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How much do new strings affect sound and tone on the JTV?
by daveschutt on 2013-03-19 06:07:23

I've never been one of those guys who love 1.Changing strings or 2. The sound you get from brand new strings.  I like mine broken in a bit and losing a little of the brittle high end.  That being said I was wondering how much new strings even matter since all they are doing is triggering a virtual model of a guitar.  Granted I know if they are super old and grimey I'm sure sustain and even intonation will be off, but I'm talking about strings that have maybe 12-20 hrs of playing on them vs brand new strings.  Thoughts? Experiences?



Re: How much do new strings affect sound and tone on the JTV?
by phil_m on 2013-03-19 06:16:30

They affect the tone quite a bit, actually. Since piezo pickups depend on actual physical contact with the string to sense the vibrations, I think the difference between new and old strings can be quite pronounced on the Variax. That being said, I've never been the type of player who loves new strings either. Even on my Variax, I'm lucky if I change the strings once a month.



Re: How much do new strings affect sound and tone on the JTV?
by daveschutt on 2013-03-19 07:53:48

Thanks Phil



Re: How much do new strings affect sound and tone on the JTV?
by silverhead on 2013-03-19 08:30:22

I agree with Phil. New strings vs older strings have pretty much the same effect on the JTV as they do on any guitar. The strike of the string on the JTV is more than just a trigger for the DSP - the string vibration determines the input signal to the DSP, and that is affected by worn/dirty strings just as much on the JTV as on other guitars.



Re: How much do new strings affect sound and tone on the JTV?
by adessmith on 2013-03-25 14:31:06

Yeah, you could think of the DSP in the variax as an "effect" that needs a truly dry uncolored source signal. (the purpose of the piezos is to keep the body of the guitar from adding "flavor" to the sound)
Rubbing the strings, pick noise, etc... they all come through. The tone is just altered by the DSP to make it sound like a specific guitar.
So, really the type of strings and the condition of your strings impact the tone much in the same way they would impact the sound of the modeled guitar.

Its like adding lemonade mix to water, instead of buying pre-mixed lemonade.
If you start with unfiltered city water, your lemonaid is going to still taste like it came out of a swimming pool.

If you use old strings on your variax, the telecaster models should sound like a telecaster with old strings.
If you use 11's on your variax, the LP models should sound like a LP strung with 11's.
The variax "adds" the tone to whatever signal the piezo's pickup, it doesnt trigger digital sound samples.

This made more sense to me after I messed up a firmware upgrade and it deleted all the models... The basic piezo sound still came through, but without the modeling "applied" to it. It just sounded flat and dry. That's when it clicked for me and I understood.



Re: How much do new strings affect sound and tone on the JTV?
by clay-man on 2013-03-26 11:30:07

adessmith, another reason for using piezos is because they're perfect for modeling guitars. Think of the frequency response of a magnetic pickup, it isn't very good to use if you want to emulate a bunch of different guitar pickups, because it only captures a specific midrange sound at best, depending on how it's made an installed.

A piezo has a flat frequency response of about 10hz-100khz. It's basically capturing the whole string's essence. That makes it perfect for modeling, because before a mag pickup shape's the string's sound, all you have is the natural sounding vibration of the strings, which is exactly what a piezo captures.




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