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Old 21st October 2008, 01:58 PM   #1
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Default Hi, looking for some info on tube amplifier design basics

Hi, I did a search but my keywords turned up pretty much anything and weren't very helpful, so I apologize if this is a recurrent question; I just can't find anything.

But anyway, for a class project I need to do something that I haven't done before, in which I learn something new and find and use resources to get something real accomplished. I want to build a little tube stereo. I've built tube amps before, and I can understand them OK, but I could never design a circuit of my own. So, I want that to be my project. I want to design a tube amp from scratch. I want to learn all the associated ideas and theories and techniques, etc. (I already have alot of background knowledge and a good sense for this stuff, so I'm not quite as ambitious as I sound) and really understand how to design a tube amp.

That means I need some sources. Can anybody recommend some books or something? I've looked but I'm having a hard time telling which books are just telling you how to stick stuff together (which I can already do) and which books really say something in regards to why something is designed how it is, and how you could design it yourself. For example, these are some of the concepts I need to learn more about, and that a book would hopefully include (just to give you kind folks an idea of what I'm looking for): biasing of tubes (how it's done and why it's important), frequency response, controlling distortion, etc.

So yeah. If anybody has some suggestions that are good on those sorts of aspects and light on the 'solder this there and this here and you have an amp!' approach that'd be great.

Thank you all extensively!
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Old 21st October 2008, 02:47 PM   #2
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http://www.amazon.com/Valve-Amplifie...4600408&sr=8-2
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Old 21st October 2008, 02:56 PM   #3
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this is good too:
http://www.audioxpress.com/resource/...lass/index.htm

and make sure to check out the thread above:
On Line Tube Learning for newbies....
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Old 21st October 2008, 04:21 PM   #4
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I'll second zigzagflux' recommendation of Morgan Jones "Valve Amplifiers" 3rd edition.. This will provide the basic meat and potatoes you need to design your project amplifier, and in addition is a fun read.
Also highly recommended is Morgan Jone's "Building Valve Amplifiers." I have both.

Another more audio-centric source for these books can be found at AudioXpress online - as this is the sole remaining HiFi project magazine publisher in North America I recommend them strongly. (Amazon is nice, but they don't really need your bucks as badly.)

Lots of tube goodness here: http://www.audioxpress.com/bksprods/BKSTUBDES.htm Price wise you'll find they are generally competitive with Amazon, sometimes cheaper.
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Old 21st October 2008, 11:57 PM   #5
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Thanks hugely guys! I'm looking at that page of PDFs posted right now, and it's great so far. AudioXpress looks like a great site, thanks alot.
If anybody else has any suggestions they'd be appreciated too.

Thanks!
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Old 22nd October 2008, 12:57 AM   #6
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Dude,

The other posters have given you a good start. Very little under the sun is new, when it comes to tube circuit design. Where the creativity comes in is how you combine elements into a functioning entity.

You indicated that you are a student. Visit a library and dig up a copy of Basic Electronics for Scientists, 2nd Edition by James Brophy. That text will get you going for both tube and SS theory.

Student bankrolls being what they are, I suggest you build around either the EL84 or 6V6. The price of the requisite magnetics will not consume all of your food budget.
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