How to properly care for a vintage amp?

Git

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Hello all, meet my new 1973 Peavey Vintage Tube Amp. I know there isnt too much love for Peavey here, but I think the legitimate vintage series is a real hidden gem in Peavey's lineup over the past 48 years.



I recently picked up this bad boy at a resale shop for a cool $300. Have confirmed it's from 1973 and has had some work done on it somewhere in the past few years.

I absolutely love this amp, I don't have much experience with super high end amplifiers so to me a vintage tube is my first real introduction into authentic vintage sound. When I play some low down fuzz through this baby with my LP I feel like I actually am the rolling stones for a second.

There are a few things I was weary off when purchasing the amp but I'm up to the challenge to make this baby my new main gig amp. I have searched the forums and done a bit of research off the site and haven't found anything too specific so I was hoping I could get some advice on how to take care of a 40 year old amplifier.

Normal Channel (2 inputs) + Bright Channel (2 inputs)


All my knobs go to 12, which is great because spinal tap, but one thing I was worried about greatly was that little guy you see all the way to the right in this picture below


Taking a closer look here we have a ground switch and a fuse. I knew older amplifiers had ground switches, but I wasn't entirely sure of their purpose.


Now the amp has been updated with a 3 prong outlet, but I still have worries concerning this ground switch. First off, the back of the amp is entirely exposed there is no cover. I plan to buy a cover but am unsure how to securely put it on.


I am very unsure of how the ground switch position effects things, but as you can see the ground switch is indeed still connected to the fuse and the power. I have shocked the ****ing shit out of myself twice now trying to clean the pre-amp a bit. I do not know how to safely disconnect this ground switch but i know it is not needed anymore as the amp has been updated with a 3 prong plug.


Last but not least, 4 big beautiful tubes.


The amp pops if i try and get too crazy with it. Turned up my big muff and got experimental with my strymon blue sky and it didn't like it one bit. I always make sure to warm up the tubes for a solid minute or two, then turn it on and just let some high voltage DC flow through them for another solid minute before giving it any signal. The louder I go, the more the popping exist. The amp is incredibly loud and the tone is phenominal but as you can see this amp has seen some rough days.

Is tuning up this amp something I can do myself or should I shell out some cash to a professional to make sure this can handle my next gig? I need to clean the tweed, it is very dirty, but am unsure what to use that wont damage it. I am unsure if the (very loud) popping is due to the age of the speakers or the condition of the pre-amp (which is pretty dirty too). I am very worried about this amp becoming live without my permission due to the ground switch issue, also it ****ing HURTS ALOT when you accidentally touch pretty much anything on the pre-amp when its turned on.

The tube's perform well but they have seen use as you can see. Peavey does not have an archived manual for this amplifier and their customer support has been less than helpful. If anyone has any advice on how to take care of this baby I would be greatly appreciative. I absolutely love the tone of this thing and want to get it working well enough to be my go to amplifier.

Thank you for reading,

-Git
 

GitFiddle

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Cool amp. :thumb:
I would have a tech go over it and upgrade to modern day specs. Just adding a three-prong cord doesn't necessarily mean it was wired correctly. Looks like it used to have a cover on the back. I would just go over the tweed with some mild soap and water and leave it as is. If it were me, I would take the chassis, speakers and reverb out, take to a tech and clean up the empty cab.

This site references that amp in a catalog, but no specs or details.
Meridan, Mississippi 1973 | Preservation Sound

This video is pretty cool too.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rz3XDNmiIvo]Roy Blankenship Amp Repair Shop - 1 - YouTube[/ame]

Good luck and keep us posted. :thumb:
 

jsa61

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I would be very careful. There is enough power in there to kill you if you touch the wrong thing. As mentioned above, I would take it to an amp tech.

Don't really know too much about these other than they have a solid state pre-amp.
It should have a lot of headroom. Cool find. Enjoy!
 

Rhust

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not much love for peavey?? the C30 gets recommended every day! the VK and 5150 and 6505 too, for anyone who can handle the wattage.

nothing wrong with Peavey amps :)


crate on the other hand.... ;)
 

The Ballzz

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Git Said:

"I have shocked the ****ing shit out of myself twice now trying to clean the pre-amp a bit. I do not know how to safely disconnect this ground switch but i know it is not needed anymore as the amp has been updated with a 3 prong plug."

Congratulations on being alive and surviving long enough to make this post! There are voltages inside tube amps that are INSTANTLY LETHAL, this is no joke. If you are not well versed in how to safely discharge these voltages, your hands have no business anywhere near the inside of this amp. At least temporarily make a cheap plywood cover for the amp chassis and take it to a good tech!
Gene
 

Duane24

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How to properly care for it? Its an amp, play the shit out of, fix it when it breaks, that's what its made for
 

Git

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Thanks for the replies. I will clean the inside (safely, not touching anything but the actual chassis) and take it to a tube amp tech here in town. I had a friend that had the standard Vox 50 Watt Tube 1x12 combo and when he took it to get some caps and stuff replaced he ended up with like a 300 dollar bill and all the problems that existed before he took it in were still happening.

I have a guitar center in my town, not sure if they are reputable tube amp technicians but I dont feel safe taking it to one of the several "ma and pa" music shops we have around here like my friend did.

I suppose I will ask around about my local Guitar Center and see if anyone has gotten good service there for tube amp work.
 

Matt_21

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Dude, seriously, I suggest you stop cleaning it while it's on.
Just a friendly suggestion but, we do like to keep our members around here.
 

Git

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I have never triee to clean it while its on, thats why this groubd switch freaked me out when i saw it still connected to the power. This amp is live after i turn it off!!
 

wagdog

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I have never triee to clean it while its on, thats why this groubd switch freaked me out when i saw it still connected to the power. This amp is live after i turn it off!!
Yes, as are a lot of amps with filter caps.

Stop messing with it. Seriously, do not stick your hands in there even when it's off and unplugged. Build a back panel for it and don't play until one is installed.

That amp need to see a competent tech before it goes up in smoke. Those filter caps are probably original and should replaced as should most of the electrolytics.

And fwiw, I love by classic 50 2x12.
 

Ozzy Mandeus

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I would be very careful. There is enough power in there to kill you if you touch the wrong thing. As mentioned above, I would take it to an amp tech.

Don't really know too much about these other than they have a solid state pre-amp.
It should have a lot of headroom. Cool find. Enjoy!


I don't know anything about these amps at all, but that doesn't look like a transistor preamp to me.

Oh, and I'll add my vote to the "stop touching it, get it checked" list...
 

jsa61

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I don't know anything about these amps at all, but that doesn't look like a transistor preamp to me.

Oh, and I'll add my vote to the "stop touching it, get it checked" list...
I see four 6l6 power tubes. Where are the pre-amp tubes? It has none because it has a solid state pre-amp.:thumb:
 

Ozzy Mandeus

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What are the two glass cased octal socketed things on the PCB then?
 

AngryHatter

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The "ground" switch is to control the hum.
It is NOT a chassis ground.
Because there was a two wire cord and plug it did not know what wire to connect to so it connected the chassis to either the common wire on the plug (same voltage as ground) or to 120 volts AC through a capacitor.

This capacitor is known as the death cap because if it goes bad you connect 120 Volts to your guitar and you can get hurt.

Playing it is properly caring for it.
 




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