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Posts posted by GarrySimmons

  1. I figured that I would close out the thread with the resolution. I sent my Helix LT to the Line6 repair facility in CA and it came back a few weeks later, all good to go. No complaints on the repair or turn around. 


    According to the customer service guy on the phone taking my payment info, they replaced the main board (which feeds the display board) which is the most expensive board in the unit. Cost for the repair was $275 which included return shipping. Due to the size of the packaging, it was subject to dimensional shipping, so it cost me $65 to ship it there (UPS, insured). So total for this was $340.


    But that doesn't include the $120 I spent with the local repair place that failed to repair it correctly. They just swapped out a perfectly good display board. Plus a tank of gas driving an hour each way to the place. I tried contacting them after the failed repair and no response. Almost like out of business type no response. Sigh...


    Bottom Line: Aside from the painful shipping costs to send a broken Helix to CA, I would recommend sending it there unless you're sure your local, authorized shop, is familiar with the unit, can do the job properly, and will guarantee their work. Lesson learned. 

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  2. Thanks for the reply. I didn't recall the brightness changing when it worked normal, but now mine is screwed and I can't test it. It sure behaves like a brightness control is set way too high.


    I did open a support ticket and it was worthless. They just said to get an RMA#  and send it to them to look at. If not under warranty, I could use an authorized Line6 repair shop. Since I happened to have an authorized Line6 repair shop an hour from me, that's what I did. Of course, that just means he has access to parts. I don't know if he can actually call someone at Line6 to get troubleshooting help. I don't think he actually knew anything about the Helix design. But he does fix a lot of music gear and has good reviews.


    The Helix is just a handful of circuit boards. Super easy to access and swap out aside from the white glue crap on the connectors. I have mine open right now. I suspect the official Line6 repair center would just be swapping out entire boards as well. Heck, I could do that if I could get the parts. What I need is someone that actually knows how it works so I don't waste my money on swapping out a board that doesn't solve the problem. What's odd is that nothing else is wrong with it. It sounds fine. The USB works. All the switches, encoders, etc work. I can edit/change patches with HX Edit. I just can't use the display to see settings, or stomp box status, or the tuner. The snapshots view is semi-usable. 


    My issue is that it will cost the better part of $100 just to ship my Helix to California (and back). Their hourly rate is double my local guy. But maybe (?) they would actually know what to fix? What if they just randomly swap boards until it gets fixed? Am I on the hook for all the new parts that didn't solve the problem? The cost of the display board was $75 and the guy only charged me for an hour to swap it out ($40). It really is a piece of cake to get in there and swap out the boards.


    So I'm desperately trying to get some info on what board is F'd to know what to get fixed. There are two inductors labeled "151" on the IO board and one of them looks not quite right compared to the one next to it. I have no idea what it controls. Pretty much all the other stuff look pretty tiny and not a candidate for repairing a board aside from a few caps. Right now, it's just an $1100 door stop and that makes me very sad. 

  3. Does the Helix LT have an automatic brightness control of some sort on it? If so, where is the sensor and how does it work?


    My display is F'd up and it acts like the brightness control (if there is one) is wildly maxed out. Everything is badly washed out to the point of being useless. I had a local guy replace the "LCD UI" board which has the display itself and no change.


    THANKS for any info you can provide... 

  4. A drink got splashed in the display area of my Helix LT and the display is now all washed out. Not like it has moisture in the display which would be blotchy, but the entire display is evenly washed out, like the brightness is up way too high or something. Aside from that, it works and sounds fine.  "Stompbox" mode is bad as the white letters on a light colored background is very hard to read.


    I opened it up (easy) and it appears all dry inside. No sign of dried drink residue that I can see. I would have to disconnect all the I/O on the back to remove the circuit board it's attached to to gain access to removing the LCD UI circuit board to see if any of the drink is dried on something causing a short that could maybe be cleaned/fixed. Not sure I want to disconnect all that I/O just to take a look. On the other hand, it's just a bunch of nuts (on the 1/4") and Philips screws on the XLRs.


    Anyway, I have a local (hour away) "authorized repair center" that I could drive the unit to. Or I can ship it to the Line6 repair facility in CA. I suspect that in either case it the answer will be to simply swap out the LCD UI circuit board which doesn't seem like rocket science.


    I like the idea of dealing with it locally to avoid shipping and to be able to verify that it's working firsthand. I have no idea what level of "training" or whatever it takes to become an authorized service center.


    Where would you take your Helix?

  5. Thanks for video PierM. Hopefully it's just condensation in the display, It's supposed to be sunny and warm here for the next few days, so I'm going to let the Helix sit in the sun for a bit during the day and spend the night in the sealed bin with instant rice. I hope it helps!

  6. 20 minutes ago, gk001 said:

    Try @rd2rk's suggestion here

    48v into send/return by mistake. Will it damage? - Helix - Line 6 Community

    This was for a Helix with a screen problem so worth a try, it solved the screen issue in this thread

    "If the screen is still black after a couple of reboots, use HX Edit to do a backup, then do a Factory Reset by booting while holding FS 9+10."


    You still haven't mentioned what the drink was and if the inside has been checked now, soft drinks, beer, etc will dry and leave deposits on electrics that can cause issues and really need to be cleaned off, I'd suggest that the advice above is only carried out when you're happy that the inside is free of any liquid deposits/residue


    It was a gin and tonic. Thanks for the reply. I'm waiting to see what Line6 has to suggest, but I may just open it up and look for residue/etc that can be cleaned off.


    NOTE: I did a full factory reset earlier this morning and no change in the screen. 


  7. So I let a box fan blow on the Helix for a couple days, then put it in a sealed plastic bin on a bed of instant rice for another couple days. I just powered it on and the display is still funky. The unit appears to be otherwise working fine. I can use HX Edit so the USB is working. On power up, the splash screen looks normal, but once the screen with the presets gets displayed, it's like the brightness is turned up too much as the lettering isn't as clear as it should be. If I then switch modes so that I toggle FX on/off, the colored blocks are way washed out  making the white very hard to read. Tuner mode has the same issue. Other than the colors/etc being all washed out, the display appears to be working. I sent an email/ticket to Line6 support. The unit is just shy of three years old.


    Any suggestions on what to try before sending it off to a repair center?

  8. A drink got splashed (not completely spilled) on my Helix LT around the display area. Immediately wiped it off with a towel, but the display got weird (like brightness turned way up) but it sounded OK. Finished the set. I want to open up my Helix to make sure nothing is still wet or damp before powering it back up. How does one get a cover off? I tried removing the screws on the bottom (6 feet plus 4 more) and no joy. I suspect I need to remove the side panels. I just want to get some in there. Maybe put it in a plastic bag with rice to pull any moisture out.


    Suggestions? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it isn't hosed and in need of repair.

  9. Ah, so it's possible on the Helix itself, but perhaps not through HX Edit. I will give that a try right now. THANKS!


    EDIT: Yup. Works fine on the Helix LT itself. I'm taking my "direct to the PA" presets and bypassing the cab block then tweaking EQ/etc to create presets that I use when running my LT into the FX return on my combo tube amp.

  10. I have a Helix LT and use HX Edit to adjust parameters. I load a preset that I like and start messing with it. Now I want to save the new settings, but to a DIFFERENT preset than what I loaded as I don't want to overwrite the original. 


    How is that done? I can't find a way to save the current settings on the Helix LT anywhere else but the currently loaded preset. I'm new to the Helix, so this could just be newbie ignorance.

  11. I recently bought a Helix LT, so I knew what to expect sound-wise with Native. I've been using Overloud TH3 since it came out as my "go to" amp simulation plug-in for my DAW, but now that I have an LT, it makes sense to buy Native on the cheap and have options. Plus I can work on my live presets in the studio without having the LT there or hooked up.


    I find two things missing that TH3 provides:


    - A standalone mode where I can just play the damn thing. I tried loading Helix Native into Cantabile Lite but couldn't get my input signal into the plug-in. Maybe some other VST host would work easier. I just want to be able to jam along with a Spotify playlist or MP3 on my computer.


    - A guitar tuner. I can't believe Native doesn't provide a tuner. Or maybe I'm just clueless and it's in there somewhere and I haven't found it yet.


    Otherwise, really happy I picked it up on CyberWeek special as a registered LT owner.


  12. I got an email from Line6 for 30% off during Cyber Week. 


    Helix Native is $99 for registered owners and knock 30% off that, means I get Native for <$70. WOOT! Thank you Line6!

  13. Personally, I have lots of mic cables and would like to use them to connect my Helix to the PA.


    Is there any reason not to put an XLR-F to TRS adapter (I happen to have several of these) on the mixer end of a mic cable and plug it into a balanced line input? Wouldn't that avoid the phantom power issue? Just set the Helix to send line level?


    Agreed that a 2-channel DI would accomplish the same goal of not having two long 1/4 to 1/4 cables (plus a spare) just for the Helix.




  14. I'm a fan of a raging Marshall as well, although I no longer own any. As others have stated, it's not the same experience as standing in front of an amp. More like playing in the control room with your amp raging away in an iso booth. Check out the Placater Dirty amp (Friedman BE-100, i.e. hot-rodded Marshall). I'm liking it. 


    I've also become fond of Jason's split crossover trick that he discussed in his videos. Playing around mic choice and distance makes a big difference too.

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  15. I have a gain block at the very end of my signal chain and assign it to a foot switch. I have it set for 3 dB of gain and just step on the switch for solos (using the same sound, just louder).

  16. I tried it today and wasn't shy about applying some pressure and the EXP pedal switched from 2 over to 1. I don't expect that I will ever have to do that again, but it's nice to know it works. I guess the stiff switch is a precaution against accidentally switching  when using the pedal near 100%.

  17. I'm a new Helix LT owner and have found that creating and editing presets is WAY easier using the HX Edit program on your computer. 


    For bedroom use, I would skip the amp entirely and just use the Helix as the whole rig. It *is* different listening to the Helix through studio monitors or a PA system than standing in front of a 4x12 that's moving some air. I've spent a couple decades in the studio, so I'm used to it (been using native amp plug-ins for recording), but you may find it a bit less visceral. If listening through headphones, I would get a decent pair. Sennheiser HD280s are the work horse headphones in my studio. They run about $100, perhaps less on sale over the holidays.


    After a quick play through the factory presets, I created my own preset with just an amp+cab and a touch of reverb. Then I auditioned every amp+cab option in the box, trying to find ones that spoke to me. Everyone's tastes are different, but I found plenty to keep me happy I think. The Helix feels a bit compressed and doesn't have the instant response of a good tube amp to my ears but for playing 80s/90s covers in crappy bars, it covers a lot of sonic territory just fine.


    My plan is to do gigs with no amps. Helix LT straight into the PA and monitor via regular stage wedges. If I need an amp for a gig, I'll run the Helix into an FX return on a tube combo amp and bypass the cab blocks.


    Lots of power and flexibility under the hood. Lots to learn yet.

  18. I got my Helix LT on Friday and have been having a good time playing around with amp+cab blocks and effects and routing and stuff. I think I now have a plan for how I want to create my presets and snapshots. I updated the software on my Windows laptop and the firmware on the LT to 2.70 (came with 2.30 out of the box). That all went smooth.


    I never use a volume pedal and rarely use a wah. On a whim I added a wah to a block and saw that it was assigned to Exp 1. But I am unable to use the "toe" switch to get the pedal to change from Exp 2. Exp 2 is lit all the time. I assume that I don't have to stomp on the toe to get the switch to change, so I've been gentle with it. Maybe the switch is broken? Maybe I'm a clueless newb that just needs some guidance? I was expecting the switch feel like my real wah pedal does to turn it on / off but when I press on the toe, it's just solid. Nothing happening.


    Note that if I go into the Global Settings and manually change the wah block to use EXP 2, then the wah works fine. And that's a perfectly easy work around. The pedal works fine as a volume pedal in the factory presets. I just can't figure out how to make it be EXP 1. It's brand new and I expect it to work 100%.


    Please advise.... THANKS!




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