Small Press Story #29: Examining a Guitar Legend’s Circuits

Northwest publisher Pentode Press specializes in academic and technical titles. Publisher and author Richard Kuehnel’s first book about a guitar legend began with the desire to build his own amplifier.

“My goal was to design my own guitar amp. When I discovered that so many amplifiers are based on the 5F6A circuit, I decided that what worked for Jim Marshall and other legendary amp builders might work for me,” he writes on his website. “So armed with the Radiotron Designer’s Handbook, the works of Frederick Terman, and many other great references from the tube era, I began to study Leo Fender’s famous schematic. I wanted to completely understand how the original circuit worked before attempting to modify it. The results literally filled a book.”

Circuit Analysis of a Legendary Tube Amplifier: The Fender Bassman 5F6-A has now gone through two editions. Pentode Press has grown to include two more books on guitar amplifiers as well as a translation of Frederich Mann’s work on Georg Simon Ohm.

The publisher’s website also includes numerous articles on technical and academic subjects.