George “the Fat Man” Sanger is back with a new way to enhance your guitar sound. His Goodwill Amp Enhancer is a DIY version of the commercially available Enhancer, which beefs up the tone of open-back amps by redirecting the “lost” sound to the front. The nicely finished commercial versions start at $150 (, but the Fat Man built his enhancer out of a $15 computer desk he scavenged from a thrift shop. “It took just an hour or two,” he reports, “and adds wonderful tone to my amp.” In addition to reinforcing the sound, the Goodwill Amp Enhancer points the amp at your head, letting you hear yourself louder than, and before, your bandmates do. That helps you play better, and your bandmates don’t hate you for playing too loud.

Project Steps

Ready the donor.

Pull the sides off the donor, place them on the floor, and lay your amp on its side in the tipped-back position you want it to sit on the stand.

The back of the stand needs to rise above the opening in the back of your amp to seal it off, but it mustn’t block any essential controls. The bottom-front edge of the amp will come right to the front of the stand.

Make the side panels.

Mark the outline with a Sharpie, and saw along the resulting L-shaped line.

Now your side panels are done, and they should look something like that one particularly odd block in the game Blockhead!

Make the floor and back wall.

Make a floor and back wall for the amp by hot-gluing the other wood between the 2 side panels.

You may need one additional narrow piece to bridge from the top of this back wall to the spot on your amp where the open back stops and the controls begin. Don’t worry if you mess up; hot glue can be broken free and redone easily.

Make it permanent.

Once it looks right, make it permanent by sinking some screws in from the sides.

Caulk up the cracks, then glue the weather-stripping to the edges that will touch your amp.

Hear the Goodwill Amp Enhancer: “This stand will make your amp sound so much better,” the Fat Man promises. “It has to be heard to be believed.”


This project originally appeared in MAKE Magazine Volume 10.

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