My inspiration for this project came from my vintage 60's suitcase record player. It has a great old-timey sound, but is mono, has poor sound quality and has seen better days! So I set about to build a replacement. The goal was to build a durable, decent quality portable stereo turntable system. Keep in mind that it's a bit of a brute, weighing in at approximately 30 lbs, but it is portable haha.
I had a lot of fun making this and managed to keep the cost down to roughly $100. If you've already got a turntable to use, then that will save a few bucks right off the bat. I paid $20 for mine from the classified ads in the paper, which was fair for a functional player. I used a Sony PS-LX520 Linear Tracking table, which is fairly heavy actually. The lighter the TT you can get, the better!
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Hopefully you enjoy this as much as I did!
Things you'll need:
-Amplifier (I used a kit amp from my local electronics hobby shop)
-Project box to put your kit amp in (optional)
-Pre amp (I used a Pyle model from the same hobby shop)
-Various hardware (Hinges, latches, etc. I salvaged a few of these parts from an old briefcase)
-Self tapping wood screws (I used #6 brass screws of various lengths)
-Magnetic pop-outs for hinged door on front (optional)
-Self adhesive foam insulation
-Wood (I used 1x3 pine for the sides, front and back, and 1/2" birch for the top and bottom)
-Wire clips (Optional)
-Whatever else you want to make it unique!
Tools you'll need:
-Saw (Or you can get the wood cut at your local Home Depot, which is what I did)
-Heat shrink tubing or electrical tape
Step 1: Plan It Out!!!
I would recommend getting the amp, pre amp and turntable of your choice before even thinking about designing your case. Just remember that the bigger your TT and amp, the bigger the case you'll need to build. I bought a stereo kit amp that puts out 20W per channel and a project box to enclose it and mount the speaker and RCA connectors.
Once you've decided on your equipment, you can better gauge your case dimensions. I left enough room to have about 1 1/2" on both sides and back of the TT and about 3" room in front of it so I could fit the amp and pre amp on the inside of the front panel. The extra clearance on the sides and back is for the foam insulation strips. They will cushion Your TT during transport. I also left some space above and put a couple additional strips on the inside of the top of the case. Once you've got all of your dimensions figured out, you can go get the wood.
Step 2: Glue or Screw Your Wood!
I first glued the two sides and back of the 1x3" pine together and then glued them to the top and bottom pieces. Then I attached the front panel with small hinges at the bottom, and hinged the top and bottom halves of the case together at the rear. I attached the magnetic pop outs to the inside of the top half and the metal washers for them to the inside of the front panel (You can see them in the first pic).
Step 3: Stain/paint
Once your paint or stain dries, you can mount your outside hardware. I used sliding latch locks to hold the front panel secure, since the handle will be going on here after. Whatever latch you use, just make sure it will hold the weight of everything when you transport it!
I also put on some brass corners just to give it a sort of antique look. If you decide to do this, a good way to keep the wood from splitting when you nail the corners on is to cut the head off of a nail that is the same size as the ones you are using and use it in your drill to make pilot holes for the nails. Then give the pointed end of your nails a little tap with the hammer before you drive them in.
Step 4: Assemble and Mount Your Amp, Preamp and Carry Handle
I then screwed a few wire clips along the inside of the box just to keep the RCA cables and ground wire from the TT clean and neatly against the side.
Step 5: Stick on Your Insulating Foam on the Sides and Back
Step 6: Plug It All In, Pic an Album, Sit Back and Relax!
Hopefully this instructable was a useful guide. I know it's a bit lacking with the step-by-step build photos, so if you have any questions or comments, ask away!
Thanks for checking out my instructable!