Wednesday, December 31, 2014

QRP guitar amps!

Taking a break from radio tinkering to do some guitar tinkering. I'm going to build a tube guitar amp in the coming weeks, I mean it this time!!! ;)

Figures, after I haven't picked up a guitar in years, and just sold off a bunch of my stuff, I get the urge to play with it again.

While clearly in "toy" territory, the LM386 still earns some respect with ~ 1/4 Watt output! Thats's whats in both of these. The commercial unit on the right is a "Smokey Amp,"  ( as the first units were housed in empty cigarette boxes instead of the polycarbonate shell.

The one that I've slapped together utilizes a gain control (to back the gain off of max!) and a crude tone control, a switch that selects one of two electrolytic caps on the output. It's driving the big stereo speaker both are sitting on. Hey, it doesn't sound super, but it sounds impressive for one cheap chip powered off of a 9V battery!  Link the the circuit I built here, scroll down to "Smokey Tone Gain Amp."

Happy New Year!


  1. Cool stuff :) KA6KBC

  2. Cool stuff :) KA6KBC