• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

What is it in old amplifiers, receives that smells?

JayGilb

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
1,336
Likes
2,246
Location
West-Central Wisconsin
It's been a few years since all of the electronic parts stores near me have closed, due to the passing of the proprietor, but I have always liked the smell of bakelite
when walking into the shop and liked to use it in my projects.
 

Killingbeans

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
4,035
Likes
7,392
Location
Bjerringbro, Denmark.
Have you experienced that otherwise functioning old amplifiers and or receives can emit a special smell? I can't put my finger, or nose, on exactly describe that type of smell. Kind of smelling warm old electronics.It sort of smells of its age and I know vaguely described.It's not a smell that directly annoys me, but I'm mostly curious about what it is that creates that smell? Smell when the stuff is turned on, that is.
I always check that no dust has collected, for safety reasons, fire risk so it can't create the smell. Are old warm transformers causing the smell?

In addition, I have experienced different smells and even the level of the strength of the smell differs between manufacturers and models. That in itself may depend on how much used, old and worn the stuff is and not so much depending on the manufacturer, model, or?

It's probably a mix of things. Smelly chemicals that's been outlawed and/or outdated + compounds that are breaking down to aromatics of different kinds.

I've been told that the reason why antique bookstores smell nice, is because the cellulose in the paper breaks down to tons of different aromatics that, for instance, are found in coffee and vanilla.
 
OP
DanielT

DanielT

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
4,689
Likes
4,550
Location
Sweden - Слава Україні
Unique smells have always fascinated me.

Like new car smell - you can buy sprays and such that claim to replicate it but they don't.

Las Vegas always smells of sulpher, hits you as soon as you get off the plane. L.A either smells of the beach or meat char-grilling.

London doesn't really have a smell, except for the Underground which has a unique smell not replicated on the New York or Paris metros.

I tend to leave the office late when the cleaners are already in. I don't know what products they use but they make the place smell like an American hotel - not a British hotel mind, which smells totally different.

I don't think anyone has ever been able to pin these things down to specifics.
It's hard to describe smells, at least for me, and how I experience them.But an example of a special smell, for me. I'm not a poet so I don't know how to describe the smell in the family summer cottage when I get there in the summer. A special smell. A summer cottage that has been in the family since I was a baby, so the first memories I have are from that cottage.:)

Note not a moisture-damaged cabin but just a special smell.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom