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The Tube Amp Book - Deluxe Revised Edition Book and Disk Package (Hardcover) Spiral-bound – September 1, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books; Har/Cdr edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879307676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879307677
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.4 x 13.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Spiral-bound
I've been fooling with tube guitar amps for decades. I more or less know what I am doing with them, and I've found most of the information that I want on line. But I thought it would be nice to have a book or two to consult when my wife or daughter was at the computer, when I was tinkering with an amp, or when I just didn't feel like sitting at a desk and looking at screen. Based on its appearance and description, I chose this book. Bad decision.

This book insulted me. I felt used and abused by the author, and that has perhaps tainted this review. I expected a comprehensive and useful guide. That is what this book should have been and what the format and price -and the use of "THE" in the title -- seemed to promise. Instead, I dropped $33 on a big, glossy advertisement for the author's "Groove Tube" tube-selling operation and, by extension, the manufacturers who buy tubes from him.

To make a happy customer, promise less and deliver more. This book went the other way.

Yes, some of the content is useful and interesting, written passages as well as photos. But the section describing amp brands and histories is rendered woefully incomplete as the author veers and swerves through it to make opportunities to refer to himself and his tubes and pimp for the manufacturers that buy from him. (Be wary of authors who never miss opportunities to tell you how important and knowledgeable they are. Quality of content should speak for itself.) Redundancies abound, further wasting the reader's time and valuable space that could have been used to at least mention other manufacturers or give some details about those that deserved more than a paragraph or two.
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Format: Spiral-bound
Aspen Pittman, whom I have met and talked to at several industry conventions such as NAMM and AES, is not a highly technical individual: in fact I doubt he even understands basic electronics. His book is therefore a compilation of a lot of schematics and (on Fenders) parts layouts for guitar amplifiers, and a few articles written by various tech writers, some of which are of merit and some of which aren't.
The schematics are not very legible and many contain known errors. For this price, he could at least get that part right. I don't recommend this book unless you cannot find a needed schematic or layout anywhere else.
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Format: Spiral-bound
I am building a 50 watt tube amp based off of Marshall & Fender designs; somewhat of a hybrid. I bought this for the schematics and such. The book is more of a history of tube amps, info on the parts/tubes & schematics, but it is not a DIY book. If you do not know what you are doing and you want to build your own amp, this book will not be a help. If you already know how to build one and need schematics and would also like to know the history of amps and the parts, this is good book for that. Also as stated in previous reviews, the schematics can be very hard to read, some are handwritten or bad copies, but with some work, can be read.
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Format: Spiral-bound
I was looking for a good starter/primer on tube amps, and this book serves that purpose. It is, however, a running advertisement for Groove Tubes, which in itself, is not a bad thing, but can be a bit distracting or annoying at times. The author also points out the book's editorial shortcomings. I don't see why grammatical errors, for example, should not be corrected in revision rather than acknowledged. They do distract the flow of reading, and the contributions in this book (many excerpted from magazine articles) come from amp guys, not English majors, so flow can be a challenge at times regardless.

The book centers on descriptions of tube amp brands and famous models, giving greater detail on Fender, Marshall, and Vox than the rest. It also imparts some good information on basic signal flow, and gives a few tips on repair and nomenclature, though it is not, and I don't think is intended to be, a repair guide.

Overall, a decent book, a good starting point, and a worthwhile purchase.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I thought I was buying an engineering-oriented manual.
This is more like if your science & history museum made a documentary book about tube amplifiers.
The information is fascinating and much of it is from industry insiders you might be a fan of if you follow tube amplifier engineering.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
This book is by, and for, musicians that like tube amps. Apsen Pittman doesn't just love the equipment, he went into a successful business building amps and as a tube supplier which naturally gets lots of air time here. Expect for a few exceptions, Groove Tube imports, tests, rates and marks G.T. on units you can get from other suppliers at a lower cost. But the guy does know what he's talking about from a non engineering standpoint which is fine for a guy like me with basic electronics understanding. The GT promotion gets annoying at times but if you can get past it, it's a good book. It's not real technical, it's not a DIY guide. That said Pittman included hundreds of schematics, for some reason. Unless you can read them there's not much point unless you have an oldie your tech can't find a schematic for and need some work done on it. There's lots of great pictures of vintage gear to drool over and short rundowns and histories on amps and builders past and present. There's good, every day common sense info that can help a lot if you are shopping for a tube amp. Along with Guitar Amplifier Handbook by Dave Hunter it will help making a decision twords choosing an amplifier for sure but it may make you want to break the bank and buy a collector's item.
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The Tube Amp Book - Deluxe Revised Edition  Book and Disk Package (Hardcover)
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