The 12 most outrageous homemade guitar amps on the internet

If you're a guitar player, no doubt you dreamed of plugging your trusty axe into a late '60s Marshall stack, a Fender combo, a Vox AC30, or perhaps a vintage Orange OR120. To say nothing of some of the newer bells-and-whistles-included guitar amps on the market.

But if your bank balance prohibits such luscious choices, fear not: you can still crank up some fairly bitchin' sounds from found household items like cigar boxes, beer cans - even a shotgun shell box, should you happen to have one of those just sitting around, collecting dust.

On the following pages, MusicRadar presents some of the more off-the-wall amplification inventions created by industrious pickers out there. Note: A couple of them have strong ties to beer. Coincidence? Hmmm... suds and rock 'n' roll. Draw your own conclusions.

Be warned, however: You may not want to try making all of these at home. On the other hand, these folks have, so choose your faves and go get 'em. Your neighbors and landlords will be thrilled.

12. 'Little Gem' homemade mini guitar amp

Ragtagbag made this nifty little travel amp for his teeny tiny guitar using a "Little Gem" amp design which he augmented with parts from Radio Shack and Jameco. We dig the amp, and the guitar is pretty cool, too, but his Chili Peppers licks could use a little woodshedding. Just sayin'.

11. Cigar box guitar amplifier

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, right? And once you're done, you can whack up a spiffy little cigar box amp that's just perfect for your guitar or harmonica. Don't want to get your hands dirty? No problem. Fuzzboxworld will build you a bespoke amp if you contact him at

10. Computer speaker amp

Got an old-school computer that's ready for the junk heap? Better hold on to those speakers. Skaternet's brother, Blake, can diss all he wants, but this little baby rocks just fine.

9. Cardboard box amp

Holycrapie is only 12 years old, and he built his own amp with some 'junky' speakers, a cardboard box, a nine-volt battery and some soldering knowhow. For a pre-teen, we give him two sets of devil's horns!

8. Cracker box amp

You've had your wine and cheese, but what do you do with that empty cracker box? Simple: you make an amp, of course!

7. Heineken beer can amp

You've just polished off a six-pack of Heinekens, so throwing the empties in the recycling bin is the natural thing to do. Not if you're vekx, you don't.

6. Homemade little guitar amps

Joe Wozniak has assembled three little beauties. And, yes, he sure does like his distortion!

5. Homemade 'Little Smokey' guitar amplifier

The price of the real Little Smokey guitar amps got you down? Jaywalker512 got around that. And so can you.

4. Amp in a bean can

PaoloJM rushes through Paradise City like he's gotta hit the toilet. Too many baked beans, perhaps? Possibly. But his amp, fashioned out of a Heinz bean can, sounds pretty juicy, especially when he dials it up.

3. Tin can amplifier

You're at a party and you have to rock that mandolin in a hurry. Relax, jadrael's got it all figured out with his tin can work of art.

2. Another 'Guinness' world record!

You'd think Jack Black could afford any amp under the sun. Yep, gearmanndude sure sounds like the Pick Of Destiny star, but he's not... At least, we don't think he is. No matter what his true identity may be, he's found a good use for that empty can of Guinness.

1. Shotgun shell box guitar amp

Ken and his son Thomas could've made their guitar amp from a Ritz cracker box. But hey, that's been done to death. So they decided to be different and use a shotgun shell box, which young Thomas can clip to his belt while he dishes out awe-inspiring Scorpions riffs.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.