Recommendation for good amp repair manual

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by jonnytexas, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

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    I posted a thread yesterday asking for help with my Super Reverb. When I was trying to answer some of the questions asked by responders I realized that my knowledge of even basic tube amp technology is lacking. What would be a good book for me to get started? I would like to be able to do my own simple diagnostics and repairs. I realize I will probably never be a full technician, but if amps were cars, I would like to be able to change the alternator and serpentine belt.
     
  2. Chrome Dinette

    Chrome Dinette Silver Supporting Member

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    US Navy NEETS volumes(starts with basic electric/electronic theory, progresses to tubes and transistors by the 6th or 7th volumes, after that gets into things like radar, etc)


    Morgan Jones' Books



    Just about every other popular book(Hunter, Pittman, Weber) is not that great or flat out sucks.
     
  3. SamBooka

    SamBooka Member

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    I started with Jack Darr`s book and a basic electronics book. (if it is really tube amps you want find an old rca recieving tube manual or ARRL handbook. That will get the basics down.

    Dont waste money on books that are mostly schematics like the Pitman Books.. most schematics are easy to find on the web (which wasnt the case 10-15 years ago)
     
  4. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

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    Thanks fellas. I'm looking for a book that will walk me through the basics and also get into troubleshooting.
     
  5. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    before you "repair", you learn & understand functionality.

    Seriously.....how can anyone fix that which they don't fundamentally understand?

    "Valve Amplifiers" by Morgan Jones.
     
  6. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

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  7. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    Books by Tom Mitchell "how to service your own tube amp" and David Funk "tube amp workbook", along with Gerald Weber's books helped me learn a lot. They speak in simple terms, perfect for a simpleton like myself :)
     
  8. J M Fahey

    J M Fahey Member

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    Another vote for Jack Darr's book.

    FWIW I bought it in 1969 and have built way over 10000 amps since.

    Not a typo: over ten thousand.

    So it seems to work ;)
     
  9. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

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    Over four per week for 46 years? I'm surprised you don't have lead poisoning.
     
  10. teemuk

    teemuk Member

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    More votes for Jack Darr.

    As for overall theory about the topic there are many other excellent books out there for that. Though somewhat outdated and simplified in content Darr's book is, IMO, still in its own category in other regards; like giving a basic survey to practical troubleshooting of most basic circuits you'd likely find from a guitar amp, whether tube or solid-state.

    And it's free; just Google search "jack darr book" or something and you find a couple of links hosting the book in pdf format.
     
  11. stevensamps

    stevensamps Member

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    Check out the "Uncle Doug" videos on youtube.
     
  12. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

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    Most all of these "fix your own amp" books don't teach the bare bones basics. Do yourself a favour and learn the rudiments of solid state.
     
  13. Carol-AnnAmps

    Carol-AnnAmps Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm more surprised I've never heard of him at all (except from a few posts in this section of TGP) given how we all tend to actually know each other or at least only one person removed......or maybe I have......what Company ? I kind of know the statistics of this business pretty well. 46 years and 10,000 actually makes the fellas amps totally impossible not to be known at a more mainstream guitar level, never mind TGP.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  14. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    ^^ Kinda what I was thinking...
     
  15. pdf64

    pdf64 Member

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    My take is that we in the anglophone west are rather isolated / insulated / uninterested in what's going on in other cultures / societies / cultures.
    Even with the aussie guys, they mention amp brands that are well known there, which I've never heard of.
    From what he's written, JM's niche seems to be solid, reliable, good sounding silicon amps for working musos.
    I've got zero knowledge of the South American music scene, I can't recall any big name Argentinian guitarists, so have no idea what gear they use, nevermind the guys a rung or two down the ladder.
    As an example, in the UK scene of 70s /80s / 90s, most every pub / club band would likely have had some Session, Ohm, Laney, HH or Carlsbro gear; these were big national brands, but in the guitar / bass amp sector, they were mostly seen as stepping stones to a Marshall / Fender etc.
    Of these brands, my guess is that Laney was the only one that achieved recognition outside the UK, and that may be due largely to Tony Iommi championing their cause.
    But the others still churned out a heap of gear, plenty of which is still going strong.
    So profile of JM's may well be analogous to, say, HH, in that few without local knowledge are aware of them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  16. J M Fahey

    J M Fahey Member

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    That's *nothing* , an assembly Tech in Fender's old days hand soldered over 10 amps *a day*
    Lead does not give out fumes at such low temperatures, I'm more worried about having rosin covered lungs .
    Not healthy (I developed some allergia over the years, and can not stand cigarette smoke *at all* ) buy not deadly ... I hope .... although my old partner passed away because of Lung Cancer a few months ago ... so I'm now getting an exam every couple months, just in case :(
    Oh well .

    As of your average, it's correct, but this work is uneven, I have good months such as 36 or more amps a month, might have a 50 amps peak , six amps in a row just on a Saturday afternoon, and dead ones with only 8 a Month; it evens out about 250 a year.
    Used to be better but now cheap Asian products take a good chunk of the market.
    My workforce goes from a minimum of 1 (needed for the hard work, I'm 62 now) in a bad month to 4 or 5 between September (our Spring) and Christmas when there's open air festivals all over the place and everybody wants to be a Guitar God.
    Fine with me ;)


    I suggest you read my signature again ;)
    Maybe you are not up to date with Argentina's Rock scene? ;)
    I mean Argentine Bands, Producers, Amplifier and Guitar makers, Recording Engineers, anybody not on NAMM?

    And you are absolutely right ;) , around here I'm unbearably known.
    In Argentina a band goes to a rehearsal room or a Club and the house amps more often than not are Fahey; you see bands playing live, specially the most important ones, and you find Fahey amps there too, I was featured on Argentine Guitar Magazine covers, am thanked on the back of records, have written countless Tech articles, given "Electronics for Musicians" seminars, etc.

    My direct customers have been, among others:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charly_García
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nito_Mestre
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucis_(band)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manal
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almafuerte_(band)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Renga
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rata_Blanca
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Luthiers
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes_Sosa
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/León_Gieco
    http://www.todotango.com/english/artists/info/3574/Beba-Pugliese/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Auténticos_Decadentes
    http://www.circopedia.org/Moscow_Circus
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei_planetarium
    plus countless rehearsal studios, recording studios, schools, churches, etc.

    A couple Guitar Magazine covers and articles:

    a 1970s article on Argentine Amplifier Makers and Importers:
    [​IMG]

    1990s :
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

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    ^^Very cool. I have also been looking at the Uncle Doug videos. Thanks for the advice fellas. Keep em coming.
     
  18. J M Fahey

    J M Fahey Member

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    2000s:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bass head and 4x10" cabinet (with my own Factory made speakers)

    [​IMG]

    British style 50W Tube Head:

    [​IMG]

    100W SS Guitar head:

    [​IMG]

    My largest breadwinner, by far, sold over 5000 of these: Fahey B100 head, people love its grungy compressor which gives it growl and stage presence, and the larger vthan life Slap knob, which makes it cut through the worst mix:

    [​IMG]

    my other breadwinner, although barely sold some 2000 of these, Guitarheads love toobz:

    [​IMG]

    also make cabinets:

    Black:

    [​IMG]

    light tan:

    [​IMG]

    black angled 4x12" :

    [​IMG]
     
  19. J M Fahey

    J M Fahey Member

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    Another steady breadwinner: multipurpose Voice/Instrument/Keyboards 3 channel 6 input 100W head:

    [​IMG]

    also make speakers:

    [​IMG]

    my version of C10R:

    [​IMG]

    Acoustic Bass amp, this one is ultra clean, of course:

    [​IMG]

    Some Tube stuff:

    my version of SLO:

    [​IMG]

    same in combo:

    [​IMG]

    Tweedy:

    [​IMG]

    Cousin of JCM800:

    [​IMG]

    Tube preamp, made-in-house rack cabinet (have all machinery for cutting/bending/punching/treatment/paint/oven/silkscreen):

    [​IMG]

    two more Tube preamps, one driving a QSC900, another an AB1500, into 4 Ampeg 8x10" cabinets.
    My customers La Renga play to packed 78000 people Soccer World Cup Stadiums, the SVT400 is just a backup amp:

    [​IMG]

    top tube preamp + 300W Grungy Mosfet stage, bottom full SS, as you see Almafuerte ended up preferring the full SS one:

    [​IMG]

    Also make battery powered amps, lots of buskers in Buenos Aires:

    30W:

    [​IMG]

    60W RMS:

    [​IMG]

    100W RMS:

    [​IMG]

    ok, hope it's enough to show that 10000 amps in 43 years really is not much at all.

    No space for the custom amps made for: Stick, Violin, Sax, Harmonica (harp) , solar powered stuff, accordion/classic harp/flute/sax microphone systems , plug-in higher power modules for some reall hairy Leslies, etc. etc. etc.
     
  20. jonnytexas

    jonnytexas Supporting Member

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    I for one, never questioned you. They look like cool amps. Those busking amps look pretty cool.
     

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