Just wanted to say how much I love the "Little Gem" amp build! Someone asked on here what a simple amp would be, and I followed the link someone gave and built one myself this morning! $25 in parts becuase I had to go to Radioshack, ordering online in bulk would make this MUCH cheaper. Took about two hours to put it all together because I hadn't even so much as looked or thought about it until I got back from radioshack, save for the parts list. I just finished putting it in a cheapo enclosure thing. DANG! This thing is kick butt! First speaker was a little 4" computer speaker, and it was decently loud. Then I hooked it up to a single 12" speaker and this thing SMOKES!!! With gain all the way up and volume all the way up, it gets quite loud!! Plenty loud enough for bedroom noodling.

1/2 watt amp that kicks butt.....hmm.....in the future I'll build another and put some real work into it, so it looks nice, and is in a nice enclosure. I was just so surprsied it actually sounds good and is loud!

Link to Directions
Last edited by JahJahwarrior at Jan 27, 2007,
Sounds awesome. Do you have a link for directions?
Alvarez dreadnought
Gibson SG
Homemade Strat (seymour duncan classic stack p/ups)
Vox Tonelab (original desktop model) with full board footswitch
Vox AD50
Avatar V30 4x12 cab
hook us up with some pics dude!
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
Takamine G340SC
Epiphone G 310
I didn't take any pictures while assembling, and it's an ugly little amp: painted the radioshack enclosure white, let sit for a short time, put on masking tape and hit it with some silver (funky evh thing). Came back and the silver looked cracked....very funny how the two paints seem to hate each other. And some of the white paint reacted with the masking tape adhesive and was gooy again so I hit it with some satin clear real fast and then assembled it, paint is still curing but I wanted to play with it!

This was really just a trial thing, I'm about to sell my 60 watt combo Flex II, and I was going to buy a Vox AD30VT, but now I 'm thinking about building a simple tube amp. I want something with clean, distortion and reverb. I can get a spring reverb thing pretty simple, I have another amp I can steal it from. If I did this, I'd make it really nice. It'd also be decently small, for college. Still thinking about it. Regardless, I'll probably get some more schematics and build a few more small amps in my spare time, with nicer enclosures. But this amp can be built for $20 or so in only a few hours and it can get quite loud. Why does anyone buy a practice amp for like $80???
Good thought, I hadn't thought of it actually! I'll try to record some Sunday night. I'm hitting the hay now, I have a speech contest to try to win tomorrow (actually, today, since it's midnight thirty).

I will say this, I can hear my guitar very well with gain and volume set to 0, soit's not really "off," but I think I can control it well with my guitar volume knob. Gain knob doesn't seem to do much at all until it cranked all the way up. Almost nothing noticiable first half rotation, second half it gets more andmore noticiable until WHAMMO it gets louder and distorted! If I play my ipod shuffle through it, it doesn't seem to distort it, just makes it TONNES louder.

the 9volt adaptor seems to say it's giving it 13 volts. I checked two of my 9 volt wall warts and both said 13 volts, so I don't know why all of my 9 volt adaptors are giving up 13 volts or if it matters or not. My dad thought I'd burn up the rheostat, but it's a 3 watt rheosta, should be fine.
"I have a speech contest to try to win tomorrow (actually, today, since it's midnight thirty)."
not gonna win a speech contest talking like that haha j/k bro anyways i found this little soundclip on the site he posted

My Gear

Digitech GNX2
Jasmine by Takamine Acoustic
Agile LP3000 Prestige
Crate MX65R
Epiphone Masterbilt AJ500M
I was going to build one of these suckers into the chassis of my practice amp. Pink wants me to build a little tube amp in it, but I don't think that's gonna happen
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
I made one of those with two 2" speakers. It sounded pretty crap, but it was a good learning experience. It took me less than half an hour to make it (without enclosure), even less to take it apart again to use the components for other stuff.
I've built some cheapo efx before and I have always wanted to build an amp. This seems like a good place to start.
I made one of those. It worked, but I couldn't find a good speaker. I still can't. A friend gave me some speakers he found at the dump, but they had holes in 'em and made wierd farting sounds.

But with this old hi-fi speaker it's fine.
About to leave to drive two hours to give a speech about our Constitituion to old people.

but I drove it through a small speaker and it wasn't super loud or anything special, but run through a random 1x12" cab that used to be a monitor wedge at church...piece of crap box, carpeted with a random speaker in it. No special speaker. Sounds great! Played for just a minute this morning and I had gain all the way up and volume on 0 and was rocking out! When I record clips I'll try to record some of me talking or osmething, to give an idea of volume range.
I don't have a mic at my house, and recorded straight into the cmputer, this thing seems to have no dynamics. Kind of wierd, usually I can get a good recording goin gstraight in. Anyways, the clips I recorded sound like crap but connected to a speaker the amp sounds good, so I'm going to hold off on clips until I can get it done well.
What is this hiwatt mod?

I've been contemplating building one of these little mofos too. Or a Lil Smokey, or whatever the name is.
Will says:
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
You're supposed change the input cap from .047 to .015uF, and you increase the volume pot's value to 50K.
You're also supposed to leaves pins 1 and 8 open, and add an RC network, or something...But that decreases gain, so I'm not in a hurry to do that.
runoffgroove.com have 3 different LM386 based amps, and GeneralGuitarGadgets.com covers 2 of em, and another LM386 amp.
I built the Ruby, and use it pretty regularly with my 2x12. Cool little amps indeed.
I'm not very active here on UG currently.
I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
What I really want to do now is build an amp using a few tubes that my dad has lying around, totally vintage stuff, that can give me sparkly cleans and a very modern metal distortion I can build an entirely seperate preamp for all I care, I just need something clean that I can add a little gain to to get tube breakup, then something very distorted. And a reverb tank and channel switch footpad thingy, and I've got me an amp to take to college! I'll build a seperate 1x10 cab or something, and when I'm hope I'll hook it up to my halfstack.

This was built in a hurry, I'm going to rip it open and add onto it soon I suspect. Which means I'll use the money I won at the speech thing today to order parts (only $50, and I came in first)
The output is connected to lug 3 of the rheostat (atleast I think it was lug three....maybe lug 2? Something on the pcb says it goes to one lug of the rheostat, connect the tip of the output to the next lug over on the rheostat, which I think will be lug 3. if you connect it to lug 1, I think your volume pot will work backwards) and the ring goes to ground. Simple enough
volume pot is a 25 ohm rheostat, make sure it can take more than the 1/2 watt that the 386 throws at it. If no store near you has the 386, order it online somewhere. I got mine from an electronics kit I found in my house

And yes, I am an old school pod fan. New stuff I don't even deign to listen to, becuase now they really aren't POD like they used to be. It all sounds too radiofriendly and like they are trying to fit into a genre. Snuff the Punk, TFEOS, Brown, Warriors EP, that's where the good stuff is at!
a picture is up at Link to picture and yes I know it's a crappy picture, it's a cheap digi cam. The other pictures on my xanga site were taken with a film SLR and I don't want to take pictures, pay to get them developed, etc, just to put them on the internet and yes, the paintjob really does look that bad. And the gain pot is a little higher than the volume one. I'll fix it eventually.