TUT Book Selection

Which “The Ultimate Tone” Volume to Get First?

TUT-DealTUT – The Ultimate Tone, is an ongoing series of distinct books about guitar amp technology with a heavy focus on tube circuitry. Currently there are six volumes. You can buy the whole series as a package (TUT-DEAL) or buy just one or two at a time. But… which one should you get first? This depends on your skill level and your particular interests regarding the format of the amp and its features. Note that the first volume of the series does not have a number and is simply TUT1; subsequent volumes have a volume number, as TUT2, TUT3, etc.

Volume # of Pages # of Figures Price Table of Contents
The Ultimate Tone (TUT1) 368 395 $86 View Contents
The Ultimate Tone, Vol. 2 252 283 $61 View Contents
The Ultimate Tone, Vol. 3 304 189 $86 View Contents
The Ultimate Tone, Vol. 4 417 548 $132 View Contents
The Ultimate Tone, Vol. 5 277 183 $79 View Contents
The Ultimate Tone, Vol. 6 312 404 $86 View Contents
TUT-DEAL (all 6 books) 1930 2002 $367  Holy crow!

A COUPLE OF DEFINITIONS
TUT - The Ultimate Toneschematic – a drawing using symbols to represent different components which shows how those components connect together; akin to reading music
layout – a drawing showing how the physical parts should look when connected together correctly; akin to reading tab (tablature)

BEGINNER SKILL LEVEL?

If your skill level is “beginner” (you cannot fully read or understand schematics, but you can follow a layout drawing to build something):

Evolving-skill recommended reading order: TUT3, TUT5, TUT2, TUT, TUT4, TUT6

If your skill level is higher, reading order depends more on your interests. See below.

CONSTRUCTION ENTHUSIAST?
If you are eager to build an amp that has the lowest noise and best note articulation, regardless of your schematic reading skill, before you build an amp you should definitely read TUT3 – it is the best reference for correct wiring methods, proper layout, lead dress, wire and fuse sizing, and mechanical and thermal design. TUT3 and TUT5 both have layout drawings as well as schematics, so these make a great package for hobbyists who are eager to build. Which volume you buy next depends on your skill and interests:
“Eager-to-build” recommended reading order: TUT3, TUT5, TUT2, TUT, TUT4, TUT6

MODEST SKILL: CURIOUS HOW AMPS WORK? INTERESTED IN SPECIFIC DESIGN ASPECTS?
If you can read a schematic and understand how electronic components function, and want to learn how guitar amps work:

Reading order for:
How amps work:
TUT, TUT2, TUT5, TUT4, TUT6, TUT3
Preamp design: TUT, TUT5, TUT6, TUT2, TUT3, TUT4
Effects loop interest: TUT, TUT2, TUT5, TUT3, TUT4, TUT6
Channel switching: TUT, TUT2, TUT5, TUT3, TUT6, TUT4
Power amp design: TUT2, TUT5, TUT6, TUT4, TUT, TUT3
Power Scaling interest: TUT4, TUT6, TUT5, TUT2, TUT3, TUT
Power supply design: TUT2, TUT4, TUT, TUT3, TUT6, TUT5
Super Scaling interest: TUT4, TUT5, others any order
GMX interest: TUT4, TUT3, others any order
Design philosophy: TUT4, TUT3, others any order
Biasing methods: TUT2, TUT4, TUT3, TUT, TUT5, TUT6
Low-noise wiring and grounding: TUT3, TUT5, TUT, others any order
AC-30 amp issues: TUT3, TUT, others any order
Ampeg amps interest: TUT3, TUT, others any order
Fender amps interest: TUT, TUT3, TUT2, others any order
Hiwatt amps interest: TUT3, TUT2, TUT6, others any order
Marshall amps interest: TUT, TUT3, TUT2, TUT6, TUT4
Laney amps interest: TUT3, TUT6, TUT,  others any order
Traynor amps interest: TUT, TUT3, others any order
Bass amp interest: TUT3, TUT2, TUT6, TUT5, others any order
Dumble amp interest: TUT6, others any order

The recommended reading orders above reflect a “density of information” about a given topic within each book. Some topics are discussed in many places within a book volume, or in many volumes, whereas other information may be packed into a chapter or section of its own.

We hope you enjoy the series!