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Guitar Amp Maintenance DVD, Books and Gear

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by bakersfield2014, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. bakersfield2014

    bakersfield2014 Tele-Meister

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    Hi everyone,

    After having to take various tube amps to my amp guy five times in the last year and a half or so, I have decided that I need to learn to do basic maintenance work on my amps. I was wondering if oyu have any good recommendations for DVD and books. Some that also have some sections on safety when dealing with guts of the amps would be great too!

    What I have been leaning towards

    DVD: Tube Guitar Amplifier Servicing & Overhaul - Gerald Weber

    Book: Guitar Amp Handbook - David Hunter

    Any other good ones?

    Also what are the basic tools I am going to need? I do have some experience wiring Tele and Strats but beyond that I have no experience with electronics. Thanks!
     
  2. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Before you purchase the DVD take a look at Uncle Doug's channel on YouTube. His videos are very good for explaining tube and electronic basics.

    The Hunter book is a good one but I'd recommend Merlin Blencowe's Designing Guitar Tube Preamps as a first book.

    You'll need a multimeter and you'll need to know how to use it to measure the voltage of the big filter caps to ensure they are discharged before doing anything inside an amp. Some amps will self discharge and others will not. You will need a good soldering iron especially for soldering circuit board turrets. I also recommend a flux pen to clean the solder joints with before you solder them.

    Shameless plug: Also check out my How Tube Amps Work webpage.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  3. Nickfl

    Nickfl Friend of Leo's

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    Read Rob's website before you buy any books. The Dave Hunter book is good, but it is about theory, almost nothing practical. In fact, he goes through the process of building an amp kit, but repeatedly tells you to never open up an amp after it has been connected to power. So, not a useful book it you want to learn to work on your own amps. I have started reading part of the Blencowe book, and it is much more in depth and informative than Hunter, but it may be a bit over your head if you are just starting to learn about amps. Rob's site and the Uncle Doug videos are the best introduction I have found unless you have a real electronics background. Everything else is either too basic or too complex for what you are wanting to learn.

    Also, you should consider building a kit amp and/or finding a cheap, broken amp on craigslist to try to fix. I wouldn't try doing anything more complicated then checking the bias on anything vintage or valuable until you have some experience and start to know what you are doing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
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  4. Little Ricky

    Little Ricky Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Jeffrey Falla's book, "How to Hot Rod Your Fender Amp", in which he goes over a bunch of mods that can apply to most amps.

    Just want to second the recommendations for Dave Hunter's book, Uncle Doug, and RobRob's page.
    Spend lots of time in the DIY Amp threads, even for topics that you're not specifically interested in, and it will all slowly come together.
    Dave Funk's book is clear and simple too.
     
  5. ranjam

    ranjam Tele-Holic

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    Learn to crawl before you ask what are the best running shoes for you. Learn to solder. Really. Can you solder your own cords? I can't tell how many times I have been given literally for free all kind of gear that someone else had butchered with their blow torch, acid core solder, or a pound of flux all over the place. Delicate soldering is a skill that no book will teach; only time and hands on practice will do that.
    After that, I found the Tom Mitchell book/video pretty good for beginners just looking for basic to intermediate maintenance skills. HOWEVER, when he suggests biasing EL34's to 60mA, cross that part out with a huge Sharpie. :eek:
    Rick Marshal is in a YouTube series that's not bad. He makes a lot of really silly vernacular mistakes for the fuss-nut in me, but the overall guide starts simple, and works up to some decent level of troubleshooting and maintaining your own amp. David Caris is the 'host' who asks off-camera questions.
     
  6. Thin69

    Thin69 Friend of Leo's

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    Rob Robinette has many excellent web pages on amplifiers that are very informative and written in a manner that is easy to understand. There is a nice section on troubleshooting.

    http://www2.fender.com/support/articles/stratocaster-setup-guide/

    Uncle Doug on you tube has put together a ton of videos on guitar amplifiers. He is a very skilled communicator and explains things in a very simple manner so even those new to amplifiers can understand. I highly recommend you spend lots of time viewing his videos, they will help immensely.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/Stratosaurus1

    The Dave Hunter book "The Guitar Amp Handbook" is good if you're just starting out. Dave goes through the basic stuff throughly.

    Merlin Blencowe's book "Designing Tube Preamps for Guitar and Bass" is for those already having a fair degree of amplifier knowledge and covers much more complex concepts.

    I'd start with Rob's site and the Uncle Doug videos first as you can gain a lot of free knowledge and have a lot better idea of your interest level of going further. I like free! :)
     
  7. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Back when sex was safe and motorcycles were dangerous... I cut my teeth on The Boy Electrician. The first edition dates back to 1913.

    You just know it's gonna be good when they have experiments using devices such as the Van der Graaf generator and the Tesla coil.

    The Fairbanks Museum in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont had a working Van der Graaf generator on display though the 1980s. It charged a couple Leyden jars. I suppose it eventually broke after nearly a hundred years of school kids cranking it as hard as they could.

    .

    Tesla_circa_1890.jpg
    .
     
  8. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Tesla was The Man.
     
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  9. koolaide

    koolaide Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 on Uncle Doug and Robs site.
     
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