John Wilson of Minneapolis, MN, created the Stella Amp, his own twist on the cigar box amp.
The Stella Amp is a portable battery powered guitar amplifier! Perfect for making your own mini-practice amp, cigar box amplifier, headphone amplifier, or any other kind of battery powered amplifier you can think of.
Engineered for a good clean tone, the Stella amp uses a TBA820M for the back end, with a rail-to-rail opamp on the front end for maximum headroom. But unlike other amps, you don’t have to crank it to get it to sound good! The Stella amp was designed in an apartment late at night while my kids were sleeping. Anything that didn’t sound good at low volume levels got fixed early in the process.
Many mini-amps use an LM386 for the power stage. The LM386 has a,,, shall we say, characteristic sound. If you love that sound, then great! If you’re not a fan of the LM386, or if you just want a little versatility, then check this amp out!
John sells these kits for $35 a pop, though they’re on sale until 10/23 at five dollars off.