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Broken - AGAIN!

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Rant time I'm afraid...

For the third unit now, my selection joystick has now broken Again.

I'm not mistreating the unit, it's kept on a pedalboard in a padded case all the time, is gigged maybe 3 times a month. And yet, this is now the third Helix I have had that has developed a fault.

I'm seriously not impressed - and to make things worse, I have a big festival gig coming up on Saturday that I need the Helix for, due to some of the songs we're doing.

Starting to think that maybe the unit is not quite as robust as I originally had hoped. Wonder if an AxeFX is more reliable?

/rant

 

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Makes me wonder if the case you're keeping it in isn't putting pressure on the joystick in some way.

 

So you've gotten replacement units each time, or just gotten the one repaired?

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What kind of case are you using? Sometimes a case can put too much pressure on the top of your equipment. The joystick could potentially bet having too much pressure applied pressing straight down on it. 

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It's on a Pedaltrain board, and the case is the padded PedalTrain bag that comes with it - it's always lying flat, and nothing is stored on top of it. Would make sense that the joystick is having excess pressure (seeing as that keeps failing), but there doesn't seem to be tension on the top of the case or anything.

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Yeah, I wouldn't think a Pedaltrain bag would do that. Do you have a jealous band member that may be stomping on it when you aren't looking?

 

I'd definitely open a support ticket again, then maybe call them to explain your situation, and your festival coming up. 

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I've had to send one back for the same issue myself, your story is not encouraging...

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Just a quick update - Frank @ Line 6 is personally sending me a replacement in time for my gig - big thanks to Frank!

I'm looking to get a hard case instead of the PedalTrain, just in case it is that that's causing the issue. Anyone in the UK got one? I need space for a couple of extra pedals as well.

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That really sucks! I wouldn't be too happy either. Mine has seen dozens of shows and rehearsals in and out of the bag since I got it and I haven't seen any hardware issues yet, hoping I don't.

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Just a quick update - Frank @ Line 6 is personally sending me a replacement in time for my gig - big thanks to Frank!

 

I'm looking to get a hard case instead of the PedalTrain, just in case it is that that's causing the issue. Anyone in the UK got one? I need space for a couple of extra pedals as well.

I use this one and love it:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PTCLPTCW

 

didn't find one 'exactly' like it in the UK but this looks like the same thing without wheels:

https://www.andertons.co.uk/p/PT-CLP-TC/pedal-boards-cases/pedaltrain-classic-pro-wtour-case

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Sorry to hear about the problems - but yeah, Frank & Co. rock for support.

 

In the early days of synths, the "Moog wheels" were kinda the standard for such controls - but then certain companies, particularly Korg, starting putting out synths with multifunction joysticks.  They always made me nervous, so I started cutting down paper towel cores to size and putting them over the joysticks when casing them.  Ultimately switched to pvc couplers - more rigid.

 

You might give that a try, if only to see - if the cardboard core looks to be compressing (assuming you cut it down correctly) then there may in fact be insufficient clearance in the case.  Just a thought...

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Sorry to hear about all of your problems with the broken joystick.  I have has my HELIX for almost two (purchased August 2015) years and use the HELIX bag for transport and have not had an issue ever.

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The joystick it's stressing the welding spots as it's not locked on the front panel, as a normal pot/switch. It's just bad design.

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The joystick it's stressing the welding spots as it's not locked on the front panel, as a normal pot/switch. It's just bad design.

 

I believe the issue with the joystick that people have had is mainly because of cable coming loose underneath, not the solder joints breaking. If it were weak solder joints, there would probably be many more failures than there are.

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Mine suffered a solder joint break, that what have been reported on the RMA paper. Now it's starting skipping some clicks too. 

 

As for the numbers, oh well, I've seen really A LOT of people with that problem. On big numbers may be a small percentage, but still I've seen really A LOT of guys around forums, facebook etc, facing the issue.

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Mine suffered a solder joint break, that what have been reported on the RMA paper. Now it's starting skipping some clicks too. 

 

As for the numbers, oh well, I've seen really A LOT of people with that problem. On big numbers may be a small percentage, but still I've seen really A LOT of guys around forums, facebook etc, facing the issue.

 

Hard to say, really... Compared to other issues on previous units, like the footswitches on the X3L or USB port on the HD500, it seems like a lot fewer complaints overall. Anyway, I'm sure Line 6 will fx it regardless. I imagine this is one of those issues where there's something like an unstated lifetime warranty on. Line 6 doesn't want to leave people stranded, I'm sure.

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Anyway, I'm sure Line 6 will fx it regardless. I imagine this is one of those issues where there's something like an unstated lifetime warranty on. Line 6 doesn't want to leave people stranded, I'm sure.

 

Oh, in 20 years I've been a L6 customer, I never complained for the support. They are number one.

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Sorry to hear about all of your problems with the broken joystick.  I have has my HELIX for almost two (purchased August 2015) years and use the HELIX bag for transport and have not had an issue ever.

 

Same here. I transport it to and from practice twice a weekend and have been to many, many gigs with it, even an outdoor festival. I have also (accidentally) dropped it down the stairs while in the bag - and not like a slide down the stairs, it rolled on its sides down the stairs. That was painful to watch. Still, no issues with the joystick. Had to have a footswitch replaced, but that's been kinda on the fritz for a while.

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The replacement unit arrived today, all the way from California to the UK :) Updated the system, and copied all my patches to it. Also installed it in the new flightcase I purchased, which should hopefully stop any future issues (if it was due to that!).

 

Have yet to plug it in and try it - that'll be later - but a huge thanks to Frank and the support team from me.

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The replacement unit arrived today, all the way from California to the UK :) <Snip> a huge thanks to Frank and the support team from me.

Now that's truly World Class Line 6 Tech Support!!

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stumbled over this topic. See that I'm not alone in this. Also my joystick is broken: I can move from top to bottom with it but cannot select. It's doing nothing.

I'm using the Helix suitcase, no gator bag or anything like that that could have caused this malfunction by extra pression on the knobs from outside.

 

Luckely it's still in the period of garantee. Now I have to find a repairshop here in Holland. Hopenfully I'm not going to miss the unit for a long time........

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Same here , I can go up/down and left/right but pressing it does nothing. This really really sucks   :angry:

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I chimed in on this earlier in the thread but I can update. The joystick on my first Helix failed after just over a year. It was replaced and I've had the second one since May, currently the joystick has begun to intermittently fail to register rotational movement (scrolling). Just waiting for it to fail completely. Most definitely a weak link. Thank goodness for warranties and service plans (I bought the 3-year coverage from Guitar Center on this one...)

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Mine is just over a year and out of warranty. I didn't do anything to it, it's always transported in a specially designed flight case. I'm considering to open it myself to see if I can detect a loose wire/contact or something. If I bring it to the store I know it will be gone for at least a month  :(

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Mine is just over a year and out of warranty. I didn't do anything to it, it's always transported in a specially designed flight case. I'm considering to open it myself to see if I can detect a loose wire/contact or something. If I bring it to the store I know it will be gone for at least a month  :(

 

I suggest you open up a support ticket here, regardless of your warranty.

 

From what  I understand, the mechanism that's actually failing with the joystick isn't the joystick itself, but rather a soldered connection underneath it.

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From what I understand, the mechanism that's actually failing with the joystick isn't the joystick itself, but rather a soldered connection underneath it.

That is interesting. I never heard any mention of that even in deaing with getting mine repaired and ultimately replaced for this issue. May I ask where you got that information?

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I suggest you open up a support ticket here, regardless of your warranty.

 

From what  I understand, the mechanism that's actually failing with the joystick isn't the joystick itself, but rather a soldered connection underneath it.

I just did, but what else can they say than: 'bring it to your dealer' ?  ;)

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That is interesting. I never heard any mention of that even in deaing with getting mine repaired and ultimately replaced for this issue. May I ask where you got that information?

 

Frank Ritchotte, Line 6's Senior Director of Operations, posts in the Helix Facebook group and on The Gear Page all the time, and he's mentioned it a few times there. He's also said they've had like less than 40 of these sorts of failures altogether, fwiw. Not that it makes it any less of a problem for anyone who personally deals with it. But it doesn't sound like it's necessarily a "weak link", per se.

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Frank Ritchotte, Line 6's Senior Director of Operations, posts in the Helix Facebook group and on The Gear Page all the time, and he's mentioned it a few times there. He's also said they've had like less than 40 of these sorts of failures altogether, fwiw. Not that it makes it any less of a problem for anyone who personally deals with it. But it doesn't sound like it's necessarily a "weak link", per se.

 

Always makes me scratch my head how much information Line 6 shares on the Gear Page that never makes it's way to the Line 6 forum except through word-of-mouth. You'd think they'd want to share here?

That's honestly a surprising number regarding joystick failures, I'd have expected more. I'm 1.5 for 2 just on my own. I wonder if that statistic is specific to the solder joint failures that were being discussed or if that is joystick failures by any failure mode? Not asking you to comment on it, just wondering aloud. Thanks for the info and the reminder that I should probably be keeping up with that Gear Page thread better. If you'll excuse me, I've got about 2000 pages to catch up on.....

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Mine is just over a year and out of warranty. I didn't do anything to it, it's always transported in a specially designed flight case. I'm considering to open it myself to see if I can detect a loose wire/contact or something. If I bring it to the store I know it will be gone for at least a month  :(

If it is registered with Line 6, the warranty is 2 years. 

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If it is registered with Line 6, the warranty is 2 years. 

Well that's good news then, thanks, I didn't know that.

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If it is registered with Line 6, the warranty is 2 years. 

 

The extended warranty applies to the US only.

 

Although, in many other countries, there are laws on the books that effectively extend the warranty to two years or longer anyway.

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I contacted the store, they tell me to 'expect at least (!) 2 to 3 weeks for repare

', nothing more specific, no mentioning of a replacement unit. I already know now, that my Helix will be gone for at least a month if I take it to them. These guys ('Key Music', they have 18 stores in Belgium and Holland) really don't seem to care. I just had a similar experience with them concerning a part I needed for my JTV 89 Variax. It is a big contrast with all the friendly, going-out-of-their-way-to-help-you' Line 6 people on these forums and on Facebook. The only thing I blame Line 6 for is not choosing their business partners more carefully. These people at Key Music really seem to hate Line 6 products, and only sell them because people want them. 

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I contacted the store, they tell me to 'expect at least (!) 2 to 3 weeks for reparation', nothing more specific, no mentioning of a replacement unit. I already know now, that my Helix will be gone for at least a month if I take it to them. These guys ('Key Music', they have 18 stores in Belgium and Holland) really don't seem to care. I just had a similar experience with them concerning a part I needed for my JTV 89 Variax. It is a big contrast with all the friendly, going-out-of-their-way-to-help-you' Line 6 people on these forums and on Facebook. The only thing I blame Line 6 for is not choosing their business partners more carefully. These people at Key Music really seem to hate Line 6 products, and only sell them because people want them. 

 

One of those companies that wishes they didn't have to have customers to stay in business?

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One of those companies that wishes they didn't have to have customers to stay in business?

 

Mmm, I don't think it's that bad, I suspect they're not too keen on selling Line 6 products because of it's 'virtual technology', they reckon they will sell less Fenders, Gibsons, Marshalls, Boss pedals,... because of it.  I sometimes think that is the real problem.

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Well, it looks like I have been too pessimistic, and haven't been giving the store enough credit. I got it back repaired after just one week. Sometimes life ain't bad :)

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