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Discussion Starter #1
So this is a question for those of you who consider yourselves competent amp/electronics techs...
I would like to transition out of my job... I’m 63 and don’t have years to become competent in another field... and, I only need a very moderate amount of incoming cash to pay a few bills.
I’m really interested in guitar and amp electronics and love to fix and mod guitars.
I know how to solder, and, as mentioned, love doing guitar electronics/wiring - but have little electronics knowledge.
So... the plan was maybe to study electronics online - since I am fascinated - and to somehow acquire some nuts and bolts tube amp repair skills - in my area it would be primarily mid-level Fender stuff that’s gone down. Are my goals are realistic?...
So questions... where (online) could I acquire a basic knowledge of electronics? Is it realistic to think I could do simple amp repairs within 6 months or so? Where would I acquire those skills? I saw Gerald Weber’s course but saw warnings that he’s a crook and not the guy to learn from, anyway... maybe build and sell a few kit amps? If so who makes killer kits? I’d prefer to do this from home.
Thanks in advance for your ideas and input. I will be acting on your suggestions!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And one last question... venting my bench... can I just run a normal stove hood fan outside or do I need something specific? Thanks again!
 

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Following with much interest.

All the best with your studies and setting up a dedicated electronics bench with all the test & measurement equipment, etc.

Purely out of curiosity, do you have an oscilloscope and are you reasonably proficient at using it?

I have heard good comments about Trinity kits in Brighton, ON.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
All I have right now is a soldering station and a multimeter... but I am prepared to invest...
 

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To learn on your own, its a lengthy process...

Been learning on my own for the last 2 years, doing fine with cap jobs and fixing minor issues. Larger problems take me hrs and hrs to figure out. These are my amps so not a problem but if it was a customer, would not be cost efficient.

I have all the videos from Gerald Weber. Only good for beginner's, will not tackle the why`s and were...

If I was seriously looking to make money from this, I would inquire in electronic courses.

Thats just my opinion from a novice with about 20 or so full cap job and repairs.
 

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All I have right now is a soldering station and a multimeter... but I am prepared to invest...
I only asked as I had a old scope from an estate sale and enjoyed doing basic (low voltage) electronics experiments with it in combination with a function generator and frequency counter.

I would consider an initial basic project of building a durable resistor circuit to use to drain caps.

I bought quite a few books and then read, read, read. I preferred the books over the screen...just a personal thing.

IMO building a kit is an excellent idea. I tried to source all the parts for a Champ style amp and became totally frustrated...along with the fact that shipping costs add up in a hurry.

Asking questions here in the GC forum was one of the best and most enjoyable resources.

I built a fume extractor with a foot switch using an old 110 VAC (about 5" x 5") computer fan and a piece of filtering material. To be honest, I often forget to use it.
Did you see these?
soldering fume extractor - Google Search
 

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Mr Obvious here.... Safety, safety, safety.
If you haven't already, find a mentor to teach you basic hands on (or hands off....) safety procedures.

Not much more "pro" amp advice to add, I am more of a 9v DC guy.
People often recommend the online NASA electronics training materials.
 

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Thats how JHS got into pedal building. Read a ton of books, learned how to read a schematic. Started modding pedals, then decided t make his own.
 
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With the high voltages involved in tube amp, wouldn't being moderately competent at it be akin to being moderately competent with explosives?

I admire the sentiment though.
 

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i would grab a kit and build one. I have little to no electronics experience And found when you fuck it up, you’ll learn the most.
 

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i would grab a kit and build one. I have little to no electronics experience And found when you fuck it up, you’ll learn the most.
Yes! While also trying to apply electronics theory and schematic reading skills as you are going along. Building an amp by using the "paint by numbers" concept only misses many great opportunities.
 

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Yup. Uncle Doug Watch his videos on the basics and his repairs. He's very easy to understand, and leaves out the BS.

Read and watch everything you can find on amps and amp repair, guitars and guitar repair.
 

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forget about it at 63. The easy stuff you can fix but those guy's that do it for a living no how to trouble shoot something broke with no visual burns. No how to isolate and use their scopes. You can't f around with someones amp or electronic's for a couple weeks and hand it back to them and say sorry I can't find the problem. You got to hand it back fixed and get paid.
 

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Know how.
 

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Thanks guys! Good input.
As a way of getting started into the hobby to see if it appeals to you, are you thinking of going the direction of building a tube amp from a kit? Just curious as to where you are with all the info and suggestions in this thread.

Please keeps us updated.
 
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