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Everything posted by jerseyboy

  1. jerseyboy

    Older Variax compatibility

    It's also commonly confused on the Variax message board. People post questions for 1st Gen in the Variax Standard forum all the time. I'm with brother codamedia - 1st Gen, 2nd Gen, hopefully more gens...
  2. jerseyboy

    Live performers! What’s in your bag?

    Really depends on the gigs but I tend to sort things along the lines of stage sound, PA sound and instrument related. Instrument related varies wildly depending on instruments played but includes: strings, winder/cutter, neck relief tools, nail clippers/files, flat & finger picks, capos, slides, steels, clamp-on tuner, pencil, flashlight, small screwdrivers, straps. Even lube oil, applicator and of course the bender bar for HipShot bender setups. Stage sound is what’s needed to connect instruments into whatever stage amplification we’ll be using but lotsa 1/4-1/4 cables and any volume pedal, A/B boxes. I enjoy Fishman Loudbox amps for stage monitoring and in many cases handling DI output. Don’t normally carry much to connect PA sound to FOH as most those gigs have mic cables and crew scurrying around. But if small house PA we’re operating it’s always good to have XLR cable and various adapters, inserts, etc. If you take the leap as myself and others going full range amp modeling you’ll be kinda SOL if Helix LT (or any modeler) dies or becomes damaged during transit. For this reason I always carry a Zoom MS50 multi pedal. Never forced to use it in place of Helix LT but did an impromptu bar gig with it past year driving a LoudBox and it was more than satisfying club amp sound imo. In the unlikely event Helix died I’d be glad to have "something" small yet powerful.
  3. jerseyboy

    Should us "hobbyists" be doing so many updates?

    Working guys take things slowly and deliberately. 1000's of paying guests plus dozens of talent/crew shouldn't be Guinea Pigs. Hobbyists can experience unexpected changes without much actual damage to the proceedings.
  4. jerseyboy

    Variax? Or not?

    At the risk of offending my good friends at Line6 - another cool IR device = Audio Sprockets Tone Dexter. It works IR magic with user created WAV maps of individual instruments. I created Tone Dexter IR's of all my acoustic guitars and now I can play my easy-action Taylor yet spit out the salty old high-action Martin. Recently did a music store workshop and we mapped a nice Martin with Fishman under saddle pickup using AKG C1000s microphone. Then we grabbed $150 Recording King brand with very similar under saddle pickup. Tone Dexter was happy to spit out the WAV mapped tone of the Martin - eyes in the room got very big. Very impressive and possibilities are endless. Festival guys learning they can bring the sound of their expensive boutique instruments into harsh conditions using a much cheaper workhorse axe.
  5. You read that right. I decided to be super cheap and lazy and bought 20 plain high E (11’s) strings via FleaBay. I go through ‘em at a good clip and I sometimes like .011 instead of .010. https://www.ebay.com/itm/20-Pack-Single-Electric-Guitar-Strings-Bulk-011-High-E-Medium-11-Gauge-M2I8/332747544409?hash=item4d794c9759:g:7R4AAOSwq75bZgDw Chinese seller supper slow shipping. I’d kinda forgot about ‘em until they arrived in mailbox. Threw one on JTV59 and it felt okay. Sorta felt different but I chocked it up to being 11. All seemed good enough and I even checked the modeling to be sure there wasn’t any drastic volume/tone difference. All good or so I thought. Start our show on a Spank model and all’s well. However, flipping to magnetic pickups no high E string. What? You’ve gotta be kidding me! 1st I thought I’d lost a piezo but no, models sounded fine and balanced volume but my head keep going back to all the threads here and dead piezo. Ugh! Eventually resorted to using Lester modeling until we hit a break and swapped-in #2. So apparently these strings are some sort of non-ferrous alloy and will not generate any signal through magnetic pickups. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Could you imagine buying a full set of these and wondering why my guitar pickups died? Anyway, please indulge my starting a thread but I felt worth sharing since we often hear about low or no string volume issues but only with modeling. This situation being the complete opposite and after some puzzled moments I got quite a chuckle out of the irony. Been at this nearly 50 years and still run into stuff I would’ve never imagined possible. Only from China I suppose?
  6. They were sold as electric guitar strings and they seemed to ring fine on the JTV strummed acoustically. Main concern were any anomalies models/piezos might suffer. That’s why I plugged in and checked the models but it never dawned on me to test the mags. What a very weird and startling surprise. I don’t even know why these things were ever made and it’s a good reminder that “secret string recipes” for magnetic pickups can make tremendous difference. I don’t think I’ll be buying strings direct from China anymore. Older old-timers told me electric guitar string materials slowly changed and refined through the 60’s and later years. Even if you wanted to sound exactly like Buddy Holly (Black Diamond flat wound) or someone from that era, currently available string materials wiggling over newfangled pickups aren’t the same as were used back in the day. Of course we’ll never be able to A/B such theories but it’s fun to wonder what those sounds were like in that era. I've been told by original Cricket and believe Buddy Holly used BD flats on his Strat because out in the boonies that’s what drug stores often stocked for the touring big bands. Not many full service music stores like today.
  7. Yeah, it’s likely duff battery pack. Good on them to replace. Lithium chemistries can be damaged rather easily. Over discharge, stored at full charge for long periods of time, excess heat. Lead and Nickel chemistries tolerate more general abuse but come up short on the high performance C rate, energy density self-discharge scale. Rock on!
  8. jerseyboy

    Good acoustic plugin for Variax acoustic models

    Stock 12 string is a matter of context. In a mix most don’t seem bad but when exposed for something like the opening to “Hotel California” they can use some work. For me it’s a matter of connecting Workbench HD then tweaking guitar body types and mic placement referencing similar full range amplification or input capture I expect to use live or recording. This way I’ve manage to get it pretty close and more than acceptable for live work. Lighter gentle attack is generally better.
  9. Not sure about the LED sequence. Would like to know myself. Unused shelf life of these and similar 18605 Lithium cells much longer than 3 years. Stored roughly 50% SOC (state of charge) under cool moderate temperatures these cells will last much much longer. 7-10 years should not out of the question for quality cells. Cycle life is another matter. Full cycles, partial cycles. There’s that number depending on specific chemistry/brand. But if not cycled I would suggest burn off the top charge and remove from guitar. 50% is ideal but even 10% drop in SOC for storage will reap major benefits. With a fully charge battery pack, play yer guitar for 20-30 minutes then remove the pack from guitar. Store in moderate climate.
  10. jerseyboy

    A B Box for a Variax

    I don't know exactly why designers chose AC input power. But I would not attempt to use DC for any Line6 product designed for AC input power. It's not gonna work and it might damage something.
  11. 4.2V is lithium polymer/ion top charge voltage. JTV pack uses 2 cells in series so 8.3-8.4V would indicate fully charged pack. However, Lithium chemistry can be damaged and/or degrade over time. The resting voltage level may appear fully charged but when actually powering something the chemistry can no longer provide any working Amperes to power a load. Under load the voltage drops considerably. This condition is related to IR or internal resistance of the battery cells. High IR indicates a cell which cannot deliver much if any power. (Amps) Someone with RC modeling background will understand and recognize such battery behavior. Pretty much same voltage chemistry parameters used by RC products. Search youtube for Lipo IR testing. Technically inclined folks can apply a known load and use calculations to determine IR of any battery chemistry cell. If I were testing JTV battery pack I’d start fully charged. Next apply enough resistive load to pull about between 0.2-0.3A from the battery terminals. Apply for few seconds and if resting 8V dropped near or below 6V I would judge it to be a poor battery pack. Essentially checking voltage drop under load. Could also measure pack voltage via wiring connections inside the guitar when powered up. But probe the wrong spot or slip of a hand and things could quickly get messy.
  12. jerseyboy

    What type of Variax is this?

    Very well made those 700 model guitars. That's a pretty one too. My only complaint about the MIJ 700 is/was vibrato bridge. I avoid those type bridges like plague. In fact it's the only reason I've tolerated Korean 500's. Perform good fretwork and install decent tuners 500's work for me but nothing like the quality of MIJ 700.
  13. My 2013 JTV59 suffers "B9" (former employer code for intermittent operation) over time. Played daily 20-25 hours/week. Fix so far has been to reseat and clean (ProGold or electronics contact cleaner) the many JST/Molex connections running to/from the mainboard. Afterwards works fine for several months but eventually must rinse & repeat. Another 2017 JTV59 has never displayed any sort of B9 problems or the push-push switching my 2013 suffered until reworking those controls. I believe it's been said Line6 updated things somewhat over the course of few years. 2013's needing frets soon so I may send it to our glorious moderator and top drawer Line6 tech when pulled outta daily service. I'm certain he would be able to solve some the B9 stuff and other things for reasonable charge.
  14. I agree ibdrkn1. As a matter of fact original working Variax 500 seem to hold around $400-500 used value. I never see JTV59's less than $600 used. And to be more depressed as a bargain hunter, used Variax 700 acoustic's seem to have ticked upwards past couple years. I used to see em around $400 eBay/Craigslist but most completed auctions running north of $600. $800 not that uncommon. Will Variax lose value initially when bought new? Most likely but they seem to hit a bottom and so far remain relatively desired in used gear marketplace.
  15. Piezo element probably dead. Might be gummed up and need careful cleaning/fitting but that's a long shot. Line6 suggests a service center - https://line6.com/find/service_center/
  16. jerseyboy

    JTV-69S Review

    One of few benefits regarding aged eyesight…. Btw, ‘enjoyed the review. I’m JTV59 player and found build quality and neck acceptable. Fretwork so much better than the Gen 1 500’s I also own and drive. It certainly benefited from upgraded locking tuners and added LP pick guard (scratch plate) to help with my habit of sometimes planting fingers. Some folks may ask why add lockers with fixed bridge? The 59 Tyler bridge is kinda difficult to keep the ball end of the string in place while doing all the business at the tuner. With lockers I simply set string in place, pull it mildly taught, lock down, tune up - no fuss. As often repeated many times mag pickups very nice with 59 model. Yeah, bummer about scale length but as time goes on bends and stuff become more predictable. ‘Guess that’s another thing which doesn’t bother me as much as father time rolls along, hahaha….
  17. jerseyboy

    JTV New Or Used??

    I’ve bought a few used Variax sight unseen. Most important criteria being vendor return policy. Know your vendor and your right to refund in case it’s a clunker. Bought a used JTV59 shipped from Guitar Center used gear. As always, I was prepared to pay return shipping (or drop off at retail location in this case) for refund if the guitar turned out icky but it was fine. Now it did suffer some push-push switching deficiency unique to JTV59’s but fortunately I’m skilled enough and found mojo bone for tightening up and adjusting those particularly finicky controls on the older 59’s. I think this one was built 2013? Works a champ now. Serious amount of playing 20-30 hrs per week nearly 2 years for $600 shipped, IIRC.
  18. My desired Variax is merely hard tail with 25.5” scale. Too much work to lock vibrato bridges down and still don’t sound quite right to me. Also 'don’t like control layout on Strat bodies. In a perfect world noiseless 3 pickup Tele body Variax with mechanical and/or software bender capabilities, yeehaw! Give country picking boys/girls some love… Also wished for Mando, Uke and Nylon acoustic models.
  19. jerseyboy

    Helix/Rig ideas for acoustic gigs?

    When I used L1 for live acoustic and amp modeling stage work I went back and forth with the subwoofer. It really didn’t make that much difference for my guitar frequencies - more psychological than practical need. But I often brought it because I had it and I was always trying to mellow those harsh upper meds with the hope it would help. It didn’t. Particularly OD tones. In fact, those days were when the term “fizz” came into my nexus. Of course, Bass player and/or full range synth probably find need for it more than guitar. You already have it so play around and determine if it works for you. Trust your ears and find a pocket of sound you can work with on stage and in your venues. I ultimately gave up on the L1 mostly because it never matched the conventional stage monitors and amps being used on stages I work. If everyone in the group used one it would probably be a different story. But a full band/show production using only L1/2’s is fairly uncommon. My L1 sound carrying well so far from the stage compared to the other instruments rarely found a nice stage/FOH mix. And those upper mids wore me out. YMMV….
  20. jerseyboy

    Helix/Rig ideas for acoustic gigs?

    I’ve been very happy with Fishman Loudbox varieties. Tons of input choices, adjustability and delivers a nice stage fill either acoustic or electric guitar. The later with proper amp modeling of course. And it can serve as DI too. My problem(s) with L1/2 Bose stems from mixing them into conventional spherical stage speaker systems. The drop-off in volume for given distance is completely different than conventional stage amplification. L1 is still heard at the back of the room while the bass or combo guitar amp has dropped off within 30 feet. And the Bose upper mids kinda fatigue my ears after long exposure at high levels.
  21. Do these recordings need to be in WAV format? Any particular audio settings to be observed?
  22. jerseyboy

    Fuzzy artifact on Amps in the Helix

    I don’t play enough high gain stuff on Helix anymore to notice or bothered by “fizz”. Back in the POD XT era using Bose L1’s live it was major issue. Yes, fizz will be a component even with most any tube OD/Dist but in the early days the XT and subsequent amplification techniques at the time full range amplification knocked fizz “proportions” outta whack. Essentially full range amplified fizz can be much more prominent compared to the fundamental tone than it would be using more standard tube amps/cabinets. Compared to prehistoric XT, Helix will do a better job today with regard to fizz proportions. Also, now that we understand it better not too much trouble to EQ/filter some of the most fatiguing components of fizz from our full range signal paths. It’s one of those things that may come up eventually but nothing to dwell or stress about. It can be tamed….
  23. jerseyboy

    Ear Pain after switching to Digital

    Wish I could help with a direct link but mine came by way of AFM benefits. Audiologist visit every couple years for hearing tests, create molds. But I bet any Audiologist can supply. Molds are great if you can get em fitted correctly to work with singing but generic Christmas tree shaped plugs (3 bell seals I generally cut off the small bell) seal really well no matter position of my jaw while being much cheaper and less trouble than molds. And there’s surely less custom versions available Amazon, etc Look for filtered earplugs and give em a try. Well worth the effort, IMO.
  24. jerseyboy

    Ear Pain after switching to Digital

    I've worked with a few Cape Breton fiddlers. Love that stride piano accompaniment. I like to rock and "feel" the guitar tones and this may have been suggested - use quality filtered ear plugs. I've got some with removable filter elements. -10dB, -15dB, -20dB. They reduce pressure without muddying the tone. Also wear em under loud cans in studio. People remark hearing my cans across the room, LOL... But it's not killing my ears and I can actually feel the guitar better than lowering the levels.