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Realistic Audio Engineering

Philosophy
NORMAN H. CROWHURST~'

The author presents the why's and wherefore's of the Unity-Coupled circui.t which i~ ~he basic differ-
ence between Mcintosh and other amplifiers, and according to the author It exemplifies the progres-
sive approach to amplifier design.

T HERE SEEM TO BE two basic approaches


to the design of an amplifier. In one
a price is decided upon, according to
which the amplifier is designed, but a
loudspeaker, in which the load imped-
ance deviates with frequency and in-
the intended market, and then different cludes reactive components. With this
circuits are investigated, with careful kind of a load, one tube produces all the
cost comparisons, to find out how good output, while the other produces all the
the amplifier can be made within the distortion.
price already fixed upon. This approach Some variations of the single-ended
may lead to extremely competitive pric- push-pull circuit use a feedback ~om
ing of amplifiers but it is not conducive .....--+--~ I. pensating arrangement that readjUSts
to progressive design. Instead design is the grid drive to the two tubes to balance
tied to old-established readily-obtainable V=~8 SUPPLY++ V.
out for this variation. However, even
components, and research into new com- with such arrangements, the basic circuit
ponents is to be avoided. introduces more distortion than the con-
Progressive design cannot be restricted ventional push-pull arrangment.
by "what has always been done." The
The redeeming feature in the claims
original unity-coupling patent broke
made by the designers of the single-
away from accepted circuitry, and re-
ended push-pull circuit is the large
quired one special component to do it-
amount of feedback that can be applied,
the bifilar-wound output transformer.
Fig. 1. Signal and supply current rela- due to avoidance of the hitherto neces-
Pentodes (or tetrodes) had become estab-
lished as the most efficient way to achieve tionships in the so-called single-ended sary output transformer. This design
push-pull circuit. This also has been permits as much as 40 db of over-all
output power. Operated in Class B, the called "unity coupled," but is not to be
efficiency is extremely attractive. But feedback to be applied. Thus, even with
confused with the circuit so named in distortion figures in the region of 40 per
certain distortions were previously "in- this article.
herent" to this kind of circuit. Unity cent, it is possible to end up with a re-
coupling resulted because its inventor sultant distortion in the region of 0.4
tive and the other negative causes the per cent, which looks quite.an acceptable
did not accept their inherent nature, but voltage distribution to change. Inter-
found an effective way to eliminate them. figure. But this figure overlooks two im-
posing a load between this center tap portant facts: (1) the nominal figure of
This article does not aim to tell you point and ground reference, which is at
that the McIntosh line of amplifiers is 0.4 per cent distortion is only obtainable
the same a.c. potential as either B + or working into a resistive 'load, such a
the best. The often-asked question about B ~~ causes a variation in current through
which is the "best" amplifier is incapable circuit must inherently pro.duce much
the two tubes as well as a variation of more distortion when practical loads are
of an unqualified answer. The McIntosh voltage across them. In this way, by
approach is one very good way to make applied; and (2) even the 0.4 per cent
suitable matching, each tube works with is relatively high distortion.
amplifiers whose performance rates high, a load line very similar to operation in
and it exemplifies the realistic engineer- The idea that avoidance of the output
normal push-pull. transformer has automatically freed us
ing philosophy. But before getting into One major problem arises with this
the real "meat," one minor, but common, of many of the distortion problems that
circuit because the reference point for have come to be regarded as coincident
source of confusion needs clarifying; the upper-tube grid is not ground while
the words "unity coupling" are applied with this component is mere wishful
that for the lower one is. This means that thinking. Unity coupling, however, is
to more than one circuit. Beside the the drive excursion provided for the
circuit discussed here, a variety of single- built around a rather special kind of
lower tube has to be just the necessary output transformer.
ended push-pull also has this name. grid drive, while that for the upper tube
The so-called single-ended push-pull
has to be the grid drive in addition to Class-B Operation
method of operation uses two tubes in the audio output voltage. Thus an un-
the output, connected in series between balanced phase splitter is needed. This For some time now it has been realized
B + and B -. (Fig. 1). In the quiescent produces a circuit much more suscepti- that the most efficient output tube to use
condition, with no signal passing, half
ble to distortion than is the true push- is a pentode or beam tetrode, and fur-
of the total B-supply voltage is across
pull arrangement, even when the correct ther, the most efficient way of using a
the upper tube and half across the lowel' load resistance is applied to the output. pair of output tubes is to work them in
tube. Driving the grid of one tube posi- Practical operating conditions, of course, class B, or as near to this condition ~s
* 216-18 40th Ave., Bayside 61, N.Y. never apply the true load resistor for possible, so that the quiescent current IS

52 AUDIO OCTOBER, 1959


a bigger output more efficiently than
their earlier predecessors. The one fly in ___ B+
the ointment about using beam tubes 01'
pentodes in class-B operation proves to
be the so-called "notch" distortion. This
has been confused with crossover distor-
tion but it is not the same thing. To some t
[
extent it is due to similar causes. Both
distortions occur with tubes biased to
operate in class-B.
While notch distortion proves almost
impossible to avoid with pentode or beam
Fig. 2. Effect of overbias of class-B out-
put tubes on waveform, showing cross-
tetrode output tubes, using normal trans-
over distortion. former construction methods, it is not
limited to these tube types. The lower
quite low and large plate current excur- plate resistance of the active tube in a fig. 4. How the bifilar-wound, unity-
sions are only drawn when there is a push-pull triode circuit can contribute coupled circuit avoids the leakage flux
to the damping of the notch oscillation, transfer impulse that causes notch dis-
large audio signal.
tortion. As plate current is equal to
One of the problems of class-B oper- which will not happen in the pentode cathode current minus screen current,
ation is that incorrect bias can produce circuit. The notch is excited by the sud- the effective current in both half-wind-
a form of diStortion known as crossover den transfer of plate current from one ings (rega rding the bifilar pair as a
distortion. This is due to the fact that half of the primary winding to the other, unit) is always equal.
transition from opeI:ation with one tube which triggers the resonance of the in-
in one half cycle to the other tube during active winding, between its self-capaci- acteristic approaches its marginal condi-
the other half cycle is not a smooth one. tance and the leakage inductance to other tion. This means that, at best, the feed-
Crossover distortion shows up when the circuits, the secondary with its load, and back will not improve the notch distor-
tubes are over-biased so there is a short the other half primary with its tube tion and, at worst, it may considerably
period during which neither tube con- plate resistance. exaggerate it.
ducts current. This produces the wave- The leakage inductance resonating
form shown at Fig. 2. with primary capacitance is damped Eliminating Notch Distortion
In the early days of class-B operation only by the load resistance on the second- How then can notch distortion be
much was said about this form of dis- ary (usually in between the two pri- eliminated from this kind of output
tortion, although it proved to be fairly maries) and by the plate resistance of circuit? Two steps can be taken towards
easy to eliminate it by careful attention the tubes in shunt with the effective this end: ( a) to bring the resonant cir-
to bias arrangment. Some of the early resonant circuit. (Fig. 3). Plate resist- cuit causing notch distortion nearer to
class-B amplifiers, using transmitting ance in a class-B circuit has a widely critical damping; (b) to eliminate the
type triodes with higher-than-normal fluctuating value and in effect becomes excitation of the notch, due to the effec-
plate-supply voltage, and extra high almost open circuit at the crossover tive transfer of current suddenly from
grid bias to match, were extremely ef- point, which stimulates the resonant one winding to another.
ficient amplifiers in the higher wattage circuit at the point 'Where it is shock Using straight pentode class-B oper-
ratings. However, these amplifiers re- excited, especially when the exciting fre- ation, it might be possible to reduce pri-
quired extremely carefully designed quency becomes higher so as to approach mary capacitance by careful winding
drive as well as output transformers and more closely the resonant frequency. procedure. But this would merely push
a very well regulated plate supply. And For this reason, with even a moder- the notch frequency (i.e. its sharpness)
the use of at least two transformers in ately well-designed output transformer out further, by raising the resonant fre-
the amplifier rendered them difficult for an amplifier employing pentodes or beam quency and correspondingly raising the
application of any degree of feedback, tetrodes in class-B push-pull would pro- point of marginal stability, where feed-
although the distortion of well-designed duce notch distortion at frequencies from back ceases to help.
units was not more than that of 'Well- 3000 cycles and up. It might be thought Reducing the leakage inductance, on
designed class-A amplifiers of the period. that over-all negative feedback would the other hand, will increas!l the damp-
Improved tube techniques led to the successfully eliminate the notch. But this ing provided by the load. While this
use of pentodes and beam tetrodes more does not occur, because the resonant fre- might conceivably eliminate notch dis-
extensively as output tubes and circuits quency of the notch itself is also at a tortion into a resistance loaa, it might
employing these could certainly deliver point where the feedback stability char- reappear when a reactive speaker load
is used.
Excitation of the notch occurs due to
leakage inductance between halves of
the primary, so that transfer of current
from one half to the other induces a
MAY BE ONE OR TWO NOTCHES AC- voltage kick in this inductance. Part of
CORDING TO RELATIVE MAGNITUDE
OF LEAKAGE COMPONENTS AND CA- the solution, then, rests in eliminating or

~--~~~~:-~~'~
minimizing the leakage inductance be-
tween halves of the primary winding.
Adequate results could probably be ob-
tained by reducing the referred leakage
inductance between primary halves to a
"-____--' RESISTANCE small fraction-in the region of 1/10-
of the leakage inductance between the
primary and secondary. This method is
necessary for a transformer intended for
fig. 3. Equivalent circuit of the quantities that cause "notch" distortion. ultra-line, operation, if the ultra-linear

54 AUDIO OCTOBER, 1959


ing an output stage in itself rather than
by over-all feedback. Use of a tightly
coupled arrangement, such as this, makes
the degree of linearization practically
independent of output lo~ding. With
normal pentode operation, changing the
output loading can change the feedback
from its nominal 20 db or so, up to over
40 db-without taking into account pos-
sible phase effects. Utilizing this method
gets the damping factor above unity
without any risk, and stabilizes the over-
all feedback' to within a db or so (and
phase to a few degrees).
The other advantage is that use of
over-all feedback to linearize a distor-
BIFILAR
OUTPUT OUTPUT TRANSFORMER tion basically produced by the output
TUBE BIAS PRIMARY stage deliberately distorts the waveform
handled by the relatively linear part of
Fig. 5. How the bootstrap circuit works, by making the screen swing help produce the amplifier (by as much as 40 per cent
the required grid drive. Dashed portions of the small waveforms indicate the part in the example quoted earlier). By line-
during which the output tube shown is inactive and the other one takes over. arizing the output stage as an .entity,
which is achieved by the use of a circuit
counterpart of notch distortion (an even over-all feedback network, but this does such as unity coupling, this problem does
worse animal) is to be avoided. not introduce any form of notch distor- not arise. Then the over-all feedback can
However, the IWproach adopted by tion, because it is not interposed between be used to reduce the residual low-order
McIntosh is more of the "brute force" these two output tubes themselves. distortion present in the output circuit
type, by reducing the leakage inductance to an even lower percentage and to get
between primary halves to vanishing 50 Per Cent Feedback an even higher damping factor.
point with the use of bifilar windings.
At the same time the use of unity cou- The second advantage of the unity Grid-Drive Problems
pling makes a double .step to prevent coupling arrangment is that it provides
any kind of load from allowing even a what may be called 50 per cent feedback. The next problem with this circuit is
suspicion of notch distortion to return. This means that the ~ of the plate circuit the high grid-drive voltage required be-
(See Fig. 4). of the combined tubes is effectively 0.5, cause of the cathode degeneration. The
In the first place the significance of and half the output voltage .is developed drive swing required is much more than
the term "primary half" is changed. The between cathode and ground iwd half . that normally available at the plate of a
primary winding is divided, not in two between plate and B +. This reduces preceding push-pull driver stage: The
parts as in the normal push-pull, but effective plate resistance "seen" by the simplest way to overcome this problem
into four parts. Thi whole of the wind- combined primary of the transformer to (and by far the best) is to use the so-
ing connected in the cathode circuit is a point that constitutes more-than-criti- called boot-strap circuit. By coupling
wound bifilar with the whole of the wind- cal damping of the resonance primary the top end of the driver plate resistors
ing connected in the plate and screen capacitance and leakage inductance at all to the end of the primary winding of the
circuits. In this wayan equal number of points on the waveform, and into -aU -transformer . that swings positive when
primary turns is interposed between kinds of output load. the grid drive requires to be positive, a
cathode and ground as that between As with other circuits of this type, a form of positive feedback is achieved.
plate or screen and B plus. The cathode very large grid swing is required to pro- (Fig. 5).
and screen of each tube are connected to vide the necessarygrid-to-cathode drive Assume the grid drive required, from
the same end of the bifilar pair while voltage; in addition to the cathode-to- grid to cathode, to be 30 volts and the
the plate is connected to the opposite ground half of the output. voltage. This output voltage per tube 90 volts from
end. As the two windings are wound in cathode degeneration also provides from cathode to ground and 90 volts from B +
such close proximity as to be virtually 12 to 15 db under nominal load, accord- to plate or screen. This means the grid
only one winding, this means that each ing to tube type and operating condi- requires a total swing of 30 + 90 or 120
of the tubes is . effectively connected tions chosen, of linearization. This re- volts. But by returning the plate-cou-
across the whole of the primary winding. suits in a damping factor between 4 and pIing resistor to the 90 volts swing point,
When, during one peak of an audio 5 before any over-all feedback is applied there is still only a 30-volt swing de-
signal, only one of the tubes is conduct- (this will be slightly modified as we shall veloped across it. This means the effec-
ing, the whole of the primary winding, see later, by the drive arrangement). tive value of the resistor, from the view-
in effect, is carrying the current of this An interesting point to note here- point of the driver plate, is four times
tube, one half of one of thebifilar wind- not exclusive to this circuit-is that the its actual value, because the audio cur-
ings carrying the plate current, while dampmg factor of a pentode output rent flowing through the actual resistor
the other half of the other bifilar wind- stage, calculated on the usual basis of is accompanied by an audio voltage at
ings is carrying the cathode current (see on-load gain, is approximately indepen- the plate four times the audio voltage
Fig. 4). dent of the plate resistance of the tubes. developed across the resistor itself.
This means the effective leakage in- A gain reduction, onload, of 4: 1 (12 db) From the d.c. point of view, the drop
ductance between the circuit that con- yields a damping factor of 4. The gain in the resistor is just that due to its
ducts during alternate half cycles, when reduction of the circuit without the load actual value, because the d.c. voltage at
transition takes place from one tube to would be at least 20 db greater than the each end of the plate and screen winding
the other, is so small as to be negligible. calculated figure, because the gain of the of the output transformer is sensibly the
Leakage inductance between primary tubes with open-circuit plate loading same as B +. Consequently this positive
and secondary, of course, forms one of rises this much. feedback effect enables a dynamic load
the parameters for the design of the There are two advantages to lineariz- line to be employed on the drive tube of

56 AUDIO OCTOBER, 1959


need to have close tolerance to maintain
5r----.---.rr----,-----~----r_--_,----_P--~ uniform operating points.
It has often been noted that class-B
output circuits often do not seem to give
~r---_r-+~r-~~---4----4_--_+----+_--~
so much output as circuits using nearer
Fig. 6. Operating to class-A operation, using automatic or
conditions actually cathode-bias circuits. The reason for this
used in the 12BH7
for the Me-30 am- is traced to what happens when overload
plifier, showing begins to occur. The automatic-bias cir-
how the bootstrap cuit self-compensates for overload by
increases the ava iI- producing cathode degeneration of the
able swing the overload component of the signal. With
tube can handle,
by a factor much fixed-bias circuits, which have to be used
more than it in- for class-B operation, the cat40de circuit
creases its gain. returns to ground. If the grids make any
o~
z ....
i<~
]8 excursion positive at all, this will pro-
duce a negative charge momentarily on
t-IIIIf--___ MAXIMUM SWING:--_____.. ~~ ~R~~ the coupling capacitor from the driver
plate. This will invariably overbias the
WITH 48 K DYNAMIC
tubes for a period of more than the
average audio cycle and thus produce
four times the d.c. value, in this partic- of 7500 to 8000 ohms and the plate cou-
quite noticeable distortion very quickly.
ular example. In other cases it may be pling resistor is 12,000 ohms. This means
Usually the grid resistor has to be of
more or less according to the degenera- the realizable gain of the tube, without
fairly high value to prevent loading
tion produced in the cathode circuit of positive feedback, would be approxi-
down the drive stage. This is still true
the output stage. mately 3/5 of its amplification factor.
with unity coupling. Although a 12,000-
This improves the available swing in So increasing the effective resistance of
ohm resistor produces an effective value
two steps. First it increases the operat- the plate coupling resistor by positive
of 48,000-ohms due to the positive feed-
ing plate voltage and current by allow- feedback can only increase the gain of
back, the grid resistor has to be re-
ing a lower actual value of resistor to be the drive stage by a maximum of 5/3
(assuming the effective value is in- turned virtually to ground (actually to
used. Then it increases the available
creased to infinity). fixed bias negative) and consequently its
audio swing by raising the effective value
effective value is the same as its actual
of this coupling resistor. This is illus-
trated by means of dynamic load lines in Bootstrap Circuit
value. If a large value resistor, in the
region of 330k, which is usually recom-
Fig. 6.
Another 'Way of viewing this is that in While this bootstrap circuit only in- mended for this position, is used, the
creases the available gain of the drive biasing-back effect will last for at least
a sense now the driver stage only has to
provide the grid-to~cathode swing in its
plate circuit, instead of the complete BOOTSTRAP
grid swing. This being the case one
would imagine at first sight that the
positive feedback would undo some of 0.25
the beneficial results of the negative feed-
back. The reason this does not happen
is that the positive feedback is not effec-
tively so great as the negative feedback, r-t-----B+
although at first sight it might appear
this way, because of the change of the ECONDARY
effective value of resistance in the plate [ WINDINGS
I20K
circuit of the driver tube. Also the posi-
B20K
tive feedback is not materially dependent
-42 V
on output loading, as is the negative BIAS ON 12AX7
feedback. GRID-S-
In this particular case the plate resist-
ance of the drive tube is in the region Fig. 8. Interposing a cathode followl!r (the 12AX7) between the bootstrap drive
(12BH7) and the output tube (1614) grids completely prevents the kind of distortion
shown in Fig. 7.
stage by approximately 50 per cent it a cycle of the audio waveform, conse-
increases its available swing to consider- quently the next excursion through cross-
ably more than double, because it virtu- over will show crossover distortion, as
ally extends the region of linear opera- illustrated at Fig. 7.
tion by allowing a greater grid input
This can be avoided by using a capaci-
swing to be effective. The steeper slope
of the 12,000-ohm load line runs into tor value such that the dischlti"gil time is
cutoff much sooner than the shallower shorter than one period of :the audio
slope of the 48,000-ohm load line. waveform but this would roeM im ex-
The plate resistors for the bootstrap cessive low-frequency loss due to the
drive circuit need to be of adequate combination of coupling-capacitor and
Fig. 7. Kind of distortion often produced power rating, because the increased grid-resistor values. This may 'be offset
in a fixed-bias amplifier, due to grid efficiency of the circuit raises the avail- to some extent by the over-all negative
current biasing back. able plate-circuit dissipation. They also feedback, but it increases the demand on

58 AUDIO -OCTOBER, 1959


coupled amplifiers, the output trans-
former has been elabol'ated somewhat
from the simple bifilar arrangment origi-
nally used for providing j ust loud-
BOOTSTRAP TO 12BH7 AND 12AX7PLATES speaker impeda nce tappings. For some
applications a 70-volt or 600-ohm tap-
GRID DRIVE FROM_~-=!::+===t===~===t- .....+---B+
12AX7 CATHODE p ing is r equired. One method of achiev-
ing this was take tappings from the
primary side, utilizing the section con-
[ECONDARY nected to ground in the cathode circuit.
[ WINDINGS A 70-volt output could be achieved by
using the gro und point and a suitable
8N'" tapping, while the 600-ohm output r e-
NORMAL VOLTAGE HERE IS 27SV. quires two tappings, or in some instances
IF ,BIAS DISAPPEARS, THIS DROPS a connection to the tube cathodes. (Fig.
TO ABO'UT !JOV.
10) .
~ 12AX7 A disadvan tage of this method for
'" SAFETY some systems is that the 600-ohm or the
~ TUBE
OTHER 6BX7 GRID 70 .7-volt circuit, as the case may be, is
OTHER
BOOTSTRAP
permanen tly attached to the amplifier
B-
ground, because it uses the actual cath-
ode winding. To overcome this disad-
Fig. 9 . Addition of another cathode follower (6BX7 ) to feed the scree n of th e output
vantage, so that ground isolation can be
t ube (as well as the bootstrap ) enables unity coupling to be applied to tubes using
pentode operation with different quiescent plate and screen voltag e s.
achieved when necessary, either for hum
reduction in the system or to conform
the driver stage at the low-frequency voltage during warm-up. In operation with system regulations, the output
end to an impossible degr ee. this will only have small audio voltage transform er is stepped up from bifilar
The only positive way to eliminate across it, a nd consequently r epresents windings to "tl'ifilar" windings. In this
this effect is to have the output tube negligible audio loading . way a section of the transformer, wound
direct coupled to the tube that immedi- One more circuit has been developed at the same time as the primary, is used
ately drives it. This is possible by using for use with the unity-coupled output for the high-voltage outputs, 70 volts
a cathode-follower stage interposed be- stage to enable it to be applied to tubes and 600 ohms, while a sep arate winding,
tween the bootstrap drive stage and the that can o'ive considerably more output wound bifilar with the secondary, is used
output tube grid. The driver stage can by operating the p lates at much higher for the feedback. This enables the sec-
then be r esistance/capacitance coupled potential than the scr eens. To a'Chie~e ondary also to be isolated. In some in-
to the grid of the cathode follower stage this, a furt her cathode follower tube IS stances parts of the secondary arc also
and everything works quite happily. inserted in the screen feed to the output wound trifilar to en able other combina-
The cathode-follower stage is boot- tubes. The grid for this cathode fo llower tions of impedance to be achieved, not
strapped as well, which enables a low- der ives its audio voltage from the so readily possible with just a single
current high-mu tube, such as a 12AX7, cathode of the tube it feeds, while the winding.
to be used to good advantage (Fig. S) . d.c. potential is supplied through a There is one more important feature
A lthough the actual r esistance, from separa te control tube, half of a 12AX7, improvement in the unity-coupled cir-
cathode to the nega tive retm-n point wh ich combines a safety function , mak- cuit from the original arrangment. This
necessary to provide the correct operat- ing the screen voltage drop almost to is a device to improve the transient-han -
ing condition for the t ube, is of value zero in the event the grid-bias voltage dling capacity of the amp lifier . B ecause
220k, the effective a.c. r esistance at this should disappear for any r eason. This the amp lifier uses resistance smoothing,
point is in the r egion of 600 to 1000 action is illustr ated in the partial sche- the impact of a transient alters the sup-
ohms- the effective cathode resistance matic of Fig. 9. p ly voltages. These voltage changes can
of this tube operating as a cathode fol- The f eedback arrangement of the put an asymmetrical transient through
lower. unity-coupled amplifiers is pretty much the system, because they get r eferred to
Direct bias for the output tube is con- in conformity with gener al feed back the single-ended part of the amplifier_
trolled by the grid bias of the cathode- practice, utilizing a r esistor with phase- To overcome this effect, a. " long-tailed"
follower stage. To achieve this the nega- corr ecting capacitor from the secondary splitter is used in which the grid retm-n
tive voltage provided for the cathode of the output transformer back to the for the second half of the inverter is not
return of the cathode follower is potted pre-phase-splitter cathode. coupled directly to ground, but through
down by two r esistors so that the nega- a time-constant circuit that produces an
tive point for the grid circuit is just The Output Transformer
right for the output tubes. In some of the more modern unity- (Contim~ed on page 113)
Just one more refin ement to be neces-
sar y. Before the tube starts to conduct, (B)
during warm-up, the cathode of the Fig . 10. Different 60-WAIT '
12AX7 and the grids of the output tubes ways of picking AMPLIFIER
off 600-ohm or 70- '"
are at the maximum n egative potential
volt outputs, ac- (!)~
of this return point, because there is no
em-rent flowing through the cathode r e-
cording to pow er -.--.. . -'----------
. ..----01"' ~
O v>
e
. and impedance of zz
sistor of the 12AX7. This means the the output circuit. -.---+_-c:>I ~ ~
cathode/ heater potential of the 12AX7
---
~

In some profes- g~
can be excessive. To avoid this possibility sional types, these --'-----....... ~ ~
a f urther r esistor of 220 ohm is connected tappings are sep- j O
between cathode of the cathode fol- arated by t rif1lar Z
o
lower and cathode of the output tube, winding .
thus form ing a voltage divider to limit

60 AUDIO OCTOBER, 1959


to a point of satisfying high-fidelity
standards. If that could be done, then
very interesting possibilities exist.
.A seven-inch reel of long-play tape
runs for a f un hour at 3%, ips. With ten
recordings on the tape, it would play
for a full ten hours! This is not only
WHERE 1
competitive with LP records-it is su- THERE'S (
perior on a straight dollar-and-cents
basis. The cost of r eproduction should A FINE
not increase, since multiple heads could
TAPE '
RECORDER~-... --'
be placed "in-line" and all recordings
made in a single pass of the tape.
Intriguing ~ .IE

AUDIO PHILOSOPHY
(from page 60)
identical effect with that present in the
first half . (Fig . 11). In this way the
asymmetrical effect of the long-term
time-constant changes in the supply ferro-sheen tape
cir cuit are neutralized ouf so that no
component of this appears beyond the
phase inverter. This results in an ampli-
note to VIKINGowners
fier that does not get shock excited into To insure optimum recording quaLity
bounce effect when sudden transients hit with your machine, the recom-
it. mended tape is irish Long Play
There is one more variation of the #601. Send for technical bulletin.
unity-coupled circuit that this company
has produced, using triodes in class-B
instead of pentodes. In this case two
ORR INDUSTRIES INC.
Opelika, Alabama
transmitting type triodes, 8005's, are Circle 113A
utilized for the output. The boot-strap
method is used for the drive stage in
just the same way as for the pentode
circuit. But in this case tetrodes are used
for the drive function. (Fig. 12) . This is
because the whole proportions of the
output circuit are changed.
With pentode operation the cathode
degeneration is responsible for reducing
the effective plate-circuit resistance or
source resistance for the output stage
from its original very high value to a
fraction of the load resistance. H ence a
relatively low-resistance triode is neces-
sary for the drive stage, in conjunction
with the regeneration of the boot-strap
cir cuit, to prevent complete loss of this
improved output impedance and linear-
ization. Using triode output tubes, the
picture is practically reversed.
The plate resistance of the tubes is not
larger than the load resistance to begin
with. In a class-B circuit it is approxi-
mately of the same order. The cathode
degeneration due to unity coupling re-
duces this to a lower figure and the re- REAFFIRMED .. . at the Brussels Exposition ... the
generation of the boot-strap circuit can American Exhibition in Moscow ... and two request per-
be permitted to bring it back approxi- formances for Bell Telephone Laboratory personnel ...
mately to its original region. What is the superiority of KLIPSCH derived three channel stereo
more necessary with a triode output and KLIPSCH speakers in faithful tonality, solidity of sound
circuit is a bigger swing for the output- curtain, and accurate geometry.
tube grids, because of the longer grid
base of these tubes as compared with Write for information.
corresponding p entodes. For this reason
a pentode, operated with a low-value KlipsCh and Associates, Inc.
HOPE,ARKANSAS
plate resistor and using regeneration to
multiplty' the effective value of the re- Circle 113B

AUDIO . OCTOBER,' 1959 tlJ3


~~
PlATE YOLTAGE-l20Y

PUSH-PULL
TO DRIVE TUBES

L-_ _ _~~---=~-------:__~ __8+ LINE


(SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATION)

Fig. 11. The modified "long-tailed pair" phase-split inverter, designed to compen-
sate for B+ line fluctuations (due to transient changes in signal level) that other-
wise can cause erratic amplifier behavio r.

sis tor, enables the much bigger needed other circuits we have already discussed.
swing to be obtained. It will be noticed that the circuitry we
Again, cathode followers are used to have discussed in this article is different
drive the triode grid directly and avoid from that employed by many amplifiers
in that it has been engineered to serve
the effects previously mentioned and also.
the purpose intended, not just taken
to enable the tubes to be driven into the from current practice and reduced to a
positive grid region to get power drive. minimum for economic purposes. Hav-
Apart from these slight differences, ing engineered a working circuit the
the circuitry of the 200-watt unity cou- McIntosh people have then worked on
pled amplifier, using two 8005 triodes their production technique to obtain a
for the output, is very similar to the satisfactory price. .If.

6BX7
TWO SECTIONS
IN PARALLEL

0.1

screwball? 8+ 'I

No matter what you throw at this guy, 100


8CD
he'll never get to first base. But you
will . .. and score big ... if you play
the P.A. game with University equip-
ment. The whole power-packed lineup
... with the right equipment for ev~ry
position ... is described in our new
product catalog. It's FREE. Also,
invest $1 in the all-new 64-page 81AS ADJUST FOR
OUTPUT TUBE S
University Technilog, the authorita- TO OTHER 6AY5
CATHOD-E-
tive reference book for planning P .A.
speaker installations. See your local
Fig. 12. An "inversion" of the unity-coupled circuit uses a transmitting triode in
distributor, or write Desk R-8.
the output, with a pentode bootstrap drive. With power drive of the 8005's, this
University Loudspeakers, Inc., 80 So. circuit delivers 200 watts.
Kensico Ave., White Plains, N. Y.

"STEREO-PLUS" SYSTEM
(from page 23)
channel as shown in Fig. 4. Such a trans- mercially available units meeting these
former must be able to handle the full requirements could not be located, spe-
power output of one channel, and must cial transformers were constructed. The
be of high efficiency to conserve valuable size and cost of each proved to be sub-
audio power. The transformer should stantially equal to the output trans-
THE WORLD'S MOST COMPLETE LINE also be bifilar wound to introduce the formers used in the amplifier.
RADIAL HIGH FIDELITY WEATHERPROOF PAGING least possible degradation of the high- Another satisfactory method, but re-
WIDEANGLE SUPER POWER SUBMERGENCEPROOF
DIRECTIONAL EXPLOSION. P.ROOF TAL!5 ' ~ACK frequency power r esponse. Since com- quiring a special amplifier or modifica-

114 AUDIO OCTOBER, 1959