Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
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Good for beginners, but minor misconceptions put me off.
am 6. Februar 1999
If you don't know much about valve amplifiers ['valve' = 'tube' in USA], you will learn a lot by reading this book, which starts from the basics. It is generally readable and easy to understand. In addition to theory, it also covers some very practical aspects the practical [how to cut metal, how to solder, and so on]. The author's style is highly enthusiatic but came across to me as being slightly amateurish.
Its focus is on hi-fi audio amplifiers - it does not touch on valve guitar amplifiers.
What I liked most was the author's down-to earth common sense approach, which he evidently acquired through his training at the BBC. [no nonsense about gold plating your mains fuses here]
What I liked *least* were minor misconceptions and the details he gets wrong here and there. As a few examples, if you took him at his word, you would believe:
- Fitting metal screening to an input valve will shorten its life.
- The B-H curve of a transformer's iron can be treated as the Vin - Vout characteristic.
- The getter in a valve is only effective if the heater is hot before the anode voltage is applied.
Two topics I thought were significant omissions:
- How to measure amplifier characteristics [eg frequency response, power output, distortion].
- How to design feedback amplifiers to get the best performance for a given output transformer.
Troubleshooting [a pretty important topic] is only touched on.
As I said, if you don't know much about valve amplifiers, you can learn a lot from this book and will find it easy to read with lots of useful information. But if [like me] you are put off by incorrect details and a slightly amateurish air, leave it on the bookshelf.