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Variax Standard- on all models, the A string has too much mids, sounds like "honky"

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I bought this when they first came out, just did NOT like any of the modeled sounds but I really liked the sound of the mag pickups and the great playability, to I've hung on to it.  I put it away for a while after getting a Tele.  Now I've gone back to it and I realize that the reason I didn't like any of the modeled sounds was that the A string has a very pronounced mid-range peak and sounds much different than the other strings.  If I play without hitting the A string, I very much like most of the models.  The mag pickups sound great, all strings balanced so it's only in the models.

 

Any ideas?  Can a piezo cause something like this?  It seems to make sense.  I haven't looked at how hard it is to change out the piezos.  I'm pretty good with electronics and I'm considering swapping the A string piezo with another string and seeing if the problem follows the piezo.  Does that sound like a workable test?

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String gauge or string action could be a reason. 10-gauge or 11-gauge set would be optimal.

String action on a particular string may be on the verge of fret buzz.

 

 

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I've had my standard for a year and a half. I get it out and A/B it against my Tele or an actual acoustic and I can't get to grips with it. It's not just it doesn't sound as good, it's that my tele is much, much better and the acoustic models don't come anywhere close to my relatively cheap acoustic! I've been told to reduce the piezo pick up outputs and this has helped especially with the lower strings. However the acoustic models are fairly unusable to my ears. Any help appreciated!

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After reading some other posts about how miscellaneous resonance can be picked up by the piezos, I added light foam rubber under the trem springs and that cleared up a lot of the problems.  After that, I found that some models sounded decent on all strings and some others now only sounded bad on the low E.  That tells me that the problem is in the model.  btw, string gauge is 10 and strings are almost new.  I actually played this guitar on stage for about a year, just because it played and felt nice and the mag pickups were as good as I've heard on any strat.  Even after extensive editing, I never used any of the modeled stuff.  Some of it sounded useful but just too much of a hassle to pull up when you're playing live, even if you stick to using only Custom one.  Also the tone knob didn't affect both the mags and the models evenly, so a little more hassle switching between those.  I'm a long time synth programmer, love my tech, but this isn't for me.  Good for some studio work but a version without the mags would be just as good for that.  I appreciate the suggestions, thanks. 

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On 9/11/2019 at 9:29 PM, psarkissian said:

What gauge strings and when were they changed last?

 

10's. sounded the same after a set up too. I haven't updated the firmware for a while, maybe I'll give that a whirl.

 

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On 9/11/2019 at 9:37 PM, andymguitar said:

 However the acoustic models are fairly unusable to my ears. Any help appreciated!

 

What is your RIG and how do you use your Variax ?

I used to play it through my Helix and a DBR10 speaker. The sound at home was good but it was weird in my small room. I just explained that to friend of mine this monrnig. I believe that we are accustomed to use an actual acoustic guitar with a huge sound coming from the instrument itself. With the variax something misses.....

I have recorded few songs but the result was really good with the Variaxes acoustics guitars. At gigs/rehearsal, the sound (louder) is pretty convincing too !

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1 hour ago, SteveFrance said:

 

What is your RIG and how do you use your Variax ?

I used to play it through my Helix and a DBR10 speaker. The sound at home was good but it was weird in my small room. I just explained that to friend of mine this monrnig. I believe that we are accustomed to use an actual acoustic guitar with a huge sound coming from the instrument itself. With the variax something misses.....

I have recorded few songs but the result was really good with the Variaxes acoustics guitars. At gigs/rehearsal, the sound (louder) is pretty convincing too !

 

I've got a behringer powered speaker and a Yamaha PA, have tried both but I'm not entirely satisfied. Reducing the E and A and D string signal on workbench to around 80 / 60 % has helped, but it's something about the attack and lack of sustain. Essentially if I closed my eyes I would hear it's nowhere near an acoustic sound! I half wonder if I have a dud as so many others seem be satisfied..!

 

I have a Helix LT also, thinking of just setting up a patch for the acoustic sound with some EQ etc etc..

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On 10/4/2019 at 8:18 AM, andymguitar said:

 

I've got a behringer powered speaker and a Yamaha PA, have tried both but I'm not entirely satisfied. Reducing the E and A and D string signal on workbench to around 80 / 60 % has helped, but it's something about the attack and lack of sustain. Essentially if I closed my eyes I would hear it's nowhere near an acoustic sound! I half wonder if I have a dud as so many others seem be satisfied..!

 

I have a Helix LT also, thinking of just setting up a patch for the acoustic sound with some EQ etc etc..

 

Have you tried recording it direct so that all you hear is the output signal? 

 

Many, many, many times . . . too many to count, I've been dissatisfied only to find out later it was because I could hear the sound of the actual guitar more than the modeled output. The audience, on the other hand, didn't hear any of the actual guitar.

 

Once I did that, I realized it sounded pretty good. 

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" Many, many, many times . . . too many to count, I've been dissatisfied only to find out later it was because I could hear the sound of the actual guitar more than the modeled output. The audience, on the other hand, didn't hear any of the actual guitar. "---- Sounds like what is known as "dual tone effect". It's when you are hearing the sound coming off the guitar and the Model signal out of the amp, at the same time. The two sounds can (but not always) clash.

 

EQ can help, floor monitors or a monitor amp close to you. Doesn't have to be loud, just enough to mediate or negate the effect.

 

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On 11/6/2019 at 8:01 PM, psarkissian said:

" Many, many, many times . . . too many to count, I've been dissatisfied only to find out later it was because I could hear the sound of the actual guitar more than the modeled output. The audience, on the other hand, didn't hear any of the actual guitar. "---- Sounds like what is known as "dual tone effect". It's when you are hearing the sound coming off the guitar and the Model signal out of the amp, at the same time. The two sounds can (but not always) clash.

 

EQ can help, floor monitors or a monitor amp close to you. Doesn't have to be loud, just enough to mediate or negate the effect.

 

 

I must confess I tried again recently with a bit of eq and a low cut to sort out the boominess and it was passable. I will try the recording test I think.

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