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  Believe the Hypex, class-D DIY amplifier 
  Dec 08, 2005, 07:30am EST 

UcD, universal class-D

By: Sander Sassen

In order to be able to sell kits using class-D technology, Hypex licensed the most promising class-D technology to date: Philipís UcD, universal class-D. This technology was developed and patented for Philips by the cerebrally adept Belgian engineer Bruno Putzeys. In a stroke of genius Bruno was hired by Hypex to continue work on class-D technology after he stopped working at Philips. UcD differs from other class-D concepts by putting the output filter into the amplifierís feedback loop and hence making the amplifier frequency response independent of the load attached. This translates itself, among other things, into an amplifier equally capable of driving a 16-ohm as well as a 2-ohm loudspeaker whilst not suffering from any changes in the amplifierís frequency response because of it. The UcD concept has other benefits as well, such as an excellent impulse response and slew-rate irrespective of the attached loudspeaker, all of which combined make Hypexís decision to use this concept a clear-cut one.

Hypex UcD400 amplifier module

The Hypex UcD400 amplifier module, offering up to 400-watts of power.

Currently Hypex offers a whole range of UcD class-D amplifier modules, power supplies and other parts that allow you to build your own amplifier. But why would you want to build you own amplifier you might ask yourself, when you can simply buy one? Well, in this case you canít or at least not at the price youíll pay for the amplifier in kit form. Hypex does supply similar amplifiers to a number of clients that all cater to demanding customers in the top-end of HiFi, but these amplifiers come with a substantial price tag. So the only way to get your hands on an UcD class-D amplifier is by building one yourself by using the Hypex amplifier modules. Frankly this isnít that hard, as the amplifier modules are all supplied with instructions that tell you exactly what goes where and whatís needed to get these modules up and running properly.

Hypex HG power supply

The Hypex HG power supply, featuring 40.000-uF of capacitor storage.

So what do you need? Well, as mentioned Hypex offers a number of different amplifier modules, starting with a power rating range of 180-watts (UcD180) to 700-watts (UcD700) of power into 4-ohms. For any stereo amplifier youíll need two identical amplifier modules, more if youíre aiming to construct a multi-channel amplifier of course. Obviously youíll also need to supply these with sufficient power and for that purpose Hypex offers power supply kits tailored to fit the needs of these amplifiers. Building an amplifier with these modules is basically a matter of connecting the modules together according to the instructions provided; you canít really go wrong if you follow these to the letter. All that is required of you is to provide a case and one or two transformers and make sure everything is wired up correctly paying particular attention to the high-voltage part of the amplifier which connects to the mains.

1. Introduction
2. UcD, universal class-D
3. Putting it together
4. Performance figures
5. Conclusion

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