Guide for Electronic Equipment Diagnosis
In need of electronic gear repairs? Read this first.
Is your amp broken? Has your speaker stopped "speaking" to you, or is your keyboard out of commission? You've come to the right place, but before you bring in your broken stuff, let's take a moment to better identify the real problem.
So, what is actually broken here anyway?
With electronic music equipment, there are often several different components working together to deliver the sound to your ear. An electric guitar has a pickup, volume and tone knobs, one or more cables, possibly some effects processors, an amplifier, a speaker and a power supply. A defect anywhere in this chain may prevent any sound from occurring. How can you tell where the problem is?
Divide and conquer. If your amplifier powers up but makes no sound, try using a different sound source (guitar, keyboard, whatever). No improvement? Try different connection cables. Still no sound? If possible, try a different speaker or speaker cabinet with the same amplifier. If none of these solve the problem, it's probably in the amplifier.
You get the idea - methodically replace each part of the signal chain you can to isolate the defective component. Many times, you can identify and fix the problem yourself – but not always. That's why we're here!
Follow these simple troubleshooting techniques to ensure you bring in the right piece of equipment.
- Is there no sound coming from your instrument or amplifier?
- Try the "divide and conquer" technique above.
- Did your gear emit smoke or sparks, or present any other obviously catastrophic symptom?
- If you fall into this group you'd better bring your gear in right away – something is obviously wrong.
- Does your gear turn on?
- If it doesn't power up, check the outlet by plugging something else into it. If the outlet is okay, check to see if there is a user-replaceable fuse. If there is, unplug the unit, remove the fuse, locate a replacement fuse of the same value and swap it out. If the fuse blows again, or if replacement doesn't remedy your problem, bring it in for repair. Please don't try to access anything that requires disassembly. Many electronic components retain potentially lethal voltages even when unplugged.
- Has your keyboard or other component begun acting erratically, or stopped remembering its presets and settings?
- Try "reinitializing". Many electronics have a "factory reset" option. Instructions should be outlined in your user manual, and many times consist of holding down a couple of specific buttons when turning the unit on. Be aware that this will generally erase any user-created presets and settings, but it sometimes straightens out the problem. If this doesn't help, it's time to visit our shop.