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Old 30th May 2011, 04:14 AM   #1
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Default Turning Line 6 POD 2.0 into a practice amp


I have an old POD 2.0 that's been sitting in the garage for more than a year, and I had the idea to turn it into a practice amp. (I have a POD X3 Live I use most of the time.) I was considering buying a cheap set of computer speakers and mounting them with the POD in an enclosure. However, having recently built another (very humble and simple) passive speaker enclosure, I already have a number of supplies, like speaker cloth, vinyl covering and a few miscellaneous jacks and capacitors. And I was thinking that since I'm building an enclosure anyway, it might be better just to build a VERY simple little power amp and use a speaker with more than a 1-2" diameter. The POD already functions as a preamp, for anyone unfamiliar with it.


I know very little about electronics, and my experience is limited to wiring guitars. I have no idea how to build a power amp, and can barely read an electronic schematic, but I do enjoy the process, and could use another cheap, late night project.


1. I need a little advice. Would I be better off just buying a set of computer speakers, assuming I limit the cost of the speakers to under $20?

2. Given my limited knowledge, would I be able to build a power amp cheaply and effectively? (I already have the basic tools, including a 40w soldering iron, plenty of solder and wire, and wire cutting/stripping tools.)

3. If so, can anyone recommend a very simple and inexpensive amp schematic?


I realize a speaker designed specifically for guitar would probably be better, but the two goals are to exceed the quality of sub-$20 computer speakers and/or save money. I was thinking this speaker would be just about right for what I'm doing:

3" x 5" Ribbed Paper Cone Shielded Woofer Speaker

At $1.50 + about $6.50 in shipping, it's hard to beat, especially if I source the rest of my parts from Parts Express or the local Radio Shack.

Thanks for your help,
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Old 30th May 2011, 05:51 AM   #2
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Location: Jackson,michigan
Find your self a cheap good sounding stereo unit and hook it up and enjoy! jer
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Old 30th May 2011, 05:59 AM   #3
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So your recommendation would be to go with the computer speakers then?

I appreciate your reply!
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Old 1st June 2011, 03:29 AM   #4
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Location: Jackson,michigan
Sometimes you can find some little two-way speakers cheap!

I got a few pairs of some sony's at Radio shack for $20 a pair a few years ago.

The sound is good and are very durable,so far I only blew one of them out do to a none overdriven issue.
It got a zap from my esl bias supply when a wire got too close to it last summer when I was working the my esl's.

I like the line-6 stuff and was planning to get an X3 live rack mount unit when it was anounced ,But things happend it,so I couldn't afford it.
But is on my list of things to get.

I almost spent $150+ on some computer speakers when I found the sony's and have been happy with them ever since.
I have been running them on a 80 watt Aiwa cd changer system and haven't had any problems at all.

When I get messing with my vst stuff ,they get plenty loud and are small enough to sit on my desk used as nearfield monitors.

Parts express had something similar in that price range.
My sony's are 5.25" two-way.


Last edited by geraldfryjr; 1st June 2011 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 1st June 2011, 03:46 AM   #5
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Location: Jackson,michigan
If you want to a little more elaborate and diy A stereo chipamp would be very easy and fool proof.
My little Park g10r has a TDA2030 in it and is plenty loud screaming through my two very old 12" jensen special design speakers although I would prefer some more power.

I am thinking about putting a bigger transformer in it and retrofiting a LM3886 in it.
That would be just enough for me as a practice amp as I do have some much bigger stuff.

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Old 1st June 2011, 11:54 AM   #6
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Location: Sheffield

There are small, cheap 15-25w/ch tripath amplifiers available.
2*15W TA2024 Tripath Class-D Digital Audio Amplifier | eBay

One of those and a couple of 4" drivers would be cool.
Or, if you wanted more, Parts Express sell 8" guitar speakers that might do well.

My work: www.grimshawaudio.com
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Old 2nd June 2011, 03:36 AM   #7
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Thanks for your responses. After my last project, I'm trying to keep the costs really low on this one. I've been thinking about it a lot, and trying to learn what I can about power amps. I did find what I think would be a pretty good circuit for what I'm trying to do:

LM384 - 5-W Audio Power Amplifier

But in the end, even a single 500uf cap costs over $7, and I can't help thinking that for what I'm doing some simple computer speakers like these would probably be fine:

Amazon.com: Logitech S120 2.0 Multimedia Speakers: Electronics

Even after materials and jacks, I'll probably be able to keep the entire project under $20 (plus the $50 I invested in a used POD 2.0 a couple of years ago, and utilizing scrap materials from previous projects).

Gerald, the Line 6 stuff is good, especially if you know how to tweak it. I used to play through a board so large it had an integrated mixer board. It was ridiculous. I got a better tone then (with a small tube amp), but by the time it goes through the sound system at a church with volunteer sound guys, any difference I might hear isn't worth the trouble of setting it all up. I will say this - I'm glad I got the X3 when I did. I'm not in love with the new HD series. But I think my next step will be toward synth guitar - something like a Ghost system with Boss GR-55.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 03:58 AM   #8
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Location: Jackson,michigan
Those logitech's look pretty cool and they already have an amp built in.
All you have to do is plug and play!
I have set of computer speakers around here somewhere that even had a headphone jack on it aswell.
and that was what I used for awhile until I got my stuff set back up.
With some headphones from the dollar store and it sounded pretty good!

Last edited by geraldfryjr; 2nd June 2011 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 06:44 AM   #9
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Just in case anyone's interested, I did some very unscientific testing tonight. Take my opinion for what it's worth.

Using alligator clips connected to a mono instrument cable running out of the POD 2.0 and a passive electric guitar, I tested through the following speakers:

JAMO 20470 4-1/2" Sealed Back Midrange
Fully enclosed paper cone midrange with damped paper edge. Great economical replacement driver, or for new projects. Very efficient. Buyout, limited quantities. Specifications: *Power handling: 25 watts RMS/50 watts max *VCdia: 9/16" *Le: 0.67 mH *Impedance: 8 ohms *Re: 6.93 ohms *Frequency response: 700-6,000 Hz *Fs: 700 Hz *SPL: 90 dB 1W/1m

10" Ribbed Paper Cone Woofer Speaker
Specifications: *Power handling: 30 watts RMS/60 watts peak *VCdia: 1" *Le: 1.60 mH *Impedance: 8 ohms *Re: 6.47 ohms *Frequency range: 34-3,000 Hz *Fs: 33 Hz *SPL: 93.15 dB 1W/1m *Vas: 6.46 cu. ft. *Qms: 5.07 *Qes: 0.52 *Qts: 0.47 Xmax: 4 mm

These speakers are presently mounted on the face of a 1.1 cubic foot speaker enclosure that was placed in the cabinet, but not screwed down. I crossover between them with a single 6.8uf capacitor. (This project had a budget of about $50. I think I spent closer to $60.) The full range speaker can be switched off with a simple SPST toggle switch that cuts off the positive lead, and for the purposes of this test, isolates the speakers.

Through the POD's line out jack (just one), the output wasn't even close to enough to drive the speakers. It's what you'd expect from a passive output. But the headphone jack was another story. Again, I was using a mono cable, but it's what I had available without digging too much. It wasn't exactly screaming, but it was sufficient for living room practice. I'd estimate somewhere around 85db - just a guess. That being said, the speakers I have hooked up to my computer sound better (run through a mono output on my POD X3 Live - like I said, unscientific testing). They're Logitech speakers similar to the ones listed above, but they're a 2.1 system. Right now the subwoofer is turned almost all the way down.

Computer speakers are definitely the way to go for this project. It's decided. However, for the information of anyone interested, the headphone jack seems to have plenty of power to drive passive speakers with no power amp. But I did have to turn the POD's output all the way up. I think if somebody ever wanted to do this project right, a power amp would be a good thing. Then again, running stereo out of that headphone jack might help too.

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Old 2nd June 2011, 09:55 AM   #10
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Very cool!
Another chip amp You might wan't to consider taking a second look instead of the lm384 is the Lm1876 20watt as one could be thrown together very cheaply and might give you that little extra push with out being overkill.

Rock on !!!! jer

Last edited by geraldfryjr; 2nd June 2011 at 10:02 AM.
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