Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 27 of 27
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Ok. Maybe not what you think. Back in 2007 I found a used and abused 1964 Fender Bandmaster head a friend took in a trade. This thing was originally cream tolex, but painted black to look cool. The bottom of the head had a huge hole chipped away. It appeared to have caught fire some time in the past. So I did the logical thing, I bought it.
    Stripped the black paint. It was cool there were cigarette burn marks in the tolex. I noticed the one knob was worn more than others. I think it was the treble control. So I had someone get the electronics working. I bought new replacement parts for those that were highly worn. Patched the hole in the bottom of the head. So bingo a great old amp head brought back.
    The issue became lugging around a head with a hugh iron transformer and a cab. Then one day it occurred to me to load it into a combo cab. So checking diamensions on Ampwares website it appeared the chassis would fit into a Fender Deluxe reverb cab. Bingo! On top of that I loaded a Jenson Neodymium speaker (4ohms) in her. Plus added tilt backs on her.
    Now I haven't had her out for a while. But I have been using her the last several weeks. After about 10 minutes there is a noticeable smell coming from the amp. The only time I have smelt this before is with my older brothers record player. What am I smelling?
    Last edited by Wildcat; 12-07-2019 at 02:10 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    My Vintage Fender Amp Stinks-20191207_125614-jpg

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    It could be anything from melting transformers to reactivated ancient beer-spills.

    Off to the shop for you. Good luck!

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    I even had a copy of the orginal power tube chart made and put it in the Deluxe cab. I can see it now. Someday a amp tech is going to be scratching their heads on this one. Lol!

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Cool amp! Hopefully it's nothing serious...

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    I don't think its serious. The guy I bought the head from owns the TV repair business his father started in 1952. Ever time I walk in there it has the same smell.
    The shop is really cool. It's like a museum of vintage equipment, tubes, radios. ... Then the work bench is something out of The Outer Limits. Oscilloscopes, wires, probes.... ..

    It's actually a house. But the front is the business with the house in the back where his brother still lives.

    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    Cool amp! Hopefully it's nothing serious...

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat
    This thing was originally cream tolex, but painted black to look cool. The bottom of the head had a huge hole chipped away. It appeared to have caught fire some time in the past. So I did the logical thing, I bought it.
    Ha. Somehow this statement makes perfect sense to me.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Very cool amp. I like how you've converted it to a DR sized combo. Aside from the smell, how does it sound?

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Great. But I have to admit I'm a 6V6 guy. The 6L6s are bit sterile to my ear.
    I had just picked up the new Mesa California tweed amp that pushes up to 40 watts, selections between 2, 10, 30 and 40 watts, with 6V6s. Had to sell her. But pulled this bad boy out of the closet.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Very cool amp. I like how you've converted it to a DR sized combo. Aside from the smell, how does it sound?

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    It's the smell of magic smoke escaping. If too much escapes, the amp dies. The magic smoke can escape via burned resistors or overheating transformers. Something is getting too hot, and you're smelling the result.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    That was a short acquaintance with the Mesa Tweed.

    The smell could be that of dust being heated up by the tubes and transformer. Tubes amp smell...and I love that smell of tube amps heating up. I love the clinking of cold tubes getting toasty. Something has come alive.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Oh we will meet again. The amp was perfect to me.
    But unfortunately my current finances are less than perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    That was a short acquaintance with the Mesa Tweed.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Probably time for a cap job from a GOOD tech. Capacitors don’t last forever.

    New caps and adjust the bias; good to go for another fifty years.

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Try powering up with the standby switch off, and leave it off for 20 minutes or so. That will tell you whether the smell is from something following the standby switch.

    Besides servicing the electrolytic capacitors, also check all 1-watt resistors—especially the 470 ohm resistors soldered to the 6L6 sockets.


  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Thank you for the information.


    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP
    Try powering up with the standby switch off, and leave it off for 20 minutes or so. That will tell you whether the smell is from something following the standby switch.

    Besides servicing the electrolytic capacitors, also check all 1-watt resistors—especially the 470 ohm resistors soldered to the 6L6 sockets.


  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Good advice. I was planning on it. I am fortune to have a very good amp tech at a local guitar store.

    Besides resisters and caps degraded, its still has a 2 prong power chord. The opti-coupler or the "roach" that creates the tremelo effect is nonfunctional. The power capacitors have been changed out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alder Statesman
    Probably time for a cap job from a GOOD tech. Capacitors don’t last forever.

    New caps and adjust the bias; good to go for another fifty years.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    I used to be able to tell the difference between the smells of burning resistors, capacitors, and transformers, and dust on tubes, just by the difference in the odors. But that was long ago and far away, and I'm far from sure I could do it now. Especially when the amp is thousands of miles (probably) from me. I suggest taking the amp to your very good amp tech and having it checked. The smell might actually be benign, but with old tube amps you cannot rely on that.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Does either the PT or the OT get way too hot?

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Not sure. No performance issues as of yet. Also, I am not sure if it's an actual issue as I mentioned my brother's portable record player made the same smell and it function well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Does either the PT or the OT get way too hot?

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    I heard Hammertone knows a thing or 2 about "Magic Smoke".

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    It's the smell of magic smoke escaping.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat
    Good advice. I was planning on it. I am fortune to have a very good amp tech at a local guitar store.

    Besides resisters and caps degraded, its still has a 2 prong power chord. The opti-coupler or the "roach" that creates the tremelo effect is nonfunctional. The power capacitors have been changed out.
    A 2-prong power cord and you are still alive to tell the tale. Get it 3-prong grounded pronto, man, or it may next ground you, what with the funky smell and all. George Alessandro is in your hood...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat
    Not sure. No performance issues as of yet. Also, I am not sure if it's an actual issue as I mentioned my brother's portable record player made the same smell and it function well.
    That is the residual smell of the stuff that your brother rolls or lines on 12" record covers. Vinyl records were good for that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat
    I heard Hammertone knows a thing or 2 about "Magic Smoke".
    There you go! Legalised since what? 2018?

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Get that power cord switched over to 3 prong!

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    This thread reminds me of the wonderful smell my Lionel transformer used to produce after an hour or two of driving an O-27 locomotive. I think it was from the potting on the windings, but the bakelite case might have been a contributor. My Vintage Fender Amp Stinks

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Bought a Boss Katana 50 to hold me over until my amp comes back from the amp tech. Going to take the amp in after the holidays for a needed overhaul. Might keep the Boss if I like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Get that power cord switched over to 3 prong!

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP
    This thread reminds me of the wonderful smell my Lionel transformer used to produce after an hour or two of driving an O-27 locomotive. I think it was from the potting on the windings, but the bakelite case might have been a contributor. My Vintage Fender Amp Stinks
    As a kid we had a bunch of the tiny HO (1:87 scale) trains on a full miniature city layout in our garage. I don't recall the smell of the transformer. That and practicing guitar kept me out of a ton of mischief.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled stinky amp thread and repair follow up.

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    The smell I remember from slot cars and model trains was ozone from the motors.

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP
    This thread reminds me of the wonderful smell my Lionel transformer used to produce after an hour or two of driving an O-27 locomotive. I think it was from the potting on the windings, but the bakelite case might have been a contributor. My Vintage Fender Amp Stinks
    what nectar!

    cheers