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$694
pledged of $19,000pledged of $19,000 goal
8
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, March 22 2016 4:47 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated March 22, 2016

S-AMP: Micro recording studio pedal for guitar practice

S-AMP is 100% analog premium quality headphone amplifier for Guitar practice, with unique idea that REAL Speaker and Mic in the box!

S-AMP: Micro recording studio pedal for guitar practice

S-AMP is 100% analog premium quality headphone amplifier for Guitar practice, with unique idea that REAL Speaker and Mic in the box!

$694
pledged of $19,000pledged of $19,000 goal
8
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, March 22 2016 4:47 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated March 22, 2016

About

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Another color model shown
Another color model shown

Why am I making this, even though so many guitar headphone amps are there in the market? - Because I have an unique idea.

Unless you live in a big house, or having well isolated room, (typically) you can't connect your guitar into your favorite guitar amp at midnight. In case of the situation, you may use headphone amp for guitar or using headphone jack on top of practice amp, but sound quality is compromised most of cases, and it's too much electric sound because it has never been converted to acoustic sound.

If you go 100% digital solution by using PC amp box simulation, then you can get enough good sound, but even though you may need good headphone amplifier and guitar preamp to keep quality. You have to open Laptop and launch simulation software. And latency. It's too much complicated for guitar players. We need simple plug and play solution. And personally I prefer analog than digital.

Then I came up one crazy idea. I put speaker for earbud and microphone into stomp box in order to get natural sound (this idea is patent pending). After signal goes into this small box, then signal will be out to internal speaker. Speaker and Microphone is connected by paper tube to isolate sound from outside and boost bass (But still you can hear the sound when you tap the box!).

Basic idea of S-AMP
Basic idea of S-AMP
Final prototype curcuit shown
Final prototype curcuit shown

Sound wave will be caught immediately by coupled Microphone. Then signal goes into headphone amplifier and will be out to headphone jack. The sound you will hear is actually converted to acoustic sound wave and recaptured again.

You may think sound quality will not be good enough. I thought it too until I made prototype. But actually the sound is very good (That's why I'm writing this). Basically sound character is somewhere between direct line sound and real amp sound.

No compromising about sound

I put high-end component for no compromising sound quality. This box uses Balanced-armature unit (this type of unit is used only for high-end earbuds) for internal speaker and MEMS Microphone for capturing sound. Both devices are dramatically improved quality recent years, and both has excellent frequency response characteristics. You will hear bottom end to high end.

I'm also using quality OP-AMPs to make sure headphone amp quality is good enough for the purpose. 

How to use

 This box doesn't have much control to shape sound. There are two dials and both controls volume. Speaker volume controls volume of Internal Speaker (not your headphone volume). Another dial controls Microphone gain. If you turn up speaker volume, you may need to reduce Mic gain. Typically you can get more dynamic sound and more bass by increasing speaker volume. But you may hit mechanical limit if you go too much about speaker volume.

combine with other pedals
combine with other pedals

If you increase Mic gain, you will hear more background noise. Best position will vary by what guitar you are using or your preference.

You won't get distorted sound by turning knobs. If you are looking for guitar headphone amp which has everything in one box, S-AMP is not the one. This box intend to work with other guitar pedals that your favorite  Overdrive, Fuzz, Tremoro, Reverb, or any other pedals. You may connect cable from end of your pedal stream into S-AMP, instead of connecting to your amp. 

S-AMP can be operated by 9V to 18V power. You can get extra headroom by using 18V power, but either case, please use quality power source for the sound, because it has mic pre-amp inside. Using quality power source is more important rather than using high voltage power source. Also this pedal consumes more than 100mA, so 200mA is recommended for   this pedal.

S-AMP is not designed to play under very loud environment like live house or in front of speaker. This box will capture the background noise.

Sound Comparison video

Below is sound comparison video with VOX's amPlug(AC30 model). Please note I connected both devices into Audio I/F directly, that means this demo doesn't show headphone amplifier quality difference, because line input is very easy to handle for all amps. 

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Risks and challenges

Manufacturing speed and parts supply could be issue.
Making coupling tube of speaker and Mic is very sensitive process.
Also I have primary job other than this.
That could push delivery date little bit.
I already made few of final prototype examples shown above.
Basically I am making those in my garage, that means most of process are 100% under my control.
Another potential issue is reliability of the device component and also having certification like CE.
I believe this pedal is 100% analog and it only handles low frequency so I don't need FCC for this but I need CE to export this to EU countries.

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Funding period

- (20 days)