Jump to content
chstd

Do You Have The Same Problem With 6th String?

Recommended Posts

Several guys have reported swapping the low E and A string piezo leads that connect to the circuit board mounted to the sustain block, and suddenly the plink is on the A string, and the E sounds fine. If a given string is plinking one minute and fine the next (and vice versa), it's tough to blame the piezo elements themselves. It would seem to indicate that the problem lives somewhere else in the electronics. I'm no engineer, but a malfunction so stable that it can be routed at will, is odd to say the least.

That is odd because I do not recall anyone having a plink issue on any other string but the low E.

 

Just by coincidence the faulty elecronic components are only attached to the low E string? Sounds like someone at the factory is playing a joke on us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is odd because I do not recall anyone having a plink issue on any other string but the low E.

 

Just by coincidence the faulty elecronic components are only attached to the low E string? Sounds like someone at the factory is playing a joke on us.

You said it. Whole thing is odd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My opinion:
1. Plink is a normal phenomenon occurring on all strings. The most striking is usually on the string A5. Due to the oscillation direction (longitudinally) is not audible with the magnetic pickups.

2. Piezos / bridge on JTV have the ability attenuate this wave. However, this does not work reliably.

3. If this occurs on the string A5 - no trouble - plink is removed in electronics.

4. If this occurs on the string E6, the electronics doing nothing - we have the problem.

 

If is the piezo E6 connected to the A5 input - plink is removed in electronics.
If is the piezo A5 connected to the E6 input, it is hear the normal plink of string A5 (not always - sometimes is muted in the piezo).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just spent 3 hours reading this entire thread - initially because of a different issue!

 

I have two JTVs... a 69s and an 89f. I was searching for an issue I'm having with the 89f where the individual string volumes seem to change on every restring. I've only had my 89f for a couple of weeks but because I gig in the Middle East where it's really hot and humid and because I sweat a LOT, I've already changed the strings three times. Initially my G was WAY louder than the rest of the stings (I reduced it by 5dB globally in Workbench) but on subsequent restrings I found that suddenly the D was louder and the G was quieter. Weird. Anyone else have any issues like this?

 

Having said that, I don't have the plink issue on the low E on my 89f. I do however have this issue on my 69s. It was hard for me to notice initially though and seems to have become more prevalent. The 69s is now a year and a half old.

 

It's even more complicated because when I bought the 69s I was playing a gig where the supplied PA system and monitoring were horrendous and it was hard to hear any nuances as I played. From that gig I went to an outdoor gig where the sound was great, but the conditions were awful - heat, humidity, etc. I've had to dry condensation out of the piezos with a hair dryer live on stage more times than I'd care to remember. Also, at some point during the year that followed I also managed to damage the jack on the guitar by being careless... I used a straight jack and a guitar stand that put the weight of the guitar on the jack as it stood on the stand.

 

As a result I've been blaming the low E plink on wear and tear on the guitar and piezos... now I'm wondering if it was there all along. I generally only tend to play my guitar outside of gigs when I've just restrung it, and someone way back in this two year old thread did suggest that the problem is slightly allayed by new strings, so that would explain why I've not really noticed it.

 

Now that my run at the outdoor gig is over and I'm playing in a nice air-conditioned room with decent onstage sound, the plink on the 69s is IMMEDIATELY apparent. I've read every post and listened to every sound sample on this forum thread, and it's an identical problem.

 

So yeah. Just adding my voice to the group. I'm also a long time Line 6 user - I think I got my Pod 2.0 in 2000 or 2001 - and this has been my first negative experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been having the plinks for about a year now. I have noticed it's not consistent and sometimes it's more pronounced. To diminish the hiss i get from my e string, I have been turning my tone knob down incrementally until the hiss is removed. Then i adjust the settings on my amp, usually removing most of the bass and turning the treble up all the way. I'm don't think this is pickup issue or a hardware issue but more of the way the modeling is registering high frequency from the e string. Hope this helps some of you, I'm sure it won't help everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been having the plinks for about a year now. I have noticed it's not consistent and sometimes it's more pronounced. To diminish the hiss i get from my e string, I have been turning my tone knob down incrementally until the hiss is removed. Then i adjust the settings on my amp, usually removing most of the bass and turning the treble up all the way. I'm don't think this is pickup issue or a hardware issue but more of the way the modeling is registering high frequency from the e string. Hope this helps some of you, I'm sure it won't help everyone.

 

Sorry to hear that. This has been stated a few times. I have a big problem with this though.

If you're buying a modeling guitar, and you have to adjust any of the EQ or tone, then it defeats the purpose of having a modeling guitar in the first place.

 

We've had a moderator say "EQ the plink noise out" and I found it really insulting, as if you're going to drastically change the sound that much, it ruins the whole concept of getting the sound you're modeling after.

 

If the problem is within the guitar, adding a mask over it is not a fix.

 

 

This is nothing against your post, and I'm sorry that you have to resort to doing that, and to some extent it helps/works, but it doesn't stand as an ultimate solution, and it sure doesn't need to be said as an ultimatum from a moderator.

 

This is something that has to be picked up by Line 6, and I'm glad it was getting somewhere, and hopefully it still is.

 

Ultimately my point is: The Line 6 team should NEVER say "Oh just EQ it out" as these guitars are obviously not working as intended.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally understand and I am not posting this as a fix. I'm also frustrated and would like to see this issue resolved. However, it makes me cringe to think people are hacking at their guitars or spending money for new bridges or even fitting their guitars with flat wound strings to remove a sound when turning their tone knobs down on their guitars might accomplish the same thing. I happen to like a bright sound and almost exclusively play all my guitars in the bridge or 2nd position. I also use jazz 3 picks and I'm heavy handed so to speak so i really get an ear full and it has been unbearable at times. i also play a lot of different tunings so this guitar is really the only viable option for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally understand and I am not posting this as a fix. I'm also frustrated and would like to see this issue resolved. However, it makes me cringe to think people are hacking at their guitars or spending money for new bridges or even fitting their guitars with flat wound strings to remove a sound when turning their tone knobs down on their guitars might accomplish the same thing. I happen to like a bright sound and almost exclusively play all my guitars in the bridge or 2nd position. I also use jazz 3 picks and I'm heavy handed so to speak so i really get an ear full and it has been unbearable at times. i also play a lot of different tunings so this guitar is really the only viable option for me.

 

 

Like I said, I was just more bringing it up because a moderator suggested EQing the problem out before. There's a huge difference between a user being helpful and a moderator making a horrible excuse of a final solution to a bad situation.

 

Honestly, if no one at Line 6 is going to do anything other than say "EQ it out" then we might as well buy regular guitars, EQ pedals and a pitch shifter.

If you can't get the sound the guitar was intended for then what's the lollipoping point of buying it?

 

You don't buy a high end sound system and then shrug it off when it ends up sounding broken and like muffled farts. It's just not something you do when buying something like this.

 

You buy a used car, it's a bit loud, it has a bit of mileage, some things don't work perfectly, that's fine, it's USED. 

The Variax, it's a 1k dollar guitar brand new, and we're supposed to just shrug it off and mess with EQ settings to fix an actual problem and expect Line 6 to do nothing? No.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Line6 Support/Techs :   Almost 3 month have passed since we got a statement that you were looking into the problem to find a solution. Was there anything you could find out and do you consider putting up some pre release firmwares for our guitars to let us help you solve these problems in a more effective way?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious what will come first, the eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano, or the end of this thread....;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll bet $10 on the volcano. After 700k years it's about time don't you think :)

Apparently it's long overdue...much like a fix for this problem, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings all, a few more thoughts on this issue. While I'm sure Line 6 is working hard on a solution for this issue, here are a few more things on my brain.

 

If they manage to find a solution by software update great, but I really don't think they will. If they don't manage to find a solution with software but do find a solution parts wise ( like replacing the piezo etc ) obviously a recall should be done regardless of whether customers are past warranty and the repair work done at no charge. If there is no solution from either of those 2 routes Line 6 should exchange all Variax guitars with the plink issue for new ones without it. Hopefully there is a fix, but if there isn't I strongly feel we should still be looked after. It's the right thing to do.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are dreaming.  Line6 isn't going to do anything to fix this issue.  It's up to the folks here to find a bandaid fix.  I doubt that Line6 is devoting any development time to an old product.  They are off developing new ones. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are dreaming. Line6 isn't going to do anything to fix this issue. It's up to the folks here to find a bandaid fix. I doubt that Line6 is devoting any development time to an old product. They are off developing new ones.

Although that might be the general attitude of a big company, it's *not*(edited) the case all the time nor on all product series.

 

There has been a user-report that they're working with an afflicted-guitar owner (in the USA), to isolate the cause(s). If you missed that, or by the time it took everyone to get this far, leading to become sceptical or even cynical about anything Line6 might claim, then that could explain the effort to help everyone to stop daydreaming about this issue.

 

From a "technical standpoint", if the other "rumor" is true that a Variax Pro (HX) is on the way, then making sure this issue doesn't "propogate" to the (manufacturing of) "Pro" versions, would be a priority. A priority that could help everyone get "closure", at least.

 

EDITS: clarity. (Tablet typing is lollipop)

 

And to "add more to the facts", it has been *barely* 2 (two) months since Line 6 "officially announced their commitment" to this issue:

 

...

We are aware of some James Tyler Variax guitars exhibiting this problem and we are currently investigating possible solutions.

(note: the quotes above and below here doesn't imply cause-and-effect, it's at least the "chronological order of events" read timestamps)

 

Yesterday I had an interesting visit. Mr. M. from Yamaha arrived to me and brought a new guitar JTV-59 for comparison. This guitar had the same problem as mine.

 

Inasmuch that flaw was the same, we were not able to make a comparison test to determine the cause (bridge, elektronics). So I showed him the details of the defects and the way I was doing all the measurements. One strangeness - I had earlier on a string A5 strong plink, was measurable at the input the electronics. Now completely disappeared.

 

Addition:

His reaction was not significant. He just heard and acknowledged that it is the same problem. We tested the guitars only with POD HD500 + RCF ART 310A. Plink was recognizable even without any editing of sound - no amp model, no effect - only amplification. He promised that will continue negotiations with several people. He is a helpful fellow.

 

I have also currently open support ticket and I can write that I am now slightly optimistic.

 

They are working with an owner of an 89F in the US.

The latest information from the April 5:

"We will continue testing and we hope to have a solution soon."

539473c8a727c411d7bf6eaa4c5116c0d58a57ca

 

I just noticed that with this post, I've crossed the line between 99 and 100; thereby I've been "officially christened by Line 6",

and now "Iknowathingortwo" hilarious xD

Edited by ZenBalancer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, all. I'm sorry for the gap in messages. We are still working on it. It's turning out to be more complicated (because of a wide variety of factors) than anyone thought, and we do have to balance this work against new projects. A number of us have read the whole thread and have taken some of the resolutions you guys have found into account. Unfortunately, what we have tried so far has not produced satisfactory results consistently. We will continue to try to nail down the root cause. I will report here again when there is news worth sharing. Thanks for your patience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's more or less official, folks. The "fix" is the same as it always was: Get one that works. They clearly don't all suffer from this issue. A universal retro-fit ain't coming anytime soon...if at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

User-reports streaming-in, some with a lot more (technical) details: check (for a long, long time).

 

Line 6; previously suggested workaround(s) also because couldn't reproduce the issue: check (workaround tried and/or rejected [vigoursly] by most users, since and for a long, long time).

 

Affected "powerusers" adamant and "building-up momentum": check.

 

Everyone brainstorming alternative views: check.

Line 6; Open for a new approach: check (about 3-4 months ago?).

Line 6; Found affected-guitar owner "close-proximity" collaborator: check (within past 2 months, or about a month ago).

Line 6; Issue reproduced: check.

Line 6; Investigating root cause: check.

Line 6; Tried most up to all known possible solutions: check/in-progress (inconsistent results).

Line 6; Found root cause: in-progress (balancing workload with new projects; this issue *not* dropped).

Line 6; Preliminary "official" solution (not workaround): unkown.

"Final solution" (not inviting Godwin's Law; I was guilty for falling in "the trap" on a different forum a long time ago): unkown.

 

What they can't confirm nor deny, is relevance of this issue to (specific) new project(s), "read Variax Pro (HX)".

Which is expected, as Line 6 is known for total secracy of new projects since "its debut", for still understandable competition related reasons.

So not surprising, but it's a dissapointing reality.

But still an optimistic reality-check in regard to this issue, imo.

 

I don't know if it was "the stick or the carret" that worked here. Updated because he was provoked? Hmm.. I see what you all did there maybe. Maybe not.. (Tilt)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Line 6 for the update. Nice to know you guys are working on it and have been reading this thread.

 

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my thoughts

 

:Most everyone runs into this - its due to the the variable output levels of some LR Baggs Piezo saddles. Some are hot and overload the DSP and cause clipping /Distortion , particularly on the Low E string

 

Use Variax Workbench and lower the String sensitivity until you do not hear the distortion. 

WORKBENCH_STRING_LEVELS.gif

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my thoughts

 

:Most everyone runs into this - its due to the the variable output levels of some LR Baggs Piezo saddles. Some are hot and overload the DSP and cause clipping /Distortion , particularly on the Low E string

 

Use Variax Workbench and lower the String sensitivity until you do not hear the distortion. (see yellow controls)

1462833988_557541273_Workbench_String_Vo

For an incredibly mild case of "plink", perhaps, but the grotesque audio clips that have been posted throughout this thread, I think not. If the solution were that simple and Workbench was the answer, this thread wouldn't be years old... somebody would have tried it by now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I listen closely, I hear the plink even with unconnected guitar. Especially on the string A5. On the string A5 is recognizable also with the magnetic pickup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you get a plink with an unconnected guitar, it is a mechanical setup issue.  Find what is loose and moving. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My JTV-59 and JTV-69 have no plink after I applied the workbench fix above

 

and others report success too.

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=18119.0

Like I said, for a mild case (and the severity certainly seems to vary from one afflicted guitar to another) it might help...but for the more horrible examples I've heard, the only "fix" Workbench is gonna offer, is let you turn that string off altogether. Not to mention the fact that this seems to affect the high gain crowd more so than others, suggesting that if you're a low-to-no distortion player, you might not even notice that your guitar does this at all. So the more you roll back the string volume, the more you have to compensate at the amp, or you're not gonna have the sound you want anymore. They'll just end up dialing out the problem at the guitar, and dialing it right back in at the amp. It's not much of a solution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I listen closely, I hear the plink even with unconnected guitar. Especially on the string A5. On the string A5 is recognizable also with the magnetic pickup.

This kinda torpedos your argument. If it sounds funky with mag pickups, then it's hard to blame piezo or software...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can learn a lot about a guitar by listening to it unplugged.  Any funny noises need to be dealt with mechanically. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you get a plink with an unconnected guitar, it is a mechanical setup issue.  Find what is loose and moving. 

 

 

This kinda torpedos your argument. If it sounds funky with mag pickups, then it's hard to blame piezo or software...

Not. I hear the same thing on all my guitars: JTV-59, Fender Stratocaster (USA made), Aria Pro II - Magna series and nameless acoustic guitar.

The cause is always the same - longitudinal waves. JTV solutions - modification of the bridge or edit firmware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Caleb Elling from L.R.Baggs:

"I am sorry to say that, despite Line 6's write-up in the blog link above, that "clink tone" is a naturally occurring artifact of Piezo bridge pickups, no matter the circuitry or Piezo design. LR Baggs and Line 6 worked very hard to try and reduce that effect for the new JTV design, but there is only so much you can do to limit the bridge's natural reaction to the string, without altering the movement, tone and sustain of the string.

In the case with the JTV, the "clink tone" can be made to sound much more obvious, depending on the modeling settings used and the way it is played (which sounds to me like your situation). However, using high-gain amp settings is an almost certain way to make that sound occur. After watching your video, the "clink" is very obvious, especially on the Strat and LP settings. Most Piezo bridges are used for an acoustic tone only, and not for high-gain. So that "clink tone" is significantly less prominent.

There are things you can do to reduce that effect, just as many people have mentioned on the Line 6 support forum. However, the "clink tone" is a natural side-effect of that kind of pickup."

 

"What I can say, is that the "clank tone" as it is commonly defined, is, in fact, part of every Piezo bridge pickup. Some players may not notice it, while others may find it unusable. It is there though.

The greatest potential that I have seen for a fix is to add a small level of dampening under the string, being careful not to disrupt the grounding of the string against the saddle. As you said, the solution is very difficult. But since I am not a Line 6 software engineer, that is the only actual advice I can give."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my thoughts

 

:Most everyone runs into this - its due to the the variable output levels of some LR Baggs Piezo saddles. Some are hot and overload the DSP and cause clipping /Distortion , particularly on the Low E string

 

Use Variax Workbench and lower the String sensitivity until you do not hear the distortion. (see yellow controls)

1462833988_557541273_Workbench_String_Vo

 

I tried this last night, and good news !!!!  IT WORKED !!!! I lowered my string sensitivity to 70% on all string and the plink is gone !!!! I highly recommend everyone give this a go. I hope everyone has the same success as i did :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I tried this last night, and good news !!!!  IT WORKED !!!! I lowered my string sensitivity to 70% on all string and the plink is gone !!!! I highly recommend everyone give this a go. I hope everyone has the same success as i did  :)

 

Glad to hear changing the String Sensitivity in Workbench  solved your plink problem!

It solved mine!

Its a reminder that Careful attention to each Gain stage in the entire signal path yields best results.

 

 

But note it will not fix piezo bridge saddle rattles that can be heard while unplugged, that situation requires a different strategy. (mechanical)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really do think the plink problem is some type of preamp style problem of the guitar distorting before the modeling stage, and that in some cases, the volume settings on the global strings acts like a preamp.

 

I think Variaxes should have some sort of physical preamp section to normalize all of the string's volumes correctly. I think this could help get rid of the plink problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really do think the plink problem is some type of preamp style problem of the guitar distorting before the modeling stage, and that in some cases, the volume settings on the global strings acts like a preamp.

 

I think Variaxes should have some sort of physical preamp section to normalize all of the string's volumes correctly. I think this could help get rid of the plink problem.

If there's ever a one-size-fits-all solution for this, I'll join a monestary. With such a wide variation in severity, and the various factors that likely contribute to it, which change from one instrument to the next, I think a universal fix is very unlikely...It's the same reason there's no cure for the common cold. It affects everybody differently, so what do you do? Treat the symptoms one by one...not much else you can do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all have the same Plink. The only difference is the volume.
Plink same = same cause. Single cause. There are several factors, but the cause is only one. And is known.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all have the same Plink. The only difference is the volume.

Well then my plink's volume is zero. Am I special, or did I just get lucky and ended up with an instrument that works?

 

We're all chasing or tails at this point. Easily solvable problems get fixed. Complicated problems are expensive, inconvenient, and get blamed on just about anything other than the actual cause...the weather, the dog, democrats, republicans, the hole in the ozone (that's still there, right?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its also due to the wide variability of output signal levels in Piezo saddles.

 

Rather like matching power tubes  - same paradigm

.

 

Unfortunately some LR Baggs Piezo Variax saddles have a higher output level, that is clipping  / distorting the A/D converter on the Internal Variax DSP board.

 

Its like setting the signals too high on an older old DAT Tape Recorder, once you saturate the A/D  - you get dreadful plink on all attack transients if you are an aggressive player.

I own both a JTV-59 and JTV-69, and as luck would have it, my JV-69 Piezo saddles are much hotter than my weak output piezo saddles in my JTV-59.

Variax Models on the JTV-69 shine, while the JTV-59 sounds "flubby" 

But at least neither have the Low E "plink" !

Using Workbench HD, I finally got the JTV-59 sounding closer to the JTV-69, as I discovered the String levels on my JTV-59 were set too low. 

1462833988_557541273_Workbench_String_Vo

 

 

----
For comparison, the RMC-Pickups Piezo saddles ( used in Godins) are all measured at the production line and sorted into sets with matched output levels  and sold to OEM's in matched sets

---

RMC Piezo Saddle Output Sensitivity Range (dB) (see color code band on wire) 
6.0 - 6.49 Blue
5.5 - 5.99 Green -Green 
5.0 - 5.49 Green  
4.5 - 4.99 Yellow-Yellow  
4.0 - 4.49 Yellow  
3.5 - 3.99 Orange-Orange  
3.0 - 3.49 Orange  
2.5 - 2.99 Red-Red  
2.0 - 2.49 Red  
1.0 - 1.99 Brown  
0.0 - 0.99 Black 
-0.0 - 0.99 Black-Black 
-1.0 - 1.99 Black-Brown 
-2.0 - 2.99 Black-Red 
-3.0 - 3.99 Black-Orange 
-4.0 - 4.99 Black-Yellow 

Below is a typical RMC PolyDrive Board Piezo preamp board (to drive  Roland / Boss  GK-13 processor ) inside a Godin xtSA -
showing the Piezo Saddle color code on the wires 

1459458535_1363196219_IMG_0720.JPG

The "RED" color on all 6 Piezo saddle coax cables denotes these are a matched set 

with 2.0 - 2.49 Decibel output level.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×