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Broken Knob on Amplifier

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Nightwolf55, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Nightwolf55


    Jun 22, 2008
    The knob on my 15W Fender amp is broken. Is there anyway to fix it, or am I just better off with another one? Either way, I don't think I want to throw it out.
  2. Foamy


    Jun 26, 2006
    Sac Area
    For many, it would be a very easy fix. Is it the plastic knob, or is it the potentiometer? If it's the pot, it would be a simple matter of removing it, finding a replacement, and installing it. So really, shouldn't take more than about 10 minutes (plus the time to find the replacement part).
  3. Hi.

    Yep, a bit more information would help a lot.

    If it's just the knob (which I doubt), You can buy those from every music instrument shop.

    If it's the plastic or aluminium shaft of the potentiometer that's broken, either replace the potentiometer, some DIY skills required, or drill and tap the stub for a screw, also some DIY skills required.

  4. Nightwolf55


    Jun 22, 2008
    it's...well i dorm, so i travel back and forth with it a lot. unfortunately, i forced it in the car and it chipped off. The potentiometer is broken off to the point where I can't even adjust it anymore.

    I'd be willing to do it myself.... I sort of have an idea... any precautions? My hands would obviously have to be dry.

    A google search brought me to this page: http://www.guitarnucleus.com/gnstore/ampparts_fender.htm#pots

    Would any of those do or is it a specific one?
  5. unbridled


    May 26, 2005
    Endorsing Artist-Compton Compensated Custom Bridges (for Gretsch 6ers)
    You'll have to pull the amp apart to see what the value of the pot is and what the taper is. Get the screwdriver out and see what it looks like. You'll need a screwdriver, a wrench or pliars to pull the nuts off of the pots and jacks on the front panel of the amp, and a soldering iron to de-solder the old pot and re-solder the new pot. With most small combo amps, you'll have to take out all the screws you can find on the top and sides of the top part of the cab, pull the knobs and nuts off of the pots and jacks where they go through the panel, figure out if the chassis comes out the front or back and pull it out. Make sure you unhook the speaker wires first.
    Follow any safety guidelines you would when working with electricity. I assume it's a solid state amp, so, you won't need to discharge any caps before you tear into it. Of course, do this at your own risk or get someone to help.

    A quick, temporary fix I've used before is to run a screw into what's left of the shaft if it's a plastic shaft.
  6. ByF


    May 19, 2009
    Solid state amps don't have caps? Are you sure about that?

  7. dangorange


    Mar 25, 2009
    Solid state amps do not have the sort of caps that hold a large enough charge to hurt you.
  8. unbridled


    May 26, 2005
    Endorsing Artist-Compton Compensated Custom Bridges (for Gretsch 6ers)
    Yes, they have caps.

    Won't kill you, but can hurt pretty bad. Also don't hold a charge as long.
  9. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    A 15W amp is a fairly safe unit to work on but some SS amps are running at + and (-) 100 odd volts and, yes, that is enough to kill you.

    OP you'll have to contact Fender to see if the broken pot is even available as a replacement part. I know for one amp I am working on, the pot is not! If this is the case you'll have to find a part that can be substituted and made to physically fit.

  10. Hi.

    ^+1 to what Paul said.

    Most of the budget, entry level amps use parts that are really hard to get and difficult to substitute without knowledge and skills which a DIYer who faces the task most probably won't have.

    The parts aren't expensive, quite the opposite, but You'd have to get them by the truckload. Or from the manufacturer. Fender Europe = major suckage, I hope it's better for You natives ;).

    Good luck.

  11. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    The above statement tells me that you should bring the amp to a shop for repair. I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't say "unplug it first."
  12. unbridled


    May 26, 2005
    Endorsing Artist-Compton Compensated Custom Bridges (for Gretsch 6ers)
    Yeah, it's a little better here in the States, but, it's getting harder all the time. We used to be able to buy actual parts at stores like Radio Shack, but now, those stores are pretty much just cell phone outlets. Gotta get parts on the internet now.

    OP- Like they say, there is a chance that caps could carry lethal voltage, (actually it's the amperage that could do it, not the volts.) You have to decide whether that risk is worth the reward of fixing this yourself.
  13. Nightwolf55


    Jun 22, 2008
    hmm....i'm now thinking of a cheap way to do this...

    rather than opening it up, i can use a set of plyers to unscrew the washer from outside. i can probably then superglue something to it so that I could at least adjust it...then of course put the washer back...

    either that or i probably sell it -_-