The smell of valves (tubes)?

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The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Drumstruck » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:53 pm

Do you t'rockers notice this? It's a strange aroma - I'll call it tubaroma for want of a better term - it's not unpleasant, but it's unusual and I can taste it in the air..... :-B
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Junction » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:11 pm

... probably the paint burning off the outside of the tube or could be the plastic tube sockets melting :)
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Drumstruck » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:40 pm

Hahaha - are you just tryin' to scare me Michael?
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Junction » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:57 pm

... yeah it worked I think for a few seconds ... but for new power tubes its quite normal for them to smell a little for a while, the painted label does actually cook, as for the melting sockets, probably not unless its some cheapass amp, decent ones will be ceramic for the power tubes at least
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Drumstruck » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:02 am

Yes, if it was new I'd think that, but the unit(s) are 50 years old.... I did some searches and couldn't find anything about emissions or changes caused to the surrounding molecular structure of the air by tubes....... :-B

- but the strange smell / taste wasn't there before these units arrived and it is there now.... perhaps it's the lingering smell of england cooking off in the fresh oz air?

I'm sure I'll find what it is when I lift the lids in a week or so - stay tubed
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Gian » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:21 am

Dust getting warm?
Transformer varnish warming?
Oil filled caps warming?
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Wiz » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:59 am

dead rodent?


:ymsick:
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Drumstruck » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:03 pm

Interesting suggestions my good fellows.

I've read elsewhere the dust suggestion but it seems a bit unlikely on a vintage / newly rebuilt unit..... transformer varnish sounds nearer to the mark - again, I'll check when I open the lid.

That's not what oil filled caps smell like =)) - can you still get them? Perhaps only the older crowd will know what I mean???

Dead rodent indeed - I smell a rat. Did you know that if you pick up a guinea pig by the tail it's eyes drop out? (think about it)
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Junction » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:58 pm

I had a guinea pig when I was a kid, I dont remember it having a tail?

Old tube amps are like old cars, they just have a smell, be happy and sniff often
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby mylesgm » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:21 pm

Whats the 'offending' piece of kit?
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby rick » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:33 am

you know i was in antartica once sniffing around a remote radio shed looking for pultecs ,
i found the power switch gave it a wiggle and lit up the room !

that smell is consistant even in the remotest place on earth ..!

its not the tubes actually .. its the old stuff around them , the lacquers, the bakalite the waxes the glues and gunk and the paints all that old stuff is made out of and coated in heating up .. relax enjoy it

then panic a bit when you learn the smell of it all going bad at once ..
that "this is going to be bad " smell is consistant in any part of the world as well :)
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby mylesgm » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:11 am

Did you find any Pultecs in Antarctica? Or anything at all? apart from penguins of course...
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Junction » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:52 am

yes Rick, the bad smell also co-incides with the release of smoke ... do you know that all electronic components contain little capsules of smoke, the trick is to never let the smoke out, coz when you do it is guaranteed to stop working.
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Drumstruck » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:29 am

mylesgm wrote:Whats the 'offending' piece of kit?


It's these fellows:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9910326/AA%20V ... everbs.jpg

the aroma is far from offensive ..... it smells like you've walked back into the early 60s - I remember similar smells from our tube tv and radio when I was a youngster and from a sonata valve guitar amp (australian made btw - i learned not to touch live valves from that unit) :((
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby mylesgm » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:36 am

Drumstruck wrote: it smells like you've walked back into the early 60s -

And you're complaining?
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Drumstruck » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:18 am

mylesgm wrote:
Drumstruck wrote: it smells like you've walked back into the early 60s -

And you're complaining?


Not complaining about the smell at all (or the memories) - just curious as to what is generating the aroma. I think Rick is closest to the money with bakelite and old lacquers.

I'm not even complaining that my 50s and 60s pre's aren't here yet to expand the set :o)
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Junction » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:54 am

... ah nicely recycled Ferrogragh R/R pre's ... how have they done the reverb ... spring tanks?
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Re: The smell of valves (tubes)?

Postby Drumstruck » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:43 am

Junction wrote:... ah nicely recycled Ferrogragh R/R pre's ... how have they done the reverb ... spring tanks?


Yes indeedie - accutronics tanks - switchable so they function as:
- line amp only or
- line amp + verb or
- verb only

I've run a few mixes through them and early impression is that they add a lot of "bigness" \:D/
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