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Helix - No Input Signal


gnomus
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I’ve owned my Helix for a number of years and it has never given me any issues until I had the 3.01 update.  I don’t know if the update is the cause of my problem - it could be entirely co-incidental.
 

A couple of days after the update, I noticed that I was getting no sound out of the Helix.  All my patches were there, I could connect to HX Edit and I could build new presets.  But it seemed that there was no signal getting from my guitar into the Helix.  I tried different leads (and different guitars) to no avail.  I noted that when I put the unit into Tuner mode, that it was not receiving any signal either.
 

I contacted Line 6 Support who suggested that I redo the firmware update using the updater software, rather than HX Edit.  And lo and behold this worked.  But, within a couple of days, it lost input again.  Line 6 had already had me try different inputs like using a Return jack.  But that didn’t work.  I should also note that I did several resets.  It seems that sometimes a reinstallation of firmware and a factory reset will bring it back online again, but this only lasts for a day or so.  
 

I’ve seen a couple of people report this problem before, but I don’t think I’ve seen it solved.  One suggestion was that it might be a corrupted user preset.  But, after the issue, I did not reload my old presets.  I simply built a couple of new ones from scratch to test the unit.
 

Line 6 eventually suggested that I sent the unit for servicing.  I’m in the UK, so off it went to E&M in Milton Keynes.  I had to pay a significant amount by way of an inspection fee.  And, of course, it costs a chunk to send the unit.  E&M had the unit for several days.  I contacted them to check progress.  I was told that they had done a factory reset and that the unit was functioning normally.  I was a little sceptical since I had already performed a number of factory resets, but I was assured that the unit had been powered on and off several times and that no fault could be detected.

 

I shipped the unit back.  It worked for around 48 hours and now it is non-functional again, which is more than a little frustrating given that I am currently down the best part of £110.  
 

I assume that E&M will offer to take another look.  But each return journey means £50 in shipping charges, so it won’t take too many trips for this to become uneconomic.  So, before doing that, I thought I’d ask whether anyone here had any knowledge of this issue, or had any suggestions before I proceed.

 

Thanks in anticipation of your assistance.

 

Steve M

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3 hours ago, gnomus said:

I’m in the UK, so off it went to E&M in Milton Keynes.  I had to pay a significant amount by way of an inspection fee.


Hi,

 

This seems to be a very strange thing to be happening, and not something that I have encountered, but I have used E&M for a repair and found them to be very good. As I recall the “inspection fee” came off the total price of the repair. Not only that, I understand that any repair they make should be guaranteed for at least 3 months. 
 

The best recourse would be to contact E&M to explain and discuss the situation with them. As the repair only lasted for 48 hours, then possibly the fault was misdiagnosed. Should that not be resolved, then if absolutely necessary, you could contact your local Trading Standards Office for a professional opinion on how to proceed from there.

 

Hope this help/makes sense.

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Thanks datacommando.  It is a very odd problem (but I'm not the only one to have had it - for example https://line6.com/support/topic/27282-no-input-on-helix-lt-loses-all-sound/).  I've never used E&M before.  They seemed helpful enough on the telephone.  Furthermore, as you say, the inspection fee would have come off any repair cost, but all that they did was do a factory reset - something I had already done.  Sometimes with these electronics guys, one does get the impression that they start from an assumption that the problem is one of user-error.  And I did get a slight feel of that on the phone - but perhaps I was just being a bit over-sensitive that day.      

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1 hour ago, gnomus said:

Thanks datacommando.  It is a very odd problem (but I'm not the only one to have had it - for example https://line6.com/support/topic/27282-no-input-on-helix-lt-loses-all-sound/).  I've never used E&M before.  They seemed helpful enough on the telephone.  Furthermore, as you say, the inspection fee would have come off any repair cost, but all that they did was do a factory reset - something I had already done.  Sometimes with these electronics guys, one does get the impression that they start from an assumption that the problem is one of user-error.  And I did get a slight feel of that on the phone - but perhaps I was just being a bit over-sensitive that day.      


Hi,

 

Ah, that is an old thread, I don’t recall reading that, but it seems to be something related to a combination of hardware and the firmware causing the issue - very weird.

 

Anyhow, the fact is that you sent your Helix to be repaired, paid forty odd quid for a diagnostic check, only to have them perform a factory reset which is something you had already done several times. Result - your unit still doesn’t work. That would indicated that the fault failed to be recognised during the “inspection”, which puts the ball firmly back in the court of E&M. Therefore you are paying for a service which you have not received. This sort of stuff can go down “rabbit holes” because you get situations where a computer or electrical fault will happen and then fail to manifest itself when a technician appears on the scene.

 

First, I would be tempted to contact Line 6 Customer Support and explain the dilemma that you have followed their advice to send it for service, but there has been no improvement - simply a factory reset. Then maybe they could contact E&M and have them waive any charges and pay for shipping and have them perform a full range of diagnostic tests and then a repair. The downside with this is if the hardware requires extensive bench tests, you could be without your Helix for quite some time.

 

Sorry, but there doesn’t appear to be a quick fix for this, and you still have a unit that doesn’t work properly.
 

Let us know how it progresses - good luck.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I thought folks might be amused to hear an update. 

 

The unit has been back to E&M.  They had the unit another 2 weeks during which time they fitted a new PCB and DSP and did more soak testing.  They sent it back to me and the unit lasted a little over 24 hours before the fault recurred. 

 

I had powered on and off maybe 3 times over that period.  It either will or will not work after a power up.  And once it has failed it seems to remain in the failed state no matter how many more power recycles I carry out.

 

Most folk seem to have units that are reliable,  My unit used to be reliable.  But perhaps these boxes just have limited shelf lives.  

 

 

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If this is happening again and again, it's clear they are either doing wrong, or missing the cause. Swapping a PCB downstream doesnt mean solving, if the cause is upstream.

 

 

I would search for a better center for a complete and deeper diagnosis.

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On 5/2/2021 at 7:50 AM, gnomus said:

I thought folks might be amused to hear an update. 

 

The unit has been back to E&M.  They had the unit another 2 weeks during which time they fitted a new PCB and DSP and did more soak testing.  They sent it back to me and the unit lasted a little over 24 hours before the fault recurred. 

 

I had powered on and off maybe 3 times over that period.  It either will or will not work after a power up.  And once it has failed it seems to remain in the failed state no matter how many more power recycles I carry out.

 

Most folk seem to have units that are reliable,  My unit used to be reliable.  But perhaps these boxes just have limited shelf lives.  

 


Hi, once more,

 

Well, first up - I’m really  not amused in the slightest to read your update. It’s outrageous!
 

This situation is ridiculous, although, I did mention in my earlier post that this thing could go “down the rabbit hole” of working while in the presence of a technician and failing later.
 

I imagine that you contacted the repair shop immediately, and informed them of what was happening with the Helix. If not, do it now. Also inform Line 6 Customer Support to let them know the situation has not been resolved. 

Furthermore, I would take this right to the top - contact Frank Ritchotte, (Senior Director of Operations, YGG, Line 6 Inc).

fritchotte@line6.com

Make him aware of your situation, that should get things moving.

 

If this doesn’t get a result, because you’re in the U.K., you still have the option of contacting your local Trading Standards office and seeing if they can pursue this on your behalf. 

 

As for your comment - “But perhaps these boxes just have limited shelf lives.” I certainly hope that “planned obsolescence” is not an option here, I’ve had mine since late 2015.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense

 

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Thanks guys.  I’ve already contacted Line 6 support, but no reply as yet.  Unfortunately, the unit failed on Saturday.  Monday is a holiday here in the UK, so I’ll contact E&M on Tuesday.

 

I’ll keep you informed.

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It's a disturbing thread.... 

 

I don't get discouraged by failing hardware - because that can happen with anything. I especially don't get discouraged by software glitches because those are easy to remedy with a factory reset... then possibly a little time weeding out a corrupt preset. 

 

What disturbs me is that this is not the only time I've read about this problem, and every one of the threads I've read remains unsolved and/or abandoned.  Thankfully it doesn't happen often, but I certainly feel for those it happens to! 

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So, I've had the same issue after the past two updates (with my HX Stomp). For some reason, when I switch to a patch, it was as if the guitar signal was not making it into the Stomp. I then went into the Input block (first block in the chain) to verify it said "Input Main L/R" (which it did), changed it to something else, and then changed it right back to "Input Main L/R", and then it starts working fine. However, if I don't immediately save that preset...and move to another preset, and back to the original...it has the same issue. Once I figured this out, I had to go through each/every patch and just change/reset the input block and then SAVE the patch...and then they work fine from that point on. Weird but it seemed to resolve it for me.  

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1 hour ago, rondesjardins said:

So, I've had the same issue after the past two updates (with my HX Stomp). For some reason, when I switch to a patch, it was as if the guitar signal was not making it into the Stomp. I then went into the Input block (first block in the chain) to verify it said "Input Main L/R" (which it did), changed it to something else, and then changed it right back to "Input Main L/R", and then it starts working fine. However, if I don't immediately save that preset...and move to another preset, and back to the original...it has the same issue. Once I figured this out, I had to go through each/every patch and just change/reset the input block and then SAVE the patch...and then they work fine from that point on. Weird but it seemed to resolve it for me.  

 

That is very interesting... and the type of "odd solution" I was hoping to see. It's not ideal, but at least something like that should be a bug that is fixable by Line 6 ..... providing they are aware of it.  Thanks for sharing your experience.... it's the first time I've seen some sort of resolution. 

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2 hours ago, rondesjardins said:

So, I've had the same issue after the past two updates (with my HX Stomp). For some reason, when I switch to a patch, it was as if the guitar signal was not making it into the Stomp. I then went into the Input block (first block in the chain) to verify it said "Input Main L/R" (which it did), changed it to something else, and then changed it right back to "Input Main L/R", and then it starts working fine. However, if I don't immediately save that preset...and move to another preset, and back to the original...it has the same issue. Once I figured this out, I had to go through each/every patch and just change/reset the input block and then SAVE the patch...and then they work fine from that point on. Weird but it seemed to resolve it for me.  

 

Would be great to hear this workaround confirmed by some other users with this issue.

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On 5/4/2021 at 6:26 PM, rondesjardins said:

So, I've had the same issue after the past two updates (with my HX Stomp). For some reason, when I switch to a patch, it was as if the guitar signal was not making it into the Stomp. I then went into the Input block (first block in the chain) to verify it said "Input Main L/R" (which it did), changed it to something else, and then changed it right back to "Input Main L/R", and then it starts working fine. However, if I don't immediately save that preset...and move to another preset, and back to the original...it has the same issue. Once I figured this out, I had to go through each/every patch and just change/reset the input block and then SAVE the patch...and then they work fine from that point on. Weird but it seemed to resolve it for me.  


Interesting.  The unit is currently back with E&M, so I cannot try this potential fix.  On both occasions E&M have had the unit they have got it working again.  But they would not, of course, play around with presets.  We’ll see what, if anything, they come up with this time.  If I get it back and it does it again, I’ll try this.  I think that the Helix default is ‘Multi Input’, but I could try a similar process.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry for the delay in updating.  The unit came back from E&M around 2 weeks ago and seems to have been working since. 

 

People might remember that during its last trip out E&M replaced two boards within the device, but that it came back with the same fault (no input signal).  On this trip I was told that one of the boards that had been replaced had failed - presumably with the identical problem.  Anyhow a(nother) new board was fitted.  And so far, it seems to have been working well.  (I was told that the unit consists of just the two boards plus the footswitches.)

 

I should say that I did find the Line 6 support people quite helpful, and they did liaise with E&M about my issue.  I don't know what failed on the old board (or on its replacement).  But I'm happy that the unit is working again.

 

I just hope that I haven't tempted fate by posting an update here!!!!

 

Thanks all for the advice. 

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28 minutes ago, gnomus said:

But I'm happy that the unit is working again.


Good to know that you are back up and running. Strange to have an identical board failure, that’s not something that I have heard of other than your original situation. 
 

I seriously hope the repair bill was waived in your favour.

 

Enjoy your “new” Helix.

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Thank you.  Yes the repair bill was substantially reduced as a result of all the issues I'd had.  I'm happy with the outcome as far as that is concerned.  I'm just left with this slight uncertainty as to whether or not the thing will be working when I switch it on.  Hopefully that will fade over time. :-)  

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  • 6 months later...

Hey, I have the same problem.

The input usually gets green when it receives the signal from the guitar. 
 

Now, the input signal doesn’t get green and I got no sound. 
 

I have troubleshooted by: 

1. plugging my guitar directly to the speaker: my guitar works

2. changing the cable: cable works

3. booting the helix to factory settings: input signal still doesn’t work

 

Is there a fix to this issue? 

 

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  • 7 months later...

hello, unfortunately I have to re-upload this thread because my helix also suffers from the same problem. I've tried all kinds of inputs and even after sending it for repair here in milan, the problem recurs. The firmware version is 3.15, I tried factory restore but alas without luck.

For those who have had this experience, how did you solve it? Is it possible for line6 to replace the pedalboard with a new one?

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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