Skip to content

Forum

Tube theory books
 
Notifications
Clear all

Tube theory books


(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1165
Topic starter  

Hey everyone, I'm not sure if i've posted about this before but I am currently really getting interested in DIY projects: effects pedals, electric guitars, amplifiers, and I want to learn more about tube technology and tube amps so someday I might be able to either service or build my own tube amps. So I was wondering if anyone knew of any books or resources that were helpful in learning how tubes work in amplification, I know how tubes work in the basic sense, and I know how solid-state transistor amplifiers work I was just looking for something more technically related to tubes. If anyone has any recommendations I would appreciate it, Thanks.

Steve-0


Quote
(@jeffster1)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 231
 

The internet is not a truck you just dump stuff on... It's a series of tubes!

Seriously though, I have no idea. I'd say check http://www.howstuffworks.com they usually have an article on everything. Sometimes even external links to books on the subject.


ReplyQuote
(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1165
Topic starter  

The internet is not a truck you just dump stuff on... It's a series of tubes!

Another fan of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, perhaps? I love that show

Thanks, I've just been Googling stuff on tubes, I found some decent stuff but it's mostly basic stuff on tubes (how they work, amplification basics) but not exactly any design or troubleshooting stuff. I've seen some books but i'm sure if anyone has any good stuff (even old electronic textbooks) then they can feel free to share the name of the book.

Steve-0


ReplyQuote
(@beaner)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 122
 

I'm going to suggest a different approach and suggest you try to learn more about "amplifiers". They are quite easy to understand in their basic form.
Wikipedia has an entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amplifier
and I would recommend the Electronic Fundamentals book by Thomas L Floyd which is available readily on ebay. It has a really good section an amplifier circuits.
http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&_trksid=m37&satitle=floyd+electronics&category0=

HTH

Regards,
Paul


ReplyQuote
(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

Old electronics textbooks published prior to about 1955 are the primary sources I'd recommend. Best for beginners is an introductory military course from the early 1950s that's been reproduced and last time I looked was available in the books section at Antique Electronics Supply, http://tubesandmore.com/

I've never bought or read a modern book about tube guitar amps. Can't judge 'em. But so much of the stuff I've read on "tube amp expert" sites sounds like silly voodoo to me that I really have little expectation of good from them. That is to say, I've deliberately avoided them. Perhaps I'm wrong in my prejudice, but there it is. I'm not spending my money to find out if I'm wrong.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


ReplyQuote
(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1165
Topic starter  

I'm going to suggest a different approach and suggest you try to learn more about "amplifiers". They are quite easy to understand in their basic form.
Wikipedia has an entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amplifier
and I would recommend the Electronic Fundamentals book by Thomas L Floyd which is available readily on ebay. It has a really good section an amplifier circuits.
http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&_trksid=m37&satitle=floyd+electronics&category0=

HTH

Thanks, but I actually know a bit about amplification: I took two courses in Electronics in my first year of college. The first course was based on designing power supplies an introduction of transistors and amplification. The second course was a course on transistor amplifiers, at the end of the term we built a complete audio amplifier that you could hook up a microphone and speaker up to the input and outputs, a really fun course :D . Thanks anyway though.

They didn't really teach much about vacuum tubes at the college because they don't have that many applications nowadays.

Thanks for the link to that site Ricochet, there's alot of books there that look fairly interesting.

Steve-0


ReplyQuote
(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 833
 

I'm considering ordering at least the first book in the Ultimate Tone series - http://www.londonpower.com/books.htm These appear to be some good books with some really good detailed information. The author is the guy who invented power scaling.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


ReplyQuote
(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

You could expand your search to include the term "valve".

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


ReplyQuote
(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1885
 

Here's a bunch of tube amp schematics that I found.

Back when I worked in broadcasting, I spent quite a bit of time "elbow deep" inside tube amps (up to 50 KW).

The most important bit of theory that I kept in mind while troubleshooting is that tubes are an "on" device.

If the filament is hot, and there's plate voltage, then it will conduct up to the capacity of the power supply to feed it current (until the tube dies).
The grid voltage is what makes it useful. A DC bias voltage on the grid* stops the tube conducting, and an AC voltage on top of that (the input signal) causes the output current to vary in proportion to the input. The current flow at the plate is your amplified signal.

*at least in a triode tube. Many tubes have more than one grid, or screen. One or more will be used to bias and stabilize the tube, another to supply the input signal

If you're still looking for books, Ricochet's suggestion to find books that were written when tubes were "new tech" is probably the best idea.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


ReplyQuote
(@racetruck1)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 519
 

Aspen Pittman, "The Tube Amp Book".

One of the more complete books that I've found.

When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming......
like the passengers in his car.


ReplyQuote
(@billg)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 17
 

Here's a good book & video:

How To Service Your Own Tube Amp


ReplyQuote