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 Post subject: I smell an amplifier...
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:03 pm 
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I bought a vintage Yamaha integrated amp to power some outdoor speakers a couple of years ago. The amp has to reside in the bedroom for this duty and my wife correctly points out that it emits a rather unpleasant odour while it is on. I have an old Pioneer amp from days gone by that I haven't used in decades and just lately gave it a DeoxIT going over. This completely fixed the balance control that plagued this amp and caused me to put it in a closet so many years ago. I'm enjoying it's presence now but I'm smelling that same "burnt" odour that the Yamaha processes. I've had the Yamaha for a couple of years but admittedly I use it sparingly only during the summer months. Is this the cost of running vintage or can I expect the smell to dispel over time?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:14 pm 
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Nicotine? :?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:34 pm 
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Perhaps that would be the case with the Yami but not the Pioneer. Although I wouldn't know a transformer if it bit me on the leg I want to say it smells like a burnt transformer. Both units work perfectly, for hours on end without a hiccup so I don't think its something dangerous. They just emit an "electrical" smell that can't be totally ignored. :?:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:36 pm 
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Whatever it is, you could try to clean the PCBs. Usually when I clean old boards there's a brown runoff, like springtime in cattle country, and it smells about the same...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:42 pm 
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No odor while shut down. Just when up and running. So I think to myself "what is hot in there?" without touching anything.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:47 pm 
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There is plenty inside that gets hot to the touch and over the years even dust particles that build up can stink.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:53 pm 
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Well, that could be it. There is no shortage of dust. I would have thought whatever it is would have burnt off over time. And it just doesn't smell like warmed up dust. Not that I know what warmed up dust even smells like. :?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:02 am 
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could be a dead insect toasting on something.
You would be surprised what can crawl inside there.
I'd open it and give a thorough cleaning with fine paint brush, toothbrush etc.
Inspect under circuit boards.
Use a magnifying glass (Ipad on camera mod works good too) to check for possible leaky component?
There has to be a good explanation.
I bought a unit that somebody painted the light bulbs to give it a "nice effect"...it smelled a bit...but not horrible.
Just some ideas.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:42 am 
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Ive sold much gear for this very reason. You wouldn't want to know what's in those parts that make up the amplifier. Even new ones can smell horrible. Paints and laquers on all the pieces and parts will off gas especially when they heat up. Not to mention what's leaching from inside the parts.
VERY TOXIC!
I heard of one guy who sued a tube amp manufacturer for poisoning himself and his family for decades.
I myself finally got rid of my large tube mono blocks. After running for an hour or more my listening room smelled like an electronics repair shop that's full of solder flux smoke and other nasties.
Stick your nose close to the top of the unit after it heats up, yuck.
Vintage gear smells like your grandparents old furniture if you put your nose close. Turn it on and within a short time your listening room smells like grandmas old couch from the 50's.
Lots of used gear I have bought from people smells like a moldy basement. I spray foamed all the concrete surfaces in my basement to get rid of the powder mold that 99% of houses have growing on and in their untreated concrete. (you know that smell, just rub your finger on any porous concrete then sniff)
Really hard to eliminate mold once it start growing in electronics. It just burns off then re-grows from whats left. Releasing spores that infest every corner of your room including your skin and lungs.
Also when parts in electronics get older they might start to slowly burn up as they near the end of their lifespan.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:37 am 
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Darren H wrote:
I bought a vintage Yamaha integrated amp to power some outdoor speakers a couple of years ago. The amp has to reside in the bedroom for this duty and my wife correctly points out that it emits a rather unpleasant odour while it is on. I have an old Pioneer amp from days gone by that I haven't used in decades and just lately gave it a DeoxIT going over. This completely fixed the balance control that plagued this amp and caused me to put it in a closet so many years ago. I'm enjoying it's presence now but I'm smelling that same "burnt" odour that the Yamaha processes. I've had the Yamaha for a couple of years but admittedly I use it sparingly only during the summer months. Is this the cost of running vintage or can I expect the smell to dispel over time?


I'm wondering if it's not the actual machine, but maybe power bar / Extension, whatever it's plugged into, connecting cables etc. since both amps have the smell, is there anything on top of the unit?
Ott.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:55 am 
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Have you considered that it just might be the deoxit yer smellin?

-- 06 Mar 2017 19:59 --

newmusic wrote:
Ive sold much gear for this very reason. You wouldn't want to know what's in those parts that make up the amplifier. Even new ones can smell horrible. Paints and laquers on all the pieces and parts will off gas especially when they heat up. Not to mention what's leaching from inside the parts.
VERY TOXIC!
I heard of one guy who sued a tube amp manufacturer for poisoning himself and his family for decades.
I myself finally got rid of my large tube mono blocks. After running for an hour or more my listening room smelled like an electronics repair shop that's full of solder flux smoke and other nasties.
Stick your nose close to the top of the unit after it heats up, yuck.
Vintage gear smells like your grandparents old furniture if you put your nose close. Turn it on and within a short time your listening room smells like grandmas old couch from the 50's.
Lots of used gear I have bought from people smells like a moldy basement. I spray foamed all the concrete surfaces in my basement to get rid of the powder mold that 99% of houses have growing on and in their untreated concrete. (you know that smell, just rub your finger on any porous concrete then sniff)
Really hard to eliminate mold once it start growing in electronics. It just burns off then re-grows from whats left. Releasing spores that infest every corner of your room including your skin and lungs.
Also when parts in electronics get older they might start to slowly burn up as they near the end of their lifespan.


A bit exaggerated imo...

As for the spray foam, the cloud of isocyanates was not a concern?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:24 pm 
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BinkyTheCat wrote:
Have you considered that it just might be the deoxit yer smellin?

-- 06 Mar 2017 19:59 --

newmusic wrote:
Ive sold much gear for this very reason. You wouldn't want to know what's in those parts that make up the amplifier. Even new ones can smell horrible. Paints and laquers on all the pieces and parts will off gas especially when they heat up. Not to mention what's leaching from inside the parts.
VERY TOXIC!
I heard of one guy who sued a tube amp manufacturer for poisoning himself and his family for decades.
I myself finally got rid of my large tube mono blocks. After running for an hour or more my listening room smelled like an electronics repair shop that's full of solder flux smoke and other nasties.
Stick your nose close to the top of the unit after it heats up, yuck.
Vintage gear smells like your grandparents old furniture if you put your nose close. Turn it on and within a short time your listening room smells like grandmas old couch from the 50's.
Lots of used gear I have bought from people smells like a moldy basement. I spray foamed all the concrete surfaces in my basement to get rid of the powder mold that 99% of houses have growing on and in their untreated concrete. (you know that smell, just rub your finger on any porous concrete then sniff)
Really hard to eliminate mold once it start growing in electronics. It just burns off then re-grows from whats left. Releasing spores that infest every corner of your room including your skin and lungs.
Also when parts in electronics get older they might start to slowly burn up as they near the end of their lifespan.


A bit exaggerated imo...

As for the spray foam, the cloud of isocyanates was not a concern?



Far from exaggerated I can assure you. My house was vacated for several days during and after foaming. 12-24 hours is recommended by the company that applied it. While I was away the basement windows were open with a fan running, exhausting any remaining fumes. The concrete floor was sealed also with a special concrete sealant paint. The difference in air quality in my home now is pretty substantial. I have a friend who is a scientist currently contracting for the government, studying in home air quality and its relation to occupants health. His findings so far are pretty alarming. It was only after I volunteered for extensive in home testing that I was made more fully aware of many sources of in home contamination. Including off gassing from paint and other finishes on wood cabinets and appliances. Cleaning products applied to surfaces. Chemical products being stored in the house. Chemical contamination being tracked in or otherwise brought into the house through outside exposure of pets or other occupants, on feet and clothing. Mold growing on porous surfaces such as wood and especially unsealed concrete.

When a home like my own becomes mostly free of this contamination (careful consideration of natural cleaning products, and sealing of porous surfaces like concrete, etc.), it becomes really easy to smell, for example, mold spores coming from a piece of electronics that has spent most of its life in a musty basement. Especially after it heats up from use and smells up the whole room. Even my wife now complains if that happens. Just like the original poster here.

According to my scientist friend, and also several other sources, a newly constructed or renovated home is not totally safe to live in for at least over a year or more. Because of all the off gassing occurring from the newly chemically coated surfaces. Ever hear of the dangers of radon gas seeping from granite counter tops? When I renovated my basement I used the most expensive near zero VOC paint that I could get. I could smell the paint drying strongly for a month and it took about 3 months for the smell to finally stop tingling my nose. Oil paint, on the other hand, never dries, it off gasses for hundreds of years. This is why today we have ultra low VOC paint options, as they continue to off gas and gradually dry for years, slowly releasing volatile organic compounds, even latex paint.

I once took back a new amp I had purchased because the chemical smell coming from it was overwhelming. (smell reminded me of driving on a hot day in the north east industrial (steel and chemical factories) part of Hamilton) I took the hit of a restocking fee and later found a used one. The chemical smell was gone in the used one, or perhaps just masked, because it smelled so strongly of basement musty mold that I ran it in my garage system for 6 months trying to air it out. Smell never fully went away but it did dissipate to a tolerable level.

I had a pair of Acoustat model X speakers (vintage 70's) for a while with built in servo amps. When these things warmed up they made the whole basement smell like my parents house in the seventies. All I needed was some wood paneling, frills on the couches and polka dot drapes. I sold them to a friend and I never noticed the smell in his basement, probably because the smell of must was already so present that they just blended in.

End of rant. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:51 pm 
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Philosophil wrote:
Nicotine? :?



Cat Pee?

Most likely it needs to have the cover taken off (when outside) and use a fresh cheap paint brush to clean the innards off. To wipe off the accumulated dead skin and grease. With a 80 psi air assist from a compressor. It should be a lot less smelly with that bit of cleaning.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:19 pm 
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Well, I'm a little surprised more people haven't experienced this kind of smell with older vintage gear. Both units are very clean on the inside. Perhaps it is the DioxIt. Residual spray may have gotten on other parts other than dials and switches. If so I would have thought it would have burned off by now with the Yammy. I'm not the only one using this cleaner which makes me think it's something else. :?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:46 pm 
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I love the smell of burning electrons in the morning .... it smells like ....

Victory.


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