String Levels and tone on Variax help please

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by John Mark Painter, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a Variax Standard.
    The Piezo levels are whacked and I am trying to dial it in.
    I am trying not get distracted by doing the extreme band-aids of stacking pickups on top of each other etc....

    More than just levels...the midrange is extreme.

    In Global String levels, I am pulling the low strings down a good -12 db to -10db. I have tried more extreme settings to see if it fixes the problem but it doesn't seem to.
    I dampen the strings above the nut to get rid of the sympathetic resonance.

    Symptom #1
    The Strat tones have a ton of midrange and none of the glassy attack of the mag pickups.
    Just trying to get the Neck pickup in the ballpark.

    Spank Single Coil 500k

    Thoughts?
     
  2. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    Just an update....
    I had restrung it with 9’s
    I just picked up a set of nickel 10’s.
    WAY better
     
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  3. Elantric

    Elantric Silver Supporting Member

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  4. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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  5. Frank Ritchotte

    Frank Ritchotte Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes sir. We ship with D'Addario .10-.46 (D'Addario EXL110BT). The fine tuning is done with these strings.
     
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  6. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    A couple of things I have figured out and dug up through research....
    Similar to Stock Cabs in Helix...DON'T TURD POLISH.
    If you immediately start swapping out bodies and dragging pickups to odd locations before you are confident in your setup, you will be chasing your tail.

    A couple of stock models are most prone to overload and you want to set your Global String Levels to work with them first so you have the best baseline to start from
    Special 5, Acoustic 5 and Sitar.

    There is a type of gain staging going on.
    Changing Pickup volume is different than changing Preset volume.
    Global String Level and Preset String Levels MIGHT be the same (though the Global is in db and the preset is in percentage).
    Setting Global to not overload and then dialing in preset percentage for certain models seems like a good strategy.
     
  7. RandoMan

    RandoMan Member

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    One thing I haven't had time to figure out yet - if I dial in my per-string levels in Workbench and upload to the Variax preset, how are those affected by the per-string levels in HX Edit? I don't see a "Don't Force" switch for string levels in HX Edit. So perhaps setting each string to 100% in HX Edit means use the Variax preset levels as-is? Or does 100% in HX Edit override the Variax preset levels?
     
  8. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    It looks like HX Edit overrides it.
    There is the Global String level setting in HX Edit and then per preset.
    I just set a preset string to 0 in Workbench and then changed it in HX Edit.
    The volume came up to the HX setting
     
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  9. davidb7170

    davidb7170 Member

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    I put a lot of effort into balancing out my JTV 59 & 69S using global string levels that affect all presets, and per preset string levels for each preset. Your post concerned me so I just tried the string level control in the Helix.

    The default setting in the Helix for these parameters is 100%, BUT it does not affect the Variax string levels unless you move it off of its default. I have some pretty extreme volume cuts on my lower strings in some models (talking 40% - 50% levels in some), and they are still there at the Helix default 100%. When I moved it from 100% The volume jumped way up. When I returned the setting to 100%, the string was at 100%. I then changed the JTV preset and then back to the one I was messing with, it was back to its normal level I had adjusted it to in my Variax preset.

    Whew, you had me worried there.... Sooo... it only messes with the string level if you change and save it to your Helix preset as part of the Helix patch, from what I can tell.

    Side note, I usually do not save JTV models with the Helix presets, except where I'm using typically acoustic, banjo, or a special tuning on an electric model involved presets. Most of the time, I'm using the JTV mags, so I make sure I'm in mag mode when I save a preset I'm working on. It remembers the mag/model mode you save.

    Dave

    PS - I did this on the Helix itself, not with HXEdit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  10. RandoMan

    RandoMan Member

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    OK, thanks for testing that! Like others, I have some string level adjustments in the Variax presets so I don't want the Helix to override them. It would be nice to have a "Don't Force" switch like we do for the other Variax features.
     

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