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

 

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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!

 

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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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#21 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 05:20 AM

sounds ok if I pick lightly but it sounds ok if I pick hard too but ONLY in standard tuning (as you can hear in the sound file I posted) 


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#22 psarkissian

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:04 AM

Hello donmr,

 

Four of them,...

Hi, I'm the JTV tech at Line 6,....

 

- What are you playing the JTV-69 through?

 

- Using the 1/4" TRS output using the Battery, or the RJ45 Variax output?

 

- If you're using the Variax output, what device are you sending it through?

 

- Specifically which Models are doing this?

 

- Which Alt Tune setting (if any) are you using when this happens?

 

- Have you done any updates of the Flash using Monkey? If so, are you using the JTV Interface to do that? Are you bringing over older saved Models through Workbench, after an update?

 

-If you change the gauge when you change the strings, you'll need to have the set-up of the guitar checked and (if needed) adjusted by your local  guitar tech.

 

 

This will allow me or my colleagues to reproduce the conditions to better narrow all this down.

Thanks.


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#23 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:20 AM

I'm glad psarkissian is looking into this.  It would be good to get returned JTV's to the right folks so that Line6 can figure out what kind of problems are showing up and try to make sure that they do not continue to happen. 


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#24 Geech

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:37 AM

just an FYI I'm sure you are aware of. But you cant attack the guitar like an acoustic while playing acoustic models. You really have to change some of your playing habits. or at least I did. If I bang my JTV like I would an acoustic, it sounds terrible.

 

If it doesn't help you it might help someone else

 

 

Hope you get it figured out.


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#25 GearFarm

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:55 AM

I just tried to recreate the sound donmr had in his wav with my 69-S...I get it too.

Acoustic model with altered tuning...but I had to pick much harder than I would normally pick, and I don't think I would ever pick that hard...but it does do it.

Seems to do it with any acoustic model and any alt tuning, but it seems much worse on the A and G strings...in fact I can't recreate it on the low E or D.

I'm using the 1/4 inch output into an amp.

Since he's gone through 4 guitars I'd say it's a flaw in the design.

Not a deal breaker for me but I can see how some would be disappointed..


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#26 psarkissian

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 09:44 AM

Don't know if it's a design problem,.... I haven't seen this problem before in all the units I've serviced, and that's quite a few. That's why I was asking about the set-up, rule that out first. Four a in a row verses all the units out, is outside statistical possibilities. With all the units, donmr is the common one here. Could be a number of things, now it's a matter of narrowing it down.

 

***Also,... have you done any updates of the Flash using Monkey? If so, are you using the JTV Interface to do that?

 

And I tend to stick to stock gauges of strings, 10 to 46. If you change the gauge when you change the strings, you'll need to have the set-up of the guitar checked and (if needed) adjusted by your local guitar tech.


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#27 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:36 PM

Hello donmr,

 

Four of them,...

Hi, I'm the JTV tech at Line 6,....

 

- What are you playing the JTV-69 through?

 

- Using the 1/4" TRS output using the Battery, or the RJ45 Variax output?

 

- If you're using the Variax output, what device are you sending it through?

 

- Specifically which Models are doing this?

 

- Which Alt Tune setting (if any) are you using when this happens?

 

- Have you done any updates of the Flash using Monkey? If so, are you using the JTV Interface to do that? Are you bringing over older saved Models through Workbench, after an update?

 

-If you change the gauge when you change the strings, you'll need to have the set-up of the guitar checked and (if needed) adjusted by your local  guitar tech.

 

 

This will allow me or my colleagues to reproduce the conditions to better narrow all this down.

Thanks.

Thanks for your reply!

 

I'm playing the JTV 69 through a DI when using the jack output and a Pod HD 500 (new tone setting i.e. nothing in the chain) when using the Variax output

Problem is the same using Jack or VARIAX outputs.

 

ALL models seem to do this

 

ALL alt tunings seem to do it, some to varying degrees but definitely audible. STANDARD tuning seems ok.

 

I have re flashed the firmware on all instruments using the supplied USB JTV interface. I have tried reverting to all previous available firmware versions accessible via Line 6 Monkey.

 

I AM a guitar tech (I used to build and repair guitars years ago) so I'm reasonably competent with setting up a guitar for standard D'Addario EXL 140 10-52 gauge strings which I've been using for decades (along with thousands of other guitarists)


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#28 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:42 PM

just an FYI I'm sure you are aware of. But you cant attack the guitar like an acoustic while playing acoustic models. You really have to change some of your playing habits. or at least I did. If I bang my JTV like I would an acoustic, it sounds terrible.

 

If it doesn't help you it might help someone else

 

 

Hope you get it figured out.

Thanks for your reply,

Well I would classify myself as definitely NOT a super hard picker or strummer in the scheme of things and, it appears I can play how I like in standard tuning, just not in Alt tunings! I am more than happy to upload more audio files illustratuing how this effects a couple of real world situations if anyone is interested.


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#29 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 02:52 PM

Don't know if it's a design problem,.... I haven't seen this problem before in all the units I've serviced, and that's quite a few. That's why I was asking about the set-up, rule that out first. Four a in a row verses all the units out, is outside statistical possibilities. With all the units, donmr is the common one here. Could be a number of things, now it's a matter of narrowing it down.

 

***Also,... have you done any updates of the Flash using Monkey? If so, are you using the JTV Interface to do that?

 

And I tend to stick to stock gauges of strings, 10 to 46. If you change the gauge when you change the strings, you'll need to have the set-up of the guitar checked and (if needed) adjusted by your local guitar tech.

To be 100% transparent It definitely happened here in Sydney with Gold JTV 59p, White JTV 69s and the most recent Blue JTV 69, all supplied by the local Line 6 importer (who has been most accomodating) and my friend in Los Angeles tried out my Black JTV 69 (which was in storage there) and says he found the same issue however I have not had sound files uploaded from this particular guitar so probably 95% sure this one does it too.

I agree that 4 is a LOT of guitars to have this problem that's why I (like yourself) suspect some kind of pilot error, but if it is I am stumped as to what I might be doing wrong. I really hope it IS something I'm doing but I'm beginning to doubt it.


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#30 psarkissian

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 03:18 PM

I thought it might be an HD500,... I was wondering why the wave-file sounded like there was a little digital clipping,...

 

 

-Check the Input Impedance Selector on the Edit Page, select a less noisy Impedance Setting.

 

- Check your Volume Pedal settings in the patches you're using, bring them down to about 70-80%, then bring up gradual until you hear some audio break-up, then dial it back a smidgeon.

 

 

I've come across this a few times, just a matter of monitoring the signal path amplitude levels. There are a few places where over-driving or clipping a signal in HD500 can be done, so monitor your level throughout the signal path.

 


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#31 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 03:43 PM

I thought it might be an HD500,... I was wondering why the wave-file sounded like there was a little digital clipping,...

 

 

-Check the Input Impedance Selector on the Edit Page, select a less noisy Impedance Setting.

 

- Check your Volume Pedal settings in the patches you're using, bring them down to about 70-80%, then bring up gradual until you hear some audio break-up, then dial it back a smidgeon.

 

 

I've come across this a few times, just a matter of monitoring the signal path amplitude levels. There are a few places where over-driving or clipping a signal in HD500 can be done, so monitor your level throughout the signal path.

Thanks for your reply,

I will have a tweak with those settings but that does not explain why it happens using the guitar jack output as well as the Variax output. If you like i can upload another wave file just using the Jack out and you can see the waveform of the mags, then the model in standard tuning then the model with alt tuning and you will notice the level increases with each setting. The model guitars are hotter when an Alt tuning is selected compared to standard tuning. I think it does sound like some kind of digital clipping however I don't think it is in the POD HD 500 as I have tested it with hotter guitars without issue. I think it's most likely happening within the guitar electronics somewhere considering it happens just using a DI without any POD/AMP/Pedal etc.


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#32 GearFarm

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 03:55 PM

Like I said in my previous post, I have a 69-S and I can get the same sounds. I don't have an HD500 so it has nothing to do with that.

It would be interesting for others to try to recreate the sound as well.

I never would have heard the sound if not for donmr's post as I don't pluck those acoustic models that hard.

Donmr, I'm wondering if like me, you notice the the distortion only on the A and G strings?


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#33 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:01 PM

Like I said in my previous post, I have a 69-S and I can get the same sounds. I don't have an HD500 so it has nothing to do with that.

It would be interesting for others to try to recreate the sound as well.

I never would have heard the sound if not for donmr's post as I don't pluck those acoustic models that hard.

Donmr, I'm wondering if like me, you notice the the distortion only on the A and G strings?

Hi GearFarm, I've noticed this distortion on E, A, D and G strings but not the B and high E. Mostly on the E, A and D strings but on occasion the G as well. And yes your right that it has nothing to do with the HD500 but that is the only way I can test the VARIAX output of the guitar which exhibits the same problems as the analog jack output.


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#34 hurghanico

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:14 PM

IMO it's certainly an issue that has to do with the internal JTV software, if it was a problem of piezos and string gauges that kind of clipping there would be also in standard tuning .. it seems more than logical

 

There is another recent thread where they talk about different issues but still related to alt tunings

 

so my main suspicion is that the part of the software that manages the alt tunings has a bug that should be fixed..


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#35 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:44 PM

Yes it looks very much like an internal problem alt tunings. The waveform would certainly suggest that after having a good look at it in RX.
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#36 hurghanico

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:48 PM

I don't know if you did it already, but you should open a support ticket

http://line6.com/support/tickets/


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#37 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 05:18 PM

I don't know if you did it already, but you should open a support ticket

http://line6.com/support/tickets/

yep did that last night


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#38 spmartin

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 06:22 PM

yep did that last night

donmr,

Not sure if you have checked out this thread about my problem with Ghost Notes in Alt. Tuning mode. Quite a good thread, and it may give you some insight into your problem. Luckily I am on my first JTV-69, and yesterday I sent it back to the retailer I purchased it from. My tech support person at Line 6, Hugo, determined that mine was a hardware problem. Rest assured - the techs at Line 6 know about the problem. From reading your posts, I suspect yours is related to the problem I was having. Do not keep a guitar that is not perfect. After 4 guitars, Line 6 should fly to to Los Angeles and let you pick out any guitar you want (maybe an American built Variax!). And, they should make sure it's perfect before you fly home with it.

Here is the link to the thread:  http://line6.com/sup...ax-ghost-notes/


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#39 donmr

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 07:38 PM

donmr,

Not sure if you have checked out this thread about my problem with Ghost Notes in Alt. Tuning mode. Quite a good thread, and it may give you some insight into your problem. Luckily I am on my first JTV-69, and yesterday I sent it back to the retailer I purchased it from. My tech support person at Line 6, Hugo, determined that mine was a hardware problem. Rest assured - the techs at Line 6 know about the problem. From reading your posts, I suspect yours is related to the problem I was having. Do not keep a guitar that is not perfect. After 4 guitars, Line 6 should fly to to Los Angeles and let you pick out any guitar you want (maybe an American built Variax!). And, they should make sure it's perfect before you fly home with it.

Here is the link to the thread:  http://line6.com/sup...ax-ghost-notes/

I would not be at all surprised if this problem is directly related to the one I'm having. Definitely in the same ballpark I'd say.


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#40 donmr

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 05:53 AM

the thread seems to have gone cold but the problem remains. As stated in my first post, i really want this to work but...

Anyone else care to select a model guitar (say an acoustic model), select alternative tuning (say half tone down) pick or strum firmly... any distortion?

Then try standard tuning...any change in output level between standard tuning and alternate tunings?


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