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Roland Space Echo (eBay purchase) smells like my grandmother (God rest her soul)!
Old 14th June 2006
  #1
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Roland Space Echo (eBay purchase) smells like my grandmother (God rest her soul)!

I just bought a Roland RE-201 Space Echo off of eBay. The item was listed as 'like new!', 'mint', 'one owner', yadda yadda.

First off the bulb for the VU meter doesn't work (not that big of a deal I suppose).

Secondly and most importantly, this thing smells like it spent it's past life as an ash tray and rose from the grave to haunt my studio! I'm going to give the seller the benefit of the doubt and assume he was a smoker immune to the stench but there really should be a Surgeon General's warning on this thing

So, am I screwed? Is there some way to air this puppy out or am I going to have to throw this thing back on eBay?

What a drag
Old 14th June 2006
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Just bought a Siel Opera6 (analog 80ies "vintage" polysynth) that suffers from the same problem.... a deadly smell of nicotine
It also has some battery leakage on the processor PCB, but the smell is the worst.
I'm in the process of taking the whole thing apart and cleaning the PCBs, knobs and keys. The body of the synth has been washed twice now and the smell still remains, although at a much more tolerable level.
Lesson learned: Smoking kills *and* destroys gear
Old 14th June 2006
  #3
Gear Addict
 
montanasan's Avatar
 

money back

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzpunk
I just bought a Roland RE-201 Space Echo off of eBay. The item was listed as 'like new!', 'mint', 'one owner', 'perfect', yadda yadda.

First off the VU meter doesn't work so it kind of ticks me off that it was described as mint (not that big of a deal I suppose).

Secondly and most importantly, this thing smells like it spent it's past life as an ash tray and rose from the grave to haunt my studio! I'm going to give the seller the benefit of the doubt and assume he was a smoker immune to the stench but there really should be a Surgeon General's warning on this thing

So, am I screwed? Is there some way to air this puppy out or am I going to have to throw this thing back on eBay?

What a drag
If it has been wrongly advertised, you are entitled to get your money back.
joe.
Old 14th June 2006
  #4
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Many of the vintage Electro Harmonix pedals that I bought in the 90's smelled like BO, beer and cigarettes. It was bad enough that I ended up getting rid of them.

There's something to be said for reissues.
Old 14th June 2006
  #5
C/G
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I'd bitch. I sold a *mint* RE-201 a few years ago and the thing looked like I stepped into a time machine and went back and bought it. It still had the CSA (Canadian Standards Assoc) hang tag still attatched to the power cord. I think the guy I got it from had it in a box in the closet since he bought it. Mint should mean mint and not excessively stinky with a bulb burned out.
Old 14th June 2006
  #6
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Wow...thanks for the really cool responses. I was starting to think maybe it's what I should've expected. Thanks for reaffirming that when something is advertised as 'mint' it really should be.

(I washed my hands 3 times last night and they still smell like the f'n thing...just from handling it for 15 minutes )
Old 14th June 2006
  #7
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I bought a small synth off EBay a few years ago that had the same issue. Reeked like a nasty old ashtray. In my case, it also had another significant undisclosed problem so it was simple to return it for a full refund, but since then I have always checked and double checked - if the gear has been used anywhere besides a smoke-free studio I won't bid. The problem with nicotine stench is that it keeps coming back every time you turn the gear on and it warms up! YAK!

DP
Old 14th June 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
When I've come across equipment that reaks like that, I will usually scrub and flush with anhydrous alcohol (100% w/no water). It usually cuts the nasty stuff loose without damage to the electronics.

I agree with what the others said, if it isn't in mint condition, as advertised, get your money back.
Old 14th June 2006
  #9
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It IS eBay ya' know!

I just watched a guy win a bid on a MCI JH-24 that is missing the elctronics power supply.
The fact that a power supply was missing wasn't mentioned in the listing (I just spotted real quick) and when I asked the seller (an eBay listing company) they couldn't supply ANY info. I wanted to know if it was there and which supply was missing. They didn't know anything was missing!
Unless the winning bidder has an electronics power supply from a JH-24 sitting around he's gonna' have a big job on his hands trying to build one from scratch! It is possible, but not very easy. There are no electronics supplies available because I looked high and low before I bid.

Oh, well...

Danny Brown
Old 14th June 2006
  #10
Here for the gear
 

If you are careful and patient you can wash it with plain old water and soap.

Just make sure it is dry before power up. I did this to a small console, carefully dried it with a hair dryer and then waited a few days for anything I missed to dry up. Stay away from the transformers and I would not soak it. If you think about it, they are cleaned during the production process...

I would send it back however unless you really, really like it...
Old 14th June 2006
  #11
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba
It IS eBay ya' know!

I just watched a guy win a bid on a MCI JH-24 that is missing the elctronics power supply.
The fact that a power supply was missing wasn't mentioned in the listing (I just spotted real quick) and when I asked the seller (an eBay listing company) they couldn't supply ANY info. I wanted to know if it was there and which supply was missing. They didn't know anything was missing!
Unless the winning bidder has an electronics power supply from a JH-24 sitting around he's gonna' have a big job on his hands trying to build one from scratch! It is possible, but not very easy. There are no electronics supplies available because I looked high and low before I bid.

Oh, well...

Danny Brown
I hear ya'. You were lucky to have an issue that could be caught by examining the actual listing.

Until eBay comes out with a scratch n' sniff mode, the rest of us will be relying on the seller to be forthright about the condition of their item.

(I should note that I do not feel like I was intentionally screwed by the seller...I'm just bummed. I tried giving the unit another shot as it sounds so freakin' cool but I just can't be creative when thoughts of my dead Grandma keep invading my head )
Old 14th June 2006
  #12
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[QUOTE=LewKellogg]If you are careful and patient you can wash it with plain old water and soap.

Just make sure it is dry before power up. I did this to a small console, carefully dried it with a hair dryer and then waited a few days for anything I missed to dry up. Stay away from the transformers and I would not soak it. If you think about it, they are cleaned during the production process...
QUOTE]


Careful... some electronic components are soldered or connected to the assembly AFTER all of the water-wash steps have been completed because some components do not tolerate water wash. Certain types of switches, connectors, relays, motors, etc. can trap water and oxidize/corrode over time if exposed to a water wash. And other components can be damaged by various solvents (certain types of capacitors and flexible insulators). You really need to check out what types of parts are in the product and find out what cleaning processes they can and cannot be exposed to.

DP
Old 14th June 2006
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrebes
When I've come across equipment that reaks like that, I will usually scrub and flush with anhydrous alcohol (100% w/no water). It usually cuts the nasty stuff loose without damage to the electronics.

I agree with what the others said, if it isn't in mint condition, as advertised, get your money back.
FWIW, alchohol will eat through conductive plastic (P&G faders, etc.).
Old 14th June 2006
  #14
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GYang's Avatar
I stopped buying vintage.
Last Lex 480L and couple of analogue synths had some awful smell (not only cigarettes, but like rotten dead rat ).
I can't imagine how people survived in their places , if gears collected all this bad aroma. Even after 1 year after turning them on it was impossible to focus on work.
Seems it's part of heritage
I sold it, nobody compalined
Old 15th June 2006
  #15
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Diablo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzpunk
Secondly and most importantly, this thing smells like it spent it's past life as an ash tray and rose from the grave to haunt my studio! I'm going to give the seller the benefit of the doubt and assume he was a smoker immune to the stench but there really should be a Surgeon General's warning on this thing

Ha! Take that all you people that laugh and think it is stupid to post "from a smoke free studio" in Ebay auctions. heh

Really though that's a bummer, better look for words 'smoke free' in your future ebay auctions. Try using some plastic safe electronic cleaner spray to get the smoke residue off the unit. Something like this: http://www.mcminone.com/product.asp?...5Fid=20%2D2760
Old 15th June 2006
  #16
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electric's Avatar
 

i bought a bogus dbx 128 not long ago. when i pulled it out of the box it was like somebody cracking open a can of smoke. thing smelled like an ash tray and all the knobs were straight up YELLOW. if smoke is good for your gear this thing was in mint condition. POS didnt even pass audio. i had to laugh about it. maybe if you start smoking you wont notice so much .

maybe buy the "smoke free" plug version from uad.

electric
Old 15th June 2006
  #17
Hi.

I have heard of an Ozone cleaning system that also can be rented. It is supposed to take away ALL smell, you just put it in a room, car etc. and fire away. I did a quick search and came up with this:
http://www.air-zone.com/

entire search here:
http://www.google.com/search?client=...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

I´m sure there are more places out there, this was more to give a general idea of the type of device I was talking about. I know some companies use them when selling used cars that used to belong to smokers... they just put one of these in the car for a couple of hours and then it smells like new....
Should do the trick.

BTW, you should probably read this as well...
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html


/O
Old 15th June 2006
  #18
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Hey slutz,
Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I've found a local vintage gear shop that's going to service and clean the Echo (it just sounded too cool to let go!).

I'll offer the seller the chance to reimburse me for the 'deoderizing' portion of my bill ($45). If he does I will give him positive feedback. If he continues to ignore my e-mails than I'll just leave honest feedback (prompt shipping, well packaged, needed new bulb and smelled like death) and move on.

You guys are right- 'Smoke Free' are the words to look for!!!
Old 15th June 2006
  #19
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I bought a Rocktron Juice Extractor on ebay a few years back and not only did it smell like smoke, but everytime you touched the knobs you got soot on your fingers. It had obviously been in a fire and had smoke damage. I sent it back to the guy and got a refund (after some nasty e-mails). I never ended up buying another...I still wonder if they sound good.

Mike
Old 21st June 2006
  #20
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Just a little follow up. I waited a week and a half and sent numerous e-mails to the seller. I told him I would be happy to leave positive feedback if he would reimburse me for the deoderizing of the unit. He finally responds with 'call me'. I call and he is a complete a**hole, even going as far as to call me 'nuts'

Oh well...lesson learned.
Old 21st June 2006
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzpunk
Just a little follow up. I waited a week and a half and sent numerous e-mails to the seller. I told him I would be happy to leave positive feedback if he would reimburse me for the deoderizing of the unit. He finally responds with 'call me'. I call and he is a complete a**hole, even going as far as to call me 'nuts'

Oh well...lesson learned.

I hope your feedback reflects his attitude to potential buyers.
Old 21st June 2006
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReal7
I hope your feedback reflects his attitude to potential buyers.
Yeah it does. Originally I had planned on leaving 'neutral' feedback if he did not want to reimburse me for the cleaning. After he had me call him (why he didn't just let me know via e-mail is beyond me) only to redicule me, I left a nice big fat red negative all in caps.

What a jerkoff. dfegad
Old 21st June 2006
  #23
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You guys have to realize though that if any "normal" people read this thread they'd probably really think we were nuts. And by "normal" I mean people that aren't slutz like us. If I was just a dude that jammed on a instrument, sold it on ebay, and then they buyer calls me to tell me it's too stinky, I'd say your nuts also. But as a gearslut I fully understand the stinkyness.
Old 22nd June 2006
  #24
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Mark Warren's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79
If I was just a dude that jammed on a instrument, sold it on ebay, and then they buyer calls me to tell me it's too stinky, I'd say your nuts also.
HAAAAAA!!!!! That was good.

Yeah what's wrong with you folks, you're supposed to put audio through it, not put it on your charm bracelt.
Old 22nd June 2006
  #25
Gear Head
 

HA, now I can put my finger on it...my grandma smelled like a Space Echo!

I do think I'll take a mellotron off of anyone here, however. Even if Al Capone's head is inside.
Old 22nd June 2006
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79
You guys have to realize though that if any "normal" people read this thread they'd probably really think we were nuts. And by "normal" I mean people that aren't slutz like us. If I was just a dude that jammed on a instrument, sold it on ebay, and then they buyer calls me to tell me it's too stinky, I'd say your nuts also. But as a gearslut I fully understand the stinkyness.
I disagree 100%. Just tell a "normal" person, if you were going to check out a used car, the price was a good deal and the owner said it was in "mint" condition and when you stuck your head inside the car it smelled like cum, cigarettes and anal lube, and the dashboard had **** stains, would you buy the car?

The "normal" person would understand completely. It's all about context.
Old 22nd June 2006
  #27
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79
You guys have to realize though that if any "normal" people read this thread they'd probably really think we were nuts. And by "normal" I mean people that aren't slutz like us. If I was just a dude that jammed on a instrument, sold it on ebay, and then they buyer calls me to tell me it's too stinky, I'd say your nuts also. But as a gearslut I fully understand the stinkyness.
What are you doing hanging out with 'normal' people?! Shame on you
Old 22nd June 2006
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
I disagree 100%. Just tell a "normal" person, if you were going to check out a used car, the price was a good deal and the owner said it was in "mint" condition and when you stuck your head inside the car it smelled like cum, cigarettes and anal lube, and the dashboard had **** stains, would you buy the car?

The "normal" person would understand completely. It's all about context.
Well said (though quite a frightening image you painted there!).

I thought prolonged exposure to extreme smoking conditions had an adverse effect on electronics. Is this an urban myth?
Old 27th June 2006
  #29
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I don't know...

I have several books on vintage instruments and collecting, and I looked up the term "mint". No where do any of them use smell to describe the condition. By those standards, if the unit sounds good (like you say), smoke has had no effect on the condition of the electronics and the unit is mint as described. This is not as clear of a situation as you might think...
Old 27th June 2006
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtichy
I have several books on vintage instruments and collecting, and I looked up the term "mint". No where do any of them use smell to describe the condition. By those standards, if the unit sounds good (like you say), smoke has had no effect on the condition of the electronics and the unit is mint as described. This is not as clear of a situation as you might think...

I strongly disagree. Smoke gets into everything. Just because the person wiped the smoke stains off the outside of the unit, doesn't mean the inside and all the electronics are not covered in a layer of smoke residue. Stuff gets written off all the time in fires even if it just smells like smoke. Cigarette smoke is no different. Certain electronic circuits can be affect and even damaged when exposed to smoke for a long period of time. If I was the buyer and had knowledge that the unit was in a heavy smoke environment, I may not have bid as much or at all.
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