Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must have' book if you want to design a guitar amp, 25 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: Designing Tube Preamps for Guitar and Bass (Hardcover)
The book says it is not intended for the beginner so for the record, I've been a professional audio electronics designer (solid state) in the past and have a degree in electronics. Valves were not covered.

The author says he has omitted derivation of formula etc. and this "will irritate electronics graduates" but so far I have not found anything to irritate me in this book. The style is easy to read and the information you get is great. You get what you need without too much theoretical complexity. Anyone with a basic electronics knowledge should be OK. I read it end to end hooked like a good novel.

The level of maths is as much as is needed to design the circuits and by no means heavy. By design I mean have some idea of how it will sound before it is plugged in rather than copy an existing design not really understanding how it works and then blindly fiddle with components which seems the method preferred by some other authors.

Getting your sums right is mostly missing in other guitar amplifier `design' books I have read. I'm not saying don't read these other books as there have been many happy accidents in designing guitar amplifiers but it is nice to understand why doing X will result in a Y. If you do find a particular change has a beneficial result you can reverse engineer it and find out why.

Unlike many audio books where all you have is the authors say-so that they are right and the rest of the world is wrong, there are, to pick a non-random example many references to Langford-Smith's book. There is much misinformation on audio and valve amps about. This book has solid foundations and references. Many thanks!

Books on hi-fi valve amplifiers will tell you how to, for example, bias a stage for minimum distortion. This is fine but a guitar amp is all about distortion. If it was not we (well I at least) would use transistors. This book fills that missing gap. For example it has oscilloscope screen shots to show you what the effect of e.g. overdriving a cathodyne phase inverter is. So instructive.

There is a super section (22 pages) on cascode. Much better than the others I have read which always concentrate on the ECC88 (which was designed for this) and a quick blast about the Miller effect. I have to now try an ECC82 stage.

I've got the power supply book by Mr. Blencowe on order and just hope it is as good.
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