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Cardboard Box Amp - Crazy but, it works!!!

Posted by Eric Robinson on July 31, 2012 at 9:55 AM

This might seem a bit Crazy or Creative.  Either way - it works!!!

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I got this idea by thinking, What If.  I had a little 10 Watt Solid State Amp, that I got from a guy for $10.00.  It was a little Guitar Amp that allowed me to use, when I didn't want to drag out my 60 pound Main Guitar Amp.  It originally had a little 4" speaker in it.  It worked to be able to hear sound.  But, all I could hear was Highs & Mids.  Nothing that would sound all that Great.

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My family lives in an Apartment right now.  I was taking the Trash out one day & someone had thrown away a couple 'Home Stereo Tower Speakers' away.  Their boxes looked a bit rough.  Thankfully they looked like someone had just tossed them it, they were right at the top (easy to get to & pull out).

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I thought to myself, What If - I was to try to change out the Speaker with 1 of the 12" Speakers?  So, I tried it!  I was really surprised by how well it sounded.  I simply unhooked the Speaker in the Amp & ran a 4' jumper Speaker Wire from the Tower Speaker to the little 10 Watt Amp.  That Amp had Came to Life.  There was Bass now  And  It sounded like the Volume had increase by 5 times.

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Then I thought to myself, if that sounded good - What If, I was to try hooking up 'Both' Tower Speakers to the Amp?  I made up another 4' Speaker Wire Jumper from the other Tower Speaker into the Speaker Connecttion to the Amp.  Basically, I put both Positives from the Tower Speakers into the Positive connector to the Amp.  And, both Tower Speakers negative to the Amp Negative connector.  

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I hooked it all up and It sounded Great!  Seriously, it sounded like an 80-100 Watt Solid State Amp.  Which was Amazing, considering it was all being Powered by a 10 Watt Solid State Amp.  At that point, I realized - 10 Solid State Watts, is way more Powerful than I thought possible.  There was enough Bass to Rattle the Rafters in our Living Room.  I am respectful to my neighbors, so I didn't play it too Loud for too long.

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Next was trying to come up with a way to put it all together.  I don't have any Wood Working Tools.  I have a couple of Friends that have things like Table Saws & other needed Tools.  But, they constantly seemed to be busy.  One day, I came across a Cardboard Box that looked like it would be a Perfect fit.  A perfect fit, if the Speakers were to be 'Side Firing'.  I have some 'Home Stereo Speakers' that are in our Living Room that have 'Side Firing 12" Speakers'.  After seeing this Cardboard Box, I put the 2 ideas together.

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Then I thought to myself, What If - I was to use the Cardboard Box for a Guitar Amp?  It wouldn't be durable.  But, it would work if I was to use the Caution that I give my other Music Equipment.  So - I tried it!

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I started by covering the Main Opening with the Fabric from the Tower Speakers.  I used Duct Tape to secure the Fabric to the Metal Basket of the Speaker.  I placed the Speaker on top of the Box & Traced it with a Maker.  After that, I did an 'Inner Circle' that was about 2" smaller than the Outer Circle.  This allowed to cut out an openning for the Speaker.  It wasn't an identical fit.  I had to make Gradual additional cuts to the circle, until it fit perfectly flat.  

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I realized that if I was only use Screws, the Speakers would come out.  Simply, the Cardboard wouldn't hold the Screws would come out.  So, I used Bolts, 3" Washer, Cardboard, 3" Washer & Nut.  I did this combination for each place that a single Screw would be used on a Wood Guitar Amp.  By having the Washers in place, it allowed for much more Security for the Speaker.

 

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I did the exact same thing to the other side.  As mentioned, the 12" Speakers would be 'Side Firing'.

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Then, I installed the Power part of the Guitar Amplifer (the Head unit).  I put it in to the Top.  I used Washers & the Original Screws from the Guitar Amp.  I took some of the Extra Cardboard to make 2" Thick Divider to go between the Speakers.  I did this to allow each Speaker to have it's own Chamber & help with having the Speaker Magnets, so close together.  Without the Cardboard Divider, it didn't Sound as Good as with having one.  I Simply took a Large Piece of Cardboard & folded it about 5 times to make it really thick.  I cut out a space for the Head unit to fit, just right.  I had to put it in diagonally, with a little work and then put it Straight up & down between the Speakers.  I placed hole in the Back of the Guitar Amp (near the bottom), for the Power Chord to be able to Slide Out.

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In the opening to the Box, I cut an Openning to access the Head unit.  This is accessable from the Front of the Guitar Amp.

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Next I used Gorrilla Duct Tape to cover the entire Card Board Box.  I chose this brand, because, it's the Thickest & Toughest Duct Tape that I could find.  I used Black Duct Tape to give it the color of most Guitar Amps.  I took all of the Hardware from the Original Guitar Amp & used them on this Guitar Amp.  I used the Metal Corners, Rubber Amp Feet, & Handle.  

--On the Rubber Feet & Handle - I used Bolt, 3" Washer, Part, Cardboard, 3" Washer & Nut combinations.  Same as mentioned before, by using the 3" Washer it allowed for additional strength.  The last thing that you'd want to do is - have it all put together, grab it by the Handle to carry it somewhere & the Handle fall off.  By using the 3" Washers, it allowed much more Strength.

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Here are some pictures of the Finished Guitar Amp.

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I would say this is the Greatest Guitar Amp.  But, when I hook up a Guitar Effects pedal.  It sounds Pretty Good!!!  The total cost of the Project was about $25.00.  $10.00 for the Original Guitar Amp,  about $10.00 for a couple Rolls of the Duct Tape & about $5.00 for the Nuts, Bolts & Washers (they can be picked up for about 20 cents a piece).  

---And, it only weighs about 10 pounds!  It's easy to transport, easily fits on the Front Seat Floor Board of my Car.

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6 Comments

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Thanks Eric for your creative ideas! God bless you!
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