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edstar1960

JTV 59 Ghost Ringing notes on top 3 strings

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My JTV 59 has started playing really pronounced ghost notes over the 3rd string, when it's open or when I fret anywhere along it, it does a very similar thing for the 2nd string but not so pronounced, and again for the 1st string but again less pronounced.  Each of these strings appear to have made a tiny groove for themselves in the piezo saddles and I am wondering if it's these grooves that are causing the ghost notes ringing out? If I rest my palm in front of the saddles and partially mute the strings when I play then I can significantly reduce the sound of the ghost ringing notes but not completely eliminate them.  If I play the guitar without amplifying it then I hardly notice any ghost notes or ringing on these strings, but through an amp or an HD500X or HELIX LT, the ghost note ringing really stand out and ruins the overall sound.

 

Has anyone else had this problem? And if so, has anyone found a way to fix it?

 

It's currently making my JTV 59 unusable for gigs or recordings or playing through any type of amp - it's only bearable using it unplugged.   :(

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I'm gonna go ahead and assume that this is happening when using alt tunings... is that the case?

If so, then you're hearing the guitar acoustically, in addition to whatever altered pitches are coming out of your speaker(s). This would also explain why it sounds normal unplugged.

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On 3/8/2020 at 3:06 AM, cruisinon2 said:

I'm gonna go ahead and assume that this is happening when using alt tunings... is that the case?

If so, then you're hearing the guitar acoustically, in addition to whatever altered pitches are coming out of your speaker(s). This would also explain why it sounds normal unplugged.

No - it's not - it is happening all the time in standard tuning, with the mags or with the models.

 

When playing the guitar acoustically I can just about detect it but it's negligible - however, amplified via the mags or the piezo's it is over powering on the 3rd, very noticeable on the 2nd and noticeable on the 1st.

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With the mags too? That suggests it’s not a modelling or firmware issue. Could be the saddles I guess. Look for any corrosion or rough spots where the strings contact the saddles. Clean or smooth them out carefully. You might prefer to take it to a Line 6 service centre if it’s still under warranty.

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1 hour ago, edstar1960 said:

When playing the guitar acoustically I can just about detect it but it's negligible...

 

If that's the case, then I'm at a loss... I've owned so many guitars over the years that I've probably forgotten a bunch of them at this point. Can't imagine what would be causing that unplugged, even if it's minimal. Sympathetic resonances making stuff rattle and buzz, sure... but I cannot fathom what would make a guitar effectively harmonize with itself.

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3 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

If that's the case, then I'm at a loss... I've owned so many guitars over the years that I've probably forgotten a bunch of them at this point. Can't imagine what would be causing that unplugged, even if it's minimal. Sympathetic resonances making stuff rattle and buzz, sure... but I cannot fathom what would make a guitar effectively harmonize with itself.

 

It's the same sound that can be caused by a string not being snug at the nut slot, often with the 3rd string, it can just be a bit loose in the nut slot and rattle when played open, causing the ringing and overtones, it can also be caused by the nut slot being a ting bit too deep or the action a tiny bit too low causing the string to hit the frets in front of the fretted note, and it can be caused by a string loose in the saddle slot allowing movement when it's struck, and finally it can be caused by the strings between the nut and the tuners, or the strings behind the saddle and before the stop bar.

 

My JTV59 originally didn't have this problem - so I don't think it's a problem with the nut slot or action or the strings between the nut and the tuners. However, it started to appear as a metallic overtone most noticeable when playing a Variax model so I originally thought that was down to the saddles moving around in their slots in the bridge and I managed to temper that by using insulation tape on the string tails and then adding a bit of shrink wrap to minimize any extraneous vibration behind the saddles. But that metallic clanging has morphed into the overtones ringing on the top 3 strings to a point where they cannot be ignored as they are almost as loud as the note being played. 

 

The only thing left to check out seems to be the ting groove that the strings have cut themselves in the piezo saddles, or the tiny groove in the saddle housing that they pass through after the saddle, or the height of the string as it passes the front of the bridge just before the bridge pickup.  I don't think there is enough movement in the string at the last two points to hit the side of the groove or the top of the front of the bridge, however, I think the tiny groove on top of the piezo could allow the string to rattle around right on top of the saddle and cause the metallic ringing overtones on those 3 unwound strings.   But the million dollar question is how to fix it?

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39 minutes ago, silverhead said:

With the mags too? That suggests it’s not a modelling or firmware issue. Could be the saddles I guess. Look for any corrosion or rough spots where the strings contact the saddles. Clean or smooth them out carefully. You might prefer to take it to a Line 6 service centre if it’s still under warranty.

 

Yes - if I wiggle the top 3 strings across the  piezo saddles I can feel them pinging in and out of a tiny groove but it's almost imperceptible to see it.  Can I use something to smooth each of the saddles out?

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Three strings,... set-up (string action or pick-up distance from strings), wear on the string nut, piezo issue maybe.

Isopropyl and a cotton swab lightly around the piezo and saddle.

 

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14 minutes ago, psarkissian said:

Three strings,... set-up (string action or pick-up distance from strings), wear on the string nut, piezo issue maybe.

Isopropyl and a cotton swab lightly around the piezo and saddle.

 

 

Thanks psarkissian.  I haven't changed the bridge pickup height or changed the strings and it wasn't a major issue before - maybe a slight metallic overtone but not too much. When I noticed it had got more prominent, I fiddled with the top 3 strings, detuning them so they were slack and then wiggling them around in the saddle groove and then retuning to pitch and it definitely made the problem far worse, as if I had dislodged the strings from their worn in groove and now they won't slot back in that groove. 

 

I will give the Iospropyl and cotton swab a try to see if it makes any difference.

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I have this condition right now as well.  Only on 1st string.  Acoustically when plucked, there is a ghosting or metallic tone as the string vibrates.

Sounds like it is hitting something.  Pickups are not near the strings.  String has plenty of room to pass over the bridge.  String gauge is .010".

Loosening and moving the string in the piezo saddle affects it but does not eliminate it.  

 

Not sure what to do next.  It is un-playable in this condition.  3 Months ago, it was fine.  No changes other than strings...always the same type & gauge.

Bobruz

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30 minutes ago, bobruz said:

I have this condition right now as well.  Only on 1st string.  Acoustically when plucked, there is a ghosting or metallic tone as the string vibrates.

Sounds like it is hitting something.  Pickups are not near the strings.  String has plenty of room to pass over the bridge.  String gauge is .010".

Loosening and moving the string in the piezo saddle affects it but does not eliminate it.  

 

Not sure what to do next.  It is un-playable in this condition.  3 Months ago, it was fine.  No changes other than strings...always the same type & gauge.

Bobruz

 

Sorry to hear you have the same problem but pleased to know I am not the only one experiencing this frustrating situation.

 

Are your piezo saddles all snug in their bridge surrounds or do they wiggle slightly?  And if so - does your 1st string saddle wiggle more than the others?

My saddles do shift around a tiny amount and I am wondering if that movement could be causing the ringing overtones but if so - I don't know how to fix it.  

 

I still think it's because the strings have actually worn a tiny groove in the piezo saddles and therefore no longer fit completely flush across the saddle - but if that is the case I don't know how to fix it other than having the saddles replaced.

 

I have yet to try the cleaning suggested by psarkissian - so I will report back on whether or not that helps.

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My saddles can move a bit in the bridge.  They were always that way.
I will try the cleaning as well when I can and report back.

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On 3/10/2020 at 10:30 AM, bobruz said:

I have this condition right now as well.  Only on 1st string.  Acoustically when plucked, there is a ghosting or metallic tone as the string vibrates.

Sounds like it is hitting something.  Pickups are not near the strings.  String has plenty of room to pass over the bridge.  String gauge is .010".

Loosening and moving the string in the piezo saddle affects it but does not eliminate it.  

 

Not sure what to do next.  It is un-playable in this condition.  3 Months ago, it was fine.  No changes other than strings...always the same type & gauge.

Bobruz

I have this same problem with  all my JTVs!! I have a JTV-69, JTV-69s and a JTV-59.  As far as I can tell I can move the Low E string Piezo side to side in it's little "carrier" and get a little pinging sound. I also get a slight ghosting sound when playing it w/o an amp. I am going to try and put some bees wax or something else in the Piezo carrier and set the Piezo in avoiding damage to the electronics. If that works I may even Epoxy the Piezos into their spaces.

I have 5 Variax's in all  and have had lots of this kind of issue with the JTVs. My old Variax 600 and 700 Acoustic don't have any of these problems. All three of my JTVs do! It's just got to be something to do with the housing that cradles the piezos in the tailpiece. I went as far as replacing the neck and entire tailpiece including Piezos l on my JTV-69 HSS thinking it was something neither I nor a pro Luthier could figure out!! Still does it!! Going to figure this out!!! Very Very Frustrating!!

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Hi dietmd,

 

Thank you for commenting on this thread and relaying your experience and demonstrating that it is a common issue with JTVs of all styles  indicating it could very well be due to the piezo saddle movement within it's bridge slot as that is a unique design feature to the JTVs.

 

I have not yet tried the cleaning saddles suggestion from psarkissian so I will try to get that done at the weekend and report back although I am doubtful it will help.

 

Please let us know if the beeswax or alternative around the piezo saddles resolves your problems.   

 

I would love to have a definite fix for this.

 

Thank you.

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Don't use beeswax on the piezo elements, it will mess with the mechanics of the vibrations

on the piezo, and the mechanical-to-electrical transfer of the vibrations. Need good contact

and string tension on the piezo for good signal vibration transfer through the piezo.

 

Not something I do, but some people use beeswax on frets or nut slots.

 

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I put some very thin copper foil (the adhesive type I use for lining electronic cavities) surrounding the piezo. It's very tight and now the piezo doesn't move in the carrier. I also polished and  deepened,  the front slot in the carrier as it appeared to be contacting the sides of the string when it was vibrating. I noticed that the slot in the surface of the piezo was very rough. Enough to file off some of the tip of your fingernail in the slot. Seems the E string ghosting and pinging is gone but I still have some fret buzz. I'm going to do some more fret leveling and polishing. If that doesn't correct things I may replace the whole tailpiece again with Graphtech saddles or attempt a Fishman replacement. JTV-69 or Bust!!!

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On 5/3/2020 at 12:46 AM, dietmd said:

I put some very thin copper foil (the adhesive type I use for lining electronic cavities) surrounding the piezo. It's very tight and now the piezo doesn't move in the carrier. I also polished and  deepened,  the front slot in the carrier as it appeared to be contacting the sides of the string when it was vibrating. I noticed that the slot in the surface of the piezo was very rough. Enough to file off some of the tip of your fingernail in the slot. Seems the E string ghosting and pinging is gone but I still have some fret buzz. I'm going to do some more fret leveling and polishing. If that doesn't correct things I may replace the whole tailpiece again with Graphtech saddles or attempt a Fishman replacement. JTV-69 or Bust!!!

 

Thanks for the update!  Exactly how did you manage to place the thin copper foil around the piezos?

 

I have some of this I used to shield pickup cavities from a recent guitar build, so would love to give this a try but really can't see how I could manage to get tiny pieces of the foil around the piezo  saddles - Please can you give any advice on how to do this?

 

Many thanks.

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Actually I just put a small slot in a tiny piece and placed it around the Piezo wire and pushed the Piezo into the saddle making sure I didn’t kink the wire. I will tell you it is very tight now and I haven’t tried to get it out but unless it fails for some reason I don’t see a reason to remove it from the saddle.  I’ll try to take a photo later and put it on the feed.  So small I don’t know if it will be able to be seen.  I also sanded the Piezo slot with 2000 grit paper wrapped under an old piece of low E string. This polished the slot. Evidently the outer Piezo housing is some kind of very soft metal and the string abraded the slot rather badly. I’m not sure how long this will last?! For now the ghosting and ping has disappeared. 
‘I did some recording last night but the fret buzz was overshadowed but the amp distortion that’s got to be next on the agenda. I still might go to a totally different piezo type by Graphtech but I’d like to hear how that worked out for the guy that tried it a few years ago. I read it in another post that they needed some kind of low hz op amp to work. Now you’re  over my pay grade!

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6 minutes ago, dietmd said:

Actually I just put a small slot in a tiny piece and placed it around the Piezo wire and pushed the Piezo into the saddle making sure I didn’t kink the wire. I will tell you it is very tight now and I haven’t tried to get it out but unless it fails for some reason I don’t see a reason to remove it from the saddle.  I’ll try to take a photo later and put it on the feed.  So small I don’t know if it will be able to be seen.  I also sanded the Piezo slot with 2000 grit paper wrapped under an old piece of low E string. This polished the slot. Evidently the outer Piezo housing is some kind of very soft metal and the string abraded the slot rather badly. I’m not sure how long this will last?! For now the ghosting and ping has disappeared. 
‘I did some recording last night but the fret buzz was overshadowed but the amp distortion that’s got to be next on the agenda. I still might go to a totally different piezo type by Graphtech but I’d like to hear how that worked out for the guy that tried it a few years ago. I read it in another post that they needed some kind of low hz op amp to work. Now you’re  over my pay grade!

 

Thanks.

 

I have noticed on my JTVs and my original v700 that the shiny chrome like surface of the piezo's did wear away to reveal a copper underneath. Particularly where my strumming hand rested on the bridge when muting strings during playing.   Interestingly, my hands do not cause my strings to go rusty but somehow they managed to wear away the covering on the piezos - so I can only think that the covering is indeed very soft.  I think that is a major cause of my ringing overtones and so I will try using fret polishing paper wrapped around the affected strings to smooth out the string ruts in the piezo surface.  I will also try the copper foil around the piezos saddles to make them tight in their respective bridge slots.   

 

I have never attempted to remove a piezo saddle from it's slot - I thought they were securely placed in those bridge slots - but you have found they come out to allow you to place the foil in the slots and then replace the piezo ?

 

 

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Got all of the Piezos surrounded by Copper Foil and am in the process of leveling and re-crowning. Thought I'd include some photos of the Foil placement process. No more pinging and the ghosting appears to be gone. There is no side to side movement of the Piezos in the saddles at this time and they are relatively tight in their spaces. 

IMG_1429.thumb.jpg.7a215df605fa92a0ab5a54035536d9e3.jpgIMG_1430.thumb.jpg.06857647ea8f95451447eaa0dd2c400d.jpg

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Won't let me put in another photo but you get the idea. Seems to be working

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Don't mess with those piezos. If you nick one the wrong way, it can fail.

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Psarkissian,

All Piezos working fine. I bought two extras from Full Compass just in case of disaster but have not used them and had no issues. I also bought a full set of GraphTech Piezos to do the full mod mentioned in other threads earlier but haven't taken that plunge yet. I figuring I'd try my mods first. So far so good. No issues with the Piezos other than the Pinging is gone as is the Ghosting I heard before. All of the Piezos moved around in the saddles loosely when the guitar was played. That couldn't have contributed to good tone or stability. They definitely moved around laterally when stretching a string or using the trem. 

We are way out of warranty on this guitar and I have heavily modded it. I replaced the entire tailpiece from the original version one to the updated model as you can see in my photos, the factory bridge posts were replaced with locking posts and I added a Mighty Might Neck, Lace Sensor Pickups, Hipshot Tuners, Changed Pick Guard etc. I realize your concern and appreciated your warning about damaging the Piezos but as far as I can tell it's going from marginally playable to a go to instrument.

I've got another JTV-69 SSS and it's totally stock. It has none of the intonation or Pinging./Ghosting issues and unless it develops problems I plan on leaving it alone. My JTV-59 is fine as well. Only this JTV-69 SSH which I've heavily modified has had problems since it was first purchased. It has been to several Master Builder Luthiers here in Atlanta and none could get this instrument to play properly. At this point it's become a Challenge. I will make it work!!!

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"It has been to several Master Builder Luthiers here in Atlanta and none could get this instrument to play properly.

At this point it's become a Challenge." ---- Then maybe it should come to my bench for evaluations. Log a support ticket,

see what your options are. It's an oldie serial number, servicing is probably long overdue.

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I will do as you suggest and log in a ticket. The guitar is more than 5 years old and well past it’s warranty period, I’d be happy to let you evaluate it.  I’m about to start fret polishing since leveling and re-crowning yesterday. Thank you for your interest and offers of assistance.   Doc H.

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Red or Sunburst 69 SSH with a few mods,... I think I eval'd that one some time back.

Doc H, I sort of remember. Been a while.

 

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She's a Sunburst 69 SSH. I don't think you evaluated her. Her Serial Number is W10080068.

I finished crowning and polishing the frets no Buzzing at all but still have some lousy overtones on the low E String. Not really ghosting but weird overtones. Does it with both Mags and Piezos so it's a mechanical issue. One other Peculiarity about this guitar. Unlike every other guitar I own in order to intonate the Low E the Saddle is almost at as far to the extreme of it's travel toward the nut as the screw will allow (opposite to every other guitar I have!!). Two or three threads are about all that is holding the saddle to the tailpiece. (Maybe that's where the overtones are coming from?) As a matter of fact if you have a longer saddle screw I'd appreciate it!!

Any additional suggestions would truly be welcome!!     Doc H.

668717418_JTV-69Bridge(3).thumb.jpg.4bde77dbebabed00cef49301e7a0b81b.jpg

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The bridge is a second gen bridge. That S# came wit a first gen bridge originally. Nice.

 

Secondary vibrations can come from worn string nut slots. Use Black TUSQ, bone nuts tend to overly resonate in these guitars.

Never cared for bone, except in classical guitars.

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Yes, I replaced the bridge several --years ago. (I've got it in a box on the shelf) Funny you should say that about the nut!! I'm waiting for the Tusq XL Nut as we speak. I spoke to Grey up in Canada on Friday and he's shipping some to me. I ordered two of them with the replacement GraphTech piezos that I haven't used yet. We somehow got the wrong ones sent to me.

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Any Idea where I can find a longer Saddle Screw for the E string on my LTV-69? It's apparently a weird size and I can't find one locally.  I think it would be more stable with a little more "meat" on the Screw!!

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I’ll contact them. I kind of don’t think they will have anything “custom” like a longer screw unless it’s something L6 offers with a part number?  It’s a part of a part? I’ll contact them and inquire. It’s not on their L6 parts listing on their website. 

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Longer version of the JTV-69 saddle screw,... no. There isn't one. If it needs a longer screw,

then there may be a problem with the set-up. It should never need to be that extreme as to use

the entire length of the screw. Something is not right then.

 

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I totally agree!! if you look at my photos above you can see exactly what I’m talking about regarding the saddle location. I’ve had to move it that far to intonate it just ~ properly otherwise it intonates flat.  I mentioned this before. The Low E on this guitar is possessed! It is evil!!  

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Intonation problems on the low E string can be caused by having the pickups too close to the string. The pull of the magnets inhibits string vibration and creates enharmonic overtones.

 

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20 hours ago, dietmd said:

Any Idea where I can find a longer Saddle Screw for the E string on my LTV-69? It's apparently a weird size and I can't find one locally.  I think it would be more stable with a little more "meat" on the Screw!!

 

Years ago I bought longer stainless steel saddle screws from McMaster-Carr.  You have to buy a box of 50 or 100 though but a box of 100 might only be $10 or less.

https://www.mcmaster.com/

 

They have very specific cut sheets for most everything so click on a screw and hit 'Product Details'.  For example;

https://www.mcmaster.com/91772A266

 

 

 

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Amsdenj thanks for the suggestion but the pickups are definitely not too high. Lace Sensors per the manufacturer should be as close as possible without hitting the string. Mine are actually set to 5/32". with plenty of room. Loine Poor Boy thank you for the lead with McMaster. I will definitely try them out. Psarkissian do you know anything about the specs of the screws? I can measure the diameter with a digital micrometer but I have nothing to tell me the thread? Help if you can.   Thanks everyone for your input!!  We will prevail over this Devil!!

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