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Piezo covering material wearing off - jtv59

piezo jtv59 worn wearing off piezo covering material

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#1 edstar1960

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 03:03 AM

I got my JTV59 soon after they were first released - probably within 6 months - and I have used it regularly but as I am a hobby player it has probably only been played on average about 3 to 4 hours a week over last 6 years, and there have probably been weeks at a time when it has not been played. Bottom line is it has not been heavily used like a professional instrument would have been in that time.

 

I noticed that the tops of the piezo's on the low 3 strings seemed to have a copper colour reflection and looked a bit dull and so I got out a magnifying glass and had a good look at them.  I could see that the silver covering had been completely worn away, showing a copper and metallic inner layer on the crowns of the piezo's. When I moved the string out of the slots, I could see that the string windings had left an impression behind in the groove on the top of the piezo.

 

I rest my hand on the bridge when I play but I know that I do not sweat acid as my strings never rust and last for weeks, so the only thing coming in contact with the top of the piezo's is the skin on the side of my hand. That skin is not made of sandpaper and I can't see how that contact could cause the covering of the piezo to wear away in that way - even if I spent weeks just rubbing the top of a piezo with my finger I would not expect any material to get worn away. Also, I can't see how the string windings of the LOW E could cause an impression on the surface of the piezo.  Just how soft are they?

 

My piezo's appear to be working perfectly well - although all models seem to have a metallic overtone that I have never managed to remove regardless of what I have tried - sometimes I have reduced the metallic overtone but never eliminated it. The plain strings have also bitten into the body of the piezos which may explain why they sometimes don't ring cleanly on the modelled sounds.

 

I am concerned that the strings biting into the piezos may be the cause of the metallic overtones I hear on the models and would love to resolve that if I can - but I can only think the solution would be to file out the grooves which would only be temporary because as soon as I restrung the guitar the new strings would start creating new grooves.

 

I am also concerned that eventually this gradual wearing away will cause the piezos to fail at some point.

 

What are the piezos covered with? Is it normal that this covering should wear away just from skin contact? Remember I don't sweat acid and never have problems with strings rusting or going dull quickly.

Is it normal that the strings bite into the piezos and create their own grooves?

Although certainly that must create problems when changing string type or gauge because if the new wound strings don't match the existing grooves then artefacts will get picked up and transmitted through to the modelled sounds?

Maybe that is why the metallic overtone on mine has got worse over the years?  Each string change contributing to the problem?

 

I am attaching a picture taken using the magnifying glass and my mobile phone for everyone to see the problem.  Although I have to reduce it's original size due to the file size restriction - I only have 339 KB left and the image is 1.7 MB !  Hopefully it will be good enough to demonstrate the problem.

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#2 amsdenj

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 03:23 PM

Just guessing, but I suspect this isn't much of an issue other than the looks. And a worn guitar that looks used always looks better than one that's never been played.
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#3 cruisinon2

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 04:58 PM

I got my JTV59 soon after they were first released - probably within 6 months - and I have used it regularly but as I am a hobby player it has probably only been played on average about 3 to 4 hours a week over last 6 years, and there have probably been weeks at a time when it has not been played. Bottom line is it has not been heavily used like a professional instrument would have been in that time.

I noticed that the tops of the piezo's on the low 3 strings seemed to have a copper colour reflection and looked a bit dull and so I got out a magnifying glass and had a good look at them. I could see that the silver covering had been completely worn away, showing a copper and metallic inner layer on the crowns of the piezo's. When I moved the string out of the slots, I could see that the string windings had left an impression behind in the groove on the top of the piezo.

I rest my hand on the bridge when I play but I know that I do not sweat acid as my strings never rust and last for weeks, so the only thing coming in contact with the top of the piezo's is the skin on the side of my hand. That skin is not made of sandpaper and I can't see how that contact could cause the covering of the piezo to wear away in that way - even if I spent weeks just rubbing the top of a piezo with my finger I would not expect any material to get worn away. Also, I can't see how the string windings of the LOW E could cause an impression on the surface of the piezo. Just how soft are they?

My piezo's appear to be working perfectly well - although all models seem to have a metallic overtone that I have never managed to remove regardless of what I have tried - sometimes I have reduced the metallic overtone but never eliminated it. The plain strings have also bitten into the body of the piezos which may explain why they sometimes don't ring cleanly on the modelled sounds.

I am concerned that the strings biting into the piezos may be the cause of the metallic overtones I hear on the models and would love to resolve that if I can - but I can only think the solution would be to file out the grooves which would only be temporary because as soon as I restrung the guitar the new strings would start creating new grooves.

I am also concerned that eventually this gradual wearing away will cause the piezos to fail at some point.

What are the piezos covered with? Is it normal that this covering should wear away just from skin contact? Remember I don't sweat acid and never have problems with strings rusting or going dull quickly.
Is it normal that the strings bite into the piezos and create their own grooves?
Although certainly that must create problems when changing string type or gauge because if the new wound strings don't match the existing grooves then artefacts will get picked up and transmitted through to the modelled sounds?
Maybe that is why the metallic overtone on mine has got worse over the years? Each string change contributing to the problem?

I am attaching a picture taken using the magnifying glass and my mobile phone for everyone to see the problem. Although I have to reduce it's original size due to the file size restriction - I only have 339 KB left and the image is 1.7 MB ! Hopefully it will be good enough to demonstrate the problem.


Got same thing happening on my low E and A string saddles. No discernable difference in sound as far as I'm concerned. Cheap plating, I suspect.
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#4 edstar1960

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 11:27 PM

Thanks for the responses.

Is this issue commonplace? Does every JTV owner have some degree of the plating wearing off the piezos and the strings wearing their own grooves into the piezos? Or are there owners out there that have piezos with the plating still intact, and no string grooves after years of regular use?
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#5 clay-man

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 01:42 AM

Thanks for the responses.

Is this issue commonplace? Does every JTV owner have some degree of the plating wearing off the piezos and the strings wearing their own grooves into the piezos? Or are there owners out there that have piezos with the plating still intact, and no string grooves after years of regular use?

 

I have it on a few piezos.


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For a minute there, I lost myself.

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#6 GeeTah

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 03:28 PM

I have both a Korean and USA JTV59 and have used both a lot. Play inside and outside shows. I never even thought to look at the bridge plating (as discucssed above), but did after seeing this post. Both the K and the USA 59 have the same type of wear we're talking about here and I haven't noticed any degradation of tone or function at all. We do clean the bridges at every string change (probably every other show) and - other than that - everythign is working fine on both.

 

Can't be certain, but I agree with the others here that if you're hearing some kind of metallic overtone, it's probably unrelated to the plating (which is just an aesthetic finish).

 

Best,

Bradley GT


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#7 edstar1960

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 12:30 AM

I have both a Korean and USA JTV59 and have used both a lot. Play inside and outside shows. I never even thought to look at the bridge plating (as discucssed above), but did after seeing this post. Both the K and the USA 59 have the same type of wear we're talking about here and I haven't noticed any degradation of tone or function at all. We do clean the bridges at every string change (probably every other show) and - other than that - everythign is working fine on both.

 

Can't be certain, but I agree with the others here that if you're hearing some kind of metallic overtone, it's probably unrelated to the plating (which is just an aesthetic finish).

 

Best,

Bradley GT

 

Thanks Bradley.  Good to know that your JTV59s both have the same wear and that both sound fine and you don't get any metallic overtones. It means I can rule out the wear on my piezos being the cause of my issue.  Incidentally, I also have a JTV69 that I have hardly played and the piezo's on that are still in perfect condition and it does not suffer from the metallic overtone that I get from the JTV59.  Guess the cause of the metallic overtone has got to be from somewhere else - I will keep looking.


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#8 edstar1960

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 12:34 AM

Just guessing, but I suspect this isn't much of an issue other than the looks. And a worn guitar that looks used always looks better than one that's never been played.

 

Yep - it doesn't appear to be an issue and I think it is commonplace - but as you have to really look very closely to spot the wear on the piezos (with a magnifying glass if your eyesight is not perfect) most players won't even realise it has happened. A quick glance at my JTV59 and it looks like it is in perfect condition - no discernible wear.


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#9 psarkissian

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:06 AM

A number of factors,...

 

-How close to the coast you.

 

-Content of salts in your palm sweat or skin oils in your hands when you play.

Couple of players had it so bad their prints would imprint onto the chrome of the

bridge tailpiece and tuning machines.

 

-How hard you rub when palm muting,... can be made worse by the previous

mentioned reasons.

 

Just a few things to be aware of.


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#10 psarkissian

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:13 AM

Since you're in the UK, if you eventually need to to replace a piezo,

there's E&M Electronics in Milton Keyes, and my mate old Mark Wright

at Mark Wright Music in Northampton. Mark was my opposite number at

Line 6 UK, in Rugby, when we had a location there, and knows JTV's really well too.


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#11 edstar1960

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:39 AM

A number of factors,...

 

-How close to the coast you.

 

-Content of salts in your palm sweat or skin oils in your hands when you play.

Couple of players had it so bad their prints would imprint onto the chrome of the

bridge tailpiece and tuning machines.

 

-How hard you rub when palm muting,... can be made worse by the previous

mentioned reasons.

 

Just a few things to be aware of.

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

I do live near the coast.  However, I don't have any problems with the chrome on the tailpiece or the machine heads, and my strings never rust or deteriorate quickly and I would expect my strings to show signs of high salt or corrosive skin oils. I only rest my hand slightly on the tailpiece when I play, so I don't think I rub at all when palm muting or playing - at least not consciously. The only wear I am seeing is on the top of the piezos and within the groove underneath where the strings sit.


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#12 edstar1960

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:41 AM

Since you're in the UK, if you eventually need to to replace a piezo,

there's E&M Electronics in Milton Keyes, and my mate old Mark Wright

at Mark Wright Music in Northampton. Mark was my opposite number at

Line 6 UK, in Rugby, when we had a location there, and knows JTV's really well too.

 

Thanks for the info - I will look them up if I need them. I can get to Milton Keynes and Northampton in about an hour or two driving.

Are there any other locations in South East England? Thanks.


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#13 psarkissian

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:39 AM

No, don't see one on the list. Darn.

 

Say hello to Leicester Square for me. Love the Theatre there.

 


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#14 hemsen

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 01:59 PM

Since you're in the UK, if you eventually need to to replace a piezo,

there's E&M Electronics in Milton Keyes, and my mate old Mark Wright

at Mark Wright Music in Northampton. Mark was my opposite number at

Line 6 UK, in Rugby, when we had a location there, and knows JTV's really well too.

Hello! I'm from Russia. Do we have your service center in the country? I have a common problem with the 6th string (clang), as well as Miroslav.


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