Amplifier Problems

Troubleshooting problems in guitar amps or in car audio systems is just a matter of cross checking the connections and searching for defunct components. This article puts light on diagnosing common amplifier problems.
Techspirited Staff
Amplifiers are electrical equipment that are responsible for increasing the amplitude of signals that go through them. These devices are used in a variety of audio setups such as home theater systems, guitar sound systems, car audio, and many others. If these devices are used for a while, they tend to give some problems. Just because amplifiers are electronic devices, you necessarily need not go to an audio repair shop for diagnosing the problem. Some general problems can be troubleshot at home.

Troubleshooting Amplifier Problems in Guitar Amps

Before troubleshooting any problem in guitar amplifiers, you need to make sure that the main issue lies in the amp themselves and not in other components of the system. This can be done by taking out all cords and connections and trying them out on a different amplifier. If the guitar amp is separate from the cabinet, you can try it on a different speaker and check if it works. You can try to make the amp work by using other channels on it. If you have a tube amplifier that has problems, ensure if the tubes at the behind are lit.

Also make sure if they have any kind of cracks or a whitish film inside. If they do, you will have to get the tubes replaced. Cracked tubes generally produce low quality sound and less volume. One good troubleshooting step is to try and plug in the guitar input cable into the direct-in jack, that is usually located at the back. If this solves the issue, then there probably is something wrong in the jacks that connect the preamp and amp. Now let us move on to troubleshooting amplifier issues in car audio systems.

Troubleshooting Amplifier Problems in Car Audio Systems

Amplifiers installed in car audio systems may even give some problems. The first step you need to do is to remove all wiring of the speakers and RCA wiring too; and keep only the power, ground and remote leads connected. If you are still facing the issue, then the amp itself is problematic or defective. If the car amplifier becomes hot and shuts down frequently, the problem may lie in the gain sensitivity which could have been mistakenly set very high or at a lower impedance than the amp's prescribed level.

Simply ensure that the gain level is not set too high. If you notice that the amp's volume comes down, this is not at all a serious problem. There are a few car amplifier models which limit the sound when they turn too hot. In order to avoid this problem, you should keep the amp from turning hot in the first place. You can even install small cooling fans for the amplifier.

These are some of the most common issues and troubleshooting steps that you need to consider in diagnosing amplifier problems. If troubleshooting the problems seems too complicated, the last option left is to get the equipment repaired by a reputed electrical technician.