In progress: Electric Racket & 1941 RCA Victor guitar amp

My first Cigar Box Guitar build will begin this week, but this past weekend, I started working out some issues with this wacky "Electric Racket" guitar.

This is not really a "serious" design (obviously) but I do plan on having some fun in experimenting with different pickups, including the cheap single coil (pictured) and a couple of older humbuckers that I have, as well as playing with piezos mounted at different locations. The 1/4" phone jack and pot can be seen mounted in the racket strings using some fender washers.

Working through this build, I've learned a few things about construction (like don't drill the tuner holes in the headstock too early & gluing up scarf joints is tricky as they slide around!)

The radio in the photo is a 1941 RCA Victor BT25-2. I saw this in an antique store a few weeks ago and was surprised at the low price tag ($27.50). I've been kicking myself ever since for not buying it, because its gorgeous form factor and condition was seared on my brain. The antique store is over 2 hours from my house, but last Friday afternoon I made the journey in hopes that it would still be there. (Obviously, it was.) I noticed the probable reason for the low price was that the tuning indicator and string was missing, but this did not bother me as I plan on using the case to house a speaker and 5W solid state guitar amp. I will drill no holes in the beautiful case. The back is open and will mount the solid state amp, pots, and jacks in the back where they won't damage the outward appearance of the vintage radio. I will need to find a decent speaker to use with the little 5W amp and I plan to replace the original radio speaker behind the cool wooden grill with that speaker.

I'm not sure if the original radio (or at least the tube amp circuitry) inside the radio still works or if it would be practical to us it in some way, in the future. Anyone with experience in that arena, please be sure to comment.

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Comment by Ron "Oily" Sprague on June 23, 2014 at 2:12pm

Check out Beetlejuice (John McNair) 's radio amp conversions:

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