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Variax Ghost Notes?


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#121 TheRealZap

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:14 AM

My wife's from this area, we just moved this way a year ago.


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#122 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:32 AM

If your guitar is new, swapping it out makes more sense than trying to get it repaired.  My experience with "repair centers" is that they don't know how to do anything but substitute parts and that can take forever if they don't have them on hand.


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#123 TheRealZap

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:39 AM

i'm with you... with one exception...

when under warranty i always send direct to line6 for repair... bypass the service centers...

there are good ones and bad ones... but none with the exclusive focus on line6 gear except direct.

so after 30 days... i'd pay shipping etc to send it to L6

before 30 days... right back to the store.

 

If your guitar is new, swapping it out makes more sense than trying to get it repaired.  My experience with "repair centers" is that they don't know how to do anything but substitute parts and that can take forever if they don't have them on hand.


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#124 silverhead

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:44 AM

.... I wish I could become a "Prime" member like I am with Amazon! ...

I can't even become a Prime member with Amazon. Not available in Canada.


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#125 spmartin

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 01:02 PM

I can't even become a Prime member with Amazon. Not available in Canada.

Maybe you could if you had a P.O. Box in the States and a credit card issued by a U.S. Bank. Then just have everything delivered to your Canadian address! I'm just rambling. Not sure if this is possible or not, but I have heard of folks doing it for Amazon in the United Kingdom so they could buy music and products that were not offered here. 


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#126 SLIDER90

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:58 PM

I decided to return the JTV69 to GC and they ordered another guitar from their distribution. This will be my third try after a JTV59 issue with the pickup switch not functioning properly. 

I brought in the guitar to GC with saved alt tuned settings and the sales manager played the guitar and agreed that it had the "ghost notes".  

Hopefully this next unit will arrive without ghosts. 


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#127 broker2

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 05:37 AM

I still have the ghost notes on the high e and b strings and i never used workbench. cal


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#128 SLIDER90

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 07:56 AM

Cal,

Do you know if the tuning was altered before you purchase the guitar? On the alt tuning wheel you'll see the background light turn from white to blue. 

What software version is the Variax?

In my opinion:

If there was a previous user and they updated it you should do a factory reset on the guitar. This should clear the tuning.

 

This doesn't solve the problem, but its a good starting point.


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#129 broker2

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 06:15 AM

I have the JTV69 version hd2 i dont think i can do a factory reset with this version installed. I bought it brand new from l@m in canada.  cal


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#130 GearFarm

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 06:24 AM

Last two pages of the JT Variax Pilot's Handbook has reset procedures.


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#131 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 07:18 AM

I don't think that reset proceedure works after you upgrade.  I think the only sure way is to reflash.


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#132 GearFarm

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 07:35 AM

Either way, it can be done.

I did mine after screwing up some altered tuning presets...but now that I think about it, I did reflash.

That was before I read the manual...ha ha.


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#133 Kcharriq

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 06:01 PM

I tried having someone pluck the notes when the guitar was in a different room, tuned to Eb tuning. I was connected through a L6 wireless connections.

 

The notes came out fine through the amplifier. So I've concluded the ghost note problem I was having was hearing the standard tuned notes (unamplified) on the guitar, which the dropped tuning was playing through the amp, which sounding like ghost notes.


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#134 guitarno

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 11:55 AM

Ok, did some additional tests.

1. Recorded with Garageband 1/2 step down and full step down. Results: Recording played back perfect.

 

2. DT-25 --> Weber Mass --> headphones. No problem could not hear the ghost notes.

 

3. HD500x --> headphones . I could hear it some, but when I increased volume I no longer heard the ghost notes.

 

I'm amazed at how amplified the natural string note is, and how you can hear it.

 

Conclusion thus far, nothing is wrong with my guitar :).

 

I may not be able to use it for drop tuning because the natural string sound will drive me nuts.

I'll just retune another guitar or the JTV.

 

* Next test - Have someone play the guitar w/drop tuning in another room, while I listen to the amp!

 

 

I agree - more than one phenomenon. In most cases I have seen (like the immediately previous post) these ghost notes end up being the natural acoustic vibration of the string. This is surprisingly easily picked up by the human ear, and the amplified sound has to be very (very!) loud to overwhelm it.

 

However, the pitch of the natural vibration is not transmitted over the analog outputs of the JTV (or the VDI connection). So if this is how you recorded the sound through your Apogee into Garageband then you definitely have a real issue. If, however, you recorded a mic'd amp into Apogee it is still possible that your mic picked up the pitch of the natural string vibration.

 

 

O.K. let me preface this with - this is just a preliminary, but very positive, report about a fix for my ghost notes.

 

I read on another thread in this forum that some problems arose in the past with bad VDI cables, and that essentially the VDI cable is just a fancy ethernet cable. Well, I have lots of good ethernet cables around, so I hooked one up and re-flashed my guitar with the 2.0 firmware.

So far I would say the ghost notes, while in alt. tunings, are gone!!  I checked in about 5 alt. tunings and I am NOT hearing the ghost notes any longer! I'm going to do some more testing, but I am kinda astounded that it may actually be fixed. In my case it really seems that the VDI cable was screwing up the firmware installation.

 

Any others with a similar experience? I will run this by Hugo at Line 6 tech support on Monday and see what his opinion is. But for now, YIPEE!!

 

 

   Well, just a further update on my situation in regards to this issue, after updating the firmware on my JTV-59 several times (back & forth between HD & Pre-HD Versions), it seems to me like this is now a non-issue. I still hear it if I am playing quietly, but I can't record it - recordings come out "clean" so the signal being output from the JTV doesn't really contain any "Doubled Notes", I am now only hearing that acoustically. It doesn't end up on the recordings.

 

   Earlier I posted the following on my ticket with Line 6 that I opened up on this issue. I'll just post it here instead of re-typing all of this:

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Yes I have re-loaded the firmware several times to several different versions, using the procedures outlined on the link in your post. Most of the time these updates have gone smoothly, but on a couple of occasions, they have failed once or several times in a row, but in all cases I was able to eventually update the firmware.

 

            Since reloading the firmware several times, I have repeatedly tried to record the “Ghost Notes” when I thought I was having a problem, but the recordings came out pretty clean. I will occasionally hear some digital artifacts (warbling or fluttering) in the sound but not really anything like before. The last time I was recording for this issue, I had recorded what appeared to be doubled notes on the top 2 strings. I realized however, that I wasn’t muting the other strings, and when I did that, and re-recorded it with the same model & tunings, the doubled notes were not there, so in that case it was just other strings ringing with a harmonic of the plucked string.

 

            I’m not sure what to say about this right now. The “Ghost Note” problem may be a real ghost. When I have heard it and was sure it was something, I go to record it & capture the evidence, and it’s not there. It may be all acoustic resonance after all.

 

This guitar is very resonant – it rings like a bell, which is a good thing, but as far as it relates to the digitally altered tunings, it makes it harder to mask the acoustic sound of the strings. This particular guitar also has a real resonance at F# - the 4th fret of the D (4th) string really dominates when using the acoustic models. I’m finding that I have to roll off the volume of the 4th string to avoid that note from feeding back acoustically when using these models. I also am reducing the 3rd string volume, but not because of a resonance, that whole string is a little louder.

 

I recently played with this guitar in a live setting using the guitar straight into someone else’s amp, dry with no effects and no distortion to speak of, and at the somewhat moderate volume we were playing at, using acoustic models on the JTV, I really didn’t have any real issues. The volume we were playing at which was not really very loud, was enough to mask the un-altered notes.

 

            Sorry to be so long winded. I guess for the moment at least, it’s not really a problem. If something changes, I will try to record a sample and send it to you. Otherwise, if I don’t have any more issues in a week or so, I will just close this ticket. Thanks for your time, and sorry to have you spend time on a non-issue on my behalf, but it seemed like this was a real problem. Maybe it was and the update fixed it?

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

  So I guess that the problem I was having has been fixed by re-loading the firmware (several times). I did initially manage to record this & posted it on my support ticket, and Line 6 Hugo verified that there were extra notes in the recordings I posted, but now I can't get it to record at all, so it appears to be gone! :D

 

   That doesn't mean that I can't hear the original notes acoustically from the guitar if I have the amplified volume down low, but if I have it high enough to mask the original notes, and depending on how I am positioned & how I am monitoring, it isn't really an issue.

 

   My JTV-59 is really resonant, and fairly loud acoustically for a solid body. Those are traits I look for when buying any guitar, and are good things but it makes it a little harder to block the original non-altered notes out when using the alternate tunings.

 

    This is a workable situation for me, and if things stay the way they are right now, I'd say there's really nothing wrong with the guitar. It's just the reality of the situation and basic physics. It would be impossible to completely eliminate the original unaltered notes of the guitar, and you wouldn't want a dead sounding, completely un-resonant instrument. It's just the way it is. As long as extraneous notes are not mixed in with the amplified signal, it isn't really a problem.

 

I'll keep you posted if things change, but for now, it's all good.


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#135 robdog03

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 04:19 PM

For me, the problem does not happen all the time; however, I have been able to record it.

 

In the most common scenario, a "tuned" string will pass both the altered and unaltered notes on the initial attack; then it will settle down and pass only the altered note. This seems to happen more often with the 6th string.

 

I've also been able to record a phenomenon where the pitch of a tuned string "wavers" as the note is ringing.

 

-Rob


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#136 spmartin

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:23 AM

Here is an update on my JTV-69 ghost note problem. I opted to send the guitar back to Sweetwater for replacement with an identical (but working) guitar. They have a stellar tech department there, and their head tech had a look at the guitar I sent back. Here is what he had to say regarding the problem.

 

"I have your guitar on the bench. This is what I have found. I hear the issue you are having. The problems is that the bridge magnetic pickup is bleeding through with the saddle pickups, so you are hearing two notes at once. I am going to try replacing one or more of the pc boards."

 

Sweetwater agreed to replace my guitar with another JTV-69. The same tech tested an identical guitar to mine that they had in stock before sending it out to me. That second new guitar had the same problem. Today, September 25th, he has 3 other JTV-69s guitars he is going to test. Hopefully one of them will work correctly and will be winging its way back to me.

 

I find it interesting that the tech at Sweetwater acknowledged the problem and had a good idea what was causing it. The support tech at Line 6, still communicated to me like the "ghost notes" were still a mystery internally at Line 6. Secondly, the fact that a second guitar exhibited the same problem indicates that maybe there was a bad batch of pc cards installed in a number of guitars. 

I will keep you all updated as this proceeds. If you have the same problem with your guitar, I suggest you swap it out with either your retailer if possible, or tell Line 6 that you want a replacement that works.

 

In regards to Line 6, and maybe in conflict to their stated warranty policy, I think they should offer to swap out guitars for owners that have this problem - instead of them offering to fix it. Hell, I have a fairly inexpensive HP copier that offers to overnight a new one to me if I have a problem that requires me to send mine to them. Fixing the guitar still puts the owner in a position of being without the guitar for a number of weeks just because Line 6's quality control did not catch the problem. IMHO, this QC problem should not cause owners, who paid lots of money for a product they expected to work well, to be required to pack up the guitar, use their gas/time to make a trip to the FedEx store, not have the guitar for weeks. It would be excellent P.R. for Line 6 to step up and exceed our expectations when they are at fault. (Like Sweetwater always does.) By them not doing this, it makes me very, very hesitant to purchase any of their other products in the future.


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#137 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:08 AM

I wonder if the feature to mix the mags and the modeling is not partially on then.  That would be very bad on any alternate tunings.  That is a new feature in 2.0.  You can blend a percentage of the mags with the modeling output in WB.


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#138 spmartin

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:25 AM

Well, in my case, I made sure that all those settings in Workbench were turned off. The tech at Sweetwater was pretty convinced it was a hardware problem. I've asked him to keep me informed when he actually fixes one to his satisfaction. 


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#139 hurghanico

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:00 AM

I wonder if the feature to mix the mags and the modeling is not partially on then.  That would be very bad on any alternate tunings.  That is a new feature in 2.0.  You can blend a percentage of the mags with the modeling output in WB.

 

I had the same your suspicion
a defect of the recently introduced system that allows the blending of the two sources may be at the root of the problem


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#140 guitarno

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 09:22 AM

   Blending in the mag's with the modeled sounds can be very good. It brings a more natural attack and feel to the sound that is not always captured in the model. But you absolutely DO NOT want to mix in the mags if you're using altered tunings. Not only can you do this through workbench in the model, but if you're using a HD500, you can have one input set to "Variax" and one set to "Variax Mags" so there's actually 2 ways this can happen (that I know of).

 

   Maybe there should be some way to lock this ability out when using altered tunings, but I don't know how much you can idiot-proof things. For now we just have to be aware of this and make sure we avoid it, unless of course, you like playing in two different keys at the same time...


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#141 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:20 AM

I have tried alternate tunings on my 69 and I do not hear any of the unaltered tuning in my output. 


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#142 robdog03

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 03:57 PM

So, funny story.

 

I dislike the "HD" acoustic models, so I downgraded to FW 1.71 to get the old acoustics back.

 

Firmware 1.71 seems to fix the alt-tuning problem as well. Which makes sense, because I never had the problem with firmware versions prior to 2.0.

 

More of a work-around than a solution, I suppose; but there you have it. Plus, now I can use the acoustics again.

 

-Rob


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#143 broker2

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 05:12 AM

I went back to 1.82 and my alt. tuning is working now too.  cal


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#144 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:09 AM

My guess is that for some reason with 2.0 the new feature to blend in the mags is not being turned off when you are getting "Ghost Notes"  Since it is turned off with older FW, it can be solved by FW too.  It's probably not a hardware problem.


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#145 fiumanoj

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 08:10 PM

I have also heard these "ghost notes" in alternate tunings, especially on the high e and b strings.  I've also noticed that the effect is more pronounced when the high e string is tuned to a different pitch than the low e (in drop Db, for example).  I believe that the cause is a sympathetic vibration of the low e string when the high e is plucked in an alternate tuning.  I can hear the ghost note(s) until I mute the low e string after plucking the high e.  If I mute the low e and a strings before I pluck the high e, then the ghost notes disappear, or are significantly lessened.  This would explain why the effect is absent when the low e string is tuned to "e" (even in an altered tuning), since the sympathetic vibration would be at the same pitch as the one through the piezo.  Any thoughts on this?


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#146 fianoman

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 05:22 AM

Was there ever any resolution to this?  I am getting the same type of ghost notes with alternate tunings.  Was it fixed with 2.1?  

 

FWIW - I am on 2.0 but never saved any settings or made changes through WB.  Not sure if it came from the factory with 2.0 or if Sweetwater flashed it prior to selling it to me.

 

Due to life getting in the way, I am past the 30 day swap period, and I am just now getting to know the JTV-59P. Really like it so far but obviously would like to get this issue resolved.

 

Thank you.


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#147 guitarno

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 03:51 PM

cruisinon2, on 02 May 2014 - 5:55 PM, said:

I also think that in at least some cases people are being fooled by hearing the guitar acoustically. JTV's are quite resonant. Mine rings louder than my Strat. It has fooled me before at low volumes. Try recording something direct, no mics involved, in an alt tuning. If the ghosts notes are not there in the playback, then they can't be part of the output signal. I had to do this when I first got the guitar to convince myself that this was in fact what was happening. Not a hint of anything weird in the playback...only possible answer was that I was hearing it from somewhere else. I'm not suggesting that your guitar doesn't have a genuine problem. But testing it is easy, and pretty foolproof. Good luck.

 

   I agree with the above. I am one who did seem to have problems with this, and I did have a ticket open for this, but after doing a couple of FW updates to try and eliminate other possible problems, I couldn't get it to record the doubled notes when recording direct. I could hear it in the room, but when I tried to record it, it wasn't there (on the recording), so I had no case and my ticket got cancelled.

 

    I think that hearing the original notes acoustically is distracting, but it's just an unfortunate reality of electronically altered tunings. I have used the tunings live, and amplified, other people can't hear the doubled notes that I hear being close to the instrument. If it's loud enough, I can't hear them either.

 

   I haven't done any extensive testing yet, but I think the new FW update is a big improvement in this area, at least from what I have heard so far. I used to have really overly resonant notes (F# @ 4th string, 4th fret) - that seems to be gone now.

 

   It may just be string resonances (an altered tuned string setting off harmonics & vibrations that starts another string ringing when it was not intentionally played, as a previous poster stated. This can only be dealt with by proper string damping when you play.

 

   As the last poster said, "JTV's are quite resonant" – mine is and that’s part of the problem ( a blessing and a curse), but I’m finding out in my case, it’s just something I have learned to deal with, and I’m not sure that there is a real easy solution to this or that it’s the same for everyone.


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#148 fianoman

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 04:09 AM

Thank you for the follow up posts. I will check it out a bit. If I should find anything different I will post it here.


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#149 MikeHolmes

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:50 AM

Agree with Guitarno. Also raised ticket I the past but while I was never 100% convinced it was just the acoustic sound of the string I struggled to prove anything different. In quieter rehearsals other band members could hear the ghost notes so I got a long lead and played outside and the ghosting  disappeared for them. And when I've played live no one else has heard the ghosting. So while it surprises me I can still hear it myself at reasonable volume I guess the acoustic sound is the most likely answer. A bit of a long shot but I also wonder if as the player you are more 'tuned' into the ghost note if you can feel the vibration of the actual string through the neck too. Unlikely but...!! 


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#150 ColonelForbin

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 11:37 AM

Definitely worth spending a little extra $$ on a proper VDI cable, especially if you are going from the JTV to an HD500.

 

The chinese made Line6 brand cable is acceptable, but it's not great - I started with it, then someone here pointed me towards a company in Illinois, called BestTronics. Wayyyyyyyyyyyyy better quality.

 

http://btpa.com/98-030-004-XXX.html


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