Any Video Course to learn Amp Building and the Electronics involved ?

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,522
I would very much like to learn how to build my own amps.

I don't have the cash right now to buy vintage blackface fender amps. But I see gut shots of them and would love to begin to learn about building them.

I would love to be able to build a Princeton and then a Twin Reverb for example.

I have done some very simple soldering... Speakers, Pickups, Guitar wiring.

But I have very little actually electronic knowledge. I don't understand about caps, resistors, transformers, etc, etc. I from time to time see courses available here and there on this kind of thing.

Specimen in Chicago is a great shop that has classes in Amp building, as well as classes in guitar design, building and repairs. I would love to attend, but again it's, for now, out of my budget.

So I was wondering if anyone could suggest a video series ( I learn best when someone is actually showing and explaining... over reading a book), or book series that begins at a beginning level and then goes through using that electronic knowledge to explain how an amp works ( like a Fender Twin Reverb for example) from the guitar input, through all of the circuitry, to speaker. So that I can, at home begin to learn how to understand this stuff and perhaps begin to gain the know how to begin building myself.

thanks for any help.
 

Keyser Soze

Member
Messages
1,472
...
But I have very little actually electronic knowledge. I don't understand about caps, resistors, transformers, etc, etc... .
You need to start here.

There are all sorts of resources available on-line for basic electronics tutorials. Here's one example I found with a quick search on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_5sV8s9ZEA

But there are others, and it's probably better for you to search around for the instructional method that suits you best.

Here's a text based site that gives you an idea of what 'the basics' are and what you want to establish as your foundation of knowledge.

http://www.electronics-tutorials.com/basics/basic-electronics.htm
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,089
A couple things to keep in mind when considering building your own tube amps:

1)probably best to start with a low voltage project until you get comfortable enough with your knowledge as the voltages in a tube amp are lethal. No place for inexperienced fingers.

2)if your project amp doesn't work when you turn it on you'd need electronic troubleshooting skills and the necessary test equipment to figure out what's going on or pay a tech to sort it out for you. Minimum test equipment would be a multimeter, oscilloscope, and signal generator. You'd need to get a handle on basic electronics and it takes 2 years for a degree for a reason. Guitar amps aren't rocket science but understanding the circuits and the math behind them takes time as you progress in your knowledge.
 

donnyjaguar

Member
Messages
4,194
I highly recommend any basic electronics instruction, not just those specific to tube amplifier design. There are two domains in electronics, digital and analogue. You're interested in analogue so pay most attention here. My background is analogue design but I work in RF (radio frequency), which is the extreme sports of analogue. I know digital also and my knowledge from analogue (and RF) is of value here too. You need a good foundation to build upon so I suggest you learn the basics. Many tube tech's don't know solid state and things go awfully quiet here when someone asks about a problem with a solid state amplifier. :)
 

mark norwine

Member
Messages
17,177
Theory first....application later. That is, if you really want to understand amps.

If you just want to do "paint by numbers", then buy a kit & follow the instructions.
 

Kyle B

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,102
Mark is right (as always). If you don't learn the theory first, it's monkey-see-monkey-do, and you should definitely limit your aspirations to a pre-designed kit. Trying to understand electronics w/o first understanding the theory is like trying to read a novel without knowing the alphabet. Electronic circuit action is not 'intuitive' and you will never fully understand it w/o many many hours of concentrated study.

Unless your last name happens to be "Tesla"....

There is no video short-course that's gonna give you the equivalent of even a 2 year tech degree - can't be done. The "learning" occurs when you're doing homework & labwork i.e. actually running the calculations and experimenting with simple circuits . Very little learning, and even less 'understanding', will occur by just listening to somebody say things. Imagine trying to learn how to play guitar by just watching somebody else do it but never actually practicing. Wouldn't get very far, right?
 

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
5,405
Get into modding circuits. That's how I got my start. Everyone's right, there's a TON to learn. I spent three years studying electrical engineering and about ten years playing around with various circuits on my own. I never did finish that degree (switched majors). There's also A LOT about audio circuits that I don't know (they don't teach audio circuits in college). So even with three years of college education in electronics and ten plus years of first hand experience, I'd still consider myself a novice. I can design and build a tube amp from scratch now, but there's quite a few places where I don't fully understand what's going on and just rely on schematics of other amps for inspiration followed by trial and error experimentation.

My point being, you're not going to learn this stuff from a video or book. They can help, sure. But truth be told, everything you need to know is available on the internet for free. What you really need to do to learn this stuff is to get involved in some hands on work. That's where the modding comes in. That will teach you what various parts of a circuit do and how some times slight changes in values of components and design of the circuit can make big changes in the final sound, and how other times big changes in values or design can make no audible change whatsoever. It all depends. Kits are good for teaching soldering skills and learning how to read schematics, so if you don't know how to read a schematic, learn that first by doing a couple of kits. Otherwise, I haven't found kits to be too helpful with learning how an amp works, so much as how an amp is put together.
 

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,522
You need to start here.

There are all sorts of resources available on-line for basic electronics tutorials. Here's one example I found with a quick search on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_5sV8s9ZEA

But there are others, and it's probably better for you to search around for the instructional method that suits you best.

Here's a text based site that gives you an idea of what 'the basics' are and what you want to establish as your foundation of knowledge.

http://www.electronics-tutorials.com/basics/basic-electronics.htm
Looks like some great stuff to get me started. Thanks very much !
 

mark norwine

Member
Messages
17,177
Mark is right (as always).
Wow......while the vote of confidence is appreciated, allow me to be clear: that "As always" statement couldn't be further from the truth!!!

"Every man is my superior in that I may learn from him"
- Thomas Carlyle
 

Diablo1

Member
Messages
620
I would very much like to learn how to build my own amps.

I don't have the cash right now to buy vintage blackface fender amps. But I see gut shots of them and would love to begin to learn about building them.

Google is your friend, and it's free. All the info is out there to learn enough about electronics to safely build an amp. A great source for tube amp theory and circuit design is the Valve Wizard. I wouldn't go hunting for any videos, just start reading on the web.
 

Kenny Blue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,522
Google is your friend, and it's free. All the info is out there to learn enough about electronics to safely build an amp. A great source for tube amp theory and circuit design is the Valve Wizard. I wouldn't go hunting for any videos, just start reading on the web.
Thank you
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,777
AS to the original question, Kendrick amps does a video course I think. But I'd still want the theory and some practice soldering before I jumped in there. Lots of amp builders run courses using Weber kits to teach amp building, as well (I know of one in Chicago for example).
 

Kyle B

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,102
Wow......while the vote of confidence is appreciated, allow me to be clear: that "As always" statement couldn't be further from the truth!!!

"Every man is my superior in that I may learn from him"
- Thomas Carlyle

EDIT: "Nearly always" ;)
 






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