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Tell us about your amps that refuse to die

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by NeonVomit, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. NeonVomit


    Jan 29, 2013
    London, UK
    Who's got one?

    I've got a little Peavey Microbass combo. No volume control, just the gain. I bought it for about 30 quid from a friend of mine in 2006, who warned me it made a funny fuzzing/distorted sound occasionally, but you could solve it by stomping on it.

    He'd had it for about 3 years, meaning it is now 10 years old. In the time I've owned it, it's fallen down stairs, had beer spilled on it, been knocked off a table onto the floor, and yet it refuses to stop working. It (still) occasionally makes the funny fuzzing/distorted sound, which is (still) solved by stomping on it. The frequency with which it makes that noise has not increased or decreased in the time I've owned it.

    It's not a great amp, actually not even a good one... the sound is just... plain, meh. It has zero features - just the gain knob and a 3 band EQ and an on/off switch. But it's been used for countless guitar + bass living room jamming and songwriting sessions with the guitarists in my various projects, for countless hours of home practice, and has been lent to various friends for their own temporary needs.

    I'm basically waiting for it to die so I can get a new practice amp, but until it does I'm essentially stuck with it, and I have a feeling that it's going to be a long ride.

    Anyone else have similar stories?
  2. frankieC

    frankieC A swell guy from Warren Harding High

    Jul 21, 2012
    I'm still using a 1968 Sunn 200S. I bought it new back in the day, and I've only replaced tubes in it, twice. That's 45 years of everything from 1950's oldies to Classic Rock, to country, to reggae, to pop to contemporary Christian.

    ...and with my 41 year old Rick, it still sounds great!

    THe running gag... "Frank, when are you going to buy some new equipment"?
    Answer: "When I find something that sounds better".
  3. Although relegated to back up duties as of earlier this year...
    My GK 400RB bought new in 1987 (by my Dad) and gigged non stop since (on average 2 nights a week 3 hours a night, first 4 years it did 6 nights a week, 5 hours a night resort work) has never died, failed or required any servicing.
    One hell of a reliable amp. I'll have to ask my dad if he ever had to change the fuse, as I never did.
  4. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    1971 Simms Watts AP 200 Super, It has been very economical on tubes, it was recapped about 10 years ago and considering that it works every day of its life in a busy Rehearsal Studio,
    It's pretty unbustable really:):bassist:
    PS it also sounds seriously great.:hyper:
    PPS Just thought I would add my old Southend era Roost SR, it's been faultless since 1975, but It has been re valved and re capped just for
    proper studio maintenance purposes:
    It's got 4 12ax7's in the pre amp instead of 3 as in the famed Hiwatt Dr
    series amp, also from Southend.
    So the Roost can get quite satisfyingly filthy, if you like that sort of thing.:hyper::bassist:
  5. GrumpiusMaximus

    GrumpiusMaximus I've Seen Things You People Wouldn't Believe

    Mar 11, 2013
    Kent, United Kingdom
    I have a MicroBass of a similar 'vintage' - mine is about 9 years old.

    I actually love that thing. It's not a great sound but it's very sturdy and is a great size to put in the living room or to take to friends' houses.

    My Laney guitar amp is a workhorse. I have no idea how old it is - bought it from a friend who had bought it from a friend. It's seen better days but I love the way it sounds - even with bass. One of these days I'm going to change the valves and rebias it but there's no real need. Rock solid (and very heavy).
  6. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I've been playing through a mid '70s magnavox SVT since 1984. I think I've had to replace the power tubes 3 times in that span and maybe a couple of preamp tubes that went microphonic. It hasn't needed anything else.

    I also have a '73 marshall superlead that has never had any issues other than a tube arc in the late '80s. I've been using that since '76.

    Both are only handled my me now, but they've been subjected to extensive touring and crew handling too.
  7. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Early-‘80s Peavey amps are tough as nails.

    My first bass amp was a Peavey Basic 60 combo that I bought used and played for years. When I decided to upgrade, I donated the Basic 60 to another aspiring bassist, and would not be surprised if it’s still going strong today.

    I also have two Peavey Bandit 65 guitar amps from that era that just won’t die.
  8. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    I've been waiting patiently for my small-gig amp to start acting up so I have a legitimate excuse to jump on the micro-head wagon,but I think it's a lost cause..
    It's a GK 400RB with a born-on date of January '85. I bought it used 18yrs ago with a Peavey 2-10cab for the princely sum of $125. I've gigged the snot out of it and still do,along with playing it a few hours every day at home. In all the time I've had it,it has never had a single issue,not even a scratchy pot or missing knob-cap..It's easy to see why these little amps have the reputation they do! :bassist:
  9. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    My early 90's Hartke 3500. Bought it new in 92ish, and it used it heavily while playing the Northeast, Atlantic coast, Midwest and bits of Canada. It was my ONLY bass amp and I never needed a back up.

    Its still going strong, although I rarely use it. Any time I plug it in, I'm yet again surprised at how good it sounds and how LOUD it is for 350w.
  10. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I've got an 80's Peavey Deca 700 that quietly sits in a corner and just keeps on working. I've got a Hammond organ that came out of a bar and it is over 70 years old. All my other vintage amps are better than new in terms of specs so they will all outlive me.

    That's the nice thing about old tube amps. They can all be fixed, rebuilt from the ground up if necessary, kept in top shape, and last for as long as you want them to.
  11. I am original owner of a 1971 Kustom 200-B as well as 1974 Acoustic 370 head.

    I have really put that Kustom through it all ..it never failed me; however, I failed it and my Acoustic in a home-made ric-o-sound experiment; fried components in each head.

    As both were under 'LIFETIME warranty'..both were repaired for free..both still fire up and perform as expected even today..nearly 40 years on the Acoustic 370 and over 43 with the Kustom 200.

    Kustom 200 was THE THING when new, but was soon eclipsed by Sunn, Acoustic, and Ampeg, as well as others... Great up against Fender Super and smaller.. against a stack??.. might as well be turned-off..

    Acoustic 370 is built like a tank and designed to stand proud against any stack, when paired with right cabinets.

    Certainly, by todays standards they are heavy and I doubt we'll see any of the newer amps even 20 years from now..while I expect my Kustom and Acoustic to out-live me.. and I AM 60!
  12. kimokeo


    Jul 7, 2009
    I bought an SWR Redface (no switch for the fan) over 10 years ago and it is still pounding it out. Love the sound it has with the Goliath II cabinet!
  13. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    My longest running before I sold it was a GK400RB that I had purchased from a crackhead. Not only was it already older than dirt when I got it, but it had spent most of its life in an outdoor tool shed in upstate NY where the temps must have been either stupid hot or stupid cold plus damp all the time. Best $20 I ever spent.
  14. NeonVomit


    Jan 29, 2013
    London, UK
    Why would you buy anything from a crackhead??

    Oh... right.
  15. Jaybird1969


    Mar 21, 2009

    1980 Peavey MK III. Have owned it since 1987. Dropped it down flights of stairs, spilled beers on it, etc. Mostly just use it for practice these days, but it's still loud & kicking.
  16. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    I have a Microbass, which I don't use anymore since I own a Michael Kelly ABG, which is used to practice with at home. I like the sound of the little Microbass actually. It made a high pitched noise due to the input jack some years ago, and the local music store attempted a repair. Anyway, I used to enjoy the little thing. I had a GK 800 RB that never had any issues, for many years, and an SWR Super Redhead, same thing, both gone now, but not due to any problems.
  17. Turkeypills


    Nov 8, 2012
    St. Louis
    I have a Microbass as well that is at least 10-12 years old. No issues that couldn't be solved with a little contact cleaner.
  18. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Lab Series L7. Not a bass amp but it's over 30 years old, all original, and still going strong.
  19. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    My GK 400B from the 80's went through 10 years of me on the bass, 7 years of my buddy on guitar, 5 years of my other bud on bass, and he sold it to another bassplayer.

    It sounded GREAT on a 412 with a guitar/effects through it.

  20. Andy Sivyer

    Andy Sivyer

    Sep 11, 2013
    kent england
    I have an old Ohm GA140 1x15 combo still going strong dates from about 1982 ish. Its big heavy and sounds great still for what it is. Was in the shed for a few years all temps from -10c to 30 c and its never missed a beat.