The Guitar Amp Handbook Review
Original Review Author: Andrew Cockburn
Name: The guitar Amp Handbook
Author: Dave Hunter
Price: $16.47 at amazon.com
I'm reading this book at the moment and thought it would be good to bring to the attention of forum members. This is a fascinating book that stradles the line between a whos who of tube amplifiers, and an engineering text on the guts of tube amplifiers. It doesn't actually do either very well, but that doesn't matter because it is a fascinating combination of descriptions of old and new amplifiers, and an insight into how they work, and what makes them unique.
It kicks of with a tour of a number of classic amps and textual descriptions and diagrams of their innards, contains chapters on speakers and component types.
I would say that this book is aimed at regular guitar players like you and me that want to know more about the care and feeding of tube amps, what makes a good or bad one, and how they really work inside. It even contains chapters on building your own tube amp (although that is not a big part of the book), and a chapter containing interviews with modern day great boutique amplifier manufacturers such as Ken Fischer of Trainwreck fame(now sadly deceased) and Michael Zaite, founder of Dr Z amps.
My only dissapointment was that the book stopped short of providing actual circuit schematics (although it did supply a number of layouts). This made it a little harder for me at least to appreciate the finer design points.
Overall, this is an excellent and thought provoking book that is essential reading for anyone that wants to take a little more care of their amp tone than just plugging in and cranking. I give it 9/10 - dropping one point for the lack of schematics.
Editorial note: published 3 Sept 2007