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joshhill67

Silent Guitar with 3.5mm output jack?

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Hey guys - I am building a silent guitar (steel string) to practice on at home, and don't really need to output anything to an amp. In fact, I would rather not, because I find amps are too loud for small rooms on anything other than the lowest volume setting. Most of the time I would probably play without any sort of amplification, just listening to the natural sound of the strings. Occasionally I might like to listen through headphones. Perhaps, once or twice in a blue moon, I would play something out loud on my Hi-Fi setup.

I was wondering if any of the smart people here can advise me on how I might be able to do this? My understanding of electric guitars is minimal, but I understand speakers and amps a little bit.

As I understand it, speakers require an amp of some description to power them. Headphones however are so efficient that they don't need this - do you think I could go straight from pickup to headphones via 3.5mm headphone jack? Or am I missing something important that the guitar amp does as well as just amplify the sound? As in, convert the signal into something that can be output as sound?

Sorry if this is a stupid question - thanks for the help!

Josh

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there is about a billion ways to go on that.  have a look here:

http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.com/2012/04/noisy-cricket-mkii.html

this layout is on vero board.  vero board is fairly easy to build a circuit on... you can find all sorts of other layouts for a "vero board" headphone amp too.  the one above has an optional headphone out that would be perfect for you.  the amp itself could go to a small speaker that you could even mount in your guitar.  You could also add a two pole two throw switch to send your guitar pickups to the amp, or direct out to a jack for going external. 

I don't know what kind of input your hifi is expecting... but you may try a regular guitar into it just to see if it works ok. 

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here's another... it's got everything you need and even less parts. 

https://paulinthelab.blogspot.com/2014/07/ruby-amplifier-stripboard-layout.html

here is an explanation of how to hook the above amp to a speaker and jack to be able to use either.

http://www.runoffgroove.com/faq.html

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3 hours ago, joshhill67 said:

Thank you! That looks fairly simple. I will give it a shot and report back!

surprisingly good sounding amp too.  I built one in a keepsafe box as my 'testing amp' with an 8" speaker... pretty darn loud and sounds really good.  you won't be dissapointed.  holla if I can help at all!

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On 1/8/2019 at 3:01 PM, mistermikev said:

surprisingly good sounding amp too.  I built one in a keepsafe box as my 'testing amp' with an 8" speaker... pretty darn loud and sounds really good.  you won't be dissapointed.  holla if I can help at all!

Back again - with a rather stupid (perhaps) question - is there any difference between a guitar amp and a regular amp?

I actually have already a small amp - this one: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUX-Mini-DC-3-7-12V-5V-TDA2822M-2-0-CH-Stereo-Audio-Power-Amplifier-Board/173519470063?hash=item286690fdef:g:6N0AAOSwmtJXV-8g:rk:14:pf:0

Would this work?

(I know this might appear to he a question with a very simple answer - try it and find out. Actually the amp never worked, and because it was more for fun than anything else, I never bothered to find out why. If this will actually be suitable for the project I will try re-soldering it.

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49 minutes ago, joshhill67 said:

Back again - with a rather stupid (perhaps) question - is there any difference between a guitar amp and a regular amp?

I actually have already a small amp - this one: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AUX-Mini-DC-3-7-12V-5V-TDA2822M-2-0-CH-Stereo-Audio-Power-Amplifier-Board/173519470063?hash=item286690fdef:g:6N0AAOSwmtJXV-8g:rk:14:pf:0

Would this work?

(I know this might appear to he a question with a very simple answer - try it and find out. Actually the amp never worked, and because it was more for fun than anything else, I never bothered to find out why. If this will actually be suitable for the project I will try re-soldering it.

not exactly an expert but there are differences for sure.  for the most part the biggest difference is that a guitar preamp will likely have freq shelves at front and after any amplifying stages to ensure that noise is kept down by cutting out freq above/below the guitars range.  Also, in the guitar world we actually like distortion, so hifi has a dif meaning alltogether... but will it work - yes.  the one possible pinch point is what sort of input it is expecting.  it might not sound the greatest... but it should work on some level or another.  when I was young I plugged my guitar into an aux in on a home stereo... worked fine.  that said... you can buy the parts for a ruby for less than 10 bux and you will learn a lot building one... highly recommended.

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22 hours ago, mistermikev said:

not exactly an expert but there are differences for sure.  for the most part the biggest difference is that a guitar preamp will likely have freq shelves at front and after any amplifying stages to ensure that noise is kept down by cutting out freq above/below the guitars range.  Also, in the guitar world we actually like distortion, so hifi has a dif meaning alltogether... but will it work - yes.  the one possible pinch point is what sort of input it is expecting.  it might not sound the greatest... but it should work on some level or another.  when I was young I plugged my guitar into an aux in on a home stereo... worked fine.  that said... you can buy the parts for a ruby for less than 10 bux and you will learn a lot building one... highly recommended.

Well... I built the amp above and as a result... had an amp that didn't work :D But, Thank you for the suggestion - I will see if I can fix this one, and if I can, might be braver about trying another! If not, I suppose I can canabalise one of those Headphone Guitar Amp things you see on Ebay for £10.

I would like to throw another complication into the mix however... I said in the origional post I wanted a "silent" guitar with the possibility to amplify it, so that I could practice at home without disturbing people, but play through headphones. Well, I COULD have just used an electric guitar not plugged in (seeing as I have an electric guitar). What I should have said is that the reason I am building this instead of using an unplugged elecrtic is because I want the difficulty of playing an acoustic guitar (the thicker, tougher strings, and the wider neck) so that if I ever want to play acoustic, I can.

I know this changes slightly how I will amplify the sound - are there any thicker "acoustic style" strings that work for electric guitar? Will any heavy, thick gague wires work? Or do I need to start messing around with different types of pickup?

Thank you!

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16 minutes ago, joshhill67 said:

Well... I built the amp above and as a result... had an amp that didn't work :D But, Thank you for the suggestion - I will see if I can fix this one, and if I can, might be braver about trying another! If not, I suppose I can canabalise one of those Headphone Guitar Amp things you see on Ebay for £10.

I would like to throw another complication into the mix however... I said in the origional post I wanted a "silent" guitar with the possibility to amplify it, so that I could practice at home without disturbing people, but play through headphones. Well, I COULD have just used an electric guitar not plugged in (seeing as I have an electric guitar). What I should have said is that the reason I am building this instead of using an unplugged elecrtic is because I want the difficulty of playing an acoustic guitar (the thicker, tougher strings, and the wider neck) so that if I ever want to play acoustic, I can.

I know this changes slightly how I will amplify the sound - are there any thicker "acoustic style" strings that work for electric guitar? Will any heavy, thick gague wires work? Or do I need to start messing around with different types of pickup?

Thank you!

I have a whole box of shame... circuits I built that didn't work and I couldn't figure out the issue.  95% of the time I can figure things out with an audio probe/multi-meter.  Recently built a dimension c clone and it worked first time (lucky!) but on some builds... you just have to know when your licked... no shame there!  Live to fight another day!

afa thicker strings... you put a set of 12 guage strings on an elec and it will def work out your fingers.  light guage acoustic strings are usually 11s. 

neck thickness between elec and acoustic is not necc dif unless you are talking classical.

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5 hours ago, mistermikev said:

I have a whole box of shame... circuits I built that didn't work and I couldn't figure out the issue.  95% of the time I can figure things out with an audio probe/multi-meter.  Recently built a dimension c clone and it worked first time (lucky!) but on some builds... you just have to know when your licked... no shame there!  Live to fight another day!

afa thicker strings... you put a set of 12 guage strings on an elec and it will def work out your fingers.  light guage acoustic strings are usually 11s. 

neck thickness between elec and acoustic is not necc dif unless you are talking classical.

Without a probe or multi-meter I wouldn't even be able to troubleshoot problems effectively... plan B would be touching up any bad looking solders, then plan C unsoldering and resoldering the entire board...

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