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mtreehugger

My new JTV-69 has bad modeling

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After connecting the monkey and doing all the updates (except variax workbench--I went with Workbench HD), I fired up my new variax and find that none of the alternate tunings sound good.  It appears that dual tones are erroneously and arbitrarily produced.  For example, in the 1/2-step lower tuning when I pluck an A# on the high E I get 2 tones, the A# (which sounds as an A natural) and a false tone (about 4 frets higher, if memory and ear serve).  I believe it sounded bad even before the update, i.e. straight out of the box.

 

So I have to play in normal tuning mode.  However, most of the models distort too much when I dig in a bit with the pick, and overall I'm fairly unimpressed in the tones outside of this.

 

Any ideas what's wrong?  Is my guitar defective?

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You might want to try it through headphones at a reasonable volume if you haven't already. I have seen previous posts with similar symptoms and it has turned out to be the natural or 'real' tuning overlayed on the pitch shifted note at low volumes.

 

Good luck

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No, it's not that.  Both the intended note and the false note are at equal volumes.

 

(plus I play with enough volume that the acoustic sound is nearly completely drowned out.)

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yep, reflash the latest firmware and test again.  If it's still doing it, send it back for a new one...  There is nothing user fixable, especially when new and under warranty.

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Its surprising how much of the guitar one hears acoustically, even when playing at moderate volumes. The 69s are quite resonant. Without the alt tuning going on, it goes unnoticed as both the acoustic and the processed pitches are the same...crank it through headphones and see if you're still hearing both of 'em. You might be surprised...I was at first.

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I poked around last night and found what looked to be the official instructions for reflashing a jtv--FTFMS (follow the f_ing monkey, stupid), so I did.  The phenomenon where I heard the dual tones on certain notes was gone, but damned if I didn't pick up on the acoustic notes!  I had to put on headphones to be certain.  

 

Damn, this thing is RESONANT indeed!   I can't say for certain, but anyone who wants to believe that all along I was hearing the acoustic tones combined with the altered tuning, feel free to do so.  It may or may not be.  I don't think this explains why on some notes I didn't hear the acoustic tones and on some notes I did, but the resonance of the Variax is so surprisingly loud, and it's possible that I hadn't tuned in to what I was hearing sufficiently.

 

Thanks for your help, folks!  

 

Now, does anybody know how to get good fender and gibson tones out of the models?  I use a lot of gain and crunch through my HD-500, and the variax isn't meshing well at this point.

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When I first started wortking with the JTV and HD, it took a bit to figure out that many presets in the HD500 default to using both the modeled signal _plus_ the mag pickups as the source. The modeled sound can be retuned, but the mag pickups still pick up the actual pitch of the mechanical string.

 

This effect _may_ have been responsible for the dissonant double tones you heard.

 

The solution is to diable the mag pickups as a source in the HD.

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Forgot to mention -

 

I was surprised the first time I realized that a lot of what I was hearing was due to mechanical coupling from the neck of my guitar, through the headphone cord which was touching the neck, causing my left earcup to vibrate. Check it yourself by comparing what you hear both with the cord falling away from the guitar, just touching the neck, and laid across the neck with a bit of tension.

 

Frankly, I think the modeled sounds from the JTV are very close. They sound more authentic to me when listening to a recording, rather than live. This may just be my preconceived notion of what a stratty thing is supposed to sound like. Well, plus, acoustically, it is a stratty thing. (or a gibson-y thing in the case of my new JTV-59).

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I'd like to know more about how to determine if both modeled and mag tones are going through my HD-500.  It seems like this might be happening intermittently, depending on how hard I pick, and mostly on the E-strings.  I do know that the HD-500 by default creates patches with dual signal paths, but I've changed that, and all my patches are cloned from patches that had the second path deleted.  So maybe this isn't happening for me?

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Bottom line - Try this:

 

* Record the Guitar Direct ( no microphones)

 

* Play the recording back, and I'm positive you will hear only 1 note per string in the current DSP Alt Tuning setting.

 

If not , then contact Line 6 Service ASAP.

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Up until now I've been using a standard guitar cord to connect to my HD-500.  Today I tried the VDI cable it came with, and holy cow!  I've got dual tones all over the place.  It seems as though the alt tunings are super-imposed on the regular tuning.  There is no question about the dual tones, I even recorded a loop and heard absolutely no difference.

 

The good news is that in standard tuning, the sound is much better with the VDI cable.  With the 1/4" jack there was a lot of white noise with all the models--like too many distortion boxes turned on at once.  But all is quite now, and the tones are much better.  Still, though, I don't feel like I hear enough difference between the mags and the models, and even the acoustics sound pretty electrified.  This has me thinking that I'm getting both at the same time in standard tuning too.  So either there's a setting I need to fix or I need to try yet another re-flash or my variax is junk.

 

After hearing this dual tone problem so very clearly today, I'm sure this is what I was hearing back on day 1 (last week).  While the acoustic tones are certainly more noticeable than one would expect when using alt tuning, this doesn't explain it.  So my problem is most prevalent (apparently constant) with the VDI cable, but it also occurs intermittently though a regular guitar cable.

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Quick note -- I've not messed with this yet, but I know the latest version of the JTV Workbench software says it has the ability to mix models & mags on the JTV's -- if your models and mags are being in that state of operation, you may be able to work with the software to stop it. Has anybody on the forum messed with this feature?? Might be worth a look... I'm thinking that your JTV being new would likely have the newest firmware?

 

Just a random thought... I haven't really seen anyone on the forum talking about this feature.

 

Dave

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I'd like to know more about how to determine if both modeled and mag tones are going through my HD-500.  

Line 6 POD HD500 Edit - main screen, upper left, INPUTS: INPUT 1 SOURCE & INPUT 2 SOURCE

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You really should not notice much difference between the VDI and 1/4 inch outputs from the JTV - so if you are getting white noise through the 1/4 inch as well as the model and mag sounds then that sounds like a problem with the JTV's hardware and you should send it in to Line 6 to be fixed.

 

As davidb7170 has mentioned - in Workbench HD you can choose to BLEND the models and mags for each model position - by default this should be set so there is no blend but form what you are describing perhaps your JTV has that BLEND set on for every model which is why you always hear the actual physical strings in std tuning through the mags whilest playing an alternate tuning through a model - plus it also explains why you don't hear much difference between the models and mags when using standard tuning - it's because the mags are always part of the sound you are hearing.

 

To verify this you need to connect your JTV up to Workbench HD which you can do through the HD500.  At the bottom centre of the screen you will see the MAG BLEND setting for the model patch you are on.  You may need to go through each one and ensure there is NO BLENDING taking place.

 

Also - try reflashing several time - some times just the action of reloading the firmware several times can mysteriously fix things.

 

 

If that still does not fix it then definitely send it back to Line 6 to be repaired.    I would send it back anyway as it should not have been set up from the factory in this way - but it sounds like there is a hardware failure.

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Thanks to you three (and all the others also)!  As jbreher noted, it could be in my HD-500, but I'll first look at the Workbench HD screen per edstar1960 and reflash multiple times.  As davidb7170 says, nobody else seems to be reporting this issue, which I find surprising.  There are a lot of folks running their variaxes into HD-500s, I think.  I'm also going to plug into a standard amp just for kicks (I use my HD almost exclusively as my amp).

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I played through a normal amp without headphones, and it appeared that it functioned properly, but of course I heard the acoustic tones.  I plugged into my HD using the VDI cable and the issue was present.  Next I looked at Workbench HD and the mix was all the way over to model, so that isn't the cause.  I re-flashed (the 2nd time) and didn't see any change with the alt tuning problem.  I then played a bit in standard tuning, then went back and tried alt tuning again, and lo and behold, the dual tone problem had gone away!

 

It's hard to imagine that re-flash would take some time to be digested by the variax, so I'm thinking it's an intermittent hardware issue.  We'll see if it rears its ugly head again.  

 

Meanwhile, the tones I'm hearing suggest that perhaps I'm still getting the mags plus the models, but this is just my hunch based on a few minutes of testing with no prior experience with a variax.  Everything sounds too much like the mags to me, but further exploration is called for before I can make any conclusions.

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Suggest review the HD500 Advanced Guide - 

 

http://line6.com/data/6/0a06434dfb244f7b7f489af64/application/pdf/POD%20HD500%20Advanced%20Guide%20v2.0%20-%20English%20(%20Rev%20A%20).pdf

 

as a test set use the VDI cable  - but set the HD500 Input to "Varaix" only  - ( not "Variax Mag") 

1413398120_1696297314_HD500_Variax.PNG

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When I switched to the VDI I noticed noise problems cease immediately. No more random outburts of noise. Note that I was using a PSU not a battery, and I'm 90% sure my unit is faulty anyways. Battery would be silent as well. 

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Stevekc, mine's been set to variax.  I just tried variax mag.  It seems to be functioning as described.

 

The next time I picked up my Variax, the dual tones in alt tuning were back.  Bummer!  When the problem flares up, the ghost tones are VERY noticeable, but I still record a loop in my HD to be sure.  

 

When it's working correctly in alt tuning, those acoustic tones aren't all that noticeable through the VDI cable (thus far).  Either it sounds like one would expect, or I get complete, utter discordance.  Yet through the 1/4" jack it was not so black and white for me--it was really more like shades of gray.  This causes me to suspect that the amount of bleed-through of unaltered or incorrect tones through the analog output varies, which (if true) would no doubt explain why I and others were so confounded and amazed that acoustic tones were so loud.  While in fact they are quite loud in this guitar, I'm not convinced that an attenuated false tone wasn't also electronically transmitted.

 

I've been scanning other threads in this forum, and it seems as though my problem is not uncommon.  There is also an issue with warble, which I've also experienced.  Someone wrote that they found that the variax cable that comes with the guitar was bad.  They swapped a good ethernet cable, re-flashed, and problem disappeared.  Others wrote that they dialed back the firmware to previous to 2.0 and the problem went away.   I will try these and report back.

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It wasn't easy, but I finally got my arms around the situation.  The ethernet cable swap gained me nothing.  After multiple failed attempts to reinstall the firmware with the original Line 6 cable--and let me tell you it's no fun when the popup says it failed and your switches are the wrong color--and it happened repeatedly--i finally reinstalled Monkey, then the variax interface, then the firmware to 1.82 and it FINALLY took.  But I still had the ghost tones in alternate tuning (alt tuning +mags) and was unhappy with the tones.  I re-flashed to the latest FW and it was the same as before.  The only improvement I could see over 11 days ago was that the volume of the models was now about the same as the mags instead of being well below the mags.

 

I gave up playing through the VDI cable thinking that with a TS cable I'd escape the issue, but could never find a decent tone.  Some chords in certain models sounded fairly sweet, but playing in any of the models always led to artifacts, warbling, unnatural distortion, and frustration.  I didn't want to play the thing, but I had to make some kind of decision on it so I kept trying.

 

Then it hit me.  I was trying to channel Keif in the Tele in Blues G and I heard ghost tones on the high E.  Was it those damn acoustic tones again?  (using the 1/4" TS cable as stated above)  I recorded a loop in the HD and listened carefully and there it was--the ghost notes were in the patch.  Very, very faintly and hard to pick out, but unmistakably there.  And as we all know, any false tone, no matter how low in level, will wreck the sound.  

 

This tells me that my mags are always bleeding through.  And I don't care much for the mags--they're pretty plain Jane and boring IMO.  At this point I wish they weren't there!  And actually, since the models are now louder than they were, the bleed through was probably proportionally more severe before. (this explains much for me)

 

My problems are:

 

1) big time bleeding of the mags into the models through the VDI cable to the HD

2) slight bleeding of the mags into the models through the 1/4" ts cable

3) white noise in all the models (much louder if I have a "stomp box" in my HD chain, whereas the mags and other guitars are very quiet in comparison).  I hear it more in the TS cable, but can still hear it in the VDI cable.  If anything, the models should be quieter than the mags.

 

I called MF and they were VERY cool about a return/exchange.  He asked if I wanted to try another variax, saying that they don't mind if they ship multiple guitars until I'm happy.  And since my 45-day trial period would be reset and the shipping would be on them, I'm very tempted.  After all, if the JTV is good enough for Steve Howe to play in concert, it oughta be good enough for me.  Plus I've still got 2 weeks, so I'm going to think about this some more.

 

The tuners and the whammy bridge on this guitar are VERY cool.  It intonates better than any guitar I've tried over the past decade--right out of the box it was set up perfectly, and unlike most guitars the interval from nut to fret 1 is perfect!  I like the look (black/rosewood/blonde peg head) and the balance.  But I'm more than a bit shaken by these electrical problems as well as the strings slipping off the nut and fretboard when I play.  

 

Another shortcoming: I notice a huge lack of sustain when playing lead.  Is this related to the electronic defect(s) or a characteristic of the JTV-69?  Anybody?

 

Thanks!

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From your exhaustive experimentation and description it sounds like you have a faulty JTV69 - and in my opinion you would be best to send it back and get a new one - and take MF up on their offer that they will keep sending you replacements until you are happy - wow what an offer!   There are excellent JTVs out there - plenty of people have reported having JTVs they are very happy with on this forum - so chances are you will get a good one sooner or later - so send it back and get a new one because the electronic problems you have with this one are not going to magically fix themselves.  Good luck and I hope the next one is a keeper!    :)

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Just wondering if this was ever resolved.
I've had the same problem since I got my JTV 89F last Nov. and I've never been able to use any of the alt tunings because they are unusable with the mags bleeding and causing the dissonant notes. :(

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good luck i bought the hype and now it sits... hate the sound harsh and brittle...did all the reflash nonsence and changed software versions but could never achive a usefull sound out of the thing. got a autotuned guitar and even though it is a ok made guitar the models were a little more realistic didn't have the overtones and high end distortion. oh and for everyone who doesn't like my opinion on this guitar I couldn't care less. smiles

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I own a JTV-69, Roland GR-55 and Antares ATG-1 Autotune Pedal.  All of them have their strong points and weak points.  The JTV has the widest range of available models, the Roland gives you useful effect and amplifier modeling in addition to a few decent sounding models, but overall the ATG-1 has the most accurate modeling, lowest noise floor and artifact-free pitch shifting. 

 

I'm coming around to the belief that Line6's reliance on piezo transducers is not the best design choice.  The quality and characteristics of these pickups tends to vary wildly and the end result is not always convincing.

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I own a JTV-69, Roland GR-55 and Antares ATG-1 Autotune Pedal.  All of them have their strong points and weak points.  The JTV has the widest range of available models, the Roland gives you useful effect and amplifier modeling in addition to a few decent sounding models, but overall the ATG-1 has the most accurate modeling, lowest noise floor and artifact-free pitch shifting. 

 

I'm coming around to the belief that Line6's reliance on piezo transducers is not the best design choice.  The quality and characteristics of these pickups tends to vary wildly and the end result is not always convincing.

 

Doesn't the Auto Tune guitar use piezos too? The reason they use piezos is because it has a better frequency response to work with than a magnetic pickup.

The whole point of a modeling guitar is to make it sound as accurate as possible to what it's emulating, and if you're cutting out a bunch of frequencies by using a mag pickup, you're not going to get good results.

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I don't have an Autotune guitar.  I purchased the standalone ATG-1 pedalboard and drive it from a Roland GK-3 magnetic pickup (currently) mounted on a Korean PRS Soapbar II SE.  I'll respectfully disagree with your point on the mag pickup "cutting out a bunch of frequencies".  There's nothing about a magnetic transducer that inherently limits bandwidth (within the audible range).  If that were the case, we wouldn't have millions of dynamic microphones out there.  Piezo transducers tend to have all sorts of unpleasant spikes in their native response and typically exhibit rather major production variation.  I'm convinced that Line6 uses the piezo transducers because they are far less expensive than a quality hexaphonic mag pickup.  The proof is in the listening and I find the ATG-1 modeling (acoustic guitar particularly) to be much more realistic and the pitch shift just extraordinary.

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Doesn't the Auto Tune guitar use piezos too?

I didn't know there was an Auto Tune guitar!

 

If you are talking about the Auto Tune ATG floor processor...it works with any Roland GK pickup equipped guitar.

And owning an old Roland VG7 amp that has alt tuning, guitar models, and amp models....I can tell you that the open tunings, alt tunings, acoustic guitar models, and drop tunings with it blow away my JTV89F

 

I actually got the JTV89F because I wanted to be able to have open tunings and use any amp. But so far the open tunings on my JTV sound like crap because of all the ghost notes making dissonant tones. I've never been able to use it with my band even once in that way.

 

So from my limited perspective of owning both GK pickup equipped guitars and the JTV89F...I would say that the GK pickup is far superior.

I'm not happy to say that...because my GK guitars are ones I had for the last 15 years. The JTV is one I only got back in Nov. of 2014

I didn't want to spend that money but I did... thinking that the technology would have leaped forward dramatically and sound even "better".  :(

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Downgraded my jtv69 from firmware 2.21 to 1.71

All models sounded fuller and much better.Also the acoustic was more realistic.

Alt tuning is better too .(no ghost tones )

What is wrong with the HD firmware?????

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Just wondering if this was ever resolved.

I've had the same problem since I got my JTV 89F last Nov. and I've never been able to use any of the alt tunings because they are unusable with the mags bleeding and causing the dissonant notes. :(

Hey Robbie,

 

Just finding this now...

 

I resolved my problem by sending it back to MF.  In exchange, for about the same money, I got a PRS SE Custom 24 and an Ibanez Iron Label "s" that has 3 Dimarzios standard.  Much better tones, and prettier too.

 

After all of the above, I deemed my JTV defective.  There are enough credible-seeming players (not to mention Steve Howe) using the JTV that they can't all be like mine.  Too bad.  Great concept.

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Maybe it's the Korean ones that have the problems...like mine.

I'm guessing that guys like Steve Howe are using the far more expensive USA made ones.​

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I still think the piezos are probably a better reference point than magnetics, but who knows.

There was a video explaining piezos vs magnetics, and one of the points in the video was that piezos have a flat, broad, frequency response compared to magnetics.

 

I don't get why'd they would use piezos because they're "cheaper" when they put it on an expensive guitar. 

 

I think it's just their preferred reference point to use for modeling. I figured it was a decision for quality of tone vs artifacts from sound source, and they thought quality was more important than the artifacts piezo presents compared to magnetics.

Depending on your playing style, it's a dealbreaker or dealmaker.

 

The biggest question is "how real does it sound", and outweighed things like "why does it sound weird when I palm mute"

 

That's my opinion, but I could be wrong.

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clay-man, it doesn't have anything to do with frequency response of piezo vs magnetic.
 
In modeling the piezo is simply a "trigger" for the modeling software and doesn't pass on any actual sound (that is all created by the modeling software)
Now, if you were not modeling and simply using the piezo as an actual output audio signal...they can approximate a kind of cool "acoustic" sound. But you wouldn't want to turn up the gain with it...unless you like the sound of a distorted crappy acoustic. lol
 
For instance Roland uses their GK divided pickup to get 6 different triggers (one per string) and Variax uses piezo pickups (6 of them...one per string).
 
The only reason is so that they can trigger each string individually for modeling (you obviously can't do alt tunings with a magnetic pickup because it would "capture" all the strings at once instead of individually)

​

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No true.

 

In synthesis it is a trigger, but in a JTV the guitar modelling takes the signal from the peizo and manipulates it to sound like something else.  The cleaner and fuller that signal the better the modelling result is.  It is exactly the same a the Amp Models in the HD500.

 

Alt tunings on a JTV are achieved by doing real-time pitch shifting on the 6 strings seperately.

 

The Roland system is completely different in the way it works variax

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To make matters more confusing, Roland 13-pin processing pedals use the divided pickup for both functions.  Their COSM modeling does DSP convolution on the actual pickup sound (similar to a Variax), while the synth functions and guitar-to-MIDI extract envelope and frequency information from the pickup signal (what I think you mean by triggering).

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clay-man, it doesn't have anything to do with frequency response of piezo vs magnetic.
 
In modeling the piezo is simply a "trigger" for the modeling software and doesn't pass on any actual sound (that is all created by the modeling software)

Now, if you were not modeling and simply using the piezo as an actual output audio signal...they can approximate a kind of cool "acoustic" sound. But you wouldn't want to turn up the gain with it...unless you like the sound of a distorted crappy acoustic. lol

 
For instance Roland uses their GK divided pickup to get 6 different triggers (one per string) and Variax uses piezo pickups (6 of them...one per string).
 
The only reason is so that they can trigger each string individually for modeling (you obviously can't do alt tunings with a magnetic pickup because it would "capture" all the strings at once instead of individually)

​

 

 

Hi Rob. I don't mean to be rude or condescending, but you're wrong. Your description of the piezo being a mere trigger is false.

 

The audio that comes out of the Variax is the audio coming from the Piezo pickups, and processed through convulsion technology to make the piezo signal sound like that of what guitar your currently modeling, hence why I argue that using a piezo is a better reference point in theory, because of the frequency response compared to a magnetic.

 

If it was a trigger, the sound would be one dimensional and sound like a synthesizer, and not a guitar, which would defeat the whole purpose.

 

You're arguing that Modeling is synthesis, which in that case, they'd call it synthesis in the first place, not modeling.

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I've never even heard of "convulsion technology" :)
 
So I'll just concede to you that piezo's are passing along actual audio instead of simple sting vibrations to the modeling software.
 
It still is neccessary to use a piezo or proprietary technology like the GK divided pickup to isolate each string.
A magnetic pickup really DOES capture audio from the string and the wood of the guitar. Which would make it impossible to put 6 different magnetic pickups on the guitar (one for each string). Still not sure how the piezo's could be doing actual audio capture and be able to isolate the strings individually.
 
This is from the Music Man website describing how their piezo pickups work:
"Piezo pickups use crystals that generate a signal when you pick the string. Our piezo pickups are built into each saddle. The piezo transducers create an acoustic tone by picking up on the vibration of the wood."
 
Here's another description of how piezos work:
Piezos work by picking-up sound vibrations from a musical instrument as it is played. The vibrations are converted into electrical energy, which is sent via connection wire to an amplification or recording device.
 
That's why I was saying that they are acting as a "trigger" (the only analogy I could come up with). The actual audio created on a guitar with a piezo is a sort of "acoustic" sound. Having owned a couple of guitars in the past that had piezos as well as magnetics I can tell you that the piezo's were there to try and "fake" an acoustic sound with a clean setting. Sounded horrible with distortion. So my educated guess would be that Line 6 would want no part of that kind of sound to deal with and would instead simply use the signal generated by the piezo crystals to feed the electronics in the guitar.
But if you say I'm wrong...that's cool. It's not important. Just wanted to clarify why I said what I said.  :)
 
Bottom line is magnetic pickups simply would not work for this application, regardless of frequency response.

​

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Only poorly designed convolution is likely to cause convulsions.

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I've never even heard of "convulsion technology" :)
 
So I'll just concede to you that piezo's are passing along actual audio instead of simple sting vibrations to the modeling software.
 
It still is neccessary to use a piezo or proprietary technology like the GK divided pickup to isolate each string.

A magnetic pickup really DOES capture audio from the string and the wood of the guitar. Which would make it impossible to put 6 different magnetic pickups on the guitar (one for each string). Still not sure how the piezo's could be doing actual audio capture and be able to isolate the strings individually.

 
This is from the Music Man website describing how their piezo pickups work:

"Piezo pickups use crystals that generate a signal when you pick the string. Our piezo pickups are built into each saddle. The piezo transducers create an acoustic tone by picking up on the vibration of the wood."

 
Here's another description of how piezos work:

Piezos work by picking-up sound vibrations from a musical instrument as it is played. The vibrations are converted into electrical energy, which is sent via connection wire to an amplification or recording device.

 
That's why I was saying that they are acting as a "trigger" (the only analogy I could come up with). The actual audio created on a guitar with a piezo is a sort of "acoustic" sound. Having owned a couple of guitars in the past that had piezos as well as magnetics I can tell you that the piezo's were there to try and "fake" an acoustic sound with a clean setting. Sounded horrible with distortion. So my educated guess would be that Line 6 would want no part of that kind of sound to deal with and would instead simply use the signal generated by the piezo crystals to feed the electronics in the guitar.

But if you say I'm wrong...that's cool. It's not important. Just wanted to clarify why I said what I said.  :)

 
Bottom line is magnetic pickups simply would not work for this application, regardless of frequency response.

​

 

 

Well, the thing is, piezos are used to get an "acoustic sound" because of their frequency response.

When you strike the strings of your electric without it being plugged in, it sounds kind of like an acoustic, just not as nice, right?

 

A magnetic pickup cuts the highs and lows and focuses on the mid frequencies of the strings. Now, I know that you can design magnetic pickups to have a more broad and flat frequency response, but yeah.

 

Piezos, are capturing the sound of the strings, but are capturing the highs and lows too, and has a flatter frequency response.

 

Since when you're dealing with modeling, you'll want the sound of the strings without any coloration to the natural sound of the strings vibrating, so you can leave the sound of the modeled pickups, and bodies, to the DSP. 

Basically, the piezos allow for the cleanest signal for the DSP to work with.

 

So you basically want the sound of the strings before it passes through any magnetic pickups or any other coloration, and I think Line 6 thought piezos were the best choice.

 

Here's the video I was talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHx0OWqVVnI

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