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sustain, palm muting and volume issues with the at-200


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#1 anomalous

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:18 AM

Local shop gave me a deal on one that I couldn't refuse.

First impressions:
This thing sounds pretty awesome clean.
Tuning it is pretty easy to get the hang of.
No detectable lag.
Sustain leaves much to be desired. Pretty much everything suffers as a result... chording, lead, palm mutes.
Distorted guitar doesn't sound the best. I'm hoping that pickup modeling fixes that. I'll see if i can tweak the rest of my setup like amp etc.
Palm muting sounds pretty bad. I think its made worse due to the sustain issue. I have no gates on. Compression might help.. I'll try to tweak. The palm muting thing is kind of a big deal for me since i throw dashes of it here and there in almost everything I play. Sometimes its hard to distinguish between palm muted chord and normal played one. I don't think the piezo's can do the job here.
I'm not sure if this is related to the sustain, but the higher strings are hard to hear when playing chords.

I havent updated it yet. I'm not sure if a 6db volume increase is going to help things out or not.

Anybody having a similar experience?

#2 maxxbass

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:40 PM

Definitely have the same experience as you. They claim to have fixed the problem in the latest firmware upgrade but nobody has made a video or proven that they actually can accomplish any of what you described above. I for one am not going to part with a bunch of extra money to upgrade the guitar to find out that I now have more money invested in a guitar that performs the same way...just louder and brighter.

BTW: There is pickup modeling in the AT-200...the default is supposed to be the 'Modern Humbucker'. It sounds about as modern as a 1981 Powersound pickup. If you play high gain rock or metal and do any kind of palm muting...do NOT buy this guitar...you will be incredibly disappointed.

#3 Clansfolk

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:29 PM

I can confirm the latest volume increase (6db I believe) makes the Autotune on an almost equal (not tested with a meter other than my ears) volume to the un-autotune setting.

♫ Pete
Still plucking after all these years
https://www.facebook...ps/PeaveyAT200/

#4 maxxbass

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:24 PM

I appreciate the information Pete. The real test will be to hear if this makes any difference in how the Antares software performs doing heavy riffs and palm-muting. From the factory the default Antares AT-200 firmware cannot handle this type of playing as the tone becomes squashed and has no definition. This style of music has never been demonstrated to work with the Antares software in any video or soundfile that I have heard or viewed. Distorted tones can sound ok if you play straight chords or leads but the plam-muting style of playing is heavily employed by rock and metal musicians. It's funny, the guitar by design has a late 80's shredder body style and 'active' looking pickups but it is NOT a metal guitar at all (at least not with the Antares system engaged).

I'll be quiet if someone at Antares takes the time to prove that their guitar can do heavy rock or metal. In fact, send an AT-200 to Ola Englund and see if he can make it sound good (<---as he understands what it takes to make real metal riffs and tones). By the way, plam-muting and heavy playing has been the norm since the 70's in the rock/metal world and the ability to do these techniques should be possible on any guitar with a modern humbucker. If you play the Antares software thru a clean amp you will really have no idea what we are talking about...this only applies to high-gain amps and the performance of the pickup model employeed in this manner. I think the AT-200 sounds pretty good if you are going for a clean (although bland) sound. I currently own over 24 guitars and the modeled pickup in the AT-200 sounds the worst of all of them put together (in fact, the neck pickup model is so bad that I can't imagine ever using it for anything). I am hoping that they get better with their modeling and that they offer packs that aren't so expensive.

#5 none

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:00 AM

How do pinch harmonics work with the models?

#6 maxxbass

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:27 PM

They actually work pretty good once the solid tune kicks in. I kind of dig the harmonics.

#7 PalmMuted

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 02:23 AM

My wife just brought this guitar home and I am incredibly disappointed.  The thing sounds like it has a Harmonist effect on constantly.  I play metal and this is definitely not what I wanted.  It was a cool idea to able to play in different tunings (drop C, Baritone, & standard without having to have a different guitar with a different gauge of strings on each), but the sound is definitely not metal. Is there any way to make this thing sound like a normal guitar without Harmony always being on?  This thing make my distortion sound like some kind of fuzz pedal...again with too much harmonics.  Any way this can be fixed or did I just loose $600?

#8 maxxbass

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:23 PM

The technology (in its current state) is pretty useless for anything that requires high gain and palm muting techniques (which is pretty much all metal and rock). This might be why Peavey and Antares both do not have demo videos of the guitar playing with anything but a clean tone because this thing can't seem to hang. Doesn't mean that Antares can't go back to the drawing board and then charge $399 for a "Super Duper Ultra Platinum Killer Metal to the Core Pack" that solves their obvious deficiency. Big time FAIL!

#9 Henrik

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 04:25 PM

View PostPalmMuted, on 31 March 2013 - 02:23 AM, said:

My wife just brought this guitar home and I am incredibly disappointed.  The thing sounds like it has a Harmonist effect on constantly.  I play metal and this is definitely not what I wanted.  It was a cool idea to able to play in different tunings (drop C, Baritone, & standard without having to have a different guitar with a different gauge of strings on each), but the sound is definitely not metal. Is there any way to make this thing sound like a normal guitar without Harmony always being on?  This thing make my distortion sound like some kind of fuzz pedal...again with too much harmonics.  Any way this can be fixed or did I just loose $600?

Is there a possibility that you are hearing the acoustic sound of the strings along with the signal coming from your amp?  If you don't have the amp volume turned up loud enough (We are not talking blasting here...), there is good chance that you are hearing both the natural sound of the strings and the amp, which can sound like peculiar harmony.  Be sure that your amp is up loud enough to where you cannot hear the acoustic sound of the guitar and see what happens.

#10 anomalous

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:43 AM

View PostHenrik, on 03 April 2013 - 04:25 PM, said:

Is there a possibility that you are hearing the acoustic sound of the strings along with the signal coming from your amp?  If you don't have the amp volume turned up loud enough (We are not talking blasting here...), there is good chance that you are hearing both the natural sound of the strings and the amp, which can sound like peculiar harmony.  Be sure that your amp is up loud enough to where you cannot hear the acoustic sound of the guitar and see what happens.

any tips on making the palm muting sound any better? in its current state its unplayable for what i want to do with it.

#11 maxxbass

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:05 PM

Shocking...3 weeks and no tips from Antares on how to make palm muting better. I'm sure that they would have only told you it is a hardware problem and you should talk to Peavey.

BTW: I dropped the price of my AT-200 on craigslist to $250 and still NO TAKERS. I think that people have realized that it is what it is...but no way am I going to drop another nickel into updating this guitar when I am probably going to end up giving it away for less than $200. This should really be of concern to anyone who purchased the AT-200 for $499 (+tax, shipping...etc) and then sunk over $300 buying the right hardware to upgrade the software pack. Guess what...you will probably have the same luck that I am trying to sell this thing. Nobody wants a cheap guitar with gimmick software installed that runs on batteries.

#12 60hum

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 12:14 PM

Maxxbass, would you point me to your Craigslist ad, I would be more than thrilled to buy your AT-200 for $250, as a backup to my current AT-200 :-) I think this guitar is brilliant and I'm very happy with it.

Oh and one more thing, the right hardware to upgrade the guitar cost me a total of $40 at the local guitar shop : it's just a midi Y cable ($10) and a MIDI sport 1X1 (USB to MIDI converter) ($30) that work like a charm. I have no idea how you ended up paying $300 to get your MIDI connection working... Seems a bit exessive...
And if you buy a guitar that upadtes thru MIDI, it is expected that you should buy with it some sort of MIDI adapter. This is not a hidden cost, just as buying a guitar jack to plug your guitar into an amp is not a hidden cost... Or buying guitar strings every month... Or buying picks...
Hope this helps :-)

#13 maxxbass

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 02:15 PM

Hey 60hum - Since I seriously doubt you are legit about wanting to buy this guitar and about as sincere as your condescending response why don't I point you to sending me a private message with your email and I will be happy to provide you with the details of the guitar for sale...of course, by the way you posted your reply, you have NO real intentuion of actually buying this guitar. You are merely trying to make it out like there actually might be a viable person who would pay $$ for a gimmick guitar. You ARE aware that you have to purchase separate softyware upgrade packs for each guitar that you have...it would cost you $299 x 2 if you wanted to have the Complete software pack on 2 guitars.

In my post above I meant to state that it would be over $300 to purchase the hardware AND the software pack to upgrade the guitar (since the software packs top out at $299). Maybe it was just a reading comprehension problem but I also I also stated that it would be of concern for anyone who did spend $$ on the software and hardware to upgrade this guitar...I did not upgrade and will not. It also sucks for me since I do not have a windows computer and feel awkward asking a friend to "borrow" their computer to update my guitar. I looked into have a virtual version of windows on my Mac but it's going to cost me a bunch of cash just to do that and why screw up a perfectly good Mac? Remember the good ol days when Macs were THE computer to use for anything audio or video related. I guess Antares didn't get that memo.

You also stated that it's just a MIDI Y cable...well nobody sells them at any of the local music stores and to have one shipped the cheapest Antares approved Y cable I could find was $24 with shipping (because if you use a non-Antares approved Y cable it would be your fault why the upgrade didn't work). Would love you to provide a link to the company that sells a $10 MIDI cable. Also remember that I might live in Australia and having anything shipped to Australia is incredibly expensive. BTW: Since you make it out like it is so simple and are so good at upgrading AT-200 guitars, how did you get the Midisport to work without buying barrell connectors? Seems as if you are trying to downplay what it actually takes to make this guitar work. Have you not been reading all of the post regarding others having issues, other forums with unhappy users with software and hardware problems and facebook pages with the same? Since you just joined the forum and this is your first post and you are SO knowledgeable about everything Antares...you must work for Antares...right?

If Antares actually cared about their customers they would have reached out to me when I asked them to over 2 months ago but at this point they have not. They are simply a company with a cool idea, bad customer service, incredibly expensive software, an archaic upgrade method and a bunch of unhappy customers.

;-) right back atcha 60

#14 digeratti

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 02:39 PM

I've just received my AT200 and so far, it's exactly what I'd expected.
This is a low end guitar with plastic nut and cheap pickups, all of which I anticipated and plan to replace when I setup the guitar.
A buffalo shin bone nut will improve the sound this guitar produces, a ton, as will better pickups (although the pickups aren't used via the DPS and Antares software).
The reason I will replace the pickups is that I plan to practice with the guitar, playing on it's own with Antares turned off.
As is, it plays OK but, as all new guitars do, it still requires a proper setup! Wood changes and coming from China (boat or plane?) will effect the wood in unpredictable ways.
I was impressed that they had intonated the guitar's bridge and that the strings were properly set for it's 12" radius bridge.
For me, there was more neck relief than I like and the string action was too high (80 thousandths) but all of this is easily adjustable.
I particularly like the feel of the guitar when I'm playing it but I will use a 1200 grit sanding sponge to take the gloss off of the back of the neck which will make it much more playable.
I look forward to the arrival of my Y-midi adapter cable so that I can load the extra Antares software models into my newest guitar.
BTW The chorusing also goes away when using a good set of headphones! That's the way I record, anyway.
The above changes will bring my $407 AT200, along with $300 of Antares software and $100 worth of hardware, to a level equal to the Roland Strat or Gibson X models for less than half the cost!
Happy trails!

#15 anomalous

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:33 AM

View Postanomalous, on 09 April 2013 - 01:43 AM, said:

any tips on making the palm muting sound any better? in its current state its unplayable for what i want to do with it.

yeah i am still wondering about this.

#16 maxxbass

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:59 PM

One week and no response or PM from 60Hum...must have been a troll like I thought.

Since no tips have been offered by any representative of Antares...I have a tip on how to make the palm muting sound better...shut off the autotune and just use the guitar like a regular guitar. Sounds and performs 1000X better.

#17 PalmMuted

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 01:18 AM

Yeah don't expect to hear anything more from me.  I took my guitar back to the store, and I explained what was going on with the weird harmony thing et cetera.  They clamped a tuner to it and baritone sounded more like a flat C to D (literally swimming between those notes), so they allowed me to trade it in for another guitar and it wasn't just me...or not having the amp high enough....it simply didn't do what it was supposed to do.  Yeah maybe I just bought a faulty product....needed some software....should've magically known it wouldn't play metal, excuses excuses excuses.

It didn't do what it was supposed to do...bottom line.

#18 monkeypusher69

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:28 PM

I will never understand the this  thing doesn't do metal clainms. What made me buy this guitar on the spot was plugging it into an EVH 5150 III (the closest thing they had to a 6505+ IN that particular music store) and riffing in all sorts of dropped tuning for about a half hour. I admit you will have to palm mute differently than you do on a standard guitar, something about affecting the way the piezo picks up the string vibration if you palm mute the same way you are use to. i had the same issue with my line 6 variax hence why i was able to readapt my palm muting right away when trying this guitar. Besides Palm muting differently you will have to dial your am  in for this guitar itself is the other  thing i found to optimize the sound. Also the higher strings tend to ring out louder so you do need headphones or a decent (not blasting, but not too quiet) volume out of your amp. Thats the one downside to this guitar, is you just can't play this quietly late at night without good closed back headphones if you want to use alt tunings. Personally i am loving using this thing with something like ampkit as i can dial in tones for all the tunings i use and save them as presets. but once i found the settings on my 6505+ that works i am loving it through that as well. At $499, plus about $120 for midi sport, Y cable, and ATB break out box, and At the most $300 for complete pack, you still get better alt tunings and sounds than you do using the line6 variax and for less money. Yeah the JTV are better quality guitars, but the line 6 variax doesn't sound as good trying to do alt tunings as the AT-200. Also try doing pinch harmonics on a JTV or other variax guitar Alt Tuned to anything more than a step down from the physical tuning and listen to your harmonics just pitch and fart out on you. It sounds utterly disgusting. Only advantage the line 6 variax has over the AT-200 is that it can save any ALT tuning you can dream up and create. This is great except they sound like shit if you aren't using your variax with a POD, and not even use with a POD fixes the pinch harmonics issue.  With the AT-200 i can put the guitar in the 5 string tuning i used to use with my old Schecter CB2000 baritone and still hit all the pinch harmonics like i used to on that guitar with no issues even down to a low F tuning. Now if only i could save that tuning as a preset and so i don't have to manually string tune every time i want to use that tuning. Come on Antares. Quit charging us for tunings.

#19 zciatteo

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Posted 25 August 2015 - 05:45 PM

Does anybody have the palm mute problem where it sounds really scratchy when its tuned to E standard? Its just the low e-string that does it.




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