New! Effects Pedal Building Workshop Open Now

 Register here.

Tube Amp Building: Stereo Hi-fi

If you have ever been interested in building your own high fidelity, single-ended triode tube amplifier, but felt that it was a daunting and mysterious task, then wait no longer. Once you have built this circuit, you will be on your way to gaining the skills necessary to start designing and building your own DIY audio creations. This class removes all the mystery and will guide you through the entire process. The amp circuit is derived from the classic single-ended designs that began in the 1930s. This Stereo Hi-Fi circuit is wired point-to-point using individual turrets wherever necessary. The design is organic and elegant, but most of all timeless, bulletproof, and great sounding! Questions? Please call us now 773-489-4830

The frame 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. The frame and panels were designed by Ian Schneller who builds the Specimen line of hi fi tube amps.

Specimen Hi-Fi Stereo Tube AmplifierSpecimen Hi-Fi Stereo Tube AmplifierSpecimen Hi-Fi Stereo Tube Amplifier


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 of some sort. We have been using the inexpensive ($70) solid state Audio Technica AT-PEQ3 with very nice results. We are working on our own tube version of a preamp to squeeze every last bit of goodness out of the system (this pre-amp circuit may also be offered in seminar form in the future). This circuit also pairs very well with Specimen’s Little Horn Speakers hooked up to the output and an iPod plugged directly into the input; in fact it is quite amazing. We invite anyone interested to stop by the shop for an audition.

Workshop Materials and Supplies

The school will provide each student with their own individual workstation and have tools available for use.

Amp Shipping

Students who wish to ship their amp back home can leave their amp with the school at the end of the seminar. The school will wrap and box the amps carefully and order a UPS pickup. Students must pay all shipping fees prior to the end of the seminar. Shipping fees will be calculated based on destination and package dimensions.


Ian Schneller is the founder and chief instructor of the Chicago School of Guitar Making. With over 800 handmade instruments bearing his Specimen name, he brings a wellspring of knowledge to the classroom with the mission of perpetuating the tradition of handcraft and design innovation. He has shown his work in a variety of museums around the country and is a faculty member of the Sculpture Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Saturday and Sunday, 9am – 6pm.  Lunch and refreshments included.


Tuition $685* + Kit $2650. An early registration discount or other SALE pricing may apply.

Tuition includes instruction, all materials and shop supplies necessary to complete the amplifier. Lunch and refreshments each day are included.

This workshop is combined with our instrument Tube Amp Building Seminar. By combining these seminars, students have the opportunity to learn/observe both traditional point-to-point construction and the classic Fender/Marshall motherboard construction. All the tenants of lead dress (wiring) remain the same regardless of what method is used.  Registrations are limited for this workshop.


Register for any of our classes online, by phone or in person. Please note: Registrations are final and nonrefundable. In the event that a student cannot attend a class, written notice must be given in advance to receive a credit to be used on another tuition. Valid credit may be transferred to another course date, or to another student, if so desired.



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.


Select the class dates you wish to attend in Available Dates column. (See the upper right of the this page.)

Click ENROLL NOW. Enter the required information. Pay by clicking the Paypal button. (NOTE: It is NOT necessary to have a Paypal account to use their service.)

Choose your payment method. Complete the payment transaction. Your receipt and a confirmation will be emailed to you.


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


The Chicago School of Guitar Making

ADDRESS   1240 N. Homan Ave. Chicago IL 60651

HOURS   Monday – Friday: 12 – 7 pm, and Saturday: 12 – 5


PHONE  773-489-4830

Choose Date
Expired 50% OFF Tuition SALE Expires 9/4 Midnight
November 18, 19 Sat & Sun 9am - 6pm
$342.50 (USD)
+$2,650.00 (USD) Hi- Fi Stero Tube Amp Kit
Expired November 18, 19, 2018
Nov 18, 19, 2017 Saturday & Sunday 9am - 6pm
$685.00 (USD)
+$2,650.00 (USD) Hi- Fi Stereo Tube Amp Kit
Expired February 3, 4, 2018
February 3, 4, 2018 Saturday & Sunday 9 am- 6 pm
$685.00 (USD)
+$2,650.00 (USD) Hi- Fi Stereo Tube Amp Kit
May 5 & 6, 2018
May 5 & 6, 2018 Saturday & Sunday 9 am- 6 pm
$685.00 (USD)
+$2,650.00 (USD) Hi- Fi Stereo Tube Amp Kit


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

Student Feedback

Click here to read student feedback about our school

Mail In Registration

Please download this form if you want to register for a class by mail