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sheehanje

Variax JTV-89F new with issues

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Just got the JTV-89F home.   I'm already having issues.  First thing I notice - it plays real stiff.  Wasn't expecting that, and the weight was way more then I'm used to - and I've played some heavy guitars.   Second issue, went to plug into the Helix with a variax cable I ordered, and it was real hard getting it plugged into both the Helix and the JTV.  I had to unscrew each end, then plug in, then tighten it back up.   Seems like it could become real inconvenient in a live situation.

 

Those two issues I think I could remedy with a proper setup and maybe a pair of pliers on the cable.   But the next issue is the modelling.   It sounds dull - almost like it has no bite.   I actually enjoyed the mag pickups and they seemed more then sufficient - but I could get a hell of a guitar for the price I paid for the variax.   I know I paid at least $400 for the hardware and computer inside to make this thing operate - so I want it to work.   The other issue - and this is just a show stopper to me - when I palm mute it sounds like birds are chirping.   I'm a metal player.  Palm muting is not optional.

 

Anyone else having major issues right out of the gate with these guitars?

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Comb the JTV threads related to "piezo plink", "clang tone", etc... palm muting with high gain can be a problem. Some guitars do it, some don't. If I were you, I'd send it back and get another one, because you're essentially on your own, as there is no universal remedy (see the 2nd link below). The first link has enough reading material for a PhD thesis...

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/6764-do-you-have-the-same-problem-with-6th-string/page-23?do=findComment&comment=219651

 

http://line6.com/support/page/kb/_/guitars/james-tyler-variax-guitars/clang-tone-on-variax-guitars-r863

 

As for the lack of "bite" to the models, most Variax guitars require considerable tweaking with the Workbench software to get them sounding the way you'd expect. Piezo outputs can vary considerably, and at a minimum you can expect to have to tinker with individual string volumes. The videos make it look easy....reality tends to be somewhat less forgiving, however...and I like mine. You just have to be prepared to spend a fair amount of time fiddling with the various options and EQing your amp a bit differently. Piezos and funky modeling algorithms don't behave like magnetic pickups. It's a different ballgame.

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I use the Masonic plank body model for Strat and Tele sounds. It gives more bite and sustain, and makes them sound more natural to me. You do need to set the global string levels so that the output from each string is pretty consistent. I use a DAW and accurate metering to do this.

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I use the Masonic plank body model for Strat and Tele sounds. It gives more bite and sustain, and makes them sound more natural to me. You do need to set the global string levels so that the output from each string is pretty consistent. I use a DAW and accurate metering to do this.

Yea - the body with the special handshake... As opposed to the masonite plank, which doesn't know about the handshake. :lol:

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Age of strings shouldn't make much of a difference when using piezos - in my experience there's no noticeable difference between new and weeks old strings.

There is a big difference if strings are older than weeks or EOL. The tone comparison I had recorded is no fake and you should hear the difference recorded on a V600 too, don't you?!

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