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Variax JTV-89F replacement piezo pickups


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Hi everybody,

I've had a JTV-89F for 5 years, among several other Line 6 products that I own and enjoy, and after I learned how to set it up correctly in Workbench HD I've always been happy with it. Together with my POD HD500 first and my Helix Floor now it's my guitar-equivalent of a gold plated Leatherman tool.

My problem at the moment is that after 5 years of sweaty and sometimes beery gigs the piezo pickups are starting to fail.

 

There's no visible corrosion anywhere and the powder coating held up surprisingly well, but humidity might very well have deteriorated them internally anyway.

 

I've swapped the piezo connections around to check, and the volume problem follows the piezos, so at least I know the board should be fine.

 

With the individual pickup volumes in Workbench HD all over the place now, when they used to be pretty close when it was new,  I'm unfortunately at a point were I can't gig it anymore. And I indeed do miss those instant 12 strings, acoustics and alternate tunings. Instant Nashville tuning, anybody?

 

It made my life so much easier, and it messes with the head of so many people asking themselves who's playing what that it's a lot of extra fun to play a Variax on stage too, lol.

I've already tried to clean the piezo inserts and the contacts to the board with a good quality no-residue contact cleaner, used sparingly, reseated the saddles on the trem plate, and I change my strings quite regularly, but no joy.

So I was wondering if any of you peeps went through the experience of replacing their piezo pickups on a JTV-89F, especially if it was the individual piezo inserts, and if they could share the details with me.

 

Forewarned is forearmed after all.

I've already found a set of complete Graph Tech saddles online but they're quite pricey, and I'm almost positive that it's possible to replace just the piezo inserts on the Graph Tech Floyd, as I remember reading about it somewhere in at least two separate occasions.

 

I'm also almost positive that I've already seen this exact same question asked and answered, possibly here or probably in another forum, but I couldn't find it anywhere anymore.

 

If anybody, and I was thinking about dear Mr Sarkissian in particular, has an exact part number and possibly an European vendor from whom to order them online to suggest it would make my day.

 

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

 

Keep on rocking.
 

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I'm here.

 

" I'm almost positive that it's possible to replace just the piezo inserts on the Graph Tech Floyd " --- No, you can't.

The piezo and saddle are one assembly and cannot be broken down into smaller components.

 

Also, the piezos are made slightly different, so they are grouped in pairs,... outer, inner and middle. The connectors

are coded for specific connection to specific signal lines, or it will not sound correct.

 

As for availability in your area, log a support ticket in your account and the regional Yamaha Support may be able to answer that. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm not sure if this will help but I had contacted Graphtech about their bridge awhile ago and here's the info I got

 

 

1) Yes, the bridge on your JTV 89F is one of our PN-0080-B0 ghost bridges
2) Yes, the saddles on this bridge are of the PN-0080-B6 variety
3) You can purchase the entire saddle (the price would be pro-rated) or simply the inserts themselves. 
4) We don't have printed instructions for this process but I can spell them out very easily. 
 
If an order interests you, please provide a complete shipping address and I will generate a sales quote for your evaluation.

 

So you can buy just one. It's been awhile but I'm pretty sure I bought only the insert (I think that's the piezo) for the saddle from them. It's been at least a couple of years so don't rely on my memory. Anyway it would be worth it to contact them.

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Be aware that modifications that affect product functions to Line 6 product may void any warranties,

should it need servicing by Line 6. And though I would know how to deal with that, should it come across

my repair bench, I would be limited in what I would be allowed to do regarding servicing of the product. 

 

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3 hours ago, brue58ski said:

I'm not sure if this will help but I had contacted Graphtech about their bridge awhile ago and here's the info I got

 

 

1) Yes, the bridge on your JTV 89F is one of our PN-0080-B0 ghost bridges
2) Yes, the saddles on this bridge are of the PN-0080-B6 variety
3) You can purchase the entire saddle (the price would be pro-rated) or simply the inserts themselves. 
4) We don't have printed instructions for this process but I can spell them out very easily. 
 
If an order interests you, please provide a complete shipping address and I will generate a sales quote for your evaluation.

 

So you can buy just one. It's been awhile but I'm pretty sure I bought only the insert (I think that's the piezo) for the saddle from them. It's been at least a couple of years so don't rely on my memory. Anyway it would be worth it to contact them.

Hey Brue58sky,

 

Thanks a lot man, I think this might well be the post I read a couple of years ago but couldn't manage to find again.

 

Cheers.

 

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48 minutes ago, psarkissian said:

Be aware that modifications that affect product functions to Line 6 product may void any warranties,

should it need servicing by Line 6. And though I would know how to deal with that, should it come across

my repair bench, I would be limited in what I would be allowed to do regarding servicing of the product. 

 

Thanks a lot for taking the time man, but this guitar has been out of warranty for ages anyway.

 

Graph Tech actually sell the individual piezo inserts for the saddles of their Ghost Floyd Rose, and since mechanically the Ghost Floyd on my 89-F is totally mint it makes sense to go that route.

 

Cheers.

 

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  • 1 year later...

I know this is an old topic, but just came across it as I was looking up more Piezo replacements for my JTV's.  You can buy individual replacement piezo saddles for the JTV products and they are very simple to replace.  They are available from FullCompass.com;

https://www.fullcompass.com/prod/284908-line-6-30-51-0691-piezo-d-g-string-saddle-for-jtv89f

 

Perhaps someone hear can explain why the JTV89 has three distinct piezos, labeled as "HighE/Low E, A&B, or D&G"?  Since string gauge is not the issue, should these all have the same output levels?  Seems unnecessarily confusing?

 

My ONLY real issue with the Variax products is the rate at which the piezo saddles seem to fail.  You need to constantly make sure your string output levels are normalized for realistic model tones.  I have replaced a couple on my JTV89F and was going to post a video.  I just bought a couple of "spares" for my JTV59 also, good to have on hand just in case.

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