CBA – Cigar Box Amp for CBG.

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I had this idea for a long time. So long that I started to notice that some other CBG hobbyists started to make them. The guitar amplifiers made from the cigar boxes – cigar box amp. 

And my idea is to build a very basic SMALL amp which can operate on a 9V battery.

So, here what I had for this project:

Small Cohiba cigar box: from some point of time my local cigar stores started to give away the cigar boxes if the are smaller than a certain size.


2 Watt speaker from the old computer audio system:


And here what I had to add:

  • 3/4 input jack ($0.70).
  • 9V battery connector ($0.90).
  • Switch ($1.50).
  •  And finally the amplifier module itself. After some research I’ve ended up with this one:
    LM386 Mini DC 3V To 12V Amplifier Board

    LM386 Mini DC 3V To 12V Amplifier Board
    LM386 Mini DC 3V To 12V Amplifier Board

That’s actually it. As you may see on the upper images the amplifier module is quite small. And 3 of 4 sides have the connection/control elements:

  • DC Input;
  • Audio Input;
  • Volume Control.

There is no way that I can adjust the amp module in the cigar box to make all 3 things accessible from outside. That’s when it’s time for soldering!
So I extended all three controls with the wire. The “spider” on the following image is the result of this soldering.

So. The final result is like this:

When I demonstrated it to my son last weekend I asked him: “Sound awful. Isn’t it?”.
He responded immediately with the question: “But that was the point. Isn’t it?” 🙂

The following is just a demo of the sound. Nothing more.
Oh, and the sound was recorded through the Fishman Loudbox Mini.
But the only alteration to the sound made is a slight reverb. No any other effects.

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  1. Man I think that sounded awesome! I just started learning guitar at the age of 46 so what do I know. But…I really like that old school blues sound, very cool.


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