One of the most frustrating things to go through is when you are trying to play your guitar, only to keep hearing cutting-out sounds on your guitar amp. It breaks the flow of your playing and is just an annoyance. You may be asking yourself the question: Why does my guitar amp keep cutting out?
Many reasons can cause your guitar to keep cutting out. It could be a loose or faulty cable, loosened solder joints, grounding wire, or a faulty audio socket. Cutting out sounds may also come from poor speakers or incompatible impedance. The key is to identify, fix and prevent the issue from happening in the future.
This post reviews why your guitar amp keeps cutting out and what you can do to solve the issue. We also look at issues such as fading amp sound and the possible issues behind that as well.
If you would like to troubleshoot if a guitar amp is turned on but makes no sounds, you may check out our guide here.
Common Reasons for Guitar Amp Cutting Out
Guitar amps could be making cutting-out sounds for many reasons, but loose cables, joints, or soldering points could be the culprit. Poor quality amps with poor speakers are also more likely to cut out. Impedance issues may also cause cutting out.
Your Cable Is Not Firmly Plugged In: Constant cutting out sounds could be as simple as you not plugging in properly. Start by checking and confirming that you connect your cables firmly and properly. Check for firm connection on both sides, the amp and the guitar itself. When the cable is securely plugged in, you should hear a solid clicking or “pop” sound.
Your Cable Jack May Be Dirty: At times, your cables may develop rust or catch some oxidation if left in humid conditions for too long. As a result, when plugged in, these rusts and oxidation may interfere with the signals sent from your guitar to your amp, causing cutting-out sounds.
Check both ends of the cable. Observe if there is the development of rust or oxidation on your cable jacks. If yes, consider scrubbing and lightly sanding your cable jack using Scotch Brite and high grit sandpaper.
Your Cable May Be Faulty: If you have firmly plugged in the cable on both sides, but your amp still cuts out, you may have an issue with your cable. If you have a spare cable, consider swapping the cable and see if you hear any cutting-out sound again. If not, you can confirm the old cable has issues.
To double confirm this, you may try to plug the old cable into another amp and see if the cutting-out sounds continue. If yes, you can toss away the cable because it is confirmed to be faulty.
Faulty Guitar or Amp Jack(Socket): If you have swapped a new cable, and yet the cutting-out sounds continue to show up, the next step is to think about your guitar or amp socket. To diagnose this better, it may help if you have a spare guitar and an amp.
Start by swapping to another guitar. If the cutting-out sounds are gone, then chances are it’s your guitar jack that is faulty. If not, keep the same guitar, and swap into another amp. If the cutting-out sounds are gone, it may be your amp jack.
As usual, double confirm this by plugging both guitars into the same amp and plugging both amps into the same guitar. You can now confirm very well which is faulty by this time – the guitar or the amp.
Loose Soldering Joints: Suppose there is still no logical explanation as to which is faulty. In that case, then there is a likelihood you have a loose soldering joint on either the amp or the guitar. This may be rather technical, so you may need to take your amp and guitar to a technician to diagnose and see.
As a start, you may think about if you recently dropped your guitar or amp, the impact may have loosened the soldering joint. Take that device and have it checked first.
Faulty Grounding Wire: When having your amp checked by a technician, ask the person to give the grounding wire on your amp, as a faulty grounding wire may also cause the amp to cut out.
If the ground wire is loose, electricity can not leave the amp after it has been used to power something. This could cause your amp’s failsafe to trip and turn off the amp because the voltage is too high.
Incompatible impedance: If you are using a separate amp and speakers, ensure that the impedance rating of both the amp and the speakers is the same. If you put a speaker with a low impedance on an amp with a high impedance, the sound will cut out (and vice versa).
Low-Quality Amp And Speakers: Suppose you are the type that likes to shred your guitar at a high volume. In that case, you may consider to spend some money in a better amp. This is because cheap speakers may not be able to work well under high voltage. Consider investing in great amps from makers such as Vox, Laney, Mesa Boogie, or Marshall.
Diagnosing the Problem: State Guitar vs. Modelling Guitar Amps
Knowing how to diagnose the problem when your guitar amp keeps cutting out is essential. There are different types of amps to consider: solid state (state guitar) amps and modelling (digital) guitar amps. While both solid state and modelling guitar amps have their own unique features and sound, they also have different potential issues that can cause them to cut out. Let’s look at how to diagnose these issues for both types of amps.
Solid state guitar amps, such as the popular Fender Mustang series, are known for their simplicity and consistent sound quality. These amps use solid materials like silicon to amplify the audio signal, unlike their tube counterparts. Common reasons for a solid state amp to cut out include overheating, electrical issues, and faulty components. If your amp is overheating, ensure that it has adequate ventilation and isn’t positioned near heat sources. If you suspect an electrical issue, check the power supply and cables for damage. It’s also a good idea to check for any loose or worn parts, such as volume knobs or input jacks.
On the other hand, modelling guitar amps like the boutique variety, utilize digital technology to emulate the sounds and feel of traditional tube amps. These amps require more attention to details, as they rely on more complex circuitry and software to produce their sound. In the digital realm, amp cutting out can be caused by software glitches, firmware updates, and a variety of other technical issues. To resolve these problems, check the manufacturer’s website and forums for updates and known issues. Pay attention to essential maintenance tips and firmware update announcements to ensure your amp stays running smoothly. Also, confirm your amp is connected securely to your guitar and view the settings for possible issues.
Lastly, remember that both types of amps can experience issues with volume pedals and other external gear. Check all connections and cables to ensure proper function and reduce potential points of failure. By understanding the characteristics and potential issues of state guitar and modelling guitar amps, you can more effectively diagnose and address issues that may cause your amp to cut out. Keep these essential maintenance tips in mind and be ready to troubleshoot whenever your guitar amp starts giving you trouble.
Accessing Hybrid Guitar and Tube Guitar Amplifiers
Accessing hybrid guitar and tube guitar amplifiers can help guitarists understand the reasons a guitar amp might be cutting out. A hybrid guitar combines the sounds of a solid-state and tube amp, providing the best of both worlds in terms of tone and durability. They make great guitar amps for musicians looking to experiment with different sound possibilities. Tube guitar amplifiers, on the other hand, are popular for their powerful, rich tone and overall warm sound. That classic tone from tube amps has made them a mainstay among many guitarists across genres and styles.
There are several reasons why an amp might be cutting out. For instance, an issue with the amp tubes can cause the guitar amp to lose power and cut out. This is more common in tube amps since they depend on vacuum tubes to work. If a tube gets too old or wears out, it can lose power and cause the amp to stop working. In this case, you might want to consult with a specialist in guitar instruments and accessories to replace the tube and restore your sound. Additionally, the wattage of your amp can play a role in its performance. A lower-watt amp might not be able to provide the power required for a big sound in a large venue or band practice. It’s essential that you select a guitar amp that aligns with your needs and offers the appropriate wattage for your guitar combo or cabinet.
Diagnosing the problem becomes easier when you know the type of guitar amp you’re using. State guitar and modeling guitar amps have their own unique issues, and understanding the difference between the two might help you pinpoint the problem. A modeling guitar amp uses digital technology to mimic various guitar amplifiers and achieve different tones. This means that if there’s a technical issue with the software, it can cause the amp to cut out. Conversely, a state guitar amp uses a solid-state mechanism and is generally more reliable than other types of guitar amps.
Regardless of whether you have a Fender, a Peavey, or another brand of guitar amp, knowing how to access hybrid guitar or tube guitar amplifiers can save you time and frustration during your practice sessions and performances. Being proactive in maintaining your equipment will ultimately protect your sound, and keep your amp working at its best.
Essential Maintenance Tips for Guitar Amps
When you’re a guitarist, there’s nothing worse than your guitar amp cutting out in the middle of a jam session, gig, or recording. To avoid such mishaps, regular maintenance checks are necessary for the longevity of your gear. Here’s a list of essential maintenance tips for your guitar amp, whether you have a guitar combo amp or a standalone head and cabinet.
1. Power care: Always plug your guitar amp into a power strip or surge protector, rather than directly into the wall. This can help avoid power fluctuations, which could cause your amp to cut out or even get damaged.
2. Keep it clean: Dust and debris can clog your amp’s components, reducing sound quality and causing overheating. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently clean your cabinet, paying attention to the input jacks, knobs, and switches.
3. Watch your wattage: Using an amplifier with too many watts for your speaker can result in damage to the speaker. Check your speaker’s wattage handling specs and make sure you’re not overpowering it.
4. Match your gear: Make sure your head and cabinet are compatible in terms of impedance. Mismatched impedance can lead to poor tone, sound distortion, and even damage to your amp.
5. Inspect your tubes: For tube or hybrid guitar amps, check the vacuum tubes regularly for any visible wear, discoloration, or cracks. Replace damaged tubes as necessary.
6. Monitor your effects: Using too many effects pedals or the wrong type of power supply for your pedals can cause your amp to cut out or produce unwanted noise. Keep track of your effects chain, and ensure everything is connected and powered properly.
7. Size matters: When upgrading or adding new gear, make sure you’re using the correct size cables and connectors. Using the wrong size cables can cause a weak signal or loss of sound quality in your amp.
8. Practice proper mic placement: When using a microphone to record your guitar amp, proper placement is crucial to capturing the best tone. Experiment with different distances and angles to find the optimal sound.
9. Consult the pros: If you’re still experiencing issues with your amp cutting out, severe distortions in your tone, or any other problem you can’t resolve yourself, it might be time to contact the amp pros for help.
By following these essential maintenance tips, you’ll keep your guitar amp in top shape and deliver the best sound possible for your studio sessions, practice time, or live performances.
Recognizing Guitar Amp Issues: Amp Overheating and Power Supply Problems
If you’re a guitarist, you’ve probably experienced guitar amp issues at some point. One common problem is when the amp keeps cutting out, causing your sound to disappear for a brief moment before coming back. But why does this happen? Let’s take a closer look at recognizing guitar amp problems like amp overheating and power supply problems, and learn how to keep these issues from disrupting your practice, band, or performance.
Amp overheating is a major cause of guitar amps cutting out. The problem most often occurs with solid state and tube amps, which can generate a lot of heat. When the amp reaches a certain temperature, the built-in safeguards may cause it to shut down to prevent damage. So, if you notice that your amp seems unusually hot, it might be a sign of overheating. Some ways to avoid this include placing your amp on a hard surface like a piano or table, using a fan to help dissipate heat, or investing in a cooling pad. Additionally, be mindful of the volume and wattage you’re using – lower wattages can cause less heat.
Power supply problems are another common cause of guitar amp issues. A guitar amplifier needs the right amount of power to function properly, and if it doesn’t get that, it can cause the sound to cut out. First, make sure you’re using the correct power adapter for your specific amp – using one with the wrong voltage can lead to trouble. Second, ensure your amp is plugged into a reliable power source, like a surge protector, to minimize risks of electrical fluctuations affecting the amp’s performance.
When it comes to diagnosing the root cause of your guitar amp cutting out, understanding the differences between solid state, tube, and hybrid guitar amps can be helpful. Consulting with amp pros and examining site-specific factors like power availability can help determine whether the problem lies with the specific amplifier or the larger environment. Lastly, don’t forget to perform regular maintenance on your amp, such as cleaning dust and debris from vents and making sure all internal components are in working order. Being proactive in recognizing guitar amp issues and addressing them before they become a bigger problem can save you time, money, and frustration, and ultimately ensure that your sound is always ready to impress.
How Different Guitar Amps React to Tube and Component Failures
If you’re a guitarist, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of your guitar amp cutting out during a gig or practice session. Understanding how different guitar amps react to tube and component failures can help you diagnose the issue quicker, get your gear back in good shape, and prevent future problems. In this article, we’ll dive into tube amps, solid state amps, and combo amps, exploring the various effects of component failures on your amp’s sound.
First of all, it’s essential to know the difference between tube amps and solid state amps. Tube amps use vacuum tubes to create an authentic, warm tone, while solid state amps rely on solid-state electronics, which tend to produce a cleaner and more consistent sound. Components of tube and solid-state amps can both fail, but the way in which your guitar combo reacts will differ depending on the amp type. For example, tube amps often experience diminished tone or volume when there’s an issue with the amp tubes, whereas solid state amps may suffer from a total loss of power or sound due to electronic component failures.
Combo amps, which combine the benefits of both tube and solid state technologies, may react differently to component problems. It’s crucial to diagnose these issues accurately since the wrong approach can ultimately harm the amp’s performance. A common issue in combo amps is overheating, which can cause your amp’s power supply to fail and lead to your amp cutting out. Proper maintenance and ventilation of your amp will help ensure that these overheating issues don’t affect your sound quality.
Recognizing the signs of component and tube failures is crucial in all types of guitar amps. Whether you’re playing through a 5-watt practice amp or a 100-watt state-of-the-art modeling guitar amp, regular maintenance and troubleshooting are necessary to keep your amp sounding its best. After all, your guitar’s tone is only as good as the amplifier it’s played through, so it’s worth investing some time and effort into understanding how various guitar amplifiers react to component failures.
How To Prevent Guitar Amp Cutting Out?
To prevent your guitar amp from cutting out, you may ensure you take good care of your guitar and amp. You should also keep your guitar, amp, and cable in a dry, cool place. This helps to reduce oxidation and deterioration of the guitar, amp, and cable’s contact points, ensuring a clean connection for a great and clean sound.
Reduce Hard Impact On Your Guitar, Cable, And Amps: One of the culprits that may cause cutting out sound is loose soldering joints. In many cases, loose soldering joints are caused by a hard impact, knocks, or drops. When moving and playing, there is a likelihood you may knock or drop your guitar and amp.
By reducing hard impacts, you avoid causing harder trauma to your amps, guitar, and cable, reducing the likelihood of loose soldering joints and cutting out.
Keep Guitar, Amp, And Cable In Dry And Cool Place: Another major culprit of cutting out is that the cable jack and the sockets at the amp and guitar deteriorated. Deterioration often happens to exposure to moisture, resulting in the development of rust and oxidation. These layers may interfere with the electric signals, causing sound interference and cutting out.
Consider keeping your guitar, amp, and cable in a cool and dry place. Guitar bags are often good enough to protect your guitar, while for the amps and cables, consider investing in a dry box to keep them.
Invest In Better Guitar Amps: Lower quality amps often come with lower quality speakers, which may not stand up to hard shredding on a high volume. The speakers may simply seize up and cut out. Ruining your playing session.
Consider investing in higher quality amps such as Vox, Laney, Mesa Boogie, Fender, Orange, or Marshall.