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On To My 4th Jtv No Luck So Far - Distortion

distortion alt tunings

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#1 donmr

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:56 PM

I SO want this to work but it just won't.

I'm on to my 4th Variax JTV69 but have had the following problem with all of them.

With the modelled instruments in alt tuning modes the bottom E, A and sometimes the D strings will badly distort when  playing with hard attack or vigorous strumming. This is particularly noticeable with the Acoustics models. I have replaced the strings with 10-52s but that is the only modification I have made. 

I have tried all the usual things like re-flashing firmware back to older versions then re-installing v2.0 many times. The problem is across all firmware versions and ALL the JTV variax guitars I have tried. This is NOT a subtle problem! The distortion when playing hard is very noticeable! On my current JTV69 this problem only effects the alt tunings while the standard tunings seem ok. I have tried using workbench to lower the levels of both individual strings as well as the preset overall with no effect on this problem. Could this be due to the higher string gauge causing overload of the piezos??? Are there any other JTV 69 owners out there using 10-52s?

(As an aside I also note that the top B and E strings on the modelled instruments are lower in output than the E, A, D and G and again this was on all 4 JTV's. While this is annoying it can be adjusted in workbench with individual string volumes)

The local (Australian) importer of Line 6 gear has been incredibly helpful and has tried everything they can to sort out this very illusive yet still unsolved problem. Any clues would be GREATLY appreciated!!

Don


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#2 clay-man

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:56 PM

Have you tried turning down the global string volume in workbench? Sounds like you're pickup volume is too high.


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#3 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:44 AM

Yes, I have tried this. I have tried significantly lowering both the string volumes individually as well as the master patch volume, all to no avail. The strings distort when played hard at any volume, but I repeat it ONLY happens with ALTERNATE tuning! The standard tuning position works without distortion so this is obviously something to do with alt tunings. Perhaps I should put a sound file up on soundcloud to illustrate. You could easily check to see if your JTV is doing the same thing by simply selecting a modelled guitar, try perhaps an acoustic, then select the alt tuning for half a step down and get a pick and pic firmly each string. I'd be thrilled if someone who uses 10-52 string guage would try this for me!

Best

Don


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#4 clay-man

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 01:01 AM

I've had an issue with my Variax where I'd get gross distortion on certain models on alternate tunings.

It only happened when I played hard on those strings. I fixed it by lowing the global string volume down on the strings that were doing it.

 

I'd try to get yet another replacement because yours seems defective. I know it's hard, and they honestly need to weed out their bad units better, but I wouldn't mess with a bad unit and try to get an actual good one. 4 bad ones in a row is pretty bad luck but the Variax does work when it's not a bad unit.


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#5 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 01:15 AM

Hi again,

Here is a WAV file of the distorted sound on a modelled acoustic played with half down alt tuning then switched to standard tuning. The problem is painfully obvious. Same deal with all modelled instruments and it has been consistent on 4 JTV Variax guitars. All normal attempts at problem solving have not worked. 4 bad guitars in a row must be some kind of record!!

 

https://www.dropbox.... fault demo.wav

 

JTV 69, V2.0

I have tried all available firmware versions.

I have tweaked the string and patch volumes till I'm blue in the face (almost)


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#6 pugdealer

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 01:17 AM

4th JTV?!?

 

I don't wanna be rude or anything...but, it might be you...

 

Well...let me elaborate more!

 

I have a preset on my HD500 wich I play with an alternate tuning, which is basicly having all strings 2 steps up and the 1st string 4 steps up, and it's very clear to my hears that the sound on that preset sounds more distorted when I used that alt tuning, and less in standard tuning, but in my case that's what I want, so I tweaked the preset to get the desired amount of distortion with that alt tuning.

 

I use another alt tuning on an acoustic preset, but I only change 1 string and I don't hear distortion.

 

Normaly what I hear in alt tunings is a little warble, and I guess that's what causes the distortion, but even in standard tunings, and specially on the acoustics, the sound seems to distort a bit when strumming really hard, so I tend to avoid that...

 

So, considering this technology, maybe it's you...maybe you have to adapt your playing style to suit the guitar


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#7 pugdealer

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 01:20 AM

I just heard the demo sound....shhhh................t! That's bad!!!

 

4 guitars in a row like this?!!?


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#8 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 01:31 AM

Yep it's THAT bad! I've owned hundreds of guitars over the past 45 years and seriously doubt it's me (although I always suspect pilot error first and most!). As I mentioned in my original post, the local importers have been very eager to help and I have been in there to demonstrate this very obvious problem much to everyone's consternation. A bad batch of instruments perhaps? Am I to go on to a 5th JTV? Like I said first up, I REALLY want this to work as it is a fantastic solution to a complex live situation I'm playing in a present.


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#9 clay-man

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 01:39 AM

This definitely sounds like the problem I had. Like I said, I turned down the global string settings on mine, but I don't know what to tell you.

The HD might treat string volume different than the old Variaxes.

 

The string volume on the old ones kind of acted like a preamp of the pickups, so it wasn't much of digitally leveling the volume, but more of how loud the piezos were. It effected the strength of the resonating effect of the sitar by how loud I put the string volumes and all, which kind of proves my point of it acting like a preamp control.

 

Either the HD doesn't do that anymore, or yours is worse than mine. I backed my volume to about 50% on those strings (they were too loud anyways) and it stopped making the noise yours was making.

Note that this also happened to me in alt tunings.

 

G string on alt tuned strat, A string on alt tuned LP. All fixed by lowing the string volumes on those strings.


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#10 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 01:49 AM

Thanks for your input. I have tried lowering the individual string volumes however all that happens is the same problem occurs only at a lower volume. I will have another tweak just for the hell of it. What string gauge do you use just just as a matter of interest?


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#11 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:19 AM

Wondering if there might be a Line 6 person lurking here that might like to have a crack at this one?

best

Don


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#12 clay-man

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:26 AM

Thanks for your input. I have tried lowering the individual string volumes however all that happens is the same problem occurs only at a lower volume. I will have another tweak just for the hell of it. What string gauge do you use just just as a matter of interest?

 

11's. 

The problem might be hardware related. I remember sadly that my guitar fell over once, and I think that might of triggered when it happened to me.

 

Nicely I've found a fix, but it's still a bit irritating knowing my guitar might be a little off. Luckily I've gotten around any problems and my guitar is pretty great. 

 

Stupid guitar stand.


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#13 nevla

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:33 AM

Are the thicker strings sitting in the saddle correctly? I'm thinking they're just not being picked up by the piezo element properly, or they are rubbing/vibrating in the saddle because they don't fit properly.


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Cheers,

Nevla

 

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#14 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:37 AM

Interesting, although none of these instruments has had any trauma since they've been in my possession. On the boat from Korea... who knows?  Perhaps something weird happens to piezos when they cross the equator!?

 

P.S. If you're using 11s then that puts an end to my string gauge theory!


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#15 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:39 AM

Are the thicker strings sitting in the saddle correctly? I'm thinking they're just not being picked up by the piezo element properly, or they are rubbing/vibrating in the saddle because they don't fit properly.

Yep, they're sitting well on the saddles. Also, if that was the problem one would expect the problem to manifest in standard tunings as well. Thanks for the try though!!

Best

Don


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#16 clay-man

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 03:37 AM

I don't think gauge will be too much of an issue unless it's so thick that it does just that. The piezos are designed to accept different gauges, but how big the notch is is the limit of what gauge you can use before it doesn't fit.

 

11's seemed to fit just fine, however, I am using a 600, which uses entirely different piezos.


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#17 snhirsch

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:12 AM

Here is a WAV file of the distorted sound on a modelled acoustic played with half down alt tuning then switched to standard tuning. The problem is painfully obvious.

 

Ouch. It sounds like someone rubbing against a live microphone.  To be sure I understand:  That's being recorded directly from the guitar?  If so, there's something wrong for sure.


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#18 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:30 AM

Ouch. It sounds like someone rubbing against a live microphone.  To be sure I understand:  That's being recorded directly from the guitar?  If so, there's something wrong for sure.

Yep, direct DI into Pro Tools. nothing in the chain.


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#19 snhirsch

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:37 AM

That noise sounds mechanical, but you say it's not occurring in normal tuning mode?  What happens when you pick lightly?


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40 years of Rock-n-Roll and proud of it!

 

PRS Custom 24 (1990) w/ GK-3 Hex PU

James Tyler Variax JTV-69(k) w/ Strat Neck

Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth

QSC K10 FRFR

 


#20 pugdealer

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 05:18 AM

Not that it has anything to do with your problem...but I switched my strings for .11's (which I prefer) and the sound/feel got better for me!!!


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