DC area Tube Amp Seminar?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Blue Strat, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    I'm toying with the idea of putting together a tube amp seminar in the northern VA, DC area.

    Topics are open so far, but I'm thinking of covering things like:
    Biasing your own amp
    Doing a cap job
    Basic repairs
    Test equipment 101
    Tools of the trade
    Required References for amp tech work
    etc, etc.

    I would ask potential participants what topics they'd like me to cover and address as many of those as possible.

    It would be a 6 or 8 hour seminar. Cost would likely be in the $250 per person range (about half the cost of similar seminars).

    Anyone who may possibly be interested please email me with a list of preferred topics and your location.

    If this happens at all it wouldn't be until late spring. It would take me at least that long to prepare course materials and handouts.

    kcanostubes@verizon.net
     
  2. Scott_F

    Scott_F Member

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    Somebody must want to do this stuff. Just look at how many clinics Weber is putting on. You ought to ask this question in the main amp section. This section doesn't seem to get as much traffic.
     
  3. Big Dan

    Big Dan Member

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    Mike,

    That sounds like a great idea. I would love to go to something like this, but I am not really local to you. Once you have a date in mind, I would like more details. If things worked out, I may be able to make the trip down to DC for it.

    Dan
     
  4. amper

    amper Member

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    Mike:

    I would definitely drive down for that. I've been looking for an excuse to do another road trip down to DC so I can go to Jaleo and the Spy Museum. And, BTW, thanks for the tube rec's I emailed you about. I'll be placing an order soon!

    One thing I think would be really helpful to your customers and to your business is to bring a few identical amps set up with current production v. NOS tubes. For most people, hearing the differences between tubes is a difficult/expensive thing to accomplish. Also cool would be a comparison of matched triode v. unmatched PI's.

    I think a great topic would be to cover various aspects of amp design and why someone might want one type over another (as in, long-tail pair PI v. split-load v. paraphase, etc.).

    I would say, for your purposes, I would try to keep things focused on how you can educate your customers or potential customers on how your products can improve their amp ownership experience, while teaching the seminar participants a bit more about their amps...
     
  5. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the ideas.

    OTM, I suspect that you could hold seminars in your area:dude

    The tube comparison model sounds interesting, though I'm inclined to focus on areas unrelated to my tube business. Some may consider this more of a paid advertisement and I wouldn't blame them. If enough people requested it I would be happy to comply.

    The different PI types would be an interesting topic. I'm thinking of covering common amp problems and how to diagnose them too.

    There's so much potential information and so many specific area of interest. Makes me sleepy just thinking about preparing for this.....zzzzz

    Sounds like fun but I've been so busy the last few weeks I'm not sure when I'd have time to prepare a lesson plan and handouts.

    Keep the suggestions coming in even if you wouldn't want to attend.
     
  6. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi Mike,

    I might be interested, but agree with you that the tube sampling event would be of less interest as part of a paid course, that's more like a get-together thing IMO.

    I'd be interested in covering common amp problems and how to diagnose them (like why is my homebrew 6G16 Brown Vibroverb now blowing fuses & the reverb driver, and possib. the rvrb xformer -- in the shop for that now, I have no idea how I'd Dx that and trace around to be sure that no other components were damaged, that would be a great topic of interest); the cap job (done one, could always use a refresher).

    Amp design issues would be of interest more in passing than as the real meat since I doubt I'll ever design one, but am interested in better understanding how they work and how some basic problems can be dealt with.

    For reference in terms of sophistication level, I've built an Allen Kit with little or no problem, have done a cap job on my old Vibrolux Rev. with some basic show & tell how-to from an amp tech friend, but I'm not a physics guy or a diagnostician at all (and would like to learn more).

    Biasing is of interest, less in terms of how to do basic measurement and adjust a bias pot (which I'm familiar with), more in terms of when you get into, e.g., a cathode based amp (tweed Deluxe) and may need to swap a resistor (like, duh, which ones, and what values?)... or about how to install a bias pot in an amp that doesn't have one.

    Just some ideas, I think it would be good to balance between the more technically sophisticated and those like me that are handy but not electronics/physics & math majors, LOL.:cool: :confused:
     
  7. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Excellent ideas and the type of stuff that I'd like to cover.

    I'm a degreed Electronics Engineer but feel that I know where to draw the line between theory and practice having spent almost equal amounts of time in design and bench work.

    I will say that being familiar with "Ohms Law" (which involves only 3 variables and only requires division and multiplication) is an important concept and is at the heart of biasing, power output, and diagnosing many amp problems. I'm not into discussing physics or electrons...I had to learn that stuff but feel that my study time could have been better utilized.

    Reading schematics is VERY important for all but the most casual kit builders. Schematics are the language of electronics. You wouldn't want to try to have a conversation with a person without having a language in common.

    On your homebrew amp, I can walk through the steps of bringing an amp up for the first time and general troubleshooting techniques. BTW, you very likely have a "miswire" which you can't find. Troubleshooting ones own wiring is like (probably worse than) trying to proof read your own writing....you only see what you intended to do, not what you actually did.
     
  8. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    I should clarify maybe... I agree w/ you on reading schematics and Ohm's Law. I don't have it memorized but know the importance of needing to refer to it.

    Practical applications of it would be of interest (the obvious and, maybe to some of us, less obvious).

    On the homebrew: it was built by a good amp tech friend in Ill. and worked fine for months and through gigs, just last week started that problem, so definitely a diagnostic learning experience, less a startup issue (I didn't make that clear at all in my 1st note). But something happened between the last gig I used it at (last July-Aug.) and last week. :(

    Thanks,
    Jon:
     
  9. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    Yikes! That doesn't sound good. To the bench!

    Yes, everything I would cover would be practical in nature. I "learned to hate" in engineering school with all the theoretical courses which had practiallly zero value added to anything in the real world. I'm not into teaching others "to hate".;)

    There are so many practical applications of Ohms Law in amplifiers.
     

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