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ever have gear that made you sick?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by pcake, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. It is amazing the number of things to which people can be/become allergic.

    It is not at all surprising, given the myriad of materials used to build them that some could be allergic to gear that heats up, has fans, and/or pushes a lot of air through speaker movement triggering an allergic reaction, as those actions would tend to push irritants out into a room.

    I've never had any issues other than used gear that worked and sounded great but that smelled like the inside of an ashtray from being exposed to decades of cigarette smoke.
    Scatabrain likes this.
  2. Michael B

    Michael B

    Dec 16, 2015
    Lowell, MA
    You'd be surprised. Cheers.
  3. Sixgunn


    Jun 6, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    I don't wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.
    No. I probably wouldn't be.
    Scatabrain likes this.
  4. newfuture


    Jul 13, 2007
    not gear so much, but I get what you describe in new cars. I can't be in one for more than a few minutes before I feel like I have to puke.
  5. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    If it's an off-gassing issue, then cooking it might help. What I mean is put it in a room and heat the room up to about 90 degrees or so and leave it there at that temperature for a day or so. This is how you accelerate getting rid of off-gassing VOCs and the like from building materials in a new building. I'm not sure it's worth the electricity bill to do this because it may or may not do anything on the cabinet.

    For what it's worth, Honduras mahogany is my favorite wood to work with, but it inevitably stains my hands an odd shade orange after a while. That can't be a good sign.
    spaz21387 likes this.
  6. ThePoloHobo


    Aug 18, 2013
    Tulsa, OK
    I'm not up on the chemistries of different woods, but I doubt an orange discoloration is a reaction from your body. Silver Nitrate (AgNO3), for example, will stain your skin brown after said skin is exposed to sunlight. Completely harmless, other than temporary cosmetic damage :roflmao:
  7. Brilliant suggestion. :)

    Could any of these chemicals...
  8. Kelly robinson

    Kelly robinson

    Dec 30, 2014
    Hi Pcake -
    I'd have someone else take the cab out of the bag - then the speaker out of the cab and let them have a detailed look at the inside of the cab - it could well be moldy wood or MDF that you are reacting to . If you are getting hyper-sensitive to mold you can do very serious damage to your lungs in a fairly short amount of time - I went from being able to do manual labor and keep up with kids twenty years younger to being unable to hand squeeze a lemon before being winded in the course of six months - I ended up needing a double lung transplant as a result of mold exposure - fortunately , I received a donor set of lungs so I am still above ground eight yrs later - don't mean to scare you unduly - just wanted to note the potential seriousness of these kinds of situations if they are not dealt with properly - Kelly
    Scatabrain likes this.
  9. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    My playing has made other people sick.

    PCake, I hope you figure stuff out. Good luck.
  10. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    No. I used to love the smell of my old tuck/roll Kustom 200 though. :cool: The mold can be serious stuff. I ran into a singer/songwriter last year that I did some recording and performing with. He told me that he came near death from black mold that had developed in the duplex where he lives! :rollno:
    spaz21387 likes this.
  11. I've never been allergic to any music gear, but I bought a used MIA Fender P Bass and it stunk like mild... I didn't notice it until a few days after I bought it, and it was a noticeable distraction. I tried everything to rid the smell, but I couldn't.

    I eventually sold it for a loss because I was honest about the condition, even though the initial seller wasn't... I haven't bought a used bass since, and don't see it happening again in the near future.
  12. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    It might just have been a stain. I have mild seasonal allergies that come and go, and any sneezing or stuffiness I had when working with that stuff may have been seasonal, not wood related. But, it was pretty great to have odd looking orange hands. Cosmetic damage? To me? It was probably an improvement.
  13. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Picked up a used Epi/Gibson Jazz Bass clone with case, opened the shipping box in the Post Office, almost lost my lunch as it smelled like a filled-up ashtray. Left the case in the back of my pickup truck partially open everyday for a week to get the stench off and out. The bass got a thorough cleaning/polishing but the jack and pots still require cleaning(most likely orange smokers sludge in.on them).

    Smokers don't bother me but I do NOT miss the smoke-filled-bar days where my gear and clothes reeked when I got home.
    spaz21387 likes this.
  14. tr4252


    May 27, 2013
    I'm in a few RC plane forums, and have seen several threads where people report developing allergies to certain glues (especially epoxy) after years of exposure.

  15. Charlzm


    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am relieved to report I have never had an issue like this, though I had a used bass once where it and the case lining reeked of cigarettes no matter how many ties I fabreezed the case lining and wiped down the instrument.
  16. Kun2112


    Nov 2, 2013
    I have always preferred DR strings. I also have highly acidic sweat, so my strings don't last very long: 2 weeks if I am practicing like I should be. I tried a set of DR coated the day before a gig. After the gig, I had Massive Blisters™. The next two months were spent healing and rebuilding callouses.

  17. APPLES !!! Try this !

  18. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    Not allergy related but back in the seventies I was at a rehearsal for Toyah Wilcox's band....
    They had a new bass player that was trying out with them who had an enormous Orange bass reflex cab and a many hundred watt amp....
    It went REALLY low....
    After he'd been playing for about ten minutes people started throwing up and feeling unwell (Including him!)....
    Don't think that he stayed with the band long after that.....
  19. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Hello PCCAKE, sorry to read you have allergies. It's a serious issue and no joking matter. I have a couple of food allergies myself.

    Anyways when it come to gear, wood and wood finishes can trigger allergy issues.
    For starters some wood are toxic.
    Here is a list:
    Wood Allergies and Toxicity | The Wood Database

    I also often read about people applying Tung Oil finishes to their instruments and I know a good number of people with allergies to Tung oil. One of them is a luthier and won't work on any instrument covered with the stuff.

    For my own instruments I use French Polishing which is shellac diluted with alcohol and olive oil. As long as you use Everclear (yep the alcohol bought in liquor stores) and not denatured alcohol the finish is food grade and wood bowls are often finished with shellac. Shellac is a natural substance and very few people are allergic to it. At least to my knowledge.

    If you are having an allergic reaction to a cab, I would switch to something that does not cause you any problem ASAP. One pursuit of tone should not come at the price of your health obviously.
  20. Hope you get it figured out soon. Just take it a step at a time. If it's the cab, so be it.

    On the positive side, you said your husband is going to build you neck-through bass!

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