I've made my own little pocket amp based off these schematics:

After taking it to school a couple of times, i now have about 20 people asking me to build them one, so of course I say okay.

So to reduce costs, i'm buying all my parts from mouser.com (vs buying them at radioshack) so I want to know, would a higher tolerance in parts like caps be better audio-wise or worse?

Also if anyone can give me some insight: When i first made it, it had this awesome clean sound. I've hooked it up to a distortion pedal a crapload of times, and now i have a permanently burned-in sound that sounds a little distorted, and i think that's because the distortion pedal puts too much power running through that little amp, which is burning up the transistors from the inside. What do you guys think? [Decreasing volume is a sign of dying battery, not this, by the way]

P.S.: I welcome others to build this. I'm very happy with it. The electronics cost about 3 bux total. box and plugs for headphones run you however much you can get them for.
any ideas what happened to it then? I doubt that just over time it would start to sound like crap. And I'm not shorting it out with active pickups or anything. Passive pickups in, and it powers the headphones.
It's possible by running your distortion pedal with the amp, you put more juice through the speaker than it could handle.

Do make sure it is not the battery though, as that is actually one of the tell tale signs of a dieing battery.