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LM386 based guitar amp

Started by Sal, April 27, 2008, 08:39:08 PM

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Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Sal (if you haven't already guessed :-) ) and I love DIY projects. I have built many nixie tube and numitron tube clocks, tube amps and I collect tube radios. I am also into tube audio with 4 Dynaco ST-70 tube amps, Scott 299B and others.

I want to build my son a tube guitar amp soon and when I was surfing the web I found a neat simple guitar amp using a lm386 audio amp IC. Every part can be purchased from Radio Shack, I had everything in my stock except the 25 ohm rheostat for the volume control.

The small speakers were bought at a swap meet, a pair for $1.00

I made it portable using nicad batteries. I put a 2.1mm connector in the back so when you plug in a 12vac wall transformer it will disconnect the amp from the battery and charge the nicads.

I also wired a 1/4" headphone that will disconnect the internal speaker when the phones are plugged in.

The controls are drive (distortion) with the power on/off switch and volume control. There is a blue LED in between the controls.

Here are some photos of it. It puts out about 1/2 watt which is loud enough to have fun with it.



Nice job on the amp.  A lot of us here have built LM386 based amps, I've built two.  I like them, they sound good and are simple to build.


And welcome to the forum!
Life is what you make it.
Still rockin' the Dean Markley K-20X


this is a great LM386 amp...
tnx for sharing...
but what should we name it? :tu:


i built one of of the LM386, use a headphone, sounds very nice, although a bit of noise is audible. gain has a bit of clean distortion, interactively works with the level pot. the amp fit nicely on an empty namecard box.

ENGR BUGO aka DimebuGG

This a Nobels Bass mycro I cloned for my brother

I also build the Nobels guitar micro where i put a cab sim on it..haven't taken a photo yet


386 are great for the low power amps , however , you can make a little gain monster with the addition of a TL072 or 4558 which ever you like the best(I prefer the TL072 ).
Like ENGR shows in his pic . I built one years ago (we won't even talk about how long ago). but it yeilds a nice overdrive/distortion.

                                              Rock On

ENGR BUGO aka DimebuGG

And here it is, my cloned version of Nobels Guitar-Mycro headphone amp(just the stock). Damn!!!! This thing is so sweet better than Ruby or the Little Gem, IMO. The NORMAL mode is so crystal clear, damn I love it!! OVERDRIVE and DISTORTION mode also kicks ass!!!



Can you post the circuits/schematics of these please?

Regards Tony


My little gem. Great sounding LM386 amp. tatally love it, but rearly use it, since it is too loud!!!!

Paulo Jr. Silva

OK! I Search the schematic of Micro-amp Nobels ! but i donĀ“t konw making layout and PCB.
Somebody can help me? i would handmade it!

Excurse me,
choose "Guitar-mycro"..