I'm a bit over the moon at the moment. I built a really simple LM386 amp, added a couple of <3inch full range speakers and housed it in an old watercolour paint box with a cigar box label and old computer fans protecting grills and it's magic.
Never satisfied, I added a switched output jack and ran the power through a stereo input jack so it only powers on with the lead inserted and I can play it through my home made cabinet with 2 1960's 12" Celestion Greenbacks. It roars - although there's more residual hum when I do that.
I've been using a Christmas present I gave myself - David Eric Nelson's book Junkyard Jam Band for circuits and ideas and also built his Mud'n'Sizzle preamp. The preamp seems to work really well at overdriving the 386 and I can get either a clean or deep and muddy overdrive. I just wish I could play !!
I want to be able to run the amp off a wall wart as well as battery, and I've got a socket for the 9v wallwart which seems to be switchable in that there are 3 connectors on it, one for the center +ve, and the other two which are connected then the wall wart isn't plugged in and not connected when it's not. Can I just run the negative that the stereo input jack switches to those two terminals, so that then there's no wall wart, and the jacks in, I use battery power, and when the wall wart is connected, I use it instead? Is a little knowledge a dangerous thing, or am I onto a sane idea?
So that's an option for me to do - Just have the 386 running as a preamp to the 18w power amp. You've answered the question I hadn't asked yet as I did try my preamp with the power module. I got sound through but it wasn't loud.
I did at one point have a 5 channel 100w PA amp with reverb, but it was too loud, and I gave it away. I hate hindsight!!