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Studio Guitar Amp and FX

Project Brief:
Exploring electronic stages of guitar amplification and guitar effects in respect to tone generation and how a modular amp/fx system can be designed.

By Ricky-Lee Anderson
AND09459927 Supervisor:Tom Waterman

Methodology:
To qualitively (Secondary Research) and quantatively (primary research) analyse existing knowledge of circuits, test and simulate where possible and apply the knowledge to designing amp stages for tone.

Findings:
-Circuits and components react differently to AC and DC. -Loading is a large consideration at the input, output and in between each circuit stage which affects the output bandwidth. -triode and power rail biasing affect input sensitivity and drive

A modular amplifier, like fx pedal chains, provides opportunity to create varied tone manipulation for creative and studio use. Amplifier circuits can be divided into stages, each providing tone generating, amplifying and manipulating functions.

-a modular system requires buffering of each stage in order to be interchangeable -the input conditioning and power output stage remain fixed modules -a individual guitar amplifier is defined by its design and nonlinearity (E.g. added harmonics below)

Each stage is connected considering the output impedance of the previous stage, keeping a minimum ratio of 1:10 (i.e. output Impedance of 47M requires at least 470M input impedance). Class of output amplification (Class a, b, AB) determines the efficiency of the amplifier, contributes to tone. Each amplifier has tone circuit, attenuating bass/ middle/ treble, or, stacked on top of each other to form a tone stack. The output transformer converts high-voltage, low-current signal to low-voltage, high-current signal for speaker drivers. The power transformer must supply accurate voltage to the circuit.

This project can be further developed into build/ testing stages for each stage is analysed in stage relative to the component function and analysis and product development. combinations. Mathematical analysis of triodes, RC Networks, coupling networks and gain.