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I recently got some pedals and was playing around with them the other night. I had them plugged into a 12-13 year old Fender Frontman 15 (small solid state combo amp). I decided I wanted to change the order of the pedals. I forgot to turn off the amp when I unplugged my pedals from each other. Then the amp “popped” and powered off. Now it will not turn on at all. The amp and pedals were plugged into the same power strip and the pedals turn on. Also, not sure if it matters, but I was wearing headphones and I think the pop came from the amp’s speaker.

Did my amp die from old age or from my negligence? Can plugging/unplugging equipment while an amp is powered on cause an amp to die?

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I'm gonna claim "random chance"

Normally [though not good for the speaker] pulling plugs shouldn't actually damage anything. Sensibly, you should always pull the last cable to the amp before doing anything else,. but guitar amps are generally pretty resilient.

Something was near the edge & the pop pushed it over the edge.
Cascade fail [or some such electronics-speak] taking down the capacitors.
Happened to my best Dynacord bass amp just this year - I paid a guy to fix it, too complex for me.

When I worked at the BBC one of the guys in brown coats [yes, they still had them back then] once told me they scheduled replacement of all capacitors in all equipment every five years.
I'd been trying to improve an old 60's Fender Vibralux & wasn't having much joy; replacing all the valves hadn't brought it back to its sonic best.
So, I replaced all the big old 'brown toffee' capacitors with teeny new shiny blue ones & it worked perfectly.

Lesson learned - though I've never actually since bothered changing one just because my calendar said so ;)

Dynacord was a good 30 years old when it failed, Vibralux was probably about the same at that time.
Vibralux cost a few quid to fix & 20 mins with a soldering iron, the Dynacord on the other hand was £120. Probably not worth it on a Frontman, but the Dynacord will still fetch £500 or more.

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it is possible that you blew a fuse:

Instructions on replacing the fuse.

Highlights:

Insert any tool with a small, flat end (such as a spudger, flathead screwdriver or plastic opening tool) into the groove in the bottom of the power input and wedge the plastic slot out from the amp.

There will be two compartments (one enclosed, one exposed) each containing a fuse. The exposed fuse is the active fuse and the enclosed one is a spare.

Remove the blown exposed fuse and replace it with the enclosed fuse. If there is not an extra enclosed fuse, a new fuse must be ordered and inserted into the exposed slot.

see the website linked above for photos. Good luck.

  • ALWAYS the first port of call - a fuse! – Tim Nov 7 '18 at 19:20
  • @Tim I could be handy, mending a fuse When your lights have gone – b3ko Nov 7 '18 at 20:11
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    That'd be a great start to a song. Worth writing more? – Tim Nov 7 '18 at 20:28

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