Basic Electronic Amplifier 9v to 12v Cigar Box Closed Guitar Amp




About: Woodworking, Metalworking, Electronics, and DIY. Let's make something.

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Step 1: Pick Out Your Cigar Box

I'm using a vintage Stand-up Display Cigar Box. I bought this years ago, but I'm also using another box inside this one to seal it up. The box I'm using inside - I bought at a local cigar shop for $1. I'm also using an air filter from my work - when the ambulance is serviced I ask for the air filter to recycle the metal part on top.

Step 2: Find Parts for Amp

It is hard to find parts at local stores, because Radio Shack has gone bankrupt. I use Epo - Electronic Parts Outlet & Frys Electronics, both are local stores, but they don't carry all the parts I need, so I'm forced to buy from online stores too. I couldn't find a 3-watt Rheostat locally, so I bought a volume slide switch instead.

Step 3: Solder Breadboard

Solder all parts to breadboard & add switches - power supply (I'm putting power supply on outside of cigar box, so I can use multiple power options). All switches and guitar input will be mounted to front of box.

Step 4: Prepare Cigar Boxes

Cut & Drill out your cigar box to hide all amp parts. Mount speaker - I'm using a large 10oHm speaker. I can't mount it into box, so I am going to glue it with PC11 to hold it to back of box. I'm using another cigar box to hide the speaker & seal up the box. Then I'm using the front cover of cigar box to hide all backs of controls. Then using a wire from an old car filter to cover front of box. Cut to fit.

Step 5: Put Everything Together

Place everything in Cigar Box & wire it for 9volt or 12volt - Or both. Test amp. Everything sounds good. Makes a nice practice amp. Can be used with battery, Usb into wall outlet, Usb in car, or Usb on laptop...

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    10 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    How come you didn't build the dual LM386 circuit? You have a schematic for one here. It even has a FET preamplifier.

    5 replies

    I did a dual LM386 in a laptop cooler amp. I made last year. My friend just wants a Basic amp for his guitar- so I made him this one. I'm planning to build a tube amp & a more powerful guitar amp in the near future. I'm also planning a cigar box guitar amp combo & a solid base guitar -like the one that Dusty Hill showed me when I was backstage. Thanks for the question.

    This is a more powerful amplifier.

    Depending on the parts you use you could get maybe 10-18 Watts out of it.

    You might like one of these too.

    If you go for overdrive, that is. It is the one to go for. I run mine with an authentic vintage JRC4558 that I harvested myself.

    Don't talk to me about tubes. I don't go in for any of that old nonsense personally.

    You don't need any parts to start modeling the circuit. Print something out on paper, then put it over a piece of foam, and start stuffing it when you do find some parts. I try to scrounge up enough parts I can have a sample, and still have enough parts left over for a final circuit.

    I guess I just like my visual aids?

    Thanks for pointers - I'm not new on making amps or guitars. I've been making stuff for years now. My friend likes the practice amp I made - he likes the hum sound from it.


    4 years ago

    Is that a washburn guitar? I have a WB MG104 that looks just like that...I think.

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I've been trying to think of a good case for a LM386 based amp. Thanks for the idea.

    1 reply