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JTVariax piezo's going bad...
by meistsf on 2011-06-20 09:26:40

Well, it happened.  I hoped it wouldn't with the JTV, but it is doing the same things as my Vax600 did and was in the shop for on a couple of occasions.

The low E piezo quit working last night at an outdoor event.  Fortunately we have mag pickups, so I was able to get by, but these piezo's, no matter how much they say they are superior to the older V600 piezos, are still subject to problems in humid atmospheres!

I solved this issue with my old guitar by always having a heat source nearby (hair dryer, I even made a battery powered resistor bank right next to the piezos) and as the piezo signal would die, I would run the hair dryer over them and bring them back to life....clearly a humidity issue.

Same thing is happening with the new JTV.  Low E goes out....OK, that makes sense, sweaty picking hand will be closest to that end of the bridge, it is 8 PM and the temperature is dropping but the relative humidity level is rising, hence a few H2O molecules are wreaking havoc on my axe, can't do a song that demands alt tuning tonight boys, sorry....

Line6 really needs to address this issue with either a better method for sealing out the water or a dessicant attachment or something to keep these Piezo's working.  I cannot believe that I am the only guy who observes this problem.  I live in the midwest, summers here are hot and humid.  I need this tool to work for me at outdoor festivals!  That is why I bought it.  I love this product....when it works!

If somebody has some nifty ideas for a simple "on the bridge" fix, please share.  Somebody said spraying with WD40 would work, but I haven't had the courage to do that.

SFM



Re: JTVariax piezo's going bad...
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-06-23 00:27:33

Interesting - but obviously inconvenient for you

So rather than it being the piezos themselves that are going bad it's the water molecules created by changes in temperature and humidity causing a short circuit by effectively forming a 'puddle' with impurities from sweat, cigarette smoke, residue on the piezos themselves etc... (or the water wouldn't conduct).

The old quick cure for a damp distributor cap on a car which wouldn't allow a car to start for much the same reasons your piezos seem to be cutting out was indeed to spray it with some WD-40.  However longer term, the residue left by the WD-40 builds up and actually holds the moisture in.  I wouldn't recommend WD-40, primarily for that reason, plus I don't know what it might do to the finish of your guitar.

I don't know exactly what the compounds might be, but there must indeed be some kind of silicon based 'grease' that is non-conducting and highly water repellent, which if applied under completely dry conditions should keep moisture out of the parts where you really don't want it.   I would guess that the bridge assembly would need to be dismantled to a point to apply the grease to any electrical contacts - plus of course the problem might be at the end of the piezo ribbon cable or connector inside the guitar where it joins the main circuit board.

I certainly would NOT recommend that you apply anything like this though yourself without firstly checking the safety of doing so with Line 6 (phone them up) or with your local authorised Line 6 Service Centre who will be able to seek the assurances from Line 6 that it is actually safe to do so.  Whatever happens you don't want any such grease compound to 'escape' and get over your hands whilst playing, but personally I think that something like a silicon grease might well be the answer if approved and applied correctly.

Just some thoughts which might help you find a solution.

PS - You really need to re-post this marked as a Question rather than a Discussion as Line 6 Customer Support's system doesn't flag Discussions for a required response

Good luck

Nick




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