Amp on fire


New member
Username: Rghai6


Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-08
Hi. I found an antique Novanex Automatic 6 from my dad's old stuff:,idprodu it,48764,mao,automatic_six.html

It hadn't been used since the 80's so I tried to use it. Initially it just gave a slight burning smell so i turned it off. Then it refused to turn on when i tried to switch it on.

I took it to a tech who told me the transformer's burnt. He replaced it.

I got the amp back home and was playing my guitar and adjusting the bass and treble and suddenly smoke started to emerge out of the back of the amp.

Now I don't know what's causing the problem. Some settings on my guitar or the age of the amp ? Is the transformer burnt again ? If yes, why is it burning repeatedly?

I would really love to get this amp to work properly.

Edit:I was also using a spike guard the second time.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 12826
Registered: May-04

Parts that haven't been used for decades wear out and dry out. The solution, if the amp is worth repairing, would be a total rebuild with new capacitors and probably a few resistors, a couple of diodes and various assundry components. If the circuit board for the amp has been burnt, the amp probably isn't worth the effort.


New member
Username: Rghai6


Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-08
Hmm...Thanks for the quick response.

I'll probably ask the tech to assess what it'll cost to replace the capacitors, and the reqd resistors and diodes.

Thanks a lot.

Silver Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 294
Registered: Oct-07
Solid state devices have a pretty good shelf life....I would, as Jan suggests be REALLY worried about caps, especially oil filled. Bulges are a pretty good indicator of OOPS.
In general, transformers are long life components, too.

Now that it smoked TWICE...EVERYTHING is on the table and suspect.
The original tech should be ashamed of him/her self for not going to root on the original cause of the transformer going south.

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 1185
Registered: Feb-07
I've had an amp repaired before where I brought it home and it failed in the exact same way. I think sometimes they find red-herrings... maybe a trial and error process? Who knows, I'm not technical when it comes to electronics (obviously).

Smoke coming from an guitar amp while playing is not totally a bad thing.

New member
Username: Rghai6


Post Number: 3
Registered: Jul-08
"Smoke coming from an guitar amp while playing is not totally a bad thing."

Thanks for your inputs. I'm taking it to the tech today. Will update status in the evening.
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