This is the group for Lo-Watt Rock & Blues.

Here is the place to post photos and information on how to convert vintage electronics into awesome sounding and really cool guitar amps.

there are several directions you can go in this area of amplification, you can hack and convert the existing electronics,(provided the radio still works.)

Or if you have a broken radio, CBG Gitty Amp kits are a great way for the novice to join in. You can convert any old radio  nifty 1950's and 60's radio bodies for that awesome retro look and feel....They will match your cigar box guitar and really are a joy to play!

If you would like to study this topic more

visit the website

Anyone can do it, give it a try, find and old radio and follow along

 Here is an example of the great tone that can be found in a old radio.


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  • From the back of the Potentiometer, it’s the outside right lug?


  • Negative connections should always go to the Ground. Just use the ground connection of the Potentiometer if you’re not sure where the Ground plane of the circuit is? Good luck :) 

  • ok, I'm a newbie so this maybe the wrong place to ask this but here goes:

    So I saw a few places on how to convert a battery powered radio into a cbg amp, so being a total newbie and very excited to try new things out, I found an old rca victor am/fm radio in my dads old stuff. 

    8335316274?profile=RESIZE_710xso my question is this, I see how to figure out where to put the positve but where would i solder the negative to?

    or, the obvious, just get a cheap battery one to play with?

  • that was really great to read!...i just want help in any way i can to help keep this hobby of cigar box guitars alive is great to see it has brought you here to post this great photo and story!

  • Hi,

    My name is Joe and I just joined a couple of days ago. I'm retired so I have a bit of time to make stuff. In the last 2 months I've made 10 cbg's you can see them on my blog. I do not know how to play them so I purchased Johns dvd "Understanding 3string cigar box guitar" He also sent me a link to turn a radio into a amp. A couple of days later I bought a $5 transistor radio at a garage sale.early to mid 70's GE. Tonight I opened it up and in 3 hours had me a guitar amp. It runs and works on AC and 9VDC. 


  • Ive bought a few radios off of shopgoodwill and was only able to convert one. The other two have bad battery holders on em, does anyone know how to either put a new battery compartment on or could I put a 9v battery terminal instead? Was curious. I think they are 4x c or d cell batteries I'll try to post some pics at a later time. The radio I was able to hack was am only rca and I was able to wire up the input jack to the volume lug potentiometer. I gave that one away when I got sick to my friend Clayton who is down and out but plays guitar. He liked it  LOT.

  • 306700351?profile=RESIZE_1024x1024

  • It's got headlights!...this would be a great little amplifier for cigar box guitar! It's a 1950's Admiral


  • Check this out!

    A Silvertone 600 for sale on eBay for 7 bucks.

    I don't think this pertectiular radio works, but upon looking inside you can see there is easy access to tap a guitar into and turn it into a guitar amp.

    Its old school transistor, this will both play and sound great I am about 90 percent positive this will be a great amp, its got a great size to.

    I would not buy this exact one, as it looks like the battery compartment is missing and or leaked out. But if you search out this exact model ( Silvertone 600) I am pretty sure you will have a great little amp for cigar box guitar, and they are not expensive.

    Its even got a groovy little handle and cool little looks!


  • Burnt transistors!

    check out this cool Silvertone body thats for sale on ebay


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Sony not working

Hi all! This is my first attemp to turn a radio, but something goes wrong. I don’t know the electronics, but I use the soldering iron and the tester without problems. The radio is in perfect working order. I followed the (easy) instructions, checked many times welds, made some tests by changing polarity, disconnected the antenna from the circuit board, but touching the poles of the pot nothing change: the radio signal persists and I hear nothing from the guitar, only an increase in volume by…

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Zenith C845

Just got one, and hoping to figure how to use it for an amp.Switched RCA plug, 'radio' and 'phono'. Gonna run test #2 tonight, not sure if I had the volume up the first test...

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Just got a radio/cassette player--My next move--HELP!!

Hi! I just bought a radio/cassette tape player at an estate sale.  $1.50, half-off from $3.00.  I want to convert it into an amp.  I've watched some vids that showed the process, and it looks pretty easy.  (And the filthy-dirty-nasty sound is AWESOME!)  There are lots of vids of a guy--in Australia?--who has done several.  I've excited but tentative.  What do I do first?  How do I start?  I have a new soldering iron and some resin core solder.  I've seen this (Aussie?) guy take the tape-reading…

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3 Replies