Introduction: Mp3/Ipod Lead to Guitar Amplifier

Picture of Mp3/Ipod Lead to Guitar Amplifier

Very very easy and simple, takes about two seconds but it works very well.

Step 1: Materials :

Old broken headphones,
Old guitar lead (to connect to Amp / Old jack plug, larger than 3.5mm),
duct tape.

Step 2: Cutting...

Cutt the old headphones away and just have the lead, no speakers.
And cut the guitar lead in half, or to whatever size you need/want it

Step 3: Connecting

Picture of Connecting

Strip about 1" of rubber away from the end of the wires, so you have the bear wire...

On the guitar lead kinda, untwist it so you have two, rather thick metal wires, and on the small jack plug lead you should have 4 wires, one green, one red, and two 'normal' copperish/gold colour.

Connect the two normal wires to the two on the guitar lead (i just twisted them lol)

Then cover each of the connections (both of themm!!) with duct tape so they dont touch, then go round both of them with more duct tape so now it is like one wire, with a little bit of duct tape on.

Plug nd play:D
Simple but very good, better than using a homemade amp


muller (author)2006-08-08

you realize that you run the risk of hurting whatever guitar amplifier you're plugging into. The signal coming from a guitar is a very low ohm (200k ohms) and the aplifiers expecting that low of a signal. When you put a headphone signal (16-8 ohms) to that input you are just asking to overload the preamp and blow the pre section right out of that amplifier. What he is describing here should only be done if you want to blow your guitar amp.

RockerMONO (author)muller2008-03-05

200k < 16?
Wow, ok then...
Cant guarantee this is correct, but just throwing this out there:
my granddad has been working with guitar amps and bass amps since they used tubes, my uncle has been working with amps since he was 12 - he's now almost 40.
According to *both* of them, nothing of this sort will damage them unless you have the volume incredibly high *on the input device*

the main issue is hooking a powered output to a amplified input, all you have to do is turn down the volume on your ipod/whatever before you hook it up

in fact i record my guitar via no more than a 1/4 <-> 1/8 audio adapter on my computer, have been doing so for over a year, no issues

Again, no guarantee, that's just what I've heard and experienced myself

foxtrot4697 (author)RockerMONO2009-12-11

Lol, since they used tubes. Pretty much all of my amps are tube amps and they sound alot better.(IMO)

muller (author)RockerMONO2009-05-19

True. That's why I phrased it "run the risk of hurting whatever..." Tell your granddad hi for me. And ask him if he wants to add an adjustable bias pot to my early 70's twin. (kidding)

tundrawolf (author)muller2009-07-30

After I repaired my Eighty-Five, (Bad 1 watt resistor and leaky capacitor) I modded up a cable like in this instructable, and used it to watch a DVD from my laptop, as my laptop speakers are broken. It worked pretty well, but the amp did get warm (however, it usually gets fairly warm, and the volumes were fairly loud). On top of adding a 1/4" out for an external speaker, I also used computer heatsink paste and added 3 heat sinks from an old WANG VS server computer I tore apart, to keep the amp cooler.

airsoftlife (author)muller2009-05-19

A DI Box would help avoid this problem, correct?

muller (author)airsoftlife2009-05-19

if that DI box was made to make line level signals instrument level signals. (i.e. a Reamp)

airsoftlife (author)muller2009-05-19

Hmm. Is this the same as a Hi Z to Lo Z, this "Reamp"?

brykl (author)muller2006-09-22

lighten up

LargePaperCup (author)2009-07-29

ummm there are actual headphone to amp connectors so why waste a cable??

jerbets (author)2009-06-29

wati.. wla manai klarex!!!

guitarman63mm (author)2007-06-20

it doesnt matter what age your are, you obviously have no knowledge of electronics whatsoever, so take your $100 wannabe fender and shove it its just stupid to post something like this think of it as line/mic inputs you could destroy your comps sound card if you put it on the wrong setting, why chance your ipod or amp??? btw, hows it doing now???? id like to hear about it

binnie (author)guitarman63mm2007-06-24

i did this in a very similar way and it works perfect? whats wrong with this?

guitarman63mm (author)binnie2007-06-24

to put it in layman's term, think of it as if you have an empty bottle of water with a low ohm guitar signal, that will fill up the bottle of water. with an amplified circuit such as a computer or any other electronic device, you fill up the bottle of water and it overflows, destroying anything that was near it. horrible analogy yes, but i think i got my point across just go look at mullers comment or something lol

binnie (author)guitarman63mm2007-06-25

so basically the ipod or whatever has a high z output compared to the guitar? most headphones/ outputs are 8 ohm and im not sure what guitars are( but they are low impedance?). you can put a low impedace input into a hich input but not the other way or you will blow the amp up? so as i see it it should work fine, but dont plug a (high impedance) bass or microphone into it.. am i correcet in what i say???

airsoftlife (author)binnie2009-05-19

If you really want to do this and not screw up your amp, I would recommend getting a High Z to Low Z DI box from Musicians Friend/GuitarCenter/Etc. Just plug your MP3 player into the High Z "In" end and your guitar cable into the Low Z "out". Simple =]

RonGarza (author)2009-01-15

The point is to eliminate noise or buzz, and that can be done with a humbucker guitar pickup, which is what amps use. But, don't spend that much money -- you can accomplish the same with an audio transformer. These are cheap and small (thumb-sized). Solder one side's terminals to a plug to the CD player; solder the other side's terminals to a guitar cable (or a plug that will take a guitar cable). I used this setup with "play along" CDs (karaoke for guitar). Clean!

killersquirel11 (author)2008-04-29

It might be a good idea to solder the wires after twistin them to ensure a good connection. This will eliminate a lot of fiddling around trying to twist the wire for a good connection.

I twist the wires together, wrap them in tin foil, and then wrap that in duct or electrical tape. it works amazingly.

baneat (author)2008-08-06

The sound is awful when you do this because the speakers are designed for only the frequency of the guitar.

ross353 (author)2008-05-05

you do know that you can buy a jack that connects a doubled ended head fone jack (8mm i think) into a guitar lead jack (16mm i think). my friends and i use it at partys all the time and they only cost like €2. im sure Raido Shack sell them for cheap enough....

baneat (author)ross3532008-08-06

16mm is MASSIVE I think you mean 3.5mm to 1/4"

mightywombat (author)2008-03-25

I've been doing this with my little Fender amp for years. It takes a little fine tuning to get nice sound out of it, and it tends to make the old 60 cycle hum when there's no signal to it, but it's super easy as you said, and inexpensive. The inputs on the amp are mono, so I wasn't getting good stereo sound. My amp had two inputs, so I got a stereo to L/R channel splitter and that made a huge difference.

dchall8 (author)2008-03-19

So far I haven't seen much in the way of constructive suggestions made here (more heat than light). Impedance matching is one of the fundamental concepts of engineering that should be understood, at least a little, if you want to optimize your junk without breaking anything. Electronic tinkerers usually know nothing about it, or maybe have heard the words. That could be the case here.

Check out Wikipedia for an intro to the concept. If you pursue electrical or electronic engineering in college, you will get your fill of impedance matching.

Yerboogieman (author)2008-02-29

sarcastically, so you have an mp3 player on there, will it really work with a name brand ipod?

dolulob (author)2008-02-16

Yea it works, an no its not healthy for the devices... but the pig problem here is... it sounds likecrap!! your audio is gonna be in mono, and a guitar amp amplifies certain frequencies more than others, so your whole spectrum will be off... I used to do it myself as a kid but not anymore....

Khurs (author)2007-12-27

Why don't you just buy a jack cable and a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter for about 70p?

A_I_R (author)2007-12-25

right, (bare in mind i am crap with technology) i bought a cable to do this, but stupid drunk friends broke it n so rather than buying another one i tried this but wen i tried to use it ther was jst no sound:S n yes everything was turned on etc. but then i did use my old headphones n am not sure whether it was jst the ear phone thing that broke or the cable thingy that is attached to mp3. i cba cutting up more cables so may jst buy a adapter thing.....

Jonny Katana (author)2007-12-06

Tried this once with my L6 30W Spyder III using a 1/8"-1/4" adaptor and a double-ended 1/8" cord. The amp has a line in already, but plugging the mp3 player into the guitar input allowed me to run the player's signal through the amp's onboard effects. Purple Haze through a phaser sounds pretty boss :P But at the same time, I would not recommend doing this more than once, and maybe not even at all. It's lot of risk for no reason. While it may work through some amps with some mp3 players (such as Camster's setup) it's hard to predict if this little experiment will kill the mp3 player, the amp, or both.

old_bass_masta (author)2007-11-16

my amp has a line in already, so do most of them now,

Hawaii00000 (author)2007-11-12

I do it WITHOUT cuting up cables.

john12692 (author)2007-11-05

I've been doing this for almost three years. and yes it does work really well only downside is that its not that portable (because it is big and needs a power source) and the amp costs a fair amount of money. but if you have one lying around like I did (I was going to learn to play guitar but failed miserably didn't want to put forth the effort) then it is awesome.

mattccc (author)2007-10-19


Camster911 (author)2006-08-14

Meh, im using it as normal, bass full, treble full , volume full:D:D i dont really care if it explodes or whatever lol, its great

qualia (author)Camster9112007-10-14

lol i used to have 8 speakers wired up around my bedroom and then i had the brilliant idea of using an auxillary cable to connect up my mp3 to an amp i found in amongst our stuff. sadly only two of these speakers went above 30 amps and i found out about all the amps limit AFTER i had turned all the volume knobs right up and blown most of them.. i was puzzled about what was making the PHUT noises until i realised most of my speakers had stopped working. but if you keep the volume down sensibly like i do now, theres no reason not to do this.

grungehead (author)Camster9112006-08-15

people if he says it works fine then it works fine!! camster i applaud ur diligence and you creatvity-- i had a similar idea, which was to take and old surround sound, wire the base to an old guitar speaker, and plug my ipod into the that, but ur idea works fine. id try it

grungehead (author)Camster9112006-08-15

people if he says it works fine then it works fine!! camster i applaud ur diligence and you creatvity-- i had a similar idea, which was to take and old surround sound, wire the base to an old guitar speaker, and plug my ipod into the that, but ur idea works fine. id try it

grungehead (author)Camster9112006-08-15

people if he says it works fine then it works fine!! camster i applaud ur diligence and you creatvity-- i had a similar idea, which was to take and old surround sound, wire the base to an old guitar speaker, and plug my ipod into the that, but ur idea works fine. id try it

F-zero (author)2007-07-10

I have this adapter so I can record to my computer, would it hurt my amp to hook my Ipod up using this?

Metal4God (author)F-zero2007-08-20

i have this

Metal4God (author)Metal4God2007-08-20

with this

pmac93 (author)2007-05-07

This is the $2.49 part that I have to play my iPod on my amp and record my guitar on my computer.

uncle frogy (author)2007-05-04

I have done something like that in the past playing a cassette player back through an interment amp out of the headphone and into the amp input long before I new anything about electronics. The amp is set up for a very small signal. the signal from the headphone output is too high at maximum volume. You could blow out the input of the amp with too high of a signal from the headphone output, use a low volume from the external player and control the volume with the instrument amp to minimize distortion. you should be able to buy a cord and or adapters at most electronics stores without having to cannibalize anything. stereo is a problem though if you had a Y you could feed both channels to the two inputs amps usually have keep havin fun

VaiFan07 (author)2007-04-06

hey, if your pluggin the mp3 straight into the preamp, the quality will most definately be awful. Guitar amps of that size are usually built with mid-high range amplifier, so what you have is a major boost on the mid an treble of whatever the mp3 is playin and like total cut out of the bass. if i were you, i would open up the back of the cabinet and touch the headphone wires to the speaker. that usually sounds a lot better, even if you only have a three-and-a-half or four inch speaker.

Camster911 (author)2006-10-27

Yeah, i know, i used to do that but then i lost my double ended headphone jack. And yes, this is just common sense but some people, really, dont have any of it. and they might be too busy to waste time thinking of stuff.

mickey shimitz (author)2006-10-20

i wired mi ipod to my pc speakers my tv AND my guitar amp plus i didn't have to scrape any !@#$ off the wires

twistedmind4 (author)2006-10-15

Camster your a pretty smart, i mean this i kinda common scense but i guess i lack a lot of that stuff because i have collectin dust and i have been wanting to get a speaker so friends can listen to my ipod to! I got a lil scared on cuttin up the wire (seeing that i might need it in the future) so i found a double ended head phone jack and an adapter to plug the small phone jack , that makes it big enough for the amplifier. sorry for the wording dont know what every thing is called

dr.zoidberg (author)2006-10-07

Just an idea, instead of sacraficing a perfectly okay guitar cable (usually about $10) - use two headphones (about a doller each) and get an adapter jack to go from headphone size to the 6.1mm needed for the amp. (the adapters are also only about $1-3) so yer cable will cost about $5 instead of about $10-15. (Note: i have done this - it does work)

Camster911 (author)2006-08-15

i was going to do that too lol

gtech (author)Camster9112006-10-05

From Apple site

But they are talking about stereo inputs. Connecting the 2 wires of your Ipod together is not that good. It's like connecting the 2 outputs of your stereo amp together to the same speaker. It would be better to add resistors to separate the outputs of the Ipod before connecting it to the guitar amp.

I know you don't care, but that was just in case...

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