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Tube Amp Building + Diagnostics & Repair 1: Amp Camp

Our Amp Camp combines two electronics workshops, offering an outstanding hands-on immersive making and learning experience. No prior experience is necessary. 

Build your own Tweed replica guitar amp  – or – a Stereo Hi-Fi tube amp.

Build your knowledge base of tube amp electronics circuits, construction, diagnostics and repair. 

Hand wiring the circuit of a Guitar Tube Amp


Tube Amp Building

Students will observe the stages of the building and wiring process and then carry out the work on their own amps under the supervision of the instructor. Students will obtain a foundational understanding of the way a vintage tube instrument amplifier functions, stage by stage, and learn the craft of point-to-point wiring and how to modify a circuit to shape its tone by changing component values.

By building an amplifier, students will begin to develop the skills necessary to troubleshoot and repair tube amplifiers.

For the guitar amp building course we offer the Tweed Deluxe, Tweed Bassman or Tweed Champ Kits. These excellent kits include component upgrades.

Tuition includes lecture/demonstrations, Q. & A., personal instruction, instructional guides, reference materials, use of an individual workstation and all the necessary tools and shop supplies required to complete the project.

Kit is surcharged.




Aug 18, 19, 20: Sat & Sun, 9am – 6pm + Mon, 12 pm –5 pm

Oct 6,7,8, Sat & Sun, 9am – 6pm + Mon, 12 pm – 5 pm



Ian Schneller is the founder and chief instructor of the Chicago School of Guitar Making and teaches Tube Amp Building.

Kye Kennedy brings decades of experience as an amp and stage technician working for an impressive roster of clientele in Nashville, the mid-south and around the globe. His extraordinary amp diagnostics curriculum is well thought out and lucid.

Follow this camp with Tube Amp Diagnostics & Repairs 2 – Mods & Advanced Techniques  for a deep understanding of tube amp troubleshooting, advanced diagnostic techniques, modification techniques and how to get the most out of diagnostic equipment.


Hi-Fi Stereo Tube Amplifier Building

The amp circuit constructed in this workshop is derived from the classic single-ended designs that began in the 1930s. This Stereo Hi-Fi circuit is  wired point-to-point but differs from the circuits featured in instrument tube amp building in that it uses individual turrets wherever necessary. The design is organic and elegant, but most of all timeless, bulletproof, and great sounding! Specimen Hi-Fi Stereo Tube Amplifier

The frame and panels were designed by Ian Schneller who builds his own line of hi fi tube amps and is made using Baltic-birch plywood and pre-constructed at Specimen. The top, front, and back panels are made of aluminum and have been laid out with all the perforations for this circuit.

Students will learn to use chassis punches to open the hole diameters to accommodate the tube sockets and various other components. These simple methods enable any circuit designer to achieve great results without needing elaborate and expensive machinery.

All students receive a full-color layout diagram and schematic of the circuit along with instructive literature and the benefit of a fully-wired reference model on hand for one-to-one comparison during the course. The instructor will guide the students through the construction/wiring process. This circuit features:

  • 8 watts per channel
  • 1 GZ34 rectifier tube
  • 2 6SL7 preamp tubes
  • 2 EL34 power tubes (in this circuit these tubes are interchangeable with KT88s, 6550s, KT66s, KT90s, EL37s, 350Bs and other octal based output tubes with no modifications)

You can plug just about anything into this amp’s input with good results. For listening to vinyl you will need a phono preamp. We have been using the inexpensive solid state Audio Technica AT-PEQ3 with very nice results.

Tube Amp Diagnostics & Repair

Lecture, demonstrations and Q & A.  Options for the scope of repairs are disclosed and an emergency repair kit of tools is recommended. Options discussions will range from immediate repairs to complete restoration to avoid further issues.

Topics include:

  • Safety
  • Preliminary Testing
  • Digital voltmeter functions
  • Circuits
  • Block diagram
  • Power supply function
  • Signal flow
  • Repair vs. restoration
  • Emergency repair


How to Register:


Make your selection of the class dates you wish to attend (and if applicable, the type of kit) in Available Dates column on the upper right of this page and click ENROLL NOW > Enter the required information and then proceed to pay by clicking the Paypal button and choose your method of payment.

NOTE: It is NOT necessary to have a Paypal account to use their service.

Phone 773-489-4830

Call us if you prefer to register over the phone with your credit card. We will send you a confirmation via email, or by snail mail if you prefer.

Register in Person

Come by the shop during business hours and enroll using cash, credit card, or a personal check.

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday: 12 p – 7 pm

Saturday: 12 pm – 5 pm

Choose Date
Amp Camp - Champ
Aug 18, 19 Sat, Sun, 9am-6pm + Aug 20 Mon 12 pm - 5 pm
$1,180.00 (USD)
+$576.79 (USD) Champ
Amp Camp - Deluxe
Aug 18,19 Sat, Sun, 9am-6pm + Aug 20 Mon 10 am - 5 pm
$1,180.00 (USD)
+$845.74 (USD) Deluxe
Amp Camp - Bassman
Aug 18,19 Sat, Sun, 9am-6pm + Aug 20 Mon 10 am - 5 pm
$1,180.00 (USD)
+$1,183.94 (USD) Bassman
Amp Camp - Stereo
Aug 18,19 Sat, Sun, 9am-6pm + Aug 20 Mon 10 am - 5 pm
$1,180.00 (USD)
+$2,650.00 (USD) Hi Fi Stereo kit


All classes are held at Specimen located at 1240 N. Homan Ave. in Chicago, Illinois. Click here for a map

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Mail In Registration

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