This book is an excellent resource for building high-quality transistor amplifiers. After reading this book the reader should be able to build (and possibly design) amplifiers that exceed the performance of even the best amplifiers available, but for a much lower cost. Pretty much every aspect of audio amplifiers is covered: the psychoacoustics of sound, myths in the audiophile world, all portions of amplifiers, power supplies, distortion and other performance metrics, loudspeaker protection circuits, several complete amplifier schematics, construction techniques, and troubleshooting techniques. Only class A, AB, and B amplifiers are covered (both BJT and MOS), so those interested in more exotic amplifier designs, such as class D, should look elsewhere.
The audience for this book is people with a fairly strong understanding of electronics. At a minimum, the reader should know the basics of transistor operation, but a strong knowledge of transistors is recommended. Basically, 2nd-year university electronics engineering or equivalent is required, but 3rd-year would be recommended. This book does contain complete amplifier schematics, so of course pretty much anyone would be able to build an amplifier with the help of this book, but you'll need a good understanding of electronics to be able to troubleshoot or modify the amplifiers in this book.
Chapter 1 covers the basics of amplifiers, such as what exactly an amplifier is, how they are used, and what can be expected from a home-made amplifier.
Chapter 2 is an excellent rebuttal of many myths in the audio world. Slone uses objective, scientific evidence to back up his claims, which makes them almost indisputable. Examples include the superiority of transistor amplifiers to tube amplifiers, the fact that tone controls don't degrade audio quality, and that extremely expensive speaker wire is completely useless.
Chapters 3 through 6 give detailed descriptions of how amplifiers work and how to build them. Slone progresses through the topic slowly, starting with the basic design of amplifiers, then describing input stages, followed by voltage-gain stages, and finally the output stage. Slone often describes how changes in components will affect the amplifier performance, and reference is often given to the projects at the end of the book. Several different types of amplifiers are described, ranging from cheap, easy-to-build amplifiers, up to extremely high-performance ones.
Chapter 7 is about stability, distortion, and performance. This chapter describes how to obtain good performance in amplifiers, and how to ensure that stability is maintained and distortion is minimized. Several different types of distortion are discussed, as well as how to minimize them.
Chapter 8 is about protection methods for amplifiers and loudspeakers. Many different types of circuits for this purpose are described, ranging from cheap, basic circuits, up to expensive, high-performance ones.
Chapter 9 is about power supplies. Slone first gives a detailed discussion of the different types of power supplies, and then describes how to build many different types, ranging from cheap ones to expensive, high-performance ones.
Chapter 10 describes how to build the optimum amplifier for any purpose and is an excellent summary of the previous chapters. This chapter really helps to bring everything together.
Chapter 11 contains 12 pre-made ('cookbook') amplifier designs, with complete schematics and discussions of how to build and modify them. These designs range from really basic 50W amps with decent performance, up to 500W, ultra-high performance amps. Many of these amps will give better performance than commercially available amps, yet the parts will cost much less (and I say this with experience because I have built a few of the designs given in the book). I should probably note here that many of the parts used in these designs are very hard to find, but replacement parts that are exactly the same are very easy to obtain. You just need to find a list of equivalent parts, which are available from many online sources.
Chapter 12 is about construction techniques. It describes how to properly build PCBs, how to place components to minimize interference and distortion, and other general construction techniques.
Chapter 13 describes how to troubleshoot and test the performance of an amplifier.
Overall, I found this book to be of very good quality. The only thing I didn't like about it was that sometimes descriptions were too short, but I guess that making them longer would have made the book too long. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in building their own audio amplifiers, but make sure you have a sufficient background in electronics, as I described above.