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The Guitar Amp Handbook: Updated and Expanded Edition

The Guitar Amp Handbook: Updated and Expanded Edition is now available! Dave Hunter, author of this newest edition, has provided us with some words about the book and how it differs from the previous edition!

Guitar-Amp cover REVISE.qxdWhen we talk about “the electric guitar,” the thing that makes it electric in the first place is the amplifier. The electric guitar simply isn’t a musical instrument in any meaningful, expressive way without major assistance from this glowing box of tricks, and, in fact the majority of its sonic capabilities and unfettered versatility are generated within the amp itself. To the non-guitar-playing observer, it might seem odd to be updating and expanding a book that, when first published ten years ago, celebrated a long-outdated technology. But tube amps continue to be the first choice of tone-conscious guitarists around the world—amateur and professional alike—and designers and manufacturers are today producing amps that are better sounding and more varied in their capabilities than ever before. As such, the Updated And Expanded Edition of The Guitar Amp Handbook: Understanding Tube Amplifiers And Getting Great Sounds accounts for the full spectrum of tube amps available to the player today, taking the reader inside the pulsing, glowing hearts of these powerful tone generators in a quest to better equip guitarists for their own creative endeavors.

The original edition of The Guitar Amp Handbook covered everything you as a guitarist need to know to better understand what’s going on under the hood, how tubes help to generate great tones, how to choose the right amp for your music, and how to make the most of whatever tube amp you might already own. Chapters took the reader step-by-step through the basic signal chain inside the amp, explored the crucial components and how different ingredients can lead to variations in tone, put the main circuit stages under the microscope, looked under the hood of several classic tube amps with full-color inside-the-chassis photos and detailed notes to examine how they tick, discussed speakers and cabs, offered amp maintenance tips, and much more. Now, the Updated And Expanded Edition takes it all to another level.

“Tube technology might be considered archaic compared to other realms of consumer electronics, but that doesn’t mean the guitar-amp world has sat still since I wrote the original edition ten years ago,” says the book’s author, Dave Hunter. “So much has happened meanwhile, and guitarists’ thinking about tube amps, the way they use them, and what they expect to get from them has evolved considerably, too. Tube amp design and construction remains a living art, into which new developments are born every day, and getting this popular book back up to speed demanded a major re-think, and a lot of extra work.”

Bringing a boatload of new information to the reader and a lot more value along with it, the Updated And Expanded Edition improves upon and adds to the original edition in several ways.

  • Every chapter has been thoroughly re-examined by the author and, where possible, updated in line with new developments and a deeper understanding of the tube-amp market as it exists today. 
  • Coverage of modern, high-gain, and channel-switching amps has been considerably expanded.
  • Newly released components are discussed, and new insights are shed on many of those previously examined.
  • Several extra models have been added to the popular “Inside The Amps” chapter, including detailed examination of the Matchless DC-30, Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+, Fender Blues Junior, Komet Aero 33, Hiwatt Custom DR103, Supro Model 24, and Tone King Sky King, in addition to the amps probed in the original edition.
  • New and exclusive “Meet The Makers” interviews are included, adding Reinhold Bogner, Brian Gerhard of TopHat, Steven Fryette, Holger Notzel of Komet, and Mark Bartel of Tone King to the original selection.
  • A thorough update and revision of the “Building An Amp” DIY project has been undertaken, including the author’s own refinements to the original Two-Stroke design, details about Victoria Amp Company’s rendition of the kit, and clarified parts lists and building instructions.

The original edition of The Guitar Amp Handbook was already the most comprehensive and insightful guide available to the guitarist seeking to understand where his or her precious tone really comes from. With its many new additions and some serious re-consideration of much of the original material, the Updated And Expanded Edition now makes it an amp book without equal.