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Variax Acoustic 700 Saddle On The Way Out....


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#1 Octo777

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:21 AM

I've had my Variax Acoustic 700 for nearly 3 years now and it's been a workhorse for me.

 

Sadly, the 3rd string saddle appears to be on it's way out.

 

During rehearsal last night, I was getting an awful intermittent buzzing coming from my guitar and isolated the problem to be coming from the 3rd string saddle. All other strings were clear as a bell.

 

The volume on that particular saddle is also a bit lower than the others too

 

To make matters worse, I have paid gigs coming up next weekend that I use my Acoustic 700 exclusively for.....and the fact that the buzzing is intermittent is extra worrying as I don't really want to have it all be fine and then start buzzing mid set.....

 

Now, I am guessing the only option for repair is to replace the saddle, but I am aware that this can be a pretty fiddly job requiring soldering and also, it would appear that Line 6 only ship saddles to US addresses.....I'm in the UK.....and Line 6 Support in the UK is closed till Monday!!! Gargh!!!

 

 

Anyone replaced the saddles on an acoustic 700? Do the saddles come with instructions?

 

In an ideal world, I'd just send the guitar off to get repaired by Line 6, but I am doubting they will be able to fix it and have it returned to me before Saturday next week......

 

Any info/words of advice would be greatly appreciated.....


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#2 toneman2121

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:58 AM

go to the nearest mega-music store that has a 30 day return policy, buy one and take it back after the gig :mellow:


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#3 TheRealZap

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 04:07 AM

go to the nearest mega-music store that has a 30 day return policy, buy one and take it back after the gig :mellow:

 

good luck with that... finding a variax 700 acoustic in a store was probably hard before they were discontinued (a few years ago...)


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#4 toneman2121

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 07:18 AM

oooooh


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#5 Mr_Arkadin

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 08:30 AM

Also good luck in finding a music megastore in the UK these days - not many about.


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#6 TheRealZap

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 08:31 AM

Also good luck in finding a music megastore in the UK these days - not many about.

mega anything is alot harder to find in the UK... they like their mom and pop businesses that's for sure.


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#7 Octo777

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 01:36 PM

Well luckily I played my paid gigs over this past weekend without any issue, but obviously I still want to get the saddle replaced, however I am really disappointed with the support.

 

I called Line 6 UK first thing last Monday morning and they were supposed to email me a Parts request form that I never received which led to me having to call again the next day, from which I then received the email with the request form.

 

So after filling it out straight away, I waited two days for a response with the quote for the parts (which was very reasonable) and they said if I wished to proceed with the order, to let them know and they would process the order and someone from their accounts department would be in touch to take payment.

 

As of yet, I am still waiting for someone from accounts to call for payment which means my order still hasn't been processed.

 

I love Line 6 gear and the dealings I have had with Line 6 support in the past has been great, but the customer support at this level is leaving a lot to be desired as I don't understand why these parts can't be ordered on-line over here in the UK/Europe like they can in the US and the whole process to get a replacement variax element is way too complicated and needs revising in my humble opinion.

On a side note, at my gig on Saturday night, a guy asked me what kind of guitar I was using as he loved the tone I had and was wanting to buy one. He was disappointed when I told him the chances of getting one were slim to none as they are discontinued.

 

That tone is pure Line 6: Variax Acoustic 700, through my Pod HD500 via VDI cable going into a M20d desk in stereo via XLR's and output through a pair of Stagesource L3m's with a third L3m as a Foldback monitor.


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#8 clay-man

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:03 PM

Well luckily I played my paid gigs over this past weekend without any issue, but obviously I still want to get the saddle replaced, however I am really disappointed with the support.

 

I called Line 6 UK first thing last Monday morning and they were supposed to email me a Parts request form that I never received which led to me having to call again the next day, from which I then received the email with the request form.

 

So after filling it out straight away, I waited two days for a response with the quote for the parts (which was very reasonable) and they said if I wished to proceed with the order, to let them know and they would process the order and someone from their accounts department would be in touch to take payment.

 

As of yet, I am still waiting for someone from accounts to call for payment which means my order still hasn't been processed.

 

I love Line 6 gear and the dealings I have had with Line 6 support in the past has been great, but the customer support at this level is leaving a lot to be desired as I don't understand why these parts can't be ordered on-line over here in the UK/Europe like they can in the US and the whole process to get a replacement variax element is way too complicated and needs revising in my humble opinion.

On a side note, at my gig on Saturday night, a guy asked me what kind of guitar I was using as he loved the tone I had and was wanting to buy one. He was disappointed when I told him the chances of getting one were slim to none as they are discontinued.

 

That tone is pure Line 6: Variax Acoustic 700, through my Pod HD500 via VDI cable going into a M20d desk in stereo via XLR's and output through a pair of Stagesource L3m's with a third L3m as a Foldback monitor.

 

My friend, please read my topic:

http://line6.com/sup...ounding-issues/

 

Original Variaxes have somewhat poorly designed piezos when it comes to how they ground. They usually eventually become loose from the slot and lose their grounding when not in contact with the saddle.

 

If you're saddle is getting a signal but is lower and crackly, then it's 99% probably a grounding issue.

Use some conductive material and stick it underneath the bottom and side of the piezo that's going out on the saddle. You need to make sure the piezo has contact with the saddle underneath so it can ground correctly.

 

Trust me, I had absolutely ZERO times of the issue ever since I did this.

 

I used the copper grounding wire inside of a typical audio wire. If you have any spare audio wires laying around, just cut some of the bare wire out and stick that under the piezo. Better than spending money on a new piezo when honestly buying a new piezo could just give you the same situation if the piezo slot is still loose.


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#9 Octo777

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 07:38 AM

My friend, please read my topic:

http://line6.com/sup...ounding-issues/

 

Original Variaxes have somewhat poorly designed piezos when it comes to how they ground. They usually eventually become loose from the slot and lose their grounding when not in contact with the saddle.

 

If you're saddle is getting a signal but is lower and crackly, then it's 99% probably a grounding issue.

Use some conductive material and stick it underneath the bottom and side of the piezo that's going out on the saddle. You need to make sure the piezo has contact with the saddle underneath so it can ground correctly.

 

Trust me, I had absolutely ZERO times of the issue ever since I did this.

 

I used the copper grounding wire inside of a typical audio wire. If you have any spare audio wires laying around, just cut some of the bare wire out and stick that under the piezo. Better than spending money on a new piezo when honestly buying a new piezo could just give you the same situation if the piezo slot is still loose.

 

No way! I am definitely going to give this a try as it would definitely appear based on what you described, it is a grounding issue that I have.

 

My fill in solution when the string has been getting quieter or crackling, has been to pull up on the string and let it snap back down and it appear this helps reseat the piezo back in the saddle, but obviously it eventually becomes loose again.

 

I don't suppose anyone knows the deal with removing the piezo's out of the acoustic saddle as I am guessing this requires a different technique than the electrics....? 


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#10 clay-man

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:12 AM

No way! I am definitely going to give this a try as it would definitely appear based on what you described, it is a grounding issue that I have.

 

My fill in solution when the string has been getting quieter or crackling, has been to pull up on the string and let it snap back down and it appear this helps reseat the piezo back in the saddle, but obviously it eventually becomes loose again.

 

I don't suppose anyone knows the deal with removing the piezo's out of the acoustic saddle as I am guessing this requires a different technique than the electrics....? 

 

The piezo can come out of the saddle, and there'll be a wire underneath for the signal wire. Just light the piezo gently out of the saddle with tweezers or something to pick it out of the slot. After that, I just stuffed a piece of copper wire underneath. My wire was slightly big, as I wanted to try to stop the grounding issue once and for all.

After that I clipped the excess wire jutting out of it with a nail clipper, and everything works great!

 

As I've said, this is a nearly free way to fix this problem, instead of buying a new piezo, when that new one will probably have the same problem.


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#11 Octo777

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:13 AM

The piezo can come out of the saddle, and there'll be a wire underneath for the signal wire. Just light the piezo gently out of the saddle with tweezers or something to pick it out of the slot. After that, I just stuffed a piece of copper wire underneath. My wire was slightly big, as I wanted to try to stop the grounding issue once and for all.
After that I clipped the excess wire jutting out of it with a nail clipper, and everything works great!

As I've said, this is a nearly free way to fix this problem, instead of buying a new piezo, when that new one will probably have the same problem.


Just tried to gently prize the piezo out of the saddle and it doesn't want to budge and I'm not about to force it for fear of tearing the cable out...... You sure the design of the Acoustic bridge is similar enough to the electrics that being able to simply prize out the piezo is a possibility?

*EDIT**

Scratch that, I changed from tweezers to a little pair of needle nose pliers and was able to gently pull the saddle out. About to place some copper wire inside and will report back with results!
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#12 clay-man

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:34 AM

Just tried to gently prize the piezo out of the saddle and it doesn't want to budge and I'm not about to force it for fear of tearing the cable out...... You sure the design of the Acoustic bridge is similar enough to the electrics that being able to simply prize out the piezo is a possibility?

*EDIT**

Scratch that, I changed from tweezers to a little pair of needle nose pliers and was able to gently pull the saddle out. About to place some copper wire inside and will report back with results!

 

I hope things work out for ya. Either way, it has to be some type of grounding issue. If the piezos are similar to the electric version, this should help you out, but yes, be sure not to damage anything during the process.


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#13 Octo777

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 09:52 AM

Yeah this idea was not a good one for me.

 

Managed to gently get the Piezo out far enough to stick a few strands of copper wire inside and pushed the saddle back into the slot.

 

Piezo was completely dead, I pulled the piezo out again, except this time it came clean off.........

 

Upon further inspection, unless I am greatly mistaken, the saddle slots the piezo sits in appear to be constructed from plastic and there don't appear to be any metal parts on the inside of that would be doing any grounding anyway.......

 

Guess I need to get onto Line 6 to chase up these replacement piezos......


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#14 clay-man

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:38 AM

Yeah this idea was not a good one for me.

 

Managed to gently get the Piezo out far enough to stick a few strands of copper wire inside and pushed the saddle back into the slot.

 

Piezo was completely dead, I pulled the piezo out again, except this time it came clean off.........

 

Upon further inspection, unless I am greatly mistaken, the saddle slots the piezo sits in appear to be constructed from plastic and there don't appear to be any metal parts on the inside of that would be doing any grounding anyway.......

 

Guess I need to get onto Line 6 to chase up these replacement piezos......

 

I'm sorry to hear that. I suppose the piezos are quite different on the acoustic versions. I hope you can find a way to fix your guitar. I know how you felt though, really nerve wrecking when mine did this just days after I got it off ebay.


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#15 Octo777

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 10:59 AM

Depending on cost, I might just send my guitar back to Line 6 and have them carry out the repair, and maybe just get all 6 piezos replaced at the same time and mitigate the chance of the others developing problems in the future.

 

This guitar is a money maker for me and till Line 6 bring out a new Variax acoustic, I can't be without it so I'll pay reasonable costs to keep this one working for the foreseeable future and at least if I have Line 6 carry out the repair/replacement, I will no doubt receive a warranty on the repair too which is better than trying to do it myself and botching it up!!! 

 

I just hope Line 6 can deliver for me on this front.


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#16 TheRealZap

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:08 AM

Sounds like you might want to pick up a spare while they are still floating around the used market.


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#17 Octo777

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:43 AM

So, I did actually end up having all 6 piezo's replaced by Line 6.

 

It cost me £15 to ship the guitar to them and the repair cost £78 including return shipping to me which was very reasonable in my opinion.

 

Other thing is, I send my guitar away last Thursday and had it returned to me today so that makes it a 5 working day turnaround which is most excellent as the estimate was 7 to 10 days!

 

Plugged it in and all is good! I have my Variax back virtually as good as new again, so I am really pleased!

 

 

On a side note, Line 6 called on Tuesday to let me know that the repairs were finished and took payment over the phone which was all good.

 

However, the following day, I had a message on my answer machine (which sounded very much like the same girl I spoke to the previous day) in regards to taking payment for the 2 saddles I had originally ordered well over a week before......so this was them only getting back to me about that particular parts order, despite the fact that my guitar had at this pointed, already been repaired and was winging it's way back to me.........which is a bit daft in my opinion!


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#18 Octo777

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:45 AM

Sounds like you might want to pick up a spare while they are still floating around the used market.

 

Yeah, I've been keeping an eye on Ebay, just missed out a black one the other day in fact, starting bid was £400 or BIN for £575 but as usual, within the last 2 minutes, the price sky rocketed up to £500 and I wasn't gonna spend that much on a second hand one.


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#19 toneman2121

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:54 AM

call me once and leave a message, shame on me, call me twice and leave the same message shame on you

 

 

So, I did actually end up having all 6 piezo's replaced by Line 6.

 

It cost me £15 to ship the guitar to them and the repair cost £78 including return shipping to me which was very reasonable in my opinion.

 

Other thing is, I send my guitar away last Thursday and had it returned to me today so that makes it a 5 working day turnaround which is most excellent as the estimate was 7 to 10 days!

 

Plugged it in and all is good! I have my Variax back virtually as good as new again, so I am really pleased!

 

 

On a side note, Line 6 called on Tuesday to let me know that the repairs were finished and took payment over the phone which was all good.

 

However, the following day, I had a message on my answer machine (which sounded very much like the same girl I spoke to the previous day) in regards to taking payment for the 2 saddles I had originally ordered well over a week before......so this was them only getting back to me about that particular parts order, despite the fact that my guitar had at this pointed, already been repaired and was winging it's way back to me.........which is a bit daft in my opinion!


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#20 clay-man

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 11:41 AM

So, I did actually end up having all 6 piezo's replaced by Line 6.

 

It cost me £15 to ship the guitar to them and the repair cost £78 including return shipping to me which was very reasonable in my opinion.

 

Other thing is, I send my guitar away last Thursday and had it returned to me today so that makes it a 5 working day turnaround which is most excellent as the estimate was 7 to 10 days!

 

Plugged it in and all is good! I have my Variax back virtually as good as new again, so I am really pleased!

 

 

On a side note, Line 6 called on Tuesday to let me know that the repairs were finished and took payment over the phone which was all good.

 

However, the following day, I had a message on my answer machine (which sounded very much like the same girl I spoke to the previous day) in regards to taking payment for the 2 saddles I had originally ordered well over a week before......so this was them only getting back to me about that particular parts order, despite the fact that my guitar had at this pointed, already been repaired and was winging it's way back to me.........which is a bit daft in my opinion!

Wow, that's amazing! I didn't know Line 6 still supported the acoustics too!

I'm glad you got your stuff fixed. I felt a little bad when my method didn't work for you.

 

To be honest, my method kind of backfired and I had to replace the piezo in the end.


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