Road Worn Speaker Guitar (Why and What Next)

Looking back over my posts from the start of this project to the end there is a very clear connection and for the most part I accomplished what I set out to do.

This project began with inspiration.  For me it was images of guitars being smashed and burned as well as those with custom modifications.  This I took to heart in both function and aesthetic.  From Eddie Van Halen’s frankenstrat came the inspiration for the Les Paul with a built in speaker (I don’t have a name for it yet… Loud Paul? Les Speaker? I’ll keep thinking).  Similarly from Pete Townshend and Jimi Hendrix’s guitar abuse came the road worn aesthetic of the piece.

These ideas carried through the design and build process ultimately resulting in something I am very happy with.  To me the guitar speaks to a different era of music.  It harkens back to the rock and roll of the 60’s-70’s and looks like it was there to see it.  In a world (and class) where a modern, minimalist style is so prevalent I find comfort in some of the more rustic, organic items.

One unintended benefit of this project was getting to learn some woodworking techniques.  Although cutting holes in a guitar is not exactly a heavy woodworking project I was able to use some tools that were new to me and learn some important considerations for woodworking.  I was also able to improve my knowledge of electronics, specifically amplifiers.  In the research phase of this project I found all different styles of amplifiers and their uses. Although the finished product is cool it is the learning experiences that really stick with you after a project, successful or not.

Moving forward I imagine that this will become my new practice guitar.  The speaker is loud enough that I can hear it and it fills out the sound from the strings with some warmth.  I may look into creating an improved power amplifier to drive the speaker at higher levels but for my purposes it is not really necessary.  Ultimately this was a fun and interesting project that resulted in a useful and awesome looking product.

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5 Comments. Leave new

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  • Roshan Misra
    May 1, 2016 5:59 pm

    Ethan! Even though this project didn’t turn out quite as you envisioned it, you should definitely be proud of it! I’m glad that you want to keep using it as a practice guitar since, not only is it convenient, its definitely loud enough to get a good idea of how your playing sounds! You totally pulled off the scratched, banged up, road work look too and hopefully you can make it more road worn over the next several years! Great job!

  • Kenzy O'neill
    May 1, 2016 5:14 pm

    It was really cool to see your idea come to fruition and have it look very similar to how I first imagined it when you told me your idea. Considering how much project experience you have, I think it’s great that you were able to learn some new skills and work with tools you had not used before. I hope the guitar treats you well for years and years to come!


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