The interrelationships which affect the design of the first stage of a feedback amplifier are examined. A simple but accurate first-stage criterion for avoiding slew-rate limiting in an audio amplifier is derived. This is compared with a pulse-amplifier design criterion, and also a bound on first-stage degeneration due to W. M. Leach. It is shown that Leach's bound is a simpler form of the pulse-amplifier criterion and is therefore useful in the design of pulse amplifiers. It is also shown that the audio-amplifier criterion gives the least stringent design requirement and demands the least first-stage degeneration, affording performance advantages in audio applications.
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