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DIY Audio Books and Manuals

DIY Audio Books and Manuals

We get a lot of people asking us for DIY audio and loudspeaker book recommendations to get them started in the hobby. There are a lot of books on the topic and naturally we cannot go over all of them all. Below is a short list of some of the books we have and can recommend as good resource on the subject.

Also, here are our book reviews of the SuperCables CookBook and Fundamental Amplifier Techniques with Electron Tubes.

Last update: 7 January 2014

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Hi-Fi Vacuum Tube Audio Books

Building Valve Amplifiers by Morgan Jones Building Valve Amplifiers - Morgan Jones - ISBN 978-0750656955

As the title suggests, this book is about Building Valve Amplifiers. It does not go into the understanding or design of vacuum tube amplifiers. This is a good beginners book. It gives advice on how to plan layout, hints on metal working and wiring. There is also a comprehensive section on testing and fault finding.

Particular attention has been paid to answering questions commonly asked by newcomers to the world of the vacuum tube, whether audio enthusiasts tackling their first build, or more experienced amplifier designers seeking to learn the ropes of working with valves. The practical side of this book is reinforced by numerous clear illustrations. Written by the author of the audiophile cult classic, Valve Amplifiers which is described below.

Valve Amplifiers by Morgan Jones Valve Amplifiers, Third Edition - Morgan Jones - ISBN 978-0750656948

The Valve Amplifiers book is widely recognized as the most complete guide to valve amplifier design, modification, analysis, construction and maintenance written for over 30 years. The book is jam-packed with theory, circuit analysis and DIY basics. It will walk you through all stages of design so that you can create your own wonders. This book is good for beginners and advanced users.

Design principles and construction techniques are provided so readers can devise and build from scratch designs that actually work. Morgan Jones takes the reader through each step in the process of design, starting with a brief review of electronic fundamentals relevant to valve amplifiers, simple stages, compound stages, linking stages together, and finally, complete designs. Practical aspects, including safety, are addressed throughout.

Mullard Tube Circuits For Audio Amplifiers Mullard Tube Circuits For Audio Amplifiers - Mullard Ltd. - ISBN 978-1882580036

The Mullard Tube Circuits For Audio Amplifiers book was first published in 1959 by Mullard, Britain's premier vacuum tube manufacturer. While this is an old book it is detailed and easy to follow. It is the source of the famed 5-10 and 5-20 Mullard amplifiers. This is an interesting read, of historical value and good guide to some basic valve amplification circuits. All of the power amps described are push-pull.

This do-it-yourself guide includes eleven vacuum tube power and control amplifier projects. Each project comes complete with sheet metal diagrams, parts lists, and performance data. Featured in the book is a four-chapter tutorial on sound quality which is solid guidance on achieving the best sound with tubes.

Beginner's Guide to Tube Audio Design Beginner's Guide to Tube Audio Design - Bruce Rozenblit - ISBN 978-1882580132

The Beginner's Guide to Tube Audio Design by Bruce Rozenblit is a good book to start with if you are interested in building tube audio projects. This book covers all aspects of tube audio design from explaining what vacuum tubes do and how to use them, safety issues, how to work effectively as a designer and constructor and final testing of an amplifier.

The book includes the description of 13 classic tube amplifiers and preamps. Tips for construction tools and choosing components and tubes are also included.

Solid State / Operational Amplifier Books

High-Power Audio Amplifier Construction Manual by Randy Slone High-Power Audio Amplifier Construction Manual - Randy Slone - ISBN 978-0071341196

The High-Power Audio Amplifier Construction Manual goes through the basics of audio power amplifiers and walks the reader through a variety of designs, ranging from old to new, and simple to complex. Much of the information is based on well established research. The book goes on to examine the broad range of amplifier configurations and power capabilities. This includes mirror-image input stages, fully-complementary VA stages, paralleled output stages, and lateral MOSFET designs.

The author is highly opinionated, but generally does remain objective. This is a reasonable book that is worth the relatively low cost ~$23. Likely best suited for beginners and some intermediate users.

Designing Audio Power Amplifiers by Bob Cordell Designing Audio Power Amplifiers - Bob Cordell - ISBN 978-0071640244

Designing Audio Power Amplifiers begins with the design principles of power amplifier design and is witten such that a novice can understand and progress through into the more sophisticated amplifier design techniques. This book is an excellent source of knowledge for those interested in learning about audio amplifier design. Some of the topics covered include crossover distortion, advanced negative feedback approaches, servo design, thermal design, MOSFETs and error correction, class-D amplifiers and SPICE simulations.

The comprehensive book will appeal to those in the audio design field and audio hobbyists. Bob Cordell is an electrical engineer and prolific designer of audio amplifiers who has published a number of articles on amplifier design in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.


Loudspeaker Design and Testing Books

Loudspeaker Design Cookbook by Vance Dickason Loudspeaker Design Cookbook - Vance Dickason - ISBN 978-1882580477

The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook is a very comprehensive book on Loudspeaker Theory and Design. The book comes bundled with some software tools to help with loudspeaker design. There are plenty of graphs to show the effects of different design methods. The book also has in-depth look at crossover design. It looks at crossover design both with and without the use of the design software included with the book.

This Loudspeaker Design Cookbook will teach you proven methods for designing and building great sounding speakers. In addition there are a few examples of ready-to-build loudspeaker systems designed by Vance Dickason. Vance Dickason is one of the more respected loudspeaker designers in the industry.

Speaker Building 201 Book Speaker Building 201 - Ray Alden - ISBN 978-1882580453

The title "Speaker Building 201: A Comprehensive Course in Speaker Design" sums up what the book is all about. Beginning with a full explanation of the physics of loudspeakers including magnetism and moving on to cover most of the theory and principles of speaker design with practical applications. Included are 11 speaker projects, many which have been tested by loudspeaker expert Joseph D'Appolito. With this book anyone can become a speaker builder without an expensive workshop, analytical equipment or sophisticated software.

Written for beginners who want to build loudspeakers and also for the more experienced looking to improve their speaker design and building skills.

Testing Loudspeakers book by Joseph D'Appolito Testing Loudspeakers - Joseph D'Appolito - ISBN 978-1882580170

Testing Loudspeakers is the only book I have found on the subject. After covering the basics of Thiele-Small (T/S) Parameters, the author presents the techniques for in-depth driver testing, low frequency system electrical impedance tests, frequency response, and determining the T/S parameters using both analog and computer based methods.

Testing Loudspeakers is an excellent companion to the very popular "Loudspeaker Design Cookbook" by Vance Dickason.

Loudspeakers: For music recording and reproduction Loudspeakers: For music recording and reproduction - Newell and Holland - ISBN 978-0240520148

Loudspeakers: For music recording and reproduction is not a loudspeaker design book. It is a practical guide to loudspeakers and their respective place in the recording chain and aimed towards recording professionals and musicians. Philip Newell and Keith Holland have produced a comprehensive book on loudspeakers which discusses many issues not covered in other books. The book offers an understanding of the behavior of loudspeaker systems and the broader issues of design and the sound that is produced. The book is sufficiently comprehensive and detailed that is could be considered to be a reference text.

Loudspeakers: For music recording and reproduction is an enjoyable read about state of the art loudspeaker reproduction. We recommend this book to recording professionals, musicians and serious audio enthusiasts.

General Electronics Books

The Art of Electronics by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill The Art of Electronics - Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill - ISBN 978-0521370950

The Art of Electronics is by far the best book on the subject of electronics in the last decade. It is suitable for beginners as a self-teaching book and also for those familiar with electronics as a reference book.

The Art of Electronics adopts a practical approach covering a very wide range of digital and analogue processes. Starting with the transistor, the FET, going on to op-amps and their applications, CMOS and TTL logic and circuits. The latter half of the book then covers microprocessors and peripheral devices, PCB design, power supplies and battery types. The book finishes with measurement techniques and signal processors.

Grounding and Shielding: Circuits and Interference by Ralph Morrison Grounding and Shielding: Circuits and Interference - Ralph Morrison - ISBN 978-0470097724

The fifth edition of Grounding and Shielding has been completely revised throughout. Grounding and Shielding is a good introductory book on the subject of grounding, electrostatics, electromagnetism and related induction and noise problems. A wide range of topics are covered including power distribution, mixing of analog and digital circuitry and circuit board layout. The book does a good job in explaining how noise is coupled in and out of analog and digital circuits and shares effective techniques for handling noise problems.

The book does a good job connecting the fundamentals of electromagnetic theory to interference problems in all types of electronic design and shows how to select suitable grounding and shielding systems. This useful guide about grounding and shielding will be of interest to all involved in sensitive electronics design as well as audio and radio hobbyists.