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Magic smoke?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Helaskold, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Helaskold

    Helaskold 100% Mediocre

    Jul 22, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I don't know if this is the right place, but I've seen the "magic smoke" joke thrown around, and I just wanted to verify the meaning before I make myself look like an idiot...

    The joke is the implication that the "magic smoke" is ALWAYS in the amp and is what makes it work, but when the amps smokes (you "let the magic smoke out"), the amp doesn't work because the magic smoke was let out of the amp, right?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
  3. Woofer


    Sep 24, 2008
    You betcha.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    When electronic circuits burn out, they release an acrid-smelling smoke. It's a literal thing. The "magic" part is what makes it funny, because to most users, electronics work by magic, and anything good about them (like tone) is magic.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Funny! I'm a 40 year old electronics student who has played bass for a couple decades+. I just TODAY asked one of my instructors where I can get some "magic smoke". Turns out he's a guitar player and I didn't know it. He answer? "I can't tell you that until next year when you have enough knowledge base to use it without hurting yourself." He never even cracked a smile.
  6. Helaskold

    Helaskold 100% Mediocre

    Jul 22, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Thanks! I figured that was the joke (at least I hoped, or I was laughing for no reason)... I just wanted to make sure. The idea of a group of adults referring to a burning amp as "releasing the magic smoke" just cracks me up.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    We're not adults. We're bass players. And I'll thank you kindly to never confuse the two again.
  9. The important bit is once the magic smoke gets out it escapes forever and can only be replaced at the expense of many magic beans.

    Hence the rueful tone of magic smoke escape stories. For most of us the magic beans are very hard to find.
  10. LMAO :D
  11. Helaskold

    Helaskold 100% Mediocre

    Jul 22, 2012
    Austin, TX
  12. Gaolee

    Gaolee Outta my way! I'm caffeinated! Supporting Member

  13. Pish posh.
    I have liberated the smoke from many amps.
    It is not magic, that's what it wants you to think!
    It can usually be replaced by plain old rosin based smoke, applied with a heated implement.
  14. Aye, 'tis true, magic beans are the currency of the grand wizards who set up magic smoke replacement lairs in back streets. Sadly many are charlatans, requiring you to seek out out only veritable wizards on internet forums or learn for oneself the divine skills of identifying smoke release affected components, and those which caused the release, and the skills of the heated implement.
  15. Helaskold

    Helaskold 100% Mediocre

    Jul 22, 2012
    Austin, TX
    "Positive ground depends on proper circuit functioning, which is the transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as "smoke". Smoke is the thing that makes electrical circuits work. We know this to be true because every time one lets the smoke out of an electrical circuit, it stops working. This can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing. For example, if one places a copper bar across the terminals of a battery, prodigious quantities of smoke are liberated and the battery shortly ceases to function. In addition, if one observes smoke escaping from an electrical component such as a Lucas voltage regulator, it will also be observed that the component no longer functions. The logic is elementary and inescapable!"

    Oh man. That's priceless.
  16. jdelemus


    Jun 27, 2012
    I thought magic smoke came from a tall green plant that they just legalized in Colorado??
  17. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I always called it the 'blue smoke'. When it leaks out of anything that uses electricity, the thing is dead. I've seen it leak out of computers, routers and amps. They all died on the spot, so I know it's true!
  18. I should have kept that partial barrel of "magic smoke" from the old days. They would not let me bring it over the state line though anyway :D
  19. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    So what's the best smoke for metal?
  20. Ganja :D