Why Does My Guitar Amp Keep Cutting Out?

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.

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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. 

Why Does My Guitar Amp Keep 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.

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.

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