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Post new topic Anyone had water (beer) damage to guitar or amps?
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Author Topic:  Anyone had water (beer) damage to guitar or amps?
David Doggett

Bawl'mer, MD (formerly of MS, Nawluns, Gnashville, Knocksville, Lost Angeles, Bahsten. and Philly)
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 1:58 pm     Reply with quote

Read in the paper today that the "deluge" sprinkler system accidentally turned on during a recent rehearsal of the Philadelphia Symphony in their new concert hall. The concert grand Steinway piano took in about 6 inches of water. They say it's probably totalled - $75,000 - youch! Even more than a new MSA! The first violinist was seen dumping water out of his f-holes, and some of those 5 figure 100-year old fiddles and things got "splotches" - eeuuww!

So as I was setting my beer mug down on my Nashville 400 last night, I got to wondering how much damage it would do if it tipped over. Once, one of my pedals got real sluggish. I traced the problem to beer, or cola, or something spilled on the pedal bar in the dim past (which could have been the night before). It worked fine after I cleaned it. But how risky is my behavior? Anyone had any real bad experiences?

[This message was edited by David Doggett on 04 December 2002 at 01:59 PM.]

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Eric West

Portland, Oregon, USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 2:13 pm     Reply with quote

Well, I had an occaison once.

We were playing in a basement club in Salem OR, with mirrors behind us, and low steam/water pipes overhead. I was having some severe "attitude" problems, and contemplating mass murder.

The Bass Player, a nephew of Merle's named Tracy Barton was just stage left of me. He had a little trick he used to do, slinging a bottle of Coors around once and tipping it into his pie hole. He was about to do it as I was just sitting there grimacing, waiting for the intro. Pissed.

All of a sudden I hear a "pop", and immediately there was white foam dripping off my hat, and covering my fretboards and inbetween them. He had hit a low pipe on his way around. I don't think there was an once of beer that didn't hit me, my hat, and my Bud.

All I could do was start laughing. I about fell over.. I still remind him of it from time to time. It was just what I needed.

I immediately swamped off the steel but it loosened the remaining laquer of the top of the guitar. The initial damage to mine was done in a car trunk.

Seems the finish on old Sho~Buds will just loosen and start peeling off whenever it gets water behind it.

Water on circuit boards..

Seems like the only thing to try is letting it completely dry out, and fire it up. If it works, then fine. If not, then it's off to the shop.

I always wanted to see what dumping a beer on the keyboard of Lou Soloman's Ensonique would do, but it didn't belong to him. Couldn't have hurt his playing much....
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Earnest Bovine

Los Angeles CA USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 2:15 pm     Reply with quote

Apres vous, le deluge.
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Donny Hinson

Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 3:39 pm     Reply with quote

For most amps (when they're turned on), any liquid spells disaster! On the tube jobs, it breaks the tubes (if something wet hits them when they're hot). On solid state stuff, the liquid can transmit enough power to cause a short, and burn something out, consequently.

One of my amps has a vent-grid on the top (right over the board, where the power transistors are mounted...a dumb engineering idea if ever there was one). Anyhow, all it took was a couple teaspoons of sombody's beer...and bingo! A $100 trip to the shop (for a couple new power and driver transistors) was then in order.

Moral...keep 'em dry, or they die! Should your amp electronics get wet, shut it down immediately...and wait about a week before you turn it back on. Even then...cross your fingers!
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Frank Parish

Nashville,Tn. USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 3:51 pm     Reply with quote

When I was in the bar business that was something that wasn't allowed. I wouldn't allow anyone to sit drinks or ashtrays on the amps even if it was their own. Most of them were mine. The amp isn't a piece of furniture and it has electronics inside so why would you take the chance of ruining it? If you had your own amp and you couldn't finish the night because of it then the bar and the band would have to take the loss for your stupidy. A bass player set his drink on the PA head once and killed it before the second set so there we were with no PA. That's why the rule came about.
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Jim Eaton

Santa Susana, Ca
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 4:47 pm     Reply with quote

I had a close call once. We were playing in a "pub" in Manhatten Beach Ca, where the "stage" was where a booth "use to be", about 8X8 and floor level.
We had just gone on break, and I always put a towel and my cover on my Emmons D-10.
Normally to try and keep it's temperature stable, but this time it did double duty.
When I got back from a quick trip to the mens room AND was sitting behind my guitar, some lounge lizard who was trying to put his A move on a young lady at the bar, reached back and "set a full mug of beer" right on top of the cover right where the strings of my E9th neck were. As soon as he turned back to the young thing at the bar, I picked up his beer and poured it down the back of his pants!!
Ya just don't mess with a man's guitar ya know!
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Michael Johnstone

Sylmar,Ca. USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 5:33 pm     Reply with quote

Session 400s have a grille on top like someone mentioned and once I clipped off the end of an .011 string and it flew up in the air and came down right into one of the holes in the grille - the amp went "POP!" and that was about a $100 trip to the shop also. I once had to repair the hell out of a $100K API studio console after some chick singer dumped a strawberry daqueri right in the middle of it. You gotta watch that stuff. -MJ-
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Gene Jones

Oklahoma City, OK USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 5:50 pm     Reply with quote

....this seems like "get the bassplayer", night but I also had one (who everyone here would recognize if I gave his name) set his glass of beer on my Bandmaster as he stepped up to the mike and then dragged his cord across it dumping it into the top of my amp....I failed to ever get it working properly again without squeaks, whistles, pops, etc, so finally trashed it....
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Jack Anderson

Scarborough, ME
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 7:40 pm     Reply with quote

When I was the bass player, I started to sizzle one night when the spilled beer in a frat house got the carpet so wet that it began to provide a ground return for my otherwise ungrounded and reverse-plugged-in Bassman. Then the lead singer got his when he kissed the microphone. Bar bands ought to have power distribution boxes with GFIs (ground fault interrupters) in them, like the outlets in kitchens and bathrooms are now required to have!
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B Bailey Brown

San Antonio, TX (USA)
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 7:43 pm     Reply with quote

Years ago I used to use a home built effects contraption with four stomp boxes mounted in it. Some drunk was leaning over the bandstand attempting to request a song and dumped a Rum & Coke all over everything. Three of the stomp boxes survived…one was DOA! The drunk? Oh yea, he survived only because the band played another 20 minutes before taking a break and he had disappeared by the time I could get off the bandstand!

Any kind of liquid (regardless of the flavor or mixture) and electronics equipment does NOT get along well. As others have said, you are looking at a costly repair bill, or just replacing the whole thing.

B. Bailey Brown
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George Keoki Lake

Edmonton, AB., Canada
Post Posted 4 Dec 2002 8:08 pm     Reply with quote

This has nothing to do with drinks...I was booked to play a gig in a country hall back in the forties. In those days they were in the process of converting the hall from a DC generator to AC supplied from a nearby town. The AC line was not connected to the hall yet, however they had installed the "normal" AC (2 hole) wall plugs on the stage and throughout the hall readying it for the conversion. Noone said anything about DC current in those wall plugs. Need I say more ? Unfortunately, the leader blew his amp up in smoke. I was glad I hadn't plug in my amp. There was all hell to pay, the leader was furious. That gig was over before it started.
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Chris DeBarge

Boston, Mass
Post Posted 5 Dec 2002 6:39 am     Reply with quote

They should put more cupholders on stage!
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Jody Sanders

Magnolia,Texas, R.I.P.
Post Posted 5 Dec 2002 10:03 pm     Reply with quote

The band leader I work for says; if you can't perform an hour without a drink or a cigarette, I won't hire you. Works great. Jody.
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William Steward

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Post Posted 6 Dec 2002 5:46 am     Reply with quote

Aside from the unnatural hazards of drunks and bass players (I have whacked in the head by bass necks on several occasions), humidity is a problem here in the tropics. I found playing outdoors on a summer evening (95% RH) that dew will quickly form on all the horizontal surfaces of my equipment and without cover will finish the evening soaking wet. The high humidity will upset the electronics of my keyboards so they act erratically and the steel neck just gets plain wet. I am glad someone pointed out the obvious problem with the Peavey amp vent which seems like it is situated in a dumb location - I had thought of putting a small wall vent plate over it to keep out beer spills and still allow the vent to do it's job. hmmmmm
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Jim Cohen

Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 6 Dec 2002 5:53 am     Reply with quote

David, this has only happened to me at the Mermaid Inn. You stay outta that joint and you'll be alright.
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Anders Brundell

Falun, Sweden
Post Posted 6 Dec 2002 6:00 am     Reply with quote

Why does it take an accident to make the only reasonable decision?
Half a cup of coffee silenced the radio station I work on the other week - it went into the only analogue mixer still there. The new digital ones are full of bugs and malfunction occationally anyway, no matter how dry and free from coffee they are.
I would say itīs an unproffessional attitude to put working tools at risk like this.
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Rick Schmidt

Prescott AZ, USA
Post Posted 6 Dec 2002 12:07 pm     Reply with quote

Was anybody else at the Los Angeles NAMM show opening day a few years ago when the overhead sprinkler came on for about 15 minutes in one of the main halls, drenching the Tehnics Corp. digital keyboard display? (and quite a few others too)

Much cursing and gnashing of many languages.
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Darvin Willhoite

Liberty Hill, Tx. USA
Post Posted 6 Dec 2002 1:17 pm     Reply with quote

I bought a Peavey Bandit transtube amp a while back that evidently had been in a flood. The seller said the speaker was good, but the amp was blown. Actually the speaker was trash, but the amp is in great shape. The particle board cabinet had swollen and came apart at the joints, and the tolex had loosened on most of it. I built a new replica cabinet out of plywood and covered it with the old Tolex, and it looks like a new amp. It sounds great with a EVM12L speaker I put in it.

Darvin Willhoite
Riva Ridge Recording
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David Doggett

Bawl'mer, MD (formerly of MS, Nawluns, Gnashville, Knocksville, Lost Angeles, Bahsten. and Philly)
Post Posted 6 Dec 2002 5:37 pm     Reply with quote

Just an update on the Philly orchestra and the "deluge" sprinkler system incident - it seems some of those fiddles and things can be worth a little more than 5 figures - try 6 or 7 figures. The new MSAs are beginning to look downright cheap. We should all get one or two.

On a positive note, the conductor's wand seems to be okay, and the triangle player says some liquid wrench fixed him up alright (okay, I made this part up just to try and throw in a little cheer).
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N.Y.C. & Fire Island
Post Posted 6 Dec 2002 9:59 pm     Reply with quote

David, that's some funny stuff....
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Roger Miller

Cedar Falls, Ia.
Post Posted 15 Dec 2002 6:47 pm     Reply with quote

I spilled a beer on my guitar amp and had to put it in treatment and a 12 step program, that was costly.
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Emmett Roch

Texas Hill Country
Post Posted 15 Dec 2002 10:17 pm     Reply with quote

One time during some heavy rains, the roof in my apartment sprung a leak and dripped water in only one place---directly into the changer of my then-new GFI. I had to take out all the pull rods so I could remove the changer and wash it in hot soapy water to remove the insulation, dust, and bird dropping residue.

Ralph Mooney said that if someone has been drinking beer and eating tomatoes and they barf on your steel, it's hard to remove all the little pieces of tomato after they have dried.

GFI S-12 extended E9

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