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Everything posted by spmartin

  1. I own a Variax 69s that I purchased from Sweetwater in 2013. After I worked out a few bugs with ghost sounds I was pretty happy with what the guitar could do. In those early heady days I spent a good amount of time on this forum. It was exciting to check out everybody's adventures with this line of guitars (and new patches made by forum members). What I have felt for quite some time though is that Line 6 has all but forgotten us as a community of users/customers. The last significant update to the Workbench was the HD update way back in 2013. There have been incremental bumps in 2014 & 2015, but they seem to be more bug fixes or compatibility updates. Have there been new features offered in either the Workbench or through firmware updates to the guitar? Is there still a group of R&D folks at Line 6 that still care about the Variax customers? I thought maybe Yamaha would infuse the company with some new passion and smart engineers to revitalize the Variax's capabilities. They did manage to come out with the "standard", but the only new feature that offered (that I know of) was a lower price. I may be way off here. Am I missing something. If you feel the same way, or conversely, can point out what I am missing - please chime in. I'd love to find out that the company still thinks about us, and our Variax guitars occasionally. The silver lining in this is at least I did not purchase a "Made in the USA" version!!
  2. I have had good luck running it through the Fender Acoustasonic 150. Acoustic models sound very good, and I can tweak them further on the amp if I choose to. Here is a link: http://goo.gl/3p7W5o
  3. I have a JTV-69S. I purchased it from Sweetwater. First one I sent back to them for a number of reasons. Got the second one, had real ghost note problems, sent it directly to Line 6 to look at. Line 6 admitted a problem, and pretty much fixed it. Not fully, but hey, that's piezo pickups. ( BTW, I've been curious what it would be like if they could combine their technology with the infrared Lightwave pickups used by Wilcox Guitars. ( http://www.lightwave-systems.com ) No piezo crosstalk! Now that could be the perfect blend! Anyway, back to my story. I think the one mod I did which made my Variax a go-to guitar was my installation of an Earvana nut. Mine NEVER sounded in tune when I played open chords. The Earvana nut fixed that completely. It was a revelation. Now I want it on all my guitars! But, at $36 a pop, it may take me a while to get them converted. I'm waiting for a major firmware update that fixes some remaining problems. Always kind of seems to me that Line 6 has lots of people in R&D to come out with new dazzling products, but not enough people to care for current customers. Oh well, just my experience.
  4. Thanks for your feedback clay-man. Still, my point is that Line 6 marketed these guitars as though they would work perfectly. I had never had an electric guitar with piezo pickups. (Acoustics, yes). So, I guess they thought they had nailed the technology, or were just downright dishonest about the guitar's capabilities. It still seems a bit underhanded. Think of any other item you would purchase for more than $1K, and be forgiving if it did not work the way it was advertised. We all seem to cut Line 6 a LOT of slack. I searched the web last night for "reducing or eliminating crosstalk with piezo pickups". There is a lot of material there. I am still sifting through it. If I find anything of value I will post it. My initial insight is that optical pickups are the way to go. They eliminate the problem. It would be interesting to retrofit one of these guitars with those pickups, just to see what would happen!
  5. You know I have had to deal with Ghost notes since my JTV-69 was new. I sent my first JTV-69 back to Line 6 headquarters. They said they repaired it. They did not. When I look at how much talk has been dedicated to this topic on this forum, it makes me a bit angry. We paid a lot of money for a guitar the Line 6 was promising could change to alternate tunings "quickly and easily". Bottom line is that, as far as I know, Line 6 has never really acknowledged that this is a real problem for many, many customers. They make excuses, but have they ever said, "we screwed up" and all of you who spent over $1K on your guitars deserve to have a guitar that does what we promised. Have they offered to replace or upgrade our bridges/piezo systems. No. I am surprised no one has brought a suit against them for fraudulent advertising. What about all the new customers of the Standard Variax? Will they have the same problem? Or, did Yamaha step up and force them to up their quality control? I am just ranting, but I have been so disappointed by the lack of integrity of Line 6. I wish they would just step up and help all of us who have dealt with this problem for so long.
  6. Also, with the new Variax standards, you're getting a very good, Yamaha built guitar for about $699. I imagine the electronics would not be that expensive to replace if ever necessary. It would be great to get accurate pricing on the internals.
  7. Buy it from Sweetwater, and you'll be covered for an extra year. They are fantastic about honoring their extended warranty.
  8. This could throw an interesting wrench in the works. http://www.trademarkia.com/firehawk-fx-73683731.html
  9. Check and see if your Homeowners insurance will cover it.
  10. Paul- Thanks for all the work you did to find this. I had asked this question months ago, and found it unbelievable that the company could not (or did not want to) provide me with the specs on their own guitar. I appreciate the work you've done. Steve
  11. If your guitar is now playing well on the lower frets, but still seems high on the upper frets, why not have your luthier look at the possibility of installing a shim at the neck joint. The JTV-69 is bolt on, and this could very well solve your problem. I've had to do it with some Fenders, and actually one of my Strats came with a "micro shim" adjustment built into the guitar, accessible through a hole in the neck plate. Just my two cents.
  12. Wow, when I first read this I thought that Line 6 had come out with a new branded piece of clothing. Would probably sell as well as T-shirts!
  13. Through all my dealings with Line 6, I am left with a nagging feeling of mistrust. And, in my opinion, that is the one thing a company should prevent at all costs. Do you think I am motivated to purchase more products from them? There are many companies Line 6 could emulate who do it right. Sweetwater Music has been mentioned many times on this forum as a prime example of one such company that has earned a great deal of customer loyalty. They have mine!
  14. Cruisinon2 - To be honest, I'm not sure what they did that made a difference. What they said they did (which I will post below) is not something I think would have solved the problem. I have a lot of guitars, and have been messing with them for 40 years, but I don't know everything - that's for sure. I have a sneaking suspicion that they may have changed out something more significant (board, piezo pickups etc.) but don't want to let that knowledge out in the general public. Kind of like how hesitant a car company is to be public about a problem because they fear they will be forced to do a recall. Again, this is just my imagination. Here is the official feedback I got directly from Line 6 when they sent the guitar back to me. This was on their support ticket system. My comments in GREEN. "Hi Steve, Just letting you know that the guitar is in working order. The issue with the ghost notes was due to the pickup height. The bridge pickup was nearly touching the strings on the treble side and the magnetic pull of the pickup was physically pulling the strings out of tune. This was causing the doubling sound in the DSP. (I had it set up exactly to Fender specs. Should that really be too close?) The neck and bridge were improperly adjusted so that strings were too high on the bass side and too low on the treble side. Also, the guitar had string buzz on E,A, and D. (I set up the Low E around 6/64 and the high E at 5/64. The truss rod was set to have .010 clearance at the 8th fret. This works on all my other Strats and Teles) The guitar was strung with 9s when it comes stock with 10s causing the intonation to be flat on 4 out 6 stings . (If they were flat it was by about 2 cents!) The tension spring cover was on backwards. (Yeah it was. I usually keep it off. Rushed to put it on before shipping. Doubt it affected the tone...) There was a foam pad lodged beside the nut causing the high E to mute.(Do you think if it was muting the E string I would have kept it there? Not likely) We have adjusted the Neck, Intonation, Pickup height, Updated the flash memory, Adjusted the Trem Tension Springs, String Height and basically brought it back to stock spec. It appears that the setup of the guitar was the issue. (my Bolding) In the future we ask that you keep 10s on the guitar (It’s intonated properly for that gauge now) and keep the same relative setup that we have provided. The guitar is basically made to work a certain way with a specific setup. I.e. a proper setup is required for the guitar to function correctly. We were happy to accommodate you with a setup this time and want you to enjoy the guitar but considering that both guitars were/are having the same problems we must assume that you are setting up these instruments improperly unless they came from Sweetwater this way. In the future if the guitar comes back and has setup issues we will have to charge our regular hourly rate of $90/hr for any other setups. If you need a guitar setup we recommend taking it to a local luthier. If you have a Guitar Center near you they usually have pretty reasonable prices." Thanks, D
  15. I have dealt with this issue on two JTV-69s guitars. I sent the first one back to Sweetwater. Second one I sent back to Line 6 directly for repair. Here are few suggestions. 1. Make sure that when you are listening to your guitar in alternate tuning that you put on good ear covering headphones and turn up the volume. If you can no longer hear the double (ghost) notes, then problem solved. If you can still hear them, I suggest you record the sound directly into Garageband or similar program. Line 6 will want to hear it. 2. Make sure that your pickups are not close to the strings. By that, I mean at least 10/64ths from strings to the pole pcs. According to L6, this can affect the sound coming through the piezo because of magnetic pull on the strings. Not sure if I subscribe to this theory, but they say it's true. 3. Make very sure that your guitar is perfectly intonated. If you have a strobe tuner, use it. I have found this really comes into play when you are using the "virtual capo" function to create your own tunings. It makes sense if you are creating a new tuning above and below the 12th fret, that they better be the correct notes. I had a problem with this until I checked my intonation. Once adjusted, it works well. 4. I agree with attempting to eliminate any extra vibration between the nut and tuners. I've also played with the idea of putting some thin padding between the saddles to prevent vibration transfer between saddles. I have yet to investigate that yet, but will. 5. If you have to send back your guitar to Line 6, INSIST that you want to send it back to the main headquarters. Regional repair centers may not have the same level of expertise when repairing your instrument. That's it for now. My second guitar, after returning from a Line 6 repair seems to be working well. There is hope for you!!
  16. O.K. the guitar is back from Line 6. Guess what? IMHO they did not fix anything. It sounds exactly the same!! Again to recap how I test it. (and I hope I am missing something) Tones on all magnetic pickups - great. (remember, this is coming right off their bench and set up the way they say it is supposed to be) Piezo mode. On the Alt. Tuning Knob it is set to Standard. On the model knob, set to Spank - Spank model and all others sound perfect. No ghost tones anywhere. In Piezo mode, turning the alt. tuning knob to any other setting, say "Blues G", I get double tones on the High E and G strings. Note: I get the multi-tones even when I pick the one string with my hand laying over all the others. This rules out the sympathetic response that was mentioned earlier. I will experiment a bit more. Recheck the settings in the Workbench and make sure nothing is set up to blend with the magnetic pickups. I am open to ideas - other then hitting something with the guitar!!
  17. Some more detail. My ghost notes were occurring when I was in Piezo mode, and in Workbench the settings were NOT in a blend mode with the magnetic pickups.
  18. I've enjoyed reading all of your posts. What really intrigues me is that when I did all of my research before purchasing the guitar, nowhere did I hear mention the very problematic nature of this setup. Now, I do not know if other systems (i.e. Parker, Godin, Peavey AT100, PRS) have similar issues. If they do not, then wouldn't you think Line6 would have a responsibility to deliver a system that works. Imagine if you purchased a USA model and had the same problems?!? At least my investment was not at that level. I guess I wish I could hear from more folks who have a JTV that works exactly as advertised. I have not had that experience yet, and I've been through two of their guitars. Kinda like the forum member from Australia whose had multiple "flawed" guitars.
  19. I don't know if this will be of any help or not, but here is my experience. I have a JTV-69s and I have been experiencing ghost notes when using the piezo pickups in alternate tunings. After sending a recording of this to Line 6, they agreed to have me send it back to them to have a look. You will not believe what they said was the cause of these ghost notes! Official word is that my guitar was set up with the strings a bit too close to the mag. pickups. Oh, and I also had changed string gauge to 9 - 46 custom set. This was set up with the same string heights as on my Strat. They said that the magnetic pickups were causing the ghost notes while I was in Piezo mode. I have not gotten it back from them yet, but when I do, I will update this. In the meantime, for God's sake don't change your strings to a lighter gauge and keep them away from the pickup poles!! Interesting. They said nothing about these restrictions in their glorious marketing materials or their Pilots Guide. Amazing...
  20. It has been my experience that those types of set screws are really hard to find at your normal hardware store. I have had to purchase some for fender guitars. I recommend you check out these guys. The seem to have everything. http://www.allparts.com/bridge-saddle-height-screws
  21. I just read through this entire post. I own a JTV-69s, and I have had problems with the piezo pickups on two of these guitars. (this is my second one. First one was replaced by Sweetwater). Wouldn't you think Line 6 would have done enough research before releasing them to the public so that this type of discussion would be unnecessary?? My JTV is at Line 6 headquarters right now being worked on for a piezo/ghost note problem. It cost me $60 to send it back to them, so they can fix a problem that really should never have occurred in the first place. Do I sound a bit frustrated? Do you think they will offer to replace the existing bridge with a GraphTech? No, I don't think so. IF it comes back to me and again does not work, I'm going to invoke some kind of "Lemon Law". I'm hoping for the best!
  22. I own a number of Line 6 products. My relationship with Line 6 is a bit disfunctional. I keep hoping, unrealistically, that they will change. That their customer service department will somehow have a "lightbulb moment" and understand that WE keep them in business. I keep hoping that their tech/repair team grows larger, so I don't have to wait a week (just happened) to get a response from them regarding a return. I keep hoping that they look at the market BEFORE they come out with a new product and understand what base functions we need in a product (i.e. footswitch in the Amplifi) and then innovate from there. Aren't we all hoping that the acquisition by Yamaha will really help Line 6 "up it's game"?? In 2013 I purchased a Yamaha THR-10 desktop amp. I was, and continue to be, blown away by the quality of the hardware and software. This product far, far exceeded my expectations. I get giddy every time I play it. You can bet that if Yamaha morphed that THR-10 into a larger gigging amp, it would be astounding. My Expectations Exceeded: something I personally have never experienced with a Line 6 product. I still keep hoping... maybe that is the nature of disfunctional relationships!!
  23. I'm just curious, does the Amplifi have handles? You would think they would at least have indented grabs to make it easier to move around. None of the pics show handles of any kind. Be kinda funny to show up to a gig (coffee house sized gig!) carrying the amp like a baby. Ha!
  24. I am considering changing the neck on my JTV-69s. Do you think there would be any problems if I were to change the scale length of the new neck to, say 24.5". If it is in tune, the modeling should not be affected, should it? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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