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Old 22nd January 2010, 12:07 PM   #1
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Default How to self taught about building tube amplifiers

Hello, I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I have been a serious audio enthusiast for nearly 30 years and I use solid state amplifiers exclusively. Recently, I am thinking of changing my system to tube amplifiers and would like to DIY my own amplifiers. I have no technique background and would like to know if it is possible to self taught on how to build them. If possible, where and how should I start? Your input is much appreciated.
Thanks,
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Old 22nd January 2010, 01:04 PM   #2
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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First of all, you've found the right forum, welcome

This book: http://www.amazon.com/Building-Valve.../dp/0750656956 seems to be recommended a lot for an introduction. Also, Google the Navy's NEETS courses online.

If you're just starting out, I'd recommend building a pre-designed kit, and then work on tweaking and homebrewing your own circuits
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Old 22nd January 2010, 02:19 PM   #3
TheGimp is offline TheGimp  United States
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I'd recommend reading thest two threads at the top of the list of threads:


On Line Tube Learning for newbies....

Safety Practices, General and Ultra-High Voltage
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Old 22nd January 2010, 03:17 PM   #4
Arnulf is offline Arnulf  Europe
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There is building as in putting parts of a kit together, then there is building as in copying existing designs and then there is building as in designing your own gear from scratch.

Since you mentioned you are unfamiliar with physics (electronics) I second Glowbug's suggestion - grab a kit and a decent book (I haven't read M. Jones' book myself but others recommend it so it must be good) and figure out how your kit works.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 03:53 PM   #5
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Hello.
Welcome to the world of glass envelopes!!!
Suggestions:
1:Read the book already suggested.
2: Get the book: Beginners Guide To Tube Audio Design, Bruce Rozenblit. AND: Audio Reality, Bruce Rozenblit
Beginner's Guide to Tube Audio Design
AUDIO REALITY by Bruce Rozenblit
3: Get this book: Principles of Electron Tubes, Herbert J. Reich.
Technical books online
4: While you are there download anything that "catches your fancy".
5: Then as a GREAT project: DCPP Amp
Searching this forum will get you to that project..
Posted new P-P power amp design
....beware though many have heavily"pooged" their builds. Just go for a stock build first.
*** BE VERY CERTAIN to read and understand the thread previously quoted:
Safety Practices, General and Ultra-High Voltage
6: Browse around and read as you find the interest: John Broskie's Guide to Tube Circuit Analysis & Design

Lastly...............JUST ENJOY your Music.
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Last edited by tympani1d; 22nd January 2010 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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Hi Fallot,
Welcome to the forum, How good is your soldering skills.

Best Regards William
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Old 22nd January 2010, 04:56 PM   #7
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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In addition to the recommendations above you really need Morgan Jones "Valve Amplifiers 3rd Edition" as well as "Building Valve Amplifiers" previously mentioned. In fact I would put it at the top of the list - IMHO there is no better tube audio book out there.

Buy it here: Amazon.com: morgan jones valve amplifiers: Books

or here: BKB40 - Valve Amplifiers (Recommended as this is also the source of the only diy audio magazine in North America, and they can use the support.)
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Old 22nd January 2010, 05:01 PM   #8
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This looks like a good time to interject with a basic question.

Is it even possible for someone with without an engineering degree, and no proffessional "Tech" experience, basically starting from scratch, to reach a point where they can really design an amp, or even radically alter a design? Assume this person has strong reading skills, and only a basic college algebra background. Sometime I get the feeling this is a playground where only engineers get to play. Just how far can the determined self taught go?
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Old 22nd January 2010, 05:09 PM   #9
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubeMack View Post
This looks like a good time to interject with a basic question.

Is it even possible for someone with without an engineering degree, and no proffessional "Tech" experience, basically starting from scratch, to reach a point where they can really design an amp, or even radically alter a design? Assume this person has strong reading skills, and only a basic college algebra background. Sometime I get the feeling this is a playground where only engineers get to play. Just how far can the determined self taught go?
Absolutely!! It requires a lot of dedication and a willingness to try things, make mistakes and learn from them. Strong analytical skills are a plus. Experience over time will get you there. Many of us are engineers, (myself included) however we're a pretty inclusive lot, and are happy to share our experience and knowledge.

Reasonably good test equipment and understanding how to use it is an important component to success.

You can go just as far as you want to go. In the high end industry there are quite a few self taught types, (in some cases rather unfortunately) many of whom probably are not as good as you may turn out to be.

There is room for anyone in this hobby who wants to be here.
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Last edited by kevinkr; 22nd January 2010 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 22nd January 2010, 05:09 PM   #10
TheGimp is offline TheGimp  United States
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Most amp design uses simple math.

It's not rocket science unless you want to design and build the OPTs, and then it's voo-doo as well.
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