Diy Talkbox

Discussion in 'Project Depot' started by Manodano, May 17, 2019.

  1. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I just saw this for the first time today. I see its been up on youtube for many years and maybe a lot of you have seen it, but I like how this guy slaps together a simple DIY talk box:



    I had to suffer the narcissistic performance footage, but the man executes a well thought-out assembly. I actually have a couple of those same Yamaha practice amps (I keep one at my workbench). Seems they sold for $19 at Costco many Christmases ago. I've always wanted to build a talk box.

    Maybe we should recruit this guy to become an AGFer. Or is he already lurking among us?
     
  2. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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  3. backinit

    backinit Well-Known Member

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    I built one a few years ago. It is fun as hell, but it kind of makes your mouth feel odd I used an old small Peavy amp and I found a place in NH that had horn drivers cheap.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019

  4. mozz

    mozz Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Used to make those back in the late 70's. Used any old horn speaker, hack sawed off and any type of transistor amp. Was pretty cool.
     
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  5. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    In case you don't know Bruce, Pete Drake invented the "Talk Box." :)
    Pete Drake

    Pete is buried down in the Spring Hill Cemetary.
     
  6. Powertrip240

    Powertrip240 Well-Known Member

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    I remember making a "DIY talkbox" years ago, but I went an even simpler direction. I bought a cheap, used Johnson practice amp with a 6" speaker, a NEW 6" toilet plunger, and a few feet of rubber tubing. I removed the handle from the plunger, and then cut out the rubber from the center of the plunger, just inside where the handle screwed in. Then I put the rubber tubing in to the center of the plunger. I then installed the plunger cup over the front of the speaker. I stuffed the inside of the amp cabinet with some kind of stuffing (I don't remember exactly what kind of material, something like pillow batting), to keep all the sound directed out the front of the speaker. It wasn't pretty, there was lots of duct tape and hot glue involved, but it worked just as well. Playing the guitar through the practice amp, the sound was directed out the front of the speaker, into the plunger and up the rubber tube, into my mouth, and then out to a mic going to a small PA. Altogether, it was about a $40 project. It was fun to play with.

    I can see how the horn speaker would be a much more efficient way to go though. That way, there would be no need to muffle the cab to isolate the sound. If I still had a PA, I might consider making another one of these, just for fun. But rather than use a toggle switch to send the signal back to the practice amp speaker, I think I'd use an A/B footswitch to send it to a better amp.
     
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  7. t-glo

    t-glo Well-Known Member

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    So this guy is buried right around the corner from me.
    I had a electro harmonix golden throat back in the 70s. That was just after Frampton came on the scene.
     
  8. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    No, I do not think so. I'm sure @Manodano knew what I was talking about as he lives in Nashville. :)
    Going south on I65 out of Nashville the first town is Brentwood, next is Franklin and then Spring Hill (where the Saturn factory was located.)
    Pete Drake lived in Brentwood. :)
     
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  9. t-glo

    t-glo Well-Known Member

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    Oh thats different. As Emily Latela would have said "never mind".
     
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  10. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

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    It is a super easy thing to build, and dirt cheap, but I found the novelty wore off super fast.
     
  11. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Mickey and I communicate in ways few other humans can decipher... Its an old Nashville thang.

    Let's not forget those other cats who thought Pete Drake was cool as hell, namely one Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and some other musicians you may have heard of.

    I think that Pete Drake video and song is cool as hell, and am wondering if the MC is a young Franklin Delano Reeves. I also think that must be the Anita Kerr singers. I don't recognize the set or the show or any of those other super cool musicians. I watched all of the country music shows syndicated out of Nashville as a kid growing up - my Dad and I loved to watch them together on Saturday afternoon.
     
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  12. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    I don't recognize any of the folks in that video either. However, I do recognize the piano of Floyd Cramer & the Anita Kerr singers.
    So I tend to suspect they were playing Pete's record and lip synching. I've been wondering about that show too, not one I've ever seen.
     
  13. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

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    It has to be lip synced because there is no microphone close enough to Pete’s mouth for the talk box to work.
     
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  14. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    I still have mine and it was a crowd pleaser. I built it from a used Urei midrange horn driver, a stomp switch, 5/8" surgical tubing and a radio shack metal enclosure. You drove it in place of a speaker from your amp and your mouth sound would go back into your stage mic.

    Anything above a 25w tube amp would rattle the fillings out of your head. "Do You Feel Like We Do?" is about all you can take without going deaf.
     

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