While browsing the web


I have no further information. The picture is a pointer. There was a caption saying it was one of a kind.
This appears to be a real DIY valve headphone amp.

Other related equipment photos would be appreciated. I have never considered using knob and tube as a headphone cable, but now I might have to.


My guess is that someone deconstructed a conventional Chinese hybrid tube amp and then rewired it into a steampunk chassis. To my knowledge no one in electronics ever intentionally adapted plumbing hardware before the steampunk style era began ~10 to 15 years ago.

Style builds are now an Etsy cottage industry…


or…an at home electro-convulsive therapy tool for those who were unable to self medicate by any other means…just saying :scream:

ps…interesting find though


I found the original image through Google – it was a Pinterest link to Etsy (now sold). Plenty more steampunk amps are available online, and some are way more elaborate than this one.


Yes, I thought that the wooden box could use a bit of refinishing.

Now to design some steam-powered headphones / earwax removers. It does look like it would be fun to deconstruct something like a Little Dot amp and do steampunk. Although I would want to make the plumbing valve turn the potentiometer.

It would be cute to set the plumbing to turn a small turbine, that could provide power when the water is running. Just the thing if you need a hot bath.


someone put some thought into this. look at the screws that have “faces” on them. It might be photo shopped but still nice attention to detail

1 Like

I love the power switch


you could use the guts of a diy amp, incorporating things like the power meter and power switch, to end up with something that looks like it should be in Dr. Frankenstein’s lab. I’m getting psyched about this

1 Like

That’s “Frankensteen”


picky picky picky lol


Ewe folks hear our good inn dealing with grammar issues. Butt fore others, inn different forums, there mane purpose inn life seams two focus on the “messenger” and knot the message. If ewe only sea the messagenger, then sometimes the reel message escapes you and ewe due knot here what is truly being said. Ore it may bee to late two think sew deeply and you kneed too sleep on it. :thinking:

1 Like

whiskey and time make for a bad combo for me… :wink: I just busted into a couple of $100 + bottles of whikey tonight with my brother and reminiscing on old stories… man booze and music, and good company make for a good time! I need to go to bed and stop drinking drams of whiskey/bourbon etc… man, memory and history have a strong pull on me… add whiskey and good company and the stories pour themselves out… plus good music… my poor nephew being exposed to the drunken advice of his dad and uncle lol… eh… it is still good advice lol!!!


This morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about ways to increase your psych about this. It should be needlessly complicated. Large dials and gauges are better than small ones. You need good switches.

There should be working readouts for tube bias. A set of plumbing valves should be built, one for each tube to adjust bias. You need a bank of switches. Almost every feature needs a defeat switch, right? Old electrics are almost as good as old steam fittings. Lots of ceramic to show. Old potentiometers can be rewired or fixed with a spray of CAIG DeoxIT.

It needs an audible alarm for several conditions - Tubes warm enough for example. I see on eBay a perfect alarm image https://www.ebay.com/i/232853519611?chn=ps

There are a number of miniature boilers available. Hmmm and perhaps a miniature steam engine that could run a small generator . . .



Pinterest steampunk gallery (log in required):


DIY Instructions for making a steampunk amplifier:

1 Like

I love the cello speakers. I think I need the ones that come in Bass size…


I see the keyboards. I have one of those that is attached directly to a mechanical printer. No electricity or computer. The pressure of the fingers pushing or striking the key is transmitted via a mechanical linkage to the proper key in a radial array of what appear to be printer’s letters attached to swing arms.

The system is cleverly inked by a cloth tape that has been covered in ink, and which is also moved slightly each time the fingers strike a key. A large roller, and some smaller rollers hold a sheet of paper - pretty much one at a time - no automatic feeder in place. It is possible to actually print using this system. An ergonomic lever moves the roller back and forth to create new lines, and a gear mechanism moves it each keystroke to simulate letter spacing.

It was made in the 1930s by a company named “Royal”. This is not the exact model, but it’s close.

1 Like

Brazil (1985) film – one of the best retro-futuristic PCs ever, and perhaps a grandparent of the steampunk aesthetic (along with a pile of Japanese anime/Manga):


1 Like

you probably enjoy teasing little kids…cookie crumbs in the bag…1 swallow of milk left…a cake pan with a partial slice left. Yes, this project could consume a great deal of time but I love a challenge like this. And with summer coming up, all the garage sales with bits and pieces of old electronics… If my avatar comes on and starts swearing at you…my wife has hi-jacked my account and is looking for someone to blame