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Helix service verdict: irreparable!


Verne-Bunsen
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I recently shipped my Helix off for repairs due to a failure of the joystick/rotary knob. I purchased Helix through Guitar Center and bought the protection plan, so this was covered work despite being out of warranty. Which is nice.

 

I just heard back from the service station and they report that the Helix cannot be repaired! That was unexpected. Anyone else encounter this?

 

The good news is that I should be receiving a credit for the purchase price of the unit, so in theory I should be able to order up a new one and be right back in business. Assuming that the wait time is not as long as it was a year and a half ago when I bought the first one...

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I recently shipped my Helix off for repairs due to a failure of the joystick/rotary knob. I purchased Helix through Guitar Center and bought the protection plan, so this was covered work despite being out of warranty. Which is nice.

 

I just heard back from the service station and they report that the Helix cannot be repaired! That was unexpected. Anyone else encounter this?

 

The good news is that I should be receiving a credit for the purchase price of the unit, so in theory I should be able to order up a new one and be right back in business. Assuming that the wait time is not as long as it was a year and a half ago when I bought the first one...

 

I just sent mine off this morning for repairs to Line6 for the same issue, but the message I got from them when they sent the RMA and UPS shipping notice was that as soon as they receive it they'll be shipping my new unit.  I certainly hope that's the case as I really don't want to get a credit and have to go about getting a new one shipped from a dealer.  Here's what they said in the message to me:  Mine was still under warranty however by a few days...

 

"We have written Replacement RMA 60022656 for your Helix

 

A UPS label will be sent to you via email shortly. Please box up the entire unit safely and drop it off at a local UPS store.  Once we receive the unit, your replacement will be sent out from our warehouse."

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I recently shipped my Helix off for repairs due to a failure of the joystick/rotary knob. I purchased Helix through Guitar Center and bought the protection plan, so this was covered work despite being out of warranty. Which is nice.

 

I just heard back from the service station and they report that the Helix cannot be repaired! That was unexpected. Anyone else encounter this?

 

The good news is that I should be receiving a credit for the purchase price of the unit, so in theory I should be able to order up a new one and be right back in business. Assuming that the wait time is not as long as it was a year and a half ago when I bought the first one...

 

Which service station deemed it " not repairable"?  Was this a Guitar Center or third party repair shop.  This sounds more like some internal machinations regarding how the warranty will be handled rather than an insurmountable hardware repair challenge. It is hard for me to imagine that a Line6 shop can't repair a joystick.

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I recently shipped my Helix off for repairs due to a failure of the joystick/rotary knob. I purchased Helix through Guitar Center and bought the protection plan, so this was covered work despite being out of warranty. Which is nice.

 

I just heard back from the service station and they report that the Helix cannot be repaired! That was unexpected. Anyone else encounter this?

 

The good news is that I should be receiving a credit for the purchase price of the unit, so in theory I should be able to order up a new one and be right back in business. Assuming that the wait time is not as long as it was a year and a half ago when I bought the first one...

 

 

I just sent mine off this morning for repairs to Line6 for the same issue, but the message I got from them when they sent the RMA and UPS shipping notice was that as soon as they receive it they'll be shipping my new unit.  I certainly hope that's the case as I really don't want to get a credit and have to go about getting a new one shipped from a dealer.  Here's what they said in the message to me:  Mine was still under warranty however by a few days...

 

"We have written Replacement RMA 60022656 for your Helix

 

A UPS label will be sent to you via email shortly. Please box up the entire unit safely and drop it off at a local UPS store.  Once we receive the unit, your replacement will be sent out from our warehouse."

 

Wow, judging by both your experiences maybe replacing a joystick takes enough time or a part that is taking long enough to get that they are just doing swap outs instead. I would bet the affected Helix's are getting fixed ultimately. If not, please lead me to the Helix dumpster. 

It occurs to me that they could have a deal where they return them in bulk to whoever manufactured the joystick for repair rather than as one-offs repairs to a third party with a long turnaround time. I have seen that happen in other industries although it is rare.

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Wow, judging by both your experiences maybe replacing a joystick takes enough time or a part that is taking long enough to get that they are just doing swap outs instead. I would bet the repaired Helix's are getting fixed ultimately. If not, please lead me to the Helix dumpster. 

 

LOL...yeah.  But it might also on the plus side indicate they've determined the hardware failure points on the joystick and the newer units have the newer hardware.  At least I hope so...

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I'm kind of suspecting that Line6 may be simply replacing the units with joystick failures as that's simpler and faster.  It's not that it's irrepairable, just faster logistically.

 

I agree that it is not irreparable and this is probably what is happening.

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Which service station deemed it " not repairable"? Was this a Guitar Center or third party repair shop. This sounds more like some internal machinations regarding how the warranty will be handled rather than an insurmountable hardware repair challenge. It is hard for me to imagine that a Line6 shop can't repair a joystick.

It's a third party repair shop, not in-house. Not entirely convinced it's a matter of "can't", it may very well be internal machinations. Still, it was unexpected.

 

...maybe replacing a joystick takes enough time or a part that is taking long enough to get that they are just doing swap outs instead...

This was kind of my take on it. I'm good with it, it will give me an opportunity to renew the protection plan, which certainly came through for me on this one.

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It's a third party repair shop, not in-house. Not entirely convinced it's a matter of "can't", it may very well be internal machinations. Still, it was unexpected.

 

 

 

If it's a third-party shop and they're not L6 certified, they probably can't get the parts, hence "irreparable," at least by them. Component-level repairs have become very much a thing of the past for most modern tech, as it's mostly board swaps these surface-mount, wave-soldered days. 

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If it's a third-party shop and they're not L6 certified, they probably can't get the parts, hence "irreparable," at least by them. Component-level repairs have become very much a thing of the past for most modern tech, as it's mostly board swaps these surface-mount, wave-soldered days.

I had been under the impression that they utilized manufacturer approved repair facilities, but I couldn't actually find anything concrete to that effect. I do hope the old one doesn't end up in a dumpster, but assuming this goes as anticipated it's tough to argue with a new unit.

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The fact that you're getting a replacement unit is a great outcome!

 

And, who knows, in a few months, Line 6 may have refurbished units available! ;)

That it is! I was wondering about the introduction of refurbs myself, wouldn't be too surprised. It would be better than seeing otherwise functional devices hit the landfill...

 

Another reason for using an editor- less hardware use/abuse...

Yeah, that is one way of looking at it. I'm more of the mindset that it should be able to withstand normal wear and tear, and if it's going to fail I want it to do it while it's covered. Would be a shame to baby it just long enough for it to get out of warranty before failing.
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Another reason for using an editor- less hardware use/abuse... 

 

And that's exactly what I'm doing now with my backup unit I bought.  Hooked it up to the laptop and starting to do most of my editing through the editor.  At least I'm experienced using the machine interface so I'll know what to do at a gig if I need to make adjustments.

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I use the editor because it's much easier to program tones.  I don't want to have anything to adjust at a gig.  I did learn how to use it enough to be adept at fixing problems on the fly, but that's it.  I'm kind of worried about failure now, I'm calling Sweetwater today.

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I received my credit from Guitar Center this morning, placed the order for a new Helix (with 36 month Pro Coverage...) online and it'll be at my house when I get home from my work travels. Guitar Center has always done right by me and this has been no exception. To express my appreciation, I ordered an Earthquaker Devices Erupter fuzz as well.

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Well, I received an update from Line 6 on my unit.  The unit arrived there today and the RMA was erroneously written up as a replacement rather than a repair.  That's been changed so I guess they won't be sending out my unit until it's repaired now.  I guess it's a good thing I bought a second unit as I'm playing this weekend.  But all is going very well with the new unit.  Everything transferred over and is working as expected.  I amost hate to have to take it out and gig with it because it's so nice and pretty compared to my other unit.

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Bummer that it will take longer than anticipated, but it is good to hear that they're making the repair. Given that this component seems to have a fairly high failure rate (based on user accounts, I don't know anything statistically), I wonder if they are using a more robust part now?

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I've worked with many people over a few years (decades) doing fiber, and the 1st thing they teach (other than the other basics) us in AT&T/Siecor/etc schools - connector installation class is to "lose the 3-pound hammer technic". Some people just can't do it (for many reasons). One reason basically is that if you play roughly with fiber (like the 3-pound hammer technic) while installing an ST, LC connector, splice etc it will break the fiber before you are finished. Now that is not to say that normal wear and tear doesn't wear out part's eventually because it does. But...,  if (IF) you are grabbing that knob on Helix like a 600-pound gorilla does a banana it won't last as long versus using say, a lighter touch. Not that you were of course.  ;)

 

Edited: That's Seicor... Not Siecor.

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I've worked with many people over a few years (decades) doing fiber, and the 1st thing they teach (other than the other basics) us in AT&T/Siecor/etc schools - connector installation class is to "lose the 3-pound hammer technic". Some people just can't do it (for many reasons). One reason basically is that if you play roughly with fiber (like the 3-pound hammer technic) while installing an ST, LC connector, splice etc it will break the fiber before you are finished. Now that is not to say that normal wear and tear doesn't wear out part's eventually because it does. But...,  if (IF) you are grabbing that knob on Helix like a 600-pound gorilla does a banana it won't last as long versus using say, a lighter touch. Not that you were of course.  ;)

A valid point! I take good care of my gear, there has been no rough handling. The unit I sent back still had the original screen protectors on all of the displays! Of course, in my industry a 3-pound hammer would be considered quite delicate, so I suppose it's all relative!  :P

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  • 1 month later...

I'm curious, how long did it take for Line 6 to contact you guys after they received your Helix? I recently sent mine out and it was delivered to them on 7/5. I'm moving addresses in September so I want to make sure my Helix will be sent back to me not someone else haha. 

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@troyclemens, if your Helix was sent to Line 6's Calabasas HQ and delivered to them on 7/5, there's a very good chance that it may be on it's way back to you this week (unless a required part is out of stock or on backorder). Line 6's tech support has been outstanding!

 

Keep the thread upated with developments.

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Mine didn't go directly to Line 6 since it was being handled by Guitar Center, but it was just about two weeks from me dropping it at the post office to the mail man dropping the replacement at my door. The repair center had it for several days before they looked at it and contacted me.

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