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About markhughes2000

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  1. I loaded an old XT laptop with all the old variax/workbench softtware with the intention of downflashing and up flashing in an attempt to clear this problem He is the strange sequence of events which happened plugged guitar imto XT Live via VDI plugged output of XT into amp Plugged in old crappy dell laptop via usb As the laptop was 'powering up' i was getting noise spikes being picked up from the usb port I disconnected the usb cable and the noise cracles and spikes disapeared from the XT O/P I switched to the default altered tuned patched and hey were all clear!!!! No ghosts (well hardly) I plugged in my normal PC and I opened up workbench ( latest version and checked the string cross talk All cleared!!!! no bleed from D/E/ A/E or any of them. I am deleighted but being an engineer of 35 years or more i am a little bemused and can only offer a number of logical explanations for this 1. The noise spikes somehow got into the variax and by magic cleared the previously corrupted setting. 2. I have an intermittant hardware problem 3. I have a bad VDI cable causing an intermitant problem 4. I have been imagining hearing ghosts all this time Maybe a noise spike is how it all started i.e plugging in the variax whle xt/usb is powered and we just assumed that editing a alt tuning patch after this corrupted it. I should point out that whilst the alt tunings sound ok on chords and open tuning I have noticed "reverberant ghosts" on the E and A string. If I damp or touch the other strings the ghost disapears. If play the B string on 5th fret by itself, the open A string is seen slightly vibrating causing some sort of harmonic type overtone. If I palm mute it, it stops, so there is some acoustic resonance being picked up here which may be easier to solve. Maybe this is the magnetic pole peices of the guitar transmitting to the other strings. Line 6 May be corect here. When the chords are played the resonent vibrations from the open strings are minimised. Maybe someone with a stock Variax 500 can confirm that this does not happen on theirs. I think this as good as it gets. Mine is much better now but there appears to be two distinct variations of this ghost notes issue. 1. The Resonant ghost though open string ringing and consequential pick up from other piezos 2. The bad ghost which make alt tuning unusable caused by Peizo Crosstalk possibly created by a hardware (cable) or software bug I now understand why someone recomended putting rubber grommets between the nut and the pegs to minimise string vibrations but surely a good normal electric guitar will be better for having this resonance. This is why sometimes you here natural reverberation from the guitar when playing single strings. Problem is with alt tuning thishas a detrimental effect. If you were playing a block of wood with the resonace of a 'brick' you woud not notice it so this problem is likley o vary a lot between guitars. As we all tend to use alt tuning for chords and usually palm mute the strings when playing lead solos e.t.c. i think the issue can be eliminated by technique to a degree. So either using left or right hand to mute the open strings will minimise the ghosts on E and B strings. If you play them hard and let the other five string ring open youll always have problems. Try playing your note which your ghost note appears on then put a capo on the first fret and try it again. The ghost will move It may also be of interest that I have added a 100k blend pot to my variax 500 electrics which effectivly shunts the analogue output of the mags across to the analogue vax output. When on max attenuation I get just the mags and when on min (short) the drive of the vax output overpowers the pickups and I get the predominant variax. This was a quick knock up but it works well on the rick 12 giving it a softer edge when blended with the mags. Also the level of the Vax (alt tuning) signal wrt the mags depend on my string volume slider - The higher slider the stronger the blend effect. I have sett he sliders mid way for grapgh tec peizos. The VDI output is still fine and relativly free from Ghosts. I'm enjoyin playing these strange tunings again. What the!!! After two hours of fun hooked up through the XT Live ---the ghosts have suddenly reappeared- totally unusable I think The laptop noise issue was a red herring as I cant get it to repeat the fix. looks like a hardware problem. I powered the guitar/xtlive down for half an hour, Powered back up and suprise suprise -no ghosts! Hm something is strange here.I something getting warm/overheating or being trigged by a specific event. l left it on for another hour and it was still ok . This is weird. Now a power reset from cold clears it!! Need to go to bed and rethink this one again. Its nearly getting time for clutching at straws I am now thinking the obvious and wonder if using a screened Cat6 cable which has better crosstalk and speed would give more consitant results. Taking a step back, Ive never used alt tunings or VDI connection in anger (only drop D) and have always used the same short 1M cat5 cable as it was a nice unkinkable blue type which i fitted metal shrouds to. I am now starting to think that maybe this may be faulty and I have had this problem on and off all the time but it only manifested itself with the 12 strings sometimes sounding a bit warbly noisy. Previously i've used the guitar on battery or line 6 XPS power supply through the 1/4 jack and have not noticed the problem until starting to connect and use alt tuning with the VDI. I powered up the system this morning and the ghosts have still nowehere to be heard The fact that my problem returned whilst only connected via XT VDI when I changed patches makes me think the problem was not the fault of workbench but the data connection to the guitar via it so by altering values using workbench with an old possibly damaged unscreened Cat5 cable may have caused the same problem. I beleive the Line 6 cable is very long 25M so will have a greater impedance. than my 1M shorty. Maybe the short cable is not ideal I read on another thread that someone solved their ghost problem by replacing the VDI lead so this is maybe not such a wild possibility. Line 6 say Cat 5 is ok but I think Cat6 would be better. I imagine most people use a bog standard ethernet patch cable as it was always seemed to work and they are always readily available. But we are talking twighlight zone stuff here -often the cause is something simple. So maybe the noisy usb dell computer was a red herring but maybe it highlighted the fact that noise on the VDI lines during data change or power up can effect parameters inside the guitar. Powered up last night and ran allnight on XPS box for 4 hours - no sign of the ghost reapearing I have sinece replacing the VDI cable and used it all week using this connected to XT Live and the ghosts have not returned. Dont we have fun ! Hope all this ranting helps some of you guys out there
  2. I loaded an old XT laptop with all the old variax/workbench softrtware with the intention of downflashing and up flashing in an attempt to clear this problem As the laptop was 'powering up' i was getting noise spikes being picked up from the usb I disonected the usb cable and the noise cracles and spikes disapeared from the XT O/P I switched to the default altered tuned patches and they were all clear!!!! No ghosts I plugged in my normal PC and opened up workbench ( latest version) and checked the string cross talk All cleared!!!! no bleed from D/E/ A/E or any of them I am deleighted but being an engineer of 35 years or more i am a little bemused and can only offer a number of logical explanations for this 1. The noise spikes somehow got into the variax and by magic cleared the previously corrupted setting. 2. I have an intermittant hardware problem 2. I have been imagining hearing ghosts all this time The ghosts came back after 2 hours playing connected to VDI XT Live and then disapeared after reboot half an our later. Im going to buy a new VDI cable Cat 6 to be on safe side as the VDI supplies power, Audio return signals and control data. Im clutching straws here but maybe my 1M shorty is causing problems compared to the 25M line6 replacement (longer cable higher impedance?) No problems so far since replacing VDI cable Depending on the guitar, the natural ressonace will cause open string vibations on other strings which will be picked up by that piezo( either detuned or not)and cause reverberent ghosts unless you mute the open strings you dont play. Agreed- lighter strings will minimise the effect. There is two distinct ghost issues - 1 . reverberant notes from open strings due to resonance od guitar 2. Crosstalk ghosts caused by a hardware or software condition which makes the alt tunings unusable
  3. I have exactly the same problem only on variax 500 and the E ,A and D strings
  4. I guess eery transplant is a little different. I had to repair my flexi cable and hot wire the D saddle to the track as it was shorting out to the inner ground plane. ( I stupidly made a cut in the ribbon to allow sace for the wire to come through. Yes I experienced what you said with the G string saddle physicalyy touching the D. I got considerabe beakthrough but after moving one slightly the crosstalk disapeared. . I can understand adacent saddle breakthrough but not from D to E and vic versa. I tries moving th E string saddle away form the A but irt made no difference. You say it can also happen through different paths but, the only path is through the flex cable to the card and the three channels are electrically isolated. It is also difficult to ensure the saddles not to physically touch. What confused me is my problem suddenly appeared after no physical changes and when I read of other people experiences with 'edit' I began to consider non hardware possibilities. I will keep you guys posted on the outcome
  5. I have custom variax 500 with graph techs and switchable mags fitted Everything was fine until I reflashed the software in order to save a copy of the factory settings. Following the download everything seemed great and all alternate tunings sounded good with no ghosts or warbles I was so pleased that his led me to experiment editing some of the custom tunings and 12 string parameters, Body shape, tunings, detune settings etc. Following this the ghost note problem seems to have set in and I cant get rid of it. Sounds familiar? Curiously although the two acoustic 12 strings now sound unusable but the Rickenbacker 12 strings sound ok. All the factory custom alt tunings are unusable. It was the acoustic 12 strings which I was editing the parameters of. I assumed this was a hardware/wiring problem and checked the piezos ground connections thinking I must have lost one but all seems ok. I added a new ground to the flex cable but this did not help. When in drop D tuning the ‘ghost’ sound or unaltered sound from the Bass E string seems to be being picked up by the adjacent piezos/circuits. I thought at first that the ground to the main board was bad and the piezos were somehow working in series through the ground loop; the second (non alt tuned) picking up a proportion of the unmodified first string channel but the wiring checks out ok. Graph tech say that slight pickup may be possible from adjacent pickups if they are touching but it does not account for why the D input “circuit†is picking the E up louder than the B ( see below test ) I am leaning toward the conclusion that something in the guitar has somehow been reset when using the workbench editing software ,which manifests itself above and this is not being cleared when the flash is reloaded. I was convinced it was a bad piezo/ground connection but after reading other people having similar issues after loading editing values I am now convinced it is a firmware or non some volatile memory setting which is being corrupted during edit. I did a check on individual string volume and crosstalk and found the following results String volumes all set to Zero Bring each string volume up separately to confirm each string volume is changing- OK Reset all String volumes to Zero Set Low E slider to 50% ok - no ghost tone even when set to drop D Bring up D volume- play E string( dropD) ghost E is also heard at 30 volumer Reset all string volumes to Zero increase A string volume - bass E tone heard approx. 20% volume of E slider Reset all string volumes to Zero Set D string volume to 50% ok – Bring up bass E string volume- play D string –volume increases-indicating ghost Reset all string volumes to Zero In summary of above With D string volume at max and all other at min the bass E string is being heard at about 30% vol With A string volume at max and all other at min, the Bass E string is being heard at about 20% volume This is curious and I am wondering if this 20-30% level is related to the level of the octave setting in the Acoustic 12 string set ups. I also read that Line 6 claim the magnetic poles of mag pickups can affect the Piezos. So does this problem only manifest itself with only JTV/Hybrids/Transplants. it seems not! I’ve read similar problems on other forums both Variax 500 and JTV so there maybe some common use of coding. The ‘storys’ are the same, everything was ok until downloading new Workbench and editing the tuning. Is it possible that the later workbench versions which include more complicated edits in particular for alt tuning on 12 strings for JTV are allowing us to corrupt previously ‘locked’ parameters I presume that many guitars have been returned to Line 6 with this problem, so Line 6 must know what the solution is following investigation and repair. Do line 6 know about this and keeping quiet? I get the same problem on both VDI and analogue outputs. Looking at the schematic, the strings are A/D and D/A processed in pairs. Ch6,Ch5 being one route and Ch4 Ch3 being another. These equate to strings 6,5,4,3 etc. Ch 6 (E string)uses the left channel of one converor through a series of preaamps. channel 4 ( D string)also uses the Left route but on a seperate preamp converter path It is difficult to see how any crosstalk would occur but the string volume presumably adjusts the gain of these preamps to each convertor but it appears that the individual string volume software is adjusting more than one string when it adjusts the D string volume. Some suggestions I have heard to solve this were down flash and up flash workbench/vax s/w to try and clear embedded anomaly – I will try this but why should this make a difference- What is being left behind when you reflash the latest version! Try using a different VDI cable - a strange one but it did nothing for me If the original cause (as some JTV owners have indicated) was editing alt tuning parameters is it possible to ‘track back’ and make similar changes to reset what may have become corrupted? I will try adjusting the 12 string octave levels and see if this changes anything wrt crosstalk levels Increase height of saddles/lower pickups to minimised magnetic pull of pickups on piezos???eh no Also can you confirm my assumptions below for correct functionality does use of non-coated strings make difference? – No Does the string need to be earthed as there is no guarantee that as it passes up the bridge cavity and over the piezo elements that it will be in electrical contact with the bridge/earth. No Do the rear string guides need to be earthed/ connected to bridge? No Enough for now- spent too much time playing and thinking of all this!! Ill double check everything tonight and raise aticket with line 6
  6. I just read that similar problems have been found with the new JTV following any adjustment or edit of altered tuning patches in Workbench Someone has solve problem by trying a different VDI cable!!! Others by down flashing and up flashing Just for the sake of trying I will try new VDI and USB cables and do another flash
  7. Hi Funny thing -I now have exactly the same problem only using PC windows vetta. Guitar was fine last week i wanted to load the default patches so I loaded the latest 3.10 firmware including factory patches and to be honest I thought is was ok after that . Next time I went to play ( may have been next power up off variax ) all alt tunings were giving ghost notes. If look in string volume set up the E string is being bled by D string piezo and vice versa . eg When you go to drop D tuning the D piezo picks up the original E string and both notes ring The A string piezo volume also bleeds th E string though Ive stripped the guitar and added grounds to piezos on the flex ribbon ( graph tech fitted) reflashed but havent tried going back to 3.0 yet I assume it wa a hardare prob but the fact that you now have the same problem leads me to think it may be something more sinister Im wondering if ti is a software/firmware issue issue- I did notice a few peices of solder splashes shorting some of the PC pins so i cleared them and assumed the problem would go away Nope Ill try and find an old XP laptop and try the retro load Please let me know how you get on Mark
  8. I have a Variax500 fitted with graphtechs which was working fine. Yesterday i found I had a simila problem with alt tunings. i discovered My D string was being picked up (albeit quetly) from the Low E piezo and A piezo .The low E was being heard in drop tuning presumabley though the adjacent A piezo. I think my problem may be because the ground feed to the vax electronics is not good, so effectivly two piezos are in sort of series and even if one of them is muted, the signal from it will be added to the active piezo. There appears to be one ground for VDI on the ribbon and another for analogue connected to the bridge screw. Im going to make sure both are good. I'm sure when i tested it originally I had no crosstalk from each of the piezos Does this make sense to anybody? I noticed from the variax schematic that the piezos all go through a 10k resistor and that the ground ( fed from the out put jack unit is labeled screenpaint ground which leads me to beleive that the original idea of putting the wire under the bridge screw connected it to the bridge and the screenpaint which runs all over the cavity. Not sure if similar thing is on JTV. When I took my bridge off i noticed my ground wire had broken. And it was all going so well- I hoping the answer is a simple bad ground
  9. Please forgive me for the length of this but I am trying to put a s much detail into my problem as poss I have a Variax 500 with EMG passive mag pickups fitted. I have had this problem for a while but have recently fitted a set of Graphtec saddles to and I think they have made a slight improvement to general variax tone. My initial thoughts were it was much better on acoustic and 12 strings but I have got used to the sound now so it is difficult to be subjective. Background info I have set the string volume level in line with the mag pickup volumes. This was done using the line 6 spider jam amp I turned the output level for spank2 up to match the lester bridge and it did not seem to alter the quack sound as long as the individual mix of the pickups were set right. Ive read that the Variax is a low impedance and classed as an active device.( O/P Z from TL082 is very low though a 475 ohm resitor I understand Pick ups Z range from 6k to 15K If I connect the guitar via the ¼ inch jack I get different results depending on which amp/effects it is connected to. I am comparing the spank2 position of my mags ( which is not especially quacky by the way) which I assume is about 3-4k ohms (a shorted pole on humbucker in parallel with the middle pick up) -with the Variax spank position2 I am confused about the inconstancies in tone depending on which load is presented to the guitar Connect direct in to a Dynacord powermate line in jack impedance >10kohms Variax levels are louder than mag pickups – mag pickups sound flat as they are passive ( as expected need to boost treble and gain for good sound) Variax sounds bright on all models almost as if they are preamped spank 2 sounds like the real thing much better than mag Connect into Laney Valve amp Hi sens input Vax spank2 quack is better than my mag version but Vax volume is the same as mags now! Connect to Line 6 spiderjam amp guitar input or Aux input Volume levels are the same but variax tone (spank2 quack is lesst) Mags don’t sound as pure Actually clean sound is muddy ( think this is just the amp sound) Connect to Boss GT3 effects pedal I/P Z 1Mohm o/p through the PA Mags sound great on my favourite clean patch ‘Teletwang’ spank2 -nice and “bottallyâ€but when switch to variax spank2 it doesn’t sound as bright as if it were limiting. It sounds less crisp and sounds exactly like the mags with the vol pot down 25% - Connect to Line6 XT live via VDI- I/P Z N/A Variax Sounds bright and tone not attenuated (as expected)– sounds better through PA with o/p in direct mode Cant get a decent clean tone out of the mags –and noisy if both inputs are used anyway After many hours of playing around sounds go to heap of junk when using a guitar amp even with o/p selector changed -need to go back to Boss pedal Connect Guitar through Line 6 XTLive jack input input Z 1 Mohm Cant find a patch were Mags sound as clean is as Boss pedal Switch to Variax spank2 is not as good as mags spank2 So I am frustrated that when using the valve amp/ PA and the VDI I can really appreciate the pure variax tones but they appear to be supressed when going into the input jacks of both my effects boxes! and then on to an amp. This limits my use of the Variax sounds live and nearly always revert to the mags unless I want a special low noise overdrive or special tuning acoustic sound ( which is better DI through PA) I have a couple of theories to why this may be happening but would welcome your input or any body elses thoughts whos had similar problems getting a nice clean sound for the vax Variax string volume is maybe still too high as indicated when plugged into mixer amp and this is overloading effects pedals. If I turn it to lower than the mags will it solve problem? Variax jack output presents a much lower impedance ( <500ohms) than the magnetic pickups and if it is put into a high 1Mohm input the mismatch is more noticeable than a 10K mixer i/p. The guitar effects box inputs are normally expecting a passive pick up input from a magnetic coil and so provide preamp and boost whereas the Vax active o/p from an Op amp is somehow being limited or mismatched by this input circuit Will changing the order of the effects present the guitar with a different load. i.e instead of compressor first put eq Ive noticed it is not so dominant on other patches The Mag sound I have through the BOSS teletwang patch using spank 2 is unique (not quite true spank2) and so I would perhaps need to taylor another patch to emulate it with the vax strat model but saying that if I put my strat copy through the patch it sounds brighter and more bottlier still!than any of them Whats going on Line6?
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