INTRODUCTION: A simple 'warm-up' to this entire website. A little philosophy, a little soap-box preaching, and a lot of common sense advice. Pull up a chair, and get a 'warm-up' for that coffee. We're here for the long haul! No Vintage Advertising.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Deals with the prospect of doing a little research into the 'history' of vacuum-tube based electronics, as well as reading up on any 'related' topic; e.g. woodworking, machine shop practice, etc., and get a 'feel' of how and why things are done the way they are done. Find yourself one old-timer in your area that was involved in Radio/TV/Audio during the 'golden years' of tube technology. Discover that economics played the biggest role in determining how you designed, manufactured, and promoted your product. Vintage Advertising features a look at the phenomenon of home study courses in Electronics.
ELECTRONIC PARTS: Deals with parts selection, including resistors, capacitors, transformers. Vintage Advertising features a look at advertising for resistors, capacitors, transformers, and tubes. REVELATIONS? looks at capacitors and transformers. Also a look at the Canadian tube industry with a vintage tube retail price list!
SPEAKERS: Straight talk about speakers, with a very basic theory primer. Also the crudest synopsis of how speaker boxes have an affect on your tone. Vintage Advertising features speaker advertising, the Yamaha 'Natural', and other unique speaker designs.
BIASING: Deals with the myths and hype surrounding the biasing of your output tubes. Absolutely required reading, even for the engineers out there! No Vintage Advertising.
VINTAGE AMPLIFIER MYTHS AND LEGENDS: Looks at the hype and folklore surrounding a few popular vintage amplifiers. A quick overview of the Tweed Bassman, Vox AC30, and Marshall amplifiers in general are included. And, if you look hard enough, 'secret' links take to to a treasure trove of Fender Bassman 'mods', as well as Marshall JCM800 mods to turn this ubiquitous 'head' into a fire-breathing beast. No Vintage Advertising.
GUITARS, ETC Deals with the subtle effects that your guitar and all the related paraphernalia makes in your final tone. Should be most helpful to those who can't quite 'cop the tone' from their favorite records. No Vintage Advertising.
MODS and ODDS deals with a typical Fender amplifier circuit, one stage at a time, and offers some simple modification advice that may bring your amplifier back to life! No Vintage Advertising.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE is a collection of the 'Tools Of The Trade', or hand tools and test equipment that makes my life a lot easier. If you are serious about being a tube technician, you should have these 'tools' at your disposal. Vintage Advertising looks at one tool necessary for those either looking to add extra tubes to their amplifier, or anyone who likes to build a chassis from 'scratch'.
THE EXPERIMENTER'S CHASSIS deals with a great idea I finally implemented. This lets me try out any circuit I think of without butchering a vintage amplifier in the name of science! No Vintage Advertising.
RANDOM THOUGHTS Is a gathering of 'random thoughts', or 'questions' that don't have enough 'legs' on their own to warrant an entire 'Lesson'. Together with enough alcohol, these thoughts can lead to some lively discussions. Or, maybe not. No Vintage Advertising.
CLOSING THOUGHTS: Is my closing thoughts on this whole series of 'Lessons'. No Vintage Advertising.
MADE IN CANADA: Some Vintage Advertising and a little history of tube guitar amplifier manufacturing in Canada.
CLASSIC ARTICLES: Scanned articles that made a difference in my education about tube guitar amplifiers, and electronics in general. The old-timers were a little more savvy than I gave them credit for! Also included are a few 'headers' from articles that for various reasons didn't make the final edit to this 'Lesson'. No Vintage Advertising.
VINTAGE TUBE BOXES: Looks at my own modest collection (over 5 dozen!) of classic tube boxes more so than the tubes themselves. I've always been a sucker for vintage advertising, and these tube boxes gave me a glimpse into a time when movies cost a nickel and new 6L6's were $1.60! It's a slow-loading page, but well worth the wait.
THE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO OSCILLOSCOPES: Boys, you'd better have a clean diaper handy . This one page is going to cause more commotion, have more people upset, and start more controversy than the topic of same-sex marriage. And I wouldn't have it any other way! I'll give you a Reader's Digest version of what an oscilloscope is, how an oscilloscope works, and how to select the right oscilloscope for your bench. But did I stop right there, and leave well enough alone? Do you really want to see a select group of oscilloscopes biasing up a select group of tube guitar amplifiers? Are you really going to watch in horror how poorly these amplifiers are biased, utilizing this heathen tool forged by Lucifer himself? Have you got the guts to study this entire 'Lesson'? No Vintage Advertising, as yet anyway.
THE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO TUBE TESTERS was added because I believe it is a very misunderstood and misused piece of test equipment. Few of us understand what a tube tester can and (more importantly) cannot do. There are links to separate pages featuring three of the more popular brands of tube testers in my collection, as well as full advertising pages for Heathkit, Hickok, and Sencore. This is done in an attempt to reduce the loading time of the very large 'Mother' page. *WARNING!* The 'Mother' page is still gonna take more than a couple of minutes to load. It will be worth the wait, I promise.
THE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO VTVM'S was added because I feel it is a sadly neglected piece of test equipment. I haven't found any reference to using a VTVM in any 'guru' books or videos. Perhaps the biggest reason is very few VTVM's can measure plate current, and we all know the love affair the typical guru has with plate current. Vintage Advertising looks at a selection of classic VTVM's from Heathkit, Hickok, Knight, and Superior.LINKS should be self-explanatory. For the most part, I have personally dealt with these people, and have absolutely no complaints. For some, I haven't had personal experience with them, but their web site just looks so well planned and organized that I will assume that is how they conduct business. If you honestly believe there is a business listed here that is a little less than scrupulous, let me know. If I cannot help you resolve your issues, I will remove their link from this page.