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yeah ,, the circuit controllong your volume controll.. the popping sound occurs when it just shorts out and when its totally shorted the volume drops and rises..
If you got eletronic experience you can
1.) open it up
2) look for a cracked circuit or broken solder if so re solder it
3.) test the capicators and resistors and transistors for a bad one ( a tran sistor was bad in mine)
4) check the ic for it being bad or loosing connectativity or if its defective...
More than likely it will be a transistor cause if it was any other part it would have not layed at all.. the ic can also cause it..
If you have any eletricial experience or a multimeter to follow the above instructions, take it to a technician..
It could be the diodes, but whatever is the cause it's before the pre-amp section. Generally a loud hum such as that with no effect by volume control, is mostly caused by the filter capacitor in the power supply. And that hum is the 50HZ mains hum getting into your system!
Using the fifth fret tuning method may give you your answer. If you play the same exact note on an alternate string, see if the same sound happens. If so then its probably amp. If not, then its probably the pick ups.
the mesa is for guitar and is not more than 100 watts, the neo dog is 100 watts it will fit but will give a different character because can be push to another limit of saturation the vox doesnt give that much.
If you switch on the amplifier, do you hear nothing at all?
Or do you hear low level noise or hum out of the speaker? Don't know if you're technician.
If the tubes are glowing, you can measure the high voltage.
Check also fuse 3 and 4, thats the neg. voltage -27V and -14V.
I had the same problem on my VTX65. I noticed it would oscillate with different effects so I removed the effects module. Problem solved. Now it's dead quiet. I use a Digitech RP500 so removing the effects module was a non issue.