Tag Archive for Monitoring amplifier

Monitoring Amplifier モニターアンプ P4: VU Meter Driver

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Hello, こんにちは,

In this part I will continue with the VU-meter driver for needle instruments. The circuit is very simple just a half-wave rectifier with adjustable gain and a comparator for clip indicator.

POT3 should be chosen to match your meter’s sensitivity but i think 100k will do for most. Components are not critical so it should be fairly easy to build.

Whats important to note is that the voltage at the inverting input of the LM339 comparator will set the clipping threshold, so you can use a voltage divider there to set it to what you want.

You will need to adjust POT3 to your preferred 0dB point, I usually use the dBV scale.

vu meter schematic

Monitoring Amplifier Vu meter circuit アンプVUメーター回路を監視する

Monitoring Amplifier Vu meter circuit アンプVUメーター回路を監視する


Monitoring Amplifier Vu meter circuit アンプVUメーター回路を監視する


Slowly but steady the whole unit is coming along. In next part i will do the source selection and front end.

Parts List:

Quantity: References Value
3 R1, R3, R5 10k
1 R2 1k
1 R4 680-1k
1 C1 10u
1 C2 3.3u
1 U1 TL072
1 U2 LMV339MT
1 D1 1N4148
1 D2 LED
1 POT1 10k
1 POT2 4.7k
1 POT3 100k-470k

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Monitoring Amplifier モニターアンプ P3: Speaker Coupling Delay

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Hello, こんにちは,


In this article i will present a simple delay circuit that will be used to couple the speakers to the amplifier after a certain settling time was allowed. The circuit also allows for to be controlled by an external 5V logic signal. This can be used to decouple the speakers in case a fault is detected.


The circuit schematic is presented in figure 1 and as you can see it uses just discrete components. It is a linear voltage ramp generator that commands a power transistor. The current charging capacitor C1 and the capacitor’s value are the parameters that set the ramp’s slope.


Speaker delay circuit schematic

Figure 1

In figure 1 Q3 forms a constant current source adjustable via POT1. R1, R2, D1, D2 set a voltage on the base of Q3 of about 5.4V and this means about 6V voltage drop over R6 and POT1 series connection. Assuming Ic3 = Ie3=Icharge,

Icharge = 6V/(R6+POT1)

Lets set POT1 at 90kohms for ease of calculation. This gives R6+POT1 = 100k.

Icharge = 60uA

Since Q3 is in saturation mode we can assume a voltage drop over C-E of about 0.5V so the voltage over the capacitor Vc1= 5.5V. The time for the capacitor to be charged to 5.5V is defined by the below equation:

T= (C1*Vc1)/Icharge = 0.91 second


Q2 buffers the voltage across C1 capacitor. It also provides a small delay until Vc1 reaches around 0.6V to bias Q2’s B-E junction. Q1 acts as a switch and when turned on via a 5V signal it absorbs most of the current from Q3 and capacitor will not be charged.

Q4 has the role to drive the relay. It is a small power transistor and it’s enabled via POT2. This variable transistor has the role to set the on/off steps based on the ramp voltage. If too low the relay will be on very fast and stay on if too high the relay will never activate.

Speaker delay circuit schematic

Figure 2

In figure 2 the time step is 200ms and we can see the ramp is about 1s long, very close to what we calculated. The blue trace is the Fault signal. When a 5V pulse is present the capacitor C1 is discharged very fast (pink trace) and speakers are decoupled (green trace). When the fault signal goes to logic low or ground the ramp generator shortly starts the process and enables the relay after about 1 second.

Speaker delay circuit schematic

Figure 3


Speaker delay circuit schematic

Figure 4

Figure 3 shows how the relay is activated faster if the POT2 is set too low in value and figure 4 shows a correct setting. The yellow trace represents power switched on.

Below you can see the circuit in the right side of the board.

Speaker delay circuit schematic スピーカ遅延回路図


Parts list does not contain the connectors in the schematic because the circuit most likely will be used as a part of something bigger:

Part Quantity
BC549 2
BC559 1
BD139 1
1N4001 3
R 12K 5% 0.25W 3
R 10K 5% 0.25W 2
C 10u 25V 1
POT 250K 1
POT 10K 1

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Monitoring Amplifier モニターアンプ P1

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Hello, こんにちは,


I like listening to loud music usually, i like to feel the impact of instruments close to live levels. Of course this is not always possible especially after work at late hours.


To overcome this I decided to build a monitoring amplifier this weekend. It will allow me to see the level of the source before coupling to the power amp and also to switch speakers off and just use headphones.

モニターアンプこの週末を構築することを決めた。ソースのレベルをチェックすることができます, そしてまた、オフスピーカーを切り替え、ヘッドフォンを使用しています。

It is also important to have a good tone control circuit to adjust loudness at low levels.


A first block diagram is presented below. アンプのブロック図。

Monitor audio Amplifier

Looking through my things to select components for this project, I found the chassis from the preamplifier module of a soviet Reel to Reel deck Rostov 105. The chassis has all the controls i needed on the front panel including two nice needle VU-meters.

amp chasis

I took the chassis down and cleaned it and i verified all the pots and switches and cleaned them.

Audio Monitor Amplifier

For Power Amplifier i have a LM3886 stereo kit which will be extremely useful. I used this kit for a while and it has a decent sound being one of the best audio chips in my opinion. I attached this kit to a heatsink from a Yamaha A-500.

The kit also comes with a dual VCA chip for DC volume control, the M5283P. This is a very good solution to keep noise from potentiometer out of audio path.

モニターアンプM5283 dual VCA


I built a power supply for the amplifier section and mounted them on the chassis.

LM3886 Audio Amplifier

LM3886 power amplifier

LM3886 Audio Amplifier

LM3886 Audio Amplifier

Potentiometer controlling the VC input of the dual VCA chip.


LM3886 Audio Amplifier

In the next article i will discuss more about the VCA and build the tone control, metering circuits.

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