By Andrew Liszewski
While enroute to superstardom, a musician might find themselves performing in smaller venues for a while, like say a subway station, or a busy street corner. And while busking might provide a steady stream of audience members, the venues aren’t always ideal with lots of ambient noise and usually no place to plug in equipment. And that’s what led Australian Laurie Nicoll to invent the guitar SHamp, which is short for ‘sound hole amplifier.’
It’s a combination of a speaker and a 4-watt amplifier that installs into a guitar’s sound hole, and thanks to a couple of vent slots it doesn’t affect the natural sound of the guitar when it’s not in use. It’s sized to fit snugly into most standard guitar holes, and since it’s made from lightweight woods and PVC pipe, it won’t affect the guitar’s balance either. And even though the SHamp is self-contained, there is a single split lead coming out that connects to both the guitar’s pickup jack and an external battery back which houses two 9-volt batteries good for up to 6 hours of playtime.
The SHamp has an RRP of about $265 ($299.00 Aus) and is available from their website if you’re in Australia. However, anyone outside Australia interested in buying one will have to contact them directly first.