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Linear Power Amplifier Distortion

February 19th Fact-of-the-Day

The most important linear power amplifier characteristic is the relationship between exciting power and output power, because that relationship shows the degree to which a power amplifier is actually linear. In a typical well-designed linear amplifier the exciting power to output power characteristic is approximately linear up to a critical level where the output power levels-off and the amplifier becomes very non-linear. That point is called 'saturation.' Saturation usually occurs at an output power level where crests of the alternating output voltage approach the plate supply voltage in vacuum tube amplifiers or collector supply voltage in transistor amplifiers, since the alternating output voltage cannot exceed the plate or collector supply voltage, regardless of how high the input exciting power is. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.

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