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snowgoose50

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About snowgoose50

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  1. Hi all, Thanks for the helpful information above. I put in a request on Ideascale for a Workbench tool to help with string balancing: Workbench HD tool for balancing string volumes on Variax Perhaps you could vote for it, if you like it. Cheers Simon
  2. snowgoose50

    Variax Workbench

    Many thanks MartinHines. After a VERY long time and countless headaches, my computer and I are now reconnected to my Variax. The Java fix outlined above worked perfectly. Much appreciated. Simon
  3. snowgoose50

    Formant sounds with Helix?

    I found this thread while also looking for a talkbox effect for the Helix. It's very frustrating since my POD XTLive has a very usable HiTalk effect that did a credible Peter Frampton and was a common ingredient (at a low level) of my normal lead sounds SimonW
  4. I have been using a Whirlwind ENC2010 cable. This is the 10 foot version but they make other lengths. It's MUCH better than the Line6 cable. It has the same heavy-duty end fittings but the cable is heavier, thicker and much less prone to kinking and tangling. Mind you, I'd change to a wireless in a flash if they offered one that would control the Variax. Cheers Simon
  5. Good work Miroslav. I think you've demonstrated that the Strat model is particularly sensitive to that noise. On a more general note, I don't see why Line 6 slavishly model every aspect of a guitar including its faults. It would be nice to replace that sound with that of a hardtail strat a la Clapton.
  6. Sorry I just realised that Clay-man has already mentioned that it does vary with technique. Apart from the thickness of the windings and perhaps the pick angle, it's hard to see why there should be any inherent difference between the A5 and E6
  7. This is a good question Miroslav. I suspect it's that the E6 is more susceptible to pick noise due to the coarseness of the windings as I mentioned before. It may well be that the firmware is correcting the noise better on the A5. Certainly when I play my guitar unamplified, there is more pick noise on the E6. I know you have done a lot of debugging already. Is the noise invariant or does its amplitude change as you play (i.e. is it embedded in the modelling or does it depend on your technique)? Can you do anything to make the noise worse?
  8. From what I can see, the problem is inherent to the use of piezo pickups, and that all of the causes suggested in this thread are probably true to greater or lesser extent. It arises from the way piezos detect string vibrations, which differs from magnetics, and is also sensitive to extraneous noise. A magnetic pickup detects mainly the lateral movement of the string far from the bridge and it is most sensitive to the fundamental tone being played. If you move the pickup closer to the bridge, the lateral movement of the string becomes more dominated by the harmonics of the fundamental note and the sound becomes more trebly. Magnetic pickups are relatively insensitive to extraneous noises on the string like fret buzz, pick scrapes etc because they produce little lateral amplitude in the string relative to the amplitude of the fundamental tone. Piezos are located in the bridge where there is almost zero lateral movement of the strings. The fundamental note as well as all of the harmonics have essentially equal amplitude there, so they are all detected, which is why piezos sound incredibly bright. This is good for modelling because it's what happens to all of those harmonics in different guitars that determines why guitars sound different in the first place, and why the Variax can model them. The down side is that piezos also detect non-musical vibrations equally well, as they are in intimate contact with the strings, the bridge and, to a lesser extent, the body of the guitar. So things that affect the strings like pick noise, fret buzz, buzzing on the piezo casing (a la Rocco_Crocco) will all be picked up and transmitted. (I said above why I think the E6 is most affected by pick noise). Also they will detect noise from operation of the tremolo arm, sympathetic vibrations of the tremolo springs (I damped mine with foam rubber) and anything loose in the body, like a rattling washer. They may also be sensitive to longitudinal waves in the string as Miroslav suggested - if the guitar has a tremolo bridge, then it is not static, but part of a resonant system with the tremolo springs, so I am sure that it moves longitudinally unless clamped down. The firmware can't really solve this problem. The modelling reproduces the difference between the sound of the Variax piezo and, say, a Les Paul, but both sounds will have been as recorded on the day by a player with a particular pick on particular strings with a particular technique. I am sure they did multiple recordings to get the average difference, and on a good day, the models work incredibly well. But the models couldn't know that you are using a different pick or different technique so there will always be slight differences. Most importantly, I don't see how extraneous noises could ever be dealt with. So as far as I can see, it's inherent in the technology. Until they start using something like optical sensors or smarter hexaphonic pickups, were are stuck with the downsides. I can only suggest doing everything you can to minimse the effect - heavier strings, adjust your technique, and eliminating all noises and vibrations in the setup.
  9. Thanks Charlie. Much appreciated. I have a Dremel, so I'm back in business. No hardware shopping required! Cheers Simon
  10. Hi all, No further suggestions on the cause, but if thicker strings will help, then why not try the D'Addario Light Top/Heavy Bottom set EXL140. The gauges are 10/13/17/30/42/52. This will give you your heavier bass strings without making the treble strings harder to bend. I have been using this set for years on my Variax 700 as it gives a very solid bottom end and a much more realistic feel for acoustic guitar sounds. It also gives a great twangy bass on the telecaster sounds. I also use it on my strat. Cheers, Simon
  11. Thanks again Martin, but I have SOLVED the issue. I took the guitar to a friend's house. He has a great collection of tools. We found a wrench that fit perfectly, and to my surprise it measured as 0.050" (well, 0.0485-0.052 across various facets). I borrowed it. I re-measured my own wrench and got essentially the same values across the flats, but it was still loose in the screw! WTF?, as they say. Then I had a close look at my own wrench (the one supplied with the guitar) with a magnifier and found that the ends had been rounded over so that it no longer gripped. Presumably someone in the shop had done a tuneup too vigorously and damaged the wrench. So the upshot is that the Allen wrench sizes supplied were correct, i.e. 1 - 1.5mm hex 1 - 4mm hex 1 - 5/64" hex 1 - 7/64" hex 1 - 3/32" hex 1 - 0.050" hex But the smallest one was damaged on arrival.
  12. Thanks for digging out that info Martin. They are indeed the sizes of the wrenches supplied with the guitar. Unfortunately the smallest one is slightly too small for the job. It grips just well enough to lower the action too much, but not well enough to adjust it back up to playability. Therein lies the story and the basis of my sense of urgency. :-( Cheers Simon
  13. I agree, but it would be worst on the E6 due to the coarse string winding. I just tried sliding my pick down the strings (unamplified) and the E6 is loudest by far. Also, the piezos would be much more sensitive to the noise than magnetics. I must say that I became increasingly saddened with your battles over this problem as I read through the posts. Good luck !
  14. Thanks Martin, The set did have 7 wrenches. I saw a previous post that also mentioned the wrong sizes were included. It is a pity Full Compass don't say what sizes they are. If all else fails, I'll take the guitar to a great shop in town called "Nuts and Bolts" that sells everything related to nuts and bolts. They may have something. But that means waiting till Monday. I was hoping to duck into the local hardware tomorrow. Much appreciated though. S. :-)
  15. Hi all, I'm new to this thread and I've just read all 410 posts, having just bought a JTV 69s.... A hesitant suggestion: When I listened to the audio examples, I interpreted what I assume to be the "plinky noise" as pick scrape. I know someone mentioned that it was still there when playing with fingernails, but has anyone tried using picks of different hardness to see if that affects the tone? I noticed the piezos on my Variax 700 were very sensitive to any noise from the pick if it slid across the string windings at all during the pluck stroke, and I had to be careful with my technique. Maybe a nylon pick would be quieter than a hard plastic one. It's a bit like scraping the mesh on a microphone. The string would carry the noise directly to the piezo. Cheers Simon
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