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STRONG Harmonic Overtone (wolf tone?) on D string when using models
by adessmith on 2012-11-19 16:50:22

This is a brand new JTV-59, took it out of the box and updated to 1.9 before really even playing around with it much.
I dont know really how to describe this, and there is probably a techical term for it, but I would call it "harmonic feedback". a wolf tone

Basically, it happens in several places, but the most notable instance is on the high e string, playing an "a" note (5th fret)... and holding that note out, the d string starts to feedback with a harmonic "A" note (the same note you would get by plaing a pinch harmonic on the 7th fret of the d string. when playing the string open. Its sort of VERY annyoing... I can stop it by muting the string... It happens with headphones so I know its not a matter of normal feedback you would get from a loud amp, however it is exagerated using higer gain.
It only happens on the models, not the magnetics.  When it happens I can feel the d string vibrating. I think I can hear a HINT of this when using the magnetics, but its very obvious with the models.
Its almost like the energy from the plucked note is being transfered through the bridge to the other string, and the piezo is picking it up...

Any thoughts?

Has anyone else noticed this? Is this a known limitation of piezo pickups.
Maybe its a problem with my technique which is exagerated with this guitar...

I updated the information here, because I was able to isolate my original problem to one string.
It happens even with all other strings muted when the D string is plucked open.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by adessmith on 2012-11-19 18:46:01

GREAT... now I am noticing a strange harmonic overtone anytime I pluck the D string and let it ring out.
It is really annoying and I cant figure out what is causing it...
I REALLY dont want to have to send this guitar back...

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by YirWaffy on 2012-11-19 18:54:24

This is one of the reasons I sent my JTV-89 back. One thing I read later which may help is placing a damper under the strings between the nut and the tuners. Someone suggested a scrunchie (soft, elasticized material women use for their ponytails) as suitable for this purpose. I noticed the ringing / digital artifacts became more pronounced when there was a slight initial fret buzz (only around the 9-12 frets on a couple of strings).

The main reason I sent mine back, however, was the low E string could not be intontated correctly. It was 7 cents sharp at the 12th fret with the bridge and the saddle all the way back. It was a 2010 build and I'm hoping they have addressed this because I really wanted to keep it. I had the guitar set up by a professional.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by killergege on 2012-11-20 07:07:12

I also have this issue with the D string that goes to harmonics really quickly after playing it and letting it ring, but only with specific models (it was really obvious with the lester models...).

I ended up choosing other models or creating a custom model, keeping the pickups but changing the body (it seems to be related to the selected body, it was happening with the "les paul" bodies).

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by adessmith on 2012-11-20 07:09:12

Yeah, Fortunately (and unfortunately), I dont plan on really using any electric models, and the only time it REALLY jumps out is with high gain amps, and its only the open d string.
Almost like that specific frequency is resonating something inside the bridge and picked up by the piezo...
Sounds very similar to the problem referenced on this post: however that was with a 69... this is a 59 and the bridge is different. I think I see a wire that wraps around the screw that moves the saddle back and forth, but it doest look like it would be as eassy to insulate it like this person did on the 69.

There are a few other places on the neck (on other strings) which will also cause the d string to resonate with the same harmonic, but its very soft and not notacable at all.

My main reason for this guitar was to switch from a LP style to acoustic sounds on-the-fly, and the acoustics sound fine.

I really dont want to have to send it back over something that I'm not even going to use... but it is an expensive guitar and its new... it should work 100%.

I have several line 6 authorized repair shops nearby, but I wonder if they actually work on the JTV's. Most of them look like electronic repair shops.
If I send this to Line 6 to be repaired, how much time would I expect to be without it?

I really love this guitar so far, but this one thing is driving me nuts.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by adessmith on 2012-11-20 07:15:32

Mine does it on any model I run through a high gain amp or patch on my X3L.
After I noticed it, I found that it IS THERE on the other models too, but it just isnt accentuated, and hardly noticable. If you listen VERY CLOSELY, you can hear a hint of it.

The lester in the "3" position is the most obvious, but it is there on all the other models.

From the thread I referenced above, it seems like its a problem with a part resonating in the bridge, which only happens at a specific frequency.
Tonight when I get home I might try to find some little chuncks of foam to stuff in there the best I can (as pictured in the thread about the 69), just to pinpoint that as the cause.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by killergege on 2012-11-20 07:28:11

Yes, I confirm that this is especially noticeable on high gain tones (I'm always playing on high gain tones ^^). This was really annoying for a Drop D song where there were a lot of empty string chords that last a bit .

I'm not sure that this is a physical issue, but maybe. I was thinking more of a combined problem of physical / model issue, as it doesn't happen (or is barely noticeable) with the other models.

I'll try with a FretWraps between the nut and the tuners to see if it removes it. If it's a bridge issue, it might be more complicated to fix.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by adessmith on 2012-11-20 21:42:01

Ok, so I've done everything tonight and nothing seems to help.
At this point, I believe a have a very slight fret buzz that is causing a harmonic note.
If this is the case, I dont think Line 6 will do anything about it... I probably just need to take it to get a good setup and may be the frets worked on...

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by adessmith on 2012-11-25 13:13:05

I havent been able to locate any fret buzz that would be causing this issue.... BUT
When changing strings last night, I noticed the saddle under D string has a "rough spot" at the point the string contacts the saddle. Its not smooth like the others.
I wonder if this could have something to do with it the strange overtone I've been getting?
My first thought was to take some steel wool or very very very fine grit sandpaper to it to try to polish out the rough spot... but I dont know now the piezo pickup works or if this would mess anything up...
And I'm also covered under warranty, I dont want to do anything to mess up my warranty.
I tried scraping at it with my fingernail and rubbing it with a piece of cloth, thinking it could just be some sort of dirt or debree but it isnt coming off.... I think it's a defect in the metal.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by YirWaffy on 2012-11-25 20:28:48

I hope that's your problem and the solution is replacing the saddle.

I had an imperfection on one of my guitars with a Floyd Rose. One of the blocks had a metal bump on a flat piece that holds the string in the bridge. I used a dremel tool to flatten it and it has been fine since.

In your case, I'd contact Line 6 through the Support on this page. I suspect if you provide them with a photo of the problem, they'll send you a replacement saddle without having to send the guitar back to them.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by adessmith on 2012-11-26 05:52:37

Does anyone know if the little piece of the saddle which makes contact with the string is user-replacable?
It looks like it "floats" in the little cavity it sits in, but when I changed strings they didnt act like they wanted to just "fall out".

I know nothing about how piezo pickups work, so its not something I want to go pulling or prying on... Would this piece be sensitive and easily damaged?

I am pretty handy with "mechanical" type stuff, so if it just involves removing a screw or prying it out, that shouldnt be a problem. If it has a wire connected to it, or involves removing the entire bridge and dealing with the piezo pickups, I'd rather leave that to the people at line 6.

I put in a trouble ticket, and If they give me the option of replacing it myself I just want to know if its something I could do myself, if I should decline and send it off to them, or take it to a service center...

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by jdolby on 2012-11-26 08:57:34

I have noticed this, mainly on the Lester models 1 and 5, ever since the Variax 500 days.  For me it happens on open A.  There are two distinct sounds audible - even at low volumes, too.  It is really noticable when doing a 12th fret harmonic on the A string.  Two distinct sounds.

I have tried all the tricks - different string gauges, lowered the pickups, muted the strings after the nut, even muted all the other strings and it still happens - on my Variax 500 AND my JTV-69.

My "trick" to getting rid of it is to change the body type to something different in Workbench.  The Lester Body seems to be the problem.  This works great but by doing so I am no longer playing a "Les Paul" model.

I wish Line 6 would fix this.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by adessmith on 2012-11-26 20:54:53

I think my issue is a little different, because I can hear it on all the models. Most noticably on the lester "3" position, but also with strat and tele models... or any other model you would realistically expect to use with a high gain amp or amp model.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by davidb7170 on 2012-11-28 07:01:02

I think you were on to something with the fret buzz a few posts back. Do you ever tune by harmonics? Harmonic at 5th fret to the next string's harmonic at it's 7th fret? When tuning the D string, this method gives you an A harmonic on the A string 5th fret and an A harmonic at the D string 7th fret. You mentioned the D string "wolf tone" of an A. Your set up may need a tweek. You might have the a slightly higher fret at the 7th. Quick test would be to raise you action a touch -- wouldn't take much -- re-intonate and see if it still rings with the A harmonic note...

Just a thought. I've had my 59 for over a year and a half and love it...


Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by adessmith on 2012-11-28 07:26:03


I rulled out the fret buzz as a possible cause with the following method.
I seem to remember using this in the past to locate a fret buzz, but maybe it only works if its a really bad buzz:

Using a multi-meter set to 'ohms', attach one lead to the string at the bridge. (I did this with an alligator clip, between the saddle and the tailpiece.
Pluck the offending string while touching the other lead of the multi-meter to the first fret.
If the needle moves, the string made contact with the fret (closing the circuit)
If it doesnt move, continue to the next fret, until you have found the fret that the string is making contact with.

I went all the way up and down the fretboard and couldnt locate any contact between a fret and the string.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by adessmith on 2012-11-28 07:29:04

I'm starting to think the rough place on the saddle is raising the string off of it just enough that it is making contact with the rest of the saddle just after it is plucked. I think it could possible have a similar result as fret buzz, but be picked up more by the piezo.
I would think if it was fret buzz, it would be picked up by the magnetics just as much as the piezo.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by adessmith on 2012-11-30 09:05:38

Line 6 is working with me to identify the problem.
I think I have rulled out the rough place on the saddle, because I realized yesterday that it is happening with the same note on more than one string (ie, the "open D" OR the "A" string at the 5th fret)

Its begining to look like its a problem with the piezo pickup or just a natural resonance of the wood in this particular instrument where the piezo is more sensitive than the magnetic pickups.
To me, it seems like the piezo picks up the natural harmonics of any note more easily than the magnetic pickups do, but when you have a particulary strong harmonic it then drowns out the fundamental note.

Still experimenting to isolate the problem.
Line 6 had me upload a sound file to my support case demonstrating the problem.

I found that the difference is much more apparent when you set the model knob to "lester", in the 3rd position, pluck the problem note, and then push the model knob in multiple times to switch back and forth between the "modeled" les paul, and the magnetics. You can hear the difference in the PITCH easily when you do that. In fact, if I enable the tuner on the Pod, I can see it picking up a "D", and an "A" alternately as I switch back and forth.

Re: New JTV-59 harmonic feedback on another string.
by YirWaffy on 2012-11-30 10:14:24

Thanks for keeping us posted on your progress. Good to hear that they are working with you. I also noticed it mostly on the A and D strings on my 89 that I returned. I hope you're able to get it resolved with them.

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