This topic has been addressed in part in the past but I 'm hoping to get the Forum Member's latest thinking gathered if you'll indulge me.
Background: I've owned a 2012 JTV69s since August 2013 and with it have striven to achieve the maximum authentic re-creation of the modeled guitars. I am aware of course that identical model guitars will have varying characteristics, and there is no single ultimate example. I have owned most of the modeled guitars over the years and am familiar with how they should basically sound.
My JTV69s came nicely setup from the Dealer and after a few months Line6 introduced the Workbench HD upgrade which I installed with it's various default settings. My approach to setting up a Model on Workbench has been the stock-configuration of a Model's pickup, placement on the body, and stock pots/caps values. Seldom do I alter any of the aforementioned unless to enhance a muddy or thin tone. I make all settings using a clean-sounding, stock, vintage 1968 Fender Pro Reverb - no effects - with tone/volume settings as would be used with my various "real" guitars.
Until recently I always found the models to be lacking in Bite, Clarity, Presence, Sharp attack and too Compressed-sounding. The default settings on Workbench HD were with String Volume levels at 100%. I tried to overcome these faults with various changes to pickup levels, pot/cap values,etc. but gained no real improvement.
I recently discovered - and this is where I hope Forum Members may share their experience and perspective - that if the String Volume levels are reduced significantly (e.g. 30-60%), while increasing the Preset Volume to match the Magnetic pickup's output level, then the Variax sound really comes alive. I've found in making these Model settings modifications that the previously-mentioned drawbacks are heavily reduced, resulting in good Presence, Bite, Attack, etc. It seems that in Workbench HD, the String Volume & Preset Volume - if set near the maximum - cause the signal to be too strong thus resulting in a compressed sound that hampers the Model's brightness qualities.
Now, I just need to find a way to reliably measure the individual String volume output for each model. I normally find the bass strings to be too boomy relative to the treble strings. To address this, I usually set the bass strings volume settings about 6-10% below the treble levels. Anyone know of a device or method to gauge the string output volume with reasonable precision?
Many thanks in advance for your valuable input!