- Hardcover: 300 pages
- Publisher: Wem Publishing; Second Edition edition (February 11, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0956154522
- ISBN-13: 978-0956154521
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 59 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Designing Tube Preamps for Guitar and Bass, 2nd Edition Second Edition Edition
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This book changed all that. I've been through countless books, videos, forums, blogs, etc., and this book is easily the most concise and clear resource on the topic. The book doesn't cover every aspect of guitar amplifier design - a complete course would also include power supply design and PA design. But as a preamp design guide, it covers most of what any beginner to intermediate tinkerer will want to know. It's probably also a good reference guide even for those with more advanced electronics skills.
If you're an absolute beginner to electronics, it will help to understand some of the fundementals of electronics and electricity, such as Ohm's Law, before diving into this book. On the other hand I personally made a huge leap in my electronics understaning (not just guitar amp understanding) from reading this book, and the intrepid newbie will be rewarded.
The conceptual parts of the book are made very simple, and the book is remarkably readable for such a technical topic. If you're serious about electronics design (of any type,) some math will be required. Merlin provides just enough math not to be overwhelming, but provides formulas that are immediately useful. If you're comfortable with basic algebra, this will be a breeze.
Like most of us, I'm self-taught on this subject. Until this book came along, anything beyond filtering and coupling was largely guesswork or simply lifted from existing circuits. I don't want to oversell it but this book has been a game changer for me. My only regret is that it wasn’t written 20 years ago.
The pages on biasing suggestions for the individual stages of an ultra-high-gain design and the process for adjusting the gain structures of each stage are just tiny examples of this books value. If you're intimidated by the complexity of channel switching in Mesa's or a JVM410H, this book will make you comfortable enough to consider some form of it in your next build. Same goes for understanding lead dress (hint: it can be more predictable than guesswork and a chopstick). Algebra was my worst subject in high school, but I found it very manageable (the answers are already provided :-). With a little effort you will learn enough to REALLY tweak your existing amp or build a fire-breathing monster from the ground up.
On that note: As the title makes clear, text doesn’t cover power supplies or power amps, but Blencowe is kind enough to provide some info on his web site to get you started and Richard Kuehnel’s books can fill some of the gaps. And yes, the book does have the occasional typo. The good news is that these are limited to misspellings and not anything that would get you into trouble. Highly recommended!
This book opened my eyes to many things that I looked at incorrectly, and I have over a 100 amp builds under my belt. It filled gaps in my knowledge that many who are self taught like me will have.
Now since reading this book I go back and read some of the more complex books like RDH4, or even more simpler info like Tube Receiving manuals with greater understanding as to how to use them, and make my own designs.
In a nut shell, this book ranks number 1, and I look forward to more by the author. I liked it so much, I bought my friend (who also builds amps) a copy