Upcycled Practice Amp Build goes to Eleven

What would you say to someone who gives a musical instrument as a gift to a child in your life? In most cases, the “enemy of life” is the correct answer, but not everyone feels so unprepared, and may even try to increase the volume a bit. The same is true of this wonderfully detailed practice amp for grandchildren’s electric eucalyptus.

Appropriate name [packrat] Truly it has created a Tour de Force of scrap bin sourcing. The amp is built around a module recovered from an old TV, a stereo Class-D amp that was modified to provide 30 watt output and a volume control. The driver came from the flood-damaged speaker unit, and the power supply came from a broken wall. The case was made of scrap plywood and covered with gravel-grain fabric to give it a pro audio look, while the electronics chassis was bent from a piece of sheet steel.

But it’s the tiny details that really sell this project. Everything from the pilot light to the pointer knob screams the 1970s, like the rugged front panel letters and the vinyl “Monkeydyne” logo. [packrat] It even went the extra mile to create an engraved brass serial number plate, a mock spec and protection label, and even a QA inspection tag that was a (type) staple inside the cabinet.

We tip our hats [packrat] For this four month labor of love and the journey of obvious nostalgia, which the kids will surely love. [packrat] Admittedly, some will argue with his decision to use a Class D amp and a switch-mode power supply, but let’s be real – for the application, this is probably more than enough.

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