I have a Fender Pro 185. It is a solid state amp. The volume seems to fade in and out on it as I play. Sometimes it takes it up to 20 seconds to come back and when it does come back it is usually louder than it originally was. I have discovered that when it goes out for a while, if I press the power switch almost to the point where it cuts off but not quite, there will be a pop sound, and the volume will immediately be back to normal. Any ideas whats wrong with it? I have a gig in a few weeks and need to fix this soon. Thanks

  • 1
    Take it to a tech. If you have a gig coming up, that's the only way to make sure it's working. There are so many possibilities we just can't do effective troubleshooting over the internet. Also, when you take it to a tech, bring your cable(s) and guitar unless you've already tried different cables and guitars and verified that it's definitely the amp. Sep 6, 2018 at 14:23
  • That's a fantastic simulation of tubes! Hats off to Fender! Or, well, China.
    – Kaz
    Sep 23, 2019 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


As commented, the best answer is to take it to an amp tech and have it worked on. The volume fading can come from a few different areas, and will require some troubleshooting to determine the fault.

In one case I had an amp that was acting similar to what you describe, and the problem (weirdly) turned out to be a buildup of corrosion across the input jack of the unit's send/return. Electronic spray cleaner fixed it.

That being said, if you are comfortable with basic electronics and opening up your amp, a first step would be to check for loose/broken solder connections, use electronic cleaner on all of your pots and connectors, and tighten all screws and nuts.

If the problem continues after that, then it is probably a failing component requiring professional repair.

  • 2
    Just for added clarity, as far as "electronic cleaner" you're looking for "contact cleaner". Deoxit is a popular brand. Also be careful with where and how much you spray. Some brands can be really greasy (it's petroleum based) and any excess may later mix with dust and leave a gunky mess in your amp. For inputs, try spraying the tip of a cable and working it in and out repeatedly. Or try a q-tip or pipe cleaner rather than a direct spray. For pots spray from the inside and use something to catch the excess.
    – user37496
    Sep 6, 2018 at 21:08
  • When I look for defective solder connections on circuit boards, I find a magnifying glass can help. Look for tiny cracks in solder and dirt and corrosion of any kind. Also, I have a small gun barrel wire brush that I use to keep my phone jacks clean, but be sure to use care to avoid damaging internal parts on the phone jacks. May 25, 2019 at 15:38

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