if attempting to escape the 4A--
amplifier; but after a few seconds they
returned to normal and music appeared. 4 v
Thus I discovered one of the Citation’s
few faults: an enormous subsonic turn-
on thump. 3 v
1 I
I kept the amplifier for several years 0 - I I 1
and ultimately sold it to a friend, only to 0 IOV 2 o v 4 o v 5OV
end up buying it back. It sat in my closet

for a long time, a candidate for that Fig. 4. Characterzsttc of IRF 1001.
perfect project, until one day at
Threshold we discovered a vendor had will treat the mosfet as a black box change in output current versus input
accidentally shipped us several power possessing certain simple characteristics. voltage is greatest in the bipolar tran-
mosfets instead of diodes, and this arti- In the power mosfet we have a gain sistor, a difference resulting from its be-
cle began falling into place. The power device which combines the best proper- ing a current gain device, where the in-
mosfets, reasonable analogs of the ties of tubes and bipolar transistors. put current is to be multiplied linearly
hornetaxial npn devices in the Citation Seen in Fig. 1, the gate is analogous to by the gain. Figure 3 gives a better pic-
12, fit quite neatly into the original the grid and the base, the source cor- ture of the bipolar device’s gain and its
layout and provide for a state-of-the-art responds to the cathode and emitter, comparative linearity. As Fig. 2 shows,
super-position upon a classic piece of and the drain corresponds to the plate power mosfets and tubes have similar
circuitry, improving the speed and and collector. characteristics, but the mosfet has much
distortion characteristics in an even In all cases the current through the higher transconductance and operates at
more simple topology than in the device (terminal 1 to terminal 3) is a bipolar voltages. Considered overall, the
original. function primarily of the voltage be- power mosfet is like a tube but retains
tween terminals 1 and 3. As the voltage the high transconductance and current
increases between 2 and 3 and/or be- of bipolar technology. Power mosfets
As is the case with most electronic com- tween 1 and 3, so does the current can also be made complementary, with
ponents, an exact understanding of through terminals 1 and 3. Figure 2 the p and n charactertistics comparable
mosfet operation is a formidable goal, shows a typical relationship of these to pnp and npn bipolar transistors,
and I won’t address it here, rather we parameters for mosfets, tubes, and where the devices’ polarity makes them
bipolar transistors. mirror each other. a f e a t u r e n o t
*rctr>mmrn<lrd .‘““1 rrrommcnded In Fig. 2 we note that the rate of available in tubes.


ADVANTAGES OF power mosfets may not necessarily be Fortunately, in actual use much of the
POWER MOSFETS paralleled without the use of source capacitance is associated with the gate-
The power mosfets used in this project resistances to equalize the current draw source, which sees only a small fraction
are International Rectifier IRF 130’s, a between devices. Unless the devices are of the gate-to-drain voltage swing. In
150 watt, 100 volt, 12 amp device in a matched, the designer cannot assume our project amplifier, .003A from the
TO-3 style case. They are part of a that one device will not take on more or front end circuitry will drive the positive
relatively new line of transistors using less than its share of the load. In more output transistor’s capacitance at about
IR’s proprietary hexfet process, which than one commercially available ampli- 4OVI@ for an effective capacitance of
combines a particularly high voltage fier paralleled mosfets are accompanied some 100pF. This is about five times
capability with very fast switching times by source resistors, to ensure that their better than the raw capacitance figure
and low saturation losses. Except for the characteristics are equalized. quoted for the device, indicating that
steep price tags, this type of device has a One more aspect affecting these most of the effective capacitance is gate
number of advantages over regular bi- device’s audio quality is their relatively to source.
polar transistors in audio power high intrinsic capacitance, on the order I must mention one final and actual
amplifier use. of 500-lOOOpF, which makes special drawback. Because the transconduc-
First, their simple low current cir- demands on any circuitry which would tance is low compared to bipolars, there
cuitry eliminates the need for driver realize the high speed capability. For ex- is significant loss in maximum power for
transistors. Second, they are immune to ample, the current required to slew a follower unless the source voltage can
the second breakdown phenomenon lOOV/$S i n t o 1OOOpF is .lA, a c o n - deliver several more volts than the sup-
which robs bipolar transistors of their siderably higher current than most front ply to the output transistor, resulting in
power rating at higher voltages. This end circuits are designed to source either lower efficiency, or the use of
breakdown results from the positive without an additional g>in stage. tiered power supplies to feed the
temperature coefficient which en-
courages local current hogging within a :IG. 5

area on the chip, so that at higher

voltages one small part of the transistor R3
tends to do most of the work, resulting Q6
RI :
in more probable failure. In a power
mosfet the temperature coefficient is Q4
negative, and energy dissipates more
evenly across the surface of the chip,
allowing full power application at the
highest rated voltage. This characteristic
also avoids the bipolar design problem
of thermal bias runaway, and eliminates
costly compensations to maintain reli-
able operation over a range of condi-
Third, because mosfets are majority (,
carrier devices (bipolars are minority Q 3 Q 7
carriers) their intrinsic speed is much
higher. Rise and fall times are about ,b / ,b

150ns while similarly rugged bipolar

R2 R5
devices have rise and fall times several
factors larger.
Fig. 5. Citation 12 conceptual schematic.
Basically, there aren’t any. Some ad- ZIG. 6
vantages popularly attributed to them
are however, not necesarily true. For ex- P 3
ample, the negative temperature coeffi-
Q6 D
cient does not in itself guarantee the RI X

device is indestructible. While this cha- R 4

racteristic eliminates the second break-
C l E,
down mechanism, it does not offer bet- 0
ter reliability at lower voltage levels, so
that in many well designed bipolar
amplifiers (including the Citation 12)
this effect does not provide for signili-
cantly better reliability.
In many applications the power
mosfet will exhibit greater linearity than
bipolar devices. An important exception
to this is when the device is used as a
follower driven by a low impedance
source. In this case, the higher intrinsic
transconductance allows for more ac-
curate voltage following and experimen-
tally, bipolars show about one-third the
distortion of mosfets. Fig. 6. Mozfet 12 conceptual schematic.
Also contrary to popular conception,


FIG. 7





Y U S E D lN

Fig. 7. Citation 12 schematic.

‘IG. 8

/RF- 100



210 % M Y L A R

A L L RESi5TORS A RE R L - 0 7 M E TA L F I LM 2 %, 1/4 w


Fig. 8. Mm&-t 12 schematic.


amplifier’s front end several more volts equally to Q and Qs. The 1mA of cur- load may produce. Re, RT, and C3 form
than the output stage. rent through Q then goes through RZ to the feedback loop, with a low frequency
provide the approximately .65V bias be- rolloff of .7Hz.
CIRCUITRY tween the base and emitter of Q. This A word is appropriate here to explain
The IRF 130’s selected for this project DC current with an AC component the operation of the bootstrapping cir-
are sufficiently similar to the original modulates the current through Q, cuitry of RB, R+, and Ci. The idea is to
HK-12 devices that they lit into the which, passed through the high im- cheaply achieve the effect of a constant
amplifier’s quasi-complementary pedance of R3 and R+ (bootstrapped by current source load for Q, where the
topology with a minimum of modifica- C,) produces a large voltage gain at the AC impedance of the load is very high,
tion, as seen in the simplified schematics collector of Q. This voltage gain is giving maximal gain for that stage, and
of the HK-12 and the project circuit in followed by Q, and on the negative half w h o s e D C i m p e d a n c e i s RS + Rh
Figs. 5 and 6. of the circuit, by the Q,, Q combina- (9.4kG). This provides about 3mA of
In Fig. 5 we see the standard differen- tion. In this scheme of things, Rs’s ac- DC class A bias current for Q without
tial input pair (Q, Qz) driving an npn tion is similar to Rz’s, and Rg limits Q’s loading the gain stage.
voltage gain transistor (Q) where Ri gain. This effect occurs because the point
and Rz are used to properly bias the The combination of Ri6, Ris, and Rio between RS and Rd is bootstrapped by
three transistors. The output of Q sees damp out the resonances which would C 1, which is connected to the amplifier’s
a bootstrapped current source (Rs, Rh, develop from the combinations of gain low impedance output and causes the
and C,) and a bias voltage source for the devices and internal capacitances, and node between RS and R+ to follow the
output stage. Q provides a level shifting prevent parasitic oscillation. CS is in output. Because the output voltage is
device which elicits complementary ac- series with RI0 to ensure that this nearly identical to the voltage at the col-
tion from Q, the negative output tran- resistor is not driven by audio frequen- lector of Q, the voltage across Ra is
sistor, and Q+ provides the follower cur- cies, which would overheat and destroy nearly constant, resulting in effectively
rent gain to drive Q, the positive output it. C*, a damping capacitor, enhances constant current through R+, the action
transistor. The Fig. 6 circuit is basically the circuit’s stability by providing a of a constant current source. In this
the same; but Q and Q have become secondary high frequency loop, causing way, Q can swing full output into an 80
power mosfets and Qt has disappeared the feedback loop to ignore the output’s load with only about 10 percent varia-
because the additional current gain is high frequency operation in favor of the tion about the bias current, as opposed
not required to drive Q. front end’s low-order output at frequen- to the f 100 percent variation that
cies above 800kHz. This allows the would occur without the bootstrapping.
THE ACTUAL SCHEMATIC amplifier’s input stage to dominate the This contributes greatly to the system’s
In Figs. 7 and 8 we see the actual high frequency response with a less than gain and linearity and achieves the
schematics of the two power amplifiers; two-pole characteristic, providing for highly desirable effect of the constant
for clarity the part numbers correspond high stability under transient condi- current source with great simplicity and
to Figs. 5 and 6. In Fig. 8, Rii and CT tions. little cost. The effect is good across the
filter the power supply line to prevent The bias network of Figs. 5 and 6 has AC band, rolling off at about .14Hz on
ripple and transients from modulating been replaced by Qp, Ri7, Ris, and Cg, the low end and at about 300kHz at high
the bias, causing noise and distortion. forming a constant-voltage source trim- frequencies.
RI2 and C2 form a low pass filter to pre- mable by R17 and frequency-stabilized
vent spurious high frequency input by Cs. DS ensures symmetric clipping, CONSTRUCTION
signals from being amplified. and D,, D2 provide a current path for Start by removing the PC board and
Resistor RI feeds 2mA of current the flyback energy which an inductive stripping off all components except the

FIG. 9


3 A
__z t_ 6 0 0 0
4 :,


Fi’. 9. Power supp(p schematic.



connectors. Use solder wick or a solder
sucker, and take great care not to FIG. 11 FIG. 12

separate the copper foil from the PC

board. You will also have to remove
many of the components from the
underside of the chassis (see Fig. 13), in-
cluding the heat sinks. While you may
elect to retain the original input and out-
put connectors, I replaced mine with
higher quality gold-plated types.
You may also elect to retain the
original amplifier’s output breakers
and/or thermostats; however, I removed
them as unnecessary. Personally, I don’t
trust the quality of connection offered by
the output transistor sockets (especially
old ones) and I decided not to use them,
preferring solder connections to the
TO-3 pins. Remove and discard all the
capacitors on the underside of the
chassis except the four computer grade
electrolytic power supply capacitors.
Figure 13 shows the primary AC wir-
ing; it lacks the thermostats but is other-
wise virtually identical to the original.
Mount the power mosfet output devices
on the heat sinks, using mica TO-3 in-
sulators, silicone grease, plastic shoulder
washers, 6-32 screws/washers/nuts, and
a solder lug for electrical connection to
the transistor case (drain).
Figure 14 shows the output transistor
wiring with the lead wires soldered to
the pins. The wires from the outputs
feed down through the holes in the

FIG. 10
PARTS LIST (one channel)

Rs, Ris 1on

RN 3303
R7 4703
RB, Ru, RIS 68OQ
RI3 8203
Rs, R,I lk
Rl 3.3k
R3, R1, RIG 4.7k
Rs, RIO, Rlr 10k
RI 18k
R20 1OQ 1W 5% carbon
R17 5k CTS vert. PC mount
All resistors are % W f 2% metal film
RL-07, or * 1% RN-55D or equiv.
unless otherwise specified.
c1 470/5OV Radial Electrolytic
390pf f 5 % Dipped Silver Mica
c”: 20pF f 5% Dipped Silver Mica
470/16V Radial Elect.
c”: 4.7125V Tant.
CS 47l5OV Radial Elect.
C7 .068/1OOV Mylar
Q, Q, Q MPS-L51 M o t o r o l a
MPS-LO1 Motorola
Z:$ International Rectifier
D1, Dz, Ds lN4004
2 .01/1.4kV CAPS IN
Fix. Il. Component side of PCB. Fix. 12. Foil side of PCB
4 .47/1oov


chassis to the connector pins as shown in amplifier will run quite well without the polarities of the components and
Fig. 13. After mounting the output them. I also placed .OlpF capacitors avoid damaging the components by
devices to the heat sinks, check first for across the dioded bridges to suppress rf overheating the leads when soldering.
possible connection between the tran- emission by the diodes; these too are op- As this project is for the more advanced
sistor case or either of the two pins and tional. home-brewer, I will not mention that
the heat sink. Use an ohmmeter with Figures 11 and 12 display the compo- the use of a solder gun is forbidden.
one probe connected to an unanodized nent layout on both sides of the PC Leave the TO-92 transistor leads as long
portion of the heat sink, (possibly in the board and are self-explanatory. Please as possible. Q and Q require press-fit
tapped holes) and the other probe note the 18 gauge jumper wires on the heat sinks.
touching the various parts of the tran- back. Two replace the coil/resistor in
sistor. The transistor must not connect series with the output of the original cir- TURNING ON THE AMPLIFIER
with the heat sink. cuit (a standard feature on 99 percent of When you first switch on the amplifier,
When you have mounted and wired today’s solid state amplifiers), and to turn the bias pots so as to exhibit max-
the output transistors, reattach the heat reduce the distortion inherent in the imum resistance. This minimizes the
sinks to the chassis and solder the wires original PC board. The original PC art- amplifier’s initial bias current when first
to the PC board connector pins. Note in work, of which more than one version fired up, a valuable safety precaution
Fig. 13 that some of the pins are hard- apparently exists, takes the feedback which should be checked with an ohm-
wired together to achieve the best possi- from a point separated from the actual meter. The pot’s wrong extreme setting
ble connector contact by paralleling con- output node by a short length of copper should read about 0 ohms and the right
nections to the PC board. Also shown in which carries an asymmetrical portion setting will read 5000 ohms, depending
Fig. 13 are the .47pF/lOOV capacitors of the output current. The feedback thus on the polarity of the probes (note the pn
which I placed in parallel with the power operates off a voltage several milivolts junction of the bias transistor).
supply capacitors to achieve lower removed from the actual output, The following test is important, and
dissipation factor at the highest frequen- generating even-ordered distortions. should be carefully performed, first for
cies. These are optional and the As always, take special care to orient Continued on page 14


t. t-

‘~_. _- _ _.. .- ---.__._.__-./


Fig. 13. Underside of chassis.


floating with respect to the oscilloscope only a variac, slowly raise the line voltage
BUILD A MOSFET CITATION 12 (you can do this by using a 3-to-2 prong to the channel while watching the out-
Continued from page 12 cheater adaptor on the oscillator’s AC put. The output voltage should exhibit
line if it has an earth connection). The DC offset at first and then settle into a
one channel and then for the other. oscilloscope itself should be earth *2V sine wave; if it does, continue to
Remove the AC line fuse of the channel grounded. Measure the output without slowly raise the voltage until the full line
not being tested and install a 1A fast a load, connecting it and its ground to voltage is achieved. If you manage this
blow fuse in the channel being tested. the oscilloscope input. without blowing the fuse, the next step is
Drive the channel at a low level (. IV) at Set the scope vertical scale at 5V/div to slowly increase the input voltage from
1kHz by an oscillator whose ground is and the horizontal at .2mS/div. U s i n g Continued on page 16
FIG. 15
TABLE 1 2608
Distortion Figures of the Two Units

Left Right Left Right
20H ,025 ,027 ,010 ,010
1OOH ,024 ,023 ,009 ,009
1kH ,018 ,022 ,006 ,007
5kH ,023 ,024 ,016 ,019
20kH ,045 ,060 ,050 ,064
IM ,012 ,015 ,020 ,024

20H ,025 ,028 ,008 ,008
1OOH ,022 .023 ,006 ,007
1kH ,015 ,020 ,005 ,006
5kH ,021 ,025 ,015 ,018 2 2 LIB --

20kH ,095 ,120 ,050 ,058

IM ,034 ,040 ,012 ,015

20H ,022 ,028 ,007 ,008
1OOH ,025 .028 ,006 ,007
1kH ,022 ,024 ,004 ,005
5kH .027 ,031 ,013 ,016
20kH ,190 ,240 ,044 ,052
IM ,060 ,065 ,007 ,009 _
FIG. 16

20H ,075 ,050 ,007 .008
1OOH ,090 ,070 ,007 ,007
1kH ,085 .080 ,004 .004
5kH ,075 ,076 ,013 ,015
20kH ,390 ,540 ,041 ,055
IM ,140 ,130 ,007 ,007

FIG. 14





SOURCE - 3o”--


/1 1 I 1 I
Fig. 14. Mosfet wiring diagram. I /O /co ,K IOK IOOK


FIG. 17
Continued from page 14
/ --
the oscillator until the output reaches
-60 W- RT clipping (at about f 3OV), watching for
-6OW- LT oscillation or severe distortion.
Having accomplished that, repeat the
.3 -- /
test for the other channel. When both
Continued on page 18
- - - - _ _ _ _
./ -- -
_--- -- _ --- _ i ,-/W-RT

.03 --

.0/ --

,003 - -
,002 ____________________--______-___---

,001 I , 11 4 I 1I I I 1I i
IO 30 100 300 lK 3K IOK 30K Fig. 21. 20k THD wauc HK-12
Fig. 17. HK-I.? distortion curues.

FIG. 18

I --

.3 --

./ -- &&k x: Fig. 22. 20k square waue HK-12

.03 -- p / z

/ /
/ y
.Ol --
=_z_-_~.=Y,_ _ _ _ _ _ ’ 2
-1 - - - - - - I ’
,003 - -

.OOZ R E S_____~~_-_~~.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ID U A L DIS T O R T IO N

/ I
.oo/ I I II I
IO 30 IGC 3CO lK 3K IOK 70
Fig, 18. MF-12 distortion cumes.
Fi’. 23. 20k square ulaue MF-12

Fi,. 19 1kHz T H D uxue MF-12. Fig 20. 20k THD W~UE MF-12 Fig. 24. Current through outpuf stage MF-12.


the channel for 15 minutes by placing Figure 25 shows how one amplifier
BUILD A MOSFET CITATION 12 your hand on the heat sink. Ideally the channel (A) uses the oscillator’s signal to
Continued from page 16 channel should operate slightly warm at source current into the other channel (B)
idle. If it becomes hotter than this, ad- through an 83 resistor. At the output of
channels operate successfully without a just the bias current down. If it stays channel B we will find that channel A’s
load, repeat the test for each channel cool, you may with care, slightly in- voltage output has been divided by
with a 4A fuse and an 89 load, still crease the bias. channel B’s damping factor. In this
watching for waveform problems or fuse After 15 more minutes recheck each amplifier the broadband output impe-
blowing. You will see crossover distor- channel’s temperature and distortion, dance is .0640 (83/.0643 = 125 damp-
tion at this point, which is normal for an readjusting as necessary. If you are for- ing factor), resulting in a condition
unbiased amplifier. tunate enough to possess a current pro- where channel A’s voltage output is
When both channels can successfully be, this entire procedure can be ac- reduced to .8% at the channel B output,
drive an 83 load at full power, it is time complished by simply setting each chan- plus the distortion of channel B caused
to bias the amplifier’s output stage. Put nel to draw lOOmA from the supply, by sinking the current.
most simply, we want to adjust the bias again rechecking after 15 minutes. At channel B’s output we therefore
potentiometer so as to remove crossover Alternatively, you may monitor the bias see the channel’s notch and other distor-
distortion, a condition which cor- current by inserting 1Q in series with the tions in response to channel A’s drive
responds to about lOOmA of idle current positive power supply lead and measur- conditions, but much less obscured by
through the output stage. We can do this ing 1OOmV DC across it. the fundamental voltage. Because in this
as follows. and most other amplifiers the distortions
Using the test setup shown in Fig. 2.5 USING THE AMPLIFIER are dominated by current fluctuations (a
(see following paragraphs) and with the TO ANALYZE ITSELF concept addressed b y t h e S t a s i s
drive channel at +8V into the 8h2 load, It may surprise you to know that one amplifiers) this serves as a useful and in-
look at the notch distortion on the other can quite easily perform cursory distor- expensive bench technique and for the
channel and adjust the bias poten- tion analysis on this (and many) power most part it is easy to see the distortion
tiometer until the spike just disap- amplifiers using an 83 power resistor, added to a .8% fundamental. This
pears--and not more. Be careful here: it is an oscilloscope, oscillator, and the am- procedure is useful in biasing the
easy to set the bias too high in search of plifier itself. The oscilloscope need not amplifier as You can clearly see
perfection. Disconnect the load and be of particularly high quality and the crossover notch and other effects.
monitor the operating temperature of oscillator need not have low distortion. Continued on page 46
FIG. 25


Fig. 25. Distortton hookup.


* .225V sinewave) plus an equivalent of B and AB amplifiers. This gives reduced
BUILD A MOSFET CITATION 12 channel B’s distortion when operated at crossover distortion and the quasi-Class
Continued from page 18 that level into 8ti. In this case a .28V A operation at lower levels which other-
peak distortion spike would indicate a wise we could only achieve in a bipolar
This test will also reveal distortions 1% peak distortion (not uncommon in circuit with dynamic biasing.
caused by poor connections between the amplifier’s with .1 ‘$J average distortion). The amplifier is sonically a significant
PC board and the connectors (some- improvement over the original, par-
thing I encountered in the actual unit PERFORMANCE ticularly in the high end where the Cita-
and which I cured by cleaning and Figures 15-24 document the performance tion 12’s veiled characteristic is replaced
reseating the connectors). To evaluate of the prototype amplifier, which was by a detailed, somewhat sweet sound.
the percentage of distortion remember built without selected components. Of The imaging and midrange definition
that the voltages seen by the ‘scope particular note are the distortion and are also much improved; but the bass
divided by the output voltage of the square wave comparisons against the response (one of the Citation 12’s
other channel will equal the fraction of original, showing a significant improve- strongest points) remains much the
distortion. For example, if channel A’s ment in distortion characteristic and same-ideal for planar loudspeakers like
output is at + 28V (20VRMS) through transient response. Figure 24 shows the MG II’s, less so for acoustic suspension
the 8 Ohms into channel B, then chan- current waveform through half the out- woofers.
nel B’s output will show a signal com- put stage. Note that the current through In conclusion, I hope many of you
prised of channel A’s fundamental the output device idles down instead of will try this one and enjoy yourselves.
divided by the damping factor (for shutting off abruptly as in bipolar Class No amplifier sounds as good as the one

margin to the design and was not really tions get more pronounced at higher
POWER MODIFICATIONS necessary. Watch the lead length on the power levels, since the output im-
for the ST- 150-BJ- 1, transistors themselves if you swap, pedance of the unregulated supply is
DH-200, and ST-400 however. The ST-150 heatsink is so fairly high, and also strongly frequency
Continued from page 45 thick that the leads barely make it into dependent.
the sockets, and some brands of tran- The fact that we can control sine wave
signal across the power supply caps when sistor make marginal contact. If in steady-state distortion with regulation
driven hard; this signal is the combina- doubt, use the old devices. almost certainly means that operating-
tion of both channels of load, and it Pat’s listening comments are more point-dependent distortions which are
couples the two channels together, than supported by my own experience; I the result of supply variations, such as
resulting in a variety of distortion pro- think the combination of changes dynamic compression and some types of
ducts. The stock regulator reduces this covered in his article turned a rather TIM, are being controlled as well. We
signal by 60dB (a l-volt signal is reduc- lackluster, low/medium power amp into have solid, measurable evidence that
ed to 1 millivolt at the regulator output); an open, dynamic, exciting regulation of the supply can make a
Walt’s additions to the circuit reduce it high/medium (140W/chan) amp which significant contribution to overall sonic
by 80dB (1 volt is reduced to 100 micro- is sonically the equal of anything I have performance.
volts at the output). Either way you are heard. The photos show the care and
going to see a substantial reduction in craftsmanship Pat has applied to the TEST RESULTS
problems from this source. changes, and demonstrate that the We performed tests into an 8fI nonin-
ST-150 was indeed an ideal candidate ductive load, both channels driven, after
IMPLEMENTING CHANGES both physically and electrically for the a 1 hour warmup period at 25W and
Pat used the Old Colony kit for the Pass addition of full regulation. 1kHz signal. Unregulated readings are
f 32V supply as the basis for his taken from Dyna supplied charts.
regulator; he wanted a 50 volt output, so RESULTS AND SIGNIFICANCE
he substituted a 33V zener for the 15V The test results show something even
zener supplied at Z2 (see Table 1). P a t more interesting than low distortion or IM vs. POWER
changed the value of Rs to 0.333 to give high power. The distortion of the
the regulator a 9.5A max current (see regulated amplifier is nearly constant at POWER REG. AMP UNREG.
my TAA l/80 article for details). He also all power levels, and across the entire (W) IM % AMP’ IM %
added a 2200pF cap to the output to flat- audio bandwidth. Let me stress the im- .1 .Ol ,011
ten the impedance curve at a low fre- portance of this finding. 1 .Ol ,018
quency. The Old Colony kits turned out The normal pattern of transistor 10 ,014 ,022
to be quite a bargain, as Pat ordered two amplifier designs, and of the unmodified 50 ,016 ,040
kits and received two complete plus and ST-150, is to have the THD measure- 75 ,017 .050
minus regulators in each kit. The kits all ments fluctuate by 50% of their 1 kHz 100 ,018 n/a
contained LM340T regulators, however values, or more, at various points in the 140 ,020 n/a
this is the result of my own drawing frequency spectrum. Also, the varia-
error in the l/80 article which showed an
LM340 regulator on the negative sche-
matic, where an LM320T-15 should THD vs. FREQUENCY, SEVERAL POWERS
have been. (Present kits include LM340T
and LM320T regulators. -ED./ Regulated Amp Unregulated Amp
We swapped the ST-150 output tran- Power .75W 7.5w 75w 140w .75w 7.5w 75w
sistors with the regulator transistors Freq.
(TR,) because the TCG180 and 181’s
supplied by Old Colony are 2OOW, 20Hz ,030 ,030 ,030 ,033 ,035 ,035 ,045
lOOV, 30A devices, and the amplifier 1OOHz ,030 ,030 ,030 ,033 ,035 ,035 ,045
output transistors will see larger power 1OOOHz .030 ,030 ,030 ,033 ,030 ,030 ,040
products t h a n t h e r e g u l a t o r p a s s 1OkHz ,030 .030 ,030 ,033 .031 ,031 ,035
elements. This change just gives a little 20kHz ,030 ,030 ,030 ,032 .035 .035 ,040


you built yourself”, and (
commercial amplifier will give ydu a:
much satisfaction or frustration. A:
careful as the Editor and I have been,
Ir; Audio Amateur Publications Til
are pleased to announce their appointment
there is probably an error or two; 1
recommend that you cross-check thr as agent in the United States for
parts list. schematic, and pc boarc
My amplifier has performed well fo1
six months, as of this writing, and I en-
countered no exotic problems during its
construction and testing. Nevertheless,
inevitably some of you will need help, The distinguished French publication tridge; Defining and measuring the prin-
which you may obtain by calling or dedicated to a new approach to high cipal characteristics of the high frequency
writing me at Threshold Corporation, quality audio: both construction and speaker; Do Asians and Europeans hear
1832 Tribute Road, Suite E, Sacramen- sonic arts. differently? Arts Sonores; Sound
t o , C A 95815-(916) 927-5061. L’Audiophile is a 140 page bi- Engineers’ View: Pierre Lavoix of Erato;
monthly, 7x9% “, beautifully printed Listening to the Onken-Mahul system; The
Although I am pleased to help, those of
and illustrated magazine which ex- Saxhorns, a study of the tuba’s cousins;
you who call should be reconciled to the The Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, study
possibility of only a short conversation. plores the engineering reasons for
of a hall; Outstanding new discs; Impulse
Good luck, and have fun. 0 high quality ‘in sound reproduction
testing linear and non-linear systems.
equipment. Published now for nearly
four years by Editions Frequences The viewpoints expressed by L’Aud-
and edited by Gerard Chretien and iophile’s editors are personal, opin-
Jean Hiraga, the articles critically ex- ionated, and are a refreshing depar-
Audio Aids amine all sorts of equipment and
study such matters as component ef-
ture from the views generally current
in the USA. The magazine does not
Continued from page 50 fects on sound and the question of take advertising and unhesitatingly
the relevance of measurements ver- takes positions about relative merits
were used throughout, not so much for sus subjective evaluations. M. Hiraga of equipment which includes US, UK
accuracy as for lower noise and increas- brings a strong Japanese interest to Japanese and F rench gear.
ed stability. the magazine and often discusses un- Although L’hdiophile is published
I used LM353 bi-FET op amps in usual Japanaese products. in French, the text is relatively easy to
place of the 5558’s. The magazine also devotes a large translate for anyone with a year or
The project finally completed, I hook- section to Arts Sonores (sonic arts). two of high school language study.
ed it up to my scope to view it. Since I Articles deal with the acousti& of The written word is augmented by
don’t have a distortion analyzer, I can Bayreuth, the characteristics of vari- copious illustrations and diagrams,
only report the results of listening tests ous musical instruments, old instru- whose designations are in almost all
made when I attached it to my system. ments and their reproduction sonic- cases identical with those used in
PE reports that the unweighted noise ally. The Arts Sonores section is English publications. With a simple
level of the equalizer in the output was edited by Jean-Marie Piel. French/English dictionary and a year
66dB below 1V and when the measure- Typical articles: or two of either Latin, French or
ment bandwidth was restricted Techniques Sonores; output Spanish, the dedicated audiophile
250-20,OOOHz. To exclude hum and Transformerless amplifiers; The Sound of can translate L’Audiophile well
random noise, the measurement was Turntables, a t e n t a t i v e e v a l u a t i o n ; enough for it to be a useful inpui for
74dB below 1V. Thoughts on turntables; The Koetsu car fresh ideas about sound.
With the modifications incorporated -------------------------_--_________
into the project, this 74dB can be easily Send subscriptions to: taa Ysl
extended through the entire audio spec- Audio Amateur Circulation/L’Audiophile
trum. Listening tests confirm this when Post Office Box 576, Peterborough NH 03458 USA
the equalizer is switched in and out of
the system and there is absolutely no 0 Enter my subscription to L’Audiophile
audible difference in noise level for the next six issues S 48.00
throughout the spectrum. (This is with 0 Back Issues: (circle issues desired) -
all controls flat as I assume the PE unit Issues 3.4,5.6 for 1978 @ 36 each ppd. Total
was when tested, although the article Issues 7,8,9, 10. 11, 12 @ 97 each ppd. Total
does not state that this was done.) Even Issues 13. 14, 15, 16 @ S9each ppd. Total
with the lower bands turned up there is (For a translated set of each issue’s contents pages, send a stamped.
no appreciable hum. addressed #l 0 envelope to the above address).
Although I have never heard an un- Please allow at least eight weeks for delivery of first copy on regular subscription. Orders
modified unit, I am convinced these cannot be accepted from areas other than North America. Ramittancm in US S only.

modifications were more than worth the Remittance details:

extra money necessary to purchase the I enclose S for the above in: q check, q money order
upgraded parts needed to do the job. In q MasterChargeNisaiIl (S 10.00 minimum)
listening tests the equalizer is clear, card number:
responsive, and versatile enough to
tailor many rooms to your audio needs.
It is definitely one of my favorite pieces Expire I Interbank I
of equipment.
A LAN M. VALENTE Signature
Loudonville, NY 122 11