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  • And now, a public service



    The Variax manual organizes the model listing by model switch position, then guitar. I thought it would be more convenient to organize by model switch position, then pickup selector position. So, I made a "cheat sheet" that lists the Variax models in a way that, at least to me, makes it easier to find the models I want as well as makes it easier to explore the other models.



    The blue highlights are there to remind you that with the JTV-59, you need to hit the tuning knob to go into the "alternate pickup selector" mode.



    The image is embedded in this post, but I've also attached a PDF you can print out. I hope all you JTV-59 owners find this useful!



    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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    • I'm not familiar with any of the older Variax models, only that they did not have real pickups. I'm going to try the "4 cable method" described elsewhere on this forum, and on the Line6 board, and see if that makes any difference. The bummer is, though, is that my little Fender BJ does not have send/return capability, so 4CM would not work for a bunch of real-world amps anyway. I'll also try to cobble up some audio to illustrate my point.



      Larry

      Comment








      • Quote Originally Posted by LarryLion
        View Post

        I'm not familiar with any of the older Variax models, only that they did not have real pickups.




        True, but they did have both 1/4" and VDI outputs. At that time the POD HD500 didn't exist, so I used it primarily with a Vetta when using VDI, and didn't hear any significant difference between that and using the 1/4" output, differences in amplification systems notwithstanding. That's why I think maybe there's some HD500 parameter somewhere that's misset.
        Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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        • Quote Originally Posted by metfoo
          View Post

          how can I go about setting up my rig to output through the 1/4" out when using acoustic models, then the dt25 for all nonacoutsic/resonator models? acoustic through the dt25 doesn't sound right. RIght now i get audio through both, but don't want to switch the amp to standby when going acoustic




          Metfoo, Really interesting video from Sean Halley of Line 6 about constucting a dual pathway signal for electrics to DT25 and an acoustic which you can send out to PA or recorder. This has use of dual footpedals so you can shut one side down at a time or even cross fade.



          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6cpK...ature=youtu.be



          enjoy, Funky

          Comment


          • I've owned too many line 6 product to mention, including my favorite purchases of the Vetta HD and Combo, stellar amps.



            Note to the design engineers:



            Aesthetics are 'word' .



            I have seen nothing but fugly Variax machines, put out some Strat or Super Strat Body and or LP Clones and see where it goes, I have yet to see or play a variax machine that I would be caught in public with.



            If you can't do Strats or Pauls, try some Schecters variations, PRS, Ibanez...



            Look at the Brian May Design, I can't stand it, there is an audience that will buy it , not me, I can't see how it would ever become an axe that everyone owns, it's just as fugly as the Variax models that I have seen , no one hates the look of a Strat.





            Just sayin'







            Comment


            • Thanks for the public service; your cheat sheet is a an excellent quick reference.



              But I though it looked odd that the 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard would have a P-90 in the bridge position, so I checked the Line 6 manual. Sure enough, it's Lester position 2 that has the bridge P-90 of a 1952 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, and position 1 is a non-P-90 bridge humbucker.



              [Great catch, thanks! Both the embedded image and the attached PDF in post #166 have been corrected. - Craig]



              I'm really enjoying my own POD HD500 right now and seriously considering a Variax JTV-69 for the whammy and the easier model selection.



              Thanks for the excellent review so far.

              Comment


              • Hello! Anderton, could you please give your opinion and answer to some questions about the Variax Tyler?

                I was thinking of buying one in internet. There are no shops that have it where I live, and lately, while I was in a music shop, the seller told me that he had tried it, and it was not very good. He said about the Variax Tyler (mostly comparing it with the Gibson Firebird X):



                1- It does not respond well to dynamic changes (you can play softer or not and the volume keeps similar)



                2-It does not respond well to palm muting



                3-The quality of sound is much lower than any Gibson guitar (including the Firebird X) delivers. To him is clear that it is not a "quality" guitar



                4-It has not the same possibilities to actualize like the Firebird X has. Gibson says that there will be third party software producers (I do not know if has appeared anything until now) and that the electronics can upgrade.



                5-The alternative tunings in the Variax are simulated digitally (it seems that sound quality is worse)



                I know you have played with the Firebird X. And though this thread is about the Variax, and both have different concepts, I´d like to know your thoughts about these points and a comparison of the "quality of sound" of both guitars.



                I will most probably buy one or the other.



                And in your opinion... things are moving with the Firebird X (sounds and configurations shared in the owners' forum, software appearing etc.), or the promises made by Gibson are not getting real? I´ve seen that there is movement in the line 6 forums, but the Firebird X owners' forum is private.



                Your help would be very valuable. Thanks a lot in advance

                Comment








                • Quote Originally Posted by strat2
                  View Post

                  I've owned too many line 6 product to mention, including my favorite purchases of the Vetta HD and Combo, stellar amps.



                  Note to the design engineers:



                  Aesthetics are 'word' .



                  I have seen nothing but fugly Variax machines, put out some Strat or Super Strat Body and or LP Clones and see where it goes, I have yet to see or play a variax machine that I would be caught in public with.



                  If you can't do Strats or Pauls, try some Schecters variations, PRS, Ibanez...



                  Look at the Brian May Design, I can't stand it, there is an audience that will buy it , not me, I can't see how it would ever become an axe that everyone owns, it's just as fugly as the Variax models that I have seen , no one hates the look of a Strat.





                  Just sayin'











                  I stand corrected:



                  This Super strat, though not exactly right for me, looks like a definite 'will sell' item.

                  The volume knob could stand to be 3/4 further from the pickup, but the neck joint looks great for a bolt on , and the basic RG design is something that will do nicely.



                  http://www.sweetwater.com/guitargall...om/sW11101272/











                  Do you have any Les Paul, Strat or other clone models coming out ?





                  .

                  Comment








                  • Quote Originally Posted by sinatra
                    View Post

                    Hello! Anderton, could you please give your opinion and answer to some questions about the Variax Tyler?

                    I was thinking of buying one in internet. There are no shops that have it where I live, and lately, while I was in a music shop, the seller told me that he had tried it, and it was not very good. He said about the Variax Tyler (mostly comparing it with the Gibson Firebird X):



                    1- It does not respond well to dynamic changes (you can play softer or not and the volume keeps similar)



                    2-It does not respond well to palm muting



                    3-The quality of sound is much lower than any Gibson guitar (including the Firebird X) delivers. To him is clear that it is not a "quality" guitar



                    4-It has not the same possibilities to actualize like the Firebird X has. Gibson says that there will be third party software producers (I do not know if has appeared anything until now) and that the electronics can upgrade.



                    5-The alternative tunings in the Variax are simulated digitally (it seems that sound quality is worse)




                    We take the tough questions here



                    Well...from where I’m sitting, the JTV-59 is in one guitar stand, and Firebird X #006 is next to it. And just so you know where I’m coming from, my third indispensable (and traditional) guitar is the very first PRS Signature Series guitar, which plays like the neck is made of extra-terrestrial silk. I would absolutely hate to give up any of them, because with these three guitars I can pretty much do anything. And I mean anything.



                    (I’m sure people around the world are reading this and thinking “Wow, what a lucky bastard.” To which I would say “yes, when it comes to guitars, indeed I am.”) Anyway, on to your questions...



                    1 + 2 - I don’t agree at all about the Variax having limited dynamics or not coping with palm muting. These are real strings and they act like real strings. Harmonics, tapping, dynamics, slides, whatever—they all work just as you’d expect. I’m kind of mystified that someone would think otherwise, unless I don’t understand his objection.



                    But hey—believe your ears! The attached, short audio example has three parts. The first part plays a single string from the lowest level I could resolve (about -50dB) up to 0dB. That’s a ratio of around 300:1—I simply couldn’t play any softer using a pick. The second section builds up a chord from very soft to maximum. The third section has palm muting. All of these sounds use a Tele model.



                    The following is a screen shot of the audio example.







                    3 - The FBX is of course an excellent guitar in terms of playability. I haven’t had a chance to play the higher-end JTV Custom Shop models, so I don’t know how they compare to the FBX. However, I will say that even the lower-cost JTV guitars are fine guitars in their own right, not just that they blow away the first generation Variax guitars. Reputations die hard, and as a result some people may be skeptical of the new Variaxes. They needn’t be.



                    4 - I can’t comment on Gibson’s plans for the future with the FBX simply because I don’t know; I was a consultant on the project in a very specific area. I do know is that it was designed with upgrading in mind, and many of the elements are user-replaceable. I suggest contacting Gibson and asking what plans they have beyond the additional software and firmware builds since its initial release. (Note that with any high-tech product, I always recommend buying something for what it is now, not what it might become in the future.)



                    Line 6 support is a known quantity because the Variax has been around for years. It’s extraordinarily impressive that you can take any Variax and bring it up to spec with the current models—yes, if you have a Variax 500 sitting around, a trip to the Line 6 Monkey will give you almost all the models in today’s JTV-series guitars. [Edit: But not using the JTV firmware update, but rather, the last update that was offered for the original Variaxes - see post #191] The POD HD500 has received numerous updates, and Line 6 is generous in its updating policy—all the updates I’ve done to the Dream Rig have been free of charge, and it costs nothing to update older Variaxes. In terms of support I’d give Line 6 extremely high marks, not just for the Variax but as a company.



                    5 - The FBX tunes the strings mechanically. The advantage is “what you hear is what you get” as you’re hearing the actual string, and there is no alteration to the string’s tone. The disadvantage is you can’t tune the strings sharp or flat any more than you could with a standard guitar. In other words, there’s no way you’re going to tune strings 4, 5, and 6 up an octave to get Nashville tuning. It also takes a few seconds to tune the strings.



                    The Variax tunes electronically. The advantages are that you can transpose up to plus or minus an octave, and the tuning changes are instantaneous. The disadvantages are that the string pitch itself doesn’t change, so unless you’re doing octave changes, the transposed pitch is not going to be the same as the string pitch. This turns out to be less of an issue than you might think if you wear headphones in the studio, or play live at anything approaching reasonable volume.



                    The other disadvantage is that the greater the degree of transposition, the less natural the sound. However, listen to the audio examples in post #124 of the tunings, and I think you’ll agree there’s nothing wrong with the sound quality. Even the octave higher transposition on the acoustic guitar doing Nashville tuning in post #130 sounds quite good.
                    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

                    Comment


                    • The older Variax wasn't great with heavily palm muted chunky stuff. The Tyler is better at it, and don't forget the built in pickups.



                      The alt turnings don't sound bad at all. I wouldn't record with with them, but they are quite usable.

                      Comment


                      • Thanks a lot, Anderton. Your answer has been soooooo helpful and clarifying.



                        It seems to me that the Variax is a very versatile guitar.

                        When you use the Gibson Firebird X, what do you prefer it for (over the Variax)?

                        (Can it compete with the Variax and podHD500 in the imitation of "classic " or "recognizable" sounds?)



                        And does the people in the Gibson Firebird X owners' forum share presets of sounds from records or invented by them, as much as they do in the line 6 forums?



                        Thanks again for your excellent work.

                        Comment


                        • And thanks Dramey for your contribution, too.

                          Comment








                          • Quote Originally Posted by dramey
                            View Post

                            The alt turnings don't sound bad at all. I wouldn't record with with them, but they are quite usable.




                            I think it depends on how far the tuning deviates from standard, and the context. I used several alternate tunings in earlier audio examples and no one noticed. Something like the Nashville tuning sounds obviously "different" in isolation, but when layered with another guitar in standard tuning (the usual application), it's a different story. Also, to my ears the octave higher Nashville tuning sounded more authentic with the acoustic models than the electrics, which is the opposite of what I would have expected.
                            Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

                            Comment








                            • Quote Originally Posted by sinatra
                              View Post

                              Thanks a lot, Anderton. Your answer has been soooooo helpful and clarifying.



                              It seems to me that the Variax is a very versatile guitar.

                              When you use the Gibson Firebird X, what do you prefer it for (over the Variax)?




                              What I prefer with the FBX over any guitar is the hex output capability that allows processing each string independently within a DAW or more particularly, for live performance. My live performance rig uses a laptop with amp sims on each string, so I use octaves on the bottom three, chorusing on the top four, and a separate feed for all strings that I process for lead sounds. As I play with a thumb pick, I can articulate bass lines on the lower strings and play both rhythm and lead against them. Although other guitars have hex outs, the FBX uses some kind of unusual phase mojo that gives excellent separation.



                              The Variax does hex processing to create its models, but the six strings are not available independently to the end user. I will say that having logged many, many hours trying to tame hex piezo pickups, Line 6 has done an amazing job of removing the "piezoness" from the sound. Unless you've tried to do it, it's hard to explain how incredibly difficult it is to pull that off, and how well Line 6 has done it.








                              Can it compete with the Variax and podHD500 in the imitation of "classic " or "recognizable" sounds?)



                              The sound design effort concentrated on sounds that included amps and effects. IOW, where the Variax focuses like a laser on guitar tones, the FBX was oriented toward getting a Metallica sound, a Police sound, a Van Halen sound, a vintage slapback Sun studios sound, etc. I think the guitar sounds that ARE there (Tele, Strat, and Les Paul) are good emulations of classic sounds, but the Variax offers a much wider variety. Also don't forget that Line 6 has been tweaking the Variax sounds for years, so they're very mature. The FBX is still very much virgin territory, so it's difficult to anticipate the direction in which users will want to take it in the years ahead.








                              And do the people in the Gibson Firebird X owners' forum share presets of sounds from records or invented by them, as much as they do in the line 6 forums?



                              No. The Line 6 Custom Tone exchange program is extremely active and there are a ton of patches. Designing patches for the FBX is a relatively daunting task; there are currently 20 patches posted, and I did 17 of them. I think they're pretty cool, of course








                              Thanks again for your excellent work.



                              You're very welcome. I think that with my answers, you can see why I consider the FBX and Variax to be very different instruments. Your needs will help you make the choice. If hex processing is an important part of your life, I have yet to find anything better than the FBX. If you want a wide variety of excellent modeled sounds, the Variax hits a bulls-eye, and uses very mature technology.



                              A propos of the Variax's maturity, I'm STILL blown away that I could update the Variax 500 and get the same basic sounds as the JTV.
                              Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

                              Comment


                              • Craig,

                                Your comment about the variax 500 caught my attention. I thought the new JT variax models used new, super duper computer processing that the old versions don't have. So I'm left wondering, what do the new models sound like on an old 500? I have $400 that I could spend on a used 500, but not the extra grand for a JT model. Can you demo the new models on an old 500???

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