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  • Hello Craig (and everyone). This is a great thread! I'm also interested in the update capabilities of older Variax models. I have an older Variax Acoustic which I love, but it is beginning to "forget" its alternate tunings and I'm unable to make it remember any new ones. Hoping an update would help fix this? I just downloaded the Monkey, but didn't really know what I should be updating with this, or how to connect the guitar to the computer. Please forgive me if this is off topic. Hoping this is the correct place to post this.

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    • After reading the thread yesterday, I remembered to update my Variax 500. Wow!
      Carvin DC400; Fender Cyber-Twin head, Carvin 2x12, JTV69, DT25, Epiphone Nite Hawk, Tele squire, Wechter acoustic, Carvin AG 1000, Gretch 5120

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      • Quote Originally Posted by franklawrence
        View Post

        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.




        I don't know about the inside technology, just that the sounds certainly seem the same. However, remember that the JTV brings the alternate tunings out to the front of the guitar and makes them available instantly. Before, the only way to do alternate tunings was to create them in Variax Workbench, then transfer them over to the guitar. I could easily speculate that this upgrade to the alternate tuning capabilities would require faster and better processing.








        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???



        If you want to hear what the models sound like, listen to the JTV ones. I'm really not hearing any difference in the sound.



        But while a Variax 500 can sound like a JTV (thanks, Line 6!), it neither plays nor looks like one. I don't want to sound like a broken record (or skipping CD), but the JTV-59 sitting here looks really fabulous--the tobacco sunburst finish is simply gorgeous, and the quality and playability of the guitar is definitely way ahead of the original Variax. There are also other improvements, like better tuners, real magnetic pickups you can add to the sound (and also let you play the JTV without power), a vastly superior way of handling battery power, etc.



        So, the bottom line is it's really extremely cool and considerate that you can bring an old Variax up to spec. That still kinda blows my mind. But, there's also no question that the latest Variax guitars have evolved considerably compared to the first generation.
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        • Given how much interest there is in the Variax, I'm almost starting to think the DT25 needs a separate thread



          As an amp, it's just as mind-boggling in its own way. I'll keep fielding Variax questions, of course, but I think it's overdue to get into the DT25. Besides, I want an excuse to play through it more!!
          CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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          • Quote Originally Posted by KindredDuo
            View Post

            Hello Craig (and everyone). This is a great thread! I'm also interested in the update capabilities of older Variax models. I have an older Variax Acoustic which I love, but it is beginning to "forget" its alternate tunings and I'm unable to make it remember any new ones. Hoping an update would help fix this? I just downloaded the Monkey, but didn't really know what I should be updating with this, or how to connect the guitar to the computer. Please forgive me if this is off topic. Hoping this is the correct place to post this.




            I'm not familiar with the older Variax acoustic. I presume the guitar connects the same way the electric one does - through the USB "hockey puck" interface. But this is out of my league, so you might want to head on over to the Line 6 forums and get advice there, unless somone can bop in here quickly and tell you what to do.
            CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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            • Each piece should be reviewed individually. Once they are all done, then they actual dream rig as a whole should be reviewed.

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              • Quote Originally Posted by metfoo
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                Each piece should be reviewed individually. Once they are all done, then they actual dream rig as a whole should be reviewed.




                I thought about separate threads but realized it would be a nightmare...if I was talking about using the Variax with the POD HD500, would it go into the HD500 or Variax thread? And it would complicate matters for people to jump back and forth between threads. So, I think the best plan is to just move ahead to the DT25 if no one has any more pressing questions on the Variax, although if Variax questions do pop up, I'll field them. I'll finish up the few remaining Variax features this week, and Monday, start in on the DT25. Make sense?
                CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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                • I'm just about ready to pull the trigger on the DT25. I've been holding off for your review, but I already know you like it, and patience was never my favorite virtue...

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                  • You really won't regret it, Dramey. I have had mine a couple of weeks now but have only been able to play it a handful of times. Once at full volume, twice in LVM. Every time I switch it on, I just love the sound that comes out. I'm running it through the HD500 and haven't tweaked any patches fully yet. Small children tend to limit time. I'm no great player and certainly not in the league of most of you all, but I am enjoying getting some great sounds out of the set up.



                    Champing at the bit for the DT25 section to begin.

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                    • Hi there. Thanks for this review. I'm looking forward to the DT25 section as I have a JTV59 (tobacco sunburst too - nice and a POD HD500.



                      I saw the post about updating the older Variaxes to use the newer models and was about to write in that you can't, but thought I'd better check first. So I ran Monkey (1.56) and connected to the Variax 600 via the HD500 and it does NOT show any updates available. I have version 3.10 for the Variax and that shows as the current version.



                      If anyone can prove otherwise, please let us know how you can update an older Variax. I was always under the impression the newer JTV firmware wouldn't apply to the older guitars, and it seems that is the case.

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                      • Quote Originally Posted by lindsayward
                        View Post

                        Hi there. Thanks for this review. I'm looking forward to the DT25 section as I have a JTV59 (tobacco sunburst too - nice and a POD HD500.



                        I saw the post about updating the older Variaxes to use the newer models and was about to write in that you can't, but thought I'd better check first. So I ran Monkey (1.56) and connected to the Variax 600 via the HD500 and it does NOT show any updates available. I have version 3.10 for the Variax and that shows as the current version.



                        If anyone can prove otherwise, please let us know how you can update an older Variax. I was always under the impression the newer JTV firmware wouldn't apply to the older guitars, and it seems that is the case.




                        Well, here's what happened. I missed the last update to the 500, so I was still running REALLY old software. The reason I checked out the older Variax was because I wanted to see if the sounds had changed between the original and the JTV. The 500 sounds I played sounded inferior to the JTV, so I was going to record them and do a "compare and contrast" audio example. When I plugged in I ran the Monkey for kicks to see if there were any updates to other elements of the system, and it told me updates were available for the Variax.



                        So, I updated and the sound seemed considerably better (apparently James Clausen in post #182 had a similar updating experience). The models sound extremely close to the JTV, if not identical.



                        Now of course, I would assume that firmware for the JTV would be different overall because of the way alternate tunings are handled, the different procedure for storing custom patches, dealing with the 3-way switch on the -59, and maybe even the battery management too. But as to the sound of the models themselves, the "updated" (well updated to 2006, LOL) Variax 500 sounds remarkably similar to the models in the JTV.



                        Maybe someone from Line 6 could chime in with whether I'm hearing things or whether the last firmware update to the older Variaxes do have really similar models to the JTV. It would make sense, in a way; once something sounds like a Strat, well, it sounds like a Strat.



                        Lindsayward, if you get a chance to play a JTV side-by-side with your 600, I'd be interested to hear what you think the differences are, if any.



                        This is why I like pro reviews...if I get overly excited because the Variax 500 sounds so much better and didn't catch the update's date, someone here will bring me back to earth But still, this doesn't really diminish my opinion that Line 6 is very good about updating in general. Monkey found my Variax, managed to tell me there were updates, and the updates were on the site. Not bad for a high-tech product from 10 years ago, given that there was an update about 4 years after its introduction. No wonder I missed it.
                        CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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                        • I bought my Variax 600 in 2007 and updated it straight away (3.10 firmware). There has been no update since.

                          As far as I know the only updated models in the JTV are the acoustic guitars (version 1.7x/1.8x).

                          I love the electric sounds on both of them.

                          I can listen to them side-by-side, but unfortunately my 600 has an odd problem where the VDI input results in a reduced signal and nearly no volume control. (If anyone knows a way to fix this, that would be great!)

                          I could A/B them with the regular 1/4" input I guess.

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                          • Quote Originally Posted by lindsayward
                            View Post

                            I bought my Variax 600 in 2007 and updated it straight away (3.10 firmware). There has been no update since.

                            As far as I know the only updated models in the JTV are the acoustic guitars (version 1.7x/1.8x).

                            I love the electric sounds on both of them.

                            I can listen to them side-by-side, but unfortunately my 600 has an odd problem where the VDI input results in a reduced signal and nearly no volume control. (If anyone knows a way to fix this, that would be great!)

                            I could A/B them with the regular 1/4" input I guess.




                            I was an early adopter...got the 500 around 2002, even before it was called a Variax 500. It was only called a 500 after the 700 came out IIRC. I don't think it ever occurred to me that there would be an update almost four years later (last update for original Variaxes was released in 2006.



                            So I guess my lesson is...check for updates, no matter how old a piece of gear is!! Thanks for helping to clarify this.
                            CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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                            • Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
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                              I think it's overdue to get into the DT25.




                              C.A. baby, we're chompin at the bit here.....
                              "Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work" - Gustave Flaubert

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                              • I agree with Craig. I had not updated the sounds in my 500 since I got it. The new tones are much more resonant and defined. I don't have a Tyler Variax to compare them to but the improved tones are very noticable.
                                Carvin DC400; Fender Cyber-Twin head, Carvin 2x12, JTV69, DT25, Epiphone Nite Hawk, Tele squire, Wechter acoustic, Carvin AG 1000, Gretch 5120

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