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Everything posted by paulm_80526

  1. Just checked my settings. I set them by comparing the magnetic pickup volume to the equivalent Spank models. From low to high: .49, .53, .54, .56, .59, .56. The piezo-based models are still a bit hot relative to the mags with these settings, but that's OK - helps drive the front end of my amp a bit more. So... pretty close to where you ended up. Not distorting as far as I can tell, or if it is... it sounds good :-)
  2. Wow - you're it for the US. Hats off to you - I'm sure you've seen some interesting... opportunities! Quick question then, and not sure if you can answer this or not. Have you seen a Graph Tech retrofit for the JTV-69 that worked well, after you got things straightened out? I know you can't recommend that or suggest that anybody do it, but I'd be interested to know if there is an existence proof, in your opinion. I'm pretty happy with mine now, but interested in your opinion as well.
  3. About the same for the JTV-69, although I'm at Work, not Workbench right now :-) I'll check and respond with numbers tonight.
  4. I think that might be the case for some of the middle saddles, but hard to see. I've adjusted the overall bridge height to keep the outside saddles as low to the bridge as possible to minimize the intonation screw angle. On the Low-E there is a measurable gap between the bridge and the exposed tail. But, the middle saddles have to be adjusted higher due to the curve of the fretboard, of course, and they could be touching. Now that I'm back at my guitar, though, I'm not sure I'm seeing a strong correlation of the ringiness to saddle height above the bridge. So that may not be it...
  5. :-) Probably no welding required, and I don't think any grinding either! There is lateral separation between the GT saddles. I understand and respect your position on getting something known to work. Depends on your end game, of course. For me it's really fun to try new things and learn along the way. No one "really knows" what they're doing until they've done it, and usually more than once. E.g., Line6 seems to be continually updating released designs to make them better, as they seem to have done with JTV-69 bridge. The sound is actually pretty good now that I've adjusted a few things, BTW. As I mentioned in another reply, I'll post a comparison when I get the replacement bridge from Full Compass.
  6. Hadn't adjusted the bridge for intonation when I made the video. Was mostly interested in demonstrating the clacking or ringing. Have done that since, though, so now a D chord is tolerable 12 frets up :-) The intonation adjustment had no effect on the clacking. Very good theory on the cause of clacking. Turns out, though, that there is a gap laterally between the GT saddles, Definite daylight. So I don't think it was a "floating screw" due to the saddles not being able to rotate due to lateral contact when the set screws weren't even. What I'm thinking is that the long tails of the GT saddles may be riding unevenly on the bridge plate, with one side being forced down by the screw. It's hard to see if this is what's going on as the ridge at the back of the bridge obscures the tails. The original saddles keep the screw pretty much parallel to the bridge plate. Anyway, as I said in the post above, the sounds is actually pretty good now that I've adjusted everything. I definitely happier than with my failing original bridge, and will play out with my JTV-69 again. There is still a tiny amount of piezo ring in some of the sounds, but certainly tolerable. I will do an A/B comparison for sure when I get the new LR Baggs bridge from Full Compass, and post the comparison.
  7. Not looking for and tweak rectification at this point, but I appreciate the offer! What would be interesting to me would be some practical information about the JTV-69 piezo bridge. E.g., What changed between the original version of the JTV-69 Bridge (the one I have) and the current version (which I'll have soon, hopefully)? I know the PCB was moved to the backside of the block, but anything else? Do the saddles still have pointed adjustment screws and etched tracks? Also, I was wondering about your thoughts on "chassis ground" vs wired ground. Have you seen many instances where the LR Baggs "chassis" ground have become more-than-low-Z? What would one do to fix that? Also, what steps would you take to dial in a piezo saddle (either LR Baggs or Graph Tech Ghost) to get the best tone with minimal ringing? Just FYI, I have 4 Variaxes. (2) 700s, (1) JTV-69 and (1) JTV-59. Love 'em all! Also have a DT-50, Amplifi, POD XT, POD X3 Live, and multiple DL3s.. Built my first guitar amp at 15 using SWTPC preamp/amp and some custom circuitry (sadly... 40 years ago), and love experimenting. I appreciate robust design and information; less interested in cuddling :-)
  8. Not sure a Line6 Service person would mess with my JTV now that I've swapped out the piezos. Plus I'm having fun experimenting at this point :-) I'm happy enough with the sound now, but will continue tweaking. On the piezo thing, there's some interesting stuff on the web. E.g., http://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/guitars/pickups.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piezoelectricity
  9. In the case of my JTV with the Graph Techs, the entire saddle body is "ringy", not so much the string behind the saddle. I posted a video on YouTube. In the case of the Parker Nite Fly, it's definitely the string, though. Common problem. I have a friend with a Nite Fly that has the same issue.
  10. I decided to stay with the flat-bottom screws for now. I was still getting significant high-freq ringing, though, so I put a piece of tape across the top of the GT saddles, behind where the string drops down, and things sound significantly better. Still not perfect, but definitely a usable sound now! Will be experimenting with tape thickness :-) I had to do a similar thing with my Parker NiteFly, BTW. There was significant ringing behind the bridge saddles so I wove a piece of fabric under/over the strings back there, and it killed the ringing. Will post some updated pics tonight.
  11. I will check that spacing when I get home from work. If they are the same I can probably just use the LR Baggs screws. They are a bit shorter, but still plenty of height.
  12. Actually, what I ended up doing was using the nylon screws and washers. The don't seem to bind at all. I am not that worried about stretching as much of the force associated with the string tension is down into the bridge. I'll keep an eye on it, though. I have gotten things adjusted pretty well (nylon screws, bridge angle relative to body, string height) , and it sounds much better, although certain saddles sound better than others still. Some still have some high frequency resonance or ringing. But... It turns out that adjusting the string height screws significantly affects the tone, even with very small rotations. Hypothesis is that the tips of the screws are riding in/out if the little tracks that Line6 etched into the bridge plate for the pointed LR Baggs screw tips, for lateral positioning. Anyway, at this point I can get pretty close on the tone by doing very small adjustments of one or both of the height adjustment screws. I am very interested to see the new version of the bridge and see if they retained the "tracks" etched in the surface of the bridge or not. As to the question "do the GT saddles sound better than the LR Baggs", the answer is clearly yes for me, but my stock saddles sounded really bad so my comparison may not be valid for you. I will do an A/B comparison when I get the updated bridge from Full Compass.
  13. On the wiring - I did indeed solder both the hot and ground leads to the indicated pads on the mounted PC board. I was fairly careful about joint quality and polarity, so I don't think there's a problem there.
  14. Indeed - not quite level. I did some experimenting and it didn't seem to make a huge difference in tone, but I will go back and get it leveled and re-test. The comment about the force was actually referring to the fact that the screw hole on the back of the GT saddles is higher off the plane of the top of the guitar than in the original LR Baggs saddles. Thus, the screw is a angled upward a bit in the hole and could be binding in the hole and/or coupling vibration from the bridge. I will try the nylon screws I mentioned above and see if that helps. When it doesn't (;-) I will drill the holes at a slight upward angle, as Iknowathingortwo suggests above.
  15. I'd be interested to see a picture of your bridge at some point, if that's not too much trouble! I assume it will look very much like the one I will get from Full Compass in a few weeks.
  16. I don't think they advertise that P/N on their website, but it is orderable. I got the P/N originally from a Line6 Support person. I'm pretty sure I got it right - I just re-checked it against my order acknowledgment from Full Compass. It would be nice to see a pic ahead of time... If you call Full Compass, you can order it over the phone. 608.831.7330 or 800.356.5844.
  17. Sorry 'bout that. Try this link: https://app.box.com/s/tbpja55e5g6cllhud77d Hopefully that will share the folder with you. First pic is of my guitar with a Fender Strat neck. Sorry about the cluttered background. The last picture is the underside of the bridge. Apparently the PC board has been moved to the other side of block in the new versions of the bridge, although I'm not sure how the piezo wiring works in that case. Possibly there are holes drilled through the block for the wires. Let me know if you still can't access the pictures!
  18. I wish I had better news to report... Most of the pickups sound very good :-) Two of the Graph Tech pickups sound kind of lifeless or have a high frequency resonance. I can change that somewhat by moving the pickups slightly from side to side, but I can't make all of the pickups sound good at once. I am really not sure what the cause of the funky sound is. It could be the angle of the string over the saddle. It could be bad saddles (although they were apparently tested). It could be something else (theories?). The pickups are definitely higher toward the rear than the original pickups (see pics in the links below). This causes the screw to run up at angle from the back side of the bridge, which may be putting force on the pickup. I bought some nylon screws (4-40 3/4") to see if the flexibility might help. Haven't installed these yet - tonight. I also put nylon washers under the Philips head end of the intonation screws on the back side of the bridge. This is to keep the screws from partially recessing into the countersunk holes for the previous (smaller) screws. I discovered that there has been a bridge update by Line6 since I got my JTV69 (mine was a very early model). Not sure of everything they changed, but one thing they did do was move the PCB to the back of the block, apparently. Suspecting that the bridge itself may be affecting the tone/sustain, I ordered an updated one from Full Compass. About $185 with piezos included, so not too horribly overpriced. P/N 50-04-0066 (only orderable over the phone - 608.831.7330 or 800.356.5844). Should be here in a week or two. Anyway - haven't found the Glail yet. Still seeking :-) Pics here: https://app.box.com/s/tbpja55e5g6cllhud77d
  19. I have been out of town. Short answer - not that great, unfortunately. :-( Will post a detailed summary tomorrow morning.
  20. Midcourse update. I'm feeling bullet-pointy today :-) I finally got the Graph Tech Right Offset set yesterday - roughly a week after I had ordered the original incorrectly pictured set. Was definitely a hand-collected set of 6, although Gray did say they tested them for balance. Installed them. A bit more work than I thought as the intonation screws are larger on the Graph Tech and thus the holes in the back of the bridge had to be drilled out slightly. No biggy, but the heads of the screws don't sit in the pockets like they did with the original hex head screws. Stripping and soldering went quite fast. There are two separate leads - one with a slightly bluish tint. I chose that one as "hot" for the pickups and I seemed to get signal, so either I chose correctly, or neither lead is grounded through the body of the saddle (probably the latter). The blue is definitely a bit hard to see. I used a soldering iron to melt the insulation slightly for "finger stripping" Re-assembled the guitar and am still tweaking the bridge height, etc... I haven't gotten into Workbench yet to adjust the sensitivity. More soon..
  21. Good news. I did get a response from Gray. It was pretty coy - something like "who knows what the future will bring ;-) ". So, it sounds like they may be considering reinstating the PN-8002-RO. If I hear something directly I'll let you know.
  22. Yes - I agree that is the likely outcome... bummer. But, I will lobby with Gray that there is some pent up demand for this kit and they should consider re-offering PN-8002-RO. I have his email now :-) Alternately, one could buy two PN-8002-00 (each of which has 3 LO and 3 RO) from a cheaper supplier. I think I've seen it for ~$85 x2 --> $170. Then either use or sell off the 6 remaining Left Offset pieces on craigslist or the like. Not that palatable, obviously. I'll definitely ping Gray on the possibility of reinstating PN-8002-RO.
  23. Quick update. Talked to Gray again this AM. He said that they do not currently sell the PN-8002-RO, but that he found 6 individual pieces, matched them (output level, I assume) and has shipped them to me. I'll let you know how things go when they arrive.
  24. Indeed. It looks like they did actually produce a PN-8002-RO at one point (link). That catalog clearly shows an RO on page 4, but it is pretty old (from around 2002-2004, I think). Targeted at G&L bridges.
  25. I'm still optimistic that Graph Tech will make things right - Gray said he would ship me the "other version", and they seem to be very customer-focused. But I did notice a few things this morning: PN-8002-LO had the adjustment screw on the wrong side. So one would expect that PN-8002-RO is the correct one. Well... there is no PN-8002-RO listed on their site. PN8002-00 consists of 3 left-offset and 3 right-offset. That one won't work. I don't think I want to buy (2) 8002-00 to get (6) right-offset saddles :-). They _did_ have that incorrect (RO) picture, though, so maybe they are just updating their webstore currently. I haven't seen any email communication from Gray, 24 hours later, indicating a tracking number or anything to indicate they were working on this. I wonder if he didn't realize that they didn't actually offer the product I needed and is trying to put something together. Hopefully that's it. I'll keep you posted! p.s. It seems to be cheaper to buy Graph Tech parts from others - e.g., Musician's friend has the PN-8002-RO for $15 less. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/graph-tech-ghost-pickup-for-strat-tele-offset Haven't found any 3rd party offering PN-8002-RO yet, though :-)
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