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Main :: Variax Guitars / Bass / Workbench

Variax squealing
by Flyag on 2011-10-20 04:00:38


I have owned both a Variax 600 and 700 (still have the 700) and they were great when I was playing in a small corporate band, low volume etc. However when I use(d) either in my rock band, with heaps more volume and gain, both guitars squeal uncontrollably (squeal as opposed to feedback) through all amps (Bogner XTC, H&K Trilogy, SV), when my strat does not.

Has anyone else encountered this?

More importantly has this been eliminated from the Tyler Variax's?

Cheers Flyag

RE: Variax squealing
by laplayantonio on 2011-10-20 05:04:25

hello Flyag

have you tried updating/reinstalling the Firmware? see f.ex.

see the directions in


Re: RE: Variax squealing
by Flyag on 2011-10-20 15:52:30

Thanks, i'll look into it, cheers!

Re: RE: Variax squealing
by Flyag on 2011-10-20 18:04:17

Sorry for my continued ignorance, but are you referring to restoring the factory settings, reinstalling the flash memory or both?

FYI - I don't have the workbench software and really, I'm not very tech orientated...obviously...LOL, I'm just a player who likes the "vesatility already on boar the Variax's ONLY"... never done any pc tweaking, alternate tunings etc).

So, can I restore the factory settings of my 700 as per the first paragraph re: Tyler model?

Also if so, will the custom banks become inoperable and then I'd need to reload the flash memory, or can I re-program the custom banks manually?

I'd prefer to avoid downloads etc, if possible.

Cheers I appreciate any advice :-)

RE: Variax squealing
by laplayantonio on 2011-10-21 03:11:34

the procedure applies for all Variaxes, JTVs included

you may use any Variax connector-fitted unit (XTLive, X3Live/Pro, Vetta amp, HD500/Pro) as an interface to update/reinstall the firmware instead of a Workbench interface

otherwise, please contact your nearest Line6 Service Center:

Re: Variax squealing
by variaxtwin on 2011-11-01 00:51:12

Hi There,

I am having exactly the same problem. Bought the HD500\DT50 combo. When I use it with my Variax700 on a HD500 patch having distortion it starts sqealing. When I switch to my Les Paul, the problem is gone.

I tried reinstalling the firmware in the Variax, to no avail. I was planning to upgrade to a JTV, but am not sure anymore whether to do this.

Did you manage to fix this problem ? Appreciating any feedback.


Re: Variax squealing
by Flyag on 2011-11-01 15:06:27


No I haven't solved the problem...

I only own the Variax - don't have access to the other products needed to perhpas solve the problem and not willing to purchase them - nor do I have the technological know how, nor want to waste playing time mucking around with pc's, to do any fixes via pc..

Also I live in Australia and Line6 service centres are few and far between here...

So sadly I will be selling my 700 and not purchasing a JTV, just in case the JTV squeals too! Back to a standard guitar for me...!

Good luck.


Re: Variax squealing
by stevekc on 2011-11-02 22:36:36

Rather surprised no one else here has mentioned the known solution to the famous "Variax 500/ 700 high pitched squeal feedback at stage volume" problem, as this was solved back in 2005 by a few of us "early adopters" of Variax technology at the Institute of Noise Forum, where we had to figure all this stuff out by ourselves.

And I should add a firmware update Never solved it.

I have owned a Variax 700, 500, 600, and now a JTV-69

My prior forum posts on this topic are archived at the old ION Forum (im "stevek" over there)

style="color: midnightblue; font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana,Arial,Helvetica;">
* Microphonic Saddles: All is wonderful on headphones or low volume - but plug into a Vetta with hi gain patches at a volume to compete with a rock drummer at stage volume - I have terrible microphonic feedback. I'm presently in communication with LR Baggs regarding this.
EDIT - We have located a solution to this here:
"I called Line 6 tech support because my Variax 700 w/trem would make a high pitched squealing noise, more so on high gain patches, even at low volumes. There is a ribbon cable from the piezo saddles to the circuit board, connected via a detachable male female jack. The cable passes through a pair of flat "doughnut" RF Ferrite cores which are supposed to remove noise/interference. Most computer VGA monitor cables have these as well. The tech support guy suggested passing the cable an extra time through these ferrite cores (under the DSP board). There is just enough length on the cable to do this. He also asked if I was handy enough to do it. If not, he suggested I get it to an authorized Line 6 repair shop. It took all of 15 minutes and my problem was solved. I guess the internal electronics can produce more noise than expected."

You can see the RF Ferrite cores at the timestamp 1:40, and 3:03 minutes into the Nathan Shane Variax 500 Piezo saddle video here:"

style="color: midnightblue; font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana,Arial,Helvetica;">Variax_700_Piezo flat cable_ferite core.PNG

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The Flat Ferite cores which the UNSHIELDED FLAT PIEZO Flex cable  passes thru help to electrically shield the ultra sensitive Piezo pickup (input) path, and help shield this flat Piezo PU flex cable. its important to note, flex cables have been proven to have a high susceptibility to being microphonic without these ferrite cores - its a design fault of the 1st generation Variax 500/700, as these cables can easily pickup the radiatied audio signal from the DSP modeled output signal - and this creates squealing feedback when you play on a loud stage.

On the newer Varixes (Variax 300, 600, Tyler JTV) they abandoned the flat piezo flex cable, and now use bulky fully shielded multicore cables as a solution to microphonic feedback at high volume. 

Back in 2005,  On my Variax 700 I took lots of pics before and after - Ill see if i can locate them. Basically the Flat Piezo flex cable was just long enough to be passed and looped thru the internal ferrite cores TWICE, before mating the end with the gold plated fingers with the white lever operated connector on the DSP board. 

Re: Variax squealing
by Flyag on 2011-11-02 23:10:37


Thanks, this is certainly worth a try!



Re: Variax squealing
by Mark_Redfern on 2011-11-07 12:00:25

Hi Steve,

Can I ask you what might be a couple of dumb questions, (I'll assume you just said yes to yourself)

1/ Is the procedure the same if its a trem model 700?

2/ (The dumb bit) When you say put the ribbon cable through twice, do you mean just insert it back the way it came? This would leave a kind of loop at one end?


Re: Variax squealing
by stevekc on 2011-11-12 13:26:38

Remove the cables from the DSP board and lift up to gain acces to this view of the ribbon cable.

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You will want to take the end and send it back thru the two ferrite cores.

Like this:

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The above procedure is much easier on the Variax Electric 700, because it uses a much thinner flat flex cable.

The better fix is to replace this non shielded flat ribbon cable with a fully shielded piezo cable  - like the new JTV-69 here:

<a target=new href="class="jive-image" src=""/>

Re: Variax squealing
by Mark_Redfern on 2011-11-13 05:16:09

Thanks Steve

I get it now. There is however a difference between my Variax and the pictures above and the video from Nathan.

First, the board looks different to the video in that all the plugs on mine are underneath and a bit harder to get to - having said that I assume they come off in the same way.

Secondly, my ribbon cable is smaller, white and is stuck to the top of the ferrite thingies.

Should I be worried about any of these differences and get on with it?

Also a further question - Where can I buy the newer type cables in the UK?

Many Thanks


I will post some pics later today, but right now I'm off to PMT in Manchester for a Line 6 demo of all three JTV's

Re: Variax squealing
by Flyag on 2011-11-13 13:42:24

Hi Mark,

As the new JTV's aren't readily available here in Oz as yet, can you please report back as to whether they also suffer from the same annoying squealing problem?

I'm sure that will be one of your first priorities, as it would/will be mine.

This is my only reservation about purchasing another/new Variax, regardless of the very helpful and in depth advice, kindly supplied by Steve...!



Re: Variax squealing
by Mark_Redfern on 2011-11-14 04:15:01

Hi Flyag

Unfortunately I didnt see your post until I got home. I'll answer it first and then explain.

Strangely as it may seem, it wasnt my priority so I didnt consider it because until this post I never gave the problem too much thought.

The problem occurrs once a night on one particular patch and therefore because I am so in love with my Variax I have just overlooked it for all the years since I have owned it. (2005) Of course now that I know the solution, its on my mind and I hope to fix it with Steves solution. I suggest you try it with me and we can post our success.

Now onto your part about buying a new JTV when they become available near you, I'll give you my thoughts from seeing them all yesterday. My opinion is just my opinion though and I have always said that the only way to decide on the purchase of a guitar is to play it before you buy then you cannot be disapointed.

In PMT yesterday there were several on display and I tried them all

2 x 59's a Black one and a Tobacco Sunburst - Both absolutely gorgeous to look at

They felt really nice to play and of course we all know what they sound like

2 x 69's one was Sunburst and one Black

I dont like the neck on this - its too chunky for me but I know that others will prefer it

My favourite to play was a Black 89 with a slimmer neck but stupidlly without a TREM

Lovely feel to it

All the guitars I played could do with a tweek here and there so would benefit from a good set up and I'm told that the new ones have 4 times the processing power than the old, therefore giving much clearer sounds. To be honest I couldnt hear that much difference.

Would I buy one? Thats a complicated answer too - it goes like this

When the Variax came out (2003) I tried a 500 and loved the idea and the sounds but didnt get on with the neck, so I didnt buy one. Then came the 700 and wow! it was perfect (after a good set up)

I sold my 1974 Gibson Les Paul to get the money to buy it) and Ive never regretted that decision.

Ok what about trading up to a JTV? If I didnt already own a Variax then yes I would without doubt trade in any guitar that I owned to scrape the £1049 needed. But I'm not going to jump right now because for the extra money it wouldnt be worth it as I have what I consider to be almost the perfect instrument, plus the fact that the one that suited me best was the 89 but it has no trem.

As I said earlier only you can arrive at your own decision

I hope that has helped


Re: Variax squealing
by Flyag on 2011-11-14 13:13:13

Thanks for that in depth analysis Mark, much appreciated.

I'm simply hoping since this squealing issue has been highlighted by multiple users, that it has been remedied by Line6/Tyler in the new models.

As I mentioned above strangely (for someone who has adapted to such technology) I'm not very techy and have not utilised workbench for alternate tunings, although I would have use for them. So the new JTV's having onboard tunings, to me, is a real bonus. Add to that the improved processing power/sound quality (although like you I am pretty happy with the 700) and if the newies "do not squeal" (seriously one shouldn't have to do the abovementioned repair - that should be sorted in the factory prior to production)...then the JTV69 (pending feel of course) is the guitar for me...



Re: Variax squealing
by Mark_Redfern on 2011-11-14 13:47:31

Hi Flyag

Certainly according to Steves post and pics above the new one have been fixed so good luck. Check out the next post I put up though in the meantime, the 700 fix seems easy enough even for a non techy like you and me to keep you going until you get the new one.

Cheers, Mark

Re: Variax squealing
by Mark_Redfern on 2011-11-14 14:04:52

Hi Steve

I mentioned some differences between my 700 and the pics and video of yours and Nathans.

I opened up the guitar to take some photos not intending to do the job but because my ribbon cable was not connected by any kind of release clip, as I pulled the board upwards to try to unclip the other connectors the ribbon cable simply pulled free from the board. So I though ah well I have to do it now and went ahead to put the ribbon back through the ferrite cores. Easy enough (well it was a bit fiddly but yeah easy enough) Reconnected everything up and Bobs your Uncle. Incidentally my ribon cable was in fact stuck down by two double sided sticky pads but they came off quite easily.

Has it solved the problem? Does the gutar even still work?

I dunno yet, I'll check it in the morning having had a bottle of beer and a couple of glasses of wine

Cheers MarkVariax Board.JPG

Re: Variax squealing
by Mark_Redfern on 2011-11-15 04:20:49

Wey Hey !

The guitar still works, so thats the main worry gone.

I cranked the volume up on a high gain patch and I have to say it seems better. I pushed it and it was still there when I did.(So not not completey cured) but I think I can probably acheive more volume without the feedback. Not that I will want more volume than I normally use, but I reckon the feedback should occurr less which will be an improvement.

I think that part of the problem maybe due to 2 other factors (in my case anyway)

The feedback happens when sustaining a high note on the top strings, with or without the use of the trem. The trem is then bringing the lower strings in as they must be contacting with the piezos.

Also I think I have developed a habit of muting those strings with my palm (probably to combat the feedback) so I'm not sure if that is adding to the problem.

Anyway as I said, I think its better than before so I will know for sure at my next gig

Cheers, Mark

Re: Variax squealing
by Mark_Redfern on 2011-11-22 03:01:35

Hi Everyone

I'm happy to report that this has worked probably about 90% so I'm very pleased. There was no squealing or feedback at the times when it would normally occur. And I played pretty loud so I am happy with this massive improvement.

Thank you to Steve for guiding me through the fix and I suggest that if I can do it anyone can.

Flyag, it is relatively easy even if your not techy minded. Just have a look at Nathans video above and then follow Steves instructions



Re: Variax squealing
by stevekc on 2011-11-22 12:51:53

Hey - very happy to read your positive results with taming the Variax 700 Feedback problem by using the Ribbon Cable "double loop thru the ferite cores" trick.

And for those who are wondering if Feedback is a problem with other Variax's - they fixed this issue by using shielded cables on the piezo pickups on the Variax 300/600 and ALL Tyler Variax's.

Re: Variax squealing
by Mark_Redfern on 2011-11-23 12:24:56

Thanks again Steve

How do I mark your answer as ' Helpful ' so that you can get some points

Cheers Mark

The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.