Build a Low Distortion Amplifier cum Compressor Circuit Diagram. Designers can build a 15-dB compressor with a miniature lamp and a current-feedback amplifier. The circuit possesses extremely low distortion at frequencies above the lamp`s thermal time constant. This means that distortion is negligible from audio frequencies to beyond 10 MHz. There`s also relatively little change in phase versus gain compared to other automatic gain-control circuits. Lastly, the circuit has many instrumentation, audio, and high-frequency applications as a result of its low distortion and small phase change.
The AD844 op amp is a perfect fit for this application because it`s a current-feedback amplifier. Each stage of the circuit, U2, lamp, and feedback resistor compresses an ac signal by over 15 dB (see the figure). Cascading a number of stages delivers higher compression ranges. Op amp U1 operates as a unity-gain buffer to drive the input to the compressor. However, U1 is optional if a low-impedance signal source is used.
The lamp`s resistance will increase with temperature, which reduces the ratio of resistor R3 to the resistance of the lamp. This ratio reduces the gain of U2. The lamp`s cold resistance should be greater than the input resistance of U2 (more than 50 ) for proper operation. The lamp`s resistance will change slightly for low input levels. Therefore, the ratio of R3 to the resistance of the lamp and the gain of U2 stays high.