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jtv59 string volume

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#1 edstar1960

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:12 AM

In an effort to address an odd nasal overtone on the D (4th) string of my JTV59, I changed my string volumes under Workbench to the following:

 

E (6) - 0.85

A (5) - 0.65

D (4) - 0.60

G (3) - 0.80

B (2) - 0.90

E (1) - 0.75

 

I had never touched the string volumes before in all the many years I have owned a Variax and then a JTV. I still have a v700 and never adjusted the individual string volume in all the years I have owned it. I have owned the JTV59 since they were first launched  and until now never felt I needed to adjust the string volumes within Workbench thinking that surely it must be at it's optimum performance level if all strings were left at their max volume.

 

To my surprise, although it did not resolve the issue I was trying to fix,  I found that the adjustment did have a positive effect on the patches I was using through my HD500, and with the new adjusted string volumes I found all my patches sounded better.  The HD500 is set up with Input 1 and 2 set to GUITAR + VARIAX and SAME, which is the recommended default.  I had tried muting Input 2 before and had noted that the lower guitar input did seem to make patches sound better but overall I found that the JTV input signal was too weak so had resorted to using SAME, but I had noted with this setting that the overdrive sounds did not sound quite right, always a bit muddy and it was a struggle to get clarity without introducing harshness.  BUT now - with the adjusted string volumes, it seems that everything is dialled back just enough for the sounds to have more clarity and in my humble opinion, to my ears at least, do sound better.  

 

I was wondering who else had changed their string volumes on the JTV, why they had changed the volumes in the first place, and what the results were for them and whether they stuck with it or changed back to all strings at max volume as per the default?  I would be interested to hear others opinions/views and experiences - and seeing other people's optimum string volume settings ...... thanks in advance for sharing.


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#2 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 06:05 AM

The same string volume isn't right for every JTV.  Piezos vary a huge amount in gain.   Even if they select them they will still vary at least 20%.


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#3 clay-man

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 06:19 AM

You should adjust your global string volume to be the loudest without clipping when you play the hardest.

 

String Volume is basically the pre-amp volume of your Variax, before it gets processed through the pickups, body, and any other stuff. 

You don't want your string volume to be too low though, or else models like the Sitar won't drone well because it relies on volume attack detection, and if the volume is too low, it has nothing to work with properly.


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#4 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 07:37 AM

The trick is knowing when you are clipping.  If you clip a lot it's obvious.  If you clip a little on the peaks it's subtle.  It depends on the model too since some each model modifies the string sound differently.


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#5 edstar1960

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 07:52 AM

Thanks for the input guys.

 

As you can see I have adjusted some of my strings a lot and some a little.  I did this simply by listening to the JTV modelled sounds via headphones connected to my Alesis io/2 interface on my PC whilst my JTV was connected via USB to my PC with Workbench running.  I just plucked each string in turn on various models and tried to make them sound about the same in overall volume.  So it is definitely very hit and miss and I may need to readjust once I have had a chance to play some more guitar model and amp combinations .  However, the effect of these changes when playing through my HD500 is noticeable, everything does sound better, and I had no idea that string volume alone could make such a difference.

 

clay-man - good point about having max string volume at max pick attack to avoid clipping, but as Charlie points out - how do you know when you are clipping?  I have had the JTV59 since they came out and have only just discovered that perhaps for all this time I have been causing clipping and getting a sub-standard sound from my HD500 as a result. I thought it was just the HD500 and now I find that perhaps it was the JTV after all? 

 

So how do we work out what string volumes are optimum for our own JTVs and piezo's with Workbench?  Is it just trial and error, one string and one model at a time playing through the HD500 and listening carefully?  

Plus, if you pull volume back to stop it clipping on one guitar model and one amp, how do you then avoid having the string volume too low for some other models to get the correct sound eg; like the sitar which may need everything maxed to work correctly?


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#6 guitarno

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 09:57 AM

    I believe I saw a similar post from you on this subject. I adjusted my JTV string volumes because I had a particular note on the fretboard that had a resonant peak so it would overpower other notes in a chord (F# note @ 4th fret, 4th string). I haven't looked at or thought about how the string volume settings affect the signal levels on the HD500X i'm using - I will have to experiment a little with that. I have been changing any single path tone I use to have the second input to "AUX" which I'm not using to avoid doubling up the input & possibly clipping somewhere else in the chain. I assume that you need to have both inputs set to the input you're using for dual tone patches.

 

   I also did these changes mostly by ear, not knowing of any better way to do them. Setting signal levels is somewhat of a "black art" on this machine. You're right, if it's real bad you might know it right away, but if it's subtle, and mixed in with an intentionally distorted guitar tone, it's not easy to be sure you're not clipping. How can you tell, other that just listening? It would be nice to have some sort of metering at different stages to tell you for sure if you're clipping or not.


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#7 clay-man

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 12:56 PM

The trick is knowing when you are clipping.  If you clip a lot it's obvious.  If you clip a little on the peaks it's subtle.  It depends on the model too since some each model modifies the string sound differently.

 

Put it into a device or software that can tell you when it's clipping. When it says you're clipping on any model when playing too hard (I suggest doing this on the LP setting, maybe try downtuning too) then you need to adjust all the string volume slides a few notches down until it stops clipping.

 

If you DO want to clip your signal on purpose to simulate a high gain pickup, then just use the level sliders on the pickups on that model, don't clip it with the string volume.

 

I suggest starting out your string volumes at 60% each, level them to sound equal  volume to eachother, then lower them all if they still start clipping.


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#8 anonyrat

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 04:21 PM

Funny you should write about this because I had to change my string vols the other day.

Since I got the '59 a while back I have change the individual strings on some models to balance out a particular guitar. When HD came out, this negated all the changes I had made. They were much better balanced. Now only on a couple have I made very minor tweaks.

 

Then the other day I was balancing all my guitars so they played approx. the same vol thru 1 tweed b-man amp. This was working out OK until I came to my Semi that I had put Lester PU's on. The volume was way too loud. I took the volume all the way down on both the PU and patch and the thing still played at volume !! Took me awhile until I realised I had two PU's at the same position. Ha. When I corrected that I found that the sound still didn't sound correct. Lester PU's on LP body sounds OK, so the only difference should be the body simulation of the semi. So that was when I lowered the strings to between 60-70% across all 6 strings and it sounded so much better.

 

Now I have my acoustics using a Flip-Top amp which to me sounds the best for me. Lowering all 6 strings on the acoustics made them sound better too.

 

I haven't lowered them on all models yet. It is not just the lowering of the volume but somehow the interaction across all the strings. (There is probably a word for it.. No not B-s**t )


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#9 edstar1960

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 01:34 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. 

 

anonyrat - you mention you changed the individual string volumes on some models - how did you do that? I can only find a global setting for String Volume in Workbench (not Workbench HD) - so all models have the same String Volume setting. So how did you get models to have different string volumes?


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#10 jandrio

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 03:24 AM

Individual string volume setting per model is only available under Workbench HD.


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#11 guitarno

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:22 AM

In HD Edit there IS a global string volume setting. It's not on the graphic interface (on a Mac at least), it's on the "Edit" menu at the top. This is in addition to the "Per Model" string volume.


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#12 jandrio

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:59 AM

Attaching screenshots both from workbench hd and workbench<=1.90.

Attached Files


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#13 edstar1960

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 06:14 AM

Thanks for the replies. I know that Workbench HD gives both Global and individual string control. But anonyrat said that he had adjusted string volumes for certain models before Workbench HD, and that after he had upgraded that he found he had to adjust fewer models.  My question is - how did he adjust only some models pre Workbench HD?  ...

 

Funny you should write about this because I had to change my string vols the other day.

Since I got the '59 a while back I have change the individual strings on some models to balance out a particular guitar. When HD came out, this negated all the changes I had made. They were much better balanced. Now only on a couple have I made very minor tweaks.

 

Then the other day I was balancing all my guitars so they played approx. the same vol thru 1 tweed b-man amp. This was working out OK until I came to my Semi that I had put Lester PU's on. The volume was way too loud. I took the volume all the way down on both the PU and patch and the thing still played at volume !! Took me awhile until I realised I had two PU's at the same position. Ha. When I corrected that I found that the sound still didn't sound correct. Lester PU's on LP body sounds OK, so the only difference should be the body simulation of the semi. So that was when I lowered the strings to between 60-70% across all 6 strings and it sounded so much better.

 

Now I have my acoustics using a Flip-Top amp which to me sounds the best for me. Lowering all 6 strings on the acoustics made them sound better too.

 

I haven't lowered them on all models yet. It is not just the lowering of the volume but somehow the interaction across all the strings. (There is probably a word for it.. No not B-s**t )


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#14 clay-man

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:12 AM

You can't adjust "some models" on old Workbench. You only have a global string volume control.

 

If you want to work with the volume on a model-to-model/patch-to-patch basis, you must use the pickup and overall volume level sliders on the editing window in Workbench.


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#15 edstar1960

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 02:33 AM

Thanks clay-man - that is what I thought. I was just confused when anonyrat said he had adjusted the string levels on some models pre-HD.


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#16 anonyrat

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 03:12 PM

Edstar1960, Sorry for the confusion. After re-reading my post it does read "some models" I think that was a breakdown between my brain and finger tips. I did have to change strings globally which, and this is where my connection broke down, some models were worse than others but globally lowering the string volumes fixed those up but was acceptable for the others. Post HD all that went away and it then it still happened on a few models but different from the originals. Again sorry mate for the confusion...


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#17 edstar1960

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 03:51 AM

Edstar1960, Sorry for the confusion. After re-reading my post it does read "some models" I think that was a breakdown between my brain and finger tips. I did have to change strings globally which, and this is where my connection broke down, some models were worse than others but globally lowering the string volumes fixed those up but was acceptable for the others. Post HD all that went away and it then it still happened on a few models but different from the originals. Again sorry mate for the confusion...

 

Thanks for the clarification anonyrat - that makes perfect sense now.


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#18 taylorbeats

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:20 AM

I am going to completely agree with the first post.  Much better definition between models!!  Using a JTV-69, PodHD500X, into a Savage Macht 12 Combo.


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