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Guitar Amplifier Handbook - Understanding Tube Amplifiers and Getting Great Sounds (Softcover) Paperback – October 1, 2005
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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!
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.
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.
But this book is a bit all over the place and doesn't have the best flow. ALSO if you want to build the amp mentioned in the book there are some dead links and finding the kit is a pain in the butt! And to spend close to $1,000.00 for a kit for you to assemble for an amp with LESS then 15 watts!??! It's crazy as you can get a used DR. Z, Swart or other for about the same. The kit is WAY overpriced and not a good venture for a first time amp builder. BUT this book was a very interesting read, the amp diagrams were done cheaply by hand (could have used a computer)... But no one else is doing a book like this. I read about 40% of the book in 2 days and it sits nicely on my shelf with my 100 or so other music books now.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Guitar Amplifier Handbook - Understanding Tube Amplifiers and Getting Great Sounds (Softcover)
Informative but I have a hard time warming up to this book. Read more
I read this book five years ago. I can't remember too much about it other than that it's highly informative and enjoyable reading.Published 9 months ago by SuperLead
I like it, but I am not in love with it. It is a good entry level to intermediate level book on guitar tube amps. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Seth Elwyn Burgin
Even if you're not wanting to build an amp yourself, but are shopping for your first real tube amp, this book is a must read. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Steven Brendtro
I love knowing how things work, and there's no better source for any guitar player than this book. Be warned, you might read this and want to build your own!Published 10 months ago by Elisabeth Butler
lot of good general information! A good reference doc to have around!Published 10 months ago by Paul R. Willett Jr.