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Do You Have The Same Problem With 6th String?

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28 minutes ago, dukeofdream said:

 

Yeah and that really is a shame :/ I made peace with my 89F having the plink... The only way to get rid of it would be to swap the board and hope for the best... So yeah, good luck with that i guess xD I was reading about a guy who sent his guitar over like 4 times and they always either did nothing or swapped the piezo pickup of the Low E... BTW i took the time to test the same piezo pickup on all 6 connections on the board... My 89F also has the plink on other strings, its just not apparent the way the other strings are tuned... I do laptop and console board repair for a living and i thought i could give it a shot to try and diagnose the pcb... The problem is that L6 uses proprietary chips and of course there are no schematics available...

 

I have found some schematics of the old gen variax and if it's anywhere close to the 89F then the pcb devides the strings in 3 groups and feeds it to 3 l6 made proprietary chips, each chip handling 2 strings(the same chip is also used in some line6 amps)... Each piezo pickup has to pass through a circuit with resistors, caps and an amplifier... It could very well be a faulty resistor that's causing all these issues... I really don't know how line6 approached this issue but if you give this guitar with this issue to a guitar technician to figure it out, then good luck... This issue needs to be solved by an electronics engineer who also understands stuff about guitars... After so much searching and saving money for so long to get my 89F i really can't afford to brick it(Given the fact that if i do brick it i will most likely never get my hands on a new board). If someone could sacrifice a guitar for testing out a potential fix to this issue i would be happy to try and give it a shot i guess lol :P

The only "safe" fix i can think about is swapping the low E string connector with another string that doesn't have the issue and it wont be as apparent once it does...Then take the time to reprogram all alternate tunings to the new layout...

Again such a shame to have this issue and have no other alternatives... I bought mine knowing about the potential problem since there's no other guitar on the planet that can do what the variax does... For now i made peace with it, i mostly use the mags and only use the modelling for crunch tones or alternate tuning ONLY i really have to...

Can you provide links to the old gen Variax schematics?  It sounds like the piezos go to regular op-amp ICs.  The resistors and caps are probably just filtering circuits prior to going into the op-amps.  If they are incorrectly spec'd, they could potentially cut off certain frequencies; they are less likely to cut out altogether unless a cap is bad and shunting the signal to ground.  With an oscilloscope, one could take a look at the signal after the op-amps, and then strum the associated strings to see if the op-amps are clipping the signal at a certain amplitude.  

Does the plinking sound occur more readily if you hard pick or strum the strings with more energy versus a softer fingerpicking style of playing?  

The problem with most modern PCBs is they use surface mount technology and micro components that are nearly impossible to replace by your average Joe.  You will need a low temperature solder rework station to remove the ICs that might be causing the problem ($3K-$5K).  It could be that during manufacturing, they used too high of a temperature to mount the ICs and in the process they damaged the op-amp circuits that the piezos feed into.  But if that is the case, it might be a relatively easy fix for an experienced repair technician, provided the op-amps they used are commonly available; a circuit schematic would help determine if they could be substituted with something else.  The last thing Line 6 wants is a recall action; something a class action lawsuit could only enforce.  I think the first step is to find an electronics engineer with QA experience in the manufacturing of PCBs and have them take a closer look at what is going here, they might discover the root cause through a visual inspection and give justification to pursuing it legally. 

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a part number for the main brain of the Variax guitars.  I would imagine that the central PCB is common across all models, and if it is the culprit, it would explain why the issue isn't with just one guitar model.  Did the previous versions suffer this phenomenon too? (i.e. 300, 600, 700 series)

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36 minutes ago, novumlucis said:

Thanks for the responses.  That certainly clarifies things a bit.  If it is across all lineups, and swapping the E and A wires moves the problem to the A wire, then it is probably an electrical issue.  My guess is the summoning circuitry has a bad transistor, and it is clipping.  I'll know more when my guitar finally shows up. 

 

Having worked electronics for many years, the most common problem with cheaper electronics that have been outsourced to China for their production is cold solder joints on the PCB.  Many times the root cause is in the post production, where they don't clean the printed circuit boards with a cleaning solvent.  The fluxes used in the soldering process are acidic and with time they degrade the solder connections.  If you look at the solder joints they should be shinny; if they have a dull look to them, they are at least suspect.  I like to use alcohol and a toothbrush to go over the solder contacts to see if they cleanup.  And then with a high power magnifying glass I look very carefully at the connections I suspect.  If I see a bad joint, I use a low power needle soldering iron and re-heat the junction, then clean again with alcohol.  This trick fixes most issues 75% of the time.  The other 25% of the time you will need to de-solder the component and re-affix with fresh solder.  I'll post back here what I find in my guitar. 

 

I don't want to rain on your parade, but all you'll find is a mystery... and that's if the specimen you happen to get has the problem in the first place. It's a common, years old problem that likely has numerous contributing factors, particularly the tone you're using (higher gain makes it worse), playing technique, pick attack, etc... which would help explain why some guys have the problem and some don't. Whatever the cause(s), it's far from universal...and if it could be solved with a soldering iron and/or rubbing alcohol, that would have been discovered long ago. The simple truth is that it's imperfect (and now decade old) technology... for all the things it does well, it's still got a long way to go.

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5 minutes ago, novumlucis said:

Can you provide links to the old gen Variax schematics?  It sounds like the piezos go to regular op-amp ICs.  The resistors and caps are probably just filtering circuits prior to going into the op-amps.  If they are incorrectly spec'd, they could potentially cut off certain frequencies; they are less likely to cut out altogether unless a cap is bad and shunting the signal to ground.  With an oscilloscope, one could take a look at the signal after the op-amps, and then strum the associated strings to see if the op-amps are clipping the signal at a certain amplitude.  

Does the plinking sound occur more readily if you hard pick or strum the strings with more energy versus a softer fingerpicking style of playing?  

The problem with most modern PCBs is they use surface mount technology and micro components that are nearly impossible to replace by your average Joe.  You will need a low temperature solder rework station to remove the ICs that might be causing the problem ($3K-$5K).  It could be that during manufacturing, they used too high of a temperature to mount the ICs and in the process they damaged the op-amp circuits that the piezos feed into.  But if that is the case, it might be a relatively easy fix for an experienced repair technician, provided the op-amps they used are commonly available; a circuit schematic would help determine if they could be substituted with something else.  The last thing Line 6 wants is a recall action; something a class action lawsuit could only enforce.  I think the first step is to find an electronics engineer with QA experience in the manufacturing of PCBs and have them take a closer look at what is going here, they might discover the root cause through a visual inspection and give justification to pursuing it legally. 

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a part number for the main brain of the Variax guitars.  I would imagine that the central PCB is common across all models, and if it is the culprit, it would explain why the issue isn't with just one guitar model.  Did the previous versions suffer this phenomenon too? (i.e. 300, 600, 700 series)



The plinking occurs no matter how you handle your picking, i can even make it happen by just softly touching the string with my pick without it even making any other sound except the plink... It's more of a very high pitched artifact... The pcb is the same across the entire jtv family but i hear they are "branded" differently at the factory... They kinda use a different tuned firmware for each body the pcb goes into... Again this is what i have heard, so i'm not sure... I have a Variax 500 that has the same issue on the low-E string but it's not that bad... I could swear the guitar was fine until i got my 89F(in which i noticed the plink right away). Then i tried with my 500 to see if it does the same and there it was... Just much less apparent hence i never noticed until then... The plink is more obvious the higher the gain so my theory is that all JTVs could potentially have this issue but not everyone uses their guitar for high gain tones... The 89F is a model that is mostly purchased by people who use high-gain tones so they can tell right away... I gave my 89F to a friend and he didn't notice anything.. You know why? Cause he plays jazz and country xD Never uses a high-gain tone.. Me on the other hand i mostly practice Dream Theater so i could tell from the first minute...

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11 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

I don't want to rain on your parade, but all you'll find is a mystery... and that's if the specimen you happen to get has the problem in the first place. It's a common, years old problem that likely has numerous contributing factors, particularly the tone you're using (higher gain makes it worse), playing technique, pick attack, etc... which would help explain why some guys have the problem and some don't. Whatever the cause(s), it's far from universal...and if it could be solved with a soldering iron and/or rubbing alcohol, that would have been discovered long ago. The simple truth is that it's imperfect (and now decade old) technology... for all the things it does well, it's still got a long way to go.

No worries, it is hard to rain on my parade...unless you talk about my BMW...now that car's electronics get me down!  LOL...  Anyway, I find that most experienced luthiers aren't experienced in the repair of complex SMT type PCBs.  Also, I doubt they have the equipment to diagnose the highly complex circuitry found on those boards.  However, I'm sure there are a few out there, with a BS/MS in electrical engineering, but I'm also sure they are far and few between.  And it is less likely that they've had one of these Variax guitars in their hands, and were willing to take on a possible electronics problem without schematics, if they did.  You would be surprised how much stuff gets manufactured in China, where corners have been cut in QA/QC to underbid the next guy.  One of those corners cut is washing the PCBs after soldering.  So yes, a solder iron and rubbing alcohol can go a long way to fixing quirky bugs in electronics.  The problem with Surface Mount Technology (SMT) components, is what you don't see...a cold solder joint between a pin (or multiple pins) that are positioned under the component where it meets the landing pads on the PCB.  You can't even inspect these visually; you can only test them electrically by using a highly complex automated test station which injects various signals at one end of the circuit, while measuring the outputs at the other end.  These systems use a matrixing process and compare measurements against known good values for the PCB under test.  This isn't typically done for every PCB manufactured (unless it is MILSPEC manufacturing), but done on a random sampling basis using statistical analysis in a QA/QC approach.  But again, the lowest bidder who probably manufactured these Line 6 components, isn't doing this type of testing.

Think about this...the open Low E has a much lower frequency than the other stings.  It could be possible that this low frequency, relative high energy wave is vibrating the PCB in the body of the guitar and causing an unseen cold solder joint to respond to it.  Or maybe it is just how the piezos are responding to this low frequency energy, or a harmonic thereof. 
E = 82.41 Hz, A = 110.0 Hz, D = 146.8 Hz, G = 196.0 Hz, B = 246.9 Hz, E = 329.6 Hz

 

Just out of curiosity, does anyone have any experience with the Ghost bridge products from GraphTech; specifically their Rose Floyd bridge?  If yes, have you ever experienced the "plinking" sound this thread is talking about, in a guitar that has been outfitted with such a Ghost bridge? 

What about the JTV-x9 US models, is there issues with those as well?  I know I would be highly upset if I bought a "boutique" guitar with this problem out of the case!  


I can only hope that Line 6 discovered the problem and then had newer higher quality parts manufactured to use as replacements in their warranty repair department.  I doubt it though...and my refurbished JTV-89F will probably have this same issue everyone is talking about.  If it does, then I will need to decide within 90 days to keep it, or send it back.  Either way, I will definitely take a peak inside.  ;-)  

Final thoughts...If Line 6 discovered this problem "long ago", now that the company has changed hands and is owned by Yamaha, do you "REALLY" think they have a vested interest in bringing it out and publicly acknowledging it?  Doing so would be catastrophic for their retailers and the brand's image, not to mention it would open them up to class action lawsuits, and heavy devaluation of their inventories.  No, I'm sure they would just perform a silent fix of those covered under warranty, and all others they would just let the consumer suck up the loss.  Or maybe it is like you say, an imperfect 10 year old technology that Yamaha is still pedaling, despite its flaws.

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19 minutes ago, novumlucis said:

No worries, it is hard to rain on my parade...unless you talk about my BMW...now that car's electronics get me down!  LOL...  Anyway, I find that most experienced luthiers aren't experienced in the repair of complex SMT type PCBs.  Also, I doubt they have the equipment to diagnose the highly complex circuitry found on those boards.  However, I'm sure there are a few out there, with a BS/MS in electrical engineering, but I'm also sure they are far and few between.  And it is less likely that they've had one of these Variax guitars in their hands, and were willing to take on a possible electronics problem without schematics, if they did.  You would be surprised how much stuff gets manufactured in China, where corners have been cut in QA/QC to underbid the next guy.  One of those corners cut is washing the PCBs after soldering.  So yes, a solder iron and rubbing alcohol can go a long way to fixing quirky bugs in electronics.  The problem with Surface Mount Technology (SMT) components, is what you don't see...a cold solder joint between a pin (or multiple pins) that are positioned under the component where it meets the landing pads on the PCB.  You can't even inspect these visually; you can only test them electrically by using a highly complex automated test station which injects various signals at one end of the circuit, while measuring the outputs at the other end.  These systems use a matrixing process and compare measurements against known good values for the PCB under test.  This isn't typically done for every PCB manufactured (unless it is MILSPEC manufacturing), but done on a random sampling basis using statistical analysis in a QA/QC approach.  But again, the lowest bidder who probably manufactured these Line 6 components, isn't doing this type of testing.

Think about this...the open Low E has a much lower frequency than the other stings.  It could be possible that this low frequency, relative high energy wave is vibrating the PCB in the body of the guitar and causing an unseen cold solder joint to respond to it.  Or maybe it is just how the piezos are responding to this low frequency energy, or a harmonic thereof. 
E = 82.41 Hz, A = 110.0 Hz, D = 146.8 Hz, G = 196.0 Hz, B = 246.9 Hz, E = 329.6 Hz

 

Just out of curiosity, does anyone have any experience with the Ghost bridge products from GraphTech; specifically their Rose Floyd bridge?  If yes, have you ever experienced the "plinking" sound this thread is talking about, in a guitar that has been outfitted with such a Ghost bridge? 

What about the JTV-x9 US models, is there issues with those as well?  I know I would be highly upset if I bought a "boutique" guitar with this problem out of the case!  


I can only hope that Line 6 discovered the problem and then had newer higher quality parts manufactured to use as replacements in their warranty repair department.  I doubt it though...and my refurbished JTV-89F will probably have this same issue everyone is talking about.  If it does, then I will need to decide within 90 days to keep it, or send it back.  Either way, I will definitely take a peak inside.  ;-)  

Final thoughts...If Line 6 discovered this problem "long ago", now that the company has changed hands and is owned by Yamaha, do you "REALLY" think they have a vested interest in bringing it out and publicly acknowledging it?  Doing so would be catastrophic for their retailers and the brand's image, not to mention it would open them up to class action lawsuits, and heavy devaluation of their inventories.  No, I'm sure they would just perform a silent fix of those covered under warranty, and all others they would just let the consumer suck up the loss.  Or maybe it is like you say, an imperfect 10 year old technology that Yamaha is still pedaling, despite its flaws.

Give me your email, i couldn't find a way to pm you...

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1 hour ago, dukeofdream said:

novumlucis give me your email, i can't find a way to pm you ...

It is my username + @gmail.com

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1 hour ago, dukeofdream said:



The plinking occurs no matter how you handle your picking, i can even make it happen by just softly touching the string with my pick without it even making any other sound except the plink... It's more of a very high pitched artifact... The pcb is the same across the entire jtv family but i hear they are "branded" differently at the factory... They kinda use a different tuned firmware for each body the pcb goes into... Again this is what i have heard, so i'm not sure... I have a Variax 500 that has the same issue on the low-E string but it's not that bad... I could swear the guitar was fine until i got my 89F(in which i noticed the plink right away). Then i tried with my 500 to see if it does the same and there it was... Just much less apparent hence i never noticed until then... The plink is more obvious the higher the gain so my theory is that all JTVs could potentially have this issue but not everyone uses their guitar for high gain tones... The 89F is a model that is mostly purchased by people who use high-gain tones so they can tell right away... I gave my 89F to a friend and he didn't notice anything.. You know why? Cause he plays jazz and country xD Never uses a high-gain tone.. Me on the other hand i mostly practice Dream Theater so i could tell from the first minute...

Does the "plinking" occur through a Variax cable into a Helix, or does it only occur through the analog TS cable from the 1/4" jack?  

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I also have this problem. The 6th string ringing like a resonance. Its not possible to eq this out. Well maybe if you’re not a professional and don’t care, but no way. Nonsense!

So far I have talked about 5 people out of buying this guitar. I will continue as long as this thread keep on moving unresolved. Off coarse this cost Line6 lost income. These people have boutht other brands. I also talked one person out of buying the Helix, not because its not good, but because of the poor responsibility Line6 has shown in this matter. I myself consider my Variax not being a modeled guitar any more, just an ok guitar but I also use other guitars. Now I have a Gibson and a Fender. So what Line6 lost I had to put in buying more gear. 

Such a crappy company. Such mistake to buy anything with that brand. 

I am going to talk more people out of buying Line6 gear. I will never stop. At least not until this matter is resolved. 

 

All the best. 

Here is my email if you dare face me. 

ask@storyplanet.se

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12 hours ago, nolcij said:

I also have this problem. The 6th string ringing like a resonance. Its not possible to eq this out. Well maybe if you’re not a professional and don’t care, but no way. Nonsense!

So far I have talked about 5 people out of buying this guitar. I will continue as long as this thread keep on moving unresolved. Off coarse this cost Line6 lost income. These people have boutht other brands. I also talked one person out of buying the Helix, not because its not good, but because of the poor responsibility Line6 has shown in this matter. I myself consider my Variax not being a modeled guitar any more, just an ok guitar but I also use other guitars. Now I have a Gibson and a Fender. So what Line6 lost I had to put in buying more gear. 

Such a crappy company. Such mistake to buy anything with that brand. 

I am going to talk more people out of buying Line6 gear. I will never stop. At least not until this matter is resolved. 

 

All the best. 

Here is my email if you dare face me. 

ask@storyplanet.se

 

lmao..."If you dare face me"? Ooooooh.....

 

Dude, were not in Tombstone, and this ain't the O.K. Corral... relax.

 

And I'll say just one more thing, and only because I care...there are tons of decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing. 

See if that helps... if not, there's always bourbon.

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On 1/13/2019 at 4:58 PM, mikeskyborn said:

I already did it, as told before :) swaping piezos connections, and problem goes to another string. So I can not understand a logic to buy a repair parts, problem is in electronic ...

And yep, piezos onboard has a lot difference between each other, more than 6 db, you need to turn up volume of the most unsensitive and then calibrate others , and increase overall volume, sad fact.

Tnx for advice, I left this issue as it is, not important to me :)
But what do you think about native humbuckers ? They are pretty good to me, but I didnt compare them to something another yet.

 

I wish I'd found this thread and in particular your reply years ago.

 

Just gone back to 9's Elixir nanoweb rather than 10 D'adarios. I prefere 9's these days and switching to10's didn't help with this issue (which is the reason I put 10's on it anyway).

 

I really don't want to go any heavier. And 9's are factory fitted after all.

 

I have played around a lot with this but not swapped the piezo connections like you have . It's interesting you have and what you have found.

 

I did drop the global string gain's really low, which does seem to mitigate it to some extent. But at minimum gain the mag is deafening when compared to the modelled pickups.

 

My gut feeling is there is some clipping of fast transients going on in the Variax electronics font end.

 

I was hoping not to have to mess around withindividual models in WorkBench HD but guess I am going to have to.

 

Thanks again

 

Hmm.

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After I received my guitar, I didn't have any issues that I could discern, but I don't use high volume and maxed tone when I play.  I did notice one thing that was interesting, Line 6 replaced the low E piezo.  I also noticed that under each saddle piezo pickup, there appear to be plastic vinyl spacers, or maybee a thin metallic spacer.  I can't figure out why they are there, as each saddle has its own adjustments for setting string height, and I doubt they were maxed out.  Maybe they act as an electrical isolater? 

magnify_2021-03-02_13-13-16.jpg

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" I also noticed that under each saddle piezo pickup, there appear to be plastic vinyl spacers,

or maybe a thin metallic spacer.  I can't figure out why they are there,...  " ---- They are shims, so the bridge curve

matches the neck radius curve,....  don't mess with them.

 

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On 2/22/2021 at 12:56 PM, dukeofdream said:


 

Before ordering anything, open the back of the guitar and swap the connector for the E and A string... If your problem is with the piezo, it will stay on the E string... If the problem moves to the A string then it’s most likely not a piezo issue... 

 

On 4/2/2021 at 7:41 PM, nolcij said:

I also have this problem. The 6th string ringing like a resonance. Its not possible to eq this out. Well maybe if you’re not a professional and don’t care, but no way. Nonsense!

So far I have talked about 5 people out of buying this guitar. I will continue as long as this thread keep on moving unresolved. Off coarse this cost Line6 lost income. These people have boutht other brands. I also talked one person out of buying the Helix, not because its not good, but because of the poor responsibility Line6 has shown in this matter. I myself consider my Variax not being a modeled guitar any more, just an ok guitar but I also use other guitars. Now I have a Gibson and a Fender. So what Line6 lost I had to put in buying more gear. 

Such a crappy company. Such mistake to buy anything with that brand. 

I am going to talk more people out of buying Line6 gear. I will never stop. At least not until this matter is resolved. 

 

All the best. 

Here is my email if you dare face me. 

ask@storyplanet.se

 

6 hours ago, psarkissian said:

" They are shims, so the bridge curve

matches the neck radius curve,....  don't mess with them." --- I disagree, the saddles already have varying heights in their physical dimensions to account for this...three different part numbers for the saddles, look it up.  Also, there are two threaded screws in each saddle for fine height adjustments, so no need for a .010" thin piece of plastic to adjust bridge height.  I think they put the plastic in there to absorb the odd resonance vibrations between the adjustment screws and the tremolo.  You have to imagine a lot of tension pushing down on those adjustment screws which rest on the tremolo.  If one screw is tighter than the other, I could see a saddle wanting to walk back and forth when the strings are played.  Putting a piece of plastic would help prevent the sudden micro movements from being picked up by the piezos.  This is just my theory however.  I did buy an Oscilloscope recently, so I am going to analyze the signals at various points in the circuit.  I can't hear the plink in my guitar, but maybe the Oscilloscope will identify it.

 

 

 

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"... the saddles already have varying heights in their physical dimensions to account for this...three different part numbers for the saddles, look it up. " --- Yes, I'm aware of that, as I'm the guy at Line 6 that services Variax guitars. Good eye. The shims are there to further assist in maintaining the height where the designers specified it.

 

"... there are two threaded screws in each saddle for fine height adjustments, so no need for a .010" thin piece of plastic to adjust bridge height. " --- Yes, the bridge posts.

 

"... they put the plastic in there to absorb the odd resonance vibrations,... " --- Actually they are thin metal shims. Isolation from secondary vibrations may be a fringe benefit.

 

" If one screw is tighter than the other, I could see a saddle wanting to walk back and forth when the strings are played. " ---- Interesting thought, haven't seen that yet though.

 

" Putting a piece of plastic would help prevent the sudden micro movements from being picked up by the piezos. This is just my theory however. " --- The tight tolerance, tight screws and precision of Graph Tech bridges, a plastic would crack.

 

As for plink, I've yet to be able to get these to plink consistently when palm muting on "Spank", but then I suck at palm muting to begin with. Spectrum analyzer would be better than an O-scope, as past comments have plinks at between 1.6kHz and 1.7kHz.  Check the L6 Knowledge Base on the subject, it's a multi faceted thing, and covering all the facets plink takes practice. Variax is not our grandfather's archtop of old with passive electronics.

 

Keep up the good eye.

 

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On 4/7/2021 at 10:01 AM, psarkissian said:

Yes, I'm aware of that, as I'm the guy at Line 6 that services Variax guitars. Good eye. The shims are there to further assist in maintaining the height where the designers specified it.

Good to know they are still being serviced.  I noticed those shims seem to work their way back out from under the saddles.  I also noticed on some folks guitars, the shims overlap each other in some cases; this overlapping can't be desired nor the shims walking themselves back out.  To me the shims seem like a quick fix for bridge post screws that just need to be longer, or saddles that need to be physically taller in the first place.  Wouldn't it have been easier to shim the neck where it mounts to the guitar body?  The radius of the neck is fairly common, and nothing extreme.  BTW, where can I buy the internal electronics for this guitar?  I'm interested in creating a Frankenstein Variax.

 

"Actually they are thin metal shims. Isolation from secondary vibrations may be a fringe benefit."  

I would think metal shims might be the source of a plink sound if there are sudden movements or rocking of the saddles, depending on how the shims are shift around over time from playing, replacing strings, etc. 

 

On 4/7/2021 at 10:01 AM, psarkissian said:

 

As for plink, I've yet to be able to get these to plink consistently when palm muting on "Spank", but then I suck at palm muting to begin with. Spectrum analyzer would be better than an O-scope, as past comments have plinks at between 1.6kHz and 1.7kHz.  Check the L6 Knowledge Base on the subject, it's a multi faceted thing, and covering all the facets plink takes practice. Variax is not our grandfather's archtop of old with passive electronics.

 

Keep up the good eye.

 

My O-scope does FFT, so I should be able to see harmonics.  Another thing I noticed is the electrical connection from the Piezos to the DSP board do not make very good electrical connections.  That style of connector works well for temporary push button connections, like a reset button on a motherboard of a computer, but I think a more reliable connector should have been used.  I noticed on the low E piezo which was replaced, the connection was loose and sloppily connected. It isn't the fault of the guitar tech, but the Electrical Engineer.

 

I completely agree, these aren't your grandfather's archtop and there is nothing analog about the Variax guitar, once the magnetic pickups are no longer in play.  I've seen the schematics of the older 500 series, and just looking at the newer models, one can see a lot of high tech wizardry in there.  BTW, where can one get the circuit schematics for the newer Variax models?  I want to be able to accurately trace the signals back to the DSP and see if I can detect any signal clipping.

 

 

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I've done my share of customs and Frankenstein Variax guitars,... it's not easy, and it won't sound the same in another body

Some parts are available out there, some are not.

 

Schematics and other proprietary property is not available to the public. And Line 6 can be tenacious about protecting its

intellectual property. Don't go there.

 

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Well I just got the JTV 89F in the mail today, and I did get the plink.  Upgrading firmware won’t help?  Am I SOL?  I don’t feel like boxing this up and returning it yet.

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Make use of EQ and adjust palm muting technique for good coverage on non played strings,

so they don't resonate from sympathetic vibrations. It's what I do,... and I suck at palm muting to begin with.

 

 

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Just now, psarkissian said:

Make use of EQ and adjust palm muting technique for good coverage on non played strings,

so they don't resonate from sympathetic vibrations. It's what I do,... and I suck at palm muting to begin with.

 

 


 

if I judge by my 89f, the plink is very hearable even if I don’t palm mute at all... Just the pick touching the string even so slightly triggers a plink that with some of my tones it goes into a feedback like sound... I wish I had a scope to analyze the exact frequency the plink produces so I could try to EQ it down...

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One at either, depending on how well it was tuned, or whether they were in model mode with Alt Tune on.

 

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Oh I didn’t think about that... So basically whenever I switch to a different tuning the plink frequency will shift too... Not practical at all... 

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1 hour ago, dukeofdream said:

Oh I didn’t think about that... So basically whenever I switch to a different tuning the plink frequency will shift too... Not practical at all... 

 

This has been talked and experimented to death for the last decade. Having followed these conversations for some time, here are the "Cliff Notes" (now I'm showing my age, lol):

 

1) Some guitars do it and some don't... don't ask me why. Either nobody knows, or those who do ain't talkin'. 

2)What you play and how you play it often factor heavily in whether or not you'll notice a problem, and to what degree.

3) For those instruments that do have symptoms, there's little to nothing that can been done about it. You will find lots of homespun "cures" posted, alleging that it has solved or at least mitigated the problem, but none have proven to be universally effective.

4) 99.97% of the time, high gain tones make it worse... and since you bought the shred-mobile version, I'm guessing this will give you extra grief.

5) You can't EQ it away... at least not entirely, without compromising your overall sound to some extent. You might get a slight improvement with a really narrow Q at the right frequency, but it won't be a cure-all, particularly if the symptoms are as noticable as you've described.

 

 and most importantly...

 

6) If a universal fix were possible, we'd have had it years ago... even Line 6 gave up on it at some point, publicly announcing on this forum that they would not be devoting any more resources to the issue.

 

If you're noticing it with the slightest touch of a pick, then the odds of seeing any substantial improvement aren't terribly good. Send it back before you get stuck with it... unless of course you're in love with the mag pickups and how she plays. 

I have the 69, and despite the modeling's shortcomings, I quite like the neck single coil, and the bridge humbucker is more than adequate for most crunch duties.

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Also, it's not the fundamental, but harmonic partials.

Altering my palm technique helps me a little. I suck at palm muting.

 

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8 minutes ago, psarkissian said:

Also, it's not the fundamental, but harmonic partials.

Altering my palm technique helps me a little. I suck at palm muting.

 

Like I said, palm muting is not even the problem... Touching the string softly with my pick makes it plink...

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11 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

This has been talked and experimented to death for the last decade. A few truths:

 

1) Some guitars do it and some don't, and what you play and how you play it factor heavily in whether or not you'll notice a problem. 

2) For those that do have the symptoms, there's little to nothing that can been done about it. You will find lots of homespun "cures" posted,  that some folks allege has solved or at least mitigated the problem, but none are universally effective.

3) 99.97% of the time, high gain tones make it worse.

4) If a genuine fix were possible, we'd have had it years ago... even Line 6 gave up on it some time ago, publicly announcing on this forum that they would not be devoting any more resources to the issue.

 

Send it back before you get stuck with it...

I can’t... it’s been a year since I bought it from another country... I’m stuck with it for good... i made peace with it, it is what it is...

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6 hours ago, dukeofdream said:
6 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

I can’t... it’s been a year since I bought it from another country... I’m stuck with it for good... i made peace with it, it is what it is..

Which model do you have?  Where are you located?  I wouldn't mind buying a second 89F model, even with the plink, just to experiment with fixing it.  But the price should be right.  ;-)  Currently I can buy a refurbished model for about $839 that supposedly works fine; which I am considering just so I use the parts as a donor for another project.  LOL

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37 minutes ago, novumlucis said:

Which model do you have?  Where are you located?  I wouldn't mind buying a second 89F model, even with the plink, just to experiment with fixing it.  But the price should be right.  ;-)  Currently I can buy a refurbished model for about $839 that supposedly works fine; which I am considering just so I use the parts as a donor for another project.  LOL

You didn’t notice my username lol.. we talked over on Facebook... I’m based on Greece and no I wouldn’t sell her... This guitar has been my dream for years since it came out and I’ve been saving forever to get her (yeah I know it’s not that expensive but with the salaries we get in Greece I could buy a car instead lol)... Even if she never delivered what I wanted, she still is special to me i guess :/ 

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34 minutes ago, dukeofdream said:

You didn’t notice my username lol.. we talked over on Facebook

I noticed 2 seconds after I sent the message...my apologies.  I am seriously thinking about ordering a second 89F as a donor, but would be more interested in finding a defective one that I could try to fix.   Having one that doesn't plink, and one that does would make troubleshooting the issue much easier.  I did get my new Rigol Oscilloscope with 4 channel inputs and digital logic analyzer built in, which should help a lot in isolating the fault. 

 

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1 minute ago, novumlucis said:

I noticed 2 seconds after I sent the message...my apologies.  I am seriously thinking about ordering a second 89F as a donor, but would be more interested in finding a defective one that I could try to fix.   Having one that doesn't plink, and one that does would make troubleshooting the issue much easier.  I did get my new Rigol Oscilloscope with 4 channel inputs and digital logic analyzer built in, which should help a lot in isolating the fault. 

 

Just post on facebook and ask for one... I'm pretty sure you're gonna find one really fast... Even though i would love to see you succeed in repairing this issue (cause that means you could help me fix mine too :P ), i will agree with the guys that are saying that this is not something that can be fixed... If Line6 could not get this fixed having the knowledge of how this thing actually works and of course access to schematics and testing equipment and dozens of boards and guitars to test, i don't think anyone else can fix it... Well except if the guy who designed the electronics got fired and the rest of the team can't solve it on their own, we will never know what truly happened...  Don't get me wrong, if you do have the nerves, the time and the funds to go after this issue, go ahead! I would do the same but i certainly lack the funds, the knowledge and the time to even try... If you read this thread(or many others) you will see that all the guys that had this issue and sent their guitar to L6 for repair, got replaced piezos... I remember reading from a guy that sent his guitar like 3 or 4 times to L6 and they never fixed the issue for him... They clearly DO NOT KNOW why this happens... And again i feel very let down by the company i have promoted so much to many guitar players over the years, having debates about the technology and why guitar players shouldn't look away from L6 and why they actually need a setup like this... Not even to mention the money i actually paid for this guitar that does not deliver what was promised... It's not so much about the money as in the fact that i really wanted this to work as it was supposed to... Such a cool tech and having a flaw like that and providing no real solution whatsoever... I really feel sorry for me, for all the other guys that have this problem and for L6 as a company... So much potential wasted... Even Stevic from Twelve Foot Ninja(the guy that designed the Shuriken) was asked all the time about the plink and how he got rid of it, making him publish a video on youtube to demonstrate and ask what they are actually talking about... I guess that's what happens when you get cherry picked samples and the rest of us mere mortals get them at random... He doesn't actually know what's going on with the guitars the customers get... All they ever say is turn down the gain... If i wanted to turn down the freaking gain i wouldn't have bought a 24-fret floyd rose equipped guitar... I freaking play Dream Theater ffs :/ :/

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My guess is the buyout of Line 6 by Yamaha is the biggest contributing factor as to why nobody has really dissected this problem.  I used to repair electronic test equipment and from 100 technicians, only 2 or 3 really knew what they were doing.  The rest were just board swappers.  They could find the issue down to a module or a section, but never the discrete component.  The industry is like this, because it is cheaper to replace a board, than to diagnose down to a component, as time is money.  I have more time than money, so I don't mind digging in. 

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Just now, novumlucis said:

My guess is the buyout of Line 6 by Yamaha is the biggest contributing factor as to why nobody has really dissected this problem.  I used to repair electronic test equipment and from 100 technicians, only 2 or 3 really knew what they were doing.  The rest were just board swappers.  They could find the issue down to a module or a section, but never the discrete component.  The industry is like this, because it is cheaper to replace a board, than to diagnose down to a component, as time is money.  I have more time than money, so I don't mind digging in. 


Yeah the problem is that they avoid changing boards... If that was the case then the guy that sent his guitar over 4 times would have a board replace... 4 times man and they never replaced his pcb... I wish i could just buy another pcb and be done with this nonsense... And the ironic part is that i knew about this issue... I have literally seen comments saying DO NOT BUY A VARIAX IF YOU DONT PLAY IT FIRST... But i could never avoid it... My L6 distributor has discontinued the variax line but even before that, they never got the 89 or 89f in stock... I had to buy from another country knowing that i could get a faulty guitar... And the roulette failed me i guess :/

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" 4 times man and they never replaced his pcb " --- Did you go to an Line 6 authorized service center?

I don't see any service record for that. Which service center was it?

 

Knowledge Base posting,...

 

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55 minutes ago, psarkissian said:

" 4 times man and they never replaced his pcb " --- Did you go to an Line 6 authorized service center?

I don't see any service record for that. Which service center was it?

 

Knowledge Base posting,...

 


It wasn’t me...I read about it on L6 forums about 4+ years ago... May even be on the old forums... As I said earlier I never sent mine for repair cause the shipping cost from Greece would be more than 250€...

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Here's the Variax bottom line everybody... you either get a good one that's relatively problem free (aside from inherent modeling limitations that they all share), or you get a "clang-er". And like it or not, part of it is user-dependent... tone, technique, etc etc. They're simply not for everybody. If we're all super lucky, future iterations/algorithms might solve some of these problems... till then, as impressive as they are, there are issues that will make them largely unusable for certain players. 10+ years in, that much is obvious. Is what it is...

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5 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

Here's the Variax bottom line everybody... you either get a good one that's relatively problem free (aside from inherent modeling limitations that they all share), or you get a "clang-er". And like it or not, part of it is user-dependent... tone, technique, etc etc. They're simply not for everybody. If we're all super lucky, future iterations/algorithms might solve some of these problems... till then, as impressive as they are, there are issues that will make them largely unusable for certain players. 10+ years in, that much is obvious. Is what it is...

I’m not convinced that we will actually see a 3rd generation of Variax guitars... We’ll see...

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