Jump to content
g_david59

Headphone Knob - Hard Turning - Is that normal?

Recommended Posts

Sorry, if this has long ago been addressed.  I searched through the Helix forum and looked through first few pages of topics and could find nothing on this topic.  My headphone knob is much stiffer and harder to turn than other knobs on the Helix.  Is this normal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same thing on my Helix Rack. It's noticeably stiffer than the others but it's still easy to operate. I don't consider it an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My floor unit headphone knob provides ever so slightly more resistance than the big volume knob. Hardly noticeable. In fact, it could even be illusory because the knobs are such different sizes.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted a similar question recently but got no replies. The knob became harder and harder to turn and eventually broke off. Anyone else have this problem?

  • Confused 1
  • Sad 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my Helix Floor it has more resistance, but it's not exactly stiffness per se, it's damping. It feels like a high-quality pot with some kind of damping grease or similar that makes it resist quick movement. As duncann stated, I wouldn't be surprised if the big volume knob was the same, but just feels less so because a big knob provides more mechanical advantage.

As for it getting stuck and breaking off... really?! That's wild. I can't think of anything in the way a typical potentiometer is constructed that could even do that. Are you sure it hadn't lowered itself to the point it was interfering against the front of the Helix chassis somehow?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, qwerty42 said:

As for it getting stuck and breaking off... really?! That's wild. I can't think of anything in the way a typical potentiometer is constructed that could even do that. Are you sure it hadn't lowered itself to the point it was interfering against the front of the Helix chassis somehow?

 

From all I know, the headphone volume knob has a plastic shaft, so there's pretty good chances it could break off (and I've just seen pics of that to happen like a week ago).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine just broke of as well. Did you get it repaired by a shop or tackle it yourself? I don't have a shop nearby and shipping is going to make it very expensive for me to send it in!

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/13/2020 at 9:47 PM, JGeoghagan said:

I posted a similar question recently but got no replies. The knob became harder and harder to turn and eventually broke off. Anyone else have this problem?

 

Yes, same story here. It was significantly harder to turn than the other knobs when new in 2015 and got grittier in feel over the past year or so. Then this past weekend it finally gave out:

 

img_1136.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW I just checked the knob of my  2017-ish Helix (rack version) knob and it was not hard to turn at all. 

 

  On 2/13/2020 at 8:47 PM, JGeoghagan said:

I posted a similar question recently but got no replies. The knob became harder and harder to turn and eventually broke off. Anyone else have this problem

 

 

 

Quote

 

 

 

All it says in the discription: "Dual 10ka 15mm potentiometer for the Line 6 Helix multi-effects guitar pedal."

 

It would be nice if they has said where this part actually goes on their website huh... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's part # 01-49-0027, which isn't listed on the Full Compass website but which they do sell. I'm going to open up my Helix again to confirm I can do this repair myself and will keep you guys posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, burningyen said:

 

Yes, same story here. It was significantly harder to turn than the other knobs when new in 2015 and got grittier in feel over the past year or so. Then this past weekend it finally gave out:

 

img_1136.jpg

What the...? Wow, that is interesting. That’s a metal shaft potentiometer and a fatigue failure, but the appearance of the break is pretty bizarre. The point where it broke is just above where the shaft would be contacting other internal surfaces, so likely the area of max stress if the pot was seized somehow. That kind of stress would take a *significant* torque on the small knob, unless it had gotten hit at some point and a stress crack started from that. Anyway, I’m not doubting the failure at all, I’m just scratching my head trying to understand how that would happen (yes I am an engineer, haha).

 

It looks like the broken shaft piece in the knob has a rounded shoulder... does that shoulder extend over the nut that anchors the pot? If so, seems like if the nut wasn’t threaded down far enough, it might rub on that rounded shoulder and create friction & resistance (assuming it’s adjustable, maybe locked by another nut on the other side?) Just a guess. Weird.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

What the...? Wow, that is interesting. That’s a metal shaft potentiometer and a fatigue failure, but the appearance of the break is pretty bizarre. The point where it broke is just above where the shaft would be contacting other internal surfaces, so likely the area of max stress if the pot was seized somehow. That kind of stress would take a *significant* torque on the small knob, unless it had gotten hit at some point and a stress crack started from that. Anyway, I’m not doubting the failure at all, I’m just scratching my head trying to understand how that would happen (yes I am an engineer, haha).

 

It looks like the broken shaft piece in the knob has a rounded shoulder... does that shoulder extend over the nut that anchors the pot? If so, seems like if the nut wasn’t threaded down far enough, it might rub on that rounded shoulder and create friction & resistance (assuming it’s adjustable, maybe locked by another nut on the other side?) Just a guess. Weird.

 

No one was more surprised than me. My Floor is 4.5 years old, but there was never a hit to the knob that I'm aware of. As I mentioned, it was always a hard knob to turn, and when it finally broke I wasn't torquing it any harder than I had before. It broke with so little resistance that I was convinced the knob had somehow just slipped off the pot shaft.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lone_Poor_Boy said:

It looks like it's made of crappy pot metal.

Yeah, possibly. The appearance of the break almost looks like there may have been a big void/flaw in the casting, but hard to tell from this single pic. Looks like the break started from where the ‘flat’ of the shaft meets the round (high stress concentration), and propagated inward. But it also looks like the whole central part of the shaft may have had a void in the metal. If the knob was pressed on at an angle when it was manufactured, that could’ve been enough to start the crack propagation. Anyway, I’ll stop boring everyone with the engineering analysis ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That picture is almost identical to mine. I was shocked that the metal shaft broke. I am very interested if this can be a self service repair given that the L6 repair center is presently closed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following - I have had my Helix Floor since 10/2015, use it every day and have also been experiencing the ever increasing resistance or stiffness of turning the headphone volume control the past few months. I’m considering sending mine in to be repaired / replaced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/13/2020 at 4:57 PM, burningyen said:

 

687474703a2f2f75726c6d652e6d652f66757475

 

It's stronger than knob wood

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/14/2020 at 5:47 AM, JGeoghagan said:

I posted a similar question recently but got no replies. The knob became harder and harder to turn and eventually broke off. Anyone else have this problem?

Same here. And this is the end of helix for me. First helix scribble strips dead. Second phantom power no working. 3rd big rotation knob no rotating and now headphone knob broke. I love it but all the craps, made me hate it. I will sent it for repair and try to find a sucker to sell it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So here's my at-home repair. DO NOT DO THIS IF YOUR HELIX IS UNDER WARRANTY.
 

Due to various snafus I didn’t get my hands on the replacement pot and knob until late June. If you’re ordering from Full Compass, these are the parts, AND DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU DIFFERENT:

 

https://www.fullcompass.com/prod/538498-line-6-01-49-0027-helix-dual-10ka-15mm-pot
https://www.fullcompass.com/prod/525521-line-6-30-45-0054-phones-knob-for-helix

 

Opened up the Helix again to see how involved this repair would be. The good news was the pot was mounted on a separate small PCB, making it easily accessible. You can see it poking out below. Seemed pretty doable:

 

img_1165.jpg
img_1168.jpg

 

You have to desolder the 2 tabs at the bottom and the 6 pins in the middle:

 

img_1166.jpg

 

Got everything set up...

 

img_1575.jpg

 

...just 2 pins left...

 

img_1576.jpg

 

...and off:

 

img_1577.jpg

 

New pot soldered on:

 

img_1578.jpg

 

Putting everything back together. I use a strip of packing tape to keep all the nuts and screws organized:

 

img_1579.jpg

 

PCB remounted:

 

img_1582.jpg

 

End caps and expression pedal back on:

 

img_1583.jpg

 

Back in business:

 

img_1591.jpg

 

Much better now:

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice work. Your de-soldering is clean and your fillets on the new joints look great.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done.  That tape thing... smart.  Also, your guitar reminds me of one I saw Leslie West playing in 1992 on the Dennis Miller Show.  YouTube has the vid but I remember watching it that night and thinking "holy lollipop, he's lost some weight."

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/3/2020 at 11:47 AM, Lone_Poor_Boy said:

Well done.  That tape thing... smart.  Also, your guitar reminds me of one I saw Leslie West playing in 1992 on the Dennis Miller Show.  YouTube has the vid but I remember watching it that night and thinking "holy lollipop, he's lost some weight."

 

 

 

His new band's name is "Hill"  :-)  Saw him some years ago on tour opening for Deep Purple and he was still great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

His new band's name is "Hill"  :-)  Saw him some years ago on tour with Deep Purple and he was still great.

 

Caught this the other day.  I was extremely impressed;

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@burningyen Great writeup on the fix and I agree with Lone_Poor_Boy, that trick with organizing the parts on a piece of tape is worth the price of admission alone. Heads up. For some reason even though the two links that you included for the parts look like they point to Full Compass, they don't. They are circular and point back to this topic page on the forum. Try clicking on them.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/13/2020 at 2:42 PM, Lone_Poor_Boy said:

It looks like it's made of crappy pot metal.

Everything is these days, unless brass or steel are required.  Even where brass or steel are required, like in guitar bridges, I owned an $8XX instrument that was considered sort of an iconic top of their line axe (import line, yes, but some amazing instruments are imports).... and the bridge metal bent as you tightened the adjustment screws.  Pot metal!  (Proven when I took bridge apart to see the damage.... chrome plated pot metal, not steel).

 

annoying, eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/3/2020 at 2:27 AM, qwerty42 said:

Very nice work. Your de-soldering is clean and your fillets on the new joints look great.

 

Great.. now I want fish for dinner!

 

Update:  Yep, I had fish last night.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

is there any other place to get the replacement pot from than FullCompass?  they seem to be out of stock and i am in desperate need to fix mine.  same issue as above occurred. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In canada (not sure if it's canada only or USA?) we have mouser electronics, for example.  I have no idea if they have your part, but it's another company to check.  So there definitely are other suppliers.  Look around, check stock in each one, maybe even call them on the phone if their website doesn't show stock or can't find the ideal item.

 

There could be another one that fits the fill, same electrically and physically, different manufacturer?  Maybe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have had a really hard time finding it from another vendor.  I checked out mouser.   The problem is the pin style for the PCB.   In other words the pins angle down.   I can find some that are 10K pots but not for stereo so only 3 pins angle down, but not the six.   I found some that have all 6 down but the resistance is off say instead of A10K its B100K.  :(.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you contact fullcompass directly to ask for a special order to be placed?  Or, I mean... this might sound dumb, but OTHER audio hardware companies out there actually are good about supplying replacement pots to customers to replace themselves.  I have an affordable novation synth/midi keyboard/control surface that I love, and use extensively. Several of the sliding pots for settings wore out over time (From stifness, etc).  This is a rather old, obsolete model.   I bought it used, on craigslist like 10 years ago or more. I emailed their support asking if I could order some of those sliders from them please, and they replied, from England (I'm in Canada) and asked for my mailing address.... and sent them out FOR FREE.  Exactly what I asked for, the number of them I asked for too.

 

now THAT is customer support.  Line6 ought to have more of these parts available from their Chinese manufacturer... and for a customer who owns their product, they ought to be willing to send it to you, specially with covid-19 restrictions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/13/2020 at 8:47 PM, JGeoghagan said:

I posted a similar question recently but got no replies. The knob became harder and harder to turn and eventually broke off. Anyone else have this problem?

yes mine did the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was very close to buying a helix rack but this thread is making me reconsider. These devices aren’t exactly cheap and it is therefore quite disappointing that the knobs just break off like that. I would expect better quality for the money. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Valgua said:

I was very close to buying a helix rack but this thread is making me reconsider. These devices aren’t exactly cheap and it is therefore quite disappointing that the knobs just break off like that. I would expect better quality for the money. 


Ah, isn’t that just the way of the world - whatever your buy may/will fail at some point, that’s why manufacturers provide warranty. O.K. It might only be for a year to two, but nobody expects something to last forever, or maybe some people do.
 

If you’re expecting anything you buy to be eternally perfect, then be prepared for a big disappointment. You could invest in a Helix Rack and never encounter a moments trouble, but if you decided otherwise, how will you ever know. Stuff could be flakey or faulty, but you don’t really get through life without taking a leap of faith. 

 

Just imagine what you’re missing, on the off chance of a part failing, and something that’s not a big cost replace. I bet if you drive you have might have to replace parts occasionally. This headphone knob is not a “major” component, i.e. swapping out an engine or gearbox (mill and transmission), more like a wiper blade (windshield wiper) or tyre (tire).

 

Anything under warranty is replaced

 

Hope this helps/makes sense
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, datacommando said:


Ah, isn’t that just the way of the world - whatever your buy may/will fail at some point, that’s why manufacturers provide warranty. O.K. It might only be for a year to two, but nobody expects something to last forever, or maybe some people do.
 

If you’re expecting anything you buy to be eternally perfect, then be prepared for a big disappointment. You could invest in a Helix Rack and never encounter a moments trouble, but if you decided otherwise, how will you ever know. Stuff could be flakey or faulty, but you don’t really get through life without taking a leap of faith. 

 

Just imagine what you’re missing, on the off chance of a part failing, and something that’s not a big cost replace. I bet if you drive you have might have to replace parts occasionally. This headphone knob is not a “major” component, i.e. swapping out an engine or gearbox (mill and transmission), more like a wiper blade (windshield wiper) or tyre (tire).

 

Anything under warranty is replaced

 

Hope this helps/makes sense
 


Hi! Yes, I know that things don’t last forever :-) The point is rather that the breaking knob seems to be the result of some production defect. In the affected units the headphone volume knob is somehow stiffer than the rest (observe that it is always the exact same knob that breaks) which over time causes metal fatigue until the pot cracks. The problem could be affecting a small number of units due to some temporary manufacturing problem (much like the LT’s pedal of a few years ago) or it could affect every single unit (bad design?). In the former case, I am perfectly ok with. lollipop happens during manufacturing and that’s what warranties are for. In the latter case, I am much less ok with it. Yes, things do eventually break but it shouldn’t be happening due to bad design, at least not five years after release. My question is therefore how prevalent the “stiff knob syndrome” (I know how it sounds...) is.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Valgua said:

My question is therefore how prevalent


True enough, although I don’t think that this issue is commented on as much as the LT pedal was, so it’s difficult to estimate how many users are troubled by it.

 

I have a Helix floor that has been used daily for 5 years, and at one point the joystick failed. Apparently there were others that had the same thing happen - it seems that a couple of the the tags need to be re-soldered. I simply had it repaired - end of problem.

 

Essentially, you pay your money and take a chance, so good luck with whatever you decide.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, datacommando said:


True enough, although I don’t think that this issue is commented on as much as the LT pedal was, so it’s difficult to estimate how many users are troubled by it.

 

I have a Helix floor that has been used daily for 5 years, and at one point the joystick failed. Apparently there were others that had the same thing happen - it seems that a couple of the the tags need to be re-soldered. I simply had it repaired - end of problem.

 

Essentially, you pay your money and take a chance, so good luck with whatever you decide.

 

 

 

 


Fair enough. That’s why I read every forum and resource I can before I buy a product. I am happy to take a chance as long as I know what I can expect. One thing I’ve learned in my readings is for instance that Helix has a couple of weak links (the headphone volume knob and, as in your case, the joystick soldering) but also that Line6 has an excellent customer support. The latter may very well more than counterbalance the former.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...