Xinyan’s Signature Guitar Amp

One of the things that I (LastVanguard) do as a side hobby from time to time is build custom audio equipment – mostly old school-style guitar tube amplifiers and effects.

In the course of joking around with one of the other members of our group back in December 2020, we were talking about how good the soundtrack to Genshin Impact is. It’s had a profound effect on me, and is marvelously well-done. Since great music works have a history of inspiring me to build audio creations as a tribute to them, I made the offhanded comment that:

You know, I really aught to build some kind of an amplifier as a tribute to this game’s soundtrack.

However, that comment came and went, and I didn’t think too much more of it at the time.

Then, Xinyan was released as a character.

After playing through her skillset, seeing her personality in the English version of the game, and taking quite a liking to the character design as a whole, I finally had my root idea for what to do as an audio project for Genshin Impact – I was going to build a signature amplifier for Xinyan.

I obtained an extremely beat-up old amplifier chassis from a local electronics surplus parts store to use as a baseline for the project – a Yamaha Thirty 112, dating back to 1979 Japan. While the amp itself didn’t work as a whole, the wooden cabinet was relatively fine, the speaker worked and was pretty good, and it did include a machined aluminum chassis for the circuits.

(I’d rather repurpose an old amplifier’s parts for many of my builds as opposed to buying completely new parts; it helps old equipment see some new life and love once more, and keeps our landfills a little cleaner.)

After refinishing the cabinet to look like driftwood from Liyue Harbor, I worked with a few vendors I knew to create a customized grill cloth, custom bamboo veneer faceplate for the circuit housing, and get oil-rubbed bronze finished accessories for various parts of the cabinet.

I’ve preserved a moderate amount of the original circuit design, as well as re-using the original transformers and power amplifier section, but the preamp section has been entirely redone to provide a slightly more modern, scooped sound voicing for Xinyan’s plexi-style tone. The distortion was also re-worked to be less of a germanium fuzz circuit, and more of a mid-boosted Marshall-esqe drive stage.

The end result is a pretty beautiful amplifier to look at. It sounds excellent, takes pedals particularly well, and the solid-state circuitry provides an extremely reliable tone template for a variety of different sounds.

Most importantly, it’s my personal tribute to the soundtrack that’s influenced me more over the last couple years than any other. Mihoyo’s done the game a great honor by giving it an OST that’s this good – and this amp is a testament to that, as well.

**EDIT** Thank you for those that have reached out to me in interest with regard to this amplifier, but it is not for sale at this time. Cheers!