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Variax: General FAQs

variax battery usage connection life faq

Q: Is the Variax a MIDI guitar?
A: No, the Variax is a real guitar, and the guitar does not send MIDI signals. All of the sounds available in the Variax start with the actual string vibrations of the Variax itself. Our proprietary modeling process shapes the raw string signal to replicate the sounds of the modeled instruments.

Q: What type of cable can I use with the Variax?
A: In order to use the supplied XPS-DI direct box/power supply to deliver power to the Variax, you will need to use the supplied 1/4-inch TRS cable or equivalent. If you use the internal batteries as your power supply, any mono 1/4-inch cable will work.

Q: How do I know when it is time to change the batteries?
A: When the batteries have lost their charge the indicator light will continuously flash, and the audio may become distorted or intermittent.

Q: Can I use rechargeable batteries in my Variax?
A: Yes, although rechargeable NiCad batteries will not last as long as alkalines, as they deliver substantially less current. Rechargeable alkaline batteries would be a longer lasting choice.

Q: How long will batteries last?
A: The average life of a set of 6 alkaline AA batteries should be approximately 12-14 hours. So-called 'Heavy Duty' (carbon) batteries will usually last less time. The 9-volt battery should only be used as an emergency power supply and will last approximately 1-2 hours. To help insure the longest possible battery life, be sure to unplug the 1/4 inch jack when not in use.

Q: How is the Variax different from the Roland VG-8 or VG-88?
A: The Variax is self-contained; all of the sounds come from inside the guitar itself. The models were specifically developed for the body resonance and transducer of the Variax for the highest possible accuracy of modeling. The VG-8/88 is an external processor that is connected to a guitar via a separate hex pickup. With the VG system, variations in tone may occur due to the guitar the pickup is attached to, and the specific placement of the pickup. The VG-8 includes basic amp modeling and effects in addition to its guitar modeling functions. With the Variax, we concentrate on the guitar characteristics only and can deliver a much higher degree of accuracy and detail.

Q: Where is the Variax made?
A: The Variax was designed entirely by Line 6, by experienced luthiers, engineers, and industrial designers. The Variax was originally manufactured in Korea but now is manufactured in Indonesia and China and assembled in the U.S. Our Variax guitars are made world-class facilities with the latest computer-controlled manufacturing equipment. The manufacturer prefers to remain nameless because of its relationships with other guitar companies, but they are building the guitars to Line 6's specifications.

Q: Can the Variax be run through any manufacturers' effects devices?
A: Yes, the Variax will work with any manufacturers' effect devices. Batteries in the Guitar will allow you to connect to Line6 and third party effects processors and wireless systems.

Q: Can the Variax be used with a wireless system? My wireless transmitter does not have a TRS plug, will it still work?
A: As long as you are powering the Variax with batteries, you can use a wireless like you would on a regular guitar. The TRS cable is only needed when you are using the power supply.

Q: Does the Variax work with only Line 6 amps?
A: The Variax works with any guitar amp from any manufacturer, but Line 6 amplifiers may have special proprietary connections for the Variax instrument.

Q: Will the Ebow work on the Line 6 Variax?
A: Yes, it will work fine but remember that it won't get loud over the magentic pickup because it is a piezo pickup.

Q: Can I feed two amps from the jack of my Variax guitar using batteries and a y-splitter cable?
A: No, the Variax jack is not a "real" stereo jack. The Variax jack does use a TRS plug, but the "sleeve" portion of it is used to transmit power rather than audio. The TRS cable is not required if you are using batteries.

Q: Is there a Variax Electric reference sheet available?
A: Yes there is, although not an official Line 6 document. Your collegue Line 6 enthusiasts have created several documents that will give you an overview of the models inside your Variax. You can download and print them for your own use. Download it from Vettaville and scroll down the page for the different documents

Q: Is it possible to produce feedback through an amp with the Variax?
A: Yes. Since the sound from the Variax starts from the strings, blasting a lot of energy into the strings by standing in front of a loud amp will produce feedback. And since the Variax uses a piezo bridge instead of conventional magnetic pickups, you won't get microphonic squeals.


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