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previous: Zener I want to build a small practice am... -- 11/4/2003 7:52 PM View Thread

Re: Small guitar amp w/o tubes

1/19/2004 5:56 PM
Mark Hammer
Re: Small guitar amp w/o tubes
A great many of the smaller "starter" amps from Fender, Crate, and others use the power-amp chips from ST Microelectronics, such as the TDA2030, 2040, or 2050. These generally run a couple of bucks apiece. The more expensive part is scoring a suitable transformer.  
In truth, a couple of watts out of a nicely heatsinked LM380, 383, or 384 with a decent battery pack can be quite sufficient if you have a reasonably efficient speaker. An 8-pack of D-cells or C-cells and a 4-5watt chip can pack quite a wallop if the preamp is hot and the speaker is capable of moving some air.  
The other thing to consider is using low power chips in bridging mode. Even a chip as humble as an LM386 headphone amp can be coerced into providing respectable volume levels if you use a pair of them in bridging mode, where they operate in a complementary push-pull fashion. Check out the "Little Gem II" at