It was suggested to me that one of my designs might benefit from a built in speaker, so I had a couple of questions about how to go about it.

For starters, I was thinking about breaking apart and rehousing one of those mini amps you see on ebay, but I'm aware that practically speaking, this may be difficult. So first question I guess would be:

Break apart and rehouse a mini amp OR wire up individual components - which is the best (not necessarily easiest) move?

Next, the mini amp got me thinking about the actual output. Obviously the primary output would be the speaker, but they also come with a headphone jack, so I guess secondary output would be headphones. Which leads me to wonder about times when I need more volume, so two more questions spring to mind:

1. Can you plug in to a headphone jack and run it into a bigger amp?

2. If not, can you wire something up to  use the speaker/headphones when the speaker is turned on and bypass the speaker when the speaker is off, and output to an external amp instead, and if so, how?

And on a related not, is there any point in wiring the (mag) pickup to volume and tone knobs and then wiring that to a speaker with volume and tone knobs? Could I (or indeed should I) just cut out the amp controls altogether?

And while I'm on the subject, if I build my own circuit (as opposed to ripping apart a mini amp), how can I put in an overdrive option like the amp has - assuming it can be done at all!

Sorry for the question spam!

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Replies to This Discussion

I have a kids electric 6 string with built in amp and speaker and output for an external amplifier. I was going to try to get it playing, but it will never play in tune, so it's just gathering dust

I'll PM you

Denis

Now that's a point, I forgot about those things! Guess that proves its possible!

Shit, old thread.  In honor of our sponsor, I'll first suggest a (now) $37 speaker kit from CBGitty. "Great 2.5-watt Parts-Only Cigar Box Guitar Amplifier Kit". They also have 2 "cigar box" speaker kits for about $50 Maybe you can use the extra parts for builds.

I recently received a "TrashAmp" a mp3/guitar amp ($40). It's fun to experiment with different sized glass jars (just has to have a Mason/Ball jar type lid top)  It has two "headphone" outlets, one for input, another for output so they can be "daisy chained". I suppose with an adapter I could plug it into a full-sized amp, too. But I'm suggesting kits rather than tearing apart mini-amps because of capacitors and other circuitry in the amps. Personally I know a minimal amount about these components and on a pre-made amp, I'd have to worry about identifying them and/or diagnosing what including them and excluding them might do. A kit is going to at least identify these (you may have to do some searching for actual functions). worth a few extra bucks I think. 

There's now an article about capacitors on CBGitty https://www.cbgitty.com/news/electronics-pickup-harness-disk-piezo-...  I just found it and it's absolutely going to be put into a CBG or two I have that presently go straight from piezo to connector outlet.

You may want to checkout Guitar Fuel, they sell on EBay and sell a good product.  There are several 3watt and a 5watt option. They also include an effects knob, which offers gain, overdrive, music styles effects.

Gitty has a great 2.5 prewired amp harness.  And they sell an effects board called “psych knob”, which is an Artec QDD board, also prewired.  I’m sure there are more, but I haven’t used them so no Referal.

i have used all the above in amps or guitars.

last recommendation, get a bigger better speaker.  A good speaker will cost more than the Gitty amp.  But you could get a nice one for $20-$30.  

If you want bigger speakers go to thrift stores and buy old boom boxes.

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