Have you built a guitar amplifier kit only to wonder how it works afterwards? Would you like to understand not just how it works, but the thought process that goes into designing an amplifier that can produce the sound you have in your head? The Roberto-Venn Vacuum Tube Guitar Amplifier class is for you! It’s taught over six weekends. The first four weeks are dedicated to an in-depth technical study of a high gain 35-watt amplifier. The last two weekends will be dedicated to building a wooden speaker enclosure for your amplifier. Each weekend consists of twenty hours of instruction including a lecture on Friday evenings followed by hands-on training on Saturday and Sunday.
All students are required to take an introductory seminar in basic electronics to acquire the basic knowledge required for success in the amplifier class. The student will be given a list of tools to purchase in the basic electronics class.
The amplifier you will build has a classic British style high-gain preamplifier with a configurable push-pull power amplifier that can accept 6L6, KT66 or EL34 tubes. The student may elect to build either a combo or head cabinet for their amplifier. The cost of the amplifier is included in the price of the class. The cost of the materials for the speaker cabinet is extra.
While it’s possible to purchase a kit yourself and assemble it for about half the cost of the class, the experience of learning from an expert in the field is worth the additional cost. Instructor led learning will eliminate the confusion that comes from trying to build with nothing more than a schematic and a wiring diagram. And you will leave class with an actual understanding of how your amplifier works!
Jim Kramer is an electrical engineer with more than twenty-five years in the industry. He specializes in circuit design and firmware development. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Ottawa University. He has worked for such companies as Qualcomm and Intel. Jim was trained on vacuum tube electronics in the United States Marine Corps where he worked on air traffic control radar systems that still contained tubes and discrete transistors as late as the 1970’s.
Jim is a trained musician with both a jazz and classical background. He studied music at Scottsdale and Mesa Community Colleges in Arizona where he played upright bass, violin and trumpet in various jazz ensembles and orchestras. His favorite guitars are the Gibson ES-175 and J-45. He loves JJ vacuum tubes because they are named after his hero, J. J. Thompson, who discovered the electron.