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Old 3rd May 2015, 03:52 PM   #1
Lndeatr is offline Lndeatr  United States
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Default Suitcase Amp Volume Pot

Good Morning!!

I have a question about adding a volume pot to a suitcase amp I built. I gutted a 15 watt Marshall and mounted it I an old traveling case I found at and antique fair. The volume pot is part of the PC board which along with everything else is not accessible without the back open. I want to add an external input jack and retro looking volume pot/knob so it hides the modern electronics. Can I just mount an external 1/4 female jack, run it through an externally mounted volume pot, and then run a cable from the pot with a 1/4 male jack to run into the amp input? Same principle as a volume pedal but hard mounted. I could then set my levels, close the back and play on adjusting the volume as needed from the outside.

Here is a link to the photos. Pics of my ideas and the finished product. I may still mount a tube amp if I run across a suitable donor.

Last edited by Lndeatr; 3rd May 2015 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Add photos and description.
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Old 3rd May 2015, 04:03 PM   #2
Lndeatr is offline Lndeatr  United States
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Old 4th May 2015, 09:31 PM   #3
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lndeatr View Post
Good Morning!!

I have a question about adding a volume pot to a suitcase amp I built. I gutted a 15 watt Marshall and mounted it I an old traveling case I found at and antique fair. The volume pot is part of the PC board which along with everything else is not accessible without the back open. I want to add an external input jack and retro looking volume pot/knob so it hides the modern electronics. Can I just mount an external 1/4 female jack, run it through an externally mounted volume pot, and then run a cable from the pot with a 1/4 male jack to run into the amp input? Same principle as a volume pedal but hard mounted. I could then set my levels, close the back and play on adjusting the volume as needed from the outside.

Here is a link to the photos. Pics of my ideas and the finished product. I may still mount a tube amp if I run across a suitable donor.
your photos don't open but not really needed.

What you want to do is to leave the (inaccessible) amp controls preset full blast and add an external passive control at the input.

Big problem is that hiss will bugger you.

You *can* desolder the volume pot, mount it externally, and run 3 wires (twist them) from 3 lugs to 3 original pcb holes.
Probably not more than 4" away and you won't have problems with that.

Same with the jack, but there you *need* shielded cable.

I suggest you mount jack and pot to a small metal plate (brass would be cool but aluminum will do) or at least contact cement some cooking aluminum foil to the inside, so the pot body is grounded and the jack is shielded by it.
You'll need one extra wire to ground the foil or, worst case, scratch the pot case and solder it there.

This way the amp works as intended and volume=0 means hiss/hum=0 .
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Old 4th May 2015, 10:15 PM   #4
Lndeatr is offline Lndeatr  United States
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Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure the current volume pot is a traditional pot vs a signal being sent to some kind of controller as I can set presets for tone, volume, and effects no matter what the controls are set at. Also it only has 2 wires.

I think mounting the jack and volume pot with a shielded cable (grounded as you pointed out) with a 1/4 jack plugged into the amp input with the amp preamp wide open is what I may do. Do you have a recommendation on what pot to buy? I see there are differences. Will it affect the tone?
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