Kritischer Bewertung einer Masterthesis – Digital Simulation and Recreation of a Vacuum Tube Guitar Amp

Title: Digital Simulation and Recreation of a Vacuum Tube Guitar Amp 

Author: John Ragland

Academic degree: Degree of Master of Science 

Place & date: Auburn, Alabama, May 2, 2020 

I chose this work, because it could be a relevant thesis to the topic I might want to address in my Master thesis.

Level of design

The design level of this work is quite good. The lists and the standardization of the structure make the work really easy to read and understand.

Degree of innovation

While it’s a pretty cool theme, it’s not that innovative. It is a field that has been studied before, and although the model he has chosen to recreate is quite interesting, it has already been done. However, the results are positive and important for this field.


It is not so easy to assess its independence. Since it is only practical / technical work and the author had to do everything himself (and of course with the help and suggestion of the tutors) I would say that he is quite independent.

Outline and structure

This work is well structured, everything is clear and it is easy to scroll through the pages. There is just a bit of confusion in the structure of the index, where sometimes the chapters are written not in the right chronological order, and this bothers me a little.

Degree of communication

It is really clear. The list of abbreviations at the beginning of the work makes everything immediately clear. Explaining all the terms in the beginning helps a lot to avoid wasting time looking for them somewhere in the text.

I think that even those who are not an expert could follow this work and understand it (even if not 100%, due to a technical / specific mathematical procedure). The support of images and diagrams helps a lot to visualize the whole process.

Scope of the work

The work is about 48 pages. I would consider it a bit too short for a master thesis. The process is really well explained, but perhaps some theoretical themes or previous work could have been described in more depth.

Orthography and accuracy

Except for some space or quotation mark errors, there are no grammatical errors. The sentence structure is also well done.


I would say there is a good amount of literature. Most of them are not online sources and all are specialist publications.