Guitarsite Forums Guitar Discussion Guitar Amp-in-Case Redesign!

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  • #24698

    Hey everyone

    I am a 4th year Industrial Design student currently working on a project to redesign the electric guitar case to include an amp and speakers to improve the tiresome task transporting all the equipment.
    I have examined the 1960’s Danelctro/Silvertone amp-in-case models ( have come to the conclusion that this concept could be greatly improved by incorporating some of the incredible technology we have today. Making it lighter, louder and better to listen to and look at. 😀

    I am looking for any advise on this topic as well as some ideas and things to consider. I am a passionate player myself but my technical understanding is a bit lacking 😕 , so simple explinations will help me out a bit more. Any clues to where I could find compact, low-profile equipment would also be a huge help.

    Thanks very much..your input will be greatly appreciated.

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    • #77441

      Thanks for your patience. Below is the stuff I typed and saved just in time. My experience with Electronics Design students only goes up to High School level so my apols if some of this seems a bit basic but hope it gives you some ideas anyway 🙂 :

      Calistair, an early part of any design project is a questionnaire which, in a way, you’re doing right here. The Danelectro 1449 is an interesting piece (I like quirky valve amps) but you’re right that the technology used then isn’t really suited to this application (notwithstanding valves or should I say “tubes” are very much back in demand now) and, I think your target market is different to the Dano’s intended.

      The Dano was sold as a cost-concious “all in one” solution for the Sears catalogue. Nowadays, the “starter pack” of budget guitar, low power combo and gig bag covers that market. I don’t think the home-practiser would opt for a bulky, stiff case with a built in amp over the small combo. I don’t think many players would seriously go for gigging with it (and a DI out makes more sense than miking up) because it would look a bit, TBH, laughable. There might be some takers for the idea of bringing the guitar, in its case, to a friend’s house and having some amplification already on tap but I think I can see a good target market.

      It could appeal to the electric busker/street performer. Protection for the guitar while walking or on public transport, then open it up to play and the case is the time-honoured coin collector from passers-by. I’d say that you’d address your market if the amplification can run from a 9V battery or similar. I think they only give 10hrs playing at 0.5W, but I did see something interesting here about using 8xAA in series to give much higher capacity:

      At increased cost, a solar power cell could be fitted into the case to recharge the batteries enough for practically continuous 2-3W playing in daylight. 2 or 3W doesn’t sound much but it’s perfectly good enough for street busking. Solid-state amplification is a must for lightweight, reliability, cost and (most importantly) getting as many Watts out of your power supply as possible but you could consider adding a DSP (digital signal processor) or modeller chip. This would enliven a bland, 2W silicon amp driving a cheapish, rainproof 5″ speaker into something resembling “vintage British stack” that might tempt a hairy shredder into trying to earn a few bucks in the town centre.

    • #126927

      Thats alright, I can wait.
      Enjoy Spain. 🙂

    • #126926

      I had a lengthy reply typed up with some suggestions but realized that AOL was about to boot me off. I saved it all to a Wordpad note just in time but my modem went on strike. I’m now in Spain for a coupla weeks and will post it up on my return, if that’s not too late to be of any use.

      If a quicker reply is needed, I’ll retype. Not a lot else here for me to do 🙂

    • #77269

      got this PM from Calistair as he was having problems posting it up:

      I guess it would be pretty helpful telling everyone how far i’ve got, but for some reason I’m not able to reply to my topic so thats why I’m giving you a private message.
      So far I have done a lot of research. Trying to gain as much insight and knowledge as i can into the all the areas this project involves such as:
      How does all the equipment work.
      What distiguishes good amps/speakers from others.
      How to create desirable sound/tone. (speakers/enclosures)
      Guitar case manufacturing (light & strong materials/technologies)
      & importantly, what do guitarists really want out of their equipment. (highly debated subject )
      I have found that the information I can gather off the internet is seamingly endless. That’s why I would like some direct feedback on the topic from people who know what they’re talking about. Anything on the areas mentioned above that could specifically help out with this project would be of great assistance.
      On the design side, I have drawn up a few interesting concepts, but without knowing the exact type of components i’ll be using it is hard to make any design concrete. So defining the components first will give me my design constraints sooner. I am working towards a good quality small practice amp for private playing that could also be put through a mic and a PA for gigging. I would like the case to be able to accomadate various makes of guitars, either by using varios inner-case molds or by a clever, secure strapping system.
      Well thats it so far. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I am very open to any other advise or things you think i could consider. I like the rectangular, head and cab, exposed amp idea.
      Much appreciated.

    • #77324

      Would this case be for gigging? rehearsing? recording? or just practicing?
      Cases are diffrent inside for different guitars, are you going to make a Strat case? a Les paul Case? or a case with adaptable parts to reshape to fit different models?
      As a guitarist you will know for gigging you need a loud amp with lots of headroom, the louder the amp the heavier it gets, so im guessing you are not thinking of a gigging amp.
      You could of course mike it up and go through the PA, in which case it could be very light and maybe a low output amp.
      You would have the same problem with rehearsing.

      The amp has to look good too, if i was designing it i would make a rectangle case in the shape of a Head and Cab, a light weight clip off front to reveal the amp under it.
      Single speaker, with the Volume/tone on/off controls on the head section.

    • #77356

      Hey, welcome to the board,

      Project sounds very interesting, I’m guessing this’d be the rectagular type of case? Understand the lack of pics etc for copyright and stuff but how far have you got so far?

      One place I would look if you haven’t already is “Bose”, they tend to specialise in clusters of small light drivers recreating the sound obtained by bigger cabs, TBH, we tried them with the band and they were returned post-haste, but that was the bass/vocal/guitar combination causing problems, and this was some time ago.

      Anyway, that was my first thought, good luck, hopefully others will chime in too.


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