Analog iPhone amplifier made from recycled trumpets


It’s no secret that the audio quality of the iPhone’s built-in speakers isn’t exactly what you would consider to be hi-fi. Sound quality aside, there are plenty of times where even the volume doesn’t do the music justice. While you can always go out and buy a fancy dock to amplify your iGadget’s sound, artist [Christopher Locke] has a different take on the subject.

For a while now, he has been constructing what he calls “Analog Tele-Phonographers”, metal sculptures that can be used to amplify a mobile phone’s audio. Built out of steel and old trumpets, his audio sculptures require no electricity, instead utilizing the same amplification technology as the original phonographs.

While the Tele-Phonographers won’t make your iPhone sound like a high quality tube amp, they do undoubtedly increase the phone’s volume and they are nice to look at. We can certainly get behind this sort of recycling/reuse of old items.

Continue reading to see a quick video of his Analog Tele-Phonographer in action.

[Thanks, Chris]


  1. Squintz says:

    That is really fun. Nice work.

  2. tim says:

    Yesssss !
    I want one

  3. Hirudinea says:

    Cool sculpture and nice amplifier, just one suggestion, for the next build replace the iPhone holder with a container for a bluetooth earpiece, wireless audio amplified by art, cooler than the other side of the pillow!

  4. Richrd says:

    Shouldn’t it be passive- no electricity as opposed to analogue, which most amplifiers already are?

  5. Meltz says:

    I think you mean passive, not analog. An amp can be analog and still use electricity

  6. KillerBug says:

    Very retro…very impressive any time someone finds a good use for old junk like that. Can you believe some people actually use those things as phones?

  7. silverpalm says:

    the same thing was on how to win on dragons den uk tv last week but was made out of plastic

  8. chabo says:

    Not analog, passive. Not an amplifier either, just something that channels the sound more effectively (like an “impedance matcher”).

  9. jim says:

    While I’m a fan of balancing tubes of paper on phones to get better sound, this seems like a giant waste of space and musical instruments.

    Maybe if these objects were smaller and looked less clumsy, I’d be a fan.

  10. swingaroo says:

    Did similar thing (i.e. passive amplification) with spare bugle and earphones. If chosen properly, earpiece fits inside the bugle’s mouthpiece just fine without any modification. Sounds a little brassy though =)

  11. Thanks, Hackaday, for the write-up. And thank you to the community for the helpful words. Unfortunately, it’s too late to change the name to “passive tele-phonographers.” But I will definitely stand corrected.

  12. helixhippie says:

    Well done! And Brubeck too!
    What is the gear that it’s mounted on? Is it a Gravely starter clutch?

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