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Old Radio Guitar Amps


Old Radio Guitar Amps

This is the group for Lo-Watt Rock & Blues.

Here is the place to post photos and information on how to convert vintage electronics into awesome sounding and really cool guitar amps.

I am not an expert at amps or electronics, I have dabbled off and on over the years and lately really finding my interest growing in the subject and have decided to put this group together for the more experienced people to join and teach us all...also a place to organize the info found on this site.

if you would like to study this topic more

visit the website



Here is an example of the great tone that can be found in a old radio.

there are several directions you can go in this area of amplification, you can hack and convert the existing electronics,(provided the radio still works) or you can convert new cigar box guitar amp kits that are for sale and just use the nifty 50's  radio bodies for that awesome retro look and feel....They will match your cigar box guitar and really are a joy to play!


also Amp kits are a great way for the novice to join!

anyone can do it, give it a try, you'll never play name brand again!



Members: 215
Latest Activity: Dec 8

Discussion Forum

1964 Philips AM/FM Radio to guitar amp project

Started by Scott aka Farmer Ted. Last reply by BeetleJuice! Nov 27. 2 Replies

Thank you beetle juice!

Started by Greg Thompson. Last reply by Jim Quinlan Nov 6. 5 Replies

3 tube 8 watter Valco style amp with swamp sound

Started by Doug Christensen. Last reply by Blind Lemon Cello Nov 26. 65 Replies

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Old Radio Guitar Amps to add comments!

Comment by Neil Johnson on December 7, 2014 at 10:30pm

I'll give it a go thanks for your help

Comment by Scott aka Farmer Ted on December 7, 2014 at 9:31pm

Wow, a printed perfboard...tough one. Short of having it in hand, a schematic would give a clue where to start. You have to disrupt the SW1 band switch (just right of center on photo #1). That is where the tuner module (big square clear plastic unit) sends its signal. From there it goes through the volume & tone stages, then the large AN7226 amp IC & other components before going to the speaker capacitor & out.

The smaller IC and capacitors, I believe, are the headphone jack amplifier section of the circuit...and not important to the matter at hand.

So if you just want an amp, with no radio function, I believe that band selector switch is your target. But that's all I got.

Comment by Neil Johnson on December 7, 2014 at 8:56pm

Thanks Scott. Unfortunately I have a slide volume and can't compare my board with yours. I will attache front and back pictures.

Comment by Scott aka Farmer Ted on December 7, 2014 at 6:22pm

Just look at my discussion above, titled "1964 Philips radio to guitar amp project". There are pictures and a description of what I just mentioned there so you can see what I mean. Good luck.

Comment by Scott aka Farmer Ted on December 7, 2014 at 6:19pm

You can keep the radio functioning, and also use as an amp by adding an on/on switch. If you have located the radio signal wire going to the volume pot, it is easy. An spdt switch has three prongs. The middle receives the radio signal. Cut and connect the line FROM the radio circuit to this middle prong. Then connect the other end of the radio signal wire that would continue to the volume to one of the outer switch prongs. The third prong (opposite side from your radio signal) gets connected to the positive of your input jack (where you plug in the guitar). Be sure to connect a ground wire to the ground lug of your jack, and connect that ground to the inside chassis/ground of the radio, or you will have an open ground and guitar wont make a sound.

With this simple addition, you get to keep the radio working, and you can flip the switch and rock out with your guitar.

Comment by Neil Johnson on December 7, 2014 at 10:30am

I don't know if you can help me by looking at pictures. I want to disable the FM or AM so that I don't get all the radio static when using it as a amp. I had taped into the volume switch by trial and error. Can you explain how to disable the AM of FM?

Comment by BeetleJuice! on December 4, 2014 at 7:23pm

Not as "alive " as this cool atomic mind blowing radio I just found on ebay!

Comment by Scott aka Farmer Ted on December 2, 2014 at 5:00pm

Johnny 5 is alive...more input Stephanie!!!

Comment by BeetleJuice! on December 2, 2014 at 10:55am

Check out this chrome RCA Victor ...just 19 bucks on ebay!

Comment by Jim Quinlan on November 28, 2014 at 10:29am

Hi Beetlejuice. Thats exactly what I will use if for. Going to build a Red CBG to match it!. If I cannot get it to work I will install a small amp and use the speaker at least. The case is actually chipboard covered with vinyl.


Members (215)



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