Back in 1987 I purchased this Peavey Renown 400 Solo Series guitar amplifier new from Rondo Music in New Jersey. Shortly thereafter I replaced the standard black netting with groovy paisley fabric purchased from a local Ralph Lauren store.
The amp is somewhat unique in that the two Scorpion Plus 12 inch 8 ohm speakers are 200 watts each and the head can put out 210 watts. And that's continuous, not peak. The magnets on these things are 9 lbs. You know those amps that "go to 11"? Well I've never actually turned this up beyond about 4. You just can't do it because it gives you a strong sense that something bad is going to happen.
The functionality of the amp is fairly straight forward. It has two channels - Lead Gain and Normal Gain. There are lots of equalizer settings so it makes a good multi-purpose foundation for guitar or a PA. I used to run music through this at parties. The distortion is nothing special but there are jacks in the back to insert your effects between the pre-amp output and power-amp input.
After 20+ years of sitting unused in my mother's attic I tried to sell this filth covered 70 pounder at her garage sale for $40. But clearly it had problems so it didn't sell. One of the speakers was blown and the sound would cut out as you played.
But being the problem-solver type I decided to try to resurrect this beast. I'm not an EE but dad is and I managed to get some help from someone on a Peavey forum who actually knew something about this model. Fortunately it turned out there wasn't much wrong with the amp at all aside from a loose connection somewhere. If I jammed on the guitar while I whacked the casing with the rubber handle of a pair of heavy pliers I would get a little static and then the sound would cut out. I never identified the specific connection responsible but after I briefly remelted the solder joints on all of the filter capacitors and power transistors and re-hot glued some of the larger components, the amp has been solid ever since. I've never heard so much as a hiccup.
With the amp working well I set out to just clean it up. I scrubbed the cabinet inside and out with a dilute solution of Simple Green and wiped it down with a wash cloth. An old horse hair brush worked very well at getting into the Tolex. I used a lint roller to clean the fabric cover which was totally impregnated with dust. Note that the "3M/Scotch" lint rollers are much better than everything else. I used a tooth brush on the grooves of each knob. I did not submerge them or use a cleaning agent as I feared it might loosen the colored plastic tabs.
There is supposed to be a foot switch to toggle each channel and the reverb. But I lost it so I rigged up a hand switch instead. I went to Radio Shack and bought a Center-Off DPDT micro-switch for switching channels and a SPDT for enabling the reverb (an SPDT and SPST would work equally well of course but they were out of those particular switches). Now I can just reach behind and flip it to the left for the Lead Gain channel, to the right for the Normal Gain channel and center it to leave both channels on.
I used some alligator jumpers to test the switches and figure out the wiring. Then I made a switch plate to fit in place of the foot switch DIN using a small piece of aluminum roof flashing folded in two. I wired everything in parallel to the foot switch DIN connector so that if a foot switch should turn up I could just bolt it back in place without rewiring anything. Finally I put the DIN connector in a small plastic bag so that it cannot rattle around or short-out on anything.
I think it's definitely worth $40 now.