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JTV modding gurus - opinions wanted


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Howdy hey -

 

This is for the guys (gals) that have gone into the guts of the JTV's - swapped pickups and such, and maybe familiar with the circuitry in the thing - this is regarding the mag pickups -

 

Having worked with the JTV69 for the past six weeks or so, I've come to the conclusion that the mags are just too damn bright for my tastes/style - this thing makes an ASAT sound muddy by comparison.  Note that I am NOT slamming it here - it's a great axe - but for my style/sound it's just so piercing.  My "main" axe is a Steinberger GM Pro, with fallbacks being Strats and a Tele - and when I have my sound dialed in for all of those (warm, full - well, not so much the Tele...) the JTV just drills thru like an icepick.  (Note - mags only, the models - say "Lester" for example - seem just right..)

 

As I say, fair enough - it is what it is, nothing "wrong" in any sense of the word, it's the nature of the beast.  But it's far enough away from my usual sound that I want to do something about it.  And I'd rather not have a bunch of separate settings just for one axe (and what if I'm out jamming or such, using someone else's gear?)

 

SO - the obvious option will be to swap out p/u's to ones with less teeth.  Somewhere around here I've seen pictures of the circuit board the p/u's solder to - no big deal it would seem, I'm handy enough with an iron.  But I was wondering if any of the "mod gods" around here know - is there anyplace in the guts of this thing to intercept the mags signal, maybe lay a filter cap across the line and just globally roll of some high?  Or for that matter are there any adjustments (trim pots, etc) to be found in there?

 

Not optimistic, it seems to be a highly integrated environment in there - but it's worth asking,   It would, after all, be faster/simpler/cheaper to just drop a cap on the passive line before it merges to the outs.  Just thought I'd ask before I start tearing into this puppy (and spending bucks on new p/u's...)

 

All insights welcome!!

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Uhh - I'll resist the urge....  Responsively A) because when engaging a model (which do seem to be more "in the park" tonally) I'd then have to roll it back up to avoid them being muddy, and B) I prefer my instruments to default to the desired tonality.

 

If this were a standard passive guitar (or even an active type like my Steiny) I wouldn't be asking this - I'd have already modded the electronics to my desired effect.  But there is effectively a computer inside this thing - so I'm asking questions before grabbin' the knife.  If it's possible to achieve the desired goal without spending money on p/u's I'd give it a go.....

 

edit - that smiley shoulda been a "B )" - this board does seem to have a mind of it's lollipoppin' own....

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Uhh - I'll resist the urge....  Responsively A) because when engaging a model (which do seem to be more "in the park" tonally) I'd then have to roll it back up to avoid them being muddy, and B) I prefer my instruments to default to the desired tonality.

 

If this were a standard passive guitar (or even an active type like my Steiny) I wouldn't be asking this - I'd have already modded the electronics to my desired effect.  But there is effectively a computer inside this thing - so I'm asking questions before grabbin' the knife.  If it's possible to achieve the desired goal without spending money on p/u's I'd give it a go.....

 

edit - that smiley shoulda been a "B )" - this board does seem to have a mind of it's lollipoppin' own....

 

 

If need be, you can lock the tone pot for the modeled sounds. That way if you roll off tone or volume on magnetics side, the modes are not effected. Not saying that is the solution for your issue, but just in case.

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+1 to toasterdude

 

I set my tone on my 69S about halfway for the bridge mag pup, and make the models with their tone "locked" (saved with the models) -- it's a checkbox in HD Workbench. I run my tone up full on my 59 mags, but still lock the models' tones on that one as well.

 

When I switch to a model manually, the tone that I set in WB comes with it. When I choose an HD500X patch that activates a JTV model, the tone comes with it that was saved with the 500X patch. The only caveat is when you mess with the mag tone while playing, it is changing the selected model tone at the same time even though you don't hear it, so I just flick the 3 way (59) or 5 way (69S) switch once and back when I have made my tone adjustment to the mags, and it brings the model tone back to it's saved state. It doesn't matter if you use the 500(X) patch to set your JTV model patch, like I said the tone position is saved with the 500X patch.

 

Been doing that for several years now, so it's just habit. I have most 500X patches set with the mags active, but some with specific models for a specific sound or tuning and just hit the 500X patch for it when needed.

 

By the way -- I changed the 69S's single coils for the DiMarzio Paul Gilbert noiseless set -- not due to the tonality of the 69S's pups, but due to the hum of single coils in general. The noiseless pups really are noiseless - I was shocked by how quiet they are. The Paul Gilbert set has a hotter bridge pup than stock strat SC's. So yes, you can do it but you gotta keep your head on straight when you do it. There is a wiring diagram for the JTV pups somewhere here in the forums or on the knowledge base. Instead of soldering on the switch itself, I clipped the pickup wires and soldered the new pups to the wires from the switch. I know, it's better to go to the switch, but I went with what seemed to me to be a safer way, and it works fine. YMMV...

 

I did not mod the tone circuit, and would not recommend it in general, as the tone pots have a lot more going on than regular guitar tone pots, as one part of it is passive electronics for the mags, and one part is a digital controller for the models' tone logic algorithms both on one shaft. I didn't even consider messing with that...

 

Dave

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Thanks guys - appreciate the insights!

 

David - yeah, for some years now when I change p/u's on a guitar I've prefered doing it "wire to wire", if only because a few moments too long on the pots with an iron and you've toasted them.  Never had a problem doing it that way - in fact the Tele I mentioned is a test-bed of sorts, and I actually have it's p/u's wire-nutted in to facilitate quick change outs.  No probs....

 

And one reason I've asked - no way am I going near the pots/switches on this thing.  I have yet to open it up, but I'm certain those ain't your run of the mill controls, they're doing way too many things.  Any mods would need to be "on wire", or maybe adding a jumper or such on a board.  I'm fairly tech-savvy - but part of that is knowing what not to muck about with.

 

I'm curious David - was there a notable tonal difference w/the DiMarzio's (other than the noise)?  Those ARE essentially stacked 'buckers, yes?  I've been a Duncan guy for a number of years - thought I'd give'em a call (they're quite nice folks) and discuss my situation with them, see what they'd suggest.

 

Some excellent points above, guys - thanks so much!!  The quest continues....

 

OH, and a quick followup to another post I recently made - I've installed a Fishman TriplePlay on the JTV a couple days back.  I'm a long time 13 pin guy, and I'm here to tell ya - freakin' amazing!!  Super easy install, tracking definately exceeds the Roland stuff, I have access to all the sounds in my live keyboard rig lappy - and NO CABLE!!  Halle-freakin-luah!!  Run the JTV thru my Relay, wireless to MIDI........ woof.  I'm not getting rid of my Steiny - but the JTV has become my "magic" guitar - all of the modeling & synth access I've had in the past, and I'm not moving one. single. piece. of extra gear.  Hot damn!!!!  (Will that become "Hot Lollipop"?  Let's press "post" and find out....)

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The tone of the DiMarzio noiseless single coil pup's are not a hum bucker sound, definitely single coil. They have an auxiliary coil beneath the main coil that cancels the noise. I believe that the other brands are similar in design. They all also offer hum buckers in the form factor of single coils, so I would expect those to have a more hum bucker sound - more dark than SC's. They offer different flavors of single coil windings, as well. I got the version that was wound somewhat hotter. I've been very happy with mine.

 

Dave

 

p.s. I like your signature - my old nickname was Dancing Bear! Go figure...

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Dave

 

p.s. I like your signature - my old nickname was Dancing Bear! Go figure...

Dave -

 

A)  The sig I got via Robert Heinlein, basically an admonition that, when you're faced with something truly amazing - don't beef about the details.  Just enjoy the dancing.  So much of the tech appearing these days qualifies as Dancing Bears....

 

B)  If the name Rockwood Academy rings a bell with you - we know each other. (Not holding my breath here - but wierder things have happened in my life.....)

 

Ric

 

edit - and again with the B ).  The space makes all the difference..

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Been a Heinlein fan a long time. Read all of his books. No -- sorry -- it doesn't ring a bell... Got the nickname in college (Iowa State). My initials (DB) and that I'm 6' 6" had something to do with it.... ;) 

 

Dave

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Ah well - worth the ask.  My Dancing Bear was Dave D - great guy, great memories - we attended RA back in the '70s in Lenox, Mass.  The sig was a Lazurus Long quote - nice to meet another Heinlein fan.  Can't tell you how influential his work was to me, and how much it shaped the philosophies I've lived my life by. 

 

Travel well, my friend....

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