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robertallen

Did I get a Bad Guitar?

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Hi all,

 

I purchased a JTV-89 in August, and sadly I hadn't had a chance to really get to play with it until this month due to work and other commitments.  So I'm shooting myself in the foot by not QC'ing it when it got here.

 

The strings vary quite differently in volume.  I managed to adjust them in the Workbench (however for some reason I couldn't adjust them globally, maybe I'm missing something in the software), but the D string had to be lowered by 70%, which seems like a lot.

 

Also the sound on some models seems to be pretty "scratchy" (using an HD500X), maybe I just need more work on my tones.

 

Another minor issue, and I'm wondering if anyone else noticed this, but the DADGAD alt-tuning on the knob is not DADGAD, it's DADGBE.

 

Is there a way to fix that one particular tuning without using up a Custom knob preset?

 

I'm wondering if I got a dud.  I guess not, cause I'm still using it live, however I want to love this guitar and never need to use another guitar ever again.

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I don't think the guitar is bad but in order to check it out more thoroughly there are a couple of things to do if you haven't done them already.

 

First, make sure the firmware is up to date. You should be using Workbench HD (not the original Workbench) with the latest firmware. I believe Workbench HD supports global string volumes.

 

Secondly make sure your strings are fresh and do the string volume levelling again.

 

It's not unusual for some piezos to be a little hotter or cooler than others especially if the guitar is used. It could also be a simple issue of the way a particular string sits in either the saddle or the nut. A very small piece of dust under the string in either place can create havoc with string tone and volume.

 

As already mentioned you can change the alt tuning back to DADGAD.

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Make certain the 500X is not in "Force" mode or it will go to and set one 

of its own default guitar models, from the 500X and not the guitar. Check

the edit page in the 500X in regards to guitar settings.

 

Does this 89 have a tremolo bridge?

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Thank you all.  I will try these things out.  I believe it does have a tremolo bridge, yes.  I'm using Elixir 009 strings.

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Tremolo 89 would be an 89F.

There is some variations between Modeling amplitudes. If your Elixirs are the coated ones, and

9-gauge, that may be adding to your problem with the piezos. These guitars use 10-46 sets as

factory strings, D'Addario XL-110's.

 

Making use of Workbench HD to dial it in closer to what you are looking for, would be an option.

Trying to get more umpf out of it, some will move to 11-gauge sets.

 

Also, be aware, that when you change gauges, you should have the set-up on the guitar checked

and if needed, adjusted for the different string gauge. When you change the gauge, you change the

tension, and therefore the overall set-up.

 

The nearest Line 6 authorized service will have the specs and service info, as they have to take into

account that it's a guitar with both piezos and magnetics, and that one can affect the other.

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If your Elixirs are the coated ones...

Aren't they all?

 

I've used Elixirs...albeit a heavier gauge (11-49)...for years without an issue.

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That's been my experience with repairs. The heavier gauge ones seem to do okay so far.

Had one 89F repair that shedded coating a little. Wasn't a big deal, just had to blow it out

and clean it a bit. But otherwise okay.

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Is there any alternative than putting 10's on the guitar to fix this issue?  I really enjoy playing with 9's, and they are easier to play with my fingers.  I can bend them very easily and they just feel great to me.

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Is there any alternative than putting 10's on the guitar to fix this issue? I really enjoy playing with 9's, and they are easier to play with my fingers. I can bend them very easily and they just feel great to me.

Just play on the 10's for a week, and you'll get used to them. Before long you'll be wondering what the fuss was about.

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Yes, you can play using 9's,... but the string tension will change, so you'll

need to have the set-up checked by a (preferably Line 6 authorized) guitar

tech, and if needed, adjusted for the string tension change.

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Okay thank you all.  I'll take it in then.  Still an amazing guitar.  I used distortion without the modeling and it sounded amazing.

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I used 9's on my strat for years and would periodically break a string on a gig. When I got my Variax 300 about 12 years ago, it came with 10's and I changed them to 9's, as that was what I was used to. I would get maybe 3 or 4 gigs and break a string. I started changing them more often. I would buy the box of 10 sets, and once mistakenly bought 10's, so I used them, got used to them very quickly, and my string breakage dropped to nothing. By the time I got my 2 JTV's, I stuck with the 10's, and no problems. Now I change my strings when they go dull... I always have a spare JTV on my guitar stand, but (knock wood) have not had to use it due to a broken string...

 

Dave

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I took my guitar to the Line 6 "authorized" dealer, and they didn't seem like they knew how to fix it.  I might just take it all the way down to Sweetwater, even though I didn't buy it from them.  That or, can I just find a box and mail Line 6 the guitar directly?

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I took my guitar to the Line 6 "authorized" dealer, and they didn't seem like they knew how to fix it. I might just take it all the way down to Sweetwater, even though I didn't buy it from them. That or, can I just find a box and mail Line 6 the guitar directly?

This is not surprising. These "authorized service centers" usually leave a great deal to be desired. Plus, many of them are like my local one here....it's an electronics repair shop. They deal almost exclusively with amps, PA's,and stereo equipment (and even at that, they weren't able to fix my rattling L2T properly the first time around. Ended up having to ship that back to L6 to be dealt with by someone who knew what they were doing). And they're certainly not guitar techs. I wouldn't even bother trying to bring them a Variax.

 

You might have some luck with Sweetwater...at least they sell guitars, and claim to have a guitar repair guy(s) on the payroll.

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Ummm...there's no DADGAD preset on the 89.  DADGBE is just drop D tuning.  What guitar do you have?

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Ummm...there's no DADGAD preset on the 89.  DADGBE is just drop D tuning.  What guitar do you have?

That was part of the reason why I think I got a bad guitar.  It's like they put the JTV59 knob on this.

 

I'm severly unhappy right now, but I'm stuck with it.

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That was part of the reason why I think I got a bad guitar.  It's like they put the JTV59 knob on this.

 

I'm severly unhappy right now, but I'm stuck with it.

 

I imagine if you contact Line 6, they will send you the correct knob. Changing the knob isn't a big deal at all. Sounds like you did get a wrong one on there somehow.

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That was part of the reason why I think I got a bad guitar.  It's like they put the JTV59 knob on this.

 

I'm severly unhappy right now, but I'm stuck with it.

Oh gotcha, I bet you're right and you got the wrong knob.

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So after searching, I noticed I'm having the same problem as this thread from 3 years ago:

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/6764-do-you-have-the-same-problem-with-6th-string/

 

I am starting to think I have a bad piezo too.

Regarding that epic thread....if you have the dreaded "plink", it's a problem without a solution. The piezo element itself is probably fine. Others in that thread had piezos replaced, only to have the problem persist. Whatever the cause(s), it plagues some guitars and not others. Nobody seems to know why, including Line 6. And if they do know, they ain't talking.

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So, I got fed up with the inconsistent string volumes and plinky plonk ness of the JTV-89 and bought a JTV-59.  The good news (so far) is the plinky plonk seems to not be on this guitar, the bad news is every string has inconsistent string volumes.

 

I don't understand it.  Why is it this way?

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So, I got fed up with the inconsistent string volumes and plinky plonk ness of the JTV-89 and bought a JTV-59. The good news (so far) is the plinky plonk seems to not be on this guitar, the bad news is every string has inconsistent string volumes.

 

I don't understand it. Why is it this way?

Because piezo outputs vary slightly from one to the next. It's the nature of the beast...not much to be done about it. Adjust the volumes in Workbench, that's what it's there for.

 

The "plink" is either there or it's not. You got a good one this time. Consider it a win...

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That's fair.  I'm sort of okay about the volumes...the only thing that bothers me is the noise gate or something.  When the strings are lower volume, it seems like they dont' sustain as much on my HD500X.  (I'm plugged in via the Variax Cable).

 

I checked to make sure there was no gate on the amp model.

 

(On a side note, I remember this being a problem back when I had a Variax 700 with a POD X3 Live).

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That was part of the reason why I think I got a bad guitar.  It's like they put the JTV59 knob on this.

 

I'm severly unhappy right now, but I'm stuck with it.

 

And I'm gonna mark you down as .....not happy...............see "should i buy a 59"? thread

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So, I got fed up with the inconsistent string volumes and plinky plonk ness of the JTV-89 and bought a JTV-59.  The good news (so far) is the plinky plonk seems to not be on this guitar, the bad news is every string has inconsistent string volumes.

 

I don't understand it.  Why is it this way?

what happened to the 89 ?

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what happened to the 89 ?

I'm going to keep it and just use the pickups on it, minus the Variax portion of the guitar.  Despite the problems it still is the best playing guitar I've ever bought.  The neck is perfect.  

 

It sounds pretty good just with their built in pickups.

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I'm going to keep it and just use the pickups on it, minus the Variax portion of the guitar.  Despite the problems it still is the best playing guitar I've ever bought.  The neck is perfect.  

 

It sounds pretty good just with their built in pickups.

Was your 59 brand new when you bought it ?

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Both my 89 and 59 are.  I just got the 59 yesterday.  The only thing is the string volumes but they aren't as bad as the 89-F was.

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Both my 89 and 59 are.  I just got the 59 yesterday.  The only thing is the string volumes but they aren't as bad as the 89-F was.

 

Stick with it....you can find out what you need to know here. There's a whole bunch of pretty smart folks here that are glad to help.

                      Just remember to use your own brains, and that it takes some time to really get a handle on this stuff.

                      It doesn't come to you all in one night, nor is some of it easy to understand.

                     The more complicated anything is....."It does ALL That "?  Steepens the learning curve.

                      Add something else......HD500X, more learning involved.

 

                      Sorry to hear about the rotten luck with the 89, hope you have a different outcome with your new 59.

                     

                                                                     Shawn

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Regarding string volumes, you can easily change these in Workbench either globally and/or per model. The volume variance is likely caused by differences in the piezo pickups and could be impacted by string selection, gauge, and/or setup.

 

There's also a possibility that the "piezo ping" and string volume variance are both caused (or contributed to) by how the piezo pickups seat in the bridge pieces. For example, I noticed on my Variax Standard a strange resonance and low string volumes on the G, B and E (plain) strings which I adjusted as best I could using Workbench. But after playing the guitar for about 8 months, there seems to be some significant improvement. The resonance is much less than it was, and the string volumes have improved enough that I had to go back and adjust them back to more similar levels. I can only suspect/guess that the piezo pickups have through use, and temperature changes (a lot of outside gigs in very hot weather) eventually settled into their bridge pieces, making better, more consistent contact.

 

I didn't have any of these issues with my new JVT-69S. Since the JVT-69S and Variax Standard use the same piezo pickups and the same models, the big difference might be in the bridge assembly which would reinforce this theory. 

 

Not sure if there are any implications of this other than to think about how to better seat the piezo pickups in their bridge pieces.

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