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The Guitar AMP Handbook: Understanding Amplifiers and Getting Great Sounds Paperback – 28 Oct 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (28 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087930863X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879308636
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 1.5 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'While reading the book I was amazed at how the author, Dave Hunter, would answer questions just as they were forming in my head … it lays down a whole big picture overview of guitar amplifier technology for guitar players in language easily understood by them. Every guitar player should read this book!' --Oldschoolguitar.com

About the Author

Dave Hunter, author of Guitar Effects Pedals, is an American musician and journalist who has worked in both Britain and the USA. His is a former editor of The Guitar Magazine (UK), has contributed to TV and radio documentaries, and has edited and contributed to books such as: Acoustic Guitars - The Illustrated Encyclopedia; The Tube Amp Book - Deluxe Revised Edition; Guitar - A Complete Guide for the Player; and Recording Guitar and Bass.


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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book sets out to do two things that are very difficult - to cover a broad range of topics around valve amps; and to be technical without being too technical. It makes a pretty good job on the first, although I think the build-your-own section simply cannot be done justice in the space devoted to it. On the second it struggles. Dave Hunter is obviously very knowledgeable and has hands-on experience of many amps (great and not so) but even he cannot explain sophisticated and subtle electronic phenomena when technical analysis is disallowed. If you already have sufficient technical knowledge you can largely read-between-the-lines. If not, you miss out. By far the most interesting part of the book (and entirely justifying the cost of admission) is the section analysing, comparing and contrasting the circuits and construction of classic amps. It is supported by excellent photos of their interior workings, which you can pore over endlessly.
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I find myself in agreement with the earliest review on this book. It is a rather irritating mixture. Most of the discussion pertaining to electronics requires (despite reassurances to the contrary) a significant pre-existing knowledge. It lacks both sufficient exposition for the ignorant and (I imagine) sufficient depth for the informed. Much of the rest is fluff that goes nowhere. The only part of the book I found reasonably diverting was the extended interviews with established 'boutique' amplifier builders at the end. Borrow it from the library, if you must.
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This book is exactly what I needed, and indeed much better than I hoped.

I am interested in how a valve amp works - I have built my own from a kit, but I didnt really understand it, I just followed the instructions.

Now I know what the different components do and this book has given me suggestions for possible mods to tweak the sound

The book is extremely well-written, it is not too simplistic, nor too technical, you dont need to know electronics, but you will learn why different amps are designed the way they are.

Its a pleasure to read a book that is neither too dumbed down or aimed solely at people with electronics expertise. Excellent.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best of Dave Hunters books, in my opinion,and not merely because of the absence of the spelling and typo errors in some of his other books.
He goes through the amp in easy to follow detail from pre-amp to speakers. The book covers some good examples of production and classic amps and has some interesting interviews with boutique amp builders. I built my 5E3 deluxe clone from his articles in Guitar & Bass mag,(he used to edit it,) and it was a very positive and enjoyable experience. I have not built the amp described in this book, though I may well do.
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Format: Paperback
I have other books on the argument guitar tube amps, either too difficult or too simple. this one suits my needs.
delivery was very fast and the price, including transport, was less than I had to pay in the Netherlands. what else does one wants
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What an excellent title!! You're looking for a book to explain all about valve amps and how you can improve your understanding of how they work and how you can "tweak" your amp to get the elusive sound you want? If that's what you want, forget this book!
It is neither a technical book for "tech heads" - it's far too simplistic - nor is it a helpful manual for musos who just want to be helped to understand the basic concept of how their amp works. It is a classic case of falling between 2 stools.
I do respect the time that the author has spent on the writing of this book but I have to ask myself - why did he bother. I have been playing live for nearly 30 years through innumerable different amps and I was looking for a book, couched in laymans terms, that would help me understand their workings. Asolutely no joy here. Sorry. Al F
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Perfect middle ground book for guitar players with basic understanding of valve amps but limited knowledge of the real technical stuff. Great section interviewing the modern boutique designers/makers. Brilliantly laid out and organised material. I really like Hunter's writing style - precise when needs to be but often humorous and entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
This is certainly not a primer for the budding amp technician - there isn't enough technical content. However, for the player who is interested in developing their knowledge of valve amplifiers, in terms of getting more out of them, it's a good book. It's comprehensive, well-written and well-presented, in my view. I'm no expert but I have looked at a number of the books out there on this subject and this one compares favourably.
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