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Variax 600 intermittent random model jumping
by Elreddo on 2010-09-03 09:05:01

I bought a Variax 600 last week, it was the previous owners stage spare and looking at it's condition it was hardly ever used.

However, is has a very occasional issue.  When set to either Lester or Spank usually in selector position 1 or 2 the guitar model will very quickly jump between the Lester, Spank and T-model patches (confirmed in Workbench) resulting in a kind of jumping choppy output.  The thing is, I can usually remedy the problem for a number of days by lightly tapping the model Selector knob or around it on the Scratchplate, after which, everything switches fine again with no problems. 

All things considered (and for the price I got it) its a problem I can live with, but I would like to know if there is a simple fix or if this specific problem can be nailed down to a couple of factors.  I have seen this problem arise around the forum a couple of times, yet neither actually reported back whether the solutions given fixed the problem.

The most common suggestions are to reflash, which didnt help, to check the wiring connections and to spray contact cleaner onto the pots and selector, could this be caused by a dusty or dirty connection in the pots, or is it indicative of a failing component?  I really hope not as the guitar is almost unused (but out of warranty).  I have my suspicions about a loose connection as the tapping appears to fix it for quite a while.

Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated as this really is a fantastic instrument and I will be using it on stage soon.  Maybe I can work the strange sound into our act!

Another user posted this clip, which is identical sounding to my problem, as you can hear, the guitar is switching between lester and spank models: http://www.bankie.com/music/variaxproblem.mp3

Rupert.



Re: Variax 600 intermittent random model jumping
by klgraves on 2010-09-03 09:29:35

Rupert,

     I had similar symptoms.  My problem was dirty/corroded 5-way switch and selector knob.  I'd try cleaning them out with deoxit (or similar).  Or, just make sure the switch/knobs are really "set" in position.  Here's another similar thread:

Link



Re: Variax 600 intermittent random model jumping
by Elreddo on 2010-09-03 17:01:12

Thanks man, I looked at your other post, rotating the model knob has worked, for now, but I'll try the deoxit/contact cleaner method if the problem escalates, has it fixed the problem permanently for you?

Thanks again, Rupert.



Re: Variax 600 intermittent random model jumping
by klgraves on 2010-09-03 18:01:25

It took two cleanings, a few weeks apart, and I haven't experienced the problem since then.  It's only been a few months, though.  And, I now am very careful to make sure the knob and switch are surely 'set'.

Fingers crossed.



Re: Variax 600 intermittent random model jumping
by Elreddo on 2010-09-06 06:58:26

Again, thanks for the advice, one last question though

So, I've narrowed it down to the model selector pot.  It seems the problem occurs once daily and can easily be fixed for a good few hours to a day but rolling the selector a couple of times and rolling it gently pushed down, so it looks very much like the culprit is a dirty connection, apparently likely to be a bit of dust of dirt that keeps working its way back into the same spot.  So, unless I can fix it perhaps within a week, I will be getting the old toolset out, and connection cleaner, there is no way I am giving up this guitar due to such a seemingly fixable problem.

One things though, do you have a 600?  Is it easy to get at the pots without taking too much apart?  I'm happy having my standard guitars in bits all over the floor, namely because I know im not going to destroy a circuit board XD, but Im a little weary of this one!

Thanks again, Rupert.



Re: Variax 600 intermittent random model jumping
by klgraves on 2010-09-06 08:38:42

I have a 700 and haven't had much experience with the other models.  But, I would imagine they are similar.

To clean the 700, I did two things:

1.  I removed the back cover and found the model selector.  I tried to snake the 'straw' of deoxit up into the selector pot.  The deoxit is pressurized, so I don't think you need to jam the straw up there...just get it to the opening.  I sprayed a bunch, and then wiped off the excess

2.  From the opposide side of the guitar (the side where the strings are) I tried to aim the straw up inside the model selector.  Sprayed and wiped again.

Let it dry and repeat.

I'm a novice and taking the back plate off wasn't hard.  Just keep in mind there are some circuit boards with small connectors back there, so be gentle and if you're in a dry area, watch the static electricity.

There are some guys on this forum that do this all the time...maybe they'll jumpin ....



Re: Variax 600 intermittent random model jumping
by Elreddo on 2010-09-18 06:37:41

Well, bit the bullet this morning!

Took it apart and had a good squirt around of lubricating contact cleaner!

Just wanted to say thanks for the feedback, without your help I would never have found this fix, it appears to have done the job nicely, no glitches or jumping whatsoever in the half hour since.  Considering before I started it believed a Les Paul sounded exactly the same as a Strat XD

Cheers. Rupert.



Re: Variax 600 intermittent random model jumping
by amx05462 on 2010-09-19 04:26:03

this  is a common  problem  i just  answered  this  for two other  people    .   this  proves  its  common .   open up the  guitar  and  spray that  switch  with  contact  cleaner  then  work the  switch    from one  end  to the  other  a few  times  and  spray  it again   it  should  cure  the  problem. 



Re: Variax 600 intermittent random model jumping
by es336td on 2011-02-03 13:57:30

Sounds to me like another dreaded coffin shielding thing...  take it apart... shield the cage (coffin) with black tape, or non-conductive paint everywhere it could possible be near the circuit board.   My 600 does the same thing.   I did the cleaning and reflash mess which proved to be temporary.  Shield the cage and it will go away.



Re: (8>*}... Well, gents, I just had to...
by JellyWheat on 2011-02-03 15:03:39

... put a fresh set of strings and a coat of Maguiar's Gold Class on my Strat. The problem of dull-sounding strings  and tacky fingerprints seems to have disappeared...

...for the time being, anyway!

FYI

JellyWheat

[Please, please forgive my impertinence. I know what forum this is, but I just couldn't resist, having gone the same route as you guys with my Variax 300! I'll try to be good!]



Re: (8>*}... Well, gents, I just had to...
by amx05462 on 2011-02-03 23:49:44

oh you wouldnt like mine then J/W. it  usually looks  like   its been through a snow  storm. my method is usually  remove strings .  dust( cigarette  ash) off .  windex  and  paper towel.    if the neck is rosewood  baby oil   rub off the excess.  restring.  have a smoke.



Re: (8>*}... Pomehow, this conjures up an image of...
by JellyWheat on 2011-02-04 02:58:49

Linus playing the grand piano and Pig Pen on guitar!

J/W



Re: (8>*}... Pomehow, this conjures up an image of...
by amx05462 on 2011-02-05 02:20:12

yeah  thaats  pretty much it   .  sometimes  i think it  improves  my  playing  lol



Re: (8>*}... Pomehow, this conjures up an image of...
by JellyWheat on 2011-02-05 02:22:36

Well, look what the cat drug in!!! Are you finally awake?

J/W

[You MISSPELLED "that", BTW! Congratulations on your B.S.H.!]



Re: (8>*}... Pomehow, this conjures up an image of...
by amx05462 on 2011-02-05 03:21:48

yeah . im up   on my own time  for a change . ita  been  a long  week. i pmd  you the details  earlier .   how you doing by the  way

by  my  emails   youve  been  busy  saving  all these  l6  end  users.




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