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DIY practice amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by djole94hns, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. Hello there... I am really, REALLY tight with the money, but I need an amp of some sort to practice my bass playing. I tought if I built something like VOX amPlug, or something similar, it would turn out cheap. My question is this: what is, by far, the cheapest solution for me? And don't say "just practice without an amp", I already am :) Since I am a beginner, I would like to at least get a general idea of what I am playing would sound amplified, so I need a solution for this... Thanks in advance!

    I am good with electronics, so throw any solution at me if you find it cheap and doable. :)
  2. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    You said any solution so....

    way back when I was in your shoes I found stereo's worked. If you got the right cable/adapter or can make the right kind of adapter, they usually have a preamp circuit that can get the job done. I used my dad's 70's 65 watt home stereo for the first year or so of my bass playing. Pretty much anything that has an input meant for a mp3 player or something might work. some car radios will do it.

    If you have the parts or can get them you can try something off this site. Most the schematics look decent. http://www.freeinfosociety.com/media_index.php?cat=13&start=0
  3. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    you can also look up how to plug into your computer and play. there's lots of ways to do it, some easier than others.
  4. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Go to your local craigslist or pawnshop and pick up an old Peavey Minx110, Basic12, or TKO for less than $100.
  5. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    Tape a stethoscope to your bass

    Don't know how many of those there'll be in Serbia.
  6. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Aha....Peavey is about as worldwide distributed as it gets. Do they have pawnshops in Serbia?

    How about thrift stores or yard sales?

    There will be a Peavey somewhere in Serbia. :)

    OP, just look for anything used and cheap that works. People have always been able to find some cheap old something, even before the internet. If you found a computer and an internet connection ( or a smartphone ), you will be able to find some little amp that works too.
  7. Thanks, already looking into that :)

    Tried, way too much lag... :(

    I dont even have 50, and there is some cheap stuff online, but everything is over 50 euros...

    That is actually genius :)

    No thrift stores, no yard sales, pawnshops - no thanks, I've seen what overpriced crap they offer... But thanks anyway :)
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Got it....just trying to help......pricetags at pawnshops are merely suggestions....hoping some fool will pay it. Everything is negotiable. Just know they didn't pay more than 1/4 to at the very most 1/3 of what they're asking. ;)
  9. I understand, I just dont find pawnshops very reliable, thats all :) its just my opinion, I dont know how well others have fared in those places, I would like to hear your experiences with pawnshops if you have some :D
  10. ZachariahLee


    Feb 3, 2013
  11. Ok, so here is what I got around the house:

    VIVAX HT-100 "amp" from a 5.1 surround sysem, it has a subwoofer I guess (lost the speakers):




    6.3mm to 3.5mm jack, and 3.5 to 3.5 cable (1/4 inch to 1/8 inch for you Americans ;) ):



    And of course a bass guitar:


    Any ideas? I tought of a RCA to 3.5mm cable for input, and some cheap, but large enough speakers for output.
  12. When I first started, I used my stereo with mono to stereo cables. Otherwise, there are many headphone amps that will do the trick. If you find a used keyboard amp, they work as well. Just try using what you have available until you get something better.
  13. All I have available are pretty much my ears :) If I do not find a veeeery cheap solution, I guess they'll have to do until I get the money :D
  14. Pawn shops are just an opportunity to negotiate for the things you find. First, know what you are looking for, and are willing to spend. I own several pawn shop treasures. Offer 60% to 75% of the asking price. They will often let you pay for the item in installments.
  15. +1 on the link!

    Currently in the process of building the 380 watt amp listed there.
    ACTUALLY, I just checked the link and that's not the page I use.
    Same site, but the projects are listed different.
    Check here for more music related circuits, and I HIGHLY recommend trying the 20 watt amp near the top with an 8 ohm used car speaker, or 2 4-ohm car speakers wired in series. It lists ALL the parts you need to build it, as well as a picture of a PCB layout with etchable design.

    If you're really good with projects like this, it should be cinch and fairly cheap!

    EDIT: There's also a headphone amplifier schematic lower in the page, in the H section. Okay, it's not a section, but you get what I mean, right?
    ANOTHER Edit, cuz why not? : Places to buy parts -> Mouser, Futurlec, etc.

    Wow, more edits.
    I forgot to include the link.
  16. I also used to practice with my ear against my bass. The sound from the instrument, unplugged is what I use as my standard, when I hear it through an amp.
  17. Can you link some examples of headphone amps? I cant find any :/
    Thanks for the help, all of you, by the way :)
  18. Signs

    Signs Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Muskegon, MI

    With this one, you can play an MP3, IPOD, smart phone, cd player, lap top etc into the amp at the same time you play your bass, and hear everything through your headphones...
  19. Woodstockz


    Sep 23, 2011
    San Diego, Ca

    Pawn shops are experts in buying things cheap from people that are desperate for money...However, they are not usually the greatest sales people. They build up inventory, and they need money to pay the rent, salaries and bills. If you have some money, they are willing to deal. I always get some sort of discount, or I walk out.
  20. Woodstockz


    Sep 23, 2011
    San Diego, Ca
    If you are good with electronics, a DIY headphone amp is definitely the way to go.