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Do You Have The Same Problem With 6th String?

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So I've been following this off and on for some time since I have a JTV-89 with the hard tail bridge.  My low E string sounds "plinky" as one poster eloquently described.  I filed a ticket with Line 6 and received this response:

 

Hi,

 

We have been involved in this thread online for a while. There is no issue with your guitar.

The short answer is piezos sound different than mag pickups because the string rests across the pickup element.

The larger the string the more pressure. 

More pressure = frequency build up.

If you are using a guitar model or amp that already has a lot of build up in the high-mids you are going to hear a "plink" especially at high gain levels. This can be EQ'ed out and is not anything outside of the normal operation of the guitar.

You can hear this same sound on a lot of acoustic/electric guitars that use piezo systems. It's just not as apparent because you are not using high gain effects.

 

Thanks,

David

 

At first I thought, no way, it sounds to me like a cocked wah on the low E string, maybe bad filtering either in hardware or software.  So the first thing I did to prove this wrong was take an A string I had laying around (0.36" diameter) and put it in place of my low E.  I tuned it first to A, then to E, and sure enough in both tunings the plink disappeared.  So it must be harmonics or vibrations on the fat E string.

 

Next, I took a piece of felt I had and cut a very small strip and placed it over the piezo below the string.  Viola, problem is about 90% gone, definitely subtle enough that no one would notice unless I told them.  In the following recordings, the first section is the magnetic pickups, then the piezos in standard tuning, then the piezos in 1 Down tuning.  So here is a recording before the felt strip:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/et1s3055ossmggx/Before.m4a

 

And the recording after putting in the felt strip:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/valysmw87f3hijg/After.m4a

 

And here are some photos showing the felt and what it looks like installed:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ac342i95ofdoyei/20140616_212407.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/01yfmyrj2zkjefd/20140616_212510.jpg

 

The felt must be acting as a damper to dampen out the ringing and excessive vibration of the fatter E string.

 

My next task is to dampen the strings at the nut with some Velcro or something.  You can definitely hear the ringing when using the piezos.

 

I hope this helps some of you guys.  It sounds way better to me and just saved me from selling this guitar.  I wanted the Dream Rig, and the crappy sound of the low E string when chugging was definitely not part of that Dream!

 

Randy

My 59 has this issue as well. For those with the JTV59 that are still having problems, have you tried the above solution? It seemed to work well for this poster.

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Thanks David, I was surprised they had so many components for Variax guitars. I am definately going to order a few of the piezos. Does anyone know the procedure to change one out?

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My 59 has this issue as well. For those with the JTV59 that are still having problems, have you tried the above solution? It seemed to work well for this poster.

 

So I've been following this off and on for some time since I have a JTV-89 with the hard tail bridge.  My low E string sounds "plinky" as one poster eloquently described.  I filed a ticket with Line 6 and received this response:

 

Hi,

 

We have been involved in this thread online for a while. There is no issue with your guitar.

The short answer is piezos sound different than mag pickups because the string rests across the pickup element.

The larger the string the more pressure. 

More pressure = frequency build up.

If you are using a guitar model or amp that already has a lot of build up in the high-mids you are going to hear a "plink" especially at high gain levels. This can be EQ'ed out and is not anything outside of the normal operation of the guitar.

You can hear this same sound on a lot of acoustic/electric guitars that use piezo systems. It's just not as apparent because you are not using high gain effects.

 

Thanks,

David

 

At first I thought, no way, it sounds to me like a cocked wah on the low E string, maybe bad filtering either in hardware or software.  So the first thing I did to prove this wrong was take an A string I had laying around (0.36" diameter) and put it in place of my low E.  I tuned it first to A, then to E, and sure enough in both tunings the plink disappeared.  So it must be harmonics or vibrations on the fat E string.

 

Next, I took a piece of felt I had and cut a very small strip and placed it over the piezo below the string.  Viola, problem is about 90% gone, definitely subtle enough that no one would notice unless I told them.  In the following recordings, the first section is the magnetic pickups, then the piezos in standard tuning, then the piezos in 1 Down tuning.  So here is a recording before the felt strip:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/et1s3055ossmggx/Before.m4a

 

And the recording after putting in the felt strip:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/valysmw87f3hijg/After.m4a

 

And here are some photos showing the felt and what it looks like installed:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ac342i95ofdoyei/20140616_212407.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/01yfmyrj2zkjefd/20140616_212510.jpg

 

The felt must be acting as a damper to dampen out the ringing and excessive vibration of the fatter E string.

 

My next task is to dampen the strings at the nut with some Velcro or something.  You can definitely hear the ringing when using the piezos.

 

I hope this helps some of you guys.  It sounds way better to me and just saved me from selling this guitar.  I wanted the Dream Rig, and the crappy sound of the low E string when chugging was definitely not part of that Dream!

 

Randy

OK. I just went to the fabric store, bought a $0.29 piece of felt that will last me for 300 string changes, got home and did what the user above did, and the problem is solved. Palm muting bliss. No need to switch out parts or send my guitar away. 

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OK. I just went to the fabric store, bought a $0.29 piece of felt that will last me for 300 string changes, got home and did what the user above did, and the problem is solved. Palm muting bliss. No need to switch out parts or send my guitar away. 

problem came back in about 15 minutes. Just replaced felt with a more substantial piece of velcro, which I saw another user had tried. So far so good...

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problem came back in about 15 minutes. Just replaced felt with a more substantial piece of velcro, which I saw another user had tried. So far so good...

How does this affect the sound of the magnetic pickup on the Low E, after all, there is a reason bridge saddles are made of steels and alloys.

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I would try to put a piece behind the Piezo (away from the fretboard)  to damp the short length of string there.

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I would try to put a piece behind the Piezo (away from the fretboard)  to damp the short length of string there.

 

If the problem is because of the string floating behind the saddle, yes. Putting the material over the piezo is going to hurt your tone and sustain if the problem is because of the open string behind the saddle.

 

If it's because of an oversensitive piezo, then putting the material over the piezo might help, yes, but like Charlie and I said, if it's because of the open string, then just put material to dampen the string behind the saddle, and it'll fix your problem.

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How does this affect the sound of the magnetic pickup on the Low E, after all, there is a reason bridge saddles are made of steels and alloys.

It sounds the same to me.

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I would try to put a piece behind the Piezo (away from the fretboard)  to damp the short length of string there.

Yep. That's what I did.

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I will try that as well - hoping it helps.

Cool... please report back. Mine still sounds good. Very slight overtone but definitely a vast improvement.

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Yep. That's what I did.

 

Make sure you use something that'll stay in position and always be touching that part of the strings. I just literally put masking tape around the ends of each string. It solves the problem, and it makes getting out the ball ends that break a lot more easier.

 

It also means you don't mod your guitar since it's the strings.

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^ I'm gonna try the masking tape trick. Thanks for that, Clay. 

 

It's great. I'd rather not risk having a ball end drop into the electronics like people said, so the masking tape helps prevent that, as well as cure the whole pinging noise.

 

The only thing is that it might look weird on your guitar, but if you can get past that, it's great.

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I have a jtv-89F and a while ago i started a topic and the problem still existing...

 

When i play the guitar with it's magnetic pickups, everything is fine but when i activate the modeling, the 6th string starts to sound really weird.. This problem is very easy to notice on distortion tones and especially on palm mutings, it is hard to hear this problem on clean tones but i noticed that it is there for the clean tones too..

 

There are some guys have the same problem and some of them started a topic before, but noone can find anything about to fix this problem...

 

--Lowering string volume on the workbench didn't work

--Reinstalling the software didn't work

--Changing strings(i use .46-.009 gauge) didn't work

--There are no visible loose elements on the guitar

 

 

This is the previous topic: There is a guy wrote that he has the same problem too..

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/5990-jtv-89-f-model-sound-issue/

 

 

This is the sound example:

 

https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Variax%20Problem.mp3?_subject_uid=284387637&w=AABV86FI_iVvWXrcsJ8N_3iN9L8LKmWXCCwSb4PIvZOvSA

 

 

 

I started to think that some of the variax users have the same problem but they try to find a way not to hear the noise...Please don't do that, let's try to find the cause of the problem..

 

Please write if you know how to fix this or even if you have the same problem too.

I actually have solved that problem at least on my guitar..  I took a small piece of electrical tape ( the black stuff).  I cut a piece small enough just to cover the piezo pickup (tiny).  after that my palm muting sounded the same in model mode and magnetic mode..  hopefully that helps ...

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A neater solution might be a small piece of heat shrink.

 

That's a nice idea, but it might not be thick enough to mute the strings. I donno, should maybe try it someday.

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Actually scratch the Idea with the piece of electrical tape it kills the sustain, does solve the issue but then creates another one.  I opted to use simple elmers glue around the out skirts of the piezo pickup and that has solved the issue for me.  With out killing the sustain so far.  Though I think the tape made it sound more like the default magnetic pickups

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Actually scratch the Idea with the piece of electrical tape it kills the sustain, does solve the issue but then creates another one.  I opted to use simple elmers glue around the out skirts of the piezo pickup and that has solved the issue for me.  With out killing the sustain so far.  Though I think the tape made it sound more like the default magnetic pickups

 

That's why you don't put anything on the string OVER the piezo, but BEHIND it.

 

It kills the sustain really bad, but the problem is the string that is floating BEHIND the piezo/saddle, which can vibrate and add a PING noise to the attack of the strings.

 

The tape mutes those parts of the string.

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That's why you don't put anything on the string OVER the piezo, but BEHIND it.

 

It kills the sustain really bad, but the problem is the string that is floating BEHIND the piezo/saddle, which can vibrate and add a PING noise to the attack of the strings.

 

The tape mutes those parts of the string.

yeah I already have string dampening but that was not helping. but the glue seems to be working with out killing the sustain..  the tape wasn't terribly killing the sustain I just noticed it when testing all the strings..  I have played guitars with worst sustain..  It could just be from extensive playing has loosened up the piezo so that it rattles or buzzes...

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I opted to use simple elmers glue around the out skirts of the piezo pickup and that has solved the issue for me.

 

I've long thought that shaky contact between pickup and bridge assembly was responsible for many ills, both mechanical and electrical.  The ultimate solution is to add grounding wires on all pickups to deal with the electrical issue, then wrap a turn or two of teflon plumbers tape around the pickup to prevent "slapping" back and forth under hard picking.  Actually, the REAL ultimate solution would be for Line6 to acknowledge and address such problems at the design end.  I'd be interested in knowing whether the Variax Standard has anything different in its bridge design.

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Actually scratch the Idea with the piece of electrical tape it kills the sustain, does solve the issue but then creates another one.  I opted to use simple elmers glue around the out skirts of the piezo pickup and that has solved the issue for me.  With out killing the sustain so far.  Though I think the tape made it sound more like the default magnetic pickups

So you surrounded the pickup with glue?

For what we are talking about, is the pickup and saddle the same thing?

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yeah I already have string dampening but that was not helping. but the glue seems to be working with out killing the sustain..  the tape wasn't terribly killing the sustain I just noticed it when testing all the strings..  I have played guitars with worst sustain..  It could just be from extensive playing has loosened up the piezo so that it rattles or buzzes...

 

Did you check if it still pings when picking that part of the string? pluck that part and if it makes no noise, then the problem is the piezos (or whatever else contributes to this problem) and not the floating strings.

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So you surrounded the pickup with glue?

For what we are talking about, is the pickup and saddle the same thing?

yeah the saddle is the pick up..  I just used a tooth pick and put glue around the outskirts of the saddle (i.e. pickup) so that it would not rattle no more..  I think from excessive playing over time it may loosen or get sloppy..  cause it is just the 6th string banging out power chords I guess..

 

Did you check if it still pings when picking that part of the string? pluck that part and if it makes no noise, then the problem is the piezos (or whatever else contributes to this problem) and not the floating strings.

It doesn't make the ping noise no more but I also played with the global eq a bit to take off some of the high end frequencies and boost the mids and low end  (mainly to make the modeling match the magnetic pickups).  I  play through FRFR headphones and I believe in my heart you need to taper some if the top end and low end to get it to sound good.  Like its not cracking up going past its nominal range..  I often wondered though what those saddles are made of and if over time grooves get wore into it from the strings vibrating and possible that may contribute some times to that ping sound.  But when I first got my guitar I discovered the ping noise and I remedied it with the vibration dampening..  But this new ping sound was allot harsher and sounded almost rattle like it was horrid..  But the glue seems to have fixed it with out messing with the sustain good luck though to people suffering from it..

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Glad it worked out, but you may have some issues if the pickup ever needs replacement or if ground contact gets intermittant.

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Glad it worked out, but you may have some issues if the pickup ever needs replacement or if ground contact gets intermittant.

yeah I will try and keep a eye out for it..  thanks for the info

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I had to go back to the drawing board the glue thing only lasted a few days and the ping came back.  So Took another look to see what was actually going on.  (trying to figure out where it was actually coming from was a tedious process).  I am pretty certain now why adding the velcro helped remedy it and then eventually the ping came back so when I added the glue it temporarily fixed it also. The strings eventually wore through it back to original spot.  I looked at how the string laid across the bridge saddle (IE pickup).  The string actually goes between multiple grooves at a given time..  There is the groove in the wrap around bridge- then a groove in the casing that holds the piezo on both sides and of course the Piezo element itself..  I felt the grooves in the actual casing were not wide enough (especially the side towards the pickups where the string vibrates the most).  So I used a small file and widened it.. So far no more ping.  Had a entire hour long practice with out any buzzing or pings..  I think the strings were hitting the Edges of that opening in the casing causing a harmonic ping..  Hopefully this is it the final cure for this annoying defect..  It has been a long struggle to get this fixed..

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I wonder if anyone else noticed that Line6 Staff stopped posting on this thread a while ago. I think it's a pretty weak argument to keep trying to pass this issue off a a user problem. I'm personally astounded to hear that guitars have been returned with the exact same issue still persisting. This is BUUULL!!!

 

How many people have to have the same issue before they acknowledge it as a real thing and stop blaming it on burs in the nut etc or picking technique. If this guitar was working properly it would not be so susceptible to such minor anomalies.

 

I have a JTV69 HSS and mine has the exact same issue on the lowest string. It has done this since I first got it. I noticed it most prominently on the Lester model. I thought it was weird but seeing as i've never owned a Les Paul I thought maybe the was the way they are but it is occurring on all models. I basically avoided using the modelling and I have been playing the guitar for a while now using mags only.

 

Here's a recording I did just the other day: https://soundcloud.com/antconnelly/variax-wtf-overtones-on-lowest-string

 

Now I am playing in a band using 3 different tunings and I am forced to use the Piezo modelling. After trying to get used to this horrible sound only on the 6th string I've realised that there is definitely a fault.

 

I never used to use the forum so I never knew so many other people had the same problem. I've just read every single post in this thread trying to find answers to my issue. So now I will try to Macgyver it with some felt but Line6 should acknowledge that there is a significant and persistent fault/design flaw (oversight) here.

 

I'll try to mute the string behind the saddle or put some felt over the Piezo itself. I'll let you know how I go.

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I posted info here. I conitnue to follow a number of post. I get notices 

when a comment is added. If it has been a while, then it may because 

it has been a while since the last post, til now. 

 

I post info and give my advice as a technician regarding product. I have 

no control over what is done with my advice. It's either taken and used, 

or it isn't. 

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So now,... as to the problem you are have with the guitar.

possibilities,... 

 

-Burr in the nut slot 

-Loose hardware vibrating somewhere 

-Set Up issue, string action height

-Pick ups set too close to the string 

-Failing piezo element

 

Have it checked by your local Line 6 service center. 

 

Lester being the higher gain Model in the bunch, it would 

break up sooner going thru a higher gain setting. If there

is a mechanical reason such as set-up, the processing 

would bring this out more. 

 

Geamala, seems like it needs to have an adjustment

dialed in. I'll know better on Monday when I can use my 

work computer. The one I'm on doesn't do SoundCloud files. 

 

 

 

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Oh and BTW,... 

We staff monitor and help where needed, but this is

mainly a user forum. Sorry if you think we've somehow

been neglectful. 

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So now,... as to the problem you are have with the guitar.

possibilities,... 

 

-Burr in the nut slot 

-Loose hardware vibrating somewhere 

-Set Up issue, string action height

-Pick ups set too close to the string 

-Failing piezo element

 

Have it checked by your local Line 6 service center. 

 

Lester being the higher gain Model in the bunch, it would 

break up sooner going thru a higher gain setting. If there

is a mechanical reason such as set-up, the processing 

would bring this out more. 

 

Geamala, seems like it needs to have an adjustment

dialed in. I'll know better on Monday when I can use my 

work computer. The one I'm on doesn't do SoundCloud files. 

More of the same. I just had it serviced by authorised technicians.

 

They replaced the nut. I just double checked it. No burs, nothing. That is not the issue

The set up is fine! Again work done by authorised servicers.

Magnetic pickup height is normal and not an issue.

There seems to be no loose hardware.

 

This is localised to only the one string which would indicate that there is something wrong with the piezo. That makes way more sense than burs fret buzz etc.This issue is present on all other models. The Spank and T.model mask it somewhat better because they are particularly twangy anyway but the problem exists on all models.

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This is localised to only the one string which would indicate that there is something wrong with the piezo. 

 

Sorry if I missed it, but did you say you replaced, or had the piezo replaced already?

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Sorry if I missed it, but did you say you replaced, or had the piezo replaced already?

No, the nut was replaced by an authorised tech.

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Hi,

the problem is in the firmware.

The only solution is that we will record demos on YouTube.

It perhaps will force Line6 do something.

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My description for service center:       (guitar returned unrepaired)

 

E6 string (if using modeling and play with palm muting technique) produces a sharp, metallic sound.

It is most noticeable on the empty string (E tone) - hi gain sound - model  SPANK (Stratocaster) - bridge pickup.

The same disturbing tone is also reflected when tapping anyplace on the guitar, on the bridge, or if a finger slides on the string. Through a magnetic pickups is sound E6 fine.

 

My findings:

This disturbing frequency have a mechanical cause.  The same problem is also on the string A5 - there is even stronger - partly reacts also with a magnetic sensor. But with modeling is the string A5 fine.

 

I suppose:

Normally a string vibrates vertically (radially), on it readily responds a magnetic pickups.

At the same time but the string A5 and E6 produces vibrations which spreads horizontally (axially) - the magnetic pickup on it almost unresponsive,

but piezo sensor is very sensitive to them.

The emergence of these oscillations is not unusual to me, i am noticing the same thing on a others guitars.

 

I tried:

1. In the connector on DSP I changed wires from the piezo sensors E6 and A5. The string E6 then was fine and the problem was on the string A5.

 

2. I measured output from the guitar through a frequency analizer (screenshots are on the CD-ROM): At the string E6 is a significant peak between 1.6 - 1.7kHz.

 

3. Similarly I measured signals directly from the piezo (for this I used a Line 6 POD HD500 with input impedance set at 3.5 MOhm) - DSP unconnected.

- On the string E6 they are a peaks around 1.6-1.7KHz, 3.4KHz and 5KHz. 

- On the string A5 they are the peaks - 1.9KHz, 3.8KHz and 5.6KHz.

 

4. I used a noise fed to the inputs on the DSP through a decoupling capacitor (on the inputs is DC voltage), and I measured the frequency response. Level of the applied signal was a little lower, than is the output signal level from the piezo.

This measurement I do not find be 100% objective, I do not know how the DSP evaluates the input signal - with a noise maybe "does not know what to do."

 

However, from the measurements is obvious, that the interfering frequencies is on the string A5 filtered out, but on the string E6 not.

I am confident that the error is in the firmware.

 

 

Sorry for the bad English.

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Use the equaliser on the HD500 to bring down the desired frequency.

 

Select a different impedance on the HD500. Some impedances in  the

selections are noisier than others, some players like that, it gives grit

to the sound that some like. Some impedances selected have a lower

noise floor.

 

If the string is vibrating radially and not transversely, then the pick-up is

set to close to the strings. By the way, speaking of strings what is the

string gauge set being used?

 

"Spank" is modeled from a 1959 Fender Stratocaster. The low-E string

has a characteristic bite to the sound that the Delta Blues and Gulf Coast

Blues players value.

 

Presets are a starting point,... sculpting a sound only starts there.

 

There is not an error in the firmware because that's what the guitar sounds like,

that the sound was modeled from.

 

It's like bringing up a model of a Marshall tube amp and wanting it to have the

tube sound of a Marshall, but without the noise floor and hum that goes with it.

That defeats the whole purpose of the model,... that is, to sound like the item

being modeled from.

 

 

"Spank",.... It sounds the way it does, because that is what the guitar it's modeled from

sounds like. That's what modeling is.

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Feeding noise through a decoupling capacitor creates a filter with the

surrounding components (that may act as resistive elements). This weighting

filter will skew the noise results in a way that will emphasize some frequencies

and de-emphasize others, in a way that will not be an accurate representation

of the noise injected in the circuit. A filter will spread or "smear" the frequencies,

giving erroneous peaks and troughs in the FFT results.

 

Injecting noise into the DSP means nothing. DSP doesn't process noise, it processes

digital bits.

 

Tampering with the circuitry that way is not a good idea, and even worse without

a schematic,... and may even void any warranties.

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Similar pseudo expert opinions i seen a lot on your technical support . I am already tired! The error is in the firmware.

I spent a lot of time in finding the cause and very much unnecessary time discussing with you and your colleagues.

The guitar was 11 weeks in a repair shop! The result - nothing!

Stop making idiots of us and begin to tackle the problem.

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