How To Build A Tube Amp: 5 Basics You Must Relearn!
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Disclaimer. I am neither a professor of meta physics, nor someone attempting to impress upon you any belief system. I am however, disillusioned with the illogical explanations presented by mainstream science, as to the constitution of electricity. Although there is not a human alive that knows for certain the underlying mechanism of any field phenomena, through both observation and experimentation, we can perhaps discern what might be most plausible. If the explanation of electricity by modern science makes little sense to you, then this presentation may be beneficial.
Let’s cut to the chase. There are many videos and tech sites that present a whole bunch of gobbledegook about how to build a tube amp. They talk about voltage dividers and ground snub resistors, electron emitting this, cathode clipping that. Just being able to read one is a massive win. Sadly, I can almost guarantee that you probably ended up more disheartened than when you began. Indeed, it is essential that you do better than that. You deserve way superior. If you truly want to know how to begin to build a tube amp, you owe it to yourself to understand the fundamental infrastructure of an electric system.
There are two theory camps: Quantum Mechanics and Field Theory, and I recognise them both. However, this post argues for the latter.
You deserve a definitive awakening
In this post, I’ll lay down 5 bedrock elements you must relearn to retake pole position on the how-to-build-a-tube-amp launchpad. You’ll uncover the greatest con-jobs of modern science. Unparalleled untruths that, like a mind virus, have infected anyone who has surpassed the third grade. The best part: this wisdom won’t cost you a bean. Read on.
Table of Contents
1. Unlearn Everything You Think You Know About Electricity
2. The Universal Constant With Absolutely Zero Explanation 3. Rediscover The Phenomenon You Know Nothing About 4. The Magical Word You Never Considered 5. These Two Behemoths of Modern Science Do Not Exist 6. Conclusion
1. Unlearn Everything You Think You Know About Electricity
That’s right, if you want to know how to build a tube amp, forget about your education and start again.
I hate to be the bearer of an unpleasant reality, however you’ve been duped. Electricity is certainly not what you have been taught. Electricity isn’t a thing in and of itself. Moreover, electricity isn’t something tangible that magically flows via microscopic particle interaction. Heck, electricity isn’t even a thing! Scandalous!
What then, is electricity?
“Electricity is a collective term used to describe an attribute of an energy pressure gradient system“
An energy pressure gradient system is my fancy phrase for a magnetic field, and yes, it is that simple. I have some more good news. Voltage is the term that is assigned to the magnitude of a magnetic field, hence the greater the size of a magnetic field, the higher the voltage.
What is the role of electricity in a tube amp?
When you plug your tube amp into the wall socket, a massive oscillating magnetic field is presented to your power transformer. This enormous magnetic field provides the foundation with which your guitar signal (also a magnetic field albeit tiny) interacts. A detailed extension of all topics covered in this article will feature in upcoming posts, so don’t worry. So what is the deal with the ‘energy’ bit?
2. The Universal Constant With Absolutely Zero Explanation
Have you ever asked yourself what energy is? In addition to electricity, energy is a word that is used daily, with absolutely no concrete evidence as to what it actually is. Another kick-in-the-crotch reality check. A little challenge for you. Google the words ‘what is energy?’, and see what happens. Did you get a heap of both observations and definitions, but precisely zero explanation? I thought so.
Unfortunately, terms like ‘kinetic energy’ and ‘potential energy’ are bandied around as if they are absolutes. Why would an object that is placed on a shelf have any more ‘energy’ than the same object located on the floor? It wouldn’t.
Regrettably, modern science has indoctrinated society to believe that the higher an object is located, the greater energy it has. Has common sense been obliterated from civilisation? If you intuitively concluded that, in the example above, all the energy is perhaps located in the space between the objects, you would be moving in the right direction.
“Energy is the pressure component of a pressure gradient system“
In other words, energy is the field. Ok, however what does energy have to do with knowing how to build a tube amp? It is advantageous if one can conceptualise the transfer of energy in the tube amp system. Let me explain. When you pass one magnet over another, it is energy that is displacing the magnitude that exists between them. The same thing happens when the diverging, magnetic field pressure (energy) from your tube amp is displaced by the huge magnet of the speaker.
We have determined that energy is the pressure (field) component of a pressure gradient; the true powerhouse of the system. We know that it has something to do with the magnetic field, but how did it get there?
For the answer, we have to go way back to the source of electricity (magnetic field generation). Thats right, the power-station. In my country, ‘electricity’ is generated at a hydro dam, hence the energy is associated with, but not found in, the moving water. The energy that drives the system is located in the space between the water and the earth. The water itself does not have any extra energy as it falls; the energy resides in the field that is accelerating the water to the earth and vice versa. In other words, gravity (field) is the energy that is induced into the pressure gradient system. A permanent magnet is an example of an energy pressure gradient system.
3. Rediscover The Phenomenon You Know Nothing About
Magnetism! Understanding magnetism is the critical factor in learning how to build a tube amp. The humble magnet. As children, we have all played with a magnet, so we definitively know that a magnetic field exists. However, for as yet unknown reasons, modern science will not accept that a magnetic field is anything other than charged particles. Sacrilege!
This mysterious ‘charge’, it seems, is the default ‘go-to-guy’ for anything in modern science that is devoid an explanation. Google ‘What is a Charged Particle?‘ and you will be taken on a fantastical journey of nonsense until you end up back at electricity. A closed loop of insanity. Astonishingly, in this realm of instant information access, where one can effortlessly find evidence of anything, I can guarantee that very few have questioned the existence of a ‘charged particle’.
Distressingly, we have been programmed to just accept that ‘charged particles’ exist. It’s as if something otherworldly has taken over the logic-and-reason section of our brains. A full-on frontal lobotomy. If magnetism, then, has nothing to do with ‘charged particles’, what is it?
“Magnetism is a radial, divergent, energy pressure gradient system“
In other words, Magnetism is similar to a spoked bicycle wheel of pressure, radiating outward in all directions. It is the interaction of a pressure gradient system with other pressure gradient systems where the real action occurs. An example of this is the earth, or ground, system in your tube amp. Earth, or ground, is nothing more than the earth’s magnetic field. Or, said in another way, the pressure gradient system that is radiated outward from the earth. Anything that is in existence on the earth therefore, maintains equilibrium with the earths outward pressure gradient, or magnetic field.
What is the role of magnetism in a tube amp? Magnetism initiates the signal at the guitar pickup. In addition, magnetic pressure from your tube amp is ultimately displaced by the large magnet located at the speaker cabinet. Moreover, magnetism is involved with everything in between.
By now you are probably catching on quick to a common theme. Everything has something to do with magnetism. Yes, it is that important.
4. The Magical Word You Never Considered
Induction is the process of coupling a magnetic field from one place to another. This mechanism occurs with absolutely zero physical connection and it is the most important interaction in your tube amp. No induction; no thick, voluptuous, harmonious tone. The process of Induction not only occurs in your pickups, it is also found in both the transformers and capacitors of your tube amp.
Take a look at the electric symbols for all three of the components listed above and you will find that no lines join one side of the component to the other. That is because, precisely zero flows through them. The old-school engineers knew it; thats why they drew them that way. Modern science, however, has fallen over itself trying to come up with a ‘charged particle’ based theory to explain this apparent voodoo magic.
The Magical Capacitor! Google search the words ‘how does a capacitor work?‘ and be amazed at the plethora of bizarre descriptions you’ll receive.
The common theme that abounds is that ‘Charged particles’ are attracted to one side of the capacitor while completely oppositely ‘charged particles’ are repelled to another destination, and so on. More over, ‘Direct Current’, we are told, can not pass a capacitor, yet when a capacitor is initially presented with electricity (magnetic field) from a DC battery by flicking a switch, something most certainly occurs. How does modern science explain this?
Well, of course, modern science comes up with more insanity to conjure up a working particle based explanation for the example above. The model therefore, needlessly becomes more and more complicated. Fortunately, the intuitive answer to the example above can be found in the mechanics of induction and, it is not complicated. It all hinges on one action: Change.
Like a transformer, there must be a changing magnetic field for induction to occur in a capacitor. Hence when the switch is flicked and a magnetic field is presented to a capacitor, the time taken for the magnetic field to build from zero to peak ‘Direct Current’ magnitude is the very definition of change, hence induction occurs. We are also told that ‘Direct Current’ can not pass a capacitor, yet ‘Alternating Current’ can, and this is indeed true, to some extent.
‘Direct Current’ is simply an oscillating divergent magnetic pressure system (magnetic field) that is manipulated by both diodes and capacitors to change very little. Hence we can now conceptualise why ‘Direct Current’ is no good for induction as it hardly changes once it reaches peak magnitude. ‘Alternating Current’, on the other hand, is a changing (oscillating) divergent magnetic pressure system (magnetic field). Hence induction can occur in a capacitor.
However, how does this relate to a tube amp? The massive, oscillating magnetic field (‘Alternating Current’) provided by the mains supply, is transformed (rectified) into a more stable, minutely changing magnetic field (‘Direct Current’) and then supplied to the tubes of the amplifier.
At the same time, the tiny, infinitely variable, changing magnetic field (‘Alternating Current’), guitar signal is presented to the tubes where magnetic coupling occurs. All of a sudden, the tiny guitar signal resonates with the enormous magnetic field of the mains supply. Now we have a large magnetic field that is oscillating, very slightly, in sympathy with the guitar signal.
When this large magnetic field is presented to a capacitor, the very slightly amplified portion of the magnetic field, because it is changing, is able to be induced to the opposite side of the capacitor. We must remember, that the majority of the magnetic field ('Direct Current' component) is not changing at all and can not be induced.
That all sounds great, however how is induction actually occurring? A concentration of energy known as the plane of equilibrium, or bloc wall, is located toward the middle of every magnetic field. Moreover, the energy pressure of the plane of equilibrium is responsible for affecting the molecular alignment of entities that may be close by.
Materials that are affected by the plane of equilibrium of a magnetic field are many and not just limited to ferrous compounds. They include metals – such as copper, aluminium, and gold – and capacitive objects – such as glass, and certain plastic film. When the molecular structure of an element realigns, after reacting to a moving permanent magnet, the field magnitude of the element is multiplied to varying degrees depending on the resonant properties of the entity.
For example, in the presence of extreme energy, the molecular field magnitude within iron resonates and multiplies, presenting a field amplitude that is far greater than the sum of its mass. Iron is the only element that exhibits a near permanent magnetic field. Another example is copper, that presents a temporary magnetic field whenever it is in close proximity to a changing magnetic field.
Distinctly, one of the most important insights from this post is that all the items listed above have a unique interaction with a magnetic field. I can not stress enough, that the energy pressure gradient system has absolutely zero to do with moving charged particles and everything to do with magnetic fields.
Hence, it is concluded, that there is no such thing as current.
5. These Two Behemoths of Modern Science Do Not Exist
Current and electrons do not exist. Thats right, and I will go even further to say that to conceive of their role in an electric system is utterly nonsensical. This, of course, flies into the face of modern science as electrical mathematics relies upon current as a cornerstone of Ohm’s Law. But I’m not for one second taking on the great George Ohm, not a chance.
I’m saying that current is merely a word that describes the relationship, expressed as a ratio, between voltage (magnetic field) and resistance. In addition, having a mathematical relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that a concept is a thing in and of itself.
If neither current nor electrons exist, what then, does one feel when one shorts an electric system? What one is feeling, rather violently, is the instantaneous elimination of the magnetic field of the system. The destruction of a magnetic field results in a convergent implosion as all the energy in the system seeks equilibrium, or returns to rest. As a result, the centre of the system is ferociously perturbed, concluding in a radiative shockwave that is thundered outwards in all directions, through any and all adjacent divergent pressure systems; the human body included.
To sum up, I would like to repeat, that there is absolutely nothing that is flowing through an electrical system. There is neither a magical electric current flowing anywhere in the complex, nor are there any remarkable little charged particles whizzing around, such as electrons or photons.
Neither current nor electrons have any place in learning how to build a tube amp. If you can eliminate these concepts from your psyche, you can begin to conceptualise the spatial geometry of the magnetic field and how it anchors the foundation of the energy system of a tube amp.
As a side note, ironically, as the magnitude of the magnetic field is greater than the sum of its parts, the majority of the energy of the system is occurring outside of both the components, and any copper cable. In fact, it is in both the insulation and the space around the components and copper cable, that most of the action is occurring.
That is indeed something to really think about.
If you want to begin to know how to build your own tube amp, let’s have a final look at the guts of this post.
Electricity is not a thing in and of itself. Electricity is a collective term used to describe an attribute of an energy pressure gradient system.
Energy is the pressure component of a pressure gradient system. In addition, energy is harnessed at source and coupled via the manifestation of a magnetic field.
Magnetism is a radial, divergent, energy pressure gradient system. A concentration of energy pressure is located at the plane of equilibrium, or bloc wall of a magnetic field. The plane of equilibrium is the prime mover of all molecular alignment in adjacent objects.
Induction is the process of coupling a magnetic field from one place to another.
Current and electrons do not exist. Current is a concept that describes the relationship, expressed as a ratio, between voltage (magnetic field) and resistance. Nothing more.
The above statements concerning the fundamentals of a tube amp highlight how crucial the magnetic field is to the system.
Understanding the spatial geometry of a magnetic field is essential.
In addition, quantifying the unique interaction of a magnetic field with other materials such as copper, iron, and glass, is essential to acquiring wisdom.
It is impossible to cover in detail all aspects of the topics discussed in this post, however I will be highlighting each topic in future compositions, so stay tuned.
I don’t want to leave you hanging with intense theory only, so here is the link to a series that takes you through a nice wee tube amp build.
The best way to learn is by doing it, and if you are best at learning this way, grab a set of plans and get into it!