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Vacuum Tube Amplifier Basics

Written by EJ Jurich

Vacuum Tube Amplifier Basics

Written
by
EJ Jurich

Vacuum Tube Amplifier Basics

There is a growing number of audio enthusiasts and hobbyist interested in creating their own vacuum tube amplifiers. If one has the necessary technical information, high quality tube amplifiers can be assembled. Although it is true that accurately calculating electronic circuits can involve complicated formulas, for the electronic hobbyist it is not necessary to perform at the level of an electrical engineer. With some basic knowledge it is possible for the hobbyist to design and build vacuum tube audio amplifiers that perform well.

For the novice not versed in electronics several sections of the book cover electronic basics that pertain to vacuum tube circuits. Includes Ohms law, voltage, current, power and watts. Explains capacitors, series circuits, parallel circuits, voltage dividers, reading circuit drawings plus other related information.

Principles of vacuum tube operation voltage amplifiers and power output. Includes function of grids, effect of tube capacitance, tube resistance, heat dissipation, bias, miller effect and calculating voltage gain. A table of component values for the popular 12AX7 in various operating parameters simplifies pre-amplifier stage design. Power supply sections cover vacuum tube and solid state rectifier conversion of AC to DC and DC filtering. Amplifier design example takes you through the steps of designing a single ended ten watt amplifier with volume and tone controls.

Working with electronics and vacuum tube circuits requires some math. Circuit calculations in this book use various forms of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Formulas are all solvable using a standard 12 digit calculator (requires a square root key). Calculations are presented with examples.

Project layout circuits include a line amplifier with 25db gain, triode balanced-unbalanced input stage, tone control stage, turntable pre-amplifier, 6V6SE Class A stereo amplifier, 6V6SE Class A monoblock amplifier, 30 watt monoblock amplifier and a 5 watt guitar amplifier with adjustable overdrive. The 30 watt monoblock amplifier is designed for tube rolling using various type output tubes.

The printed book version has the convenience of being able to jump around sections by flipping through pages. The printed book does not require a device to view. The Kindle and PDF versions have the advantage of some pages being in color including pages of project wiring illustrations. The PDF version allows viewing in an Adobe PDF reader with the ability to print pages. The most recent up-to-date version of the book is dated May, 2020.

PRINT and KINDLE VERSIONS
AVAILABLE AT AMAZON

PLEASE NOTE
Color pages are only available in Kindle and PDF versions
Printed books are all black & white

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PAGE SAMPLES

Vacuum Tube Amplifier Basics

Basic Electronics

Vacuum Tube Amplifier Basics

Grid Bias

Vacuum Tube Amplifier Basics

Power Supply Design

Vacuum Tube Amplifier Basics

Step by Step Amplifier Design

Vacuum Tube Amplifier Basics

Project Parts Layout

Vacuum Tube Amplifier Basics

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE

ELECTRONIC BASICS
Resistors
Capacitors
Voltage and Current
Ohm's Law
Series Circuits
Parallel Circuits
Series-Parallel Circuits
Voltage Divider
Measuring Voltage and Current
Inductors and Transformers
DB
Frequency
Reading Circuit Drawings

VACUUM TUBES
The Electron Tube
Vacuum Tube Symbols
Tube Socket Pins
Tube Resistance in a Circuit
Plate Dissipation
Triode Voltage Amplifier
Grid Bias
Miller Effect
Cathode Bypass Capacitor
12AX7 Chart of Measured Values
Voltage Gain
Volume and Tone Controls
Negative Feedback
Headroom
Noise
Microphonics

POWER SUPPLIES
Full Wave Rectifier
Power Supply Filtering
Voltage Drop Across Rectifier
Transformer Loading
Filament Induced Hum

POWER AMPLIFIERS
Single Ended
Push-Pull
Output Transformer Core Gap
Ultra-Linear
OTL Amplifier
Amplifier Wattage
Measuring Amplifier Power Output
Damping Factor
Bias Supply
Harmonics and Distortion
Measuring Frequency Response

AMPLIFIER DESIGN EXAMPLE
Output Stage
Driver Stage
Negative Feedback Gain Loss
Pre-Amplifier
Tone Controls
Filament Supply
High Voltage Supply Using 5U4 Rectifier
Calculate Fuse Size

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION
Math Review
Chassis Building and Soldering Technique
Unbalanced / Balanced Audio
Grounds
Rolling Tubes
Old Style Capacitor and Resistor Color Coding
Wiring Etiquette
Component Sources

PROJECTS
Buffer Line Amplifier
Tone Controls
Turntable Pre-Amplifier
Triode Balanced Input
6V6GTA/6L6GC Stereo Amplifier
6V6GTA/6L6GC Monoblock Amplifier
30 Watt 6L6GC/KT66 Monoblock
6V6 Guitar Amplifier
Engraved Panels

ejjurich@audioentity.com

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