Vacuum Tube Amplifier

Upcoming Classes
Septamber 22 – November 3, 2017 (8 weekends)
Cost: $1950. Classes meet on Fridays 6pm – 9pm and Saturdays, 9am – 5pm



The Roberto-Venn Guitar Amplifier class is a five week journey into the exciting world of Vacuum Tube guitar amplifiers.  You will be taught by experts in electronics who actually work in the field and have years of experience in real life electronics as well as vacuum tube guitar amplifiers.

While it’s possible to simply purchase the kit yourself and assemble it for about half the cost of the class, the experience of learning from experts in the field is more than worth the additional cost.  Instructor led learning will eliminate the confusion that comes from trying to build with nothing more than a schematic and a wiring diagram.  And you will leave class actually understanding how your amplifier works!

In this class we split the building process up into sections, building and testing each section before proceeding to the next.  A custom class text is provided describing exactly how each section of the amplifier works along with the basic electronic knowledge you need to understand the amp.  You will attend lectures prior to every laboratory to ensure you have a theoretical understanding of what you will do in each lab.  Armed with this knowledge you should be able to safely build and repair amps on your own.  And since the price of the kit is included in your tuition, you will also go home with a custom amplifier with the following features:

  • 35 Watt push-pull amplifier
  • Accepts either 6L6 0r EL34 power tubes
  • Master volume control
  • Three stage 12AX7 preamplifier capable of crisp cleans or creamy overdriven distortion.

Download Registration Form

Download Student Supplied Tool List for Amp & Effects Pedal classes


Jim Kramer is an electronics test engineer with more than twenty-five years in the industry.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Ottawa University.  Jim specializes in radio frequency test and measurement at all levels from wafer fabrication to space craft payloads.  He has worked for such companies as Qualcomm, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola. Jim was trained on vacuum tube electronics in the United States Marine Corps where he worked on air traffic control radar systems that still contained tubes and discrete transistors as late as the 1970’s.

Jim is a trained musician with both a jazz and classical background.  He studied music at Scottsdale and Mesa Community Colleges in Arizona where he played upright bass and trumpet in various jazz ensembles and violin in orchestra.  He also played ‘cello with the Mesa Metropolitan Orchestra under Maestro Ladislav Prcik.  Jim continues to play upright bass in various small jazz and country-folk music combos.  His favorite guitars are the Gibson ES-175 and J-45.  He loves JJ vacuum tubes because they are named after his hero, J. J. Thompson, who discovered the electron.

A few words about safety: Students will be working with potentially fatal high voltages. Proper safety and test techniques will be emphasized at every step of the building and testing process. All high voltage testing will be done under the supervision of the instructor. However, each participant must accept personal responsibility for their own safety. All participants will be required to sign a liability release before attending.