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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
22

on 27 November 2016
Excellent book. This is well written by an experienced designer who clearly has years of solid experience in actual design and all the snaggly details, trade-offs and traps therein.
If you want to design your own valve preamp and understand why it sounds the way it does then this book is a superb reference document, design guide, cook book and general valve design bible.
He author uses proper analysis techniques and carefully explains their application so if you follow along carefully and properly you should be able to apply them to your own inventions and design yourself a stable, safe, great sounding amp.
My favourite aspects were his detailed explanations of myriad ways that the valve circuits can do unexpected things, and his suggested work-arounds.
It is clear that this person has designed and built a LOT of valve preamps.
Very enjoyable.
2 people found this helpful
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on 13 November 2017
I love this book.

This is one of those books that should be regarded as a standard reference and a part of every amp tech/enthusiast's library.

Elucidating the mysteries of the valve in a classic, traditional, English style; it is a joy to read.

If you want to know how to design, build, repair and mod valve guitar amps then this is the book for you.

You will probably need a basic understanding of electricity and electronic principles before delving in.
One person found this helpful
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on 16 December 2013
This book reteaches me all the valve basics that I learnt half a century ago (and subsequently forgot) it is very clear and leads logically through the theory and practicality of simple valves right up pretty complex circuitry. It is aimed directly at those who want to build or repair valve amplifiers for guitars and does so with style. I like the fact that it explains the operation of circuits without falling into the trap of assuming they are addressing Einstein, explainations are clear and simple whilst being thorough. There is enough mathematics in it to enable all the necessary calculations to be made but it doesn't go overboard with the maths. I think it is an American volume but I haven't found anywhere where it seems anything other than international.
Anyone who feels the occasional need ( or, indeed, the regular need) to fiddle around with valves and amplifiers ought to have this excellent book on their bookshelf.
5 people found this helpful
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on 10 December 2013
This book provides in-depth technical analysis of valve circuit design and its rigorous application to the particular field of guitar amplifiers. It has a refreshing and very informative approach, worlds away from the technical treatises on hi-fi valve amps (excellent, but largely irrelevant to guitar amps) and the books that treat building guitar amps as a mystical art, largely lost to modern civilisations. If you want to understand how guitar amps really work, read it!

The only problem with the book is that, in the figures, the details drawn faint are so faint that it's possible to miss them altogether. Perhaps that will be put right in the next edition.
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on 5 April 2014
Having purchased both the previous edition of this and the power supply book (sadly out of print now I see) I was hoping this would be an expanded version of the previous book as that was pure gold from end to end. However the second edition actually has less pages and as the font is the same size... I've not quite worked out what is missing but the new stuff e.g. relay switching is in my humble opinion not so useful.

This book is still well worth buying don't let me put you off - miles better than the other guitar amp "design" books as this one lets you "design" rather than "try stuff" but if your going to buy just one not them both I'd recommend the first edition if you can get hold of a copy.

Please may may the third edition have all the old stuff as well as any new stuff? I'd be happy to pay for the extra paper.
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on 6 February 2018
Well written and thought out book. Highly recommended.
Just note (as stated in the title) does not cover the power output stages.
One person found this helpful
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on 28 August 2015
Excellent book and highly recommended. This book beautifully bridges the gap between the dry theoretical style of the traditional valve book and the super easy but sadly unhelpful nature of simplistic general texts. This gets to the heart of the matter of practical design for actual amplifiers with clear worked examples to help you go away and apply things to your own designs. Check out the authors website for excerpts and other helpful material.
One person found this helpful
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on 12 September 2015
I read chapter one on 'valvewizard' website and liked it so much I decided to buy the book.
Merlin obviously has had a great deal of experience in valve work and has the ability to explain concepts in a clear and easy to understand way.
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on 18 May 2018
Very good book but certainly not for the electronics beginner.
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on 4 October 2013
I bought this book for my husband who wants to make a valve amplifier. He said the book was exactly what he needed and is reading it. He also said the technical drawings were very helpful. So I can only presume it would be helpful to others interested in the same subject.
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