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Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by exoteric on 2009-05-24 09:39:43

Background:

I have a variax 300. It's been back to Line6 UK once already (who were very helpful) to sort out a loose data cable socket (I had to 'shim' a matchstick in the XLR/Data connector to stop horrid dropouts - they swapped out that board and reurned / collected by UPS).

Unfortunately, now it's back, there's a new problem:

I get an intermittent 'gargling dropouts' effect on single instruments - so, say 'spank4/5' will be dropping out while 'spank1/2/3' are OK and all others are fine, then, after say 10 mins the problem goes away, but comes back on a 'lester' instrument. The dropouts are noticeable on any 'sustained chord' at a kind of 'random tremelo' or 'sample and hold' intervals of 100-500ms and continues as long as the chord is held. Problem came and went during last band practice and was very, very boring.

I have tried, without success:

Downloading guitar firmware update (up to date anyway) via 'monkey'.

Re-booting guitar by removing data cable (and leaving it 20 secs or so).

Updating all the instruments (monkey)

Problem eventually goes away as mysteriously as it arrived.

Sounds like a very dodgy onboard DSP board to me.

I will be taking this up under warranty in the coming week, but have been checking it's not something already here...

...so is this problem familiar to anyone? If so I'd be interested to hear from you. I've had a look in the Forum, but couldn't see a topic on this...

Thank you



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by amx05462 on 2009-05-24 10:13:44

first thing i might try is going into workbench and dropping the volume levels down a bit. i have this  on a couple of custom setting i did  but the volume is way up on them. unfortunatly  i cant do anything about it  because  i now have a 64 bit computer and workbench  will not work till a 64 bit usb driver is  written by the company.  but it sounds like  that could help with this problem...... worth a try anyway. others have posted similar problems.  the other thing you  could try is  cleaning the  model switch and 5 position switch with some contact cleaner.  300s  are pretty  old and switches are subject to oxidation.  you know like a scratchy potentometer.   anyhow  after cleaning blow  them out with dustoff to remove any residual  cleaner  oh and work the switches  back and fourth while the cleaner is in there.



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by exoteric on 2009-05-24 10:33:51

Thank you for your very fast reply!

As the problematic sounds 'move around' between 'standard' instruments - sometimes it's 'spank' sometimes 'lester' I'm pretty sure it's not the switching but data.

Comes and goes. Did you hear the mp3?

The tips with AF spray/switchcleaner are sound - thanks. I'm not going to dismantle the guitar, and wouldn't recommend this til out of warranty as any dismantling will blow Line6 warranty (old model, but bought recently so still in warranty)! I'm optimistic that they'll swap out the electronics for new, though a not inconsiderable inconvenience being without it.



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by amx05462 on 2009-05-24 10:53:29

yes i did listen to the sound  but i agree if its under warrantee  send it back is the best thing to do.  i didnt realise that it was bought new.



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by Line6Hugo on 2009-05-27 10:37:09

+1 to exoteric

Regards,

Line6Hugo

Please make sure to award points to helpful & correct responses to your questions.



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by Aggy on 2009-08-21 08:06:56

Hi,

I have the same problem, but with my Variax 600. I can't use the spank, T-model or Lespaul anymore. If I use them I get the same simullar sound as your Variax 300.

I already posted a message on the forum here. But nobody could help me. I have the problem for almost a year. And my variax is out of guarenty.

Is your problem solved ? I would like to know how you fixed it.

Regards,

Agnor



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by amx05462 on 2009-08-21 09:24:28

you can send  it in for service  .   since your out of  warrantee  id  try cleaning  the  switches  and  pots  with contact  cleaner as  i said above .



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by auggiet on 2010-08-07 11:47:17

Hi exoteric,

I realize this is a really late response (1+ year), but I too am experiencing the exact same symptom with my L6 V300.  Interestingly it is the Spank 4/5 mostly (the one I rely upon most) and the Lester occasionally.  Your description of the symptoms and MP3 file are spot on!  So, with all of that, I realize your unit was under warranty but I did not see a post wherein the issue and solution was defined.  Could you help me out, my unit is out of warranty (4 years) and it would be great if I could remedy the situation myself.  Thanks in advance for your assistance.

auggiet



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by auggiet on 2010-08-07 11:48:42

Hi Aggy,

Same problem here.  Did you ever get a response on how to remedy the issue?  Thanks in advance for your help.

auggiet



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by jgsacris on 2010-08-14 09:49:29

I am having exactly the same problem. Did you were able to solved it somehow?



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by wgdanson on 2010-08-15 23:15:36

I am having exactly the same problem with my 3 yr old V300, but usually the sound is the dull one. Also mine is going to the USER1 preset even though the knob is on Spank and the only way to stop it is to unplug the cable and put it back. Very frustrating.



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by Chelfyn on 2010-09-09 20:57:27

am experiencing the same issues on a variax 300 of unknown age (bought 2nd hand). I would love to hear from anyone with any solid ideas for fixes.



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by kellybwilde on 2011-01-24 13:16:54

Has anyone figured out this problem?

I am having the same problem.

Please help!



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by lowsco on 2011-01-24 14:10:04

This could be bad news, it is a pretty common problem I'm afraid, or should I say "join the club"? I went through several Variaxes over the years and every single one died or developed a serious problem of some sort. I don't think there is a general fix, it normally means that the whole electronics will have to be replaced. Good if it's still under warranty, not so good if it's too old. Variaxes with issues (..and trust me, yours is not the only one) normally end up on Ebay, so that others can join the club of frustration, .....so I've heard.

Having said that, ....to be fair, I should also point out that there are on the other hand Variax owners out there who claim that they never had a problem with their guitar. And I continue to buy them until I find one that actually works, I'm picking up a 500 tomorrow and I have pre-ordered a JTV-69. I like the Variax idea a lot and I'm confident that one day.....



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by kellybwilde on 2011-01-24 14:26:13

To me it almost sounds like a digital comunication problem between my variax and my vetta.

I had it do it to me once when I was messing around with the digital output format of my vetta.

It does it if I set it too high like 96/24 khz/bit.



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by lowsco on 2011-01-24 14:36:21

Ahh, so you're powering the Variax by the Digital Interface Cable? Do you also get a problem when you power your guitar from your power supply or batteries? Does your guitar cut out and does it sometimes help to plug the lead out and back in?



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by kellybwilde on 2011-01-24 14:44:04

I dont know, I never use the power supply or batteries



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by amx05462 on 2011-01-24 14:57:05

just a note...   a  while back there  were a few  people  having  problems  with the  main board shorting  on the  coffin case. this  may not be your  problem but you might  want to look back through  the threads and do some  reading



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by amx05462 on 2011-01-24 15:10:48

id make one  more suggestion to all of you... the 300  is an old  model . i have one  no problems  yet.  however  i have  theroughly  cleaned all pots  including the  model selector  and 5 way  toggle.

  i would   try  some contact  cleaner  on this  switch.    unfortunately   you cant  get at it  without    taking the  pick guard  off.   but  other than that  there  is  no disassembly.  if  you remove the  screws  and  lift the pick guard   you  should be  able to get at it  without  even removing  your  strings from   what  would  be the upper  side  if you  are  playing it.  use a  spray  nozel with the little  red  hose   give it a good  shot and  work  the  switch  while  wet. contacts  do oxidise   even  under the best of  conditions.



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by lowsco on 2011-01-24 15:15:02

kellybwilde wrote:

I dont know, I never use the power supply or batteries

Try to nail the problem down, it could be the Digital Interface cable. ...and follow amx05462's advise. He's the man who will probably be able to provide you with some info and tricks once you've nailed your problem down, ...I guess.



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by amx05462 on 2011-01-24 16:01:47

well im leaning toard the model switch   because    there all saying its   in  certain positions   on certain models  .  to me  and i could be  wrong    it indicates   a switch  either  the model  or the  5  way.     try to remember  are  all the  models that are being affected     in the same position  or  one next to each other  position on the 5  way toggle     or   is it  in different  spots.   if its  always say  position 4 /5   then  id clean the toggle    if its  in different places  i d  clean the  model selector.

if i were  doing  it  myself  id  pop that sucker  like a can of beans  and clean  every  switch.   but   im trying to be   specific     here. all switches  and pots   collect  dirt  dust  and corrode  its the nature  of the beast. even a regular guitar needs the pots   cleaned    over the years. a 300     dont  know  for sure  when they came out  but    you are  in the 6 to 10 year  range. unless you bought it  new  yourself  you dont  know   what conditions  it  has been  exposed to so    thats  the simplest thing to try  again  as to the   cable . i would  think all models in all positions  would be affected   were that the  case.

jmho good  luck



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by kellybwilde on 2011-01-24 16:05:57

Thanks, ill try it and see what happens.



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by stevec on 2011-03-01 16:37:07

Has anybody resolved the issue?

I wanted a variax to go with my X3 Live but I didn't realize there were so many problems with them

I just bought used Variax 300 from Guitar Center last night, should be here byThursday.

I bought it from them because their used gear is way less expensive than Ebay

Now a plus looks to be the 30 day no questions money back return... I'm going to be giving a thorough work out the next month to be sure

Oh and Hi... I'm new here



Re: Instrument sound dropouts on Variax300 - anyone else?
by stevec on 2011-03-02 08:44:58

I just read this regarding the sound dropout on another area of this board... sounds like an easy fix to me

http://line6.com/community/thread/17821?tstart=0




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