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Amplifier Books


ibanez_crazy
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So obviously, Melvins book is the go to guide for guitar building, but what about tube amps... I already read tube amp theory by Tino Zotolla, but Im looking for the ultimate hombrew tube amp book. Dave Hunter? Gerald Weber? Already been to ax84 and the 18 watt community, just to name a few, but is there one book that anyone found to be more informative than others? Anywhere I go and ask about tube amps, I get dumbfounded looks and comments like"you mean vacuum tubes?!?! Thats ancient history"----Direct quote from a electronics store clerk HAHA

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If you can stand the prices, Kevin O'Connor's [i} The Ultimate Tone series is well worth reading - like Weber, he's definitely impressed with his own abilities, and apparently unimpressed with the rest of the world, but I guess a healthy ego never hurt a designer, irritating though it may be.

Alternatively, and absolutely free, both Tone Lizard and Randall Aiken have extensive info on their respective websites - Tone Lizards's Ultimate JCM800 article is worth the price of quite a few of the amp books available, and it won't cost you a dime.

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That tone lizard site is a lot to take in ay once, but very cool. Seems a very straight to the point approach. However, Im looking more for a beginners guide. Not that I dont understand what is being said, but I like to be very clear on the hows, whys,and what not. (Why would matched tubes be preferd or not, instead of the guy at the music store sayin, well these are the most expensive....must be the best.)

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Yep, Tone Lizard is an awesome sight. I'm still trying to take it all in. I'm still trying to figure out if I can stand paying for O'Connor's books. It would be one thing if they were actually published books, but they're just plastic bound stuff you can have done at Kinko's. His margin on those things must be 1200%!

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...

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I'm still trying to figure out if I can stand paying for O'Connor's books.
I'm with you there! The irritating thing is that he apparently does know what he's talking about! Sooner or later I'll have to break down and buy 'em! Besides, Torres is asking $45.00 for the "new" edition of Inside Tube Amps, so maybe it's not that far out of line!
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Well, anything you buy would likely be able to be resold should you find that your heart isn't in it. I'm sure that at least a few of us here would be interested, so you'd recoup some of your money. If you don't know if you're into it, you'll never know until you learn and do it. But the books don't necessarily have to be the first step in learning. Most of the tube amp projects out there are fairly accessible and have a strong user community.

Honestly, if you want to do a project tube amp, do it and then buy the books to learn more if it tickles your fancy. Just be sure to read up on all the project literature, especially safety stuff, before beginning.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...

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I'm with you there! The irritating thing is that he apparently does know what he's talking about! Sooner or later I'll have to break down and buy 'em! Besides, Torres is asking $45.00 for the "new" edition of Inside Tube Amps, so maybe it's not that far out of line!

Same here. I know I'll buy them eventually, I just won't like doing it. I saw a set on eBay months ago, but they went for as much as new copies, so I didn't bid.

Remember the Alamo, and God bless Texas...

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528 pages!!!! I dont think my ancient computer will handle it. I did however think of that, but Id rather flip pages than check each scan to find what Im lookin for. Ordering my amp kit and either the ultimate tone or tube guitar amp essentials this week. Any preferences between the 2 books, or am I on my own. :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

Kit is coming together sure but steady. Bought Webers book on Tony Kranks suggestion(who knew it would be so easy to contact the man?!?) Got Dave Hunters book on tube amps for Christmas, and talked to Tino Zatolla about his homebrew amp books, and I will probably buy those too. Now, I have yet to find anything that explains how to cascade boost the preamp stages far added gain, just schematics, and I was curious if there was anyone that knows of some resourses for that in particular.

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How was the book by Tino Zottola? I was thinking of buying his books

Vacuum Tube Guitar and Bass Amplifier Theory

Building Tube Guitar Amplifiers Book (Vol 1)

Building Tube Guitar Amplifiers Book (Vol 2)

Vacuum Tube Guitar and Bass Amplifier Repair

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The theory book is good for basic knowledge, but not directly helpfull as far as building your own amp. It explains basic tube function and circuits, but it was a bit over my head at the time. I need to get it back from the library, now that I have somewhat of an idea of how it all works. If you email him through evilbay, he'll send ya some pages out of the books.Im still searching for the ultimate beginners guide. I work on cars for a living, so reading wiring diagrams is not a big deal, but its all 14 volts DC. Needed something to show the differences between the too. The book stewmac has is good for someone that already has a grasp on schemaitcs, it has a seperate section full of them, but its sparce with info on doing "yer own thang"

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Maybe getting the book on building guitar amps vol. 1 by Zottola will help. I'll probably email him and ask him a few questions.

-Jamie

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes I am interested because if his books are garbage I don't want to waste 100 bucks for all of them lol.

This is supposed to be a good book on building amps.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/075065694...=books&v=glance

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havent read that one yet, but Ill have to check it out.

Tinos book volume 2 is good for building exactly what he has listed in the book, but thats it. Its very detailed in what wires connect where, how to drill yer holes, troubleshooting it after its build, but not much else. Everything is specific to the amps he has listed. There are no modificaton exapmles, no theory behind the build. Its basically drill hole at x spot. install x componnent, solder to x pin on x cap and voila. Its a great book for building a Marshall plexi from scratch, but not for me. Im looking to go deeper.

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I understand. So you want to know what a capacitor does in the amp and what a resistor does in the amp, and stuff along the lines of that, correct? If so, maybe you should check out his book "Vacuum Tube Guitar and Bass Amplifier Repair" by Tino Zottola.

Here's the contents.

1. Foreword

2. History of Vacuum Tubes

3. Vacuum Tube Operation: Edison effect, triodes, tube characteristics, biasing, modes of operation, rectifiers, triode amps, phase inverters, Class A amps, Class AB & B amps and oscillators

4. Amplifier Topology

5. Amplifier Tonal Characteristics

6. Amplifier Chassis Layout

7. Bibliography

8. APPENDIX A: Resistor Code

9. APPENDIX B: Capacitor Code

10. APPENDIX C: Wire Gauge Table

11. APPENDIX D: Musical versus Frequency Table

12. APPENDIX E: Vacuum Tube Data

13. British versus American terminology

Edited by sepultura999
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The contents you have listed are for his theory book that I read. Good read but didnt answer my questions. Have the tube amp essentials by Weber already, and it only had 3 pages on DIY amps. Basically, Im curious why a fender tweed amp and a peavey 5150 amp are both tube amps, but the 5150 can really crank with out over fuzzing the distortion, and a cranked tweed will never sound like a 5150 as far as distortion. Dont get me wrong, the tweed is a beautiful amp, just not my bag o tricks.

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not certain but the 5150 prob has more of a early marshall design than the fender. it might even have more preamp tube stages i dont have scheamatic for 5150. but there are many places to get more gain out of most amp designs. the trick is not to try to get to much out of a single stage spread it out gradually through out the entire preamp and allow the power section to do most of the work you will get more of a managable overdrive/distortion. just my theory dont take it to hart im still learning these valve driven beast myself lmao!

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No, Ya know whats funny? Your statement about spreading out the gain stages makes perfect sense, and I understand perfectly...but I had to spend over a hundred bucks on books to read over the past couple of weeks.....AND ITS NOT MENTIONED IN ANY OF THE BOOKS THAT SIMPLY. I had to figure that out on my own. Whacha gonna do. Everyting I have learned thus far has been based more on failure than success, and yet Im still alive.

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lmao! well you know i have read for months now on these things and i just about get the guts up to do a mod and then i talk to the guys on here and they prove that most of the stuff im reading is misconstrued in form or fashion to make it seem an easy thing but everything you do in one of these monsters is going to cause a chain reaction so everthing else has to be ajusted to compensate. so the mods are a reality but you have to ask yourself if you are willing to do all that has to be done.

peace bro

best of luck

robert latham

p.s. my best guess on the 5150 is a higher voltage on the plates and posablely smaller resistance on the grid resistors ala more gain and headroom at less distortion

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