Building Valve Amplifiers, 2nd Edition

Building Valve Amplifiers, 2nd Edition,Morgan Jones,ISBN9780080966380






235 X 191

The practical guide to building, modifying, fault finding and repairing vacuum tube amplifiers from renowned vacuum tube guru Morgan Jones

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Key Features

  • The only hands-on approach to building valve and tube amps--classic and modern--with a minimum of theory
  • Design, construction, fault-finding, and testing are all illustrated by step-by-step examples, enabling readers to clearly understand the content and succeed in their own projects
  • Includes a complete self-build amplifier project, putting into practice the key techniques introduced throughout the book


Building Valve Amplifiers is a unique hands-on guide for anyone working with tube audio equipment--as an electronics hobbyist, audiophile or audio engineer. This 2nd Edition builds on the success of the first with technology and technique revisions throughout and, significantly, a major new self-build project, worked through step-by-step, which puts into practice the principles and techniques introduced throughout the book.

Particular attention has been paid to answering questions commonly asked by newcomers to the world of the valve, whether audio enthusiasts tackling their first build or more experienced amplifier designers seeking to learn about the design principles and trade-offs of "glass audio." Safety considerations are always to the fore, and the practical side of this book is reinforced by numerous clear illustrations throughout.


Amateur and professional valve audio designers and enthusiasts

Information about this author is currently not available.

Building Valve Amplifiers, 2nd Edition



Section 1: Construction

Chapter 1. Planning

Chassis layout

Parts having specific problems and solutions



Recommended further reading

Chapter 2. Metalwork for Poets


Artificial lighting

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Marking out

Drilling round holes

Sawing metal

The traditional folded chassis

Making a chassis from extruded aluminium channel and sheet


Recommended further reading

Chapter 3. Wiring


Hand tools

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)

Types of wire

Wiring techniques

Class I and Class II equipment


Rectifiers and high-current circuitry

Balanced interfaces

Layout of small components within a chassis


Problems and solutions


Recommended further reading

Section 2: Testing

Chapter 4. Test Equipment Principles

The moving coil meter and DC measurements

Comparative versus absolute measurements

Precision and accuracy

Errors and uncertainties

Combining uncertainties

Why worry about uncertainties?


Meters and AC measurements

Digital voltmeters (DVMs)

Oscilloscope principles

Analogue oscilloscopes

Bells and whistles

Digital oscilloscopes

Applying signals to the oscilloscope

Oscillators and dedicated audio test sets

Other test equipment


Recommended further reading

Chapter 5. Faultfinding to Fettling


Electrical safety testing

Functionality testing


Classic amplifiers: Comments


Chapter 6. Performance Testing

Linear distortions

Measuring gain at different frequencies

Impedance against frequency

Non-linear distortions

Measuring power supply ripple and hum

Measuring noise


Section 3: Examples

Chapter 7. Practical Projects

Bulwer-Lytton power amplifier

RIAA power supply (a.k.a. the “Thing”)

Hybrid balanced RIAA stage (a.k.a. “Toaster”)



Two-terminal modelling equations and spreadsheets

Six-component worked example

UK to US glossary


Quotes and reviews

"It is a highly detailed book on the actual design and construction of tube amplifiers‚Ķthe book covers planning, metalworking, wiring and testing.  A real nitty gritty book for hobbyists and serious manufacturers.  For example, the book details things like how to orient audio and power transformers to avoid problems of magnetic flux leakage from affecting other transformers or the tubes themselves.  The test section is excellent.", March 17, 2014

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