I've been belly-aching over my Vax 300's recent problems. It was not doing well - fizzling sound and intermittent funcionality. From experience and a butt-load of knowledge about how these magnificent instruments work, I knew what problems to look for. For new Variax users - here's a list
- Get a warranty repair - if you still have the guitar under warranty - I did not.
- Do all necessary firmware updates ALWAYS (except right before a gig, give yourself time to re-dial in your patches after firmware update.)
- Check your VDI cable - Make sure there are no kinks or sharp bends in the length of the cable.
- If no visible damage exists to your VDI cable, try a network RJ45 cable (not a crossover cable!) to determine if the cable is your issue.
- Check the VDI jacks on your Equipment, and on the guitar. (Here's where my problem came in)
- Check your saddles by tapping on them gently when the guitar is plugged in and working. If each saddle is making a noise chances are the saddles are still functioning.This is a WHOLE other bag o' beans to deal with if there is a problem with your saddles. Here's a great post about them
So I found out that, as careful as I have been not to disturb the fragile little pins in the VDI jack of my Vax, they were indeed disturbed. Damn! Can't get a part anywhere, and there's no forseeable way to get the pins back into place. Or is there??
Here's my simple and delicate fix.
1. Get an old high E string (for me, an .011 guage) cut it 2" from the ball. Having the nub is important because it helps prevent the string from rotating between your fingers when you don't want it to - it'll give you far better control over the "hook" you are going to make.
2. using a pair of pliers and a standard angled razorblade - bend the string tip so that it perfectly hugs the contour of the BACK of the blade - NOT the sharp side.
3. You should have a neat little hook now.
4. Insert the "hook" between the delicate pins, give it a quarter turn, and gently pull back towards yourself as far as you can go. This will lift the pin up and back into place, they even come a litte further up than they need to, but when you re-insert your VDI cable it will re-align all pins.
5. Repeat as necessary for all pins.
I don't know how this happened to my guitar, as I'm religiously careful about the VDI jacks, but nonetheless - an easy and inexpensive fix!