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Microphone Month 3

Class A

A type of amplifier design. When an amplifier’s stage devices are passing current at all times, including when the amplifier is at idle (no music playing), whether the amplifier is single ended or push-pull, the amplifier is said to be biased in Class A. Because the current is flowing at all times, an input signal causes the current to be immediately diverted to the speakers, and therefore, the sound is very “fast”. In the case of a push-pull amplifier, there is also less crossover distortion when the signal passes from the positive to the negative or negative to positive, since each side of the push-pull section is already “on”. If all stages of the amplifier are biased in Class A, and the amplifier operates in Class A to full output (enough current flowing at idle that could be required for full output), it is said to be a “Pure Class A” amplifier. Pure Class A designs are understandably expensive to build and are usually only found in high-end audiophile equipment.

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