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 This instructable is for a cigar box guitar amp, powered by a 9V battery, that I built around the MintyAmp circuit board found on The entire cost was under $30, but could be less depending on what parts you already have laying around. 

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
-1- Cigar Box (mine was about 9x9x2 inches with walls thick enough to stay sturdy) ($3)
-1- MintyAmps Base Model (assembled) from  (7.45 + shipping)
-2- small speakers (mine were about 2.5 inches in diameter taken from a cheap set of computer speakers) ($1)
-1- SPSD on/off toggle switch ($2 or so?)
-1- Volume knob/ potentiometer with as low resistance as possible  (free because I already had it)
-1- mono 1/4 inch jack  ($2 or so ?)
-1- 9 volt battery connector ($2 for a pack of 5)
-1- 9 volt battery (free with circuit board)
-2- 9 volt battery holders ($1.50 for pack of 2)
- extra wires (free, take them from anything)
bmorgan86 years ago
Does this work with any kind of speakers?:P
lbeig baker7 years ago
My husband bought me one on line and I love it. However, I can't wait to try and make my own. THANKS,
dirtyroger8 years ago
I'm amazed with the design, i love the wooden speaker hole/gril effect.

Can you add a gain control somehow???

I've started a blog for my first CBG build here
Hi! Great Instructable! I am planning on building my own guitar this week and now I think I might just build this too! The only question I ask, is what is the point of the circuit board? Can I make it without that? (I am trying to get everything in one trip and don't really want to order anything) Thanks!
The circuit board is the actual amplifier. If you know how to wire up an amplifier circuit from scratch then I guess you wouldn't need it, but that's beyond my abilities. I think on the site I linked to it lists all the specific pieces that are on the board. You could probably get them all at radio shack and wire it up yourself.
Kroco9 years ago

This seems interesting to make.
The link for the "MintyAmps" show a empty page, which one can a use instead?


benjaminmailloux (author)  Kroco9 years ago
 Well it looks like they don't have the Pre-assembled PCB on their site right now. I'm assuming it will be back eventually, but if not, the link to the kit (Which includes the base PCB and all the components, just not assembled) is here.
Ho, Thanks, I'm not really good for all that electronic things.
I'll wait for the assembled one.

benjaminmailloux (author) 9 years ago
 I actually just finally got an electric too, so I'll record and post clips of both within the next few days. Great idea!
You said that you use this with an acoustic?  Any chance you could post a sound clip?  Also, what do you suppose it would sound like with a bigger speaker and larger box?  Any ideas?  Thanks.  Nice project.
lemonie9 years ago
Quite nice, how does the sound alter open/shut?

benjaminmailloux (author)  lemonie9 years ago
 The sound is a little bit more full when the cover is closed, I didn't think the small box would give too much resonance, but it does enough. 

The real difference between open/ shut seems to be feedback. I've been using an acoustic guitar with a peizo-electric pickup which feeds back easier than most, and with the cover closed, I can bring the sound-hole of the guitar to within a foot of the speakers before it starts to feed back. With the cover open, I have to back up to about 3 feet or I get some unwanted feedback.  
Thanks, that's interesting. Box closed you've got some effects on the back-sides of the speakers, copy and past this info' into step 5?

benjaminmailloux (author) 9 years ago
 Thanks! I've been playing with it some more the last few days, and surprisingly, the battery is still holding up extremely well! It seems that you can easily get several hours of continuous use out of one 9 volt battery! This is even with 2 speakers wired in parallel, as opposed to the circuit's intended single smaller speaker. 
blam729 years ago
Very cool.  Thank you for including the info and battery life.  I definitely going to give this one a try.  I recently downsized at home and have been looking for an "interestng" amp to replace my full size amp with. 
Doctor What9 years ago
Now that is a sexy amp!  It definitely has the coffeeshop/museum feel.  Very nice idea!