Project Guitar I

As with many of you in quarantine, I have been going stir crazy. I have tried doing a bunch of stuff, along with working, but nothing has really taken hold.

Until last week, when I took apart my amplifier, my Stratocaster, and then my Stratocaster again.

This is to document what work I’ve done so far, along with my thinking on it. I plan on it being at least 6 parts:

  1. Amplifier
  2. Stratocaster Output Jack
  3. Stratocaster Teardown
  4. Pickups
  5. Switch
  6. Volume and Tone Pots

Today, we are going to talk about amplifiers. Specifically, we are going to be discussing my Pignose Hog 30 amplifier.

Isn’t she pretty? I picked it up at the pawn shop a couple years ago on the cheap as it wouldn’t turn on. The On/Off knob (lower right) was disconnected, and the pawn shop wasn’t about to do anything about it.

I started by taking off the grill cover as you see it there. That was a waste of time as it doesn’t actually hold anything beyond the grill cover.

Then I unscrewed the back. Here you can see the outline of the 5 screws I took out to remove the back. The screws in the upper left and right corners I left in.

Pulling that out, I then moved to the sides. Again, the ones appearing to attach the corners I left alone. The two on the right vertically hold in the front speaker. I removed those from both sides and was able to take out the speaker panel. I didn’t touch the speaker because I didn’t know if it was good or not. Getting the power working was the first priority.

As you can see below, there is an upper wooden arm and a lower wooden arm. Both are held in by the 3 screws in the middle above. After taking out those screws, then I needed to remove the screws that held the amplifier circuitry. Those were on the bottom of the amplifier. I then had to remove the two batteries, left and right, which sat on top of the circuit board. Finally, there was a wooden cover over the top of the circuitry held in by another set of screws.

PHEW! Now we can get to the real issues. First up was the on/off switch. It is held in place by a nut, but the nut was loose, and it wasn’t easy to get tightened. I don’t have a picture for that part, sadly.

Second, it appeared that the on/off switch had one of it’s leads come out of the solder. Bringing out my soldering iron, and a little solder, and it was right back on.

At this point, I could turn the on/off switch, and the power light would come on. Was I finished? Only one way to tell. I plugged in my trusty Strat, and hit a chord.


I will admit it was a bit of luck that it was really that simple to get it going again. We’ll pick up with my next little adventure in part II.

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