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Does your tube amp smell when its on???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mat gregory, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. Hehe , this is an interesting one , well i bought myself a warwick tubepath 5.1 and in all its amazing!!! butttt when i turn it on it has a funny smell to it from which seems to come from where the tubes are placed. the smell is a bit funny , its similar to that that comes from a photocopier when your copying paper. Im a newb to tube amps so if this is me bein dumb lol tell me!! the amp works fine by the way and the casing is cold to touch and the fan is workin fine and it was played pretty much continually last night for about 2-2.5 hrs and didnt burst into flames.
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Could this be minor high-voltage ionization, or does that only happen in the kilovolt range? My tube combo has a bit of a smell to it, but I think this is just heating from the tubes cooking the printing on the tube.
  3. could well be that , thankyou very much indeed!! id also like to hear other ppls experience lol , but thankyou alot Trevorus!!
  4. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Is it clean? If not, you are smelling the dust cooking . . . . which, due to it's similarity to paper fuzz, smells a lot like the hot section of a photocopier . . .
    If its ozone, then that is a different problem - there should not be anything in a tube amp that can produce ozone, although there IS a lot of very high voltage in the toner transfer section of a copier . . . .

    - Tim
  5. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    Either all my tube amps are broken, or it's normal.
  6. Pretty much

    I know mine does, not alot tho, only if your close to it really
  7. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    my v-4b smells like hot tolex.
  8. I love the smell of hot tubes in my Mesa 400+.
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    It's dust on the tubes, burned by the heat.
  10. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    My tone and playing may stink, but I never blame the amp
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I love the smell of hot tubes in the morning! :D
  12. Both of mine have a certain "scent". It's da funk bro!!!!!!

    Seriously, both have an aroma. I think it's normal.

  13. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    It's dust burning off. Dust in homes is in large part human skin cells.
    You are smelling YOU burning.

    crankem and cookem.
  14. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Yeah, I think that is more what it is, dust. Those tubes do get pleny warm
  15. my amp smells when I switch it on... but it smells like BURNING!

    (ok, lets not go there - I've got a dog and a cat, and I keep it on the landing with the vent exposed so...)

    Off the subject a bit...it packed up on me a few weeks ago (went dead) the front then fell off when I got it home, and the retractable cable was wrapped around one of the valves which was actually a bit loose...I pushed it back in, do you reckon it'll work now? - not sure if it'd be safe to try it out again before I get it fixed or not...? (the thing just died on my mate during practice...)
  16. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Hard to say. The burning smell may have been a resistor going out somewhere, and depending on when the tube came loose, it could be fine, and the others took up the slack (if it was a power tube) and got hot making up for it, or if the failure is something that burned, then it is off to repair-land for your amp . . . . . . pretty hard to speculate with such limited information.

    - Tim