Play Acoustic center control knob broken

  1. #51 by Westsailor on 05-06-2017
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    I just received my Voicelive play and reading about this issue concerns me. I felt totally comfortable tossing my 'naked' Harmony G into my gig bag to transport to/from venues.

    If the encoder shaft is so fragile that I should have to take extra care not to break it then I'm leery of tossing it in my gig bag as I do normally. Transporting it packed in the box is only a temporary solution as eventually the box gets worn out. I'm thinking it's unacceptable over the long term to have to fasten some protection for the knob every time I just need to transport it around. This is after all a 'stomp box' foot pedal so it clearly should be more robust than what is being described. Short of manufacturing the unit with a metal shaft encoder the idea of having a flush knob (ala the mic gain knob) seems like a great, cost effective solution.

    I am in Central America and sending the unit back for repair is just out of the question. I'm a techy DYI kinda guy that is completely capable of replacing the encoder with a higher quality metal shaft one if someone can provide a source for a direct drop in replacement (i.e., same # of detents/impulses as the original).
  2. #52 by Rob Henry on 06-23-2017
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    Posts: 12

    knob busted

    Horrible design flaw, have large feet or wear boots and you will step on that fragile switch every time you hit the middle switch, I have even had it broken in my gig bag. The ONLY fix is get a switch 3 , put the unit to one side and NEVER step on its switches. I made a case for the unit out of an ipod box with a bit of close cell foam on it to stop it getting damaged in bag. I have had to fix mine 3 times. But with the S3, so far so good.
  3. #53 by Jean-Bernard Abraham on 07-01-2017
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    Voice live play

    I would just say do not buy it. I barely play with it now I found out the knob does not work
  4. #54 by Mike Almon on 12-24-2017
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    Play Acoustic fragile encoder remedy

    - Bryan M. Sears wrote View Post
    First let me say I think the Play acoustic is the single most important piece of equipment I have, second to my Taylor. I have become very dependent on it and use it 3 or 4 times a week. That said here is the bad side. In 18 months I have owned 3 different TC Helicon Play Acoustic units. The control knob lasted 4 or 5 months on the first one, I made due with the settings for a few months and bought another second hand one. One month to the day after I received it the knob started to not respond. I thought, "uh oh same symptoms as the prior, I've seen this before." I ordered a 3rd one "Parts only not working" thinking surely its something other than the control came and the full compass rotary control knob was the only thing wrong with that unit it worked perfectly other than that. I have no unit that still has a warranty remaining on it. I've searched high and low for tech specs on this thing, pinout, datasheets, etc. I can't find the info anywhere. I hate to pay $11 + shipping for the same plastic piece of junk thats proven faulty on 3 prior units....all TC
    HELICON PLAY ACOUSTIC. Since I am not worried about voiding the warranty. The way I see it if I buy three knobs I will have three working units. Is there any way to replace TC Electronics plastic rotary with a rotary knob with a high quality knob (ie. like adapt one of the 5 pin rotary encoders that comes with an arduino kit and just use 3 pins). see the photo. This has been a nightmare. I love the box, but I can't keep one working. Here is a rotary knob i have on hand. I have it ready to install if I just knew how to do so. Any info would be greatly appreciated. (P.S. I have read that others have had the same problem with other units. It seems to be their weakest component.
    I made a "guard" that velcros onto the unit and protects the fragie (poorly designed) encoder. Like you, I use my unit 3 or 4 times a week and it's a crucial part of my 1 hour healthcare shows here in North Central Indiana. If anyone is interested, I will be happy to provide a photos/parts list. Now I don't worry about accidentally hitting/breaking it while activating the hit button or during transport.
  5. #55 by John G163266 on 03-25-2018
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    Posts: 1

    Play Acoustic fragile encoder remedy

    Hey Mike Almon: I would like to see your "guard" for the play acoustic.

    As to the OP... I am one of the unlucky people who bought (second hand) a Play Acoustic with a broken control knob. I was able to contact TC Helicon and get the part number and queried two of the three US parts distributors. Thermal Relief Design sent me the part for $9 + $8 shipping.

    It was tricky to desolder the tiny piece, but I have Air Force soldering training and I suppose that helped - even though it was many years ago. Long story short, I was able to get the old one out, clean up the solder using desoldering wick and rosin, and then solder the new part into the play acoustic. Difficulty: 6/10. Swear words used: 17.

    SO.. it CAN be done. It is difficult. It took about 5 weeks to get the part.

    I have been using the Play Acoustic ever since (fixed in Sept 2016). I play classic rock covers and nobody else in my band can sing. This thing - along with a Swich 3 - is a godsend. The only complaint is that it breaks up when using the harmonies if you sing too loud into it. I played 22 gigs last year and 35 rehearsals. Just have to be careful not to drop it on its top. Also, the Switch3 helps keep it out of harms way. I will, however, use the Mike Almon guard going forward if I can rig it. (Please send pics Mike!).

    Here is the part number and "description" from TC Helicon support:
    Part #: 7E34001611
    Description: PEC12-4220F-N0024 ENCODER

    Here is the distributor that ended up actually sending the part (I had to FAX them my cc number - ??)

    Thermal Relief Design
    Cheyenne Commerce Center
    730 W. Cheyenne Ave. Ste. 120
    North Las Vegas, NV 89030

    702-395-7005 (phone)
    702-648-7895 (fax)

    Good luck to you all!!
  6. #56 by Rob Henry on 12-05-2018
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    Posts: 12

    broken knob

    so my post was the original broken knob post, which TC responded too, so how they could ever say that they didnt know is a bald faced lie.

    I have three of these units, all broken, 2 broke in bag. I WAS a good customer, the lack of "give a f#ck" shown by this company is ridiculous.