Mini DIY amp kits?

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SeshSesh Frets: 933
I'm thinking of building a mini amp. I'd like something that I can just grab and plug in quickly. My normal amp lives in the wardrobe as space is a problem. I have a Marshall MS2 but it's rubbish. 
Has anyone built a noisy cricket:
https://shop.pedalparts.co.uk/Ruby__Noisy_Cricket_Mini_Guitar_Amp_-_board-mounted_controls/p847124_13914413.aspx

Or the jamjar ones:
https://www.thejamjaramps.com/store

If anyone could vouch for something similar I'd be interested. I'm not looking for anything super amazing or expensive.

Though, the new mini Laney amps look tempting....
Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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Comments

  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1448

    Dumb question but have you thought about a better speaker enclosure for the MS-2?  (Or are you just looking for something with more controls.)

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  • SeshSesh Frets: 933
    Not a dumb question. Not something I have considered. I will now. There would be nothing to lose by trying. Thanks.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9147
    I made a noisy cricket. It sounds great through a 2x12


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  • SeshSesh Frets: 933
    WezV said:
    I made a noisy cricket. It sounds great through a 2x12


    Current thinking is putting one in one of those little wooden boxes a bottle of wine comes in. I wonder if if sounds good with two or three inch speakers. Is it too much to expect to get good clean and dirty tones at kids-in-bed volumes from a £20 kit?
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9147
    I have never actually tried it through anything smaller, not sure I have anything but might have a play at some point.

    speakers are often the weak link in any cheap solid state amp.. so don’t expect miracles
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 434
    I've a Smokey amp. It sounds great through cabs. Plug it into a 4 x 12 and you get great crunch. Use the 2 inch paper speakers and got get a decent fuzz tone. 

    I'm sure the noisy crickets/ruby would sound great through a decent speaker. Problem is that it's still loud. I have an Orange PPC 108 and 1w is bloody loud through out. Noisy cricket might give you a bit more volume control though 
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1639
    Sesh said:
    I'm thinking of building a mini amp. I'd like something that I can just grab and plug in quickly. My normal amp lives in the wardrobe as space is a problem. I have a Marshall MS2 but it's rubbish. 

    Stick the ms2 through a decent speaker - at least 10”...
    or even a 4x12 if you have one...

    thank me later! :)
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  • SeshSesh Frets: 933
    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    As much as I'd like to have a 4 X 12 to put the ms2 or a noisy cricket through it's not really what i am after. I want something small and portable. Something I can grab from a drawer, plug the guitar into and play straight away. I don't have room for anything big. My main amp, which is only a 20W vox combo has o live in the bottom of the wardrobe. When I only have five minutes to play I don't want to spend 2 minutes digging it out and 2 minutes putting it back.

    Volume is a problem. The ms2 sounds awful at low volume, the tone control doesn't improve things and you can't get any decent overdrive quietly. That's something I can do with the vox, but it's not always convenient, as I said.

    It's good to know the noisy crickets are capable of producing decent sounds. It's whether I could coax those out with a small speaker at low volume. 
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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  • SargeSarge Frets: 1521
    edited March 12
    I get some great sounds from my wee Orange Micro Crush at low volume, has a drive switch which is useful for fuzz when it's tone is way down, or guitar volume on 1, drive on and amp volume up high,... hissy but sounds good.
    also its headphone out is useful  
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 1639
    edited March 12
    @sesh if it helps, here’s a pedal demo I did of a fuzzdog kit pedal... the amp used was a reboxed ms2 plugged into a small 6inch speaker... and was recorded very quietly whilst the kids were in bed... ok the drive is coming from the pedal but the amp only tone at the start isn’t that bad!...

    https://youtu.be/MwTyZNBmIIA

    Ignore the dodgy playing!
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 3072
    Roland microcube
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  • GrangousierGrangousier Frets: 193
    When I bought a JC40 on here recently from @solar he was selling a Fender Greta at the same time, so I got that on a whim, and I must admit it's had all the love so far - it sits on the table next to my usual chair and if I feel like playing a guitar I just plug it in and it sounds lovely at comfortably low noodle-along-to-the-TV volumes, even getting all soft and valvey. Highly recommended for that sort of thing, and as it's a bit of an objet d'art in its own right acceptable to leave lying around without making the room untidy. 

    (The Roland is great, too, but a completely different use case.)
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  • SeshSesh Frets: 933
    Sarge said:
    I get some great sounds from my wee Orange Micro Crush at low volume, has a drive switch which is useful for fuzz when it's tone is way down, or guitar volume on 1, drive on and amp volume up high,... hissy but sounds good.
    also its headphone out is useful  
    Roland microcube
    I haven't ruled out buying a small amp like those above. My daughter has a Katana Mini, that I do covet slightly. When we got it I hoped to try an orange micro crush but the shop didn't have any. The new Laney mini amps certainly interest me if I don't make something.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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  • SeshSesh Frets: 933
    poopot said:
    @sesh if it helps, here’s a pedal demo I did of a fuzzdog kit pedal... the amp used was a reboxed ms2 plugged into a small 6inch speaker... and was recorded very quietly whilst the kids were in bed... ok the drive is coming from the pedal but the amp only tone at the start isn’t that bad!...

    https://youtu.be/MwTyZNBmIIA

    Ignore the dodgy playing!
    No dodgy playing there...

    It does show that there is potential in the ms2. Maybe I could mod mine to improve the tonal control and add some sort of master volume. And maybe a new speaker.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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  • SeshSesh Frets: 933
    When I bought a JC40 on here recently from @solar he was selling a Fender Greta at the same time, so I got that on a whim, and I must admit it's had all the love so far - it sits on the table next to my usual chair and if I feel like playing a guitar I just plug it in and it sounds lovely at comfortably low noodle-along-to-the-TV volumes, even getting all soft and valvey. Highly recommended for that sort of thing, and as it's a bit of an objet d'art in its own right acceptable to leave lying around without making the room untidy. 

    (The Roland is great, too, but a completely different use case.)
    Never seen a Greta before. Cute. 
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 13
    ordered a noisy cricket kit, first attempt at 'building' a pedal / amp, so it could go horribly wrong, but I've got a 10 inch Marshall cab, and also a 4 x 12, so it will be interesting. Thinking of mounting it in a small box with a decent 6 inch speaker for a portable noise solution. I almost got a Jamjar too, but that might have to wait --looks like fun.
    I'll keep you posted.
    cheers
    andy k
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  • SeshSesh Frets: 933
    andy_k said:
    ordered a noisy cricket kit, first attempt at 'building' a pedal / amp, so it could go horribly wrong, but I've got a 10 inch Marshall cab, and also a 4 x 12, so it will be interesting. Thinking of mounting it in a small box with a decent 6 inch speaker for a portable noise solution. I almost got a Jamjar too, but that might have to wait --looks like fun.
    I'll keep you posted.
    cheers
    andy k
    Sounds interesting. Hope it goes well.
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 13
    Kit arrived today,all present and correct as far as i can tell.Looks easy enough, and they do warn that it doesnt come with step by step instructions, well made though, very neat little box, I went for the bells and whistles jobby that has extra tone controls. Going to have to wait for a day when I have nothing else to do though-which might not be for a while.
    Looking forward to it though.
    cheers
    andy k
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 4078
    Blackstar Fly is a big improvement on something like an MS2.  Guitar Magazine were giving them away with subscriptions at the Guitar Show in Birmingham last year so someone may have one surplus to requirements.
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  • SeshSesh Frets: 933
    crunchman said:
    Blackstar Fly is a big improvement on something like an MS2.  Guitar Magazine were giving them away with subscriptions at the Guitar Show in Birmingham last year so someone may have one surplus to requirements.
    When my daughter got her Katana Mini we did an a/b between that and a Fly. The katana was much better.
    The more I think about this, the idea of building a kit does appeals the most. So I'll probably buy one of any of the amps listed above...
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 434
    @Sesh there's a schematic for a version of the cricket called the Jody which has a Tubescreamer circuit to give more gain of needed as well as clean. Looks interesting 

    http://mylkstuff.com/page35.htm


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  • SeshSesh Frets: 933
    @flying_pie thanks. That answered many questions. As a total amateur when it comes to electronics that site is really helpful. Thanks again
    Can't sing, can't dance, can handle a guitar a little.
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