I've been given the task to design a multistage transistor amp.
Specs given are:

  • Overall voltage gain: 80 (min) to 100 (max)
  • Input resistance no less than 1Mohm
  • Voltage supplies: +-10V
  • Achieve max output voltage swing when Load Resistance is 2kohm
  • Capacitive coupling with low freq cut off of no lower than 30Hz but no greater than 60Hz
  • Amp must also include negative feedback from final stage to an earlier stage (preference: voltage-voltage/voltage-series)

Design Plan

[PS. I am aware I don't need the emitter cap in stage 2 of the design above; I believe I must split the emitter resistor into two separate resistors for the negative feedback I'm hoping to implement.]

I'm trying to design the first stage using JFET, but haven't been able to design it very well.
From the data sheet, I see the typical values for IDSS and VGSoff are 10mA and -8V (Although in the lab, actual VGSoff seemed to be = -4V).

Keeping this in mind, I calculated values of resistors:
Assuming RD = 4.5k and RL=10k, I calculated RS = 350ohm. This didnt seem to work in simulation in PSpice or when I built it in the lab.
Is there a way to calculate RD/RL instead of assuming values?

However, I have a question regarding biasing in my case. I went with R1=R2=2Meg (for low freq response). Still didn't work.
Which, from Self-Bias and Voltage divider at gate, seems like the best way to go in my design?

Even if I get values, I could calculate backwards and see how the theory works out.

Help much appreciated!

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ When you have the chance to use PSpice why didn`t you play a bit with the values - in particular with the input bias - to find a suitable working point? What is the desired gate-source voltage? \$\endgroup\$
    – LvW
    Commented Mar 27, 2016 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you should try a different approach. Consider that feedback reduces gain. So you probably want a circuit that has very high open loop gain (theoretical gain without feedback) and then you can adjust the feedback network to yield the closed loop gain (the actual gain). For example, if you use a current source with a compound JFET BJT input, you should be able to get a gain of a 1,000,000 or so. Then the feedback will also reduce the output impedance as desired. I think you could do it with 3 transistors and no coupling caps or "stages". \$\endgroup\$
    – squarewav
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 8:42

1 Answer 1


The design is a bit off in some areas, first the FET biasing scheme is fine but its a bit of downside as you will limit the input impedance, you should aim for a self biasing scheme, FET will not give you a gain typically more than 4 times so its up to the later BJT to exact the gain.

Let Re in both stages be split to 2 resistors, with the lower in parallel with bypass cap, your lower frequency limit is calculated by the bypass cap \$ value = \frac{1}{ 2*pi*R*C} \$ where R is the resistance in parallel, for high frequency limit you should connect a cap between collector and ground or Vcc and calculate the value the same but with the resistor being the collector resistor.

For gain assume Ic = 1mA, Ve = 1V so Re = 1Kohm, since gain is Av= -Rc/Re1 just set the Rc to a value like 2K and a gain of say 10, then Re1 = 200 ohm, since Re total = 1 K then the bypassed resistor is 1k -200 = 800, assume that first stage a gain of 2, second stage a gain of 10 and third stage a gain of 5, then total gain is 2 * 10 * 5 = 100

For the FET use a self bias scheme with 1 - 10 Meg resistor and set the current for example to 1mA, since you want it to work in active mode, then RgIg - RsId - Vgs = 0; since Ig = 0; then RsId = -Vgs, Vgs = -4V, Id = 1mA, then Rs = 4Kohm, you can as well split and do the bypass trick to get a higher gain = -Rd/Rs otherwise it would be Av= -gmRd

I forgot to add the higher frequency limit capacitor, add it in the last stage from collector to Vcc before the decoupling cap, for feedback take a line from R8 top through a resistor and capacitor up to R14 top (input of Q1), I not that experienced with Feedback but I think it sould do a shunt-shunt feedback. enter image description here


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