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Thread: Newby McNewbster wondering how to get started

  1. #1

    Newby McNewbster wondering how to get started

    I've built a few PCs over the years and would like to build one with a custom case. Not sure how to get started.

    What I really want to do is to build a computer in a guitar amplifier.

    I"m wondering how to attach the motherboard to the inside of the amp. Should I try to find a standard case that's slightly smaller than the amplifier and mount IT to the inside of the amp? Or is it better to mount the motherboard and other components to the inside of the amp?

    And how difficult will it be to to wire the amp's power switch to start up the computer? I've never soldered before but figure I can learn.

    Ideally I'd find an amp large enough to house the computer as well as a couple of small speakers so the sound would actually come out of the amp itself. Not sure if having speakers that close to the actual computer would be a good idea though. Certainly wouldn't want a subwoofer right next to the motherboard!

    Anyway, just looking for some tips.


  2. #2
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Plano, Texas

    Newby McNewbster wondering how to get started

    Well engwar,

    First off, Welcome to Modders-Inc!

    2nd off, thank you for the awesome questions. There are several members here that will be able to chime in with more info, but to get started, I would recommend getting a dead amp that is the size you want, gutting it and then working off of that. It is a good, sturdy, rugged frame that is ideal for mounting and customization.

    There have been several guitar amp mods done over the past several years, I would recommend searching those out and learning from their builds, then planning yours out in your own flavor.

    Many of the "How to?" questions are in our FAQ or "Modding Basics" sections.

    What you are planning on doing sounds like a lot of fun! We'll help you along the way, and are more than happy to assist and guide!

    Again, thanks for chiming in and joining up!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Newby McNewbster wondering how to get started

    Welcome welcome and WELCOME!

    Well, from what I have seen, you can easily take the ON/OFF switch of your amp and rewire it in place of a computer's power switch. The only thing that I am not sure on, is since that most computers now use the "push button" style of switch that can do 3 functions, ON/OFF, Reset, Force shutdown... the toggle style switch will have to be done different.. which has to do with the motherboard if I remember correctly.

    As far as the guts of your case goes, I would think it would be easier to gut an already exsisting small case, to use for mounting your hardware. Some sites sell the parts needed to build a case, motherboard trays, drive cages, mounting hardware, but I think that will run you more money, then buying a cheapie case and cutting it up. Up to you. I know of several great Modding Supply websites that sell LOADS of stuff you can use. I would first take into mind what size motherboard you plan on using first, before deciding which case to gut, or what size motherboard tray to use.

    Cool idea, since amps have lots of switches, knobs, dials and other doo-hickeys, when you mount your case fans, you can always put in a manual fan controller and use the knobs from the amp.. or even for lighting as dimmers. Plenty of ideas with amps.. XD

  4. #4

    Newby McNewbster wondering how to get started

    I'd recommend making a frame and motherboard tray inside the amp. Make it removable if you can make it work. Assuming that you want the back plane on the back the orientation of the motherboard can be a challenge. Think about where you're going to route your power cords, monitor cables, mouse, and keyboard cables.

    Yes you can convert the toggle into a switch or buy a toggle that is already pre-modded. The motheboard needs a momentary switch. Knobs and toggles are a constant connections. Here's a diagram of what I used on my cobra-matic mod.

    You may want to include an amp if you're looking for decent volume. A T class amp is fairly small or a Amp 6B from does a decent job.

    If you're worried about the speakers, try shielded speakers. You can get them from Don't think that'd I try a sub-woofer because of volume but then again, I don't know big an amp that you're trying to use.

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