Books on reading amp schematics?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Lerxst2112, Aug 23, 2005.


  1. Lerxst2112

    Lerxst2112 Member

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    Hey there! I was interested in getting started in amp building, and I've ordered a few Kevin O'Connor books on the subject, but was told that they didn't really explain amp schematics. So, are there any good books on learning to read amp schematics?
     
  2. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    IMO, in order to learn how to read amp schematics, you have to have an understanding of basic electronic circuits and the math behind them. My best suggestion would be to first take a class in basic electronics.

    Granted, it doesn't take a lot of technical knowledge to be able to clone an existing amp design but, to understand the function of every circuit componant or to design your own amp, there's no short cut....you have to have the basic knowledge of electronics and the math behind it before you take the next step.

    Then you'll need to invest in some basic test equipment (oscilloscope, signal generator, DVM, etc.) so you can see what's going on inside the circuit.
     
  3. Lerxst2112

    Lerxst2112 Member

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    D'oh! I was hoping it was easier than that... Oh well, I'll see what I can do...
     
  4. loverocker

    loverocker Member

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    FWIW - I disagree almost entirely with VaughnC. There are so many well-written articles and friendly forums online to help you pick up theory. You definitely CAN teach yourself this stuff - you just need to self-motivated enough to do the research in the first place. And smart enough to always stick to the very simple but very vital safety steps when working on an amp.

    There are sites like the following:
    * http://www.kimber.com/atomic-struct/tablecont.htm#
    * http://www.pacificrecone.com/JackDarrBook.html
    and a whole load of others in between. I mentioned in the other thread about the Torres book - it's worth having, and it does start with how to read schematics.
     
  5. Lerxst2112

    Lerxst2112 Member

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    NICE! Thank you. I'm extremely scared of electrical shock, so I'll be taking every precaution possible. I work for a house rental company during the summers, and at one point I was helping a house owner change a light bulb and she switched on the lightswitch as I was screwing it in. Knocked me off my chair and caused me to cuss something terrible... arm had a nice dull throbbing pain for the next 2 days. Believe me, I do NOT want to get shocked by something that's probably a lot more powerful than a lightswitch.
     
  6. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

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    +1 to what love rocker says

    hang around ampage and ax84 maybe even diyaudio
    aspen pittman's book has some great basic info in it

    good luck man!
     
  7. memphisrain

    memphisrain Member

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    Are there any good articles/books on how to convert a schematic to a layout. Thats something I really need to learn.


    Thanks,
    mR
     
  8. loverocker

    loverocker Member

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    I haven't seen anything that's as focussed as schematic-to-layout principles, although it is covered in passing in some books (e.g. parts of TUT). It's not a precise science either - it naturally involves some trial and error - especially if there's a gainy preamp to keep under control. So maybe a book would be too general to be of practical use?

    You can also learn a bunch by looking at 'classic' layouts, of course. But you don't have to follow them slavishly - some of them have less-than-optimal layouts (like a ground bus running along the back of pots).

    Tooting my own horn for a moment ;) here's a layout of the 18W Lite II that I use:
    [​IMG]
    If you want to relate the component codes to their place in the circuit, the schamatic's at http://www.firstmail.com/pp18/pp18sc2.jpg
     
  9. V846

    V846 Member

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    Just to add to the great suggestions, advice and links

    http://www.aikenamps.com/

    go to the TECH INFO

    loverocker,

    Nice looking layout :)

    db
     
  10. TheAmpNerd

    TheAmpNerd Member

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    Start somewhere, preferably with something simple.

    I started years ago and my first project amp was
    rebuilding a HK CitationII amp. This is probably
    one of the most complicated stereo tube amp
    ever built.

    What did I know, I bought two of them and had
    a pair of 120 watt mono blocks when I was finished.

    Everything else has been pretty simple after this.
    I'm not saying I've never had problems that stumped
    me as you will encounter those.

    Some of it is kinda like programming, where you get
    to close to it to see the obvious. Someone fresh will
    come along and tell you try a-b = end if.

    Same here, if you get stuck there are lots of really
    great folks here and on some of the other boards
    on the net. If it is your first project, try starting the
    proper way with something simple, like over in the
    AXE-84 boards.

    All the best, be safe and have fun.
     
  11. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Yes, you can pick up theory on your own but many try to put the cart before the horse. In order to learn how to read amp schematics you have to have a basic working knowledge base before it will make any sense. Without a basic understanding of AC, DC, resistance, capacitance, inductance, basic test equipment, ect., schematics will be just lines on paper to you. And without an understanding of the math behind the circuits, and how to apply things like Ohms Law, schematics won't make much sense.

    Being involved with ham radio for many years as a kid I did learn a lot on my own. But, it wasen't until I attended formal electronic, lab, and math classes as part of a degree program that I finally "got" the whole picture. I'm not saying that a degree program is necessary for someone to tinker with amps, but a basic electronics class will go a long way in putting one down the right path to understanding the basics.
     

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