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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:56 am 
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So my "perfect" X330 arrived... and it IS perfect. The best-playing guitar I've ever touched with impeccable tone. Worth every penny.

But.

I'm having problems with the MPC. This was my troubleshooting procedure.

I noticed that neither switch did anything.
I replaced the battery.
I have two modules --- Phaser and Power Overdrive.
In either slot, the Phaser makes *some* noise sometimes but it sounds rough and distorted.
In either slot, flipping the switch for Power Overdrive kills the sound from the guitar.
With the guitar plugged in to the amp, slotting either module out of either slot makes a pop/crack noise.

Based on the above, I'm inclined to think that the guitar is fine but that, for some reason, both the modules are toasted to one degree or another.

What's the next step, in your opinion?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:41 am 
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Since this looks to be a seldom used example, I suspect that the contacts may be a little corroded. The 'edge card' can get corrosion on the contacts, and we're told that taking a pencil eraser to the contacts can effectively clean those (ala Nintendo era cartridges!). The other thought is that the capacitors in the modules can fail after 3 decades, so that is another possibility of the problem. Also check for corrosion on the Battery connector.

Since I believe this is your first MPC, it is too bad you don't have another rig to swap modules with as that would be the next logical troubleshooting step. Anyone close by with a working MPC guitar? Congrats, Mike.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:17 am 
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Location: New Jersey
Make sure the battery is brand new. Are there any obvious signs of re-wiring? The fact that you are getting some sound is good. I would check the input jack. Offhand I think the mpc should be wired (black from the battery)to the center on the jack (I've seen different types of jacks and if it's not wired properly you'll either get zip mpc output or the battery will always be draining regardless of switch position). A dead module usually kills output from a good one too. I would say your POD mod is fried. Have you tried the phaser alone in each slot? I bet Thorny can help you with the POD. If your troubles continue, maybe post a pic of the cavity. Good luck Jack.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:20 am 
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Location: Iowa, USA
Give a close inspection to the battery connector as well. I've had two MPC guitars where the wires at the solder connection inside the 9v battery connector were broken to the point of only having 3 or 4 strands of wire still connected. The symptoms were very close to what you describe as well. Replacing the connector with a $0.99 one from radio shack fixed them both.

My $0.02.... :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:03 am 
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Location: Saint Louis
All the suggestions so far are the things I would check. If you're in my neighborhood bring it over and I'll check it out for you.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:23 pm 
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Location: Tenn.
Yeah, thats the only draw back to an MPC. you have to use it often and clean it or it corrods enough to do just what you have. Get the best battery you can cause a cheap one wont last. The five way is the worst thing to keep clean.

Have you tried it with a set of head phones? It works just like the ad says.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Location: Southern Indiana
9V battery snap frequently needs replaced as mentioned.

Check the pots to make sure they are not shorting against each other or the any shielding - they can rotate and that may cause it to sound dead when it is otherwise OK. Wish I had it here, I could help you. Clean the contact points on the edge connectors of each module with a pencil eraser (cleans them right up).

Look at the diagrams on the old web page too. Trace stuff out. If something looks to be hacked, it may have been. The power works by the negative black wire from the 9V shorting to the ground when it is plugged in through the stereo jack. If the jack has been replaced, that could be a problem if the wrong type is used *should be a stereo phone plug*. If it is right, it needs a good clean connection. Switches probably are OK - since you getting a change with switching each one.

Use caig deoxit DN5 cleaner on all the pots, jacks, and controls. Spray some in, and move the pot, switch the switch back and forth, or operate the jack.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:48 am 
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Location: Saint Louis
If you want to send me the modules I can test them out and send them right back.

All the suggestions are good. If you use a contact cleaner, like the Caig that Thorny mentioned, try to use just the minimal amount. As a matter of fact I don't buy the spray dispenser, but rather the needle dropper bottles. Easier to put the exact amount, right where you want it, with no overspray.

I'll also add:
- Remove both modules, click the MPC switches back and forth. The "active" position of each switch should kill all the guitar signal. If this does not happen, the switch should be replaced.
- If you have a volt meter, set it to read DC volts. Put a good battery in the guitar, and plug in a standard cable to the guitar's jack. Put the meter probes across the B and J terminals of the MPC connectors to see if you read 9 volts on the meter. This will confirm the battery clip, the power switch function of the jack, and some of the wiring. If you don't have power at the module connectors, it's a wiring problem. MPC connector diagram here: http://www.rivercityamps.com/electra/sh_wire.php


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:54 pm 
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The X350 I bought also had modules in it. They didn't seem to work either. I took them out, used an eraser on the contacts, and put them in the X330. They both work, although the Power Overdrive isn't super powerful, I must say :)

Now I have to find the original two modules from my X330. I think my girlfriend tidied them away...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:35 pm 
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Location: New Jersey
That sounds like good news to me Jack. The electronics are OK in the 330. It's a bummer to end up with fried modules but probably better than fried electronics. Maybe Thorny or Ultrasonic can help you with the modules.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:57 pm 
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Don't forget to unplug the guitar cable when you are not using it or you will wind up with a dead battery! I still do that every once in a while. The grounded section of the guitar cable connects the battery ground to the guitar ground when you plug in - so it acts like a switch.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:12 am 
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JackBaruth wrote:
...
They both work, although the Power Overdrive isn't super powerful, I must say
...


Par for the course. You need the Thorny mod-- it puts the POWER in the Power Overdrive.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:29 pm 
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ultra sonic wrote:
Par for the course. You need the Thorny mod-- it puts the POWER in the Power Overdrive.


I'll second that!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:03 am 
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Sorry to revive such an old thread, but this is the ONLY thread I found where someone was experiencing what sounded like the exact same problem as me. I just bought an Outlaw on eBay, and I was getting no signal when both modules or just the phaser were engaged, and only the quietest farty noises when the overdrive was turned on. I cleaned my contacts with an eraser, even tried some rubbing alcohol, spend an hour or so tracing the wiring, unscrewed the blue MPC sockets to see if any of the wiring in back had come loose, made a slice in the battery connector to check the wiring, everything I've encountered in dozens of semi-related threads that might be the fix...and then I discovered that I'd plugged into the amp with a STEREO patch cable that just happened to be mixed in with the rest of my spare cables. Switched to a standard mono cable and it works like a charm. The power overdrive, like some people have mentioned, is a bit lackluster, but works perfectly fine as a solo boost if all you're going for is a little extra volume. The phaser actually sounds like something I may be able to use in gigs, provided I don't over do it. All in all, very happy with the guitar and the modules now that everything is working. Even came with the original case!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:33 am 
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You can get a modified POD unit from user "Thorny" at this forum - look him up under the Members tab -

I have two that he has modified a few years back and they work much better than the stock unit.

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