NOTE TO ALL: If you read this post, plz read the whole thread. My situation is being addressed by TC, as a one-time exception. And AFAIK, this is not a problem that anyone else has seen before. So, plz pardon my "sky is falling" scenario as I describe it below. Even so, I'm leaving this posting pretty much as is, for now. Main reason: We all need to be mindful of the VL3's Control Knob, its height, and its manufacture. Make sure it is well protected. Although I cannot imagine how it may have gotten "thumped", anything is possible. Here's my original posting:
After so much praise for TC Helicon (truly a great company in so many ways), I'm afraid I have to give you some bad press now.
My jaw dropped last night when the Control Knob (the big one; upper right) came off in my hand. I baby this VL3, so I cannot imagine how this happened.
Well, actually I can. It is an Achile's Heel in the mechanical design, and mine will not be the last to have this happen. Here's why: 1) The shaft of the knob is plastic, with a small diameter. 2) The knob is very big, and sits higher than anything else on the unit's landscape. 3) Due to the Control Knob's duties, one of which is a "push" function, for selecting FAVs or locking out the controls for stage use, it does not sit flush to the face of the VL3; instead, it "floats" on that skinny, plastic shaft.
Mechanically speaking, this combination is a part failure waiting to happen. I realize that there is a round channel cut into the face of the unit around the edge of the knob, but that won't protect it from the knob being bumped, or crushed, or whatever, which is probably what happened to mine, though I can't imagine when it happened. But none of that would matter if it weren't for the plastic shaft. Sorry, a plastic shaft on the main control knob is unacceptable in a professional-grade product.
Worse, I contacted your Tech Support and found out that there is no exchange program. Unfortunately, I have too many gigs lined up to be able to wait on my unit to go out for repair. So I am basically hosed at this point. BTW, I am awaiting a response on whether this failure is covered by warranty.
The only silver lining here is that otherwise, the units still works. And, by placing the knob on the shaft, and messing with it (a lot), I can eventually scroll through menus. Plus, I've already done 95% of my tweaking of Presets. But so much for experimenting with new sounds.
So then, Craig; the two important questions (and sadly, I'm pretty sure I already know the answers): 1) Is it possible, in the next update, to include a "Control Knob Workaround", where scrolling through the menus can be done via a different method? 2) When I do send my unit in, can I get a knob with a METAL shaft? I'd be willing to bet that both fixes are possible, but, for just one broken knob, neither will be cost-effective for TC Helicon to do.
However, with a plastic shaft, and a multi-function knob that's big, and sits high, you can bet I won't be the only one.
I will update as soon as I hear back about the warranty question.
Craig, just so you know, I'm still a TC believer I'm certain that, in the end, you guys will come through for me. You always do.