Shooting down troubles

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Shooting down troubles
One of the hallmarks of a good technician is an ability to troubleshoot problems. It's an art, actually, but one that fortunately can be taught. When we are faced with problems we can't fix with our tried and true methods our first reaction is often one of panic: nothing seems to work in the system even though all the equipment is powered up. It might just be you're on the wrong input or the speaker cables are disconnected, but at the moment, you're overwhlemed. The experienced troubleshooter switches modes from flummoxed to sleuth. The whole of the problem is put on hold as the experienced detective methodically questions their assumptions. One by one, we verify each assumption as valid or invalid: powered up, controls in the right position, connecting wires intact, sources selected, etc. Once assumptions have been verified and there's still the problem, the savvy fixer next switches into the if-then mode. If this is true, then this must also be true: if the amp's power is on and it's connected, then when I touch my finger to its input connecting cable I should get a hum. Then move on. The process is nearly always the same:
  • Exhaust all simple fixes
  • Question and validate assumptions
  • Move to if-then mode
Separate the trouble into these three logical steps and the problem has nowhere to hide.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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