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Marshall TSL burning smell?

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
A TSL combo amp I am considering purchasing sounds really good, everything seems to work, has good power but after 10 minutes or so there's a smell of burning rubber.

The tech I take my amp to has had a major injury and shut down business for awhile. There's really no one else around. I'm wondering if someone knows about these amps, if it's prone to problems or if this sounds like something to avoid. Anything I can check or test? I can get a good deal, but can't wait too long.
 

Gnarlly

Member
Messages
2,862
New tubes? Sometimes the paint burning off can smell for a short time period.

Otherwise, the TSLs are known to be notoriously unreliable amps, with a lot of cold solder joint issues and footswitch problems. Can you pull the chassis out, and run into the speakers with a longer cable? That way you can actually look to see if anything is burning/smoking.

Personnaly, I would avoid the TSL and look for a pre-1990 Marshall (except the reissues, which are solid amps), or another brand amp.
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,312
The bias circuit can go bad causing the power tubes to red plate. It is a cheap problem to fix, minus the cost of the new tubes.
 
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Guitar-Bob

Member
Messages
197
I was using a TSL at one time (still have it, had to retire it) that had this very problem. It would work fine then all of a sudden one or three of the power tubes would start glowing very red, so I would take it to my tech and he would re-flow the solder joints and it would work for a while, then it would happen again and again. Seems the problem is that on the early models the boards were very thin and would warp and cause the joints to break contact or so I am told. I haven't used this amp in probably 6 to 7 years. A friend of mine is using the TSL head and hasn't had any problems.
 

ledzep618

Member
Messages
4,751
I wouldn't even consider wasting my money on that amp unless the seller is letting it go for almost nothing.
 

rastaman

Member
Messages
2,100
I definitely wouldn't buy the amp with a burning smell unless I knew what was wrong and how much it would cost to fix it. The seller should get it fixed then sell it IMO.
 

EtaCarinae

Member
Messages
1,483
I own a TSL and love it. I did have a footswitch problem, but I was able to get a replacement footswitch for free with some sweet-talking, even though I purchased it second-hand. I cannot speak to the overall reliability (hard to get that kind of info owning just *one* of an amp), but I would not buy one second hand if there was a burning smell unless I knew where it was coming from and how to fix it.

If you do get a good one - I will say that I love the tone, versatility, and features on mine. The only Marshall I would prefer to this one for my playing style would be a JVM.
 






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