I've Had Problems
I'm really puzzled with this thing. I'm using my 3rd one now, and it has problems. First off, I want to state that the quality of the harmony voices and affects are phenomenal. I would rate this 5 stars if I was rating the sound quality only. The programming seems rather complicated, but that is because there are so many things it can do. After awhile, you get the flow.
I ordered my first one about a year ago, and after about an hour of messing around with it, I noticed that I had a signal level coming in on my mixer channel (Mackie1608), from the VW+. It was definitely a hissing, like white noise. I changed channels, mike cable, mike,output cable, then realized it is there even without a cable attached to the input of the VW+, so it definitely was coming out of the VW+. I also had a problem with the input gain on the VW+. I had to almost max the input sensitivity and output level to get a good input tp the mixer. None of this was evident when I first fired it up. So, I ended up returning that one and ordered a 2nd one.
The 2nd one strangely did the exact same thing. After using it for a couple of hours, I suddenly noticed the noise and the gain problem. This time I called support at TC Helicon, and explained things to the tech. After going thru the same troubleshooting steps I had already done, he concluded that this VW+ was indeed defective, and had to be an issue with the input module. He recommended returning it. Did that, and got the 3rd one.
Guess what? Same thing! Now, being a technical geek, I would first conclude that it would be impossible to get three units, all with the exact same problem, and the only possible common link to the issue, would be ME, but with another call to TC Helicon, they also agreed that it had nothing to do with my settings. He even had my take it to another friends house and tried it on another board. The problem stayed with the VW+.
In the meantime I had discovered that I could kind of work around the issue by, instead of plugging my mike into the VW+ and then running the output into the mixer, I plugged my mike into the mixer, than ran an aux channel back to the line input of the VW+. I had plenty of gain with little noise. I just have to use two channels on the mixer. (No AUX returns on a Mackie1608). All is still not perfect, however. Occasionally, I'll notice some real bad harmony coming out of the PA. Even on patches that aren't supposed to have harmony. A simple power cycle of the VW+ fixes that, and it only happens rarely. It's like it just goes nuts once in awhile. Now, last night, I noticed on a gig, I had lost all midi control into the VW+. We use a common midi controller for the patch settings on our guitar pedals, and this unit. The guitars were working but I saw no signal coming into the VW+. I haven't even unloaded the equipment yet to check this, and it may not even be a problem with the VW+, but now I'm always suspicious of it.
I am amazed that I've never seen a single review of this thing complaining about reliability. I'll probably end up sending it to repair, if the midi section is fried.