My colleague Brendan Finucane and I founded Soapbox Music out of our own need for a dependable, affordable, and high quality recording and rehearsal space in the city of Chicago. Recording studios are notoriously expensive to start and maintain, but our cooperative model drastically reduces the cost and risk for all musicians involved, while simultaneously creating opportunities to connect, share, and collaborate with others.
This is a portable battery operated little amplifier I built to plug other portable things into and to also use it as a test amp for other projects. The circuit is based on a 5 Watt LM384 mono chip amp, taking a 1/8" stereo jack and resistor summing to a mono output. Giant volume knob, on/off rocker switch with power LED light. 4 Ohm, 6 Watt speaker pulled from an old Creative 5.1 set. Wooden enclosure with a custom designed speaker hole.
For this project, I took some analog VU meters from a broken Otari 5050 2-track tape machine (thanks Ralph!), and assembled a standalone stereo meter unit based on the VU buffer circuit from JLM Audio. I re-purposed a wooden box for the enclosure, drilling holes for the input jacks and meters, and applied a 'tung oil style' finish. As a final touch, I swapped the old meter bulbs with LEDs and added a dimmer knob on the side to adjust brightness.
I built this speaker switch for Soapbox Music to allow a listener to quickly switch between different speakers. No studio monitors are perfect, and everyone listens to music on different systems, which can make it hard to know if a mix is balanced correctly. I find it very helpful to be able to quickly switch between various speaker systems to compare how things sound.
This box is a passive line level switch utilizing a 5 position, 6 pole rotary switch. It takes two balanced signal inputs and allows you to switch between 5 different outputs. Before we upgraded to an SM Pro Audio Passive-1, we had it setup at the studio with a Blue Sky 2.1 system, Adam A5s, and a FM transmitter to allow playback on a nearby radio. Spray lacquer finish on a wooden enclosure.
I did a complete overhaul on a Yamaha EG-112 strat, stripping and removing all the paint back to bare wood, replacing the plastic pickguard with a custom made birch pickguard stained with concentrated earl grey tea. I simplified the electronics by removing the middle pickup, replacing the pickup switch, removing the tone knob, upgrading the jack, adding a killswitch, and shielding the pickups.