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Dust Protection

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bass Behaviour, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Bass Behaviour

    Bass Behaviour

    Dec 2, 2017
    Hi there.
    For the past year I’ve been practicing in a carpenters shop. There is sawdust everywhere and I always come home with it all over me and my equipment.

    I’m starting to get a bit concerned about how this could effect my equipment, specifically my amp which has a fan sucking this stuff in.

    Recently I’ve noticed my amp has been having problems, specifically with feedback (please see previous post) and I’m convinced it has something to do with this. Even though the rest of the band thinks I’m over reacting (probably).
    My question is firstly am I right to be concerned?
    Secondly does anyone have a solution? I’ve recently purchased a computer fan filter which I will try to attach somehow.
  2. Rick James

    Rick James

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    I'd be more concerned about what the dust is doing to my lungs than to my gear. But no, sawdust in the amp won't cause feedback.
    74hc, Relsom, rodl2005 and 2 others like this.
  3. Bass Behaviour

    Bass Behaviour

    Dec 2, 2017
    Thanks for the reply.
    I’m guessing it cannot be good to have it in my amp but it’s good to know that it is not the cause of my amps decline.
  4. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    It depends on the amp and some of the specific design element but in some cases dust can cause intermittent connections and operation of the controls and switches. There is a class of filter circuits where an intermittent in a tracking control could cause oscillation (feedback), so yes it is possible (though generally not very likely). What amp are you talking about?

    One challenge to adding a filter is that if the amp was not designed with this in mind, the added static pressure drop across the filter can decrease the air flow (likely significantly), causing a whole new set of problems.
  5. Bass Behaviour

    Bass Behaviour

    Dec 2, 2017
    It’s a Markbass CMD 151p
    I hadn’t really considered the impact that a filter might cause.
    I’m planning to replace the amp with a new one (either a DG m900 or Mesa Subway) but I don’t want to expose a new amp to conditions which might cause damage.
    Apart from the obvious solution (changing location) is there anything I can do to prevent possible damage?
  6. Bass Behaviour

    Bass Behaviour

    Dec 2, 2017
    I should add that the damage has been lasting and not limited to playing in a dusty environment.
  7. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I would expect that the dust MAY have cause the problems you are experiencing.

    Any amp with fan cooling will be subject to all of the additional dust. Not much you can do to prevent it. All that dust is also finding its way into your lungs, something else to consider.
    rodl2005 likes this.
  8. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Carpenter's shop - ouch!
    Maybe you could find a nice welding shop to practice in? ;)
    Caca de Kick and agedhorse like this.
  9. Bass Behaviour

    Bass Behaviour

    Dec 2, 2017
    It’s not ideal but cheap and warm. Also is owned by our guitarist’s friend :/
  10. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Well, you shouldn't take your woodshedding literally...

    When studying electronics my instructor claimed that a large body of repairs could be effected by simply cleaning whatever was problematic. I don't think a woodshop is a good environment for music related equipment, unless you plan to do a lot of cleaning.
    DrThumpenstein and seamonkey like this.
  11. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Dust can also affect the operation of temperature sensors that control the fans.

    A slip cover or tarp can protect equipment when it is not in use. A room air purifier helps with normal dust in a room, both with particulate (dust and gunk) and organic (smoke, finishing) contamination.

    I imagine that the pressure from the speakers must kick up some fine dust. Perhaps the best you can do is sweep the shop floor with that green compound.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  12. CatchaCuda


    Feb 3, 2018
    Transfer, PA
    Short of having a dedicated room in the shop with filtered air...
    Create a duct from the amp's air inlet to accept a larger filter so that air flow isn't impeded? Sounds ugly.
  13. Bass Behaviour

    Bass Behaviour

    Dec 2, 2017
    I’m surprised that amplifier manufacturers haven’t though about this when computers have been doing it for years, and they tend to stay in one spot.
    I think going to suggest a change in venue :/
    petrus61 likes this.
  14. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Filters require a higher powered, noisier fan to overcome the higher static pressure. With the aversion to fan noise by many players, it's kind of a non-starter.
    mmon77, LowActionHero and petrus61 like this.
  15. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
    find a different space to practice in...or have a vacuum and or high pressure air hose to clean that junk up, mouth and nose masks....seems unhealthy all around
  16. Even without a fan, the dust will find it's way into your amp...
    and your lungs.
    Look for a different place.
  17. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I think one could make a case that it would be far better for anyones lungs to not be around the equipment when it is making dust as opposed to it being already on the floor, counters, etc.
    I do have a pal that has his Sunn 2000S with a 2x15 cabinet in his shop.
    It is covered with sawdust and contiues to work fine. It does not have a fan.
    He does blow it out with an airhose once in awhile and wears a filtered mask when the machine are running.

    The solution is to put the amp somwhere else when you are not using it.
    petrus61 and rodl2005 like this.
  18. Best answer's ..the move practice room obviously....
    You could all start smoking heavily and practice at REALLY REALLY loud volume..... mic up the drums, mic up, heck, everything, then you'll be sick AND deaf.

    No, seriously, air filters, vacuums to rid bad air, covers for..... everything..
    Bah!!!!! drooldrool

    Seems far easier to find another rehearsal space, even tho, I know that's not easy.
    Best of luck. :thumbsup:
  19. bbh


    Sep 27, 2011
    My motto: If it’s bad for your health, it’s not so good for your gear’s health.
    I only keep my stuff in clean human living conditions ( except for 1 cabinet). Too much to stuff to keep it all at home...
  20. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike

    Nov 18, 2005
    the dust may not be only wood. It could be a variety of materials depending on what's being worked on. Some of it may be a really good insulator, some may be a conductor.

    Take it apart and blow it out with DRY air such as computer duster.
    Then see what happens.

    A lot of the boards I see at work are coated for industrial environments. This protects them from a variety of contaminants. I'm not sure if amp parts are or not.

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