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robbieb61

Just Can't Use The Guitar Modeling... :(

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I've had my JTV 89F for a little over 3 years now.

Very excited to get it in the beginning. Beautiful guitar, fast playing, etc.

Spent a ton of time in Workbench the first year playing with models. Trying to get some semblance of equality in volume, etc.
But in the end...the mag pickups on the guitar just blow away all the models. Including the model of the mag pickups that come on the 89f!

The mag pickups just always sound more "ballsy" and have more depth and character than any of the models.

So for two years I just said "screw it" and used the mag pickups and the only model I used was the acoustic guitar models.

So last night I sat down with it again and opened up Workbench. I erased all of my presets for the guitar and started fresh with factory settings.
Man...the models sounded so weak. They could barely get any tone out of my Helix. Just sounded thin and terrible.

So I boosted up the guitar model presets all the way to +6db.  That gave me a little bit more volume and allowed the modeled guitars to hit the Helix hard enough to start sounding decent.  But again...all I had to do was switch off the models and go back to the mags on the guitar and BOOM there was all my tone and sustain.

So I guess my question is...I wonder if Line 6 has sort of stepped away from "guitar modeling" (nothing new except their Shuriken)? Is it possible that guitar models simply will never be able to perform as well as the real thing?

I hate the thought of that because my original idea was that I was going to have multiple guitars onstage with multiple tunings all by just using my JTV 89f     :(

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So I guess my question is...I wonder if Line 6 has sort of stepped away from "guitar modeling" (nothing new except their Shuriken)?

 

The answer to this is definitely no...

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The answer to this is definitely no...

Oh goody! I love teasers...

 

Let the wild speculation and requests for more info (which shan't be forthcoming) commence!

 

Will it be "better" than current Variaxes?

Will I like it?

Will it like me?

Will it be out by Christmas?

Will it come in chartreuse?

Will it have Helix integration?

Will there be a lefty version? (I'll go ahead and answer this one: No.)

Have they solved the dreaded "piezo plink", or will we be treated to lengthy threads touting various home-spun "fixes" that involve chanting supplications to the gods whilst juggling chipmunks?

 

What'd I miss? 😂

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I wonder if there is some new platform of modeling that they are working on? And if so...will it work on my hardware and will it be a solution that can compete with the mag pickups in tone, feel, volume, and sustain?

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Will it come in chartreuse?

 

 

Yes it will, or maybe not, actually I have no idea.  :mellow:

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I can agree with you on the modeling. My 89f is outstanding guitar that plays and sounds great using the analog side. The modelling, ehhh not so much although it ain't terrible. Personally I keep it because it's great playing and sounding analog guitar. And I use the Variax side for the Drop D quite a bit. It's really nice to get that and still have a Floyd. Still carry other guitars around, including an acoustic, for couple of alternate tuning songs.  It's not output strength of the models that is off. My other analog guitars are not high output versions and they sound fine.

 

For me, I don't care if they come out with anything new in the software. I won't be moving forward with it. If the variax side on the guitar dies, then I'll just gut it and wire it up all analog. The "HD" workbench to me sounded worse the original. While they had some really nice options, it took way to much to fix volume balance levels between strings and some models just sounded awful, IMO. Might be accurate to the originals for all I know but they sounded terrible and accented the natural "Quack" out of the peizos. My concept was like yours to have single guitar that could accurately mimic many different guitars and have alternate tuning a flick of a switch. I could probably do that if I stayed on the Variax side all the time. But once you can A/B the analog and digital. The digital is just lacking, it's not horrible in most cases but just lacking. I don't regret getting the guitar, it taught me a lot about my playing and what I really need in the end. It taught me not to overly focus on if it's Humbucker or a Single coil, which it does sound different, frankly it really don't matter THAT much.  And the taught me a good bit about alternate turnings. I still use the alternate tuning options for exploring something different when I practice although I don't use the variax alternate tunings on stage

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I have to say that I don't find the difference between the magnetic pickups on my JTV69US and the modeling of, say, the Spank model to be a huge difference... I use both, but most of the time, I stick with the models. I think, though, that if you play with a lot of gain, that is probably where the difference become most pronounced.

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I have to say that I don't find the difference between the magnetic pickups on my JTV69US and the modeling of, say, the Spank model to be a huge difference... I use both, but most of the time, I stick with the models. I think, though, that if you play with a lot of gain, that is probably where the difference become most pronounced.

The Spank model is the weakest of the bunch on my 89f

 

And I have of course tested everything with a clean patch. Super weak and thin. Even the "Lester" is weak. 

 

Of course your "69" has single coil pickups...so it's definitely not gonna be as powerful as my 89f's humbuckers. But trust me...it's not even close between the warmth, tonality, punch, and feel of the mags vs. the models.

I wanted it to be. And I still want it to be. 

 

But it's hard for me to use the models when I know that all I have to do is flip the switch to the mags and my guitar will suddenly bloom. :(

 

I just wonder if they have a different technology on the horizon. I think the current guitar modeling technology has kind of hit a dead end (at least in terms of new models being added...zero over the past few years).

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I hear ya bro. I had the same with my JTV-59/HD500x/FirehawkFX. The mags have way more punch than the piezos. So I boosted amp volumes, compressors, gain, and tweaked the EQ on my boards to bring guitar models up to where I like em... I run LR outputs into my two guitar amps, or into amped studio monitors, and it sounds fine. Took some time... But worth it. When I switch to mags, I back the volume off using my EX-1 pedal... It's what a volume pedal is for anyway. That wasn't necessary with pre-JTV, piezo only Variaxes. I guess you can't have the best of both worlds without having to make some adjustments.

 

Would be nice if L6 came up with a magic volume equalisation parameter in the next software upgrade. Hey, I can dream, can't I?

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So I guess my question is...I wonder if Line 6 has sort of stepped away from "guitar modeling" (nothing new except their Shuriken)? Is it possible that guitar models simply will never be able to perform as well as the real thing?

:(

No. They didn't step away from guitar modeling. In current production they have 3 JTV models, the Standard and the Shuriken. As for "modeled" guitars, it comes down to knowing how to tweak the tone on the multi-boards and workbench... Plus knowing how to optimize output to amps/PAs. Lots of pros swear by Variax for good reason: 1 guitar = 20.

Though a "Spank" isn't a Strat, it comes damn close... and anyway, once you run your Strat through a compressor, EQ, delays, mods, gain stage, etc., it isn't a pure Strat sound anymore and no one can tell the difference.

 

My opinion of course.

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I hear ya bro. I had the same with my JTV-59/HD500x/FirehawkFX. The mags have way more punch than the piezos. So I boosted amp volumes, compressors, gain, and tweaked the EQ on my boards to bring guitar models up to where I like em... I run LR outputs into my two guitar amps, or into amped studio monitors, and it sounds fine. Took some time... But worth it.

When I switch to mags, I back the volume off using my EX-1 pedal. Not ideal, but what's a volume pedal for anyway.

Would be nice if L6 came up with a volume equalisation parameter in the next software upgrade.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Try to set both inputs to "Variax" on the HD (I don't know if the Helix has the same option?).

The tone will become filled with warmth, punch and some fingerlicking spicy mustard immediately ;)

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Try to set both inputs to "Variax" on the HD (I don't know if the Helix has the same option?).

The tone will become filled with warmth, punch and some fingerlicking spicy mustard immediately ;)

Thanks Smash! I've been using my Firehawk, but I'll plug into the HD today and try what you say. I'll let you know, hopefully with a big smiley face.

✔ï¸

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Thanks Smash! I've been using my Firehawk, but I'll plug into the HD today and try what you say. I'll let you know, hopefully with a big smiley face.

✔ï¸

Your welcome! Please keep in mind not to push the gain-stage before the amp to hard to avoid digital-clipping ;)

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Try to set both inputs to "Variax" on the HD (I don't know if the Helix has the same option?).

The tone will become filled with warmth, punch and some fingerlicking spicy mustard immediately ;)

Won't work on the Helix. 

I set the input to "Variax" (it also has a multi-input option that includes Variax, but after that sounded thin I went to the Variax only input)...sound is still wimpy.

 

You can pretty much just take my JTV89F and plug it straight into a mixer with no amp or amp models involved. And set it on any of the models and play it for a second. Then switch off the modeling and go to the mag pickups. BOOM. Huge difference in volume and fullness. 

 

The only thing that can be done is to set up the Helix with amp models having the gain jacked up and bottom end jacked. But that's all kinda "fake" and sounds that way too. Especially when you A/B the mag pickups.

 

It's disheartening to say the least.  And could be the reason that Variax guitars have never been the huge sellers that you would think they would be if they truly could do what the advertising campaigns for them say they can.

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Try to set both inputs to "Variax" on the HD (I don't know if the Helix has the same option?).

The tone will become filled with warmth, punch and some fingerlicking spicy mustard immediately ;)

It's been a while since I used my 500X... the Firehawk's been getting all my attention lately. So... I plugged my JTV-59 in the 500 and both inputs were already set to Variax (actually #1 Variax; #2 Same). I A/B'd the other input options (guitar+ aux) and you're right... the Variax inputs are warmer and punchier. I guess that's why I had them already selected. But compared to the Variax Mags input even they pale in comparison. In general, the mag pickups sound much hotter that the piezo models. Some tweaking is required to normalize things, and with so many variables to play with it's no wonder that many people give up. It takes time, patience and a controlled approach... but it's do-able.😎

 

Won't work on the Helix.

I set the input to "Variax" (it also has a multi-input option that includes Variax, but after that sounded thin I went to the Variax only input)...sound is still wimpy.

 

It's disheartening to say the least. And could be the reason that Variax guitars have never been the huge sellers that you would think they would be if they truly could do what the advertising campaigns for them say they can.

I've actually "modelled" my JTV-59 pickup sound using the piezos, Workbench, and multi-FX board settings. Not wimpy at all. But if I switch to mags without backing off the volume, eveything blows through the roof... attenuation is required. I should also say that I run unbalanced LR outputs from my mfx boards (500X, FhFX, XTLive) into a stereo looper and from there LR outputs into matched left & right "clean" amps -- or into powered left & right studio monitors. But that has little or nothing to do with what my Variaxes put out.

 

I think Variaxes are capable of delivering the goods, and so do a number of top studio musicians and artists otherwise they wouldn't use them. IMO finding the right sound is a question of time and patience.✔ï¸

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I hear ya. And I've gotten a decent sound on a couple of models.

BUT.. knowing that I can simply switch to the mag pickups and the guitar will sound 100% better keeps me from ever using the models.

 

It's like having an average looking girlfriend who is "okay" in bed AND a smoking hot girlfriend who is a freak in bed.

Sure the average one is fine...but why choose her over the smoking hot one? Lol

 

I'm just wondering if modeling technology for guitar will be able to progress the same way that amp modeling has.

 

I want my guitar models to be very, very close in volume, punch,and warmth to the real thing.

Otherwise the real thing wins out every time.

 

I'm pretty sure none of us bought these instruments in search of the holy grail of AVERAGE tone.

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I hear ya. And I've gotten a decent sound on a couple of models.

BUT.. knowing that I can simply switch to the mag pickups and the guitar will sound 100% better keeps me from ever using the models.

 

It's like having an average looking girlfriend who is "okay" in bed AND a smoking hot girlfriend who is a freak in bed.

Sure the average one is fine...but why choose her over the smoking hot one? Lol

 

I'm just wondering if modeling technology for guitar will be able to progress the same way that amp modeling has.

 

I want my guitar models to be very, very close in volume, punch,and warmth to the real thing.

Otherwise the real thing wins out every time.

 

I'm pretty sure none of us bought these instruments in search of the holy grail of AVERAGE tone.

More times than I could count, I've walked away from pieces of gear that I really wanted to like. But in the end it either blows your hair back, or it doesn't. It sucks, but at least in this case you got a perfectly functional "regular" guitar. Win a few, lose a few... 😕

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I've had my JTV 89F for a little over 3 years now.

 

Very excited to get it in the beginning. Beautiful guitar, fast playing, etc.

 

Spent a ton of time in Workbench the first year playing with models. Trying to get some semblance of equality in volume, etc.

But in the end...the mag pickups on the guitar just blow away all the models. Including the model of the mag pickups that come on the 89f!

 

The mag pickups just always sound more "ballsy" and have more depth and character than any of the models.

 

So for two years I just said "screw it" and used the mag pickups and the only model I used was the acoustic guitar models.

 

So last night I sat down with it again and opened up Workbench. I erased all of my presets for the guitar and started fresh with factory settings.

Man...the models sounded so weak. They could barely get any tone out of my Helix. Just sounded thin and terrible.

 

So I boosted up the guitar model presets all the way to +6db.  That gave me a little bit more volume and allowed the modeled guitars to hit the Helix hard enough to start sounding decent.  But again...all I had to do was switch off the models and go back to the mags on the guitar and BOOM there was all my tone and sustain.

 

So I guess my question is...I wonder if Line 6 has sort of stepped away from "guitar modeling" (nothing new except their Shuriken)? Is it possible that guitar models simply will never be able to perform as well as the real thing?

 

I hate the thought of that because my original idea was that I was going to have multiple guitars onstage with multiple tunings all by just using my JTV 89f     :(

I got this Strat bank from forum member Arislaf. It's very good.

 

https://app.box.com/s/ji2trjkge13hbnslasksnyfy8m8t50nh

 

Also, If you bought the Fremen big-pack for Helix, there's a whole variax bundle that he included. Itwas a massive improvement over anything I could dial in myself on workbench. Loud and proud.

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I hear ya. And I've gotten a decent sound on a couple of models.

BUT.. knowing that I can simply switch to the mag pickups and the guitar will sound 100% better keeps me from ever using the models.

It's true that all settings being equal, piezos don't deliver the dynamic punch of mags. But then, single coils don't deliver the punch of humbuckers... and active pickups blow humbuckers away. It really comes down to compromise (and I know for some folks that's a dirty word). Of course, my experience is with a JTV-59. I've steered away from slinky strings and use 52/12's because fatter strings = fatter sound. Still, there's no way the piezo models will match the punch of mags straight outta the box. It's all about the presets. I've got my presets tweaked to deliver the punch and growl of mags, so when I switch to mags I need to back off the volume (using an EX-1) about 30%. Realistically, "spank" single coils aren't as beefy as "lester" humbuckers, and IMO, the Variax mags blow them both away (but don't tell that to a Strat or LP owner).

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Myself and probably many users find good guitar model sounds which “work†for us at various times/places.  

 

Electric guitars have been “lo-fi†for as long as I’ve been playing them so I fail to see much relevance in plugging into a full range sound system for comparison?  

 

I compare while running into good guitar amp.  Amp modeling is great but I find a juicy swirling tube rig still delivers more goodness to my soul.  Add the usual pedals with this setup I find very little to complain about Variax guitar modeling.  In fact, the lack of hum/noise and wide range of guitar model convenience almost always outweighs any “perceived†loss of tonal quality compared to mag based rigs.  

 

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Electric guitars have been “lo-fi†for as long as I’ve been playing them so I fail to see much relevance in plugging into a full range sound system for comparison?

 

We'll that all depends on the sound(s) you're looking for. One of the primary reasons I rolled the dice on a Variax was to be able to get convincing acoustic sounds live, without having to grab an actual acoustic. A traditional guitar speaker's frequency response is far too narrow, and will never be able to faithfully reproduce acoustic tones. An FRFR rig is essential for that.

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We'll that all depends on the sound(s) you're looking for. One of the primary reasons I rolled the dice on a Variax was to be able to get convincing acoustic sounds live, without having to grab an actual acoustic. A traditional guitar speaker's frequency response is far too narrow, and will never be able to faithfully reproduce acoustic tones. An FRFR rig is essential for that.

Well now, if discussing the acoustic models I fully agree with FRFR rig to accurately reproduce the models.  Trouble is, I was replying to a described method of someone comparing "electric guitar" models to mag electric guitars using FRFR.  

 

If that's the "tone" someone wants for an electric guitar then by all means enjoy the comparison.  

 

I'm quite happy with many Variax electric models when used with a decent electric guitar amp setup.  I just find little if any value judging a guitar sound in an environment I'll never use it.  

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I'm quite happy with many Variax electric models when used with a decent electric guitar amp setup.  I just find little if any value judging a guitar sound in an environment I'll never use it.  

My guitar rig is now a Helix going into a Bose L2

Before that it was my Bogner Ecstasy head into my Bogner 4x12 Greenback loaded cab.

And of course Marshall, Mesa, Peavey, etc. throughout my career as I changed rigs.

 

I can tell you very plainly that I can plug my JTV89f into any amp you have. Let you go into Workshop and "tweak" the models until you're blue in the face. (I already have all the strings set to max volume and the model "preset" set to +6 db max as well).  

And the result will be it will sound pretty good. 

And then switch to the JTV 89f mag pickups and you will instantly hear the guitar come to life with sustain and harmonics that were not there with the models.

 

And heaven help you if you pick up my Strat Jeff Beck Custom Shop that is loaded with Duncan JB pickups. You would never want to touch the models in the JTV again. 

 

That's why I was wondering if Line 6 is ever going to move forward with guitar modeling. 

Yeah they released a couple of new Variax guitars.

But no new models.

 

I sort of wish they would just model some new pickups. And not "vintage" ones. 

 

What I mean is: I've owned my JTV 89F since 2014. In that entire time they've only done ONE update. And that was adding a "neutral" body and the model of the 89F pickups so that you can replicate the JTV89F with mags as a Model.

 

I would LOVE to see them simply model some modern pickups.  Duncans and Dimarzios and Bare Knuckle and some "boutique" pickups.

 

Wouldn't it be great to be able to stick a Duncan JB in the Strat body  or the "neutral" body?   Maybe that would get the models to a better place for all the players like me who are using them in cover bands.

For now...I just can't bring myself to use the models when the mag pickups on JTV89F blow them all away tonewise.

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Yes, the mag pickups do sound better than the similar models. But sounding the same or similar isn't the only point. On a gig, I could use those magnetic pickups all night and I'd be getting the best tone the guitar can produce. But it would be a small range of tones. If I were a professional with my own signature tone, then that's exactly what I'd want to do. Matt Schofield comes to mind for example. He has a signature tone, its fantastic, and he uses it well. People will pay lots of money to hear that tone and what he does with it. That's not me. I'm a professional software developer who plays weekend club gigs as a hobby. I don't have a tone of my own. The band does mostly covers. So my JTV-69S and Helix make a perfect combination to create a lot of different tones that help the band connect to the songs for our audience. I put my own stamp on it, but the audience is there to hear the familiar tunes and have fun, not to listen to me. I'm fine with that, its a lot of fun.

 

If I were a professional like Matt Schofield, I probably wouldn't use a Variax or digital amp models. But I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to use them for my limited purposes. The tones I can get from those guitar and amp models are a lot better than tone's I can't get from guitars and amps a don't own and will never get to use.

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To each his own. I like the JTV-59 mags, but I also like the Variax models. The sonic worlds they and my MFX boards provide boost my creativity and inspire me. Sure, sometimes I want to keep things pure and direct; and sometimes I want to explore new horizons. But that's me.

 

That being said, new pickup and guitar models would definitely give me more room to explore: Parker, PRS and Music Man, come to mind. But as is, it'll be years before I exhaust all the current possibilities... And if there's a downside, it's that I often spend more time tweaking settings than playing. So many tones, so little time.✔ï¸

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The Spank model is the weakest of the bunch on my 89f

 

And I have of course tested everything with a clean patch. Super weak and thin. Even the "Lester" is weak. 

 

Of course your "69" has single coil pickups...so it's definitely not gonna be as powerful as my 89f's humbuckers. But trust me...it's not even close between the warmth, tonality, punch, and feel of the mags vs. the models.

I wanted it to be. And I still want it to be. 

 

But it's hard for me to use the models when I know that all I have to do is flip the switch to the mags and my guitar will suddenly bloom. :(

 

I just wonder if they have a different technology on the horizon. I think the current guitar modeling technology has kind of hit a dead end (at least in terms of new models being added...zero over the past few years).

 

Won't work on the Helix. 

I set the input to "Variax" (it also has a multi-input option that includes Variax, but after that sounded thin I went to the Variax only input)...sound is still wimpy.

 

You can pretty much just take my JTV89F and plug it straight into a mixer with no amp or amp models involved. And set it on any of the models and play it for a second. Then switch off the modeling and go to the mag pickups. BOOM. Huge difference in volume and fullness. 

 

The only thing that can be done is to set up the Helix with amp models having the gain jacked up and bottom end jacked. But that's all kinda "fake" and sounds that way too. Especially when you A/B the mag pickups.

 

It's disheartening to say the least.  And could be the reason that Variax guitars have never been the huge sellers that you would think they would be if they truly could do what the advertising campaigns for them say they can.

Dude all you wrote is exactly what I experienced in the last 14 days (since I got my JTV-89F). The magnetic PUs sound awesome. The acoustic guitar models combined with the right amp and cab as well. But the rest sounds really, really bad. What in gods name is the Spank supposed to be? Couldn't be further away from the real Stratocaster, seriously. The latency that comes with the models is bareable. The mean feedback I get sometimes from my 2nd guitarists (only when I play the piezos) is not bareable at all. And I had the noisegat cranked up so...why? Bad shielding? The crazy weird "Pling" I get sounds really aweful as well. I tried to get rid off those things with EQing and detailled tweaking in the Workbench etc. but I'm gonna send her back in a couple of days unfortunately. I was really looking forward to this guitar, but I too was blinded once again by the marketing and advertising.......

when it comes down to the modelling (except the acoustic models) the guitar is a joke in my honest opinion. The rest of this guitar I like very much.  The Look (except the headstock JamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTyler, seriously Line 6??), the comfort in playing, the magnetic PUs, the tremolo system, and so on, all of this is good. 

but that is not why I bought it.... I bought it for the models...and those sound like garbage, sorry.

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Dude all you wrote is exactly what I experienced in the last 14 days (since I got my JTV-89F). The magnetic PUs sound awesome. The acoustic guitar models combined with the right amp and cab as well. But the rest sounds really, really bad. What in gods name is the Spank supposed to be? Couldn't be further away from the real Stratocaster, seriously. The latency that comes with the models is bareable. The mean feedback I get sometimes from my 2nd guitarists (only when I play the piezos) is not bareable at all. And I had the noisegat cranked up so...why? Bad shielding? The crazy weird "Pling" I get sounds really aweful as well. I tried to get rid off those things with EQing and detailled tweaking in the Workbench etc. but I'm gonna send her back in a couple of days unfortunately. I was really looking forward to this guitar, but I too was blinded once again by the marketing and advertising.......

when it comes down to the modelling (except the acoustic models) the guitar is a joke in my honest opinion. The rest of this guitar I like very much.  The Look (except the headstock JamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTylerJamesTyler, seriously Line 6??), the comfort in playing, the magnetic PUs, the tremolo system, and so on, all of this is good. 

but that is not why I bought it.... I bought it for the models...and those sound like garbage, sorry.

 

Have you tried re-installing the firmware on the guitar? I'm a little puzzled when I read a review saying the guitar sounds completely terrible, as there's tons of happy JTV owners out there, and tons of clips where it sounds awesome. The modeling may not be perfect, but it isn't unusable by any means.

 

As far as the headstock, have you actually seen James Tyler guitars? That's what his logo looks like (the headstocks on the actual Tyler guitars are actually a little bigger than the JTV).

 

tylerblue7.jpg

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As far as the headstock, have you actually seen James Tyler guitars? That's what his logo looks like (the headstocks on the actual Tyler guitars are actually a little bigger than the JTV).

 

tylerblue7.jpg

Lol... building an altar to one's self will never cease to be amusing. While this one is at least 3 orders of magnitude more hideous than the JTV headstocks...those are still ugly. We get it. He's James Tyler, and he builds guitars. Having it appear once would be sufficient....you'll never hear anyone say that Strats and Teles would look better if the headstocks had "Fender" emblazoned on them 27 times. ;)

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Have you tried re-installing the firmware on the guitar? I'm a little puzzled when I read a review saying the guitar sounds completely terrible, as there's tons of happy JTV owners out there, and tons of clips where it sounds awesome. The modeling may not be perfect, but it isn't unusable by any means.

 

As far as the headstock, have you actually seen James Tyler guitars? That's what his logo looks like (the headstocks on the actual Tyler guitars are actually a little bigger than the JTV).

 

tylerblue7.jpg

 

thanks for your response.

about the headstock: yeah okay now I understand why you guys have it on the variax :D still looks fugly xD

about the variax: yepp I've reinstalled the flash memory and I've checked different settings as well (workbench, noisegate, EQ etc, different amps from tube amps to line 6 combos). I watched almost all youtube videos on the jtv-89f out there (not really many out there existing but a few at least). Don't get me wrong I don't want to make the guitar bad, but after all this tweaking it just doesn't sound good at all. Unfortunately...

there is still a weird pling and high pitched squeaking to it I just cant get rid off no matter what I try

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I think my 89F has several good characteristics, which others have mentioned above. Knock on wood - I have not had the plink problem on my 89F, but (to me) many of the models have a banjo-esque overtone to them. I have tried other folks models, but everyone uses different gear, playing styles, hands, etc., so... 

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Using a pick over the bridge pickup yielded the most pronounced banjo-esque overtone that disappears picking at other locations of the string. 

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It's like having an average looking girlfriend who is "okay" in bed AND a smoking hot girlfriend who is a freak in bed.

Sure the average one is fine...but why choose her over the smoking hot one? Lol

 

 

 

Because the smoking hot one is totally batsh*t crazy otherwise and makes the rest of your life a living hell.  ;)

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Because the smoking hot one is totally batsh*t crazy otherwise and makes the rest of your life a living hell.  ;)

Solid average, freaky hot, crazy, sensible, etc.  At this point in life I won't kick any of 'em out of bed...  

 

JTV 59 mag pups sound pretty darn good and can see preferring them over similar models.  But much like HWBP (hard wire bypass) pedals, in the heat of battle (stage mix) it can be very difficult to hear much practical difference between a transistor or copper signal path.  Sure, A/B in studio environment most of us can "hear" it.   But I always come back to "practical differences" and it becomes a very minor thing in the overall scheme of my work environment.  

 

Since we're off into the really weird stuff - stories of a young Elvis visiting numerous young ladies in hotel rooms following shows.  At times going door to door for an entire hotel floor.  One of his buddies finally asked how he could handle so many women in one night?  His reply: "they're all different"

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Because the smoking hot one is totally batsh*t crazy otherwise and makes the rest of your life a living hell.  ;)

You just described every relationship of my life. lol

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it can be very difficult to hear much practical difference

For me it's real easy to hear the difference between the models and the real pickups on the guitar.

If I'm using a model...it doesn't hit the amp hard enough to create the sustain and harmonics I need for my style of playing (classic rock with a thick/fat lead).

I have to boost the volume to "max" on everything in Workbench to get it to even sound decent.

 

So if I'm using a fairly high gain amp...and I already have the gain on "8" and everything dialed in to sound perfect to me for a great lead sound: plenty of sustain & harmonics without too much "hiss", noise, or unwanted feedback... And then I use one of the models and all of that is gone. What do I do? Crank the gain to "10" and hope it's enough? And then of course that throws that entire "sweet spot" of the amp out the window.

 

No matter how I work it...I end up with an inferior guitar tone. :(

 

And if I try using the "Spank" model? Forget it. It's output (even with everything maxed out in workbench) is so thin and low-volume that it doesn't "hit" the front of the amp enough to achieve any kind of decent tone.

 

And yeah, I've owned (and own) strats. And yeah...I pretty much always switched the Fender single coils out for Duncans. The exception being a Strat I had that came with Lace Sensors which I kept in it and used it live for a couple of years.

 

But I've never had a guitar that wasn't able to be plugged right into most any amp and AT LEAST have enough output to drive the amp.

 

That's why I'm hopeful that Line 6 may give us some updated pickup model options since it has been years now. I'd love to see some Duncan, Dimarzio, Bare Knuckles, etc. pickup models included and have them with enough output gain that there isn't such a huge difference between the models and real pickups.

 

I know that if I walked into a music store and tried out a guitar that sounded like the models do...I would NOT buy it. Why would anyone want to have a guitar that wasn't able to sound great right on the showroom floor? Every instrument I bought (except for my JTV89F) I played first at the music store.

This was a leap of faith for me. And the guitar itself seems to be just fine. Maybe a notch or two below my Ibanez Prestige and 3 or 4 notches below my Floyd Rose Redmond series Model K for a Floyd equipped guitar. So that makes it a very good guitar. But the models?

Nope.

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Maybe this problem is unique to the 89's? Firmware? Bridge pickup too high?

 

I don't know...

 

The models on my 59 were solid right out of the box (and tinkering has made them even better) I can, and have, had both my strat and 59 in the spank model running through my helix at the same time and the sound is remarkably similar (aside from the nuances piezos add)

 

*Standard disclaimer, I've been playing for 20+ years and, yes, my ears work just fine lol

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I have a Variax standard, my other guitars are high end Ibanez, ESP, Caparison and custom stuff. The Variax output can be way higher than my other guitars.

 

For example: a neutral body plus a les paul bridge pickup is y default way louder than my other guitars.

 

In your situation, I think that the global string volume, the preset string volume, the pickup volume in the preset, the preset volume, the actual piezos output volume or a combination of the previous is not where it should.

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I spent a lot of time in Workbench and maxed out all those volumes.

 

Maybe I just have a lemon. I've had it for over 3 years now and modified so many things to make it sound better.. for example the locknut that comes on the guitar is a flimsy piece of trash metal. I replaced that with a floyd titanium nut. And I bought the floyd "silent springs" to get rid of the trem spring ringing, etc

 

I WANT it to sound good on the models.

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I'm not a high-gain player so my POV and application will surely be very different.  

 

Probably not the issue but at this point a different Vax may be the only sensible thing left to try?  

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