Asked in
Instrument Repair
Bass Guitar

How do you fix a guitar that the amplifier won't register?


User Avatar
Wiki User
October 07, 2007 1:56AM

If you have access to a digital multimeter, it is now time to make use of it. If you do not have a one, get a 1.5 Volt battery, alligator clips or wire, sill tape, and a small hand torch light bulb. First, make sure that the cable you are using is still working properly. Put the digital multimeter on the continuity setting and touch each probe to the tip of each cable end. Then do the same to the ground on each end. If there is continuity (the meter will produce a beeping sound) on both tip and ground your cable is fine. Alternatively, touch one side of the battery with the guitar cable and touch the other to one contact on the light bulb. Then touch the remaining contacts of the battery and the light bulb to the opposite ends of your guitar cable. If the light bulb lights up, your cable is fine. If there is no light, your cable is broken. You must test both tip and ground and both must light up. If the cable is fine and the guitar does not work, you need to remove the pick guard on Fender type guitars or the back cover on Gipson type guitars. You may also need to remove the jack plate. You must then use your digital multimeter. You can use the battery and light bulb, but it can get very fiddly. Check each wire that runs from the various switches, potentiometers (pots, volume and tone knobs), pick-ups and output jack. Check each wire from where it starts to where it ends. They must all show continuity or illuminate your light bulb. If one wire does not show continuity, you musts replace it or reattach it if it has poor contact to its solder point. If all wires are working, you need to test your switches. If the switch is in the on position, there must be continuity between the two wires attached to the switch. Otherwise, the switch is broken and must be fixed or replaced. Make sure all wires are properly attached to the switch. There are many types of switches and you might want to Google the subject to try getting a guitar building book or a basic electronic book.