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The Tube Amp Book: Deluxe Revised Edition [Spiral-bound]

Aspen Pittman
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 56.18
Price: CDN$ 32.92 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2003
(Book). Already known as the bible of tubes and tube amps, The Tube Amp Book is now even better! This deluxe revised edition contains 40% new material, with a comprehensive A-Z section covering all the great tube amp manufacturers, with histories, photos and information. Brands include Ampeg, Dr. Z, Fender, Gibson, Hiwatt, Marshall, Matchless, Mesa/Boogie, Orange, Vox, Watkins and many others. Features a CD-ROM with 800 available schematic and layout diagrams, from Ampeg to Western Electric, plus dramatically improved design and page layout. The book's technical tips, in-depth electronic specs and explanations, over 350 schematic diagrams, and full-color plates make it a must-have for the legions of tube-tone fanatics. Hardcover with convenient enclosed spiral binding.

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The Tube Amp Book: Deluxe Revised Edition + The Guitar Amp Handbook: Understanding Tube Amplifiers and Getting Great Sounds + All About Vacuum Tube Guitar Amplifiers
Price For All Three: CDN$ 76.85

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
George Alessandro's amps differ from many of those in what have come to be called the 'boutique' market, partly because his designs are less directly based on the usual classic vintage tube amps (tweed Fenders, Marshall JTMs, Vox AC30s . . .) than most others, and partly because he has so closely aligned his work with the esthetics of the high-end tube audio world. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great read Jan. 12 2013
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book...along with The Guitar Amp Handbook by Dave Hunter,for all your info into the whats what of most tube guitar Amps...great resource...tons of schematics etc....a must for any amp tech.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor Image Quality Ruins Book's One Attribute May 7 2004
Format:Spiral-bound
Aspen Pittman, whom I have met and talked to at several industry conventions such as NAMM and AES, is not a highly technical individual: in fact I doubt he even understands basic electronics. His book is therefore a compilation of a lot of schematics and (on Fenders) parts layouts for guitar amplifiers, and a few articles written by various tech writers, some of which are of merit and some of which aren't.
The schematics are not very legible and many contain known errors. For this price, he could at least get that part right. I don't recommend this book unless you cannot find a needed schematic or layout anywhere else.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Image quality issues Jan. 20 2004
By Simon E
Format:Spiral-bound
Be warned that the image quality of the circuit schematics on the cd-rom will leave you angry and frustrated as many of them are simply illegible. The values of resistors et al are IMPOSSIBLE to see in many of them.
Quite a few of the printed schematics in the book are extremely hard to read (even with a magnifying glass.)
I have the 4.1 edition and will have to hang onto it as the images printed there for the most part are superior to those in the new edition. It's a shame that the Quality Control is so poor in this critical/essential publication. Did no-one check this out before it was shipped for production?
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book covering the history of amps. Oct. 22 2003
By A Customer
Format:Spiral-bound
This is a great book for anyone interested in the history of guitar tube amplifiers. Its especially great for the hobbyist tube amp builders because it contains 801 schematics on the CD that comes with the book. This book is the follow up of Aspen Pittman's book the Tube Amp Book 4.1th edition and 4th addition as well. This book is smaller than the previous editions because a lot of the schematics have been put on the CD-ROM that comes with the book. But more schematics have been released with this edition on the CD-ROM so it actually contains more info than the previous editions. The CD-ROM contains 801 schematics of vintage amps. All of them are in PDF format and viewable on any machine that can run Adobe Acrobat. The pictures and descriptions in the book give you a great idea of how the vintage amps looked and how they evolved. This book is a must have for any tube amp afficianado.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slanted: too much an adverstisement for GT May 27 2008
By Christoph D. Cole - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound
I've been fooling with tube guitar amps for decades. I more or less know what I am doing with them, and I've found most of the information that I want on line. But I thought it would be nice to have a book or two to consult when my wife or daughter was at the computer, when I was tinkering with an amp, or when I just didn't feel like sitting at a desk and looking at screen. Based on its appearance and description, I chose this book. Bad decision.

This book insulted me. I felt used and abused by the author, and that has perhaps tainted this review. I expected a comprehensive and useful guide. That is what this book should have been and what the format and price -and the use of "THE" in the title -- seemed to promise. Instead, I dropped $33 on a big, glossy advertisement for the author's "Groove Tube" tube-selling operation and, by extension, the manufacturers who buy tubes from him.

To make a happy customer, promise less and deliver more. This book went the other way.

Yes, some of the content is useful and interesting, written passages as well as photos. But the section describing amp brands and histories is rendered woefully incomplete as the author veers and swerves through it to make opportunities to refer to himself and his tubes and pimp for the manufacturers that buy from him. (Be wary of authors who never miss opportunities to tell you how important and knowledgeable they are. Quality of content should speak for itself.) Redundancies abound, further wasting the reader's time and valuable space that could have been used to at least mention other manufacturers or give some details about those that deserved more than a paragraph or two. But then, perhaps those manufacturers will yield to the pressure, become Groove Tube customers, and thus buy space in the next edition.

The technical section lacks depth and development, apparently a patchwork of reprinted magazine articles, disconnected one to the next, but with more shameless plugs for Groove Tubes inserted here and there. Many of the articles are reasonably well written and helpful in themselves and would be perhaps be a pleasure to find in a magazine. But overall, the technical section is less coherent and developed than one would expect in the sort of publication that this presents itself to be. Again, the book seems to promise more but delivers less.

Others have commented on many the schematics being illegible or inaccurate.

Perhaps the greatest disappointment is the section comparing tube types. Only tubes marketed by Groove Tubes are included, and they are all, of course, listed by their Groove Tube catalog name and are all shown photographed with the big GT logo prominently displayed. If you are looking for descriptions or comparisons of raved-about tubes by Tung-Sol or Svetlana or the like, you can do much better on the Internet, thank you. You won't find them here.

The book has its good points. It is big. It is glossy. The spiral binding is user-friendly. You will get some insights into the hows and whys of tube amp history and evolution - but then, the book is not unique in that. It has lots of great photos - but even here there are annoying redundancies and omissions: some things described in a way that makes them intriguing are not depicted while other things are shown again and again. Did I mention redundancies?

This book might be a good addition to the library of someone who already has lots of books about tube amps and has room on the shelves for more. But if you are looking for just one or two more or less comprehensive books on the subject, look elsewhere.

I was not happy with my purchase and returned the book.
65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor Image Quality Ruins Book's One Attribute May 7 2004
By Keith Carlsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound
Aspen Pittman, whom I have met and talked to at several industry conventions such as NAMM and AES, is not a highly technical individual: in fact I doubt he even understands basic electronics. His book is therefore a compilation of a lot of schematics and (on Fenders) parts layouts for guitar amplifiers, and a few articles written by various tech writers, some of which are of merit and some of which aren't.
The schematics are not very legible and many contain known errors. For this price, he could at least get that part right. I don't recommend this book unless you cannot find a needed schematic or layout anywhere else.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Tube Amp Book - Good, but not a DIY guide July 22 2006
By Astronaut Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound
I am building a 50 watt tube amp based off of Marshall & Fender designs; somewhat of a hybrid. I bought this for the schematics and such. The book is more of a history of tube amps, info on the parts/tubes & schematics, but it is not a DIY book. If you do not know what you are doing and you want to build your own amp, this book will not be a help. If you already know how to build one and need schematics and would also like to know the history of amps and the parts, this is good book for that. Also as stated in previous reviews, the schematics can be very hard to read, some are handwritten or bad copies, but with some work, can be read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the tube amp book bummer. Sept. 6 2013
By mondo49 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound
Great book if you want to know some history of tube amps or get a list of GT products or schematics. As a technical companion, absolute waste of money. I much prefer Kevin O'Connor publications, much better bang for buck.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good primer Sept. 14 2009
By Matt Beeson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Spiral-bound
I was looking for a good starter/primer on tube amps, and this book serves that purpose. It is, however, a running advertisement for Groove Tubes, which in itself, is not a bad thing, but can be a bit distracting or annoying at times. The author also points out the book's editorial shortcomings. I don't see why grammatical errors, for example, should not be corrected in revision rather than acknowledged. They do distract the flow of reading, and the contributions in this book (many excerpted from magazine articles) come from amp guys, not English majors, so flow can be a challenge at times regardless.

The book centers on descriptions of tube amp brands and famous models, giving greater detail on Fender, Marshall, and Vox than the rest. It also imparts some good information on basic signal flow, and gives a few tips on repair and nomenclature, though it is not, and I don't think is intended to be, a repair guide.

Overall, a decent book, a good starting point, and a worthwhile purchase.
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