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Transcendence Circuit Description Abstract

The Non Inverting Input Stage the Audio signal is impressed upon the Non
inverting input of the amplifier at the gate of Q1 via R1. R1 serves to isolate the
input of Q1 from reactive sources and assures real impedance is always seen by
the gate of Q1. R1L Serves as a path to ground for Input Bias current of Q1, in
the event of an open circuit on Q1’s gate Caused by the wiper losing contact with
the Element within the Volume control.

The Inverting Input Stage Negative feedback is applied to the Inverting input of
the Amplifier at the gate of Q2 via R2. R2 in concert with R5
Form a voltage divider network that divides down the large open loop gain of the
Amplifier into more manageable proportions.

The cascode topology was chosen for enhanced resistance to Instability.


Oscillations in a high gain, common emitter amplifier configurations most often
occur because of resistance and capacitance differences between the transistor
input and output. The internal capacitance between the collector and the base
allow a positive feedback path for the output to flow through the transistor’s
internal capacitance back into the input and cause oscillations.

The cascode amplifier is a common emitter stage (Q1) directly coupled to a


common base stage (Q3). The low impedance common base input of Q3 heavily
loads Q1’s output Capacitance which directly enhances stability against
oscillations by harmlessly diverting this undesired parasitic to ground or the
Power supply rail as is done hear. Q3’s purpose is to provide a constant Vce for
Q1 and thus allow Q1 to operate in its most linear manner and eliminates voltage
induced parametric changes in Q1.

The Differential Gain Block is made up by combining the above described


Inverting input Cascode stage with the Non Inverting Stage to form a differential
input stage, allowing use as a conventional Op-Amp with both Positive and
negative Inputs. DC offset is zeroed out by adjusting potentiometer P1. P1 allows
adjustment of the Collector Loads of the Inverting input stage Q3 vs. the Non-
inverting input stage Q4. This method of DC correction is similar to that
employed on IC Op-Amps and works well. Biasing is accomplished by the
precision voltage reference formed from Q21, C5, D2, R27 and C13. D2 is an
ultra low noise Zener diode that maintains the Base of the Upper cascodes in this
stage at precisely 12 volts, Q21 is a constant current source to maintain precision
in D2 and C5 provides decoupling of power supply noise. R27 and C13 form a
low pass filer and substantially reduce and high frequency noise generated within
D2. D5 and D6 provide level shifting of this stage so as to allow the use of a
constant current source in the following Voltage amplification stage so as to
afford substantial improvement in the Amplifiers Power supply and common
mode rejection ratios
The Constant current source for the previously mentioned differential gain
block comes from the formation of a constant current generator comprised of
Q18 & Q19, D1, R23, and R23L. D1 is a voltage reference for Q19 the Difference
between the Vce of Q19 and The reference voltage of D1 is impressed upon
R23, This operates Q19 in the constant current mode and thus supplies a
constant current to The Differential input stage and eliminate and current induced
parametric variations in this Critical stage. By combining Cascoding to maintain a
precisely defined operating voltage augmented by this constant current generator
supplying an exact operating current the Input differential gain Block operates in
it’s most Linear condition with Both a fixed Voltage and Current.

The Second Voltage Amplification Stage or (VAS) is comprised of the same


cascoded differential gain block topology as the input stage with the Non
Inverting stage comprised of Q6 & Q8. This output is directly applied to the base
of the positive driver transistor Q14 via base stopper resistor R14 and the
inverting stage comprised of Q5 & Q7. This output is impressed upon a Wilder
type of current Mirror comprising Q9 & Q10 with emitter degeneration supplied
by R11 & R12 the output of this current mirror is delivered to the base of the
Negative Driver transistor Q15 via base stopper resistor R15. Biasing is
accomplished by the precision voltage reference formed from Q20, D7 and D8,
D7 & D8 are series connected LED’s for now noise and High speed, Q20 is a
constant current source so as to maintain precision in this reference. This voltage
reference is returned to the constant current output of Q4 so as to provide Local
feedback and to provide a constant Base collector voltage for Q5 and Q6 in
addition to the constant Collector to emitter voltage that cascoding affords. This
bootstrapped method was chosen for this stage because of the higher voltage
swing of the stage compared to the previous differential input stage. This higher
voltage swing requires consideration of the charging of nonlinear capacitances
within the transistors from the audio signal, by allowing the voltage reference to
float with the signal this concern is no longer valid and substantial gains in low
distortion are obtained prior to the application of feedback resulting in a most
linear gain block that is already low in distortion and the Negative feedback only
serves to reduce distortion to vanishing low levels.

The Constant current source Is unusual for the (VAS) stage in most High End
discrete Amplifiers yet is often used at this location in Monolithic Op-Amps. Since
the vas stage operates at an extremely high gain the use of a constant current
source explodes the Power supply rejection ratio of the complete amplifier. a
constant current generator comprised of Q4 & Q20, D6 and R4. D6 is a voltage
reference for Q4 the Difference between the Vce of Q4 and The reference
voltage of D6 is impressed upon R4, This operates Q4 in the constant current
mode and thus supplies a constant current to The Differential input stage and
eliminate and current induced parametric variations in this High Amplification
stage. By combining Cascoding to maintain a precisely defined operating voltage
augmented by this constant current generator supplying an exact operating
current the Input differential gain Block operates in it’s most Linear condition with
Both a fixed Voltage and Current.
The VBE Multiplier the ICq (idle current Quiescent) often called Bias current
is accomplished by a Tunable VBE multiplier Circuit. This circuit is also referred
to as an amplified diode; it is used to provide a tunable voltage between the
bases of the Driver transistors Q14 and Q15. The purpose of this voltage is to
bias the bases of Q14 & Q15, keeping them in a “slightly” ON state. Tuning is
obtained through the use of potentiometer P2. This allows the Voltage between
the Bases of the Driver transistors Q14 & Q15 to be set high enough to forward
bias both pairs of complementary emitter follower junctions comprising the
Output stage Q16 & Q17. When P2 is properly adjusted Q16 and Q17 operate in
Class A with All Headphone Loads and thus are not subject to the ill effects of
crossover distortion typical of Class AB output stages.

The Local Voltage Regulation for the Voltage amplification stages are
accomplished by the Darlington connected pair of Q12 & Q25 for positive
voltages and Q13 & Q22 for negative voltages. The output voltage for each
polarity is set by the voltage references D12 & D3. C7 & C8 filter any noise from
these Zener diodes while Q23 & Q24 provide a constant current source for D12
& D3 so as to maintain precision and in addition supply drive current to the bases
of the two Darlington connected complementary pass transistor pairs Q12, Q25,
Q13, and Q22. R9 & R10 are emitter degeneration resistors for the
complementary pass transistors and prevent parasitic oscillations. This local
regulation augments the substantial regulation upon the Power supply Board in
addition to preventing the large currents of the output stage from flowing into the
sensitive voltage gain stages via the power supply lines. This makes for much
improved stability along with ultra low noise by removing a potential source of
contamination of the signal because from output stage currents and the resultant
positive feedback these currents create.