Olde Amp Smell

CX Hunter

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 12, 2020
Posts
145
Location
Pomona NY
A while back I got a deal on nice vintage Black Face Super Reverb, even came with an extra set of vintage speakers, and it sounded great. BUT - it had that SMELL, you know, the way an old amp smells when it's been in hundreds of filthy Econoline vans and had multiple stale beers and urine-soaked sawdust poured over it in hundreds of s**t-kicker bars. It was nostalgic . . . for about 2 minutes. Took it apart and cleaned every surface with 50/50 Clorox and water. Didn't help much. Thought about buying a new cabinet for it, but the purist in me wouldn't let me do it. Took months but I finally sold it (locally, with full disclosure about the smell) and a young kid in his '20s came and bought it. I get the same smell from my '66 Princeton Reverb, but it's really faint. Anybody else dealt with this?
 
Last edited:

jays0n

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Posts
1,668
Location
San Francisco, CA
Oh man, I had a Champ like this. I wanted to love that amp but once it warmed up, it took over the room. I got it for a killer deal and it was in great condition, but I had to sell it. I also took it completely apart and cleaned everything I could. No help.
 

Axis29

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jan 2, 2007
Posts
7,176
Location
Beaumont, CA
Baking soda works to get rid of smells... Slowly, and it can be messy.

An ozone generator is the best method for smell removal that I've ever found.

I worked in a marina for a while (I am a woodworker and did all the wood repair that comes with sticking things in water for long periods). We used an ozone generator a few times. It really, really works!
 

guitfiddles

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Posts
134
Age
48
Location
Florida
It probably sat in a garage with the door open and every cat and dog in the neighborhood pissed on it every day.
 

Willie Johnson

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 24, 2016
Posts
2,653
Age
102
Location
Chicagoland
Not an amp, but I had a cool toy electric organ from the 60's that I got at a pawn shop for the music room that I had set up for my kids when they were little (had to turn it into a nursery when their baby sister arrived). Thing smelled like fried ferret guts cooked over a hair dryer when you let it run for a while, and eventually had to throw it out.
 

Dennyf

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Posts
1,753
Location
Mt. Holly, NC USA
Not a vintage amp in the conventional sense, but I bought a used Tech 21 Trademark 60 that had been shed-stored for a long period. Worked fine, but had a decidedly- funky (in a bad way) aroma. I thought it would pass, but it didn't go away until I discovered and removed a mouse- mummy from beneath the reverb tank bag.
 

wrathfuldeity

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Posts
1,900
Location
Turdcaster, WA
Yup, ozone generator...found an old neon light transformer...easy to jerry rig a ozone cannon. Works great, lent it to a neighbor who had a small fire. But be mindful, don't be in the room when its on, turn it off, open the windows, wait at least 30 minutes...ya don't want to breath in the ozone. I have de-skunked my teenager's rooms...turn it on, shut the door...let it run a few hours...open the windows...stank be gone!
 
Last edited:

Nogoodnamesleft

Tele-Holic
Silver Supporter
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Posts
773
Age
50
Location
Canaduh
Activated charcoal.

Find a box you can put the amp in for a while with a mesh bag of activated charcoal in there. Close it up. The charcoal will absorb the nasties.
 

schmee

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Posts
19,693
Location
northwest
Maybe a rental place has an ozone generator? Put the amp in a big box with it.
Warning: You are removing the mojo!
I bought an ozone generator for a sailboat I had and was living aboard. Ran it every day while at work.

Charcoal and Baking Soda only soak up the smell, they dont remove what continues coming out of the wood and Tolex etc. Ozone kills the spores.

I see that Amazon and etc have small ozone gens for $60 or so now. Probably limited life, but a Princeton inside a cardboard box doesn't need much output. Be worth a shot if you had a few things to treat.
 
Last edited:

tubedude

Tele-Afflicted
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Posts
1,068
Location
east georgia
Ozone will also degrade some materials.
First try putting it in a garbage bag, and every hour spray some Ozium (ozone free) in there.
 

Attachments

  • proxy-image (30).jpeg
    proxy-image (30).jpeg
    15.5 KB · Views: 3

wrathfuldeity

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Posts
1,900
Location
Turdcaster, WA
O₃ will mess you up!!
TRUTH! In more than 1 way...lol

Commercial ones cost a few grand. Mine was like $5 for the transformer, $1 for the old computer fan and $1 for the DC walwart for the fan and some scraps of metal screen, a piece of glass, a couple pieces of wire and 8" of 4" pvc tube. Be careful...its high tension electricity and could easily have fried self and or pet. It's similar to an old Presto Hot Dog Cooker...but with more juice.

Btw, another possible method is to use an enzymatic solution like mirazyme odor eliminator

https://img0.etsystatic.com/001/1/5343933/il_fullxfull.383286192_5yno.jpg
 




Top