Introduction: 1Wamp Guitar Amplifier - Open Hardware

About: We are MAD about guitar pedals.

1Wamp is an Open Hardware guitar amplifier, designed it to be a small bedroom and portable 1 Watt amp loaded with all the features of big amps:

  • Tone/Volume/Gain controls.
  • Speaker/Cabinet output.
  • Headphones output with integrated attenuator switch.
  • Aux/mp3 input.
  • Battery clip.
  • 9V DC boss style power input jack.

The project was fully developed using only open source tools: KiCAD - a design suite to create schematics and layouts in any platform (Linux, Windows, OSX).

Step 1: Prepare Your Tools.

You will need a solder iron, lead and cutting pliers. You can get the PCB and/or components from the ElectroSmash Store or build your own at home using the native files or PCB layout transfers from the forum.

Step 2: Get and Solder the Components!

The parts are all through hole and easy to find in Mouser/Farnell.

Soldering the components to the PCB is not difficult, just follow the "How to build 1Wamp in 5 Steps" document and solder the parts starting with the small ones and then place the big components, making all the process easier.


  1. Pay attention to diodes polarity, there is a line indicating the correct position.
  2. Be careful with the electrolytic caps polarity, the negative lead (the short one) has to be placed in the round hole. The positive hole is always square-shaped and it is marked with a + symbol.
  3. Be patient soldering the big components perpendicularly because they tend to be slightly tilted

Step 3: Check the Job Done.

Double check your PCB with the model component by component, before power it up, check this 3 ticks:

  1. Visual inspection of the PCB bottom, there is no short circuits or long uncut leads.
  2. The polarized components are placed correctly: diodes and electrolytic caps.

The circuit board fits also into several enclosures (Hammond 1590B, 1591C) and the plastic cover can also be used as lighting plate. You can find all the schematics here and the parts list here.

All the native files are open here as a open source/hardware project.

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