Small Signal Audio Design is a highly practical handbook providing an extensive repertoire of circuits that can be assembled to make almost any type of audio system. This fully revised fourth edition offers wholly new content on internally balanced audio design, electret microphones, emitter-follower stability, microphony in capacitors, and much, much more.

This book continues the engaging prose style familiar to readers as you learn why mercury-filled cables are not a good idea, the pitfalls of plating gold on copper, and what quotes from Star Trek have to do with PCB design.

Learn how to:

  • make amplifiers with apparently impossibly low noise
  • design discrete circuitry that can handle enormous signals with vanishingly low distortion
  • transform the performance of low-cost opamps
  • build active filters with very low noise and distortion while saving money on expensive capacitors
  • make incredibly accurate volume controls
  • make a huge variety of audio equalisers
  • use load synthesis to make magnetic cartridge preamplifiers that have noise so low it is limited by basic physics
  • sum, switch, clip, compress, and route audio signals
  • build simple but ultra-low noise power supplies
  • be confident that phase perception is not an issue

Including all the crucial theories, but with minimal mathematics, Small Signal Audio Design is the must-have companion for anyone studying, researching, or working in audio engineering and audio electronics.

chapter Chapter 1|50 pages

The basics

chapter Chapter 2|43 pages


chapter Chapter 3|47 pages

Discrete transistor circuitry

chapter Chapter 4|51 pages

Opamps and their properties

chapter Chapter 5|12 pages

Opamps for low voltages

chapter Chapter 6|23 pages


chapter Chapter 7|6 pages

Preamp architecture

chapter Chapter 8|16 pages

Variable gain stages

chapter Chapter 9|63 pages

Moving-magnet inputs

Levels and RIAA equalisation

chapter Chapter 10|11 pages

Moving-coil head amplifiers

chapter Chapter 11|19 pages

Tape replay

chapter Chapter 12|14 pages

Guitar preamplifiers

chapter Chapter 13|57 pages

Volume controls

chapter Chapter 14|13 pages

Balance controls

chapter Chapter 15|55 pages

Tone controls and equalisers

chapter Chapter 16|16 pages

Mixer architecture

chapter Chapter 17|22 pages

Microphone preamplifiers

chapter Chapter 18|53 pages

Line inputs

chapter Chapter 19|30 pages

Line outputs

chapter Chapter 20|13 pages

Headphone amplifiers

chapter Chapter 21|37 pages

Signal switching

chapter Chapter 22|57 pages

Mixer sub-systems

chapter Chapter 23|16 pages

Level indication and metering

chapter Chapter 24|32 pages

Gain-control elements

chapter Chapter 25|15 pages

Power supplies

chapter Chapter 26|10 pages

Interfacing with the digital domain

chapter Chapter 27|8 pages

Design and experimentation