In the world of audio, amplifiers have many applications. They can be designed to amplify, equalize, combine, distribute or isolate a signal. They can even be used to match signal impedances between devices. At the heart of any amplifier (amp) system is either a vacuum tube or a semiconductor-type transistor series of devices. Everyone has heard of these regulating devices, but few have a grasp of how they operate, so let’s have a basic look into these electronic wonders.

AMPLIFICATION

To best understand how the theoretical process of amplification works, let’s draw on an analogy. The original term for the tube used in early amplifiers is valve (a term that’s still used in England and other Commonwealth countries). ...

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