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Alternator and voltage regulator

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Hi. What I perceive after reading few websites that car alternator converts AC to pulsating DC using diodes. After that a mechanical relay type vibrating switch is used to stabilize DC output within battery voltage range. I can break my question as below,
What is the ac voltage of alternator before rectification.
Why don't we use DC-DC converter after diode rectification as voltage regulator OR why don't we use AC-DC converter, eliminating diode rectification, as voltage regulator.
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