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Variax 600 Buzzing Problem


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#1 khick001

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 02:28 AM

Hi can anyone help, i have a Variax 600 playing through a Flextone 3 1x12, when i plug the guitar in i get a loud buzzing noise from the amp and the guitar is impossible to play, i get the same problem regardless of weather i use the foot switch power supply or batteries, however if i leave everything switched on and come back in half an hour or so the problem goes away and the guitar works fine! would appreciate any help.

 

Thanks khick001


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#2 arislaf

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 06:34 AM

first of all, is it a fret buzz? or an electronic buzz?


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#3 khick001

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:01 AM

Hi
Its an electronic buzz, have looked at similar topics on here and it may be a grounding problem but not sure how to proceed.
Thanks, khick001
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#4 hurghanico

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:53 AM

Hi
Its an electronic buzz, have looked at similar topics on here and it may be a grounding problem but not sure how to proceed.
Thanks, khick001

 

probably there is some dirt under the piezo saddles which prevents a good electric ground contact..

the piezo saddles are simply fitted into their bridge slots and are connected with small wires to the circuit under the bridge..

 

the length of the wires is not much, but it allows to separate the piezo saddles from the bridge slots if the latter have been unscrewed from the bridge..

 

what you can do is to clean well all the piezo saddles, especially in the lower part, which is the main point of ground contact, and of course you should thoroughly clean also the bridge slots.. and since you're at it, clean well all over the bridge, including the screws..

also, when re-mount the saddles turn them 180 degrees so the point of contact with the strings will be almost like new..

 

obviously this whole operation requires extreme care and attention, especially being careful not to break the piezo wires..


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#5 arislaf

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:13 AM

+1 to Nico! Another thing you can do (but costly) is to replace the piezo with graphteck. Your sound will become louder, wider, brighter and more vivid. Keep that in mind for a future purchase.


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#6 clay-man

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:41 AM

Turn them 180 degrees? Do you think the contact deteriorates overtime from string vibration?

 

Also, yes, be very careful with the wires. They are extremely thin. I tried saving my D string piezo and I broke it. Luckily I ordered a replacement piezo just in case I couldn't fix the old one.


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#7 hurghanico

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:52 PM

Turn them 180 degrees? Do you think the contact deteriorates overtime from string vibration?

 

surely over time the contact point of the string with the saddle deteriorates, it forms a kind of slight irregular groove, which can facilitate the premature breaking of the strings in that point, I do not know specifically how this aspect can affect also the proper functioning of the piezo, but it may be that changing angle of insertion of the saddle you can further improve the quality of the ground contact, who knows..

when a similar problem happened with the sixth string of my 700, I cleaned everything well and while I was there, I also turned the saddle 180 degrees (following a good tip given by the forum member "stumblinman"), I do not know how much the latter thing had a positive effect on the final result, but since I finished doing all the things I have described, the problem disappeared and has not come back yet
..


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#8 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:24 AM

The original piezos were spring loaded up against the strings on my Variax 500.  The Ghost Piezos that I now have on it are potted in the plastic bridge pieces.  I don't know how the piezos in the 700 were loaded against the strings - did not ever see a 700 up close.  IMO the grounding through the bridge / strings is a bad design that causes lots of problems.  That is your signal path!


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#9 hurghanico

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:49 AM

...I don't know how the piezos in the 700 were loaded against the strings - did not ever see a 700 up close..

 

Bridge%20Extreme%20Wire%20Closeup.jpg

 

Piezo%20Insert%202.jpg

 

like the Variax 500 piezos, the 700 ones are simply inserted into the bridge slots and kept in place by the strings pressure over them


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#10 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 07:44 AM

Yes they look the same as the ones I had on my 500.  You can even see the flex circuit that it's soldered to in your first pic.


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#11 hurghanico

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:02 PM

Yes they look the same as the ones I had on my 500.  You can even see the flex circuit that it's soldered to in your first pic.

 

in fact they are images of the bridge of a 500 ..
I got them from here: http://www.vettavill...riax-photos.htm
anyway the saddles of the 700 are identical and are mounted in the same way
..


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#12 clay-man

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:43 PM

all old electric variaxes have the same piezos. 

 

 

surely over time the contact point of the string with the saddle deteriorates, it forms a kind of slight irregular groove, which can facilitate the premature breaking of the strings in that point, I do not know specifically how this aspect can affect also the proper functioning of the piezo, but it may be that changing angle of insertion of the saddle you can further improve the quality of the ground contact, who knows..

when a similar problem happened with the sixth string of my 700, I cleaned everything well and while I was there, I also turned the saddle 180 degrees (following a good tip given by the forum member "stumblinman"), I do not know how much the latter thing had a positive effect on the final result, but since I finished doing all the things I have described, the problem disappeared and has not come back yet..

 

My thick strings were breaking a lot until I adjusted the action to be lower.


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#13 _black

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 11:27 AM

+1 to Nico! Another thing you can do (but costly) is to replace the piezo with graphteck. Your sound will become louder, wider, brighter and more vivid. Keep that in mind for a future purchase.

Could you please give more information about Variax upgrade with new piezo. My V700 work perfect. But I look the way to upgrade it. What model of piezo can be used for Variax 700? May be you have links for manuals? Video "before" and "after" upgrade?


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#14 clay-man

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 01:48 PM

Could you please give more information about Variax upgrade with new piezo. My V700 work perfect. But I look the way to upgrade it. What model of piezo can be used for Variax 700? May be you have links for manuals? Video "before" and "after" upgrade?

 

Graphtech FAQ states to use PN-8000-00 Ghost saddles.

 

Basically Graphtech Ghosts are a lot better quality than the LR Baggs piezos in old Variaxes. Switching them will do 2 main things:

 

1) It makes the models sound much better in quality

2) eliminates the ground problem forever if you wire it right

 

Another benefit is they use String Saver saddles with piezos in them so it should help reduce string breakage.


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#15 _black

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 10:22 PM

Thank you. Point number 1) is precise what I was looking for. There is new challenge for me because I never opened my Variax. But I try to learn what I need to done this.
What kind of strings you use for Variax? Do you feel difference here?


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#16 clay-man

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:35 PM

Thank you. Point number 1) is precise what I was looking for. There is new challenge for me because I never opened my Variax. But I try to learn what I need to done this.
What kind of strings you use for Variax? Do you feel difference here?

 

I switched to elixir polywebs 10's 1.5 months ago and am probably sticking to it for the following reasons:

 

-I kill strings within less than a week

-Variax sounds 2-3 times worse with dead strings than a regular guitar with dead strings

-Elixirs sound exactly the same as a recording I took of them on day 1 after the 1.5 months

 

Whatever strings works best for you though, you should keep. I simply use Elixirs because I have a serious problem with rusting and making strings dead within a few days, just something I can't deal with.


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#17 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 05:44 AM

Another advantage of the coated strings is that they squeak less when you move your fingers over them.  Some of the Variax models are very sensitive to this.


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#18 clay-man

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:44 PM

Another advantage of the coated strings is that they squeak less when you move your fingers over them.  Some of the Variax models are very sensitive to this.

 

I agree. Variax seems to make this more predominant.


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