Steps in troubleshooting your Quilter amps.
Divide and Conquer
The very first thing is to not panic. Clear thinking will always find the problem faster. Also be careful to not change too many items at once, switching and unplugging too many items can cause more confusion and possibly more issues than you started with.
Start in the middle of your signal path and replace one end or the other with known working equipment. Let’s say you are setting up for a show and when you turn on your amp you get lights, but no sound at all. Go straight to your amp. Did you plug in the cabinet cord? Is the cabinet or guitar cord in the right jack? Check the easy stuff first. If yes to these, then bypass everything between your guitar and amp and plug your guitar straight into your amp using the cable already in your guitar. If you still get no signal, you can switch cables. Here we are testing the amp half of your setup, but you still need to test the guitar, which is your signal source. If the cable change did not work plug your guitar into another amp. If you don’t have another guitar player’s amp, you can plug into a bass or keyboard amp or even a DI box for bass. Not looking for tone here just checking if your guitar is working. If your guitar is working go back to your amp. Are you using the effects loop? Is it plugged in correctly? A quick test is to unplug the effects loop and play your amp. If your amp and guitar are working go back to your pedals and plug it back into your amp. Now you know the signal path between your guitar and amplifier, the first half of your rig, has a break somewhere along the line. The larger the pedalboard, the more cables and connections you will have. Often one is half plugged, unplugged or not powered.
Whenever you need to troubleshoot a system, start at the middle and follow the fault, bypassing half of your components each time until you are close enough to eliminate them one at a time.
Devise a Solution
Once you know which part is not working you can figure out the best way to go on without it. Take a couple seconds to verify the equipment is turned on and plugged in before you decide it isn’t working. Go through your signal path and make sure it is hooked up the way you thought it was (plugging into the wrong jack on a pedal or effects loop can also interrupt your signal). Hopefully you planned ahead and have a backup guitar and spare cables along, since these items take the most physical abuse and are most likely to fail in use. If you have an effect that isn’t working, you might be able to simply leave it out and let the soundman add what’s needed at the board. Ask yourself how you got by before you bought that piece of equipment? Can you do that instead? Having a guy in the band that is handy with a soldering iron can be invaluable for times when a cable connection or guitar electronics need repair, but simply bypassing or substituting the down equipment is the fastest way to get the system back online, often in mere seconds during a critical live performance.
Don’t Assume Anything
”Brand new” stuff breaks too. Don’t ever skip a component simply because you bought it recently or it hasn’t been used much. Treat them all equally and likely to have stopped working and you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and time down the road. And remember not to panic. You may be worried how you’ll get by without the ‘robotic voice effect’ that just broke down, but the audience will never know what they’ve missed. Find the problem, toss it in the bag to fix later, and go out there with that extra bit of confidence that comes from knowing you can handle whatever surprises the road decides to throw your way.