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How does audio components work?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
First of all, let me sincerely apologize if this is the wrong place to post this thread, or if the title or whatever I'm going to say next annoy anyone.

An introduction is in order. Let's just say that after being here for over a year (lurking + posting abit), it seems that many Headfiers can build their own amp/dac from scratch (meaning just the chipboard and stuff) and also mod their amps or dacs. I'm taking a course in Electrical Engineering in university in half a year's time, and I want to "study up" in advance, and what is a better way to understand electronics as to learn from you guys! My objective for the next six months will be to fully understand how an amp and a dac works, down to the last detail. I have tried to read up on Cmoys (planning to buy one soon) and chips and opamps and capacitors etc etc etc. And I understand that circuitry is very important in these things (dac and amp), a good or bad circuit can affect the whole outcome. I've seen schematics of high quality DIY amps and I'm thoroughly confused by them, it seems that a very high level of precision is needed (regarding the resistance and voltage etc). Ok, enough rambling....

..So, treat me like a newbie, first of all does anyone have good links pointing to how these circuitry works, then advancing to how to actually DIY an amp or dac from scratch?

Thanks alot! Happy 2010!
post #2 of 8
i'll start with a little introduction of how to use solid state chips, like the opamps in the cmoy for example. when someone wants to use this, they usually start with the data sheet (google opa132 datasheet for example). the data sheet lets you know which pin does what. then you'd need an understanding of what an opamp actually does. you can then google opamp and probably even look at the wiki article on it or something. etc etc.

basically, if you REALLY want to get down to the nuts and bolts, you should do research on every part. learn what a resistor is and why it's used, capacitor, inductor (doesn't get used as much in audio circuitry), opamp, dac, etc. it's hard work, but you can do it if you try. i'm about to start my last semester to get a degree in electrical engineering... it's not like i can just glance at a circuit schematic and know everything that's going on. it's usually designed and put together in pieces (if it's a larger circuit). i'd have to identify each component and note how the sections work together. to design it myself, i'd have to figure out what needs to happen and how to do it and how to do it most effectively and most accurately. it's a tedious process.

sorry if this only creates more questions, lol. pm me or add to this thread with any other specific questions. people around here are always helpful though. hopefully we can get you on the right track.

edit:
http://tangentsoft.net/audio/cmoy-tutorial/
there's a good site with a lot of resources for the cmoy. you can learn about basic DIYing too while you're looking around.
post #3 of 8
Well to fully understand the topics you just asked about you will need most of your EE degree so do not expect to get that level of knowledge in 6 months of self-teaching.

First I would suggest you forget about DACs and just try to concentrate on how the CMOY works and figure out what each part does. I say forget about DACs because most of the DAC is packaged in a single chip and just not very interesting. To understand what the insides of the CHIP is doing you will most likely learn in your 3rd year in EE Signals class.

This is a good site to start with: Audiologica
post #4 of 8
Drop in at Pete Millett's DIY Audio pages and browse the library. You'll find a lot of what you're looking for there.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks alot guys, really appreciative of the resources. Looks like alot! I'll slowly read through them and hopefully soon I will understand as much as many Headfiers!
post #6 of 8
also in a previous thread masterX posted this link

Lessons In Electric Circuits

that would be very helpful in learning about electrical circuits
post #7 of 8
If you're interested in tubes (and you should be ) be sure to pick p the two books by Bruce Rozenblit and Morgan Jones' books. They'll teach you a lot about tubes in audio.
post #8 of 8
as will the tube sticky that i just recently finally read :P learned alot from that actually, and its all becuase of you uncle erik, you got me interested in the DNA sonett
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