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  1. #1

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    I posted a NAD a few weeks ago when i received my pristine Gibson GA-18 amp. It was kept in a basement and had this great old smell to it. Well I brought it over to a friend's place who smokes and not realizing the effect it would have I didn't think twice. I took the cover off it this morning and now it smells half of smoke and half of the old smell. SO pissed!

    Is this something that will dissipate? Is there something I can do to get rid of It?


    Btw: sounds great!


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I did some searching online (go figure) and there were tins of recommendations. Sorry for the knee Jerk post as I just discovered it this morning and was pissed.

    Some real horror stories if guys trying to salvage equipment that had been in a smokers home for 10-20 years. I only had 5-6 hours, lol. It just had such a cool, vintage smell to it. I hope it comes back. I cleaned the tones and sure enough there was some light color residue on the paper towels. Gotta clean the grill next.

    I can't get mad at the guy, I wasn't thinking. Plus, he's a Jazz guitar legend!

  4. #3

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    It will dissipate, but might take a while. An ozone generator can take care of it quickly, but it may get rid of the smell you liked also.

  5. #4

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    I've had pretty good luck by just leaving things outside for a while. Of course, not in the rain!
    -- Isn't it crazy that "archtop" and "luthier" are spelling errors on this forum?

  6. #5

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    Who sniffs amps?? That's weird.

    Guitars, on the other hand...

    I take a couple of amps into a smoky guitar bar where we play once a month. I don't notice much residual smell on the cabs after a day or so. I only take one particular guitar in there, not my favorite ES-135, because I don't one any of my good'uns to smell like an ashtray.

    I also throw all my washables into the laundry, take a shower, and hang my sportcoat in the garage, where after a week or so I can't really smell much.

    Ugh. I like smoking the occasional cigar, but hate smelling smoke! (And I grew up in a house where my dad was a chain-smoker. Probably why I have such bad nasal allergies now.)
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  7. #6

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    Who sniffs amps?? That's weird"

    you don't have to sniff them, if they've spent a lot of time in that environment it'll hit you in the face from 5 feet away.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon View Post
    Who sniffs amps?? That's weird"

    you don't have to sniff them, if they've spent a lot of time in that environment it'll hit you in the face from 5 feet away.


    As soon as I walk into the guitar room the old smell of the amp would hit met, now it's a smoky smell that shows itself.

  9. #8

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    Leave it uncovered for a while and it'll go away. If it's really offiensive, leave it in your garage to air out, possibly in the trunk of the car parked in the garage if you have bugs or other critters in there. I bought a used Fender tweed amp on eBay many years ago and it smelled of smoke at first, but within a couple weeks (? IDK I've had this amp for about 20 yrs now!) the smoke smell dissipated.

    Used to play a gig that would permeate my clothes with such strong smoke and cologne smell that I didn't even want to bring them in the house afterward! I would undress in the back yard upon arriving home and hang my clothes out there overnight, then take them directly to the washing machine the next day...

    I live in a rural neighborhood, so no worries about flashing the neighbors :-)

  10. #9

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    Our younger members may not remember when the places we played frequently had conditions such that hazmat protocols should have been applied in self defense. Arriving home from a gig, after securing the gear, clothing sequestration was followed by detoxifying bathing, brushing, and eventually restorative sleep. Dry cleaning was a not inconsiderable line item on the tax return.

    I spent six months getting the funk out of a serendipitously purchased Les Paul Junior Special and its accompanying case with boxes and boxes of Arm & Hammer, lots of warm soapy water, an acre or so of paper towels, and a 55 gallon drum of elbow grease. Not my favorite project, but worth it in the end.

    Of course you can't do that with an amp, so - porch + fan + time + luck + tech check = problem diluted beyond detection. Good luck!
    Best regards, k

  11. #10

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    sunlight will kill most smells, great for old guitar cases, and amps too.
    just make sure there's no rain in the forecast, or put in near a window that lets strong light in.
    UV rays can be a very good cleaner.

  12. #11

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    ^^ Yup I was going to say sun light as well to start. Can't hurt and no work involved. Good luck.

  13. #12

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    UV can do irreversible damage. I’d suggested cleaning as much of the surface area as you can, then put the amp in a well ventilated room. If you keep it in a poorly ventilated room, as the smoke residue outgasses, much of it will probably end up deposited elsewhere in the room.

  14. #13

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    Yes but once you get rid of the Funky Smell.All the Character of 50 to 70 years is GONE! Lol!