12 May 2014

Cort Sunset NY (QC slept again?)











The Guitar Tech
  • He is commonly associated or referred to as the 3rd party in resolving problems that appear in new or old instruments there for he is not a QC person for any particular company.Just merely exist to provide service with consent of the client. 
The Client/Buyer.
  • They are an important factor for the existence musical business.Regardless of Noobie or Pro player,they sometime needs second opinion about their intended purchase.Such opinion may come from circle of friends prior or a Tech after(2 days later).There for they are not the QC hands and might over looked an unpleasant issue or more in their instrument.
The Manufacturer
  • Having knowledge together with impressive and customized tooling capability.Their job is to deliver a workable/functional instrument regardless of any price range/model to the end user.Having a QC dept should deter malfunction such as weak low E output when plugged in,widen saddle slot that might result in uneven down force on the piezo elements,over sanded saddle that will move when tuning,checking the B Band piezos for defects.For this Cort Sunset NY none of the above were resolve in the factory.QC slept again?
The Solution
  • I sanded the saddle bottom flat and tapping around the saddle with masking tapes in order to make it vertical or close enabling the piezo to get maximum string vibration/output from all six instead of just five.For those who intend to get this guitar,do audibly check the electronics before buying.   

Not QC Dept
yustech



15 comments:

Vasilis Scorpio said...

Dear Yustech,

I recently purchased cort sunset ny. All strings have the same output in my guitar, but I have one other problem. When I plug the guitar in soundcards, amplifiers, mixers, there is a hiss, a noise. It reminds me somehow whitenoise.

I have volume level set at full, treble and bass at middle. Have you noticed that problem in the guitar that you repaired? Is a b-band a11 electronics problem in your opinion? What should I do?

The tech of the store where I purchased the guitar told me that the preamp of the guitar boosts treble, that's the reason for the hiss. He told me that it's a common phenomenon and that I should get used to it.

If I set the treble knob to 30%, the hiss is not audible, but then the sound of my guitar is too bass, and high frequencies are missing.

What can I do?

Thank you very much!

Best Wishes

Vasilis Scorpio said...

Dear Yustech,

I recently purchased cort sunset ny. All strings have the same output in my guitar, but I have one other problem. When I plug the guitar in soundcards, amplifiers, mixers, there is a hiss, a noise. It reminds me somehow whitenoise.

I have volume level set at full, treble and bass at middle. Have you noticed that problem in the guitar that you repaired? Is a b-band a11 electronics problem in your opinion? What should I do?

The tech of the store where I purchased the guitar told me that the preamp of the guitar boosts treble, that's the reason for the hiss. He told me that it's a common phenomenon and that I should get used to it.

If I set the treble knob to 30%, the hiss is not audible, but then the sound of my guitar is too bass, and high frequencies are missing.

What can I do?

Thank you very much!

Best Wishes

YusTech said...

Hello Vasilis

For this unit that I'd tested.I hadn't noticed such occurrence of hiss.Maybe because I was focusing more on resolving the strings output issues.Could your external gear be over amplifying the hiss?

As for the B-Band,I have in the past came across Yamaha Silent classical that uses the B Band piezo element.The difference here is the preamp system is Yamaha's own circuitry.There for I believe this B Band preamp may have its short comings in terms of clean processing?

Lastly, should you need to max out all the knob in order to get a sufficient output tells me that your saddle is not fully pressing the piezo.You may get all outputs but not loud as it should be.

You might want to bother you tech again to experiment/make a new saddle(keep the old one's just in case).My client went to the store and found the same model not out putting as loud as the one I modded in this post.I've yet to receive any feedback from him so I believe it worked well for him now?

Thank you and do sign up as my follower.
yustech

YusTech said...

and another thing,keep me posted :)

Thank you.
yustech

Vasilis Scorpio said...

Thank you very much for your quick reply, YusTech! If we lived in the same country, I would have already sent you my guitar to fix it!

How much gain should I have in volume knob? 70%? 50%? Now, I set volume to max in order to produce sufficient sound.

The tech didn't want to lift the saddle from the bridge. He told me that it is dangerous and we might destroy the sensitive piezo. Is it actually dangerous? I'm afraid to pull the saddle... If I break it?

Maybe the full volume creates the hiss, because of bad touch with the saddle. More volume, more noise.

Is it easy for a luthier to make another saddle that would fix the problem? Or he would destroy my guitar? You are the first person that actually knows details about this guitar. How did you find it? Good or bad?

I follow your blog now! Very nice work! You are great!

Vasilis

YusTech said...

Hello Vasilis

Unlike electric guitars controls where min or max volume settings gives different tone characters.An ideal situation and construction any active piezo electronic system isn't so and should deny you(in most time) the need to max out the volume at your guitar.Finding a good balance between your gear input gain from your guitar volume would be the norm here.There for rolling the vol knob beyond 12 o'clock isn't necessary.

From past experience there's danger when handling a piezo element.However this may apply to Fishman,Martin Thinline,LR Bags.Do not try to/accidently bend those.The B Band piezo has a bit of flex maybe due to the nature of its design.Sort of like a installation handling improvement to the brands mentioned earlier.So pulling/taking out the saddle only won't damage the piezo underneath.

Your fourth paragraph is certainly whats came across my mind.Due to the weak down force from strings to saddle(uneven bottom) to piezo.Rolling the vol beyond 12' gets you more circuitry noise from the preamp.That's not good.

Ask you tech to un string and take out the saddle,sand the bottom surface with 220 sand paper(on flat surface too). The goal here is to get it flat and standing vertical when putting back so it sits firmly on the piezo.If it doesn't stand up straight you may have to put around masking tape for it to fit snug.I went to to the extent of removing the piezo and re fitting it(just to be sure).

Aside from saddle and saddle slot design flaw.This is a good guitar.Its semi electric,not bulky or fragile to handle,Well priced,Stylish,It even has trus rod too for good environment adaptation adjustment.Oh ya,replace the output jack to Switchcraft 12B for better output jack contacts.Ha ha.

Thank you/keep me posted
yustech

Vasilis Scorpio said...

Hi Yustech,

I went with my guitar (cort sunset ny) to a guitar tech who claimed to know a lot about piezo pickups, and especially b-band.

He removed the saddle, removed the crystal, changed the material which is underneath the crystal (he put something more stable) and he rubbed the saddle in order to fit properly to the crystal. He tried a lot to achieve the same output from all strings. He told me that E and A produced very tiny output before, as you mentioned in your post (I haven't really noticed that, to tell the truth).

The fact is that the output is not as strong as I would like to be after the service, and the hiss hasn't disappeared. But I think that the hiss is not as loud as before, as the ratio between the guitar sound and the preamp noise has changed. So, the problem is solved in a way.

He told me that the major advantage of b-band is also the major disadvantage. The sound is very realistic, like recording with a microphone, and because the crystal perceives so many details, it also perceives noise. So, a hiss is always accompanying the sound of the guitar. Last week I played with two guitars with fishman preamps. They were pretty quiet, but the sound wasn't so realistic. So... I don't know which is better, quiet sound or realistic sound???

My guitar has a little less noise from the guitar in this video:
(0:57)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndalymvpcgs

I have to mention that he checked the frets and told me that were horribly buzzing when bringing the truss rod in normal position. I left the guitar to him to rub all the frets. Now, my guitar is perfect! No more fret buzz! And the output is much better! I am happy at last...

This is a nice, guitar, value for money. The factory produces a lot of them in a low price, and Quality Control doesn't pay much attention to every guitar, because of the low price I suppose. So, if someone wants to buy that guitar, he should first listen to the electronics of b-band, and if he finally buys it, he should get it checked by a guitar tech for common fret and electronics problems. The money for service plus the money for the guitar is not much for the result...

Yustech, thank you very much for your advices! Keep on working and informing us!

Best Wishes,
Scorpio

YusTech said...

Hello Vasilis

Glad to read your Tech highest effort has turn fruitful to your side.Your tech technical opinion does interest me.Hopefully one day I'll be fortunate to have my ears as experience as his.Thank you for your elaborate updates.Much appreciate your visits here.They say hearing it is as important as playing it.

Pleased
yustech

Tom Carlos said...

I too purchased a used Sunset NY and have the same problem. I need a new saddle as mine is too low and it looks like someone used a saddle for a steel string. The guitar came with a shim. But the hiss is there. Someone else mentioned that these pickups fail over time and perhaps I need to replace mine. I am not sure if it used the 22R or 29R. It sure looks like 1/8th inch wide. But if you look at the specs for the 29R, I mine is certainly not 80mm long! That must be a mistake?

Tom

YusTech said...

Hey Tom,I don't know about both 22R and 29R or the difference between them.What I can advise is you find a saddle that would fit the saddle way in the bridge.An oversize thick saddle would be better so you could trim it down to size(snug is best).Make sure it stands vertical perpendicular to the bridge.Both right string break angle and even spread down force ensures balanced strings output.

email me pictures if you could.

Tom Carlos said...

I will order the 22R transducer and we'll see if that is the culprit.

I opened the Preamp module. It uses a TLC2262 preamp. Unless there is some odd setup for gain, I don't see why a regular ole piezo pickup cannot work. If the 22R does not work out, I might install a regular piezo then solder across the Plus and Ground leads on the input.

Stay tuned....

Tom

YusTech said...

Hello again Tom,

I don't dispute your suspicious towards the piezo however as for the preamp,I believe the hiss is by default of the preamp design itself.The hiss shows a boosted frequency at the treble realm.Unless you could reverse engineer it and change a few caps and resistors it would decrease the hiss but at a loss of clarity.
If you do have some electronics background I suggest you look at Yamaha AEX500NS active circuit.The circuit schematic is available online.Buy or build one for the Cort.It could be better than the stock. :)

YusTech said...

and Tom,email me if you want the Yamaha schematics.

Tom Carlos said...

Thank you... yes, I have some electronics background. The B-Band board uses micro components. But I might be able to reproduce it using a project board.

I have ordered a replacement for the 22R. Let's see what that does. In the meantime, if you have the schematic for the Yamaha AEX500NS, I would gladly take a copy.

Thomasacarlos@gmail.com

By the way... the Yamaha is another guitar I would have considered but they are hard to find. I would want to try one out first before purchasing.

YusTech said...

Sending it to you