As of lately, I have been inspired to attempt to create a mini guitar amp. My hope would be to create an amp of small size that also provides a good quality tone and decent sized sound. I used this opportunity to do some research and “look outward” into the possibilities. Here are a few examples that I was able to find.
The Chiquita Guitar Amp – http://diystrat.blogspot.com/2008/12/chiquita-amp.html –
This tiny amp had an attractive style in my opinion. The creator had made a Strat for his daughter and wanted her to have a small amp to go with it. This amp has a pretty simplistic circuit and provides volume control, which I did not see much of when exploring these homemade micro amps. The rustic design has its charm and this amp supplies a lot of sound for such a small device.
Sweet Portable Guitar Amp – http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Sweet-Portable-Guitar-Amp/ –
This design was incredibly clever, and as a result, this device is incredibly compact and easy to move from place to place. The creator had a bunch of Gum containers laying around and decided to make use of them. This gripes I have with this design is that, while incredibly clever, it is not that aesthetically pleasing. Also, since it is using such a small speaker, which allows for the small size, it has a very quiet sound. In the demo video, you7 can barely hear it over his guitar.
Simple DIY MINI Amp – http://diystrat.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-to-make-kids-portable-guitar.html –
This small device comes from the same creator as the Chiquita Banana Guitar amp. However, with this iteration, he has created an even more compact and sleek design. He was clever in the utilization of certain parts in order to bring this thing to life, such as the speaker cover being a fan cover from a PC. Its very small and portable, has a good looking design, and a decent sound for such a small device. My only gripe is that he gave the user very little control. It is only a straight amplified signal from jack to speaker. I would have liked to see volume control or something.
Components/ Sensors –
Piezo Element – https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10293 –
I have seen these, but in regards to sound manipulation, I have never been able to use them. They are essentially a knock or vibration sensor, the can also be used as a buzzer. I think it would be fun to try and implement them as a guitar pickup, and see how well the pickup the vibration of the strings.
NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile – https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12805 –
This device is a head mounted EEG sensor that can read your brainwaves and convert them into data via Bluetooth. I have experimented with wearable light-up mask technology (as has Graham) and I think it would be fun to try and implement this device in that avenue. Perhaps the mask can change color or expression depending on mood.