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How to Hot Rod Your Fender Amp Paperback – February 3, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeffrey Falla modified his first amp at the age of 13 and soon after built his first amp from parts he salvaged from old jukeboxes. Today he builds ToneTron amps for a small clientele. While he still plays live shows, most of his time is spent experimenting with sound in his Minneapolis workshop.

Jeffrey Falla modified his first amp at the age of 13 and soon after built his first amp from parts he salvaged from old jukeboxes. Today he builds ToneTron amps for a small clientele. While he still plays live shows, most of his time is spent experimenting with sound in his Minneapolis workshop.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press; First edition (February 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760338477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760338476
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Sammons on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have all the repair-mod books by Dave Funk, Dan Torres, Aspen Pittman and of course Gerald Weber but this is by far the best of all. Too bad it only covers Fender amps, even though many of the topics apply to any guitar amp. The illustrations and photos are top quality, and usually when books have such high quality photos they are in the coffee table category... this one definitely isn't! This book is well written, thorough and the concepts are presented in such a clear manner that you just can't wait to start tweaking your amp. The information ranges from basic concepts which allow guitar players with no knowledge of amp repair to understand how amps work, to all the mods you can perform on a Fender amp from changing tubes (brands and tube types) to changing speakers, caps, resistors, reverb, building a circuit board, biasing etc. One minor complaint regarding biasing: the author doesn't mention the various probes-testers that facilitate measuring and setting the proper bias. (If you want to buy a good quality low cost bias tester get it from doug amp at amp head; they even sell one that measures both bias and plate voltage which makes biasing quick and safe.) However, the author shows you how to make a "bias board" which adds another level of safety to this type of operation. I had the impression that Mr. Falla reveals all his tricks without holding back any. He really wants you to know how to do what he can do and he's very good at conveying this information.
If you're approaching amp repair for the first time, or like me, you have lots of repair books that have left lots of unanswered questions, then get this book immediately, it's well worth the money!
This book is so well written that by comparison the others I have are annoying to read.
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I'm a tube amp tech myself and I found this book to be the best I've ever read on servicing/ modding your amp with no technical knowledge. It's incredibly simply written and thorough enough for the subject. Each idea is easy to do and explained step by step. Sometimes the pictures don't exactly match the text but the result is the same. I knew about most of these modifications and have even tried a few. All the advice is very sound in my opinion and he does a good job of debunking myths and also verifying others. He has great advice on tubes and speakers and when a modification may just be a waste of time and money.

If you are one of those non-tech guys constantly reading online forums about how to get more out of your amp then you need this book. I'm certain it will save you far more money than it costs in the long run.

I'd also like to note that although this is written for Fender tube amps, there's no reason to think that these ideas can't be applied to about any tube amp. The only advantage to Fender is that they have built everything the same for decades and it's easy to work on them. This makes it easy to write a step by step book that translates well over many models. This is a brilliant book on this subject.

On the down side this book will have little to offer a 30 year veteran tech but it's likely he already knows most of it. Although I knew many of the tricks in here I hadn't even considered them all simply because I'm more of a restorationist and we tend not to modify vintage amps as it will lower it's value. All of these mods are reversible to make that clear.

Thank for reading and buy this book.
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Format: Paperback
I've been messing around with amps for over thirty years and thought I knew a fair bit about them. It turns out I knew almost nothing, and that the reason most of my modifications led to worse-sounding amps rather than better-sounding was because I kenw almost nothing. This book was worth twenty times what I paid for it just because it helped me resurrect one of my botched do-it-yourself projects from several years ago. Now instead of having a $1000 end table, I have the genuine tone monster amp I wanted in the first place.

The most amazing thing is that this book is a fun read. The author has a great sense of humor, making what could easily be a dry technical tome into an interesting book. This was quite an accomplishment.
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I have a '68 Twin and decided to dust it off, and see if I might "fix it up". I never really liked the tone from it and it was always very noisy -- hums and crackles. Research told me to Blackface the circuit and replace the capacitors. Problem: I had never opened up an amp before. So, I called two reputable amp techs to do the job. One quoted $1000. Another $600. And, that was way too much dough for me. How hard could it be to do it myself, I mean, it's soldering, right? So, I got a Gerald Weber video -- highly recommend, by the way -- cool guy and there's nothing like seeing someone drain the caps, clip and solder to get over the initial butterflies. But, I needed more. I needed someone to explain and show me things in greater detail with photos and diagrams. Give me more options. For example: I can change a few resistors on the board to make it a blackface circuit -- but what about the resistors that are immediately opposite or adjacent? Should I change them as well? And, if so, then where do I stop? And then there was the problem that had caused the Twin to be closeted in the first place -- I was never thrilled with the tone. Well, this book answered all of my questions and opened up some exciting possibilities for getting mo'better tone out of this amp: brownface or tweed tone stack mods, marshall preamp mod, dual reverb, different caps and values for different channels, channel bridging, which types of tubes to consider for more warmth. And all the while, I'm learning how an amp actually works. How a dual triode works. How resistors and capacitors work together. These circuit boards are really not that mysterious after all.Read more ›
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