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Guitar Amplifier Handbook - Understanding Tube Amplifiers and Getting Great Sounds (Softcover) Paperback – October 1, 2005


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Guitar Amplifier Handbook - Understanding Tube Amplifiers and Getting Great Sounds (Softcover) + Design and Construction of Tube Guitar Amplifiers + The Tube Amp Book - Deluxe Revised Edition  Book and Disk Package (Hardcover)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087930863X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879308636
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dave Hunter, author of Guitar Effects Pedals, is an American musician and journalist who has worked in both Britain and the USA. His is a former editor of The Guitar Magazine (UK), has contributed to TV and radio documentaries, and has edited and contributed to books such as: Acoustic Guitars - The Illustrated Encyclopedia; The Tube Amp Book - Deluxe Revised Edition; Guitar - A Complete Guide for the Player; and Recording Guitar and Bass.

More About the Author

Dave Hunter is a leading guitar writer and a musician. His books include Totally Guitar, Guitar effects Pedals and Guitar Rigs.

Customer Reviews

Dave does a good job writing this book, very detailed information.
John
This book gives a very good basic description of the parts of a tube guitar amplifier amplifier and what they do and how they effect the output and tone of an amp.
E. Taylor
Highly recommended, and I highly recommend Dave's other books as well!
tim b

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Robi St. Antoine on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
There are not a lot of books specifically about guitar tube amps, and while there are certainly some great texts out there, nobody had written a comprehensive, plain-english, yet technically in-depth resource explaining how all the different parts of a guitar tube amp add up to great tone... Until now. I think there are many people like myself who don't have any kind of engineering background (i.e.; no math) yet who have a deep interest in understanding exactly what makes their vintage amp tick, and who might just want to build one from scratch one day. This book is for us. Dave Hunter has done his homework and put together a manual that covers a great sampling of makes and types, explaining things that many of the other books assume you already know, and in a non-condescending manner. The Guitar Amp Handbook is from the same publisher that put out the latest edition of The Tube Amp Book by Aspen Pittman, and it is a perfect complement to that book which, while rich in schematics is pretty lacking in technical explanation... Actually, The Tube Amp book has a similar problem that plagues most existing tube amp books; it has great tips and tricks, but no real fundamentals. Dave Hunter has given us the foundation that will finally allow us to actually benefit from the other books.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By tim b on November 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Buy it! If you have any interest at all in how your guitar amplifier works, you need this book - I can't recommend it anymore than that! Dave has authored more books from Publisher Backbeat Books, and they're all killer productions - great/informative writing, superb binding, covers and great detail in the publishing aspects of these books.

Dave Hunter is well versed in all things guitar, as I have learned through buying and reading all of his works to date. He's got a unique book here in his approach and honesty on the subject, and it's worth every penny. Loaded with real world, no BS information - great sections on signal chain, components, how to select the right amp for you and at the end, a fully documented amplifier kit (which is now available through the publisher's website) which you can either buy direct, or put together with your own parts!

Highly recommended, and I highly recommend Dave's other books as well!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey R. Balme on April 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When you are done reading this - you will understand tube-based (and let's face it those are the only kind any of us really care about) guitar amplifiers. Hunter writes clearly, and concisely, my only objection to his style is that he's a little bit too sympathetic to people's feelings. I'd rather he just apologize once for his opinions and level his criticisms.

But that's me.

I've been playing guitar for going on 30 years, and I managed to learn practical service information about tubes and controls as well as effects set up.

The great thing about this book is it will actually teach you how to build an amp! I haven't tried it as I've not got the money for the kit, but I feel more than encouraged by the clean layout and direct explanations.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Barry Barancik on December 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I wanted a good introduction to guitar tube amplifiers. This book got me only part of the way there. Some of the information is very interesting, and the writing is readable. However, what I wanted most was a basic idea of how amps work, and the book does not succeed on this score.

The author attempts to explain how amps work by explaining his way through schematics of several classic amps. This approach had several problems.
--The author does not provide a good general description of what role each component (resistors, caps, etc.) is meant to play in modifying the signal. He should have defined each of these concepts better at the outset.
--The author does not provide a good general description of the functions of major sections of amplifiers (for example, what a rectifier is for and how it affects sound)
--The author's approach of describing specific cases (specific amp schematics) to illustrate a general point (how most tube amps work) is ineffective. This approach leaves the user trying to figure out the general principles from the specifics provided -- not a good tactic for an introductory text.
--The schematics used are tiny copies of the original, often hand-drawn, originals. They are difficult to read. Each schematic should have been reproduced in a standardized, computer-generated, readable format.
--The author's descriptions of the amps' workings are large blocks of prose. Schematic design begs to be described part-by-part, function-by-function, in a numbered list. Formatting the descriptions as lists would have been much easier to follow.

The book isn't a total loss. The chapter on the importance of speakers and speaker cabinets is a valuable introduction to an often-overlooked facet of tone, and the interviews with amp builders (a standard section in this series of guitar tech books) is enjoyable.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Donald Neumann on August 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is somewhat similar to the tube amp book by Aspen Pittman but I think it is much better. Dave has included several interviews by very knowledgable people in the world of tube amps, most notably Ken Fisher.

While the book does not contain any real amp modification suggestions, it does have various philosophies on modifications and the persuit of great tone.

I was pleasantly supprised and would buy it again.

-Don
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