Convert Old Muzak Machine in to a Retro IPod Stereo




About: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open and let me know how it goes. cheers, -Joe

My friend has been carrying around this empty shell of a Micro Muzak Model 1008 for years with the intention of converting it in to something... someday. Apparently this was used in a university to pump the college station through all the buildings and had long since been left to fall in to ruins.

Using parts you can easily get and very little modifications to the actual case it came out looking preatty good. We reused the original knobs where they were still available for that original look. The tubes were left on the case to look cool, they do nothing.

I admit this is less of an instructable and more of a hey-check-this-out-able, but maybe it will inspire you to make something neat.

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Step 1: Parts

- A cool old box for the stereo, in our case a Micro Muzak Model 1008
- Velleman k4003 30W stereo Kitt
- 12V Center Tap Transformer
- 2 RCA Jacks
- 1 10k ohm stereo knob.
- 1 On/Off SPST Switch
- 2 LEDs
- 2 LED holders.
- 2 1kohm Resistors
- Speaker terminal block

Step 2: The Case

Lets just admire tis case for a minute. It is definitely built to be uer serviceable, unfortunately too much of the amp was missing, but just check out the markings on the case.

Step 3: Clean Out

This thing had a huge transformer, tons of old hand soldered parts on the inside, it was missing a lot of switches and was pretty nasty on the inside. We cleaned it up and threw out some of the guts.

Check out the second pic on this step for a neat wiring diagram for the original amplifier.

Step 4: Donor

So I had made this ugly, yet quite functional stereo a few years back and it had served me well and sounded nice.


Now everything has been moved over to breath new life to the Muzak case.

Step 5: Insert

The existing holes in the case were perfect for putting in the RCA Jacks, switches and volume knob, we the extra knobs on for looks... Although the holes were all too big, so I used two washers (one on the inside, one on the outside) to make the parts all fit.

The rear of the case had a spot for hooking up speakers, although we drilled through that and used our own speaker jacks t modernize it a bit.

Our kit fit right inside the case with no problems, I just drilled some holes to mount the transformer and standoffs for the amp kit.

Step 6: Wire It Up

I wired the volume knob, on/off with and used an alloy RadioShack LED holder(#276-080)to keep with the look.

It worked out great, sounds good and looks cool too.

Thanks for looking.

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    13 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    why not use the valves

    the sound will be much better than a crappy digital apmlylfier


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Looks real good! A possible suggestion- make the valves do something by wiring the valve heaters into the PSU so they glow when turned on. If the current is too high or wasteful, put some red LEDs under the valves to cast a red glow into them.


    10 years ago on Step 4

    Can I possibly get the instructable/plans for that older stereo? Thinking of using the Velleman K4003 for some creatively housed ipod amps, and would like to see clear instructions on wiring the power source and volume control. Also thinking of going with a standard 1/8" female input instead of an RCA jack... Thanks!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I added this to the Vacuum Tube group--although I see now the tubes are just "for show..."

    (you can remove it if you like...I guess I can add a group, but not remove one.)

    5 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    (Actually, I did remove it--as the administrator of the Vacuum Tube group...)

    Anyway, good job on the project...


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I like tubesandmore, they're a good outfit. I'm not familiar with the amp, and my personal interests lean more toward guitar amps rather than very linear, low-distortion stereo amps. But a google of the tubes (11BM8) brings up comments about the kit:
    (links to other threads are buried in this one. The opinions all look positive...)

    Honestly, you can spend an obscene amount on a tube stereo amp (and much of it would be wasted, IMHO.) This one appears to be good, AND you can still tweak it in the future (upgrade caps, output transformers, etc.), if so inclined... Pretty tough to beat that price, too.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I still like mine, 8 watts of brute force power :), but it is all hand made. I would say go with the one from AES, it seems to be a good little amp and for the price you can't beat it.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, there's aways the DIY approach--if you're brave... (@Joe--didn't throw out that transformer, did ya? They are the most expensive components of a tube amp, anymore.)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Sweet Instructable. If I somehow get a Muzak Machine thing, maybe at a yardsale or something, I definitely want to do this. Awesome Instructable! +1 rating.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Actually I have a "knob" of electrical tape on their, good call! -Joe