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Old 7th December 2009, 02:56 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Question Learning to be an audio tech?

OK, been on the forums a bit, but I haven't really figured out where to ask this, so I will ask here and hope I get some good answers

In a nutshell, I would like to learn how to become a good hands-on audio tech - with a view to testing, measuring and servicing audio equipment and ultimately possibly designing or modding my own stuff.

I have a basic knowledge of electronics and am not afraid of maths, but my technical 'skills' are pretty ****-poor right now. I suck at soldering. I don't have any test equipment or hardly any of the tools of the trade.

What I'd like to learn initially are two things - how to test and carry out basic repairs to audio amplifiers, and I would like to learn the theory of audio circuit design - amp circuits, filters, cross-overs, etc. I'd like to look inside an amp and be able to understand what I'm seeing there. What I'm hoping for is the Single Magic Textbook that explains everything in huge detail, all in one volume or set of volumes - and preferably in SI units! But, I'm open to other resources. I don't mind learning from hands-on experience but I can't afford to wreck stuff in the process!

So what do you guys recommend? Oh, a college/nightschool course is out of the question, though maybe a home-study/online-only course might be ok.
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Old 7th December 2009, 03:09 PM   #2
49 - for the 19th time!!!
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c2cthomas's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Near "Music City" (Nashville Tennessee)
All About Circuits : Free Electric Circuits Textbooks
Neets Module 06-Introduction to Electronic Emission, Tubes, and Power Supplies
Basic Car Audio Electronics
NASA's Radio JOVE Project: How to Solder

That should keep you busy for the next several hours
DIY audio can be expensive but getting to see things go up in smoke - that's priceless!!!! ..... "whatever - call it brainfart of Mighty ZM"
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Old 7th December 2009, 06:23 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Wirral UK
Hi Doomlord_uk.

Soldering is a practice thing, the more you do it the better you will get at it.

Buy some cheap stripboard and a big bag of the cheapest resistors you can get to practice with. Cleanliness is the key, buy a pcb cleaning rubber and some tip cleaner as your first tool purchases. An iron stand with a wet sponge will serve you well also.

Cricklewood Electronics - CCTV. CCTV Equipment. CCTV Systems. Digital CCTV Cameras

Give the iron tip a wipe on the sponge before every joint. Also when you plug your iron in, walk away and make a pot of tea. That way the iron is hot, if you sit there looking at it you are sure to use it before it is up to temperature. That will make the job harder than it needs to be.

For some good reading try these.......
Elliott Sound Products - DIY Audio Articles
Decibel Dungeon DIY hi-fi index.

Start with a little light reading on components to get a feel of what things do rather than trying to work out a huge complex diagram in one go. This page for example..
Beginners' Guide to Electronics, Part 1 - Basic Components Explained

You've found the most useful information source already, there's years worth of reading and learning to be had right here.

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Old 8th December 2009, 05:27 AM   #4
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Troubleshooting is a universal skill. You can apply it to most anything. But in the service game, I'd have to say there is a difference between professional audio, and hifi and consumer audio. I mean circuits are circuits, sure, but the equipment is used differently and the goals are different. pro audio is things like guitar amps, PA systems, recording systems. COnsumer/hifi is things in the home - stereos, home theater, etc. SO you might find some divergent resources covering those two domains. May I assume your interest is in one over the other?
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Old 8th December 2009, 05:16 PM   #5
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Hi guys, thanks for the links and suggestions. I will follow them up.

Enzo, I'm only interested in home audio

More questions to follow, I'm sure.
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Old 8th December 2009, 10:18 PM   #6
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Location: Lakewood, Ohio
Doomlord, I have read some of your posts and would have never guessed that you were looking for entry level information!
Anyway try:
"The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz & Hill
"Troubleshooting Analog Circuits" by Robert A. Pease
"Op-Am Applications" by Walt Jung, on-line (maybe) at Analog Devices
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Old 9th December 2009, 01:46 PM   #7
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Speedskater - I actually studied two years of an Electronic Systems Engineering degree at uni (before dropping out ). It was mostly digital stuff though - we did basic analogue circuits, op amps etc but it was heavy on the theory. If someone showed me a basic amplifier circuit I think I could understand it I just want to know where I can get stuck into that level of study...

That said, it's good to go over the material from a practical perspective so even reading about power dissipation in resistors is a good thing, even just as a reminder.

Btw, Horrowitz and Hill is a book I've owned since 1995, but never really studied... to my shame! Pease looks good - could be just what I'm looking for!

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Old 14th December 2009, 10:28 AM   #8
mavric is offline mavric  United States
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Location: some place nice
Umm, I have an Adcom pre-amp question that you might be interested in. GTP-600(Adcom) one of the pots, marked "tone in" needs to be replaced, anything you recommend? I will post this on the other one. however, if you know the part number, or a simple fix, that would be nice.
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Old 14th December 2009, 12:13 PM   #9
49 - for the 19th time!!!
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Near "Music City" (Nashville Tennessee)
I took a look at the owners manual for the GTP-600 http://www.adcom.com/data/manuals/gtp600manual.pdf and found "Bass" and "Treble" tone controls (20 & 21) and a "Tone In" switch (#17) but no tone in pot anywhere. Can you pop the cover and take a photo to post?
DIY audio can be expensive but getting to see things go up in smoke - that's priceless!!!! ..... "whatever - call it brainfart of Mighty ZM"
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