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Old 1st June 2014, 09:05 PM   #1
Teldroo is offline Teldroo  United States
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Default Going from zero to pro tube amplifier. Resources?

I've gone around a lot of places to all about circuits and to various sites and downloaded some ebooks for amplifiers, but the process still seems to elude me. I've done what I thought was correct in spice and the circuit behaved extremely distorted until I removed the bypass cap parallel to Re, as I was trying to work out build practice on transistors before going to tubes. I'm looking for some resource which can give a simple and direct approach to building a tube amplifier, something that can go through each step of the process building one from the ground up and explain it clearly.
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Old 1st June 2014, 09:32 PM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I'd recommend getting a copy of Morgan Jones: "Designing Valve Amplifiers" 4th edition. This gives you the fundamentals and a lot of practical design information as well.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 10:07 AM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Horowitz and Hill will teach you electronics. Although solid-state, much of it applies to valves too.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 10:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teldroo View Post
something that can go through each step of the process building one from the ground up and explain it clearly.
Building Valve Amplifiers
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Old 2nd June 2014, 11:53 PM   #5
Teldroo is offline Teldroo  United States
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I gotcha. So far the Art of Electronics book looks like it might be just what I need to understand why you choose certain resistors to get the proper volts/amps when you have interplay between those network choices and other networks in the circuit. The Building Amplifier one is more of a physical construction guide which is important, I can keep that for later until I figure out how E = I/R and all those add up when a variable is thrown in. Maybe my problem is that I'm trying to build an amp solely as resistor networks and then plug in a transistor or tube that fits the HT and expected voltage dropped with expected current. It didn't seem to work so well for a transistor, I want to make sure I get it right before burning up expensive tubes or catching resistors on fire.
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Old 3rd June 2014, 04:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
Horowitz and Hill will teach you electronics. Although solid-state, much of it applies to valves too.


Big thumbs up for this!!

The authors do state several times that students often get caught up trying to memorize formulas, but actually understanding the concepts is the important thing. I have not read the whole book yet but have gotten through the first couple chapters. I use it as a reference book mainly but I think I will get the hang of it after I have read it like 5 times hopefully.

I wish there was a thread to discuss the exercises because the book doesn't have the answers and I don't know if mine are correct or not. A thread would be good also because then if intellectually impaired people like me do not understand a concept/exercise someone smarter could help out.
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Old 4th June 2014, 04:18 AM   #7
Teldroo is offline Teldroo  United States
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The authors do state several times that students often get caught up trying to memorize formulas, but actually understanding the concepts is the important thing.
That's exactly what I think I need. It seems like the best way is to be able to develop intuitive or causal reasoning to understand how a circuit performs and why, so on. Mostly I think I get stuck on the fact that every section can affect every other section which makes it look like a giant intractable mess to understand. I think I'm starting to get to the point of understanding each series of resistance and how it affects an output taken from any node, but when feedbacks and differentials get involved, there goes my brain again. I just barely finally understood current mirrors in an intuitive way from this Lecture - 36 Current Source and Current Sink - YouTube Ive seen it once before but didnt understand it. I can understand the simple concepts here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryCr4Y7ypLA but I do worry about missing something critical which ruins the tubes. The art of electronics book seemed to relate something which a person told me earlier, which is not to figure gain of a transistor into equations for making the circuit, because gain varies. A person told me that you shouldn't build a circuit for a specific transistor because that's bad practice, and I am sure that they meant using the gain calculations to figure out resistances and volts/current.
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Old 4th June 2014, 10:16 AM   #8
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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The best thing is to learn about the standard sub-circuits, such as cathode/emitter/source follower or grounded cathode/emitter/source voltage amplifier, then recognise them in larger circuits.

Next step is to remember that a sub-circuit input looks like an impedance, and a sub-circuit output looks like a voltage/current source with an impedance in series/parallel. Then you can put them all together.

After that comes the fun of feedback!
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Old 4th June 2014, 10:33 AM   #9
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Teldroo - another nice way of entering the world of tubes is to buy a cheap or second hand tube amp and do some simple modifications. As long as the wiring is point to point (no circuit board) you can have a really good time and learn about sonic differences without having to worry too much about case/chassis work. My first project was re-wiring a pentode mode push pull amp into ultra linear mode (and subsequently altering the feedback arrangement). I learnt a lot, read some Morgan Jones, and had an overwhelming amount of support on this forum. No drilling - that's the time waster!!
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Old 4th June 2014, 10:52 AM   #10
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I second lordearl's method. Diving right in is a good way to learn. Just remember the basic safety rules and don't experiment on stuff you can't live without. And I too have a copy of Morgan Jones. I study it to solve problems right in front of me. I can't say enough about the basic EICO and Heathkit push pull circuits. The EICO hf-14 is a wonderful place to start.
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