How to Make a Homemade Guitar Amp from Junk Stuff

By Josh Turner
Building a guitar amp from junk can save you money.

Guitar amplifiers amplify electric guitars by giving them volume and distortion. The advent of such electric amplifiers led to a new genre of music coming into being—rock ’n’ roll. With this kind of musical pedigree comes glitz and glamour, which can make owning a guitar amp cost thousands of dollars. However, by learning how to make a homemade guitar amplifier from junk stuff or basic household materials, you can enjoy the properties of the electric guitar without emptying your bank account.

Use an old speaker for the speaker of the amp.

Open the speaker box. Older speakers come equipped with 3.5 millimeter speaker cords or cord connector posts. Trace the black and red speaker wire coming from the speaker.

Cut the wires and strip off 1 inch of coating.

Carefully, score the wire down the middle with a pocket knife so that it gives you two smaller wires. Using the wire stripper, strip off 1 inch of coating from each of the smaller wires.

Cut the 3.5 millimeter adapter wire off an old computer speaker; make sure to leave at least 2 inches of wire attached. Score the adapter wire to get two smaller wires. Strip 1 inch off the coating, and splice the adapter to the speaker wires. Make sure to connect the red wires together and the black wires together.

Tape the ends of the wire together making sure not to let the red wire touch the black wire.

Tape the red wires together and tape the black wires together making sure to cover all the copper. Wrap all wires with the electric tape, creating the appearance of one continuous wire.

Use an old computer tower to amplify the guitar.

Connect the 3.5 millimeter adapter to the speaker port of the computer tower.

Attach one end of an instrument cable into the 1/4 inch (female) end of the conversion adapter.

Plug in the male end (the 3.5 millimeter end) of the adapter into the microphone input of the computer tower. Connect the remaining end of the instrument cable to the guitar.

Plug in the computer and turn it on.

Tip

Many newer speakers come equipped with 3 1/2 millimeter adapters.

Warning

Unplug all electrical equipment for at least 24 hours before working on it. Never use broken or damaged equipment.

About the Author

Josh Turner started writing in 2001. He wrote ad campaigns and business materials for Carpetland U.S.A. and his work has also appeared in his campus newspaper, “The Correspondent,” and “The Wellhouse” magazine. Turner is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics with a minor in journalism from Indiana University.