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Neutralising the smell of an Ampeg Baby Bass?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Clarkybass, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    I appreciate the plastic UVEX casing of the Ampeg BB will always de-gas, making it smell pretty foul. But has anyone discovered a work-around for this, eg, some kind of wax spray that seals it?

    I used to own an original early 60s one but had to sell it as my wife couldn't stand the way it made our living room smell. But I still hanker for one and thus wondered if there is a way of making it "liveable with"?
  2. chrisrod9


    Jan 29, 2013
    My dad has one of these as well. He had a nice leather-like case for it too. When my brother and I were little we used to unzip the case to smell the bass. It smells like puke. I always wondered why that was. Pretty funny.
  3. Buy one of the Azola reissues. You are right, they do stink. Especially when they get hot.
  4. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    Yep, you can understand why my wife wasn't keen on our living room smelling like an all-night bar after a big match!

    So, does anyone have any bright ideas here? Or is it an immutable fact of life that these beautiful instruments will always stink?!!
  5. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    OK, I am guessing the lack of response here (and c.130 views) proves noone has found a satisfactory way of stopping these babies smelling bad!
  6. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    Addendum: I bought back my old Baby bass and it still smells (of course, as it will do for centuries!) Wife not too happy and room deodorising oils/sprays are now being deployed!
  7. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    OK, I emailed Ampeg's technical department and got this back: "Unfortunately I don't have any information on the cleaning of the Baby bass. I would try guitar polish"

    Looks like noone, including the manufacturer, knows how to stop these Babies (haha) smelling
  8. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I wonder if you could bake it? My guess is that it was coated with some kind of epoxy or PU which was substandard or mixed up improperly. If you could kludge up a low temperature oven and hold it for two days at like 150°F then a lot of the outgassing resin might either finally cure properly or at least neutralize. Can't guarantee against cracks, but if you heat it up slowly and keep control of the temperature, it shouldn't be too big of a risk. I had a beautiful oak mirror frame which I refinished with some long expired furniture varnish. It was sticky for six months. When summer came I set it in the sun for a week, and it finally hardened up.
  9. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestion robobass. I am afraid I am too inept and the bass too valuable to try an experiment like this. Plus its very big for a low temperature oven! I think I may just have to apply a lot of furniture polish and use regular room deodoriser to keep Mrs Clarkybass happy!!!!
  10. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    I don't think I would apply any chemicals to it. You may cause irreversible damage.
  11. Take your bass into a sauna. It will fit.
    If the increased smell doesn't disturb you , you can even play it there... ;-)
    But after two days in there you need to put a lot of fresh air in there to get rid of the smell...

    Seriously, I once got a good advice for wood infestated by a wood worm to take it into a sauna for a few days. Even for really thick (10cm) piece of hard wood (rosewood) that works fine.

    OK, I assume you would have no problems with a wood worm in your Baby Bass, somebody already used some smelling chemicals for wood worm protection...
  12. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    Thanks DoubleMIDI but us English have never gone in for the Scandinavian and continental European love of saunas, so I have no access to one. As you know we Brits prefer queuing, eating bad food and containing our emotions to extravagant things like getting naked in a steamy room
  13. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Oh, do it for the Queen!
  14. Take the sauna as an indispensable accessory to your baby bass.
    It should have been delivered with the instrument, but for some unknown reason it got lost on the way to the customer...
  15. abi107


    Mar 21, 2014
    I purchased a KB1 from Kris (England) last year, I love it...It has that fat sound I was looking for Salsa and at a lower price when compared to other EUBs from Columbia and PR. The fit and finish on the KB1 is outstanding and Kris was very helpful through the entire purchasing process. I recommend the Bass.
  16. Scijad


    Jan 25, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV
    Maybe you could try an ozone machine in an enclosed space to get rid of the smell. I know that's what's used to rid houses of decomposition...
  17. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
  18. 7hz


    May 7, 2008
    Is it the UVEX or the foam that makes the smell?

    I wonder if the original foam could be dissolved out with something like acetone, then replaced with a modern foam like the stuff they use for wall insulation? Would have to strip the instrument down to the body, and also test that the chemical won't mess up the UVEX.

    The ozone machine in a cupboard could work as well, but be aware that ozone works by being strongly oxidizing. The decomposition of the foam (or the UVEX?) is what causes the smell, so adding ozone may increase that and actually totally or partially decompose it. Again I think stripping the body would be advantageous here.

    I don't think taking it to a sauna would be a good idea, is it not heat that splits these bodies?
  19. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    What about spraying a sheet down with Febreze and wrapping it around the offending parts? Might be temporary, but it's easy to repeat as needed if it does any good.
  20. Clarkybass

    Clarkybass Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    Thanks for the comments gents. However I sold the bass a couple of years ago.

    Couldn't stand the smell :)
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018

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