Buyer Beware - Line 6 Relay G90

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by DevinShidaker, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. DevinShidaker

    DevinShidaker ss.org Addict

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    Hey guys, I usually don't do stuff like this, but I feel like people need to know about what they are buying when they look into these units. Anyways, I have had a Line 6 Relay G90 wireless system for about two years, and when it works, this thing is AWESOME. The main problem though is that it almost NEVER works properly. I am a professional musician and I'm generally on the road 8-10 months out of the year, and with that volume of shows, I need something that will be consistently reliable. When I first got my G90, I had a huge issue with the receiver, where for no reason at all, it would go silent for 5-10 seconds at a time. The unit would display that I still had signal, so I don't know what the real issue was. Line 6 told me that I had a "hardware problem" and that I should send it in for Warranty Repair. I asked them if they had an idea of how long this would take, and I was told that it would be around 90 DAYS. There was no offer of a loaner unit or anything of the sort. So I just payed 600 dollars for a wireless unit that I couldn't use for the next three months of touring. So instead I exchanged it for another unit at guitar center, instead of opting for another system, because everything I have heard about "digital wireless" has had me drooling over the G90. So I get a new unit, the first couple of shows are GREAT. Then I run into a problem. My signal is gone, but this time, it's because the pack is reading "no cable", even though everything seems to be plugged in properly. The next day I did some troubleshooting and came to the conclusion that I had a bad cable, and other people have had the same issue with the line 6 wireless cables. I decided "okay, not a big deal, I'll just get a new one". Well, nobody carries the line 6 cable, and if you're lucky, guitar center will have a Shure cable that works with the unit, but as I have come to find out, these aren't much better than the line 6 cable, and they are about 30 bucks. I would usually go through about 2-3 of these cables on a tour. Yesterday I played one of the biggest shows of my life, Heavy MTL in Montreal. While setting up and running through our line check, my signal vanishes, but I am using a brand new cable. The transmitter itself had finally crapped out on me because of how flimsy the four pin connector is, so I was forced to use a cable, and because we just started a tour, I'll likely be using a cable for the next two months. I will never ever buy a line 6 product again.

    I'm sorry for the very very long wall of text, but I feel like you should know how these units work under real touring use if you are considering picking one up.:noway:
     
  2. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

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    Wow that sucks man. nothing like gear failing right before/during a show - that'll get me panicking. Sorry to hear about it.

    On the flip side, i have only had my g30 a few months, but it's been dropped repeatedly (it could use a better clip, i've since velcroed it) and still works great. it gets heavy use as i use it for practice around the house even. Very happy with it, simple, just works. I'm all about simplicity in my rig these days and the g30 fits the bill perfectly. Have the base vecroed in the back of my rack, so i just turn on my power conditioner and the transmitter and i'm ready to go.

    I do like the fact that any 1/4 cable will work with the g30 too - one of the reasons i didn't go for the 50 or 90
     
  3. Tyler

    Tyler SS.org Regular

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    strange dude. ive had no issues with mine thus far but will definitely be keeping my eye out for anything like this to occur
     
  4. DevinShidaker

    DevinShidaker ss.org Addict

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    I had to borrow a G30 for a short tour, and it worked perfectly. I don't understand why all of the units don't use the 1/4 inch input...
     
  5. themike

    themike Chug Life

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    Ugh, that sucks man, sorry to hear you had such a shitty experience. There's no excuse for that - for the price they charge it should work flawlessly and every detail should be perfect. I will admit that the pack cable needs to be replaced though as it's very poor. Its not a Line6 specific cable though, so you should be able to find a replacement. Its a TA4F mini XLR to 1/4 inch.

    Here is one from Sweetwater that works great and is very fairly priced: Shure WA304 - TA4F to 1/4" Angle | Sweetwater.com

    I do love my G90 - its the best wireless I've ever used. I wish I didn't like it as much as I do because I would love to write off Line6 completely :rofl:

    Tell Scott to get on the horn and scare the Line6 reps!
     
  6. DevinShidaker

    DevinShidaker ss.org Addict

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    I actually use the Shure cable, that's the only one that you can readily find anywhere, you have to contact Line 6 to have them send you a cable and it takes forever. The Shure is a much nicer cable than the Line 6 (our sound engineer and myself took apart the Line 6 cable, the soldering was some of the poorest we had ever seen), but they still fail on me. I guess you could say I'm at fault because of how much we move around on stage (not anything CRAZY), but I feel like they should be designed with stuff like that in mind.
     
  7. themike

    themike Chug Life

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    Yeah I hear ya. Hate to say it but a couple aftermarket cables might be the only real solution. I dont move enough nor play out nearly enough to warrant the price, but for you - the thicker guage mogami cable and nuetrik ends might be worth the 40 bucks each. Either way hopefully the transmitter holds up! Id hate to see how hard it is to get one of those from Line6.
     
  8. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    Never understood why they'd use a standard cable input jack on their least expensive unit but require propriety cables for their others. I bought and returned the G30 because the battery door was an absolute joke. You put the batteries in and had to push hard to get the door to close but when it did close it wasn't even flush - the door was pushing outward. Looked it up online and read tons of complaints about it so I didn't want to chance it failing and returned it. Why do they come so close to building the perfect unit but then always fall short in one way or the other? It's almost like they get together and say, "Wait guys... we have to design in at least one major flaw!".


    Rev.
     
  9. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    I used the line6 stuff for an entire tour a while back and loved it, but, I did have my transmitters gaffa taped to straps so none of the flimsy bits of the cable could move, and on dimarzio cliplocks and it worked really well...

    However, if a system isn't working for you on tour, I'd get something better, and as you know with touring, it absolutely destroys gear, so anything that isn't built well just ends up gaffa taped and glued together at the end (if it even makes it that far)
     
  10. VBCheeseGrater

    VBCheeseGrater not quite a shredder

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    Ha! i know what you mean. Lots of gear like that. When I was shopping for multi effects they all seemed to lack one thing i needed. The G30 battery is not flush, I agree. It looks cheap, but with mine it's held up well, even staying closed when dropped. As much abuse as my G30 has been through due to the clip not working well it's impressed me with it's toughness.

    Ive got a great solution for the clip BTW, i put velcro on my strap, or some strap materials works as velcro even so just put some velcro tape on the unit next to the clip. Now i have both velcro and clip holding it on, and easy to switch guitars quickly still. meanwhile, you can act a fool on stage and it will stay secure. EDIT - i tried dying trees gaffer tape method too, but the issue there for me is changing guitars mid set. I only have one unit, have to switch it to each guitar.
     
  11. larry

    larry ". . . . . . . ."

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    that's gotta be extremely frustrating, especially since you're on the road and you need the shit to work. have you checked out any other manufacturers? like shure or sennheiser? I've had my shure UT1 system since 2001. components look flimsy, but the receiver has yet to fail, and I had to replace the transmitter in 2010 because the antenna finally wore off. I didn't tour with it, but it has been used constantly for practice and shows. i flail around like a toddler on fire and there were times i was sure my transmitter was done for.

    shure's higher end stuff seems great too. its completely overkill and ridiculously expensive, but I've been gassing for their micro transmitter (UR1M). good luck man!!!!

    edit: also, check out sennheiser. one of our bassists used an e-series guitar system and it was very solidly built, had excellent range and the transmitter was very well thought out. the receiver even has a built-in tuner.
     
  12. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

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    That really sucks. :(

    I've heard of guys making their own cables out of much better components (i.e. Switchcraft or Neutrik plugs, high-quality cable, better soldering).
     
  13. Hammer

    Hammer SS.org Regular

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    If I were a tech/owned one I'd rip it apart as soon as the warranty ends and just try to change the input jack from proprietary to the normal 6.3mm jack. I think it just carries the guitar signal anyway and the 4 pins would be hot and 3 grounds. Either that or they took the (albeit retarded) decision to split the signal in the cable for some reason instead of splitting it on the PCB. Just my 2 cents.
     
  14. DevinShidaker

    DevinShidaker ss.org Addict

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    we have been toying with the idea of just ripping it apart. Line 6 has offered ZERO help, they just told me to check their support forums.
     
  15. Alcoholocaust

    Alcoholocaust SS.org Regular

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    That sucks to hear man, I was hoping they'd be more reliable.
    I use a G30 and gaffa tape the shit out of it every show. I still break cables once every couple of months though - but that's more abuse on my end, haha.
     
  16. eyeswide

    eyeswide SS.org Regular

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    Hey man,

    Sorry to hear about your bad luck with the units and congratulations on getting in with the Acacia Strain! You guys are one of my favourite bands, and I'm excited to hear where you guys will go since the big member swap.

    I have to say, my experience with the Line 6 G90 has been quite a bit more positive than yours. It seems you're not going to be using their stuff again, but I'll share my story so other people that ran into my problems might have a solution. There's quite a bit of detail, but hopefully it'll help people to troubleshoot.

    My band uses a single rack for all of our equipment. Of note, we have 2 Line 6 G90s; 2 Sennheiser ew300s; and an Audiotechnica IEM system of some sort. The rest of the stuff in there shouldn't be important to this.

    When just my G90 is on, with everything else turned off, I get a great connection, don't have any cutouts and my range is incredible. I can go outside and not have a problem. With the second G90 turned on (the guitar player's), my range decreases and I get cutouts if I lose line of sight, and sometimes randomly like you described - for a couple of seconds. But, the random cutouts were never very common. This was independent of the channels we were on, as we tried a bunch of combinations and none seemed to improve the situation. In addition, we had the line 6's stacked on top of each other in the rack, directly under the IEM units.

    At first, we just had a single ew300 in the rack and the guitarist and vocalist used Audiotechnica's, and the situation was described as above. We ended up moving the G90s a couple of rack spaces down, but this did not seem to help. Eventually, one of the Audiotechnica IEM's was replaced with another ew300, and this is when it all went to shit. From what I've heard and understand, the G90s and the ew300s should not interact or interfere with each other. This was simply not the case. My G90, but not the guitarist's, was suffering huge cutout problems whenever his ew300 was turned on. I could be standing right in front of the thing, and it would read that I have a clear signal on both antennas, but I would have absolutely no sound coming from the speakers. As soon as we turned off the guitarist's ew300, the problems would alleviate, even with the other ew300 still on.

    What we ended up doing is spacing out our equipment in the rack. The IEMs are still all up top, but we have some other stuff, then the guitarist's G90, then some more stuff, then my G90. After separating the equipment like this, I have not had any cutout issues. Of note is that the guitarist's G90 never had any cutout issues, it was only the one unit.

    At a gig the other night, I was talking this over with the sound guy. I haven't really verified or looked into this since, but he had a look at the back, and apparently we didn't have all of the antenna caps on or some such, and that is supposed to improve it. Again, I haven't looked into it since, as the issue we were having is solved.

    Beyond this, my guitarist has had the cable trouble you're talking about. I'm not sure if this is because of a bad unit, or because he doesn't leave any slack in the cable when he has it on his strap.

    From my experience, the body pack has been just fine. At my most recent gig, it flew off my strap (which is what I get for not having it taped on), and the cable stayed plugged into my bass while the transmitter went skipping across the floor. I couldn't get it hooked in again at that show (I think it was nerves, we were in the middle of a song), so I said ".... it", and was using a patch cable for the rest of the show. When I got it home, I was able to get it plugged in and working fine.

    So, I guess it might be a QC thing at Line 6. Overall, I'd still recommend the unit, as it works as advertised when there's nothing interrupting the signal, and the hardware (from my experience), has been durable.

    I'd also like to note that while you all were reading this, you could have been doing something constructive, like watching porn or something.
     
  17. xCaptainx

    xCaptainx Dr Djodson

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    That sucks. I've been using the G50 with no problems throughout NZ/Aus/America, but I agree I'd much rather have the 1/4 jack setup of the G30. The G50 is sturdier and better quality than the G30, it's just odd that they don't go with such a great universal 1/4 jack setup for all!
     
  18. AxeHappy

    AxeHappy SS.org Regular

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    First off:
    It's really cool that you played Heavy MTL. Quebec has pretty much the best metal scene in Canada! Really awesome to see somebody getting on that!


    I bought my G90 unit used. And it came with one of the lava cables, "custom cables".

    I rewired it with one of the neutrik silent plugs, since Lava refused to make me one as apparently the silent plugs have a high fail rate.

    I haven't had any problems with it, although I only managed to get 3 months of gigging in with it before my band fell apart.

    Seems like ditching the stock cable for something better is the way to go.
     
  19. Max_SMW

    Max_SMW SS.org Regular

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    Sorry to hear that man!

    My G90 has never failed me, however the 1/4" cable is catastrophic.
    I can confirm that it has some of the worst soldering i have ever seen.
    Plus, the mini XLR simply doesn`t lock anymore after you plugged it a few times.
    You can simply pull it out, and that`s easy considering the size of a mini XLR. I would love to have a 1/4" jack in the transmitter.

    I cannot for the life of me understand how you can sell an expensive top range wireless and include a 50ct piece of shit cable with it.

    But it`s not just Line 6, i recently backlined for a band that uses Shure Axxient systems which are about 10.000 USD for a two way system, and even they didn`t manage to get some good quality Neutrik jacks on their cables.

    Solution: make your own cables :yesway:
     
  20. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    I'd highly recommend Sennheiser wireless units personally :)
     

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