Fender Blues Jr. 4 (Black) - Intermittent Sound, and On/Off

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
I have a one year old Blues Jr. 4 which I rarely use. I tried it last week and it is broken. First it won't make any sound, even though the Red "On" indicator is on. I turn it on and off several times, and sometimes it will eventually make sound. Even then it will cut in and out at varying time intervals.
I checked online for Authorized Service Centers as it is still under Warranty. There was only one in my area, and they never return my calls. I contacted Fender and they were less than helpful. They said Warranty Work is only authorized if the issue turns out to be a Manufacturing Defect. I asked how they define that and they wouldn't give me a straight answer.
Either way, I can't figure out how to get it serviced as most local shops don't repair amplifiers, they only service instruments.
This is just an FYI that if you buy a Fender amp, you might have trouble getting covered repairs during the warranty period.
 

mayfly

Senior member
Messages
8,302
There is a known problem with these amps: The solder joints between output tube socket pins and the associated PCB starts breaking down. This causes the intermittence issues.

It's an easy fix: you just need to re-flow the solder connections at those joints with some fresh solder. Takes longer to take it apart than to fix it.

My advice: open up the back and have a look at those connections. Don't touch anything. If there are cracks in the solder around those pins, then this is what the problem is. Then find someone nearby who knows how to work on tube amps (lethal voltages in there, Don'tchaknow) and get them to re-flow the solder joints.
 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
Perhaps try emailing the service centre near you.
Thanks stratamania, I have tried that. My issue is I can't find a local authorized service center in my metro area. I am still trying to find someplace. I just didn't realize getting service for an amplifier was so much more difficult than for instruments (which around here is difficult enough).
 

Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
There is a known problem with these amps: The solder joints between output tube socket pins and the associated PCB starts breaking down. This causes the intermittence issues.

It's an easy fix: you just need to re-flow the solder connections at those joints with some fresh solder. Takes longer to take it apart than to fix it.

My advice: open up the back and have a look at those connections. Don't touch anything. If there are cracks in the solder around those pins, then this is what the problem is. Then find someone nearby who knows how to work on tube amps (lethal voltages in there, Don'tchaknow) and get them to re-flow the solder joints.
Thanks Mayfly, I will do that for sure. If it is what you say, I will just look for a local tech and not worry about Fender Warranty Service, which seems to be poor to non-existent anyway!
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,508
I got at least two places near me. Parkway Music and Collar City. Lower down the Hudson valley Alto Music, and NYC is replete with amp repair places. I'm sure if I thought about it I could find a bunch more. I reckon the Hudson Valley is a musical place, after all that's where Woodstock took place. It's awfully pretty this time of year, the leaves are at peak, lots of orange, yellow and red, apple picking season. Come on over!!!!! Do some leaf peeping and get your amp fixed! A lot of companies are from here, or started here, you got D'Addario, Hipshot, Martin got started here before moving to Penn, Parker Guitars, Babicz, D'Angelico, Cage basses, Manlius, DiMarzio, Steinberger, MXR, Ovation was just over in Conn, Guild, TEch21, Gretsch, Epiphone, DaneElectro over in Jersey ... probably all owned by this point by Corporate Guitar Inc, but anyway ...

When I lived in Brooklyn, across from BAM, every house had someone who played an instrument or sang or performed ... that was pretty cool.
 
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Ozopart

Senior member
Messages
127
Update: (1) Thanks Rick, and BTW, I am originally from NJ and have spent extensive amounts of time in the Hudson Valley, and all over NY State. I agree it is a lovely place. (2) To everyone else: I finally got in touch with the only Fender Authorized Service Center here and dropped off the amp this afternoon. Unless it is the tubes it should be covered by Fender.
Now once I get it back, I am contemplating selling it. With my Fractal unit, I just don't use the Blues Jr. much anymore.
 

Spud

Senior member
Messages
1,268
Update: (1) Thanks Rick, and BTW, I am originally from NJ and have spent extensive amounts of time in the Hudson Valley, and all over NY State. I agree it is a lovely place. (2) To everyone else: I finally got in touch with the only Fender Authorized Service Center here and dropped off the amp this afternoon. Unless it is the tubes it should be covered by Fender.
Now once I get it back, I am contemplating selling it. With my Fractal unit, I just don't use the Blues Jr. much anymore.
I would, it isn't a great recipe for reliability to mount power tube sockets directly to a circuit board.
 

triple jim

Active member
Messages
49
I would, it isn't a great recipe for reliability to mount power tube sockets directly to a circuit board.
Right, or any tube sockets for that matter. Every time you change a tube you're yanking on the circuit board. I think that amp also has the controls mounted directly to a circuit board, with the shafts going through clearance holes. If you bump a knob by accident you're putting a lot of stress on the board.
 
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