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Everything posted by mileskb

  1. There is a far cry from, and I thought I was pretty clear... between "not setup for me" and not playable. Interestingly... it was in tune... which I thought odd. Maybe the neck just hadn't settled yet and it pulled, but it was pretty flat. This is actually common when the guitar is assembled without letting the neck age. The accounting folks HATE to see necks and bodies on racks for weeks not making money... I know one company that would actually hide the racks (the racks were on wheels) when the folks from corporate would come around. "Why are those parts just sitting there??!!!!... that's inventory!!! Get those assembled !!!" etc etc.. Music123 gave me a great deal on a new guitar. The firmware was only missing the latest update for the Shuriken, so it was fairly new. Not sure when actually built. Sweetwater is a great place too for customer service. The switch, well kinda reminds me of my Victory motorcycle. Now Vic was made in the USA, all metal parts... turn signal stems, headlamp bucket, mirrors, fenders, all metal... except one part. They call it a "cheese wedge" and it was actually a cover on the side of the engine with the logo. Arguably the most seen and identifiable part on the bike with it's unique design element, and it was made of plastic. The 5-position switch in this guitar reminds me of the cheese wedge. I swear this is one of the best built guitars I have seen. Certainly on par with Ibanez, Schecter and others. I am a guitar seller's worst nightmare as I go over the guitar wearing a magnifier lamp like jewlers wear on their head. It has NO flaws anywhere. In fact the rest of the circuit and parts, even the actual circuit board used by the switch with the three resistors in the layers... top notch... really.. Then they threw on a less than top quality switch and used connectors in the first part of the signal path. Just seems odd. I'm guessing most people would never notice, and I guess that's the point. Had mine not had an issue, I would not have noticed either. And I guess it's a statement that even after the switch issue, and being surprised at lack of setup... I really really love this guitar. It's very lightweight. at least a lot lighter than anything else I have that's electric. I love the neck and because of this guitar I'm going to sand the neck on my other main guitar. I love the feel of the not-gloss neck. And now that I have the switch fixed... it's a pleasure to play.
  2. I wouldn't think the "store," any store, should be the one responsible for the guitar being playable, but the more I research the topic, the more I realize that at the very least not-setup is the norm. The switch... that can happen. More annoyed at the design of the switch than anything else. I get the "mass production" aspect, but putting crimp connectors to hold the Volume and Tone leads seems... well.. silly.. Maybe in a perfect world ok... but with everything else soldered onto that board, adding at least 6 points of failure not to mention signal loss and noise, doesn't seem prudent. Since I soldered the connection, it feels kinda like a new guitar... a new switch at least. The has a positive feel and no drops or cut outs if you wiggle it or bump the guitar.
  3. Been buying a selling used guitars for years. I think brand only matters if you are buying NEW, and then, all bets are off for the future as the market it fickle. On a used guitar, you can usually sell it for what you paid for it. There are not many things you buy, use for a few years, even make money with it, and then sell it for the same as you paid. Most any decent guitar, regardless of what's on the headstock will enable you to do that. Now if we're talking "investment" that's a whole nother topic, that frankly makes no sense to me. Why anyone would pay $1000's of dollars for a "brand name" even a custom shop model, when they can get a guitar build on spec by a luthier for likely less, that is in every way better than what could possibly come out of any "brand" custom shop. I am so grateful that Leo Fender and Les Paul or in the bigger sense Fender and Gibson did what they did oh so many years ago... but I wouldn't own either unless it was one heckuva deal that I could flip quickly.
  4. Well now part 2 and hopefully the last part.... I should have done this when the switch started having issues. I removed it, removed all the pickup leads, most were just stuck into the solder. I opened up the switch and well, it's a pretty cheap part. There was a "glaze" (not lubricant) on the contacts and the way it mounts to the circuit board, any pressure on the switch can cause one or more of the pins to break their solder connection. Also the two connectors from the Volume and Tone controls, they are just an accident looking for a place to happen. Bottom line.. 1. Cleaned switch contacts and pulled up on tabs to add a little more pressure. reassembled. 2. Re-soldered all pickup leads to board, each one goes through board now and soldered properly. 3. Removed the "connectors" for the Volume and Tone pot, cut and trimmed leads and soldered directly to board 4. Put assembly back into guitar and re-heated/set each of the pole tabs where the switch connects to the board. Result... no more dropouts, no more noise, and I swear it overall sounds better. I can't believe they used crimp connectors (and not very good ones) going from the Volume and Tone pots to the board. I can't figure out why they would even do that because as far as I can tell, they were permanent connectors, so it's not like they were making it modular. Just got done playing random stuff switching between pickups and modelling etc etc.. without issue... finally. And yes.. I likely blew the warranty, but no way was I going to send it back for who-knows-how-long just for them to do what I initially did (cleaned the switch) just to have returned it and have it fail. This way, I know it's solid and I can trust it. Sheeesh....
  5. So I spent a bit of time with Mr. 5-Position Switch... Not sure if it was that nearly ALL of the blade solder points were cold, or that neither pickup ground was actually in the circuit board (just buried in solder, or that at least 1/2 the pickup leads were cold joints as well... or.... the switch has a mechanical issue... Actually I'm thinking less mechanical and more still cleaning the gunk out... but I re-soldered or more correctly ACTUALLY SOLDERED (not just applied lump of solder to wire) and things seem to be perking up. What got me here was I was playing with Workbench and noticed it was only intermittently switching into the #2 positions selection, mostly it would switch and the new model with flash on the screen for a second, and then it would return to whatever was in the #1 position. So I decided I was going to give the switch a real good cleaning by taking it out, making sure all joints were proper, etc.. As soon as I moved the switch, the ground lead from the neck pickup fell off. Turns out just the tip was touching solder so any movement and that's all she wrote. I also notices most all of the pins from the blade into the board were loose... I actually only noted a few and that was good enough to break our the soldering iron. As I hit each joint, the solder collapsed and surrounded the pin like they should. I'm pretty sure they were all cold joints. I checked the two connectors on the backside of the board, the leads on one were loose in the solder. So essentially... I touched up all points. The leads from the neck pickup had to be pulled, completely finished again and put back in. I'm guessing this guitar just slipped right by QC... I'm glad I have the skills and tools, but not happy I had to use them. If the switch has any further issues I'll just replace it, but it may be fine now. We'll see. Talk about mixed emotions.
  6. I chose to re-solder the leads... Nice little improvement... although... maybe re-solder isn't the right term as they WEREN'T SOLDERED RIGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE !!!!
  7. So I'm just a bit curious... Been checking out my new JTV-89F and notice the pickup selector positions and wondered why they didn't wire the humbuckers to better mimic single coil pickup placement one would find on guitars with single coil pickups. I did a mockup in photoshop of what I mean. Has anyone here just flipped the pickups to achieve this? It would seem we could get a better single coil on the neck or bridge position this way. I could also see just flipping the neck pickup as a lot of the signature single-coil tones are from the neck pickup yet most single coils on the bridge are an an angle to really they start out a little further away from the bridge and get closer as you move up the scale. Anyway... thoughts of flipping the pickups? Pros and cons ? Am I missing something?
  8. Yeah, I guess my expectations are high. I've only purchased 3 other "new" guitars in the past 15 years and two were custom shop guitars so they came out of their cases playing themselves... I just needed to grab on and go for the ride. The most recent was a an Ovation Adamas, they are gone over by several people at the factory before they leave. Never really thought about it, but another vote for "used" guitars is if they were indeed "used" by someone, than they are probably at least playable. At least that's been my experience. I rarely get a used guitar that isn't playable. May have other issues, usually that's why I'm buying it... but almost always playable. In any case... A plus for the JTV-89F, is that it's pretty easy to setup. Ended about 3/8's turn on the Truss rod, and about 1.5 turns down on the bridge height screws and no buzz or dead notes and nice action up and down the neck. The verdict on the 5-position is still out as I still had to mess with it today, blew more cleaner into it and cleared up... We'll see if that lasts.. It doesn't feel mechanically faulty.. I may just take it off and soak it in cleaner and blow it out real well. That's probably what it really needs :(
  9. Figured out the update, just needed to plug in a 1/4" jack.
  10. I would be interested. I think 1K for a VDI wireless is on par with most pro wireless systems today. If I was gigging (and I will be again soon), it would be a must. It would also be great to have one extra audio channel to plug in a headset mic. Now before you role your eyes... it just needs a body pack you can plug a mini-xlr into. I always hated having to wear two body packs.
  11. Thanks specracer986, Been playing since I was kid.. (50+ years) and never could get used to putting a guitar in a softcase. My first guitar was a box bought with S&H greenstamps and even it had a hardboard case.
  12. mileskb

    Is 2.21 minor bugfix planned any time soon?

    Mixed emotions... I JUST moved to 2.20 on Wednesday :(
  13. mileskb


    That might be easier than my idea of getting two people in a room to figure out what's different. But this could work too as we'd end up in the same place.
  14. mileskb


    FWIW I am dead serious about this. It would be one thing if it was just a "works" or "doesn't" works issue, but it isn't. Personally, I love the Helix tuner. It's easier to tune my 10-String on the Helix than the Paterson strobe..
  15. mileskb


    I have been watching these assorted "Tuner" threads since they started. Here are some observations and a plan-ish.. 1. The Tuner is great for some, and not great for others. 2. The extent of great or not great knows no bounds, e.g. some can't use it all, and some won't use anything else and every option in between. 3. Experience and skill do not seem to be a factor on where you fall in the usability scale of item #2 above. Amateur to Pro, newbie or long time player. So MY conclusion... is we need to get at least TWO people into a room. One who hates or at least dislikes the tuner, and one who loves it or at least uses it on a regular basis and let them tune each others guitars and document/observe each other and what works and what doesn't. This is the ONLY way this is going to get resolved.
  16. mileskb

    Windows Tablet for Editor

    Just FWIW, not all USB cables are the same, Some, generally the cheaper ones, are wired for "charger" use only, and I have also heard about ones for Data only and don't charge, but I have not personally run across those... the "charge only" ones I have run across all too often...
  17. mileskb

    'amp in the room' setting

    Nailed It !!!
  18. mileskb

    'amp in the room' setting

    I think we are thinking the same idea, unless one models MORE than the speaker and amp. However, the only person that really hears more than the speaker and amp, is the musician. Yes another way to look at it.... is... Now that I have a modeler, why would I want to bring a cabinet and set it on a wobbly hollow stage, and have some 20 year old beat up microphone hung on it? Yeah... there would be "in the room sound" but I don't want "that" room as my sound. Not when I can get that "mic'd" sound and just give it to the sound man directly. Good conversation... as someone said... there are many "definitions" of in the room.
  19. mileskb

    'amp in the room' setting

    "You can only model what you can measure." another great take-away !!! In reality, another way to describe what you are talking about, it creating a room, maybe a 10' x 12' size... have the walls ceiling and floor covered in sensors... somehow "float" as best as possible the speaker cabinet in the center and then create a model at all frequencies based on those sensors. When re-played through an FRFR rig, it should somewhat sound like the "amp in the room" but again... it would just be that room the test was done which really isn't realistic. I'm not sure how many people realize the classic recordings were made in studios chosen for their sound. Record Plant, Sun, Abbey Road, Sound City etc all have a "sound". They color the instrument. If you ever get to Sun studio in Nashville, the original one, you can play a few notes on the piano or guitar or sing a few notes, and you "hear" the sound that's on every recording made there. It's freak'n eerie to be honest. And that is the ONLY place it will sound like that. You can do the same at the Old Ryman Auditorium. I only mention these places because they are accessible. In the Ryman, on "the spot" your instrument or voice takes on a sound that is very distinct. Frankly I think most people who are looking for "amp in the room" would be happy to just hook up a "buttkicker" to their amp system that transfers the lower frequencies to the structure (room) so you actually get that "in the room" amp feel. http://www.thebuttkicker.com/
  20. mileskb

    'amp in the room' setting

    ..... and while I'm at it... that Kemper "Pure Cabinet" function is marketing spew for adjusting early reflections and global eq. They can make all the demos in the world... they still sound like they are coming out of the speakers I am playing them through.
  21. mileskb

    'amp in the room' setting

    I think that sums this whole topic up !!!! 99% of people who are looking for their "holy grail" sound... have NEVER heard it, from an amp. But wait... I saw SRV live... I know what he sounds like.. BZZZZZZZT! WRONG... NO YOU DON"T... You know what SRV's amp via a MICROPHONE AND CABLES AND SNAKE AND PREAMPS AND SPLITTERS AND MIXER AND PROCESSORS AND AMPS AND PA SPEAKERS sound like, unless you got on stage and sat in front of his amp. Ok... let me back down a notch or two... You just want that really cool full, shake your insides sound you get when you jam on your - insert your favorite amp/speaker here - Well THAT's not going to happen with ANY PA speaker, because guess what... that Fender Twin sound... is not just a speaker. It's a cabinet too. The sound is coming not only from the speaker but it's radiating off the sides of the cab, and through whatever it's sitting on. Same for your mesa cab and your Marshall cab and whatever.. So here's my suggestion... You want "amp in the room sound from the helix".. get an amp and speaker, and put it in a room. The closest you can get with the helix, as example of a Roland JC 120 in a room... is... Set the Helix to JC120 mode but don't use the cabs. Take the line out and run it into effects return of a JC120. It will sound like a JC120 in the room. (sorry... my head was about to explode, I had to let it out).
  22. I'm not sure if this helps, but (I know I sound like a Rockman fanboy) but compression was an integral part of the Rockman sound. I used to do exactly as you... I used my volume to go from clean-ish to crunch, and additionally I used my tone between 70% and 100% to accomplish punch. The key with the Rockman, and I assume the Helix although I haven't tried it... is the 3 band Compressor is the FIRST thing in the chain not the last.
  23. Bazinga... I can see where this could be really really useful where you need to tweak a snapshot due to a venue or whatever... but when it's time to go, you want it back to original "saved" version.
  24. mileskb

    Helix Native - Let's See If I have This Straight

    I see a lot of people just don't understand the concept of proper tool for proper job FOR YOU!!! We are NOT all the same. Se here's my take on Native... I would use it in my studio. Record guitarists with their amp, but mainly get a dry track so I can find the "perfect" sound, not the one we're stuck with. I don't think my Helix will even hit my studio unless I'm using it. No need. This really opens the doors for a LOT of producers. The real key.. I mean the real price of admission is when it's time to fix or overdub a track... not having to spend waaaaay too much time trying to "recreate" the original tone close enough that no on will notice. Just dial up the same settings and record a dry track. Oh sure... there will still be ever so slight differences, but nothing compared to trying to match a full rig. What about getting a project started in another studio. That other studio had a Dumble, or an AC30... or or or ... I don't have to start calling around the country looking for an amp to rent... just dial it up. Yep... Native is awesome... I'm glad I don't have to pay full price because I own a Helix, but I certainly would pay full price if it was the only option. The $1000's of dollars it would save and my clients in the long run.... even used on just one project.... it would pay for itself.