Michael Pick

Graphic Designer

Custom Guitar Amplifier

Cropped view of top of gutar amp showing heat vents, handle, and controls in background


Baltic birch cabinet with textured vinyl wrap. Gold grill cloth and brass accent bar. EL84 tube amplifier output through a 12" alnico speaker.


This project started with a Hammond AO-35 reverb amp which has been modified to work as a guitar amp. The 12-inch speaker was made by a company called Cleveland in the '50s or '60s, for use in an electric organ. The cabinet design is roughly based on the dimensions and style of a VOX AC-15 amplifier. The amplifier chassis is attached to a panel in the back so that the controls can be accessed at the top. The grills were routed from walnut hardwood. The vinyl wrap is attached with contact cement and done in the 4 panel method.

Guitar amp front view, black textured vinyl cover with gold striped grill cloth
Cropped 3/4 view of bottom left front corner of guitar amp
Cropped detail view of red-brown wooden heat vent
Cropped detail view of front top corner of amp showing textured vinyll, brass accent, and gold grill cloth
Guitar amp rear view showing back panels and speaker visible in opening between panels
Guitar amp rear view close-up of a control knob, the pilot light, and the power switch

Build process

The speaker baffle hole was cut using a router fitted with a circle cutting guide. The cabinet is made from baltic birch and assembled with finger joinery. After rounding the edges and sealing the completed cabinet, it was then wrapped in a textured vinyl covering.

Build process photo of a router cutting a circle for the speaker baffle
Build process photo showing a cabinet with finger joints, glued together and clamped
Build process photo showing unfinished cabinet assembled with speaker and amp
Build process photo showing cabinet fully assembled and coated with sealant
Build process photo showing gold striped fabric being stapled to the speaker baffle
Build process photo showing partly completed vinyl covering, detail view of corner wrap