Help and instruction for the new guy


Redd Mann

Hey Fella's

I have recently for reasons I don't fully understand become very interested in the idea of understanding and possibly even (gulp) working on amps. Now I have no prior experience with this stuff. My bill paying gig is offshore oilfield and I have no electronics experience to speak of. would any or all of you direct me to the starting line. any tips or pointers would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


Read some books.

Kevin's books are some of the best on the subject of tube guitar amplifiers, IMHO.

Other books I recommend:

Radiotron Designer's Handbook, 4th Edition - this book is essential reference for anyone serious about designing tube amps.

Art of Electronics - excellent book for non-Engineers wanting to understand electronics. AFAIK, tube circuits are NOT covered in this book.

I like Aspen Pittmans "Tube Amp Book" for the schematics section. The amp pictures are also cool. Ignore the rest of the book - it is either sales propaganda or incorrect tech info. IMO, of course.

Redd Mann

Thanks for the info. I'll check those books out. I'm sure the will raise more questions than I had before.
thanks again, reddmann


A Tribe of One
Staff member
Check out They have schems for some basic amps and a discussion board whose civility rivals that of this forum. Those folks are as good at talking noobies through building/troubleshooting amps as folks here are at talking people into spending money. :)


The best thing you can do is take a night course or two in basic electronics at your local university. If you're not up on this stuff, you can't beat having a live person teaching the basics. The first class or two will go over the basics, and get into test equipment. Then go to a hammfest and buy some cheap test gear. Next is to get a cheap amp like a silverface fender head and butcher it up (but no holes or cutting boards - you want to be able to return it back to stock). There's nothing like destroying and amp and reparing it for getting your chops up. It's easy to fix something broke that's still right in design. It's when a guy brings in something he modded, and you have to repair his mistakes, that really shows how well you understand things. For amp books I start with Dave Funks book, then the O'Connor books. The groove tube and weber books are only good for the schematics - which you can pretty much find all over the net.

Later - PaulC

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