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Everything posted by c00lkatz

  1. The M5 operates off of 9VDC. The included adapter is rated 9VDC @ 500mA, but I am successfully operating it off of a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2+ 250mA port.
  2. Is it normally possible to retain the expression pedal settings after unplugging the expression pedal with the unit on as long as you don't move any knobs? I have 2 x M5, one in the loop and one in the front end. One of them, when I setup the expression pedal working, then unplug and plug back in without turning any knobs, it worked great, switched to non-expression pedal settings when unplugged and then flipped over to expression pedal settings right away when plugging pedal back in, pedal worked without having to do anything. The other one does not do that. When I set up the expression pedal, unplug, and plug back in, I have to redo the expression setup every time before it works again. I setup expression pedal, unplug expression pedal, it reverts back to non-expression settings, then I plug back in the pedal and the pedal doesn't work until I perform the setup (turning the knobs to the proper values) again. I noticed the M5 that retains its settings clicks twice on power-up/bootup, whereas the 2nd one only clicks once. After further fiddling around, now both of them only click once and neither one of them retain their settings after unplugging the expression pedal with the unit turned on. Any ideas? Have both units gone faulty or is this normal operation? According to the manual, the settings should only clear out if you turn the knobs with the pedal unplugged (which I'm not).
  3. I'm 280lbs and stepped on the Firehawk foot switches every day for 6 months before I got rid of it...does that count as durable? Lol
  4. Find something else. Get an M13 or similar. I tried the Firehawk as a multi Fx and it fell so short. Was more of a pain to use the app than I had anticipated, onboard editing sucks, and it messed with my tone no matter what settings I tried (and yes of course I turned off amp and cabinet modeling). Please, skip the Firehawk for multi-FX only use. If all you need is chorus, delay, reverb and similar, you can find pedals to do as such used for as much or cheaper than the Firehawk and be so much farther ahead.
  5. Yep... Gotta buy a Line 6 product for what it is NOW and not expect much by way of "future updates" as those updates usually come by way of a new product they want you to buy. They are definitely a get it out there mostly working, entice them with an update or 2, then release a new product with the "real fixes" that have new issues, type of company. Rinse, repeat. I currently buy my Line 6 products USED and based on what they do NOW. Though the Firehawk FX was especially disappointing. So much potential but kicked to the curb. What irks me most is that it cost only $50 less than the HD500X but was so much more limited. Was a steep price to pay for Bluetooth and an app based environment. Had I gone with an HD500X I probably would have been much happier, but I'll never know. I give up on Line 6 modeling. After the crap after sale support of the Flextone 3, this Firehawk situation, and based on what I've read of others' experiences with their products, I am done. As for the Helix, won't even touch a modeler that costs as much as my REAL tube amp and REAL pedalboard that is just as versatile (because I chose my components wisely and carefully), and sounds just as good if not better. Still have my JTV-59 though, and have been pretty impressed with it (other than the CRAP fretwork it had rendering it unplayable until I got my hands on it). But that was another used purchase that wasn't over-priced like what they want for their new equipment.
  6. Well, I have to change my grading from a "5/5" to a "4/5" on this JTV-59. Picked it up used from Guitar Center for $699 a few days ago, haven't had much time to mess with it. It plays pretty good, but I have noticed open chords kept playing out of tune and I had to really relax my grip. Sure enough individual notes were way sharp on an otherwise tuned string. Also I had a bad buzzing on the 9th and 10th frets on the middle strings. Also found the magnetic pickups to be very harsh and muddy. Well, I busted out my tools and got to work. The truss rod was completely loose, no tension. The pickups were way close to the strings, the action was actually pretty good at about 5/64" on the bass side and 4/64" on the treble side. Well it would seem the person before me was trying to put way too much relief into the neck to account for a VERY HIGH 11th fret which was causing the major buzzing. Rocking the frets there were a few that were a tad high, but this one was WAY high. Busted out the wrench and tightened the truss rod, about 1/4 turn after I felt tension. Checked the action, needed to be raised. Played some more and yeah, buzz city in the 9th/10th frets. Busted out my trusty file, ground down the high fret, crowned and polished it, and now no more buzzing. Decreasing the relief in the neck also slightly lowered the strings at the first fret, and now the guitar plays in tune all up and down the neck. Intonation was good, didn't have to change it. String height I had to tweak due to the neck tweaks, but kept it around where it was, felt good. Lowered the pickups and they seem much improved, but still need to tweak the height a bit. They measured at 12.5K neck and 13.5K bridge for anyone interested. I check the fretboard radius, and it came in at 14 inch. The strings at both the bridge and the nut followed the radius perfectly, so no issues there. So any guitar is going to need a setup, doesn't matter if it costs $100 or $5,000, due to player preference. But a $1,000 guitar that was borderline unplayable due to this high of a fret and having to tweak around it is not acceptable. The rest of the quality of the guitar is very good, but I am disappointed to have to put so much work into getting this thing playable. A $200-500 guitar - sure. But a $1,000 guitar? Shouldn't need to be grinding on frets. I have a Korean Schecter Hellraiser that didn't need anything but a few tweaks based on my personal preference, and that's about an $800 guitar. The JTV plays excellent now, just as well as any of my other guitars, but I can see why the person who had it before me traded it in - it was in barely used condition, still had the plastic covering the truss rod and rear control covers. Even had picks, strings, capo, and string winder in the bag. It's obvious they bought it, couldn't get it dialed in properly (can't blame them), and said screw it.
  7. I just picked up a used JTV-59 the other day that was made in 2012. Build quality is excellent, and everything works great. I don't know how much use it got up until now, but I will certainly be putting it through its paces. The fretwork and quality/feel is as good as any other ~$1,000 guitar I've played, including my Gibson Les Paul, G&L Legacy, and Schecter Hellraiser, all of which are excellent. Not too keen on the Variax Standard/Yamaha though. The JTV definitely feels next level, and the Standard is really not THAT much cheaper relative to the price range.
  8. Definitely need to stretch your strings. Also make sure you have at least a few windings around your tuner posts. Recently went Gibson Les Paul shopping and EVERY guitar had one maybe barely two winds around the tuner posts, and EVERY one of them wouldn't stay in tune for crap, even after stretching in the strings on the one I decided to get. Changed the strings PROPERLY and stretched them in, stays in tune just fine. Also check your tuners, make sure they're moving freely and make sure the bushings and mounting screws are snug. A loose tuner is a useless tuner. As for the nut, barre at the 3rd fret and press each string at the first fret. Movement should be about as much as the thickness of a thick paper business card. Excessive movement means filing is in order, no movement means the nut is cut too deep. If you hear pinging sound while tuning it means the string is binding. Lube it or slightly enlarge/smooth out the slot (but remove as little material as possible and try not to lower too much). If the guitar stays in tune, plays in tune up the first part of the fretboard, and doesn't appear to bind (no pinging) then there's nothing wrong. Definitely have to stretch (and bend) new strings though. Absolute requirement unless you just like playing out of tune for the lifetime of the set of strings.
  9. All this back and forth on specs - I don't even bother to look them up anymore. It's all a balancing act. The "specs" between manufacturers are typically so close it's moot. Once you know how to rough in a base setup then do small tweaks/adjustments from there, you don't need specific numbers for specific guitars. Chances are you won't stop at the "factory numbers" anyway (if you do it right - which is to tweak for a specific guitar's nuances or player's preference). 1) Strings off, use straight edge (I use notched straight edge) to set the neck straight. I've found with string tension pulling on the straight (without tension) neck, this gets you in the ballpark for relief. 2) Rough in intonation if need be. Set high E string saddle to scale length from nut or half scale length from 12th fret. Pull the B saddle back a bit, pull the G saddle back a bit, set the D saddle to same as B saddle, pull A back a bit from there, pull low E back a bit from there. 3) Put on the strings, tune to pitch, give each string a little tug, retune, then set the action to about 6/64" on the Low E, 4/64" on the high E. If you have individual saddle height adjustment (like on a Strat), set the middle strings to the radius of the fretboard (measured using a cheap radius gauge available on eBay - don't trust the "factory spec"...it's usually wrong). If you have fixed saddle height for the middle saddles (like a Les Paul) then move on. 4) Stretch in your strings really well and tune back up to pitch. 5) Place a capo or barre your finger across the 3rd fret, and then press the string down checking the first fret. There should be very little movement (like thick paper business card movement). If it's excessive, slots need to be filed. If the string doesn't move at all and is sitting on the first fret, congratulations you get to upgrade to a Tusq nut and learn another new skill. 6) Now the fun part - play the thing! Make sure you hit each fret and listen for excessive buzzing. Do some heavy bending and make sure you're not fretting out. Tweak action and relief until you get it dialed in. Relief adjustments should be 1/8 turn, no more than 1/4 then wait 15-20 minutes, tug on the strings a bit, retune and try again. Typical relief starting points are 0.010" to 0.012" (barre first and last frets, check at 7th/8th frets). If you're buzzing in the upper and lower frets but not the middle, tweak the action. If you're buzzing more in the middle and not the upper and lower then tweak the relief. I have even had times where straightening out the neck has decreased buzzing. Be realistic when listening for buzzing. If you're banging the crap out of the strings with a 2mm pick you're going to get some buzzing. Some times you can get lower, sometimes you can't. Depends on the guitar and how well the fretwork is done. Some people prefer a higher action because it makes bends easier. Your shredders typically want really low action for fast runs. More personal preference stuff here. 7) Pickup height I like to start with 6/64" bass side, 4/64" treble side (bottom of string to top of pole piece, fretting at the last fret), then play it and make small tweaks from there. Pretty self explanatory. Tweak it until it sounds good and balanced, heavily subjective depending on your pickups, your amp, and your ears. 8) Once you've got everything dialed in make sure you're in tune and check/adjust intonation. Play some more, check again. Once that's done you're all set. Give it a couple days - depending on the environment and how much tweaking you had to do, you may have to make adjustments. Note: Guitars with a floating trem require more work, and this has gone on far longer than I had hoped. Plenty of videos on YouTube on the subject. Seems like a lot but once you've done it a few times and get some experience under your belt where you know what little tweaks are required to get the desired effect (which you really just have to have experience with), it goes by quick. Note: This is not posted for the people above - they obviously know how to setup a guitar. This is for noobs searching around trying to figure out how to do it. Just get some base settings roughed in as pointed out, and tweak from there. A "factory setup" is merely a starting point. If a tech hands you a serviced guitar and doesn't make you play it before you leave so it can be tweaked if need be, he/she's not a very good tech.
  10. I gave up on it and got rid of it. I did get it to sound ok, maybe I am just too picky, but I am much happier with my pedal board. Thought I would like the mobile app based editing, but found it bothersome and while I was able to get it to sound ok, I never felt I got it to sound great. One of the features I was excited about was being able to play a song, have it find a tone, and start jamming along. Well seeing as I stream my music (Spotify Premium) and don't buy individual songs, that feature was useless, since it only works on songs physically stores in the phone. Searching for tones manually was not very rewarding, and most people would agree starting from scratch produced better results. We received 2 updates that did more to fix pre-existing issues rather than add features, despite the marketing touting upgrade ability as a pro, etc etc. Just not happy with the whole experience, or line 6 as a whole. This was my second line 6 product (first being a Flextone 3 XL, another expensive unit that only got like 1 update and basically required a $200 add on foot controller to make it truly useable), and honestly it will probably be my last for a little while. Different strokes for different folks.
  11. Unfortunately I didn't. Couldn't get away from the tone loss, and honestly was more complicated than I wanted it to be having to tweak settings all the time and practically being glued to my iPad when trying to use it. I just sold it and built a pedal board. More expensive, yes, but for my uses a real board is far better, and playing with the real thing just sounds better. I like being able to just bend down and tweak a couple knobs and get instant satisfaction rather than busting out with the app or trying to fumble around with the onboard editing. Just couldn't bond with the amp modeling either, using FRFR with an EV ZLX15P or direct into the FX return of my amps, and the Firehawk just had too many limitations and quirks when used as an effects only processor. I think it's more of a practice tool for those that want to plug into a set of speaker or headphones and get up and jamming with an ok tone quickly for practice and learning. As a dedicated effects processor for an existing rig I find it to be too lacking.
  12. I am trying to setup my Firehawk FX as an effects processor for my tube amps (Egnater Tweaker and Orange Dark Terror). I understand the concept of placing the preamp in the Firehawk's effects loop, as well as the cable routing and selecting "no amp/no cab" for the amp/cabinet model. My question is in regards to how to setup the Firehawk software, switches, and knobs after it's hooked up. 1) Where is the best placement in the chain for the effects loop, before or after the "no amp" model? 2) I assume the switches should be set to "AMP" for the output and "STOMP" for the loop, correct? Neither of my tube amps have any control over the effects loop level - "it is what it is" so to speak. They are both serial. From my understanding, most effects loops are setup for line level. Which means my Firehawk effects loop should be set to "STOMP" on the send going into the input of the amp, but should be "LINE LEVEL" when the signal is returned to the Firehawk from my amp's effects loop. I assume this is what the "FX SEND" and "FX RETURN" levels are for adjusting in the FX Loop block of the Firehawk? I have the mix set to 100%. After all that, it seems the "OUTPUT" of the unit should be line level going into the return of my amp - but everything I've read says that it should be set to amp mode, which is instrument level. Is this correct? 3) It is my understanding that with the HD line of processors, the signal between the input of the unit and the send of the effects loop suffers from a signal loss and needs to be compensated for. Is that also true with the Firehawk FX? 4) Where is everyone else needing to set the levels for master, guitar, and the "no amp" model volume? I figure the "no amp" model should be 100%, and in the case of my Dark Terror without a master volume, I would need to use the master volume of the Firehawk for controlling overall volume - what about the guitar level? Any tips would be appreciated. I've mucked about the settings some, but the amp does not sound the same with the Firehawk FX as it does without - tone suck. I have a feeling I'm just not setting it up right. I use a Rivera Rockcrusher attenuator to overdrive my power amp - sounds nice and thick/full without the Firehawk. With it in place, it sounds thinner and more "digital". Haven't even gotten to adding effects yet. Just trying to get the thing to sound the same with the Firehawk FX in place as it does without. However trying to avoid a huge pedal board at all costs!
  13. Using the latest firmware and app I can confirm the footswitches are not there if disconnected from Firehawk. If I disconnect but leave the app open, then they stay. However if I close and reopen the app while not connected they disappear until I reconnect again. Rest assured the function is still there, just won't be visible to you until you connect. For what it's worth I did the same thing you did before buying, play around with the app, watch videos, read reviews, etc. Personally I'm really liking it. Used it with an iPhone 5s first and the interface was kinda cramped, but just got an iPad mini and it's much nicer. Have a case/stand that props the iPad up nicely and is so nice not being hunched over an amp or pedalboard or having to mess with the laptop. Just prop up the iPad, start the app, load up a preset for a song, tweak a bit, and play. Not as hardcore as the HD500/X but honestly there's plenty there for me. I've gone the laptop/hardcore editing route, and I prefer the Firehawk's simplicity while retaining plenty of settings and combinations to mess around with. And the lights are purty too lol.
  14. Sorry, I no longer have the MKII to test with. I found a killer deal on a very good condition, used Shortboard MKI at my local Guitar Center about a week later, and swapped it out for that at less than half the price of the MKII, since I didn't need the USB functionality or the extra button.
  15. Well it seems I figured it out. I plugged into my audio interface via MIDI (Presonus Audiobox USB in Mac OS X Yosemite for anyone wondering) and fired up Line 6 Edit. It would appear the Function 2 button controls Amp Enable/Disable as verified with the Line 6 Edit software. If the Function 2 light is on, then the amp (modeling?) is disabled. When the light is off, it is enabled. Now here's where it gets weird. I have a Matchless Chief custom tone in 1A, the stock Purple Fuzz tone in 1B, the stock XTC tone in 1C, and a custom tone I made in 1D. When I first fire up the amp and switch to 1B (Purple Fuzz, unmodified) the Function 2 light is lit, BUT in Line 6 Edit the amp modeling is still enabled. If I press Function 2, it does nothing except switch the light off, amp modeling is still enabled. But if I press it again, then the amp modeling icon on Line 6 Edit goes dim, and the button functions as normal turning the amp modeling on and off (again, light on = modeling off, light off = modeling on...confusing I know). However, when I switch to 1C or 1D, then back to 1B, the light stays off. If I switch to 1A then back to 1B, the light will come back on and function as aforementioned. This is the only tone in the first bank doing this, with my limited testing. All other tones still operate as normal with the Function 2 light off (as it should be) then pressing the button will turn the light on and disable amp modeling. So it would seem it's a bit glitchy, but yes, the Function 2 button does something, and that is enable/disable amp modeling. Now obviously I don't see this as being a very useful function for which this board was intended, but it is at least nice to know what it does. Just putting this out there for anyone who may be searching in the future. Also, as a side note, I DID use the latest Monkey utility to update the firmware on this amp, contrary to what other posts from 5 years ago tell you (they say not to use Monkey because it is glitchy and can cause problems, there is another flasher that is specific to the Flextone available). There have been a couple updates since these old posts were made regarding Monkey, and for me at least, using OS X Yosemite (the current latest version of OS X, released almost 5 years since the discontinuation of this amp), and the aforementioned audio interface, everything is working just fine with the latest Monkey and Edit utilities. Firmware flashes have gone smoothly, the utilities have worked as intended, there have been no connection issues, and all is well. Thank you Line 6 for the continued software support on your discontinued products! It is much appreciated! Another side note, if you're buying this amp current day, you've most likely bought used at 1/3 the price it went for new, and saved a lot of money over current comparable offerings. Invest in a decent audio interface rather than a cheap MIDI to USB cable. The cost is not that much more (my Audiobox was $69 on sale at Guitar Center), and you get so much more than just a basic MIDI interface. The cheap $10 or even $30 interfaces just aren't worth it. Do yourself a favor and get a decent (doesn't have to be expensive) interface, and save yourself the hassle and read up on all the extra features you get doing so. Ok, I'm off my soapbox now. Thanks again for reading!
  16. I just picked up a Flextone III XL and a new FBV Shortboard MKII (great combo btw, I love it). It looks like everything is laid out all the same as the standard FBV Shortboard, except it would seem Function 1 now controls the FX loop on/off, and Stomp controls the Compressor. What does Function 2 do? I've read an old post that says it does nothing, but there are Line 6 default presets that light up Function 2 when I switch to them and other presets that turn the light off when I switch to them. Only a few of the presets I have tweaked on the Flextone itself, and none of them were tweaked while the shortboard was connected as I just got it last night. So it would seem it does SOMETHING, but I can't find any info on it. Just to cover all my bases, the Shortboard MKII had the latest firmware out of the box, and the "new to me" Flextone III was re-flashed with the latest 1.10 firmware along with an A+D factory reset before I started playing with it to make sure it was as "factory fresh" as possible. Thanks for any help!
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