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About friscocat

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  1. Hi, I just replaced my 15W Spyder IV with a 15W Mustang I. I bought both used for about the same price and both were in like new condition. I was surprised to discover how different the design goals were for both amps after using both a little bit. Spyder IV: Pros: MUCH louder than Mustang. Overdrive/Distortion much easier to control (w/ effects off). Cos: Unsatisfying effects (at least for me - mostly Blues/Jazz/Classic Rock stuff) "Tap" delay/echo controls ONLY. (I prefer the delay effect & I use it a lot) 1/4" headphone jack Mustang: Pros: More amp "styles" to choose from (24 for starters, more can be customized or downloaded) More satisfying effects (particularly via "FUSE" SW customization). "FUSE" SW (Think Amplitube customization w/ no latency in signal path) Ability to over-write presets w/ preferred amp models ("FUSE" SW) Ability to save customized or downloaded models to disc database ("FUSE" SW) Can configure amp from database ("FUSE" SW) 3 mm headphone jack Cons: Lower volume. MUCH lower in most cases. OK for home use, simply unusable anywhere else. Effects controls from front panel VERY limited. Really Need PC to dial in sound you want. While I do appreciate the volume levels of the Spyder & the clean & "Crunchy" channels (w/out effects) for my needs the Mustang is simply the better choice. I simply have no use for the "Metal" or "Insane" channels. For those comparing amps for home use only I think you'll be happier with the Mustang, unless ear-splitting metal tones are what you're after. Happy Choosing.
  2. Thanks for the replies. After diddling more than I'd like I think I'm starting to figure some of it out. First I found that if I powered up with the "insane" channel depressed it would override the preset amp effects settings (until I cycled power anyway). The manual says the amp will do this but it doesn't say that the default amp presets include the effects settings. So I think I understand this now. I hope. I think the range of each effect on the knob dials in more or less impact of each effect. Due to the small degree range of each effect this wasn't obvious at first. It's also very hard to dial in the proper impact. At least it is for me. I'm used to full range dials for echo & reverb so these short sweeps make it hard to hit just the right spot. In time I think I'll get used to it, it's still a little elusive. I still don't get the difference between the Tape vs Sweep echos. I think I prefer the Tape, it doesn't have as much of the "wah" effect as the Sweep. Or maybe it's just that I can't get it dialed in as well as I can the Tape. I'll have to diddle some more before I reach any conclusions. As far as the length of the delay time I'm still lost. fflbrgst mentioned that I need to "tap" the tap button several times at the rate I want the delay to be. Except I have no idea what "tempo" I want, I just want to speed it up or slow it down from whever it powers up. I'm accustomed to adjusting delay with a rotory knob: lower for shorter delay, higher for longer delay. So this tap business will take a while for me to make sense out of. If I have to tap in a predictable rhythm I'll never get it. I got no rhythm. Thanks again.
  3. You should already have an undistored clean tone. If you don't maybe try restoring the factory presets. The manual explains how to do this. If you've selected Clean Channel, have the effects off, & have the drive & channel volumes towards the low end of the scale this should ensure a fuzz free output. If you are still experiencing fuzziness I expect you may have single coil pickups. This is the typical strat/tele pickup. Or P90 in the Gibson family. The single coils don't cancel "hum". This is why the Humbuckers are called humbuckers. They cancel the hum. Try a humbucker equiped guitar and see if you still hear the "fuzz". If you do & you think you have set the amp up properly for a Clean Tone take it back where you bought it and ask the sales team if they think it's normal. My amp is fuzz free on the Clean Channel using my SG (HB pickups). With my Strat I get some hum, I expect it. It's just the nature of the strat pickups. Good Luck
  4. If you bought it new & it's still in the warranty window I'd ask the sales team you bought it from how to go about getting it repaired. If you bought it second hand or if you're beyond the warranty period you have to consider your mechanical abilities & aptitude. I would have no problem opening this thing up and finding the point where the CD/mp3 input jack is and fixing it. If you are up to the challenge I say go for it. I've taken apart all my amps to repair one thing or another over the years and they're not that hard. You'll most likely find that the front panel is a single unit and contains all the knobs & switchs on the front. Because it's at an angle this makes access clumsy so you may have to disassemble more than you'd like. You may also run into sealed assemblies. I don't expect the front panel to be sealed but you won't know until you open it up. If it's sealed you may not be able to tighten up the jack. You'll have to purchase an entire front panel. Bummer. Another thought is to add an extension cable to the CD/mp3 jack. Leave the input loose and use the other end of the extension cable to plug/unplug. This will prevent further deterioration of the jack. Good Luck
  5. Hi, I just acquired my nifty new Spider IV amp but I'm confused about the echo effects. I bought the amp specifically for the echo effects and overdrive effects but I'm a little lost. How do I enable the echo effects with the overdrive effects. When I select anything other than the clean channel the effects automatically turn off. Are overdrive & echo mutually exclusive? How are the effects selected? Do I need to place the "dot" on the knob within the range marked Sweep or Tape or Reverb to select the corresponding effect? If so, why are these knobs infinitely adjustable? Does one part of each effect range sound different than another part of the same effect range? (Lower range of reverb vs upper range of reverb). The manual says the tap button is used to change the delay but it doesn't say if pressing the tap button increases or reduces the delay. How do I speed up/slow down the delay? Lastly, what's a "Sweep Echo" and what's a "Tape Echo". I'm looking for a simple delay/echo effect without any additional sounds. I seem to hear background sounds with either choice (assuming I'm selecting the effect correctly). Thanks for the help.
  6. I'm not familiar with the Mexi Strats. I am very familiar with the Korean PRS SE guitars. These are extraordinary guitars. Very high quality. I think they are the best "budget" guitars on the market. My current strat knock-off is also Korean. I am very pleased with it as well. Since I haven't seen the Korean JTV guitars yet I can't comment. But if quality control is an issue I think I'll be able to spot it in the instrument itself. Quality control inside the electronics is always a crap shoot. As the originator of this thread laments Line6 doesn't make spare parts available directly to the consumer. This complicates matters. Thanks for the head's up. I'll pay particular attention to the build quality, fit & finish, & quality of the components when I get my hands on one.
  7. If this is true then that will alleviate my concerns about the selector knobs. You should make a "sticky" thread for this topic here on this site. Thanks again. This is very helpful.
  8. Thanks. I've already worn out the you tube demos of the variax. The reason I'm here is that I REALLY am impressed by the sound bites. If the instrument is really a strat/LP competitor, both in quality & playability, then I'm even more anxious to get my hands on one. But after reading about things like "warbling" & other tone "issues" here and on other sites I'm still hesitant. A nice 30-day in-home trial is what I'm after. I just can't seem to find any locally, yet. I'm still hopeful. Thanks again.
  9. Thank you for the perspective. My understanding is that failure of the selector knob is such that it prevents the user from changing the emulation mode of the instrument when it fails. Since my interest is exclusively in the ability to model acoustics that's the most important part of the instrument for me. Your mileage may vary. Since I'm unfamiliar with Line6 customer supportI don't know how to gauge how many knob replacements at Line6's expense I'll be entitled to. I certainly expect it to be limited. Which leaves me "concerned". As a consumer. But thank again. It is an important issue for me.
  10. Hi, I too am very interested in the new JTV guitars. My hands are too arthritic to play my beloved acoustics anymore so I've taken up the electric. But I don't like the electric sound. I want the acoustic sound but I need the ease of electric playability. These new variax models seem made just for me. But...... there are problems. Apparently the modeling & tunings selector knobs are NOT very reliable. Perhaps there are other parts of the electronics that also aren't very reliable. For the budget price of $1300 or so this seems excessive. Also I haven't played one yet (I can't find one in any of the local music shops) and I'm concerned about the sound quality issues I've seen raised on this and other forums. Are the tones really good enough to use for an acoustic replacement? I don't use altered tunings, I've never figured out their value. If I can be convinced that the reliability and sound quality are there I'm ready to start shopping for one, probably the 59. But I don't want to pay shipping costs for web purchases before I'm convinced of the instruments value. Thanks for your help.
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