Coolest thing you ever found that was thrown away and needed fixed?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by SubHuman, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. SubHuman


    Dec 29, 2005
    Good Old USA
    What's the coolest piece of musical instrument gear or other equipment you ever found discarded and grabbed it and fixed it? I imagine we'll be seeing a lot of stuff with people cleaning out their houses during the virus too!

    I found a 1981 Korg Polysix sitting on a free spot at work a few years ago that looked in decent shape so I took it home and cleaned it all up and plugged it in and it didn't work. I asked the guy that was getting rid of it why he was tossing it. He said it didn't turn on, it was old and it was taking up too much space. (Sounds like me...Ha!)

    Korg Polysix - Wikipedia

    Hmmm...I took the covers off and checked the fuses and they looked good. I did see a single red LED so I knew it had power.
    I got on-line and found a website that discussed how the Korg Polysix was notorious for the ni-cad backup battery to leak after ~ 10 years and literally eat the PCB traces right off the boards.

    I downloaded the schematics and had to pull and replace a half dozen components and IC's and jumper some traces that had been dissolved by battery acid. Fingers crossed I put it all back together and now it works like a champ! The Korg Polysix is a polyphonic analog synthesizer and it can produce some pretty awesome sounds. Super low bass notes that rumble! Unfortunately I'm not a keyboard player but it is fun to play around with. My son took piano lessons for years and he can play and it sounds pretty sweet! He has a recording studio so I am letting it live there for now so it can be used on their recording sessions if needed.

    Any of you ever find someone's junk and turn it into your treasure?
  2. 4SG


    Mar 6, 2014
    IMG_5592.jpg Someone tossed this Kustom III 100 bass head. I took it to a tech friend to see what its deal was. "Nothing major, looks like a loose wire." *Solders for 2 seconds* "Should be good to go now." About a month later, in a totally different part of town, someone else had the matching 1x15 cabinet on Craigslist for $80. I got it for $60 because the input jack plate was bent. As it turns out, the serial numbers date the head and cab to December 1983--they could have been sold together. Kept the rig in the music room for years, then gave it to the bassist in my son's band.
    zbigniew, SWRnut, mikewalker and 12 others like this.
  3. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    WOW! I used to own this very rig that you found. This has an EV SRO 15 inch speaker. It's a nice rig. Nice sound. I sold mine about 20 years ago. I think the head is like 120 watts. Which is decent.
    mikewalker and 4 Strings Good like this.
  4. SubHuman


    Dec 29, 2005
    Good Old USA
    Too cool! I wish more things weren't just tossed. That's part of the problem today. The garbage dumps are full of obsolete stuff that still works! Unfortunately a lot of it is toxic waste. RECYCLE...especially musical stuff!
    PWRL likes this.
  5. BarfanyShart


    Sep 19, 2019
    DC Metro
    My band director through a white bronco bass in the dumpster, and i digged it out and gave it to my teacher. He fixed it and started gigging with it. He liked it because it was small and light enough to travel with the body wedged in the pocket of his double bass bag and a strap securing the neck to the outside of the bag. I laughed at him and he said, "laugh all you want, it weighs six pounds, I got your dumpster bass dialed in."
  6. SubHuman


    Dec 29, 2005
    Good Old USA
    I would jam on a Dumpster bass and gloat about it!
  7. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    A 1988 Fender red knob "The Twin" guitar amp. It fell about 4 feet off a loading dock in about 1995 and the owner left it behind after a gig because it didnt work (not surprisingly). I paid 200 to have a few things repaired, retubed it and still have it. It's an amazing amp, but weighs 5 tons. :D
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  8. SubHuman


    Dec 29, 2005
    Good Old USA
    $200 for a Fender Twin is a bargain! Great salvage and no landfill!
    mikewalker, Beej and fretter like this.
  9. ZedLepp


    May 12, 2013
    I hauled a Randall 2x15 cab out of the trash. Replaced the missing speakers with Carvin replacements and it's been my backup cab ever since.
    fretter and MonetBass like this.
  10. Back in the 70s when I was a young teen a music store burned down in downtown Seattle. Folks were tossing Les Pauls and such out onto the street. My gang was from the suburbs so we were late to the scene and I ended up with a Morley power wah fuzz and some other charred and reeking gear. A pal got a Casino amp head which he plugged a cheap mic into and the mic melted before our eyes.
    We were taking public transportation with blackened charred and stinking gear back into the suburbs.
    I still have the power wah fuzz.
    I also "rescued" this beauty which should have gone to a landfill: a Peavey SC 15 front loaded sub that was left out in the rain and was full of bat pee. It's currently blocking my basement hallway. IMG_0395.JPG
  11. SubHuman


    Dec 29, 2005
    Good Old USA
    If nothing else this shows that TB'ers are helping save the planet by keeping stuff out of the trash heap!

    Anybody else helping save the planet?
  12. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    I picked a Roland KC-150 out of a dumpster. It was sticking out of the top looking at me. it powered up and worked fine. The tweeter was blown, but apparently that is typical with these amps. I found a tweeter for about ten bucks on Ebay.

    It wasn’t even dirty or gross. It is a nice little practice or small gig amp. I used it for cocktail gigs with keys and bass running through.

    As excited as I was to find this in the garbage, I stopped bragging about it due to the weird looks I would get from people.

    While not really a dumpster pick, I did buy a Fender MIA Precision that had a twisted neck. It only set me back about 400 dollars. I gigged the neck for a few years and it was fine except for being a little high in the action past the 12th fret. Put a used Fender MIA maple neck on it, and never looked back.
    mikewalker and fretter like this.
  13. jtemple


    Sep 5, 2011
    Washington, MO
    My wife found saw a Peavey Fury sitting in a trash can in a guitar case that was too small for the bass. She fished it out and brought it home. When I got home she said "I got you a bass". Plugged it in and it played. A little banged up but still playable. That bass is now the backup bass at my church.
    mikewalker, PWRL, fretter and 6 others like this.
  14. Huh... not sure....

    that hohner precision headless steinberger bass I have... that I stole bridge saddles out of. I had fixed it and it sounded and played great... just was super heavy body with no weight in neck and ugly paint. cool though for free.

    um..... my peavey tko 80 bass amp. got it free. works perfectly. didn't have to fix it though, but owner had thought I'd have to. probably had a bad contact in a jack that fixed itself after sittting in his place before I grabbed it from him.

    erm..... some effect pedals I've fixed that were giveaways....

    basses and guitars I payed $20 for each that I fixed up and sold for $120 to $250 each. I'd have kept them but I'm only allowed so many instruments LoL

    Oh, my entire home studio monitoring chain - Craigslist free, high end late 1980s yamaha stereo (like, seriously high end)... 400wpc power amp with better specs than any I've used previously, dedicated preamp with parametric eq, Infinity RS 6b speakers (planar tweeters, 2" dome mids, 8" woofers) that I had to do major work on (one woofer was toast) to repair, but I'm an old loudspeaker builder so that was just a fun evening project for me... those are still my main monitors for recording to this day.

    I'm sure I'm missing cool things - but I love fixing other folks' garbage. In every case, they want their junk gone, I take it.

    Oh, some metal 19" gear racks with tons of cables, snakes, old power amps, preamps, old fx units that didn't seem to work - typically from someone who dropped their lease and the owner was dumping stuff that had no value. I run my studio reverbs for monitoring through one of those racks now - some beautiful tones from very nice units that needed a good cleaning.
    SWRnut, Timmy Liam and MonetBass like this.
  15. bobfarabaugh


    Jan 23, 2009
    1974ish Fender Princeton was listed for free on cl and at curb with a bunch of other stuff. Needed a new fuse. Actually sounds pretty good.
    SWRnut, mikewalker, PWRL and 8 others like this.
  16. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    A guitar layer in one of my groups was cleaning house just 2 days ago. Asked me if I wanted some speakers and an amp he was getting rid of.

    2 of the 4 speakers were old sonic pa speakers that had EV 18s in them, and a couple of really weird eden vipers.
    He threw in an old crate 60 watt amp from what must have been the earliest years... nothing exceptional and most of it will be donated to the local "School of rock".

    The on thing on his pile that caught my eye was an early 60s grey guitar case. When asked he said he was getting rid of it … it was his first guitar. a 1966 Fender Broadcaster II in mint condition.

    I told him to hang on to it, send me the serial number and I should be able to give him some good news. He figured on selling it for about 70 bucks.

    We it ended out being a 1966 model and they go for insane prices , just because they're old. He was thrilled, and appreciative. My wife... not so much. I just sold enough gear this week that I could park my van in the garage... now I've got a pile of stuff that I can only hope to give away in the very near future.
    mikewalker and Pauly 4001 like this.
  17. Oh, I forgot some really cool things!

    Back around 1990 a friend moved into a basement suite and found an old kent hollowbody electric guitar with no bridge or tailpiece (or strings of course). he gave it to me - I bought cheapest of both I could find (like $30) and voila, nice little guitar to play on the deck all summer! was a nice one, I miss it - I gave it away to someone who needed it eventually.

    When I was like 16, my best friend gave me a peavey guitar amp for free. It was one of the little 25 watt solid state trans tube amps - sounded great, not very loud, but had a nasty rattle in the back. So I just had to shove some stuff in around the metal shield that was making a rattling noise, and voila!

    I also gave that away, eventually. I used to be dumb about giving stuff away. Some would say I was nice.... I thought I was. But I really could have used those items - I went without a guitar amp of any kind at home to practice on for several years again.
  18. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I recently found an old leather suitcase sitting on the curb. The only thing wrong with it was that it had some kind of packing tape on it and I have been slowly removing it. This suitcase makes a great bass drum sound when I record. I've even seen a duo that used one like it for live performance.
    mikewalker, PWRL and getbent like this.
  19. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Bayside, New York
    Those are great little amps. I have one from same era minus the reverb. You can hear exactly what your instruments sound like through these little amps.
  20. DAMN