Introduction: Little Gem Guitar Amp

Picture of Little Gem Guitar Amp

Here's my take on the famous Little Gem mini guitar amp.
All details on the electronics can be found at
The case came from Jameco p/n 11886.
The speaker bezel is the rim of a tin can that was epoxied to the case.
The disk in the rear serves as a cord reel.


irishjim68 (author)2015-02-26

I absolutely LOVE the look of this. Those 386 based amps really ROCK as well.

garagemonkeysan (author)2013-09-02

Thanks! : )

jrace2 (author)2013-08-13

Hi, this looks great, makes me want to get back into this sort of thing when I get my soldering iron situation sorted! :)

evolution mastering

NunoMorna (author)2012-12-18

Hi. I've been studying the schematics and the pictures you posted and since I'm a beginner I'm frustrated because I don't understand a few things.

For instance, where do I put the speakers, dc-in, dc-out, the on-off switch, the 5K vol pot? That's not represented in the schematics, is it?

I apreciate the help you can give.

Hi NunoMorna -
Sorry, the dc-in and dc-out are special to this build and not necessary.
Your other questions can be found at this great Instructable.
Good luck! : )

myakka (author)2011-05-07

someone gave me a mini guitar amp that you can buy online for $20. they said it was broken but i took it apart and found that it was just a disconnected wire that runs to the male input/output jack. it runs on a 9 volt and it doesn't require a cable to connect to a guitar. so i stripped it down and went to LOWS and bought a slab of pine wood for $3. i cut the wood into 4"x3" pieces and made a box, added all the components and designed it to look like a Marshall half stack. so now i have a mini Marshall half stack for $3! thanks for the inspiration - myakka

garagemonkeysan (author)myakka2011-05-08

Great! You should post the build! : )

garagemonkeysan (author)2011-03-14

Thank you! : )

curator (author)2011-02-10

can u post the schematic for the circuit i like your instructables!

garagemonkeysan (author)curator2011-02-10

There's a schematic on the link to the Runoffgroove site. Thanks for the comment!

jm56 (author)2010-10-04

What speaker are you using?

garagemonkeysan (author)jm562010-10-04

Sorry, the speaker I had in my junk box and I forgot where I got it. There's no name or number on it either. Any 4 or 8 ohm speaker should work.

jeffrey_om (author)2010-03-02

this is very cool   how much is the price to make this?

sorry for my bad enlish

 Thanks! Sorry but I didn't keep track of the cost of this build. Most parts were spares or left overs. The most expensive part was the box itself. About $9.00 US at Jameco. : )

jameco iz da best!

sweet, how's the sound?

Thanks. It sounds similar to the famous Smokey Amp.

nomuse (author)2010-06-27

Oh, my, that's purdy. I like the cord reel, too -- great idea.

garagemonkeysan (author)nomuse2010-06-28

Thank you! : )

Zaphod Beeblebrox (author)2009-11-14


Hooorah a fellow hhgttg fan

 Thhhaaaaaannnnks! : )

junits15 (author)2009-12-09

you sir, should should be employed n making computer cases.  I like the case more than whats inside.

very nice job!

garagemonkeysan (author)junits152009-12-10

Thank you! Stay tuned, I'm working on a case for some powered speakers. : )

junits15 (author)garagemonkeysan2009-12-10

I will!

JamesRPatrick (author)2009-12-07

Can you post some pictures? Mine worked fine until I bent a tiny piece of solder over to touch a contact. Make sure there are no shorts.

mattthegamer463 (author)2009-11-14

That thing is gorgeous, very nicely done.  How does it sound?

 Thank you. Sound is okay for a practice amp. : )

 does this work on a bass

 If you go to the runoffgroove site there's a note on the drawing about playing with the value of the 220uF cap. However, I am not sure if that will turn it into a bass amp. As I mentioned below I've got almost zero experience with amps. : )

I tried mine without modification with a bass, and it sounds like the beginning note of Tom Sawyer. Also managed to cram the thing into the original speaker box.

garagemonkeysan (author)2009-11-23

Hello gunsigma. Sorry, I'm not an amp expert. In fact, this is the first amp I've made. Maybe other readers can help. Here is a forum you can try too. 

JamesRPatrick (author)2009-11-19

Very nice!

Thank you! : )

220VAC (author)2009-11-19

VERY cool looking!  Q - what's with the two small square holes toward the back and bottom of the box?

garagemonkeysan (author)220VAC2009-11-19

Thank you! Very observant! The holes are for a transformer in/out cords. The enclosure also houses the transformer. I didn't get in the photo though.

lowercase (author)2009-11-15

 very nice, really well done.

 Thank you! : )

About This Instructable




Bio: I also go by the Instructable user name: UnknownUser2007
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