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Circumstances Surrounding An Amplifier Repair

By Cathy Mercer

There is a loud bang on stage as the lead guitar player reaches the climax of his heavily distorted solo. The amplifier repair tech in the stage wings holds his hand to his mouth as a stream of acrid smoke billows from the guitar player’s amp unit and the instrument falls silent. The animated audience looks on with disbelief as the offending unit is disconnected from the power source and rushed off stage.

It’s early evening and there is the sound of classical musing wafting through the lofty rafters of a luxurious house. The owner is relaxing in his leather covered easy chair, glass of whisky in hand and totally absorbed in the strains of the music after a hard day in the office. There is a loud grating sound from the speakers then nothing. It’s time to phone the amplifier repair person.

There are many other scenarios that could be given as to why or when an amplifier needs repair. These are two at perhaps the extreme ends of the scale. The first scenario is probably not that rare. The instrument amplifier is probably the most one of its type in need of repair. It is often taken on the road and used in a live performance situation, where any part of it can be stressed beyond its design limits. For these reasons these types of amps are very ruggedly built.

It gets dropped, bumped, dragged and that is before it is even plugged in. The player may further abuse it by over-driving it in order to get the right sound or by standing and jumping on it in the excitement of the performance.

However it is not possible to economically produce them to cover all the circumstances of their use. Some artists have deliberately destroyed gear at the climax of their act. Little can be done to protect the amp if this is the protagonist’s intention.

Home music listening buffs will go and buy the best music gear that they can afford. The very high quality amplifiers sought after are often hand built and valve powered. This technology is often less robust than the more modern solid state equivalent however it is preferable for the sound quality produced. High quality instrument units are similarly produced but their owners usually go to some lengths to look after them with some residing only in studios for recording purposes.

Valves tend to be more fragile than their solid state counterparts and like a light bulb can cease working if disturbed, particularly when they are still hot. The filaments within can have a limited life beyond which they break and the unit ceases to function. Valve units are also sought after by musicians but because of their more fragile nature tend to be well cushioned when taken on the road or confined to the more static studio situation for their use.

There is usually a calculation that needs to be made when considering an amplifier repair. That is to find out if cost of the repair is likely to be more than the cost of replacing the amplifier with a new one. Some of the lower cost Asian made instrument and stereo amps might be included in this category. The more expensive valve type amplifier owners may want to keep their units for the quality of the sound they get from them and not so much for the cost of repair.

Read more about When Is An Amplifier Repair Economical visiting our website.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Mercer, Cathy "Circumstances Surrounding An Amplifier Repair." Circumstances Surrounding An Amplifier Repair. 16 Apr. 2014. 28 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Mercer, C (2014, April 16). Circumstances Surrounding An Amplifier Repair. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Mercer, Cathy "Circumstances Surrounding An Amplifier Repair"

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