1st Edition

Designing Audio Circuits and Systems

By Bob Cordell Copyright 2024
    738 Pages 360 B/W Illustrations
    by Focal Press

    738 Pages 360 B/W Illustrations
    by Focal Press

    Designing Audio Circuits and Systems is a comprehensive guide to audio circuits and systems design. Beginning with analog audio circuit design basics that a novice can understand, this book offers insight all the way through to in-depth design techniques for many different audiophile and professional audio circuits and functions. Develop and hone your audio design skills with in-depth coverage of these and other topics:

    • Low‑noise amplifier design
    • Understanding and applying negative feedback
    • Filter and equalizer design
    • Preamplifiers for moving magnet and moving coil phono cartridges
    • Preamplifiers for dynamic, condenser, electret and ribbon microphones
    • Fader and panning circuit design
    • Balanced line driver and line receiver circuits
    • DC servo design and application
    • Design of headphone amplifiers and crossfeed circuits
    • Self-powered loudspeaker design and active crossovers
    • Digital-to-analog converters (DACs)

    Bridging the analog and digital worlds, Designing Audio Circuits and Systems is essential reading for those in the professional audio engineering community, as well as students and enthusiasts who wish to design audio circuits and functions for pro audio or audiophile applications, and live sound or studio mixing consoles.

    1. Introduction  2. A Simple Preamplifier Design  3. Circuit Building Blocks  4. Passive Components  5. Surface-Mount Technology  6. Poles, Zeros, Networks and Bode Plots  7. Semiconductors  8. Operational Amplifiers  9. Negative Feedback  10. Noise  11. Filters  12. Distortion and Its Measurement  13. Switches and Relays  14. Power Supplies and Grounding  15. Moving Magnet Phono Preamplifiers  16. Moving Coil Phono Preamps  17. Tape Preamps and NAB/IEC Equalization  18. Microphone Preamps  19. Balanced Inputs and Outputs  20. Equalizers and Tone Controls  21. Headphone Amplifiers  22. Volume, Balance, Fader and Panning Controls  23. Digital-to-Analog Converters  24. Active Crossovers and Loudspeaker Equalization  25. Voltage-Controlled Amplifiers  26. Compressors and Other Dynamic Processors  27. Level Displays and Metering  28. Microcontrollers and Microcomputers  29. Mixers and Recording Consoles  30. DI Boxes and Microphone Splitters


    Bob Cordell is an electrical engineer who has been deeply involved in audio since his adventures with vacuum tube designs in his teen years. He is an equal‑opportunity designer to this day, having built amplifiers and preamplifiers with vacuum tubes, bipolar transistors, JFETs and MOSFETs, and is a prolific designer of audio test equipment, including a high-performance THD analyzer and many purpose-built pieces of audio test gear. He has published numerous articles and papers on power amplifier design and distortion measurement in the popular press and in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. In 1983 he published a power amplifier design combining vertical power MOSFETs with error correction, achieving unprecedented distortion levels of less than 0.001% at 20 kHz. He previously published the book Designing Audio Power Amplifiers.

    Bob is an avid DIY loudspeaker builder and has combined this endeavor with his electronic interests in the design of powered audiophile loudspeaker systems. He also consults in the audio and semiconductor industries and has presented audiophile listening and measurement workshops with his colleagues at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and the Home Entertainment Show. As an electrical engineer, Bob has worked at Bell Laboratories and other related telecommunications companies, where his work has included design of integrated circuits and fiber optic communications systems. Bob holds 17 patents and has presented numerous papers at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), the Convention of the Audio Engineering Society and other related professional meetings. Bob maintains an audiophile website at www.cordellaudio.com where diverse material on audio electronics, loudspeakers and instrumentation can be found.