Make a Talkbox

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Introduction: Make a Talkbox

About: insasquatchcountry@yahoo.com
Have you ever listen to Peter Frampton's guitar solos and asked yourself, "How does he do that?"

Well, he uses something called a talkbox. Basically it runs the sound from your guitar into an amplifier, out a speaker, and into a tube where you can manipulate it by changing the shape of you mouth and depth of you throat. They run about a hundred dollars but you can build one for less.

These sites help me link1link2link 3

Step 1: Supplies

You will need-
1 Horn Driver Here is the one I got (I might change it out for a better one soon)
* The impedance of the speaker needs to be the same as the one in your amp. I used these links to    figure out what I needed.
   Speaker Impedance
   My Amps Manual

1- practice amp (mine is a Marshal MG10 I got with my first guitar. Don't do this to your best rig.)
1- piece of 1" flex PVC pipe
3- hose clamp (got it in the plumbing department it had 1/2" threads and fits the 3/8" hose)
1- 1 PVC Coupling
1- PVC Reducer 1"x 1/2"
1- 1/2" PVC Female Adapter 1/2
1- some length of 3/8" black vinyl tubing
1 - piece of 4" wide PVC
2- 4" PVC Caps
1- 2PDT switch (I wanted a stomp switch. You could use 2 spdt switched for cheap)
3- adjustable metal bands (one small and 2 big)
1- liquid silicone (optional)
1- flat black spray paint (optional)
1- pocket full of dreams *A MUST*

Step 2: Tools

I did this entire project with a hand crank drill!! The 1/2" bit didnt fit it so i wrapped a piece of scrap leather around it and drill it by hand!

you will need-
a soldering iron
a chisel (maybe)
solder
wire
drill
drill bits
saw (hack saw worked fine)
helping hands (optional)

Step 3: Adding the Switch

First, find where you want to put your switch, drill your hole and test fit it. Take it off and start soldering.

Ok, so inside the amp you have the preamp and two wires going to the speaker. I cut those lines and put a switch on the top of my amp. One set went to the speaker and the other to the horn driver.
Remember to tin the leads on both the wires and the switch before soldering. Pull all four wired through the hole in the preamp assembly. You can use the same wires that were there for the speaker and make the wire for the horn driver 2 feet (you'll see why later).

Step 4: Pod Paining(optional)

At first I was gonna take out the speaker all together and just have the tube busting out of the front screen. Instead I make a little pod for it. I drilled a hole in the side for the wires to enter, pulled them up connected them to the driver, plopped it down in there and marked the excess and cut it off. Leave enough room for the top end cap.

I then drilled a 1/2" hole for the hose to exit in the top end cap. The inner diameter of the hose is 3/8" but the out diameter is approx. 1/2".

I painted mine flat black :]

give 24 hour to dry or you'll be sorry

Step 5: Pod Mounting

I drilled holes through my metal band (WITH A FREAKING HAND DRILL!!) and screwed them to the amp. I made sure they went around the end caps to look cleaner.

Step 6: Final Assembly

so attach your short leads to the speaker, attach your pod, pull the wires through, connect them to the horn driver, pull some hose through the top of the end cap, attach it to the driver, and cap that sh!t.

YOU ARE DONE!!

Last Thoughts

Soft plastic absorbs and changes the sound of your guitar. The shorter length of hose you use the better. I recently cut 4 feet off of mine and it sounds a lot fuller and less nasally. 


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    133 Discussions

    If I'm using a Crate GX-15R and it has an impedence of 4 ohms and all the horn drivers out there are either 8 or 16 ohms what should I do? I found one that has a 4-8 impedence. http://www.ebay.com/itm/PYRAMID-CAR-STEREO-TWD10-NEW-150-WATTS-COMPRESSION-TWEETER-HORN-DRIVER-TITANIUM-/230887365137?_trksid=p3284.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA%252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D21%26pmod%3D110924638150%26ps%3D54 Will this one work?

    1 reply

    Driver should be fine. As long as the impedance of the driver is higher than the amp (solid state only, not valve) it just makes it a bit quieter.

    Hi, which driver did you use? The link shows hundreds! All 8 ohm. My amp is 4, but that should work OK. Also, the container. Can't see what you did there. I'm going to try a very simple experiment. My Roland Micro-Cube has a 5" speaker. A funnel on the front of it (maybe some sound insulation) and a tube!

    1 reply

    OK - got it 4" wide PVC caps. May build mine into the little amp!

    hey! check my custom and handmade Talkbox www.sholotruthtalkbox.wordpress.com / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNzWPNMV9vo

    can anyone one help me to wired and switch to the input and I put in to switch I know so effects thehorn driver to switch

    nope! if anything i'd use a highpass. talkboxes are notoriously high pitched and nasily sounding. why filter out all those badass lows?

    A highpass passes the high frequencies, thus, cutting lows. Also, the more harmonics you have, the better. If anything, cut them out during production.

    I'm just full of Q's
    Can i take a 1, 1 1/14, or an 1 1/2 female adapter and screw it on the horn driver? Then put a plug at the other end of the adapter drill a hole for the 3/8 barb and connect the hose.

    if anybody still reads this c if this is right
    from left to right: 1 3/8 hose barb, 1/2" PVC Female Adapter 1/2, PVC Reducer 1"x 1/2", 1 PVC Coupling, piece of 1" flex PVC pipe( why do we need this), small hose clamp, horn driver
    4" piece N' caps not shown

    By using a 1/4" output jack, instead of disecting into the the side of the amp... do you bypass the controls of the amp/pre-amp? Perhaps it's model dependent, but if not, it might make sense to make it just a plugable stand alone unit. Or if the idea is to make it so there is no sound coming from the main amp at all, then perhaps this project could be coupled with the Altoids Amp project (which I saw as a sidebar project).

    1 reply

    Oh, thats a plastic hose barb fitting. They have them in different sizes at home depot. You don't have to use my design thought you just need to reduce the size. Maybe use all metal. I think the plastic absorbs a lot of the sound.