Flashback: The $5 Cracker Box Amplifier

Flashback: The  Cracker Box Amplifier

What goes better with a Cigar Box Guitar (MAKE Volume 04) than a Cracker Box Amp? Author Ed Vogel presented us this project in MAKE Volume 09 for just that reason. It’s like chocolate and peanut butter, really. Ed linked up with Blind Lightnin’ Pete, who shared the design for the amp and let Ed modify it. Ed’s version is a workable little practice amp with parts and tools that can all be purchased from RadioShack and can be built in an hour. Here’s a glance at the materials list:


A fun project to work on, cheap to build, and priceless when you see people’s facial expressions at you playing a cigar box amplified through a cracker box. Here’s the whole project in our Digital Edition. Make sure to check out the project page for video footage of Blind Lightnin’ Pete playing the “Out of Milk and Butter Blues,” and for an extensive and lively discussion of the build.

If you don’t already own Volume 09, unfortunately we’re sold out, but if you subscribe, all of the back issues will be at your disposal through the Digital Edition.

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at snowgoli@gmail.com or via @snowgoli.

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