Tube Amp Making: Guitar, Bass, Stereo Hi Fi


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Tube Amp Making at CSGM is an immersive making experience. Start your journey into the exciting realm of electron tube audio!

Students will construct either a Tweed Deluxe, Bassman, or Champ amp utilizing an excellent kit with special component upgrades – or a Specimen Hi- Fi Stereo Tube Amplifier.

You may peruse the assembly instructions here: Instruction Book for Specimen Single Ended Stereo Tube Amp

This is a great opportunity to learn tube audio electronics and acquire electronics shop skills with the guidance of an experienced amp builder in the workshop.

Building an amplifier is the best way to develop the diagnostic skills necessary to troubleshoot and repair.

Students who complete this course will be well prepared to take our Tube Amp Repair Courses.


  • Fee

    $685 tuition + kit cost
    18 hours

    Tuition includes instruction, reference materials and guided hands on workshop, use of workbench, specialized tools and shop supplies.

    A catered lunch will be provided each day.

  • Materials and Supplies

    All shop supplies necessary to complete the project are provided.

    Our kit includes special component upgrades.
    The parts included are excellent quality. 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.

    These legendary circuits are the same 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 well built workhorses that are easily serviced, modified and maintained.

  • Instructors

    Ian Schneller read bio

  • Refund Policy

    Registrations are non refundable. A tuition fee may only be applied to other CSGM classes with written notice of cancellation prior to class.

  • Location

    All workshops are held at Specimen located at 1240 N. Homan Ave. in Chicago, Illinois. view map

  • Registration

    Register online or call 773.489.4830 to enroll with a credit card.  You are also welcome to come by the shop and enroll using cash, credit card or a personal check.  Please note that all registrations are final and non-refundable. 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.

Students will observe sequential stages of the tube amp kit construction process and then carry out the work on their own amps under the supervision of the instructor.

Students will obtain a fundamental understanding of the way a vintage tube instrument amplifier works, stage by stage, and learn the craft of point-to-point wiring and how to modify a circuit to shape tone by changing component values.

Students will learn to use chassis punches to open hole diameters to accommodate 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.

About the Kits
Each kit comes with its own schematic and layout diagram.

The legendary Guitar Amp Tube circuits that have made “Tweed”- era amplifiers revered among musicians are used in the Guitar Amplifier Building seminar.

The school pre-drills all the chassis and motherboards to prepare them for the student.

The Specimen Hi-Fi Stereo Tube Amp kit frame is made using Baltic-birch plywood and pre-constructed at Specimen.The circuit is derived from classic single-ended designs that began in the 1930s. The layout of this tube amplifier is simple and elegant, but most of all timeless, very well built, and great sounding!

The top, front, and back panels are made of aluminum and have been laid out with all the perforations for this circuit.

This design is by Ian Schneller who builds the Specimen line of hi fi tube amps.

For first time tube amp makers, I strongly recommend the Tweed Deluxe, Champ, or Stereo Hi Fi which offer the perfect level of involvement for the seminar. If you have your heart set on one of the higher-powered models, simply bear in mind that  additional hours may need to be logged to complete the amp.

For students who already have experience making tube amps, a variety of classic Fender amp kits are available to make in this class by special order. Orders for other amps must be requested at least 6 weeks in advance of the course.