Two different paths
We've covered a decent amount of ground in these past few days' posts. Hopefully, Class A, Class AB, and Class B biasing schemes are a bit better understood now. Thanks for your patience as we spooled these somewhat technical talks out a little at a time. I've found that taking smaller bites of knowledge helps us grasp tough concepts. Using our broadest brush strokes to paint a picture of high-end audio engineering practices, we might see two divergent approaches to amplifier design. The first we could label standard practices—get the amplifier to measure just the way we hoped and call it good. The second we might call elevated practices—get the amplifier to perform its measured best, then haul it into the listening room for final voicing. Both approaches begin on solid engineering fundamentals and practices. It is the polish—the finishing touches—that differ. For example, after we get a new design measuring and performing just right, we understand that's only step one in a complex process. Next stop, the listening room. There, decisions like bias levels, capacitor and resistor type choices are made—changes that don't necessarily register on our metering systems—but are clearly audible. Understanding the fundamentals of electronic design is a necessary first step. Learning how to make it sound good in a real-world environment takes a lifetime of experience.
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