Haynes Build Your Own Mini Amp Kit (Review)

Silent Witness was “doing my head in”, so I thought I’d build this Haynes Amplifier Kit.

I bought it at 75% discount, but hey, it’s Haynes, so it must be ok?
Turns out it’s made under license by a German firm.
Took about an hour, but that’s only because I had wire cutters/strippers. Without them it would have been TWO hours.
  1. The board is too big for the space between the speaker and the volume control. I had to install it upside down and skewed.
  2. You need wire strippers/cutters. Not made clear.
  3. The volume control is wonky unless you install the washer underneath instead of outside.
  4. The wires on the speaker, volume control, and aux jack are too long. You need to bend them so the case will shut.
  5. Same applies to the resistors and capacitors, you need to bend them to clear the case. Or cut them. See 2, above.
  6. There’s no way to secure the battery. I pritt-sticked it in place, but that will not last.. poor!
  7. You need a really small flat screwdriver to attach the volume knob. Not mentioned anywhere.
On a positive note, it worked first time. More by luck than judgement.  I need to look  at increasing the gain by swapping resistors..
The list price for this item is around £20.. I reckon £10 would be a fairer price.
The instructions are rubbish, printed way too small and in grey rather than black, on white. I needed a magnifier with an led lamp..
Next up will be the Haynes Retro Radio Kit. I have the Advent Calendar version where you get the components day-by-day over 24 days..
Finally, can I point out that this post was NOT sponsored in any way: I bought this kit with my own money.

1 Comment

  1. Hi, unbelievable. I received this Retro Speaker as a father’s Day present and just wanted to get stuck in.
    Well, EXACTLY like you pointed out, the board was too big for the box 🤬.
    If I hadn’t of found your review, I was going to chuck it out.
    But, THANK YOU, with your information, I got it built and it worked first time as well 😃.
    Not a bad little sound, considering, either 😊.
    Ta very much

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