Vintage Styled Suitcase Amp

Introduction: Vintage Styled Suitcase Amp

About: I am currently a industrial design student studying product design and development. I work as a freelancer and am also a musician.

The project was to design a tool organization kit. What immediately came to mind was trying to find a way to somehow incorporate this 1960’s suitcase amp thing into the fold. I had been wanting to build a recording device that is universal; accessible; portable; station adaptable and presentable. This is a tool that I have needed for some time. 

So many circumstances have left me without what I needed to record ideas. Whether sound effects for movie titles, sound effects for songs, or just sound in general.

With what I have made, I can record four tracks without boucing -- it’s when you record several tracks and combine them all to one track) while playing to it simultaneously. I can play a drum track and then loop it. Plug in my guitar, and play to it while the music is going and record.  And it’s not limited to that.  Add whatever compilation of sounds you like.
And when your finished, you can then hang the the entirety of your work on your wall or take it to a friends house, or maybe your other band members houses where they could put down a some tracks.

Simple is better, more accessible is better, and portable is better.

I love to take old ideas and merge them with the new. With this project, I had a difficult time trying to explain why it is we need the thing! First off, it has vintage speakers. It sounds better. The only problem is that we’re unable to use newer devices on it. When recording, your limited if you use real instruments instead of virtual ones. A lot of musicians almost always refer to the real thing. So how do you record on and play your instrument on a regular iphone dock? You don’t. How do I take my Marshall Half-stack to a friend”s house to record a simple track? You don’t. Having something like what I have built allows you to do those things. No hassle.

Step 1: Things Your Going to Need:



Power screwdriver 

Solder Gun

Wire strippers

1'' Nails and Screws

Guitar amplifier

Two Speakers ( Mine is a 10" and 5")

Table Saw

Speaker Wire

Suitcase Handle (around the house or wherever) 

Wood Glue

Wicker fabric or whatever you like

Step 2: Cut Your Wood

You'll need to cut your wood into pieces first.

-Cut two pieces 1ft 5" long. These are the top and bottom pieces

-Cut another two pieces 1ft long. These are going to be the sides.  

-Cut 1/2" in angles on the ends of the boards.

-Cut out four 1ft X 3 1'2" strips.

-Now cut three 7" x 2" pieces.

-Take your wood glue and glue the ends of the angles together to form a box. 

-Put that aside and allow it to dry. 

On the other piece, the back, cut out 4 1ft X 3 1'2" strips.

With the remainder of wood,

-Cut two 1 ft x 4" pieces. These are the fronts and the backs. 

-Measure the diameter of your speakers and use your table saw to cut
holes into the front piece. 

-Measure the four sides of your amp and mark it on the other back piece (1ft 4" piece of wood)

-Measure the amount of the diameter of your amp cord and cut slightly (1/2) bigger than your than 
what you measured to give yourself wiggle room. 

On the other piece, the back board to the box/amp:

-Cut out 4 1ft X 3 1/2" strips. 

Step 3: The Insides of the Amp.

Take the box that you built when it's dry and screw in the four strips you cut earlier. 

-Put one toward the front of the amp.

-Screw one end with 1/2" (more or less) screw toward the top of the amp. Do this on both ends of the amp. 

-Repeat this step for the bottom now too. 

When done, screw into the top of the amp accordingly to the size. Be sure to measure. 
Also mark where your handle will be. You don't want the screws to overlap.

-Screw the speakers, on the wood designated for the front piece of your box. 

-Put the bolts onto the back of each screw. 

-Do this for the second smaller piece also. 

Step 4: Almost Done.

Cut out the wicker and cut it 2 to 4 inches bigger than the wood for the front of your box. 

-Drape the material around the front of the wood and bend the rest back behind the wood starting with top.

-Use your staple gun and staple all across it. 

-Repeat this step around all four sides until finished. 

-Place that piece into the front of the inner ridges of the box. 

-Take your glue and press it tightly against the four strips you put in earlier. 

-For extra support you can screw into the backs of the strips into the front. Just make sure the screws are the right sizes. 

Step 5: Solder!

Get your solder gun and solder the Red and Black wires (+ and -) coming from the amp 
to the + and - parts of the speaker 

Take your speaker wire and route + and - to the tweeder. 

Screw in the back piece into the strips towards the back but before you do make sure to pull the cord through. 

Screw in the handle to the centered top part of your box or the side if you prefer. 

Your done. Enjoy! 

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