Back in '54 my Dad built a 12 watt Heathkit amp when he was in graduate school at MIT. He gave me the amp when i was a 11 or 12(1971), I think. I ran a tube-FM tuner and a phonograph (i know-you kids are thinking *** is is a phonograph?) for a coupla years until i had to get a stereo like all the other kids. Put the thing in a box and stashed it away and basically forgot about it. Fast-forward 41 years. Today my wife was rummaging thru the attic for who-knows-what and she puts the box on the ladder. "hon, whats in here?" When I saw that old dilapidated cardboard box, i knew right away what was inside it. Couldnt wait to run it to a cab and plunk out some notes on it! Quickly cobbled a RCA -> 1/4" plug cord to play the J bass. The thing sounded so fat and saucy. I was in tube heaven. For about 2 minutes. Then, I noticed the dreaded "component cooking" smell, and shortly after noticed wisps of smoke eminating from the back of the amp. Before I could kill the power, the pilot lamp went dark and the output faded to a really nasty 60 cycle hum. I quickly popped the cover off and theres an aluminum can ( a cap?) that was so hot, when i touched it, it made that "tsssssss" sound. So Im thinking thats where the smoke came from. So, my question is, what the heck happened? Its really late; ill post pics tomorrow.