R/E/P > Oliver Archut

Books and infos to have for (analog) audio


Oliver Archut:
It is quite funny that with the digital/information age so much good information is missing or even harder to find.
Taking a look into the entire audio field there are only a hand full of good techs that have a better than average understanding of what really goes on.
One of the biggest problems epically when it comes to tube audio is that so many people are out there that have a half backed knowledge or sometimes are wrong to start with, but where can "you" get the information that is needed for a good understanding or beginning?

There are only a few books out there that I think explain it right from the start and in a way that personal opinions of the author are not reflected. The pure knowledge of how and why it works is there.

To get started here is the book that any repair tech, do it yourselfer and the interested analog audio fan (analog or digital) should own or at least have read.
Like with most of the audio stuff that is great, it was written in german and only a few English copies were published/are available. I found two over the years in the UK ebay.

The title is
"Rundfunkroehren, Eigenschaften und Anwendungen"
by "L. Ratheiser"
published in several editions from 1937 to 1940, edition 3 and up is recommended.

The book displays all German (European) tubes of the time, with hand down info how a tube is build, how to roughly calculate everything from a diode to a transformer and has all the basis to think about DIY projects.
Aside references to other great books of the time, it has all graphs and diagrams that even a non technician can understand.
It is still easy to find (in german) for about $30 to 50, as already said the English version is quite rare....
It also puts the audio theoretical side into the right perspective, do I really need to get up to 100ooo Hz? with frequency charts of all instruments as well as distortion examples etc.

Plus a chapter that is dedicated to repair work on radio and audio equipment of the time, still valid for analog audio today!
This books was issued with help of the historic Telefunken company, so you find also lots of really cool Telefunken tube pictures!!!!!

Best regards,

Oliver Archut:
There are a bunch of books that I think are an absolute must for anyone dealing with audio.
Where to start, what book should I read first, what is the next one? I think it depends on the person on the background knowledge; so without a basic electronic understanding it might be hard to get into the next book. For my taste one of the greatest audio books ever written about American studio design philosophy and gear, after you are done reading that book and understood it you should be able to design and build an entire audio console, at least from a theoretical point of view. If you are not into the DIY thing, it is still good to get a general understanding why there are certain ways how audiosignal should or must be routed to get great results.

The name of the book is "The Audio Cyclopedia" and was written by Howard M Tremaine,
published in several edition from 1959 on up, 2nd edition is recommended. This book was in print to the mid 1980s so they can be bought easily on e-bay or amazon for around $60 and up.

The book covers all standard audio circuit with reference to studio and high end audio. You find good and easy explanation on the function of amplifier, eqs, compressors as well as specialty equipment, there are several vintage units like the LA2, some Altec gear , as well as RCA, etc. fully covered with schematics and in depth explanation. If you looking for a DIY bible on studio gear.... Here it is  

Awesome - Thnx Oliver!

Oliver Archut:
"THE" book about electronics and electron tubes is still "Heinrich Barkhausens" masterpiece "Lehrbuch der Elektronen Roehren"!

Written by the man who trained most of Germanys electron tube designers/developers from 1929 on to the end of Nazi Germany.
The book is comprised of four bands, that are very hard to read even when you have a good electronic understanding, but it is the technical zenith of how electronic and especial vacuum electronic works.

The book was first published in 1924 and the world wide staple for electronics up to the mid 30s, rewritten in several editions and last published in the late 70s it is one of the few german technical books (on audio electronics) that was published in English.

The german version is still easy to get on ebay for $40 and up, the English one is a bit tricky.
My English edition was published at "Pergamon Press" in Oxford/England in 1960, and I got it for about $200 (all four books) but "the" book of interest is the first and the 2nd.

The book starts with a vacuum diode, and show cases all type of vacuum tubes with detailed drawings of tube types like EF12, AD1, etc. and explains how and why it works it in a very technical matter.
In the first book you find how to design transformers with all needed formulas and examples.

Not the book for a beginner, but the book to read for anyone that wants to know what makes a vacuum tube tick and how to use it...  

Over the years the examples of tube drawing changed, with more than 14 editions you can find drawings from the RE type of tubes from the 20s, to R12P2000 in the 40s up to the EF80 in the 60s.


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