Forte amplifiers: design and specifications FYI
Before sending my Forte 4a on to its next owner, I've copied the interesting bits of the manual as a public service and in the hope of building at some point a replica, a DIY version, of the 4a. The difference between models 4 and 4a, incidentally, is that the "a" version has XLR connectors.
(If the manual contained circuit schematics I would have copied them, but it doesn't.)
Design and Construction
Forte amplifiers are non-inverting, complementary symmetry power amplifiers and are the first to have a power output stage using isulated gate bi-polar power transistors. These are a new semiconductor design that exhibits the most advantageous characteristics of both bi-polar and MOSFFET devices and performs well with such inherent linear accuracy that Forte amplifiers are completely free from overall feedback correction. This means that the dynamic anomalies which characterize wide-band correction loop systems simply cannot occur and that the amplified signal will retain maximum purity.
The design of the Forte amplifiers places simplicity of gain path foremost and employs classic techniques to achieve linear response with the use of only nominal amounts of localized negative feedback for error correction. This approach seeks to place the signal circuitry in a high-current, or biased, state in order to minimize the distortion caused by variations in output current. In this pursuit Forte models 5 and 6 utilize pure class A operation in all gain stages prior to their high-biased class AB output stage and Forte models 4 and 7 include pure class A operation through their power output stages as well.
Forte amplifiers have a direct-coupled output stage for each channel consisting of ultra low-noise matched FET differential devices biased by regulated constant-current sources. These drive gain transistors are loaded with regulated constant-current sources. The superior linearity of this topology assures, again, that distortion can be controlled with only minimal local feedback application.
Your Forte amplifier is equipped with a custom manufactured toroidal power transformer that is capable of providing twice its continuous rating for extended periods. This ensures that the transformer is able to source a constant voltage under any load demand encountered by the amplifier. The output of the transformer passes through twin high-current bridges and is smoothed into a DC voltage by high capacity computer-grade capacitors.
All Forte amplifiers are built to the highest standards of craftsmanship. Circuit components are selected from the finest available. Circuit boards are military-grade glass-epoxy; all internal connections are hand-soldered. The conducting surfaces of input and output connectors are gold-plated to total immunity to oxidation. Metal film and wirewound resistors are used as are film and silver-mica capacitors. Assembly, testing, and adjustment of each Forte amplifier is done on an individual basis.
nominal output: 50W/channel into 8 Ohms, 20-20KHz at no more than 0.1% THD
nominal output: 150W/channel into 8 Ohms, 20-20KHz at no more than 0.1% THD
model 7 (monoblock):
nominal output: 75W into 8 Ohms, 20-20KHz at no more than 0.1% THD
models 4, 6, and 7:
bandwidth: -3dB points at 3Hz and 100KHz
slew rate: 50V per microsecond
input impedance: 47,000 Ohms
output impedance: 0.02 Ohms 3hz-20KHz, equiv. damping factor = 400
current capability: 50 amperes max, 16 continuous into 0.1 Ohm
output noise: < 300 microvolts