Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Broken Amp Day, Part 3

Part 1:

Part 2:

I am on an online forum, the Dean Guitars Forum, that has a lot of guys with great information on guitars and amps.  One of the members made a suggestion that I check the fuse on the board of the Laney Amp.  I hadn't thought about that.  I knew it had two fuses on the back, but it actually does have one on the board.  When I looked at it, I could see that it was visibly burnt out. 

That actually means good news.  It means that the reason the amp was powering on and not having any sound come out of it was the fuse.  And fuses are cheaper than a lot of other things that could have been wrong with it.  So the cost of getting this amp back up and running could be somewhat affordable. 

Here's the picture of the replacement fuse.

Something I also had to do was replace the screws on the top vent.  Since the old ones where stripped they needed to go.  I decided to spruce it up with brass screws.  I kind of dig them.

My next step will most likely be the tubes.  Although I am still looking out for good deals on the feet, handle, and grill mesh.  Stay tuned.

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Broken Amp Day, Part 2

Here's the first part of this story:

So here's the short version.  I bought this Laney amp for $90, and now I am trying to get it back into playing shape.  Today I had time to take it apart, and see how bad a shape it was in.  I also wanted to clean it.

In the next few pictures you can see all the rust, dirt, and grime.  I used silver polish as well as some steel wool to clean it up.  It worked wonders. 

The next thing I did was staple the tolex back down to the wood.  Originally glue held it down in places, but since this was so old the glue had started to wear out.  I just did what they should have done in the first place, put a few staples in it.

Next up, I cleaned the heat vent on the top of the amp.  Again, a lot of grime had built up, but a lot of elbow grease took care of that.

Here's a view of the inside of the amp.  It's in much better shape than I thought it would be.  I feel so much better after seeing this.  While I had it open I gave it a heck of a cleaning with electronics cleaner.

Here's the sticker on the inside of the amp.  It says it was made July 22, 1997. 

It's also amazing what a little Febreeze will do to the tolex. 

So here's what I need to do in the meantime.

1.  Replace the short screws that hold the top vent.  It'll cost more in gas than it will for the cost of the screws.  Ace Hardware here I come.
2.  I need 2 nuts to hold down the output jacks. 
3.  It needs all new tubes.
4.  It needs new feet.  I know it only needs one, but they come in packages of four.  And honestly, the three on there are pretty ate up. 
5.  I need to get a handle.
6.  I need to get a back mesh grill. 

Again, it's a lot of small parts, and some expensive tubes.  But if I can get this thing working it will be totally worth it with what I paid for it. 

So stay tuned for the next installment when I start adding parts, and getting her back up and running.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New Broken Amp Day

I used to work at a music store that carried Laney Amps.  Until I worked there, I didn't know much about them.  I kind of found out they were the "other" British amp aside from Marshall.  They are very well made, but they aren't too big over here in the U.S. as they are in the U.K.

To make a long story short I found a guy on Craigslist selling a Laney GH-100-L amp for only $90.  Normally they cost $1200 new, so I knew something was amiss. Actually, I have to be a touch honest in that, he posted that it was broken, and roughed up.  It had no sound coming out of it.  He didn't want to mess with taking it to a repair shop, so he was just getting rid of it.

Here's a funny thing.  He lives halfway between Tampa and Orlando.  So he had about 20 people interested in the amp, none of them wanted to make the drive for it though.  They wanted him to deliver.  I was the only one who would drive to him.  And to be completely honest, it was a 98 mile round trip.  That's what the car odometer said.

So I did look it over, and decided that it was a worthwhile investment.  But here's what's wrong with it.

1. No handle.
2. No back plate.
3. Missing a foot.
4. A lot of dust, and more rust than there should be. I mean, was this thing near the salt water?
5. Powers up, but no sound.
6. 2 of the output jacks are shoved inside the chassis. Why? I have no idea.
7. Some of the switches on the back are also not lined up with the chassis.
8. This is normally shipped with EL-34 tubes, but has a switch that lets you put in 6L6 tubes. Right now it has 6L6 tubes.
9. The one part on the side looks taped up for some reason.
10. This thing had set for 5 years or more without being fired up.

So here's what I'm looking at. I need to buy all new tubes. For those of you who know me, know I love EH tubes. This has J.J. preamp tubes, and Mesa 6L6 tubes. Nothing wrong with the Mesa tubes, but I bought a British amp to sound like a British amp. So EL-34's are going in this thing.

Since it's sat so long, I'm sure it needs a sodder job. That's one reason I'm sure that it will fire up, but not have sound come out.

I need to clean it up. No biggie on that, I can wipe dust and rust off.

I do need to buy a handle, foot, maybe a back plate for it. I also need to staple down the tolex in the back.

So here's the total cost I am estimating I'm looking at.  $90 for the amp.  $15 for gas and tolls.  $130 for new tubes.  $120 for sodder job (if needed.)  New, handle, foot, and backplate, $50.  I suspect that the amp was run in the wrong mode for the tubes it has in it.  That means that a few of the capacitors are burnt or wore out.  Depending upon the number of them, it could be upwards of $30. 

So it's not a cheap repair, but I will see if I can do some of it on my own.  Anyway, onto the pictures.


I've been a hunter for a while.  So while I know about the different types of game that get hunted across the U.S., I like watching the hunting shows to learn about techniques and hunting on other continents.  However, I just learned something that I had never heard about from shows or other hunters.  In fact, I can't believe that I just found out about this.  It seems there are a bunch of feral donkeys in Australia, and that you are now allowed to hunt them.

Honestly, I didn't believe it at first.  I thought it was one of those internet rumors that go around.  However, Wikipedia had this to say:

The short version is there are 5 million feral donkeys in Australia.  Wow.  Most people, as well as myself, are used to donkeys being used as beasts of burden. 

Despite their being regarded as stupid, it seems that donkeys can survive in the wild just fine.  Even in a foreign habitat, they have built up strong numbers.

But let me get back to the hunting part.  It presents a lot of questions.  Are they hard to track, or are they too stupid to know if someone is stalking or shooting at them?  If you shoot one, do you have it mounted on the wall?  If you do, will your friends make fun of you?  If you've ever been near an Australian you know that's a valid question. 

One last thing.  Hunting is all about shooting game for food.  I mean, you can eat a donkey, but I bet it tastes like ass.