Build Your Own "Tinny Amp" Small Amplifier.




Here I will show you how to construct a small amplifier for your guitar, should be about 3 watts and run off a 9 volt battery.

Step 1: Parts

You Will Need:
-Soldering Iron
-Tin or box of some kind (or cigarette packet)
-1/4 inch jack input
-9v battery clip
-9v Battery
-Speakers (I got mine from an old broken pair of speakers.)
-Amp i decided to use a 3.5 Watt amp from my local electronics store.

Step 2: Disassemble Your Speakers

My speakers had a little amplifier bult in, but i chose to just remove it and take the speaker.

Firstly unscrew the housing that holds the whole speaker/amp and remove the front. Then disconnect the speaker from the amp so it can be removed easily. Unscrew the speaker, next I had to prise the speaker out with my penknife, because it had been stuck down with some kind of Uber glue.

Keep the amplifier for another project!

I decided to keep the other speaker housing to use as the case for the final amp.

Put all of the bits somewhere safe. (In my case a hat.)

Step 3: Wire It Up!

Wire up your selected amplifier as instructed!

I used stripboard to neaten the whole thing up and get better connections.

Remember if putting yours into a metal case, all of your connections need to be covered. For me this involved electrical tape, lots of it. You could use a hot glue gun or just insulate it properly.

Step 4: Prepare Your Container.

The whole idea of this was to be portable, so it needed to be in something relatively small. In the end i chose a tin.

I then realised this wouldn't let any sound out, and in drilling two large holes for my now upgraded 2 speaker amp, the tin would become a bit flimsy. So I chose to drill 114 small holes.

Note: This is very tedious and time consuming.

Drill a line of holes down your tin, i used a set square and a pencil to mark it out 1cm apart both ways.
Do it again, and again and several more times until you heave roughly 6 lines.
Then drill in between the holes you have just made. *sigh*

Next drill two holes for your switch and jack, i chose to put this on top of tin, for ease of access.

Step 5: Fitting It In

This is definitely the trickiest of the steps so far.
-Do not try and pick too small a container you'll just get incredibly frustrated and end up hurting something. =]
-Make your electronic components take up as little space as possible.
-Don't force it or you'll break connections and have to take it out and re-solder it. (Twice)
-Be patient.

Sorry there aren't any more pictures, but once i had it in i didn't really want to remove it.

Step 6: Rock!

Now you can rock anywhere you want!

Be sure to bring music to the ears of every nearby person with your new portable amp!

Things I would change about it are:

-Sound holes at the front need to be a little bigger
-Get some better speakers, these pretty much distort straight away.
-Plan the internals out a little better as to replace the battery i have to remove all of the components

That's pretty much it, hope you enjoyed the Instructable and Vote For Me!

++ There is a sound clip now attached. I basically mess around with the guitars' volume controls subtly to change the tone. First it's on about 8 then 10 then I turn it down to about 7 and a bit. (Excuse the scrappy playing =] )



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    14 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 3

    Hello, Phantomn

    I was wondering if you wired a on/off switch, and a volume knob. How would you wire this. Where could I find schematics?

    Thank You


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Damn can't find an amp circuit like yours on my country! just the old lm386


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I have a pair of 3 way 6ohm speaker with 100 watts output power, I want it to be a stand alone speaker I want to use the amplifier of the multimedia speaker will it work?


    9 years ago on Step 1

     Any help on how to find an amp like this? Searching Radio Shack's site is getting me nowhere. 

    Thanks! This is a great project!

    2 replies
    Phantomnbittu 1

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 1

     Well at first i used the amp from some old speakers but it didn't fit so i picked that one up at maplin. It really depends on how much current it needs to drive it and how loud you want it to be. Just wire it up quickly and test it =]


    9 years ago on Step 3

    when you use a amplifiyer from a woofer like the one you took fro your speakers, how do you wire it up properly, i connected a speaker, jack and battery but i'm not getting much sound, you can bearly hear it, if you could explain how to wire everything up would be great. thanks 

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 3

    I actually bought my amp from a shop which came with wiring schematics, so i'm not sure. But it may be because it is from a subwoofer that the output is low, especially if you're pushing it through a small speaker it might not be able to handle it. The amp i removed was from one of the stand alone speakers which may have more treble response, or it could be the fact the battery cannot power it and it requires more power. But on every amp the wiring will be different and i'm not sure it'll help. Mine was wired up as per the schematic. (above)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    It's not very loud mainly due to the size restrictions, i.e the speakers are too small. But in a practice situation it's not really got the power. But it does take it to about an acoustic level. I designed it more for quiet practicing in front of the computer.

    Light DaX

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I've build on with no speaker but a stereo jack out so i can plug in my headphone works great


    9 years ago on Introduction

    uncle joes balls ? whats that supposed to mean but incredible project now i can play at my friends place without lugging a huge amp with me thanks!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Your amp is starved for power. A 3.5 Watt amp will need approximately 1 Ampere of current to run at full power. A 9 Volt battery doesn't even get close to that. You're probably lucky to get 0.5 Watts out of the current setup. I would suggest trying a decent power supply before replacing the speaker. A larger speaker will need more power anyway.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Apparently it requires a peak current of 500mA and an operating voltage of 4.5-12v. I will most probably add a DC in at some point in the future