Picture of Make A Talkbox
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 link1 link2 link 3

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of 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*
mtorres171 year ago

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

WhySoSirius2 years ago
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?
Phantomn5 years ago
 Did you use a capacitor to filter out any of the lower frequencies to the driver?
James Haskin (author)  Phantomn5 years ago
 No I did not, but I'm not sure if that's necessary.
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.
CBinns4 years ago
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.
CBinns4 years ago
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).
so how would u make it a plugable stand alone unit?
dont u mean ?= the thing on the other end?
James Haskin (author)  Scrubsfan12346 years ago
NachoMahma told me when I first published this that they're called hose clamps or worm grear clamps.

Also called Jubilee Clips after the company which first made them.
i thought you meant the part that the hose attaches to, because i didn't see it on the list.
James Haskin (author)  Scrubsfan12346 years ago
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.
Clayton H.5 years ago
arn't horn drivers in megaphones and sirens?
James Haskin (author)  Clayton H.5 years ago
 Yes, they have small diaphragms which means they do well with higher freq.s
I'm with these guys, need some more in depth stuff when it comes to the wiring, like wattage/Ohm count on the horn driver and the amp, how you wired the switch, etc.
As far as ohm count on the speaker, all you need is a multimeter to check the resistance on your amp driver(speaker) (4/6/8 ohm) and then match that to the resistance of the driver you buy.

the switch is wired like any 2pdt switch:
[]  []  []   Connect the leads for the amp driver (speaker) to lugs 1 and 2 on this row  
[]  []  []   Connect the input cables (from the amp itself) to lugs 1 and 2 of this row
[]  []  []   Connect the leads for the talk-box driver to lugs 1 and 2 on this row

Best to keep polarities the same (but not absolutely necessary, according to james), just in case there is an issue with the amp.  For example I think any class D amplifiers need proper polarization to work... but I might be mistaken.
Is this a 2dpt or a 3dpt?
Can be either.  Looks like James just had a spare 3pdt to use.  You could put an LED onto the third row with a battery and 4k resistor if you wanted a light for it, but I think it would be pretty clear when you have the talk box going.

An interesting addition to this would be a foot controller with an LED indicator, which you could make using similar principles, but add a controller cable, using an electronic switching system and a 1pdt momentary switch on a box that you connect to the rig via a simple switch-cable-jack-e.switch.
jimbo1125 years ago
You sir, are epic win.
Please consider the following a certificate, valid at any time, for the redemption of a week of my internets.
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Also, great job on the ASE/Ultra mod for the DS-1
EshKuno6 years ago
im a noob, i am having difficulties following how to wire this bad boy up. i have tried using 2 different switches and i get the same results, just the normal sound out of the amp. it doesnt seem like the horn is getting any juice. what am i doing wrong and exactly which wires go where???
slick2056 years ago
Exactly to which terminals to you place the wires? I ordered the same switch but am not sure which wires go to which terminals. Thanks.
how do u put the pvc thats on the horn driver together and whats the piece at the end
James Haskin (author)  enterthejordan3336 years ago
I use my hands in conjunction with my brain... most of the time.
Bradlez926 years ago
dude what about the tube to fit in your mouth? im sorry, but i dont see how this is a talkbox at all. im a little confused :-\
the sound goes into your mouth and it is modified because of the shape. A good modification would be to put a microfone in the tube, then connect it to the speaker, just like peter frampton
James Haskin (author)  pedrowsky6 years ago
actually Frampton just has the tube mounted on a mic stand NEXT to his mic so his mouth it right next to a mic when the sound going into it and comes back.
sorry, i was referring to that... it would be NEXT to the mic...
oh, THAT'S how they do it? cuz im like, if it goes in your mouth, how does it go through the amp? but that frampton trick answered my question. thanks bro.
James Haskin (author)  Bradlez926 years ago
Read the instructable from start to finish and click on all the links. I give you plenty of information.
cool thx :D
shamca6 years ago
Is that a Talman...man? Love the colour.
James Haskin (author)  shamca6 years ago
No man, it's a Danelectro Dano Pro.
Bradlez926 years ago
what'd you need the slilicon sealant for?
James Haskin (author)  Bradlez926 years ago
I just used it to provide some shock support for the driver. I didn't want me treating this thing like a practice amp to hurt the horn drive so I just gooped about an inch or so inside the tube.
Bradlez926 years ago
by "helping hand," do you mean PHYSICALLY hands? or those spiffy alligator clamps?
Bradlez926 years ago
wait so does anybody know what "?" is actually called? cuz i know the converstaion below me mentions it, but there are to many words, all about plumbing... ?
coggie6 years ago
lol nice marshall how many watts 15 or 25?
James Haskin (author)  coggie6 years ago
kk it looked bigger in the pic lol wat type guitar u have i have a ESP!! there wicked!!
James Haskin (author)  coggie6 years ago
I have a schecter blackhawk that I refinished swapped out the stock pups for blackouts, a green Dano Pro, Alverez MD-70, and a old 70s Yamaha that belongs to my uncle. I'm in the process putting together an African Korina explorer body an a neck from an Ibanez roadstar 440 but I have to strip the body and refret the neck. What ESP do you have?
i have a esp ltd m series and its basicly the same as kirk hammets guitar out of matellica but the neck is dark would and it doesnt have emg pickups .It is wicked and if u were to ever get a new guitar i would recomend a ESP. have fun with your guitars and stuff cheers coggie
James Haskin (author)  coggie6 years ago
Actually my next guitar on the list to buy is the Michael Kelly Patriot Dark. Its got an amazing feel and the right price. I'll replace the pups though.
cool dude war eva u think is right for u but ESP's do have a very good feel and they have a grear tone but wat eva u think is right for u. I hope ur new guitar works out well for u ! cheers coggie
I am making one, and have decided to be able to clip the box on, then remove it and move it away if it hums.
James Haskin (author)  Scrubsfan12346 years ago
How are you gonna do that? I have a few ideas in mind but I want to know your plan before you build it.
well, my dad just put the brakes on once he found out i had to cut the 2 amp wires (im 14) and I like your design, and i am looking at the GFWorks website, and I am still trying to figure out the easiest and cheapest way to do this (im not buying a $300 talkbox, $50 mic, and $150 amp 4 the mic= $700 which i dont have!)
P.S. Great ible
the clip was just to attach the pod 4 transport, then unclip 4 play
Illidan7 years ago
waste of a perfectly good amplifier
Waste? I beg to differ. This is awesome!
Plus he didn't really alter the amp so that it couldn't be utilized the same as before he did the mod. He just added something on. Where did you get your 3PDT switch?
James Haskin (author)  itsachen6 years ago
online there are a bunch of shops. I started reading articleson PremierGuitar.com by this guy named Dirk Wacker. He has his own site called singlecoil.com. He lives in Germany and orders all his switched from http://www.banzaieffects.com/Pushbutton-Footswitches-c-246.html. I've never purchased anything from it but I use it to identify switches. I purchased some form Ebay when I modded two wah pedals. I used this one http://www.theguitarfiles.com/product_info-1683.html on this project. All have worked great. Feel free to ask any other question on where to buy parts for projects.
James Haskin (author)  Illidan7 years ago
Not really, I never used it before. I have a Hot Rod DeVille™ 212.
Kurt13136 years ago
I gatta question because i am new to this site and just found these awsome plans. Anyway I was wondering if you could use something other than a horn driver like a small speaker out of a computer.
James Haskin (author)  Kurt13136 years ago
yeah you can the hard part will be reducing it down to fit in the tube. I'm pretty sure frampton's uses a horn driver. but basically you want to direct sound into your mouth. Put some earbuds in your mouth and you can do the same thing.
Allright thanks alot.
I wanted to pull my hair out.

that guy uses only the amp, no pedal, no talk box, or any other sound modifiers
James Haskin (author)  jward927 years ago
look under his feet in the commercial... its a pedal with a tube coming out of it!! Talkbox?
One of my favorite commercials. The FreeCreditReport.com commercials are number 2
My favorite is the I am a Mac, I'm a PC commercials. They are all great.
Those are my favorites too.
I think the Framp already pulled his hair out!
I like that commercial.
Love This Commercial! Nice Instructable btw.
Not a great way to start the morn-ing.
highvoltage6 years ago
Awesome, I built this one on my starter amp and it works great!
James Haskin (author)  highvoltage6 years ago
Awesome! Glad to hear it. Any chance you could post some pics or a video?
Yeah, I'll be sure to do that as soon as I'm completely finished with it.. it's just functional right now
hippojoe7 years ago
I made one by placing the Driver in the bottom of a litter pop bottle sliding the top of the bottle back on and sealing then attaching silicone tubing to the spout. Easier to make but yours looks and probably works a lot better.
James Haskin (author)  hippojoe6 years ago
Your goal it to get the sound right from the driver into the tube. The fewer things to absorb/distort the sound, the better.
IdrisB7 years ago
How hard would you say this was? Because, I am new to this type of stuff. I have already built a killswitch (extremely easy) and even a guitar amplifier (not too hard) and i wanted to know before i commited to buying all the parts. (and how much did it cost you?)
James Haskin (author)  IdrisB7 years ago
well IdrisB, it wasnt really hard at all but I started this project 6 months ago. I didnt have a soldering iron and I didnt want a crappy one so I save dup for a Weller with a digital temp display. The soldering was very minimal for this project but i wanted to do it right. The end caps were like $7 a piece which is why I mention that a lot of the stuff I did wasn't necessary ("but its sterile and I like the taste"). You could do this project for about $40; the horn driver+shipping (unless you can salvage one), reducers, and the tubing. Thats if you do with out the pod and footswitch. I just wanted it to look cool and be easy bring to friends houses and mess around.
For this project, one of those $10 Radio Shack ones would've been fine, but if you're planning on doing more soldering, that'd probably be useful.
SaM HiLL7 years ago
What a waste of a Marshall amp *grin* Nice instructable.
James Haskin (author)  SaM HiLL7 years ago
Haha! Mines left in tact and fully functional. Thanks
askjerry7 years ago
About the grounding and such... if you are not sure get an isolation transformer. It will convert 120 volts to 120 volts... sounds useless... but the secondary voltage is not physically connected to the source. (Magnetically coupled.) This means that you won't be connected directly to mains or neutral so there won't be a direct ground path. I use them in my shop to be sure nobody gets blasted from standing on concrete that might be wet and using shop tools. I also have some that convert 220 to 120 which does the same ting and handles more power surges. (So my shop lights don't dim.) Okay... I'm done! Jerry
James Haskin (author)  askjerry7 years ago
Thank for the info Jerry. Do you have one HUGE one or a lot of little ones. The one I saw only supports 500 Watts (not small but you have a workshop).
I have a 5KW one and a couple of 1KW transformers. Jerry
samuraiBSD7 years ago
My god, finally something those super low-end Marshalls are good for!
chuckr447 years ago
Gosh, and all this time I thought he used an electronic voice modulator.
or audacity
toxonix7 years ago
Actually, when I hear Peter Frampton at all, I think 'That man should die'. However, very cool instructable.
maker12 toxonix7 years ago
yea he sounds like a person with a half a lung! XDXDXDXD
btop toxonix7 years ago
merseyless7 years ago
I have a vox da5 and that has a headphone jack. could i use that?
Kozz7 years ago
Nice! After the paint job, it looks really clean.

The Item you labeled with a question mark is a hose clamp. In fact, the "metal straps" you used to affix the pod are also hose clamps -- just very, very large ones.
NachoMahma Kozz7 years ago
. Often called a worm gear clamp in industrial applications.
James Haskin (author)  Kozz7 years ago
rights hose clamps thanks :]
maker127 years ago
i would use a 555 osc to get a nice side tone effect
James Haskin (author)  maker127 years ago
Could you elaborate on that? Whats a 555 osc?
A 555 is a small integrated circuit chip - often used in homemade timer circuits. I think Maker12 means an Oscillating Amplifier circuit using a 555 as the primary chip.
yes for that nice side tone effect
askjerry7 years ago
I was asked if I had one transformer or many... I have many. One is 40 amps, three are 20 amps each. I also have a small 10 amp for the tech bench. jerry
ir0n_ma1den7 years ago
you could easily plug your guitar/mic into your computer and then use a vocoder plugin thru cubase or fruity loops.
James Haskin (author)  ir0n_ma1den7 years ago
its not the same and you dont just use it to "talk" its like a organic phase shifter too
logan3217 years ago
that's really cool. I feel sorry for the Marshall though, having holes drilled in it and all.
Something that small doesn't qualify as a Marshall. It qualifies as a practice amp put out by Marshall. :)
James Haskin (author)  wasteofspacester7 years ago
I agree :]
Maffu7 years ago
In the UK those 'hose clamps' are known as Jubilee Clips - no idea why, they just are.
Very cool! As an American I've always been fascinated by the differences between British and American wording. What is it they say about America and UK? Two countries separated by a common language? Anyway, great to hear from someone across the pond! Here's a good one: In America a spanner is called a wrench!
James Haskin (author)  Maffu7 years ago
Did some research and it was invented by ex Royal Naval Commander and he called it the Jubilee® Clip. Its kind of how Kleenex® and Band-Aid® are just not in the U.S.
Juklop7 years ago
Hey! I have one of those same practice amps! Wicked!
Also very cool with keyboards.
When using this or any other driver-based talkbox on stage (especially in clubs with suspect wiring), make double sure that the mic you sing through, your guitar/amp, and the unit are all grounded properly, lest you blow yourself off the stage, as I found out the hard way years ago...
If you are not sure of the grounding. Makeing sure that your guitars and your mics are pluged in to differnt electrical circuts will help. Actually this should be done any way even when not using a talkbox
locofocos7 years ago
holy crap! you stole my guitar amp!!!!
all i could think of was Death's line from that episode of Family Guy "ok, if you want to live, you must come with me... and bring your guitar and that thing you use to make it go 'whaaa wha-wha-wha-wha-whaaaaaa"
Amdukias7 years ago
That is awesome work, and looks like a pro job too, well done. Faved, and plussed.
Jake Turner7 years ago
Awesome, I've wanted to make/buy one of these for a while. Now if only I could play guitar. Faved and 1upped!
kzaaaaa7 years ago
I have the same amp!
rickyd!7 years ago
is this one of those that just plays the sound back into you mouth, or does it altar the sound of your amp?
James Haskin (author)  rickyd!7 years ago
This talkbox take the sound of your guitar, runs it through the preamp (tone, overdrive, treble, bass, middle, ect.) and into your mouth. To perform or record one you need a mic next to your mouth. Watch the video
thanks, it all makes sence now
pmac937 years ago
so you need a mic right next to your mouth? or is there some way to run the sound back to the amp....
James Haskin (author)  pmac937 years ago
Not with mine, Peter Frampton does his though<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.robertkeeley.com/product.php?id=50">Keeley Pedal</a> which can be seen at his feet in the gyco video. Check out this <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.robertkeeley.com/manuals/talk_box.pdf">PDF</a> for more info.<br/>
Neat! How long did it take to drill through the hose clamps? Here's a suggestion if you're making another unit. Get a couple mending plates, or other flat mild steel. Attach them perpendicular to the hose clamps (so that they straddle each clamp. A while ago, I was fooling around with a tiny speaker and microphone hooked to a high gain amp. For some reason, I stuck both speaker and mic in my mouth (can't remember what possessed me to do so) Anyhow it produced a talkboxy sort of effect, without all the plumbing. There is the issue of live circuits in yer mouth, but with sufficient insulation and isolation, this should be only marginally hazardous. btw I dig "Something's Got To Give" by the Beastie Boys -wild talkbox action!
Well, the first hole took about 5 minutes of actual drilling, but the next three I punched a dent with an awl and that seemed to make it easier. I would think the mic and the speaker in your mouth at the same time would cause some major feedbackfeedback. I'm afraid I don't understand what your suggesting to do with the mending plates. Thanks for the input.
The mending plates would just be used to hold the clamps onto the amp, rather than drilling through the steel band. I used such a technique once to attach old x-country skis to parts of an old metal tube bed-frame, to make a crazy sled. (Had no drill handy at all, just #8 Robertson screws and driver.) I'm not sure that feedback would be much more of a problem than with anything else (like holding guitar too close to mic) Might be interesting to play with for extra effect... Checked out the wiki link. It led me, through circuitous paths, eventually to a YouTube clip of the "Incredible Sonovox". Go look that sucka up right now. It's boss and then some. I gotta build one of those... You're welcome for the output.
rickyd!7 years ago
do you feel like i do-ooo-baadaooo-bada-boo
duck-lemon7 years ago