Currently Being ModeratedMar 10, 2010 3:57 AM (in response to Colyn)Re: New Variax 705, should I upgrade Bass Pod XT? Also missing XPS DI...
All these things come down to personal taste and what you need, but Im happy to share what I did and why.
I like you tried to weigh up the pros and cons of whether to use the Bass Pod XT or the X3 Live.
I also play in a covers band so versatility is the key for me it can be AC/DC one minute Stevie Wonder the next.
Which is why I went for the Variax from using the Tobias for rock to the Synth bass for Nutbush City Limits, having a Variax Bass I believe is the way to go. They do appear to have reliability issues if you watch the threads and string volume has been a little up and down and the piezos appear to die rather too frequently, so there can be a down side. So to negate this I use my GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and bought a 5 string and a 4 string so I will have a back up. Touch wood I have only had the string volume issues and you can alter those through configuration.
I found mine on Ebay and found a guitar shop that still have a new 705 so you are right if you want a Variax Bass you can find them. This is why I added the survey to this group to let Line 6 know there is still a demand out there (hopefully).
The Bass Pod and the X3 Live have the same amps and cabs, and there are some known issues with the X3 Live around footswitches crapping out and the USB connection dropping out and being Made in China some have reliability issues. The Bass Pod offers a Biamping feature and with the X3 Live you get Dual Tones.
If you do decided to buy the X3 Live I have seen some posts on that forum that say after a certain serial number a lot of those problems are resolved. I can't confirm whether that is right or not,
I went for the X3 Live, the the main reasons were Dual Tone you can pull some amazing sounds with this but you have to put the work in. The outputs on the pedal I use are line signal out in stereo direct to the front of house using the XLR outputs on the X3 (these aren't on the Bass Pod) and then use my amp set flat just as a stage monitor so I can control the stage volume I have a Fender 80 Watt transistor amp using the other outputs for the stage sound (You can't do this on the Bass Pod and all in Stereo). It has a USB 2.0 and SPDIF connection for digital recording and I get all the guitar tones and effects for free some are useful others not.
Personally I have found this works great and I am really happy with my live sound through the front of house, (while both of them do it) being able to trigger a different guitar in the Variax means you get the whole tone with one click of the foot switch.
So I gig about 4 to 5 times a month from outdoor parties to pubs and clubs and have used my Variax 705 and X3 Live for the last 6 months trouble free. Also you get a great DI with the Variax Bass so if the X3 ever does crap itself self I would still be able to DI and keep going.
So there you go my two bobs worth on that but I am sure there will be users that will have a different story.
In regards to the DI I see them quite often on eBay, I have not asked but you could email Line 6 and see if they still make them and how much.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 11, 2010 2:17 PM (in response to Colyn)Re: New Variax 705, should I upgrade Bass Pod XT? Also missing XPS DI...
Firstly congrats on finding a 705!!
I love my 700 Variax Bass and can get sounds with it that are just impossible on a normal bass
Such a pity Line 6 never followed thru with a Bass version of Variax Workbench though
-would have been nice!
Regarding your question about upgrading to an X3 my answer is most definitely!
This is based on my own experience from performance and recording and most importantly
the quality of sounds - not to mention the vast amount of tweakability possible
with a dual-tone setup
You will also notice a leap in the depth of sound and a higher studio quality with the X3 tones
Any of the X3 models will give you this leap in tone - I owned a POD XT Live and as a bass player
AND guitar player muddled thru with this
I then moved to the X3 Live and was in heaven! Finally bass- dedicated cabs and amps plus vocals
I was able to load all my tones from the XT Live straight in as a starting point for additional tweakage / expansion
I found the bass presets in the X3 Live were what sold it for me - they are really powerful and a great platform to
create your own sound with total recall ( including Variax programmability)
I added to my tones by jumping on the Line 6 site and d/loading piles of great tones
- thereby filling the X3 Live full of 128 diff. bass sounds
As you know you can then back these sounds up and re- fill the POD up with 128 different sounds to suit your needs
The X3 Live has possibly the best range of features out of the 3 models: Variax powering and digital audio
plus lots of ins and outs for recording , DI etc.
I had the X3 'kidney bean' for a bit and although the sounds were there the unit was a little
hampering in that I had no Variax connectivity (and therefore could not tweak my V.600 in Wotkbench)
plus no aux inputs or USB audio, so the choice was then down to the X3 Live or the X3 PRO
The X3 PRO is mainly set up for studio useability (even though with an FBV you have essentially a souped-up X3 Live)
-overall a really expensive road to travel if you don't need the AES/EBU i/o etc.
If you need your sounds mainly for performance and a little recording then def. go for the X3 Live
-X3 Live also has Comp and Boost switches built in - very handy
If you go for the X3 Live you will not look back believe me!
PS re the XPS: don't forget you also have battery option - I have powered my 700 bass this way for a live gig and 2 rehearsals
so i got about 20 hours out of 1 set of batts and they're still going
Currently Being ModeratedMar 15, 2010 3:20 AM (in response to neilwork)Re: New Variax 705, should I upgrade Bass Pod XT? Also missing XPS DI...
Thanks for the replies guys!
I did read your replies when they were posted but on my phone, so waited until I had proper internet and a laptop before replying!
Well thanks to your advice (or no thanks if you ask my credit card... ) I have got myself an X3 Live. Got it for £350 with the gig bag (well technically it is the XT Live bag, but it fits with a bit of squeezing) which isn't a bad deal for the uk.
Also thanks to a great store in Birmingham called PMT I found myself a new XPS-DI as well, so I am almost all set.
The problem I now have is that the VDI interface is cutting out. The cable is latched in at the Variax end, but it has a few mm of play in it, so when I pull the cable (or even moving around and the weight of the cable makes it move) the power and connection drops out, and when I push it back in the bass defaults to the green model (which is a pain as I have been using the Modulus model a lot!)
Should I open a new thread as a question in hope of some official support, or is this an easy fix for me?
I should mention I am a sound engineer by trade so am technically minded and feel confident I could carry out basic repairs if needed. I have seen other people with similar problems on here, and they seemed to get a new socket assembly from Line 6. Do you think this is still possible with the long since death of the variax bass production? I tried switching the cable around and the problem stayed at the variax, so unless the cable is ill fitting on both ends then I think it might be the bass itself...
Thanks again for your time!
Currently Being ModeratedMar 15, 2010 4:51 AM (in response to Colyn)Re: New Variax 705, should I upgrade Bass Pod XT? Also missing XPS DI...
You may have a bit of a wait from Line 6 with parts but they will come thru!
I have waited for months for a new volume push/ push pot for my 700 bass
only to be told they are not avail. but Scott & the great guys at Music Link are helping me out
-they are supplying the whole pcb assembly as a swap out part instead!
The Cat 45 jack may be easier to replace as it is a common part and you may not even need a Line 6 part on closer inspection
-also rule out the cable first as the culprit - these can be bought easily
All the best with your X3 Live!
props to David for his wise words also
- just another thought- maybe we should this forum also to share our collections of Variax / POD bass sounds?
(or has that been done?)
Currently Being ModeratedMar 15, 2010 1:43 PM (in response to neilwork)Re: New Variax 705, should I upgrade Bass Pod XT? Also missing XPS DI...
I feel your credit card pain, but I dont think you will regret the decision.
I'm pretty sure the connector is just a standard Neutrik RJ45 connector which can be unsoldered and replaced. I have seen this one of the threads so some searching over in the general Variax forum might pay dividends as well.
Might also pay to see if all the gold wires are straight inside the connector.
I think it would be a great idea to set up an area so we can swap tones for the Variax/X3 setup.
I can't find any decent basstones in the Customtone, there may well be some there but finding them amongst all the guitar tones is impossible.
I will check with Line 6 is there a way to better segment in Customtone, that we can just publish them there, and be able to find them again.
If not will think about the best way of organising them on this forum.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 15, 2010 4:50 PM (in response to david1_leslie)Re: New Variax 705, should I upgrade Bass Pod XT? Also missing XPS DI...
I totally agree about the custom bass tone sharing thing. Bass is really not well represented on the site.
But I have recently fallen in love with the "complete package", which wasn't really complete until I got the Monkey and Gearbox software installed. The Variax Bass with Pod X3 just isn't complete without the easily customizeable controls and additional sounds provided by the Gearbox software. I put it on my laptop so I can make changes on the road.
I've spent hours fiddling with it, trying to get the bass sound that the MUSE bassist uses on Hysteria. I've discovered some great combinations, I can get some nice fuzz sounds, but haven't been able to get a good synth sound like he uses. If any of you guys have an idea how to do it, or want to take a stab at it, let me know.
The software is so much easier to use than programming on the X3.
Also, If anybody sees a Variax 705 bass hiding out in a store somewhere, please post here and let me know. I've been looking to get a backup guitar for the summer show season, and I'd probably want to just get another Variax.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 15, 2010 5:07 PM (in response to TJSher)Re: New Variax 705, should I upgrade Bass Pod XT? Also missing XPS DI...
Just a quick reply as I am on my iPhone and it doesn't seem to like the forum much... David, I definately think us poor under nourished bassists need a tone category of our own. If I can help get that going (even if it is just by requesting it from the relevant people) then I will. Once I get to grips with my new toys I will be glad to contribute. TJsher, I have some good news and bad news. I saw a new 705 last week and can happily point you in the right direction, if you want the details, PM me (don't want some google hound swiping it from under your nose now do we!). The bad news is, it was quite pricey... I have a load in for my show tomorrow (am a sound engineer) but my laptop now has all the software on it thanks to wifi and a day off so as soon as my 705 and X3 come off the truck, I am gonna see what the software can do. Now just to get the neutrik jack sorted! The pins are all straight, and everything looks fine, so who knows. May get a new VDI cable first just to be sure. I think it'll be a waste of money as I am 90% sure the cable is fine but would rather buy one of them than take the variax apart...
Currently Being ModeratedMar 15, 2010 6:21 PM (in response to TJSher)Re: New Variax 705, should I upgrade Bass Pod XT? Also missing XPS DI...
Glad I thought of it!
I'm surprised no-one else thought of sharing here on the forum
- i've got about 40 bass sounds to share
Currently Being ModeratedMar 17, 2010 5:21 AM (in response to neilwork)Re: New Variax 705, should I upgrade Bass Pod XT? Also missing XPS DI...
I guess everyone just assumed us bass players might have got the consideration from Line 6 in the first place lol. But thanks for the idea, lets see if we can make it happen! We will just need somewhere to store tones. Either that or we create a list of users and their tones then PM that user and request an email with the tone attached? A little long winded compared to customtone, but better than nothing?