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Misadventures in Fender Amp Can Land


New member
Jul 16, 2001
Back in April, I received as a birthday gift from my parents a Fender Amp Can. This cute little amp is a 12 volt dc battery powered amp good for practice or outdoor/picnic events.

Right out of the box, I had problems with the Amp Can. Initially, the Amp Can would not play any louder than 3 (on a 10 scale) without sound completely breaking apart into pure noise. This is not saying distortion from overdrive, but the type of noise you would experience when you're trying to plug-in noise. Totally non-musical.

I brought the Amp Can back to the store for service. ONE month later, after several phone calls to the repair shop and Fender Customer Service, I got the Amp Can back with a new speaker and a new switch. Guess what? The original problem was still there. It didn't matter if was using a humbuckered guitar or piezo electric fortified acoustic, the signal turned into pure noise while chording. And without warning, the Amp Can stopped working all together!

A phone call to Fender sent me a different factory authorized repair facility. This repair shop found that the previous repair had burned tracings on the amp circuit board. Another month passed. This repair shop had to replace the speaker again and the main circuit board!

This time, the Amp Can now works. It works and sounds great with an acoustic-electric. Works okay with a Strat or any single coil pickup equipped guitar. It does not really like heavy chording with a humbuckered LP unless you turn the volume down on the guitar controls.

I'll keep it for now, but be forewarned potential Amp Can buyers - there are problems with the quality control and design of this portable amp. The little battery-powered amp is not a good match for LP owners!