Tube Amp Building
Build your own Tweed-style guitar tube amp – just like the original, utilizing an excellent kit with special component upgrades. This hands-on workshop offers an opportunity for guided amp construction under the watchful eye of an experienced amp builder and instructor. We are pleased to offer a rare opportunity to learn tube amplifier building with Kye Kennedy and Ian Schneller!
This seminar offers lectures, demonstrations and hands-on training. Students will observe the stages of the kit building 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 diagnostic skills necessary to troubleshoot and repair other amplifiers. For this particular class we are offering the Tweed Deluxe, Tweed Bassman or Tweed Champ Kits.
Kits are supplied by Mojo Music. The parts included are excellent quality and the cabinets are pre-assembled and beautifully covered in authentic tweed fabric. Every aspect of the kits is as faithful as possible to the original design.
Each kit comes with its own schematic and layout diagram (there are no assembly instructions included). The legendary circuits used in this seminar are the same as those that have made “Tweed”- era amplifiers revered among musicians. The school pre-drills all the chassis and motherboards to prepare them for the seminar.
These amps are bullet-proof workhorses that are easily serviced, modified and maintained.
Through this seminar, students will discover the beauty of cloth-covered wire, heavy transformers, chassis-mounted components, and finger-joined pine cabinets. Click here to visit Mojo’s web site and read more about the kits and their contents. Our kit prices include shipping to the school and the kits Mojo makes for our school include certain upgrades to improve safety, durability and tone.
For first time builders, we strongly recommend the Tweed Deluxe or Champ which offer the perfect level of involvement for the seminar. Any of the other kits offered on the Mojo website are available to build in class by special order by students who already have experience building tube amps. If you are a first time builder and have your heart set on one of the higher-powered models, simply bear in mind that some additional hours will need to be logged to complete the build.
This is an ideal seminar for those working as a guitar technician, roadie, music store employee, touring musician or for anyone interested in working on instruments. Useful handouts will be provided.
NOTE: We combine this seminar with our Hi-Fi Stereo 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 tenets of lead dress (wiring) remain the same regardless of what method is used.
Materials and Supplies
The school will provide each student with their own kit, individual workstation and all the necessary tools. Students can select which amp kit they will be building. The workshop fees listed include the class fee and the amp kit fee is surcharged. Payments for both the class and the amp kit will be made to the Specimen at the time of registration and all amp kits will be shipped directly to our shop.
The school will provide each student with their own kit, individual workstation and all the necessary tools. Students can select which amp kit they will be building. The workshop fees listed include the class fee and the amp kit fee is surcharged. Payments for both the class and the amp kit will be made to Specimen at the time of registration and all amp kits will be shipped directly to our shop.
Weekend workshop: 9am – 6pm, over two days, Saturday and Sunday
Weeknight workshop: 7pm – 9:30pm, over four consecutive evenings, Monday through Thursday
$685 + kit materials
Tuition includes instruction, materials and shop supplies necessary to complete the amplifier. Amp kit, tubes, and shipping are additional and cost depends upon your amp choice.
Ian Schneller Ian is the founder and chief instructor of the Chicago School of Guitar Making. Ian teaches Design & Theory + Blueprint Course, Setup & Maintenance for Guitar and Bass, Electric Guitar Building, Tube Amp Building and Champ Tube Amp Building. He is also a faculty member of the Sculpture Department at the School of the Art Institute and owner of Specimen Products.
Kye Kennedy Kye 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. Kye will come to Chicago specifically to teach at the Chicago School of Guitar Making. He will reveal the closely guarded secrets and a broader understanding of tube amp circuitry and troubleshooting. His extraordinary amp diagnostics curriculum is well thought out and lucid.
How to Register:
Registrations are limited to 8 students. You can register for any of our classes online, by phone or in person.
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.
Register by 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 – 7
Saturday: 12 – 5
Click Here for a list of nearby places to stay during seminars, along with transportation information.
Classes are taught by Specimen owner Ian Schneller, or guest instructors Richard Phillis, Pete Mueller or Kye Kennedy. The course description will state who the instructor is for the given class
All classes are held at Specimen located at 1240 N. Homan Ave. in Chicago, Illinois. Click here for a map
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