Skip to main content

Watch this developer use a Raspberry Pi to revive a guitar amp

A tech enthusiast has found yet another interesting way to use Raspberry Pi, this time to bring a piece of audio back from the dead. Developer David Silverman has used the tiny computer as the core to revive an old Vox guitar amplifier.

The developer shared his work on YouTube, detailing how he used a Raspberry Pi 3B+ computer, paired with a class D amplifier, and some self-developed custom Python scripts, to bring the old guitar amp back to its former glory.

Guitar Amplifier with a PI!

With his custom code, he was able to add some customized audio tuning including delay, reverb, distortion, WAH, bass, mid, and treble, with knobs to manually adjust each new option. He also added LEDs to the case, which light up as the guitar is played.

Silverman replaced the original internals of the Vox amplifier, which had gone bad, with the Raspberry Pi, which features an audio injector card that he was able to connect to a new Fossi-brand audio amplifier unit. He also used the MCP3008 as an analog-to-digital converter since the Raspberry Pi does not have native analog reading ability.

This Vox amplifier has been restored with Raspberry Pi computer.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Vox amplifier retained many of its original parts, including two USB ports, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI output, in addition to its original speaker and power supply. Finally, he programmed potentiometers to respond to his custom audio tuning and LED lighting effects.

The project wasn’t without its issues, however. Silverman noted he fried several amplifiers before getting the Fossi-brand unit to work. The system also required a second power source for the Raspberry Pi, as the original source had only enough juice to power up the class D amplifier.

He added that it took several months to accurately develop the scripts for the potentiometers, with the coding for the WAH being the most difficult. Silverman offers his custom Python scripts on Github.

Raspberry Pi is well known as a tiny computer that sells for $35, allowing for the initiated to create wonderful DIY projects that couldn’t otherwise exist. We recently documented how our own editor Phil Nickelson created a travel Wi-Fi router using an old Raspberry Pi.

Editors' Recommendations

Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
NASA hacked: 500 MB of mission data stolen through a Raspberry Pi computer
nasa robotic arm international space station

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration confirmed that its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) was hacked last year, with the attacker able to steal 500 MB of data related to the space agency's missions using a cheap Raspberry Pi computer.

The Raspberry Pi, priced at about $36 for the basic board, is one of the most versatile and understated computing platforms available in the market. The credit card-sized computer is perfect for projects such as a retro gaming station or a smart home gadgets base station, but a hacker has apparently found a twisted use for it.

Read more
4 CPUs you should buy instead of the Ryzen 7 7800X3D
AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D sitting on a motherboard.

The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is one of the best gaming processors you can buy, and it's easy to see why. It's easily the fastest gaming CPU on the market, it's reasonably priced, and it's available on a platform that AMD says it will support for several years. But it's not the right chip for everyone.

Although the Ryzen 7 7800X3D ticks all the right boxes, there are several alternatives available. Some are cheaper while still offering great performance, while others are more powerful in applications outside of gaming. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a great CPU, but if you want to do a little more shopping, these are the other processors you should consider.
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D

Read more
Even the new mid-tier Snapdragon X Plus beats Apple’s M3
A photo of the Snapdragon X Plus CPU in the die

You might have already heard of the Snapdragon X Elite, the upcoming chips from Qualcomm that everyone's excited about. They're not out yet, but Qualcomm is already announcing another configuration to live alongside it: the Snapdragon X Plus.

The Snapdragon X Plus is pretty similar to the flagship Snapdragon X Elite in terms of everyday performance but, as a new chip tier, aims to bring AI capabilities to a wider portfolio of ARM-powered laptops. To be clear, though, this one is a step down from the flagship Snapdragon X Elite, in the same way that an Intel Core Ultra 7 is a step down from Core Ultra 9.

Read more