New Amp Smell?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BaileyMan, May 8, 2018.

  1. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Just purchased a new amp a few weeks ago. I've used it for a couple rehearsals and mostly at home. Last night, I had a pretty frickin' loud jam session with some folks. I was running a 5.3 ohm cab and an 8 ohm cab. Total load about 3 ohms. The amp can handle down to 2 ohms. It's a solid state, class D amp. No tubes.

    This was definitely the hardest I've pushed this amp so far (high input gain, high master volume). There was a definite smell of burning electronics at some point, and it definitely seemed to be coming from my new amp. The amp itself wasn't even the slightest bit warm to the touch. I know it has a built-in protection circuit. It never tripped.

    Is this typical of a new amp?
    spaz21387 likes this.
  2. So what amp did you get? :nailbiting:
    Microbass, spaz21387 and BadExample like this.
  3. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    Enjoy the smell. It doesn't last forever.
  4. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    One that's light, powerful, can handle 2 ohms, and looks good on top of every cabinet I've seen it with so far and sounds great with everything I've paired it with so far.

    You'll have to keep your eyes posted for a NAD thread. No need to name names here.
  5. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    I don't know about old Fender Showman still smells like an old Fender Showman...especially when it gets cookin a bit :thumbsup:.
    Nevada Pete and fast slapper like this.
  6. This is generally regarded as a very double plus ungood kind of thing for amps.
    Mister Boh likes this.
  7. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. Especially on new gear. My new QSC power amp smelled a bit at first but not after a couple days of hard use.
  8. Does your amp have a 2 Ohm switch setting?
    And was it not set to 2 Ohms?
  9. "A smell" is one thing. "A burnt smell" is something entirely different, and probably less than good.
    Munjibunga, Mister Boh and Aqualung60 like this.
  10. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    New amps do smell, it doesn’t mean that they are spoiled.

    There’s off gassing and there’s burning. Is it a good amp smell or a bad amp smell.
    Crater likes this.
  11. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    I could opine here but as I don’t know what amp we are talking about it would all just be conjecture. :(
    Munjibunga likes this.
  12. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    Definitely a difference between "burn in" smell and "get a fire extinguisher" smell. When my Mesa M6 gave up the ghost it was like pyro at a Kiss concert and the smell lasted for 2 weeks. When new gear burns in the smell should subside when you power down the amp, not all gear emits the burn in smell, not all gear blows up...all just my opinions, except for the Mesa thing, it was all too real.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  13. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    My general comment is tube amps always give off a smell, even decades old, and that's generally OK. A transistor amp might smell when you take it out of the box - vinyl in the cabling outgassing a bit, etc - it's be a bit like new car smell, generally. But, after that goes away, it shouldn't smell.

    A burned smell from a solid state amp...probably not at all good. I work designing pro audio gear, and all of us in the industry know that solid state gear works because there's magic smoke inside the parts, don't want to let out.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  14. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Probably just ran it a bit hot... it's hard to describe the smell of new electronics being broke in... I'd say you're ok, as long as you weren't sending smoke signals.

    Oh, and make sure your fan is operational, too...
  15. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Thanks folks...

    There is a switch for 8/4 ohms and 2 ohms. I had forgotten to switch it over initially, and when I first smelled that smell, I did do a face palm and switched it to the 2 ohm setting. It did continue to smell when I ran it at the 2 ohm setting.

    My understanding is that there's a protection circuit that would have shut down if the load was too small for 8/4 ohm setting. Also, I believe that even at the 4 ohm setting, that 4 ohms isn't a hard cut off.

    Needless to say, I know that I should be at the 2 ohm setting if running both these cabs.

    I won't be too concerned until I see smoke and/or fire or if the smell persists.
  16. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    The protection circuit is NOT triggered by running too low an ohms load, it's triggered by the temperature getting so hot that things melt inside, which is what happens when you run less than 4 ohms in a 4 ohm minimum circuit. It senses heat, not ohms load. Ideally, the circuit cuts off the power before things start melting and the magic smoke starts rising out of the amp. Sounds to me like it was on the verge of either the protect circuit cutting you off or smoke rising out of your overheated connections. I'd never count on protect circuits being perfect...don't tempt fate.

    The reason you continued to smell the burning components smell is that those components or solder joints already released those gasses and it takes a while for those to be cleared out of the amp. DON'T EVER run less than a 4 ohm load through that amp again without flipping the switch over to 2 ohms. I'd say your margin of error just disappeared on that amp and if it happens again, it could be catastrophic.
    BaileyMan and smogg like this.
  17. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    In general, it’s good practice to turn the amp off whenever resetting the impedance switch.
    Rip Van Dan, BaileyMan and smogg like this.
  18. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Thanks guys! Learning something new everyday!
    Rip Van Dan likes this.
  19. What amp is it btw?
  20. Sounds like a Mesa D800 to me... but I'm just naming names :D
    BaileyMan likes this.