Posted on Saturday, 27th November 2010 by Auw Jimmy

When it comes to high current and high efficiency, actually we don’t have much option rather than using switching based power supply. For most of consumer electronic equipment, this kind of power supply probably one of the best choice. But for audio, I would like to avoid it – really avoid it.

But again, the option to go high current with non-switching based power supply probably would introduce another issue – heat or thermal dissipation. We are talking a high current regulated output. Bear in mind that switching based power supply is quite stable. So if we plan to replace them, make sure we have a quite stable solution also. Not much choices available, rather than go to the regulated one.

Not many regulator could handle high current. Quite easy to go up to 1A with classic 78xx/79xx based regulator – although the sonic performance is mediocre.

Better solution we can pick LM317 probably up to 1.5A or the bigger brother, LM338 up to 5A. This one is sonically better than 78xx/79xx based regulator.

Another high-end approach is to use LT1083/84/85/86. This one could handle up to 7.5A with some limitation. Probably one of the best, but I doubt we can push the limit for this kind of regulator.

I would try another cheaper solution, LM723 with extra pass transistor to provide enough extra current (we can go up to 10A with this, and the heat will be well shared to the pass transistor rather than on single chip).

Actually we can go with 0.5 Watt of resistor, but I go with the 2 Watts for all when available.

The copper side of the PCB is totally covered with the tin. I did this to make sure all the connection and trace are ready for higher current (my personal approach though’).

Later, I will connect the pass transistor and we are ready to rumble.






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Posted in DIY Audio | Comments (6)


6 Responses to “High Current Regulator with LM723”


  1. palpaker says:

    is the current can be adjust?

  2. Auw Jimmy says:

    Hi,
    I dont think so.
    Thanks.

  3. Paul says:

    Hello Auw Jimmy! Great report!

    Why do you consider 78xx sonic performance to be mediocre? And why you are avoiding switching PSUs? Currently I’m burning extra 3v with all the switching noise with 78xx. May be I’m missing something? I don’t need that much current, but sound quality is important for me

  4. Auw Jimmy says:

    Hi Paul,
    Well, it’s your call. Trust your ears! Whether people are saying that is bad, but you like it, then go ahead.
    Thanks.

  5. Paul says:

    I’m a newbie in electronics, that’s why I tend to trust people that have done more cool stuff then I. So if I hear you say it is bad, I think “may be it really is” :-)
    May be the reason it seems to be OK in my project vs yours is that I’m building a synth (but power consuming though), and you are building an amplifier. Amplifier draws current not so evenly, maybe that’s the reason.

  6. Auw Jimmy says:

    Hi Paul,
    Yes, it could be. But trust your own ears. You simply shouldn’t say it’s bad because someone else says the same ;-)
    Thanks.


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