I have picked up this 1968 Arvin AM radio, Model # 68R89 that I plan on hacking into a practice amp that should do well as one.

I will update this as I get a chance to do the mod on it and show more pictures of how I did it.

Views: 361

Replies to This Discussion

Very cool. Hacking old transistor radios works great to make an amp. I did one with an old Philips trans radio...love it. Total cost to hack, including radio from Salvation Army store, one jack, a switch, and a couple bits of wire...about $7.00

Did you use the switch to disconnect the tuner section of the radio?

Yeah, I took the battery holder out to expose the two circuits (one for am/fm tuner and the other the amplifier). I could have hacked into the on/off volume pot, but was a bit tight to do that, so I found the wire leading from tuner circuit to the volume pot and cut there. Spliced a lead onto each, attached the lead from tuner to one side of a three prong on/on switch, the lead to the volume to the middle prong, and the lead to the newly installed 1/4" jack for the guitar to the other outside switch prong. Nice part of this radio is that there was already an additional headphone jack, which allows for quiet amped playing and/or radio listening.

In the end, the radio still functions, and with the flick of the switch, it can be used as an amplifier. Was a fun project.

Here's a link to the Convert Old Radios to Amps group that shows how I did it:


Thanks Scott, that is some good info there.

You are welcome

Ok, made some progress on hacking this little radio into a practice amp....

I found the circuit trace that needed to be cut to disable the tuner section from feeding into the power amp. You can see the slice I made on the board below the volume knob,,,

Above you will see circles that show the points that I will solder the needed wires to the board to make it work as an amp. I will install a switch that will let me select between the radio and the guitar amp modes.

Green: the cut circuit trace.

Red: the points to connect the tuner back up.

Yellow: the points to hook up the 1/4" guitar jack

( lower yellow the tip connection, upper yellow barrow connection)

I love this Arvin! possibly my total fav!!!!

such a cool look too!

The one thing I noticed when I did a test to see if it was working was the volume didn't seem to be that high... I'm thinking I need to use a preamp so I don't get any impedance issues between the magnetic pickup and the amp input... What have some of you run into when you used an old radio for this?

Here is an upload of my Arvin 8 Transistor radio practice amp hack, hooked up to 2 piezo pickups from Radio Scrap (Shack) sold as buzzers.



The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

Discussion Forum

Sweet Norwegian Transistor Radio - any tips?

Started by Elliott Fisher. Last reply by GARY KNIGHT Mar 25, 2018. 4 Replies

Battery valve radios

Started by Bird. Last reply by Bird Nov 22, 2016. 6 Replies

3 tube 8 watter Valco style amp with swamp sound

Started by Doug Christensen. Last reply by Doug Christensen Oct 17, 2016. 66 Replies

hey guys just alittle info please

Started by gregory lazorchak. Last reply by Denis U Jul 23, 2016. 3 Replies

Hitachi Transistor Radio with Tape.

Started by David Wilson. Last reply by GARY KNIGHT Jul 4, 2016. 9 Replies

Mini Amp - Where Do I make Connections? What is missing?

Started by Brian Revels. Last reply by daniel clarke May 13, 2016. 1 Reply

Car radio Amp

Started by Orcabait. Last reply by GARY KNIGHT May 10, 2016. 1 Reply


Started by BILL GRONER. Last reply by Wayne Bigler Apr 9, 2016. 2 Replies

1962 Silvertone Medalist 3217

Started by Monterey. Last reply by Scott aka Farmer Ted Apr 3, 2015. 11 Replies

New jack in an old radio

Started by White Raven. Last reply by Scott aka Farmer Ted Mar 30, 2015. 3 Replies

Suitcase Amp

Started by Gary Ross. Last reply by Gary Ross Jan 26, 2015. 4 Replies

Arvin 8 Transistor AM radio...

Started by Corbin. Last reply by Corbin Jan 16, 2015. 11 Replies

Low volume with your Hacked Radio --- Amp

Started by Corbin. Last reply by Corbin Jan 12, 2015. 4 Replies

DIY amp question

Started by Greg Thompson. Last reply by Greg Thompson Jan 10, 2015. 2 Replies

1964 Philips AM/FM Radio to guitar amp project

Started by Scott aka Farmer Ted. Last reply by Scott aka Farmer Ted Jan 8, 2015. 4 Replies

Thank you beetle juice!

Started by Greg Thompson. Last reply by Jim Quinlan Nov 6, 2014. 5 Replies


Started by John Newman. Last reply by John Aug 21, 2014. 3 Replies

Grundig Yacht Boy Radio

Started by Keith 66. Last reply by John Aug 2, 2014. 1 Reply

Having problems with a 1959 Silvertone 9014

Started by Darren Addy. Last reply by John Jul 30, 2014. 1 Reply

Blog Posts

Mailing boxes for CBG's

Posted by Kevin Patrick on September 18, 2019 at 10:02am 4 Comments


Posted by Emer M. on September 16, 2019 at 11:59am 0 Comments

Mama Pearson's Soaporium

Posted by Rick Tish on September 14, 2019 at 8:52pm 0 Comments

Latest Activity

Dave Lynas commented on Dave Lynas's video

Hohner Special 20 and the Goose

"It does have a good cross harp sound. A Marine Band with attitude Uncle."
1 hour ago
Jeff 'Bones' Reilly commented on Jeff 'Bones' Reilly's photo

#4 Commissioned Build

"You know me to well AGP I’m always left of  can’t bring myself to a central neck…"
4 hours ago
the anonymous pick replied to James Pobog's discussion Today's progress 9/22/19
"love the electric conduit :-)"
4 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Dave Lynas's video
4 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Korrigan's photo
4 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Korrigan's photo
4 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Korrigan's photo
4 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Vern Hallett's photo
4 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Vern Hallett's photo
4 hours ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Vern Hallett's photo
4 hours ago
James Pobog posted a discussion

Today's progress 9/22/19

Got stuff done, but not as much as I wanted, had some damage control to think through...Right…See More
5 hours ago
Myron Joe Hickel replied to GARAGE HERMIT's discussion my diy table saw, it's not for the squeamish,
"Now that bring back memories. Back in the late 70's early 80's I use to buy a…"
6 hours ago



© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->