Peavey Backstage Plus still rockin’

IMG_3282-300 I bought this amp from my brother a long time ago for $50, quickly blew the speaker which I replaced, but then left it languishing in the basement after concentrating more on acoustic music. Now that one of the kids has an electric guitar I’ve found myself playing my Gibson SG more often as well but it didn’t take long to figure out that the acoustic Marshall amp I normally use with the Ovation for gigs just doesn’t cut it for electric guitar. I brought up the old (1987 vintage) Peavey amp to test it out. The pots were really “crackly”, ie: turning the main volume knob with the amp powered up would elicit a terrible scratchy electrical noise as it changed the volume. Some of the other knobs were similarly affected.

IMG_3274-300I removed the pre-amp by taking out the four black screws on the top of the case (I put the case down before taking them all the way out in case the pre-amp would fall down), undid a screw on the inside which holds a clip which helps route signal wire to the pre-amp so I could remove the pre-amp and place it on top of the case so I could see the circuit board. I got some contact cleaner (DeoxIT G5), took a cloth and laid it over the board, then I sprayed the cleaner into the little access holes on the pots (image from an online tutorial because I forgot to take a picture). pots I set the kids to the task of turning the knobs about 100 times left and right, reassembled the pre-amp into the case, and waited about 2 hours for the spray to dry before powering it up again.

All the crackly noises are gone, the pots increase and decrease settings noiselessly and frankly, for what it is, this old Peavey sounds awesome with my SG going through an analog Pigtronix Aria DisNortion [Sic] pedal. I liked the Aria better than the Ibanez TS-9 that I originally wanted.

Marshall AS50D in my future

I’ve been looking into getting a new amp to replace the old Peavey Backstage Plus that I’ve been “making do” with for almost 20 years. The old 35W Peavey looks like a 1987 model. I got it from my brother for pretty cheap sometime around then, and a few years back I replaced the original speaker with a 9″ Pyle Driver, but it worked well for a looong time. Recently I’ve been getting some buzzing sounds from it and the knobs need a serious dose of tuna-lube, and I decided it was finally time to retire it.

The hunt
I started looking for amps a couple months back and got some really good information from my buddy Todd of the Trespassengers and I immediately ignored it all. Well, that’s not true, as you’ll see. One of the things he suggested was that I look at the Mackie SRM450s which I did.
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