Tube burning smell

METAL

Member
Messages
338
Let me start off by saying I am new to tube amps, this is the first tube head I've bought so I don't know much about them.
Got a used tube amp, was playing through it for a few minutes when I first got it, then the room started to smell like burning plastic. Realized the seller put bubble wrap around the tubes inside the amp. Plastic was melted and stuck to the tubes, I got as much of it as I could off, then my tech was able to get the majority of it off the tubes. I've been playing it for the past 2 days a lot and even after we got most of the plastic off, it still smells a bit. It has gotten better since the 2nd day the plastic was removed. Is there anything I can do to make it go away quicker? I was told the very small remains of plastic on the tubes will melt away eventually.
 

Tony-Cliffton

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,251
Just get new tubes, dude. Maybe use some isopropyl alcohol to clean the old ones if you’re in that much of a jam. Personally, I would just buy new tubes.
Just to add...
If the tubes are hot, don’t use isopropyl. You could start a fire, and burn your face.
 

Dan40

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,884
Gently remove the tubes, clean them well and then reinstall them. Just make sure to properly align the pins when reinstalling. What kind of amp is it? If it uses octal tubes, they have a keyed base pins which makes them easy to align properly. If it uses EL84's, you just need to look for the gap between the pins on the base of the tubes and match that to the socket when inserting.
 

METAL

Member
Messages
338
Just get new tubes, dude. Maybe use some isopropyl alcohol to clean the old ones if you’re in that much of a jam. Personally, I would just buy new tubes.
Just to add...
If the tubes are hot, don’t use isopropyl. You could start a fire, and burn your face.
Gently remove the tubes, clean them well and then reinstall them. Just make sure to properly align the pins when reinstalling. What kind of amp is it? If it uses octal tubes, they have a keyed base pins which makes them easy to align properly. If it uses EL84's, you just need to look for the gap between the pins on the base of the tubes and match that to the socket when inserting.
Yes this is what my tech did. Removed the tubes and cleaned them with a solution. And just don't have the money to replace the tubes right now unfortunately. But the smell has faded quite a bit so it is getting better. Just wanted to make this thread to see if anything else can be done.
I appreciate the responses.
 

HeavyCream

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,884
Really? Two of these in one week!?
OP, at least you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not the only one.

It’s a good idea to make sure tubes are properly seated before firing up an amp you had shipped.
 

6L6wreck

Senior Member
Messages
1,287
Yeah haha, unfortunately it never crossed my mind to check the tubes in the amp. The bubble wrap was clear so I didn't even notice it in the amp
Its only fail if you do it again. :aok

I shot a live FMJ .223 thru an AR-15 with a blank adapter fixed to the end of the barrel.
It was dark and alcohol was involved but i don't recommend that.
Fortunately the adapter was engineered to break away otherwise i could have been seriously hurt.
Never did that again either.

 
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Tony-Cliffton

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,251
You shouldn’t smoke in pajamas.. you could start a fire and burn your face. It’s a quote from a frank zappa song.
We gotta have fun with one another every now and then. Please don’t take my rip as mean spirited. Just having a little laugh with you.
Seriously, it could happen to anyone. Hope you make out well, my friend.
 

easyed

Member
Messages
2,561
OP had me laughing out loud. Now wonder there was a burning smell.

To others: Always take a look inside the newly acquired amp before turning it on.

@METAL - Glad you got it fixed and it wasn't something like letting the "magic smoke" out of the amp.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,871
First thought was tubes don't really smell, they're glass. Other things smell when they're failing, maybe because a tube shorted.
In this case it was definitely something else!
No big deal it'll stop smelling after awhile or you'll just get used to the smell. I'm just cheap enough that I'd let it run its course. :)
 




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