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maybe I'm wrong but I believe that generally a VDI cable either works or it doesn't at all.. perhaps it could be intermittent, but it would surprise me if it could affect the signal level..

 

regarding the inputs routings there is a diffuse confusion about them all around here.. maybe the OP didn't report precisely what really happened (to what corresponds exactly the "blank" input he referred to?!?)..

 

as you said maybe he has some issues with his gear.. doesn't seem to me the most likely hypothesis.. but who knows

 

I agree with you Nico.

 

I am just theorising what may be the issue based on the facts that agordon has provided.  He stated that he managed to get his JTV69/HD500 VDI connection to sound the same as his 1/4" connection when he specified VARIAX/SAME as his input options.  He said that his produced the same sound as GUITAR/OTHER (well he said BLANK but he must mean one of the other settings as BLANK is not a valid option).  If this is the case then that implies that his VDI is producing a signal strength approx. 6db less than his 1/4".  He can double check this by comparing VARIAX/SAME with GUITAR/SAME and see if the latter is louder, which logically it should be if the first scenario is true where VARIAX/SAME = GUITAR/OTHER.   This is assuming his other patch settings remain the same.   I have just been trying to work out logically what could account for the difference he has observed and I have listed what I think are all the possible options - however unlikely they may be.

 

The most likely cause, as with most things, is user error BUT if that is ruled out then it has to be one of the other options. 

 

I am just curious to know what the answer is, so I hope agordon comes back with the results of his testing and provides a demo recording to show the problem he encountered.  User error or hardware issue?   We will wait and see....      :)

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https://soundcloud.com/hurghanico/vdi-vs-14

 

....

 

I played with my Variax 700 Les Paul Junior model (which I love) a riff, the first half is through VDI, the second half is through 1/4"..

 

...

 

screamer as a booster with drive at 0,

AC-15 amp: drive at 15, bass at 12, cut and treble at 100, presence at 0, channel volume at 100,

room reverb..

 

...

 Hi Nico.  I want to congratulate you on the tone you got on your recording - sounds great.   I tried to copy it with my V 700 and HD500 but mine didn't sound anywhere near as good as yours. I copied your settings above and played it through my L2M - using STUDIO/DIRECT out on HD500 and PA REF mode on L2M.   I also tried using my JTV59 even though it does not have the LP Junior model so I used LP Special Bridge instead and it did not sound as good as the V 700.

 

While I was experimenting I decided to reproduce agordon's tests and A/B the VDI and 1/4" outputs from both the V700 and JTV59 into the HD500.  I had both VDI connected and 1/4" to guitar and flipped between input choices of VARIAX/SAME and GUITAR/SAME on HD500 using both guitars.  I was just listening at rehearsal volume level and di not bother recording to see exact differences but I could easily hear that when I used he 1/4" output from both my V700 and JTV59 that it sounded quieter than the VDI output.  It was obvious that the 1/4" signal was weaker and not driving the patch setting as much.   This is completely the opposite of what agordon reported.

 

I then tried the same test with my JTV69 and found once again that the VDI was the stronger signal but not by such a margin as the other two - the signals were closer but still the 1/4" was weaker.

 

I was hoping that both connections would be very similar as in your experiment but unfortunately that is not the case.

 

So we now have 3 defined and tested scenarios:

 

agordon - VDI weaker than 1/4" with JTV69

hurghanico - VDI and 1/4" the same (or very very close) with Variax 700

edstar1960 - VDI stronger than 1/4" on Variax 700 and JTV59 and JTV69.   <<< this was with GUITAR IN switch set to PAD !!!!  So this is expected and working as designed! :rolleyes:

 

What does this tell us?  <<<<  In my case I made an error by leaving GUITAR IN set to PAD !!!   :wub:    :rolleyes:

 

I think this is a strong indication of variations in hardware.  The fact that my JTV69 was slightly different to the JTV59 does seem to point at the variation being located in the Variax guitars rather than in the HD500 - although all 3 guitars did exhibit VDI stronger than 1/4" - so maybe it's a combination of Variax/HD500 ... who knows?  All I can say is that there is a definite signal strength difference - and in my case the VDI is stronger in 3 Variax guitars.    <<<<  Conclusion incorrect because my test was wrong - however agordon has still reported a weaker VDI signal so that remains to be explained.    :mellow:

 

UPDATE 20 Jan 2015 -  I have just realised that the above tests were performed with GUITAR IN switch on the top of my HD500 set to PAD.  When I repeated the tests with it set to NORMAL the signal strength was at a very similar level from both VDI and 1/4" as I would expect - just very subtle tonal variation as expected due to differences in analog/digital and use of a 1/4" cable. The V700 seemed louder than the JTVs but it wasn't a scientific test - just a quick listen with each guitar so I may be wrong.  So in my case it was USER ERROR.    :wub:  In my defence those switches by the expression pedal are hard to see against the body of the unit and the writing in that very light gold is almost impossible to see even with a flashlight or in normal daylight.  Still - my tests now match Nicos' results.    :)  :rolleyes:

Edited by edstar1960

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Since the processing electronics are different in the signal path, I am not surprised that there is a gain difference between the analog 1/4 inch out and the VDI.  I never use both at the same time so I have never really noticed it on my 500 or on my JTV69S.  In the case of the Mag pickups, the 1/4 inch out is passive right from the pickups and the VDI is always active since it's digital.

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So we now have 3 defined and tested scenarios:

 

agordon - VDI weaker than 1/4" with JTV69

hurghanico - VDI and 1/4" the same (or very very close) with Variax 700

edstar1960 - VDI stronger than 1/4" on Variax 700 and JTV59 and JTV69.

 

What does this tell us?

 

I think this is a strong indication of variations in hardware.

Generally speaking, you can't conclude much of anything with a sample size of 3. But there are certainties here...three different players, three different sets of ears and personal expectations, three different definitions about what sounds "good", and three different lifetimes of prior experience with what "real" guitars sound like and how they respond with a "real" amp.

 

The only significant hardware differences from one variax to another will be piezo output. Whether or not this contributes to more or less of a perceived difference in tone with 1/4" vs VDI, I have no idea. Its largely subjective, I suspect.

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Generally speaking, you can't conclude much of anything with a sample size of 3. But there are certainties here...three different players, three different sets of ears and personal expectations, three different definitions about what sounds "good", and three different lifetimes of prior experience with what "real" guitars sound like and how they respond with a "real" amp.

 

The only significant hardware differences from one variax to another will be piezo output. Whether or not this contributes to more or less of a perceived difference in tone with 1/4" vs VDI, I have no idea. Its largely subjective, I suspect.

 

All true.

 

Remember that in this test I am not concluding which sounds best - I am simply listening out for difference in signal strength because I believe the VDI and the 1/4" should produce similar signal strengths when using a guitar model.  They are using the same piezo's - just routing the signal differently into the HD500.

 

We have each reported different results.  Nico reports that they are the same which is what I would expect. agordon reports his VDI signal is weaker than the 1/4". And my tests today have shown that with my 3 different Variax's (v700, JTV59, JTV69) that the VDI is stronger than the 1/4".

 

Even if we all have different tweaks to our guitar models via Workbench regarding string volume and piezo output - surely each of us should hear our own guitars produce very similar signal strengths through the VDI and 1/4" outs.

 

The fact that we don't is odd.  I know it's only 3 people out of many thousands so statistically counts for nada - but statistically we should all be much more likely to have the same experience given the number of Variax owners out there - shouldn't we - but we don't - so that is odd.

 

UPDATE 20 Jan 2015 - apologies but my test had GUITAR IN set to PAD which explains why my results were opposite - but they would be because I had inadvertently added a PAD to the signal and reduced the volume.  Sorry that I missed the fact the switch was engaged.  :wub:

Edited by edstar1960

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Since the processing electronics are different in the signal path, I am not surprised that there is a gain difference between the analog 1/4 inch out and the VDI.  I never use both at the same time so I have never really noticed it on my 500 or on my JTV69S.  In the case of the Mag pickups, the 1/4 inch out is passive right from the pickups and the VDI is always active since it's digital.

 

Hi Charlie.  When I have the VDI and 1/4" connected at the same time the modelling is active because the VDI is providing power and sending the modelled signals out via the VDI link and via the 1/4" cable.

I choose which one to monitor by updating the INPUT selection on the HD500 - I flip flop between GUITAR/SAME and VARIAX/SAME.  There is a definite difference in signal strength as the volume drops when I select GUITAR/SAME.  Which is the exact opposite of what agordon reported.  Nico gets the same signal strength through both connections with his Variax 700.

 

UPDATE 20 Jan 2015 - apologies but my test had GUITAR IN set to PAD which explains why my results were opposite - but they would be because I had inadvertently added a PAD to the signal and reduced the volume.  Sorry that I missed the fact the switch was engaged.  :wub:

Edited by edstar1960

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how did you set the guitar-in Z parameter?.. is there any FX model (turned off) in the chain before the amp model?

 

the Z parameter affects brightness but also the perceived volume

 

I tried with AUTO and 1M.

 

I tested it with the patch I set up copying your example patch so the screamer was the first fx and it was on.

 

I used your specified settings and default values for everything else.

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thanks man, maybe I'm the lucky owner of a particulary well crafted V 700.. I don't know

 

acoustically is a very resonant guitar, and this fact is a really good thing, it's something I always look for when I want buy any guitar, acoustic or electric..

but probably all V 700 are like this or very similar to each other..

 

as you know strings and gauge are also important and affect very much the sound, I use standard D'Addario 0.10 all the time..

generally the thicker they are and the more they sound good, but if you want do also some bends you have to make some compromises..

0.10 is good compromise for me, or thicker strings, but only tuning down the guitar..

 

I like to use very fat picks, 2 millimeters thickness, standard medium shape, often Dunlop..

 

IMO all the above things contribute to the final sound

 

P.S.

also, I still have all the original stock piezos mounted in the bridge, and I didn't customize the models

 

----------------------------------------------------------

 

it's a shame that Line6 didn't include the LP Junior into the JTV..

IMO it's one of the best models ever made by them..

 

the Junior P90 PUP is different than the other available P90s PUPs

 

Thanks for all the extra info.

 

I use 10's on my Variax 700. I have the trem model.  It has the original piezo's and I have not customised the models - so I was using the factory supplied LP JUNIOR.

 

When I get a chance I will try to record it with the patch I set up which used your settings and defaults for settings that you did not specify. 

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also I have the trem model, and I set the trem not floating (but not blocked) to avoid possible intonation issues if I touch the bridge with my hand, and also to get more strings energy passing from the bridge to the body due to the wider contact surface area between them..

 

I tightened the tremolo springs to the point that if I play a double stop, bending only one of the 2 string, the other one doesn't go flat and stays perfectly in tune, and the bridge doesn't move at all, maintaining its contact with the body

 

My trem is almost set so it's touching the body and it only moves a tiny amount when I bend a string.  Not quite completely locked down with spring tension but not far off.

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Update!  I have revised my earlier entry regarding test results as today I discovered I had inadvertently left the GUITAR IN switch set to PAD on my HD500 !!  :rolleyes:

I repeated the tests with it set to NORMAL and I now get similar levels with VDI and 1/4" as expected - so in my case it was USER ERROR.   :wub: Just shows that even with years of experience with these units you can still make an obvious mistake.  Apologies everyone!  :rolleyes:  :)

 

Why agordon is experiencing a weaker VDI signal still remains to be explained. 

  • Upvote 2

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