Introduction: Make a Mini Practice Electric Guitar Amp for Free (almost)

Ever wanted to have a little practice amp that you could take anywhere?  What about one where you could plug in your headphones?

You may already have all the parts you need to make this simple little practice amp, in which case it would be free!

Step 1: What You Need

Powered (old school) computer speakers and a 1/4" phono jack.

Make sure you get the ones that plug into the wall with an adapter.  Also, get ones that have a headphone jack built in and have the cable with the plug that connects to the computer (usually green).  BTW, USB powered computer speakers won't work.

I already had a set lying around but you can get a similar pair for less than $5.  Go to your thrift store or swap meet, don't pay more than a few bucks for a set.

You'll also need a soldering iron, wire cutters and phillips screwdriver

If you're lucky, you can find a set that works off a 9V adapter, in which case you can mod it with a 9V battery for complete portability.  If you are even luckier, you'll find a set that already is made to work off batteries.

Step 2: Open the Case and Prepare to Modify

Use a phillips screwdriver to take apart the speaker with the amp circuitry.  You won't need the second one (unless you want to have a double speaker amp).  

I wanted mine to look like a miniature guitar amp so I threw away the 2nd speaker.

Clip the wires and leave a few inches of the input wire (the one with the green plug)



Step 3: Solder and Drill

Solder the input wires to the phono jack as shown.  Make sure you don't get the ground and input wires mixed up.

Drill  a hole for the 1/4" jack.  Don't make it too big or the jack won't tighten.  Remember, start small - you can always make the hole bigger - it is really tough to make the hole smaller later.

Also, the guitar cable needs to go into the jack, so watch out where you drill the hole.  I made it on the opposite side of the headphone jack and a bit towards the rear to make sure the cable plug didn't hit the speaker when I plugged it in.

If you are going to add a 9V battery connection, do so now.

Step 4: Done!

I've made a couple of these out of speakers I had laying around the house.  Obviously, the bigger the speaker, the louder it will get. 

Step 5: Play!




OK, don't make fun of my guitar playing or my vertical iPhone videography, this was a quickie.

The amp is not going to be super loud but it is enough to make some noise and if you plug in your headphones, it is plenty loud.  

Enjoy!

Comments

author
John MattR (author)2016-04-17

where will i put the wire for the jack?

author
MariaD119 (author)John MattR2016-11-01

when you take the speaker apart, you disconnect the wires from the input on the speaker and you connect the amp jack there.

author
NoynonMayta (author)2016-01-12

nice vioce!

author
guitarzan5150 (author)2015-04-30

Nice work . A few years ago I straped a pair of 12vdc JBL pc spkrs. together, Soldered in a jump wire (Lt side to Rt side crossover ) & got a dollar store adaptor for my Gtr Cord. Last of all, the car cig. lighter plug off an old air compressor and got mobile with it. Your job looks much better than mine. Ow< You play just fine.I've been pickin for near 50 years, & my ears tell me your headed to a good place . Just play it till the sound is clean and the finger speed will come! May the FUNK be wit'cha!

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Bio: Hello, my name is Eddie. I'm one of those people that can't leave well enough alone so I'll inevitably take things apart ... More »
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