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Variax Troubleshooting Tips

variax troubleshooting help calibrate model select strings bass 700 705 piezo

Q: How do I perform a Factory Reset ("reflash") on my Variax 300/500/600/700/705?
A: See the following link for the reflash procedure:

Variax Reflash and Software Update F.A.Q.

Q: The strings on my Variax Steel string are breaking consistently at the saddle piece. How can this be resolved?
A: There may be a "burr in the saddle", meaning that there is an edge cutting into the string and causing it to break. Depending on where the string is breaking you may need to replace the piezo, the saddle piece, or both pieces. Please contact an authorized Service Center for more information.

Q: I am getting a high-pitched “squeal” when I have both the ¼” TRS cable and the Variax cable plugged into my PODxt/X3 or Vetta. How do I eliminate this?
A: The high-pitched squeal is indicative of an overload of the power input buffers, as the unit is receiving power from both the TRS and the Variax Digital Cable. You will need to unplug one of the cables to remove the high-pitch noise.

Q: What happens if I leave my Variax plugged into an amp while using batteries (not using the power supply)?
A: If you leave your Variax plugged into your amp and are not using the power supply you will drain your batteries. If you remember to turn the volume knob on your Variax all the way down, the guitar will go into a low power 'standby' mode, but the batteries will still be draining (although at a substantially slower rate). Remember to unplug your Variax if you have finished a soundcheck and are heading off to dinner somewhere before your gig.

Q: I have a dead string on my 300/500/600/700 (electric or acoustic) guitar - where can I get a replacement piezo?
A: Replacement Piezo pickup/bridge saddle pieces can be purchased directly from the Line 6 webstore:

Variax Piezo Element Replacements

Q: When I first plug it in the sound goes on and off like the power is being turned off and on and I hear a constant click...click...click...through the amp?
A: The problem sounds like it's a battery issue. If the battery's power drops below a current point, even though the batteries may seem good, the guitar will cut in and out. Even if you connect the power A/B box the guitar will still cut in and out. When this occurs, you must disconnect or change the batteries.

Q: Where can I get a replacement neck and/or body for my Variax guitar?
A: You can order your Variax replacement neck or body from Warmoth Instruments.

Q: Can the Model Select knob on the Variax 300/600 be calibrated?
A: No, the Model Select knob on the Variax 300/600 cannot be calibrated. If the model knob is "out of sync", try reflashing your instrument. If you are still having problems with the model select knob not selecting the correct model, you will need to have the unit serviced at your local Line 6 service center.

Q: How do I calibrate the Model Select knob on the Variax 500/700?
A: Here are the instructions on how to calibrate the Model Select knob on the Variax 500/700:

*Please make sure that the output from the Variax 500/700 is plugged into an amplifier or monitoring source to hear the audio beeps from the guitar.

1. Unplug RJ45 cable from guitar.
2. Turn off Power (disconnect ¼" TRS cable from guitar).
3. Turn the volume up.
4. Pull model selector knob "up" and away from the guitar body and set it to position Custom 1.
5. Set pickup selector to 4th (neck-middle) position.
6. Set tone knob to middle position.
7. Turn on power (connect ¼" TRS cable to guitar).
ONCE INITIALIZED, YOU WILL HAVE APPROX. 13 SECONDS TO COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE:
8. Turn tone control to min and then max.
9. You will now hear a beep sequence come from the amp or monitor source the Variax is plugged into. (The beeps will NOT come from inside the guitar itself.)
10. Turn model selector from "Custom 1" through all positions up to "Custom 2" this should be timed to approximately 1 second per physical step. (Counting: "one, one thousand", making sure to turn the pot on the one).
11. You will hear a low-high-low beep when completed.
12. Model selector will now be calibrated.
13. Press the Model Select knob back in to the guitar body to the "down" position.
If you hear the low-high-low beep prior to completing the entire rotation of the model select knob, unplug the ¼" TRS cable from guitar and start over again until the timing is correct.

Q: How do I calibrate the strings on a Variax Bass 700/705?
A: To Activate String Calibration Mode:

1.Press down and hold the VOLUME knob, then power up the bass as follows:
a.plug in a TRS cable connected to a powered XPS power supply, or
b.plug in a VDI cable which is connected to a powered Bass PODxt Live.
2.The LED on the bass will appear to be orange or red (not green - if the LED is green, try again). Release the VOLUME knob after confirming that the light turned on orange/red.***


*** Note: If the light does not light up orange/red, make sure that you are able to press down on the Volume knob like a button. If it does not feel like a button, or if the knob does not travel down enough because it is to close to the pickguard, you should try removing the knob and pressing down on the Volume stem.

In String Calibration Mode, all modeling is bypassed and the level of each string can be adjusted individually. To confirm you're in String Calibration Mode, listen to several Models, including a Synth Model; they should all sound the same: direct piezo.

Important Note: As per the instructions below, the BLEND knob is used to adjust the volume of each string. The BLEND knob has a center detent, and that detent equals the Factory level volume for each selected string. You should adjust string levels from the center detent as a reference. Boosting levels too much may result in distortion, which is not good. For best results, listen to all strings and determine which ones may be too loud or too soft, then adjust accordingly, leaving the other strings at their detent levels.

To Calibrate Individual Strings: (steps 5a & 5b for 5-string only)

*After successfully powering up in String Calibration Mode, monitor the Variax Bass in the usual way, with the Volume knob at max, plugged into a bass amp, PODxt Live, etc.

1a.Rotate MODEL SELECT knob to the 1st Model, VinJ, to select the 1st string (G).
1b.Turn BLEND knob up or down to balance the G string level with the other strings.

2a.Rotate MODEL SELECT knob to the 2nd Model, ModJ, to select the 2nd string (D).
2b.Turn BLEND knob up or down to balance the D string level with the other strings.

3a.Rotate MODEL SELECT knob to the 3rd Model, PreBass, to select the 3rd string (A).
3b.Turn BLEND knob up or down to balance the A string level with the other strings.

4a.Rotate MODEL SELECT knob to the 4th Model, Manta, to select the 4th string (E).
4b.Turn BLEND knob up or down to balance the E string level with the other strings.

5a.Rotate MODEL SELECT knob to the 5th Model, Clang, to select the 5th string ( B).
5b.Turn BLEND knob up or down to balance the B string level with the other strings.

When all strings sound in balance, press down on the MODEL SELECT knob to exit String Calibration Mode. The LED will turn green and your level changes will be saved.

* Rotate the MODEL SELECT knob to load a Model and return to normal operation



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