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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of ink, not much info, 17 July 2012
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This review is from: Fundamental Amplifier Techniques with Electron Tubes: Theory and practice with design methods for self construction (Hardcover)
In terms of page area this book is 10% larger than the Radio Designer's Handbook 4th edition, yet it covers very little ground indeed. The material included is no more than basic-to-intermediate in level. You can get much, much more info from Morgan Jones and Menno Van der Veen's books, even though they are smaller and cheaper.

To give an idea of what is covered, it is probably more eye-opening to list some of the things this book does NOT cover:
Voltage regulators (except one for heaters)
Active loads / constant-current sources and sinks
Volume / balance / tone controls
Signal switching
Phono amplifiers / RIAA equalisation
Proper ground schemes (except for one page).

Most of this book is in fact taken up by unnecessarily large figures, fonts and line spacings. Oh, and not forgetting the PAGES AND PAGES OF DERIVATIONS. Most of the time you will find yourself sweeping through many consecutive pages of derivations with virtually no discussion or explanation of why or what is happening, and virtually no clearly articulated conclusion. This stuff should be put in an appendix.

Solid-state components are more-or-less banned by the author as being evil, or something. Even silicon rectifiers are off limits, except for heater and bias supplies where they are apparently OK!?

The translation from the original Dutch is pretty variable. Some passages are broken or even impossible to follow, and many common terms are given weird names like:
Anode Static Steepness (instead of transconductance)
Linear distortion (instead of phase distortion)
Phase Shifter (instead of phase splitter/inverter)
Basic Cathode Circuit (instead of common-cathode amplifier)
Cathodedyne (instead of cathodyne)
SRPP (he makes the rookie error of not knowing the difference between an SRPP and a half-mu stage. There are no SRPPs in this book)

In particular, I wanted to learn about the author's apparently original method for determining optimum ultra-linear tappings, but this section is either so badly written or translated that the method -if any- is impossible to determine.

Referencing is sometimes strange, most of it coming from Menno Van der Veen's books. Sometimes he attributes very old and well-known techniques to articles written by hobbyists in Glass Audio and the like!

This book does not seem to know who it is aimed at. It is far too dense and mathemetical for beginners, but the actual info is too basic for advanced readers. Altogether it feels like it has been written by someone who is himself a well-meaning, self-taught hobbyist who has collected all his knowledge -even the irrelevant stuff- in one place and wants to emulate an academic textbook, but does not have access to many original papers and books. Almost like an oversized undergraduate thesis. These things would all be forgivable in a low-cost self-published book, but I would not have expected a reputable house like Elektor to have agreed to publishing it.
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