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Amp Books

3/14/1998 8:08 AM
Amp Books
I would like to delve into doing maintenance on my own amps ie.. set bias,bleed caps  
and test them,tighten tube sockets, etc.. and really have very little knowledge of this  
(probably just enough to get myself fried). I would welcome anyones input on what the  
best books on amp repairs and maint. are. for the electronically challenged and Tim  
Allens of the world.  
Thanks, Dave
3/20/1998 8:14 AM

The Tube Amp book by Aspen Pittman is pretty good. Look up JK Lutherie's home page. They've got loads of books. I like the Pittman one.  
Good luck - watch out for plate voltages!  
Book Of The Day The Ultimate Tone, Volume III by Kevin O'Connor
Have you ever wondered if there is a better way to build a Bassman, Champ, Plexi, an 800, AC-30, Bulldog or Portaflex? Or you wanted to build an SVT with off-the-shelf parts? How about a master-volume amp that doesn’t change tone with the master setting? Everything you need to know is right here, including: proper grounding techniques, wiring methods, and mechanical considerations. Eighteen chapters cover the “iconic” amps everyone knows and loves, with schematics and layouts for each, along with the technical history of the product. Eyelet-board and chassis-mounted tube socket construction is used throughout, for easy servicing and modding. TUT3 is very accessible even if you cannot fully read a schematic and is a "must have" if you are going to build an amp for your self.

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3/22/1998 5:17 PM

I agree, the Tube Amp Book is a good source for schematics and some general advise but the book, in both of the editions, sorely needs editing! There are the usual sloppy language and gramatical mistakes but they are, unfortunately, coupled with some technically questionable advise (generally accurate) and some technical explanations have been "laymanized" to silliness.  
See if you can acquire a copy (or photocopy) of the introduction to one of the RCA Receiving Tube Manuals and read it. Then you can filter the Tube Amp Book information.  
No to sound too critical, I do love the book and sometimes consult it daily. I just don't understand why they don't have the book professionally edited by a technical writer.
3/24/1998 1:44 PM

I have a 1976 FENDER DUAL SHOWMAN REVERB % a MARSHALL 50 watt MK2 (2204 w/EL-34's)... If anyone would make a VHS tape on " HOW-TO ( start to finish,service ,BIAS, (basic maintenance and troubleshooting... I WILL BUY IT & pay for the shipping!!!... Thanx Frank.
3/24/1998 5:58 PM
Tom Mitchell's book and video "How to Service Your Own Tube Amp" should be available from Stewart-Macdonald. Their number is:  
(800) 848-2273  
My catalog (Spring '95) has it listed as item #1191 for $69.95. I'm not sure if they still have it or if the price has changed.  
I haven't seen the video, but I have seen the book. It is the only guitar amp book I've seen that does not contain glaring technical errors (Haven't seen Kevin O'Connor's books...yet). He discusses basic electronics theory and shows how it applies to speakers, impedances, power, etc. His book also has some interestng information and mods for Marshall amps.  
I met Tom Mitchell at a Groove Tubes workshop in Long Beach's Whittaker Music. He really knows his stuff, and he has a very strong background in electronics, unlike some other tube amp authorities. In fact, he's the guy who explained to me how a long-tailed phase splitter works.
3/25/1998 6:49 PM

Moocow, not to sound too dumb, but at times I am. Being somewhat formally trained in tube electronics during the sixties, I am not familiar with the "long-tailed" phase splitter. As best I know, w/o transformers, phase splitters break down to: split-load (equal resistors in plate and cathode circuits), grounded grid (common Fender, cathode coupled), and a couple of types of anode followers (signal tapped off output of one tube and inverted by a second tube - sometimes unity gain and sometimes with greater gain). So I can keep up with the flow, which is the long-tailed? Thanx
3/25/1998 7:53 PM

The Fender type ( and about all the rest too) with one section grounded grid, cathode driven is the long tail pair.  
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