Q. Which books will give me a good grounding in electronics?

Published in SOS May 2010
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I'm interested in getting a good grounding in electronics for microphone, amp, speaker and processor design. Are there any good, accessible technical books you can recommend that give more than a simple introduction to electronics?

Books such as this one by Neil Storey offer a good grounding in electronics for those who would like to get into microphone, amp and speaker design in the long term.Books such as this one by Neil Storey offer a good grounding in electronics for those who would like to get into microphone, amp and speaker design in the long term.

Nigel Groves, via email

SOS Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns replies: There are lots of books on electronics theory and design, some relatively generalist and some more audio‑centric, but rather fewer on the detailed specifics of microphone, speaker and processor designs. While there doesn't seem to be a single perfect solution, The Art Of Electronics (Horowitz & Hill, Cambridge University Press) is still my firm favourite generalist electronics design tome, and Electronics; A Systems Approach (Neil Storey, Prentice Hall) is often used on university courses. Small Signal Audio Design (Douglas Self, Focal Press) might also prove useful, as would most of Mr Self's books, in fact, along with those of John Linsley Hood and Ben Duncan, who also write well on the subject of electronics specifically for audio applications. For the equipment design side of things, High‑Performance Loudspeakers (Martin Colloms, John Wiley & Sons) is very educational and, if you can get hold of a copy, the Microphone Engineering Handbook (edited by Michael Gayford, Focal Press), equally so.

That should help to get the ball rolling. Also, if you live near a university town, a trip to the college bookshop can often be very helpful in finding good instructional books on electronics, and a tour of the Amazon website will often reveal countless possibilities for more specialist works.  

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