Wikipedia (Beta): Amplifier

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Amplifier Generally, an amplifier or simply amp, is any device that changes, usually increases, the amplitude of a signal.
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    Harmonic content of a wave form
    What we've said up to now with regards to sinusoids is a fundamental truth upon which we will base the rest of our sound reality. An aspect which contributes a lot to the characteristics of sound is its harmonics.
    It is not a distortion of the truth (excuse the shakespearian pun..!) to state that this effect has literally changed music history. The birth of rock music in fact owes a lot to this effect, which was discovered by chance as a result of a wrong amplification.
    The amplifier
    For a complete study of amplifying circuits we advise the reader to refer to specialized textbooks on the subject. Here we will be looking at the main aspects of the functions and characteristics that relate to the correct calibration of an audio amplifying system.
    Amplification curve
    It describes the amplifier's action on the input signal. The following diagram illustrates a voltage amplifier's possible amplification curve.
    Distortion by saturation
    Now let's see what this implies in terms of sound itself. As we have already seen in its pertaining section, a sinusoidal signal comprises of one single frequency Pure sinusoid, equal to the number of cycles that the sinusoid itself undergoes per second.

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