• Red LED in Housing
    This is handy because a resistor is already installed in the housing, saving you some time and soldering.
  • On/Off Switch
  • Gain
  • Volume

Little Gem

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This is my build of the Little Gem battery powered guitar amplifier, which I've housed in a cigar box. This circuit was also feature in Make 09 as the "$5.00 Cracker Box Amp". Mine cost considerably more, but I went through a lot of trial and error. This build is still a work in progress (note the lack of speaker grill and mismatched knobs).

It achieves a great, rich distortion and has decent volume for its size; however, I'm having trouble getting a clean sound out of it - even with the gain all the way down, the sound still breaks up (especially the low notes). I may try downgrading the 5k gain pot to 1k.

  1. Derrick Moreno 92 months ago | reply

    Very nice amp! Both of my amps are in wood boxes, but the first is paper covered. Here's my second attempt with an all wood box

  2. jordanzanatta 82 months ago | reply

    I'm pretty sure bringing the 5K to to 1K would give you more distortion. A 10K pot would be better. I'm probably a little late lol

  3. your mistakes are your style 55 months ago | reply

    Here's mine from 3 years ago:


    I made a new one today for the next generation of guitar stranglers, pics to come. This one looks and sounds a lot better. Time to make a new one for myself as well.

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