My band, Windhaven, is recording an album, so I thought it would make sense to finally get my ART SGX-2000 back up and running. The only thing that’s been wrong with it has been that the pots were so dirty that the unit was practically unusable. There was just no way to make those fine-tuned adjustments that let you zero in on the perfect sound without getting a whole lot of extraneous noise. I never really thought that cleaning the pots would be a big deal, but it would mean cracking the case and at least partially disassembling the unit. So… I kept finding reasons to put it off.
Well, I’ve recently found myself souring on my software amplifiers. I suppose they just showed how lazy I was. It’s really easy to plug into the software amps and have a passable sound right out of the gate. But, more and more, it’s been gnawing at me that I have two great tube amps (the old Ampeg V4 guitar head and the SGX-2000) just sitting around gathering dust. That’s like having a couple of old hot rods sitting in your garage and never taking them for a drive because it’s more convenient to sit in your living and play Grand Prix on your Xbox.
Well, today I beat the dust off of both of them. The Ampeg V4 didn’t need much tweaking. I didn’t do much for it but run some power to it. But the SGX-2000 had to be opened up and partially disassembled. This was done with minimal grumbling, and when I had the case open and the potentiometers exposed I took it outside on the porch to spray cleaner down into the pots. I brought it back in to test it, and, much to my surprise, the pots were clean as a whistle after only the first try. Just like that, the SGX-2000 was back.
I’m going to be recording guitar parts for the Windhaven songs this week, trying to nail down as much as I can as quickly as I can. I want to have an EP ready for sale by the next show, which is November 27th. And from what I hear already, the old SGX-2000 is going to make one hell of a contribution.