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My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by clay-man on 2013-02-04 07:39:54

Hi. Many of us have been arguing about Line 6 slowly pulling out of support for old Variax models.

I agree that Line 6 is dropping people pretty hard here.

I have a few theories in both perspectives, both on what they should have done for old users, and why they're pushing new models.

What they should have done:

I believe they should have had some sort of discount trade offer for old Variax users. If they wanted to drive us to buy new JTVs so badly, they could have said "Hey, got an old Variax? We got discounts for old users. We'll dock a few hundred dollars if you trade in your old Vax for a JTV!"

Many companies and stores done this, and many still do. I remember trading in my old Nintendo GBA for a new GBA SP back in the day.

That is smart marketting. Give us a reason to upgrade when we don't have that much money to. You have to realize that's why we don't have JTVs, because it's freaking expensive.

Theory on why the JTVs are a better option and why they push it:

JTVs are supposedly the response to customer feedback and critique. We requested all of this, so they dished it out.

One of the things I'm hoping with the JTV, is that they fixed MUCH of the hardware. We have so many topics here complaining about failing components. I'm hoping to god they addressed these problems with the JTV. Hopefully the JTV will last MUCH MUCH longer without needing these obnoxious part replacements.

With the second theory said, Line 6 honestly should have done the first part of my post. You really are alienating your costomers when you say "Hey just buy a JTV even though you don't have the money". Like I said, give us a reason to spend yet again for a guitar after we JUST got one, or else you're saying "Keep buying our guitars because we want you to keep wasting money for no reason".



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by amx05462 on 2013-02-04 08:37:13

moraly  your  correct.   but this is the real situation.    as i see it  from there  point  of  view.   ( not that i agree  )   bit  its  this.  we  got it  nobody else  has  it  so if  you want  it  you have to come to us .. if you dont like  our  terms... theyes  plenty of  others   who will buy our  guitars..

based  on past experience   and what customers  had to do  to get anything at all from them    this is  my opinion.  fortunately  they have competition in other  areas  or that would be the same  with all there  products



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by clay-man on 2013-02-04 09:09:51

Right up until everyone notices this problem and stops buying altogether.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by amx05462 on 2013-02-04 09:17:24

i doubt that will happen.   people  like  new toys..  thats  why   they buy more than one  guitar. 

but  i think  thats what it  would  take to really get there attention.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by clay-man on 2013-02-04 12:55:56

I just don't get it though.

As a business, you want to thrive, florish and be as successful as you can in being profitable.

I have argued time and time again, that if they don't treat their guitars like real guitars, people will view them as kid's toys instead of actual guitars, and you'll have a whole demograph of people dodging the Variax.

Line 6 already floored their competition, The Firebird X is garbage, and noone really knows about the Fender VG, but people also still don't know the Variax very well either.

They could easily garnish respect and change any skeptic's minds if they hold their equipment up with respect, or else the negativity will leak out and spread. What they need to do is deminish that, and respect is the way to go.

So as a company, success is nice, but don't you want the most out of it? You keep saying "Hey old Variax users, buy the new one" but again, why do we still have the old one and not buy the new one? We can't really afford it so don't have a real reason to switch.

Saying "Hey, your old Variax broke? Too bad, buy the new one then, even though there might be a chance we'll pull the same thing if we release the FendGibTyler Super Saiyan 5 Variax in place of the JTVs" is making NO, ONE, want to buy a JTV, and in fact making people want to buy ZERO Line 6 equipment.

What's the point of an inovative product if you can only walk 1 step with it and it no longer works?



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by TheRealZap on 2013-02-04 13:09:49

I think you're over thinking it...

if they did have parts available, and they charged as much as a new variax who would buy the parts?

i'm sure that Ford probably doesn't make every part for every vehicle ever made either... at some point you have to salvage, recreate, or abandon....



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by amx05462 on 2013-02-04 14:06:46

thats exactly it in a nut shell..   as to your  ford  old parts analogy..   there are companies   who make those  parts and  make a very good living  doing  so.    but  your right   about  line  6.

they just arent gonna do it.    and  based  on there  success  so far   i would  guess  they think they are  on the right  track.  this  argument  has been made  time  and time  again  and  line 6  still   does  what  they think  is right  for the company.   in the end ... if you want there tech  and  your  old  one dies  you  have to decide  if you  want  it  bad  enough...

much like  computers  and   cell phones   ...people  get spoiled  with  those things  and  just dont  want to go back..

  who  would  have  thought   anyone  would  pay two hundred  bucks  for  sneakers..   not  me   but  people  do..



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by clay-man on 2013-02-04 14:10:34

Why would they charge it that much?



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by amx05462 on 2013-02-04 14:14:42

because  nobody else  has it..



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by TheRealZap on 2013-02-04 14:29:18

clay-man wrote:

Why would they charge it that much?

because they either make a ton of them.... to store... and have all that money tied into a low volume product with fewer and fewer selling...

or they keep a factory somewhere all tooled and machined to press these things out on demand...

basic business 101, if you will sell less you need to charge more.... also known as the mcdonalds factor... sell a billion cheeseburgers for 1$ rather than a single billion dollar cheeseburger



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by amx05462 on 2013-02-04 14:30:25

+1



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by clay-man on 2013-02-04 18:23:15

They don't make the piezos theirselves so I don't get why they can't restock them on demand?



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by TheRealZap on 2013-02-04 18:53:25

what's not to get... it's called lean manufacturing... look it up. especially with parts that you purchase from others...

basically you are taking cash from your company and setting it off to the side... rather than making investments that benefit the company....

the piezos at least have other viable alternative available such as the graptech ghost saddles.

so even if L6 doesn't keep them in stock, someone could fix a guitar (and some would say upgrade...) without L6 having the parts.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by silverhead on 2013-02-04 18:54:53

Availability of the piezos is an intermittent thing. The full set happens to be available now in the Line 6 online store:

https://www.globalfulfillment.net/gfsnet/line6/10Expand.aspx?ProductCode=98-030-0035

It's only for US shipment, but they should also be available from any Line 6 parts supplier worldwide - at certain times. As far as the piezos go, there are other and (imho) better alternatives (Graphtech for one).

As for you general feeling that Line 6 should provide better parts replacement service for a longer time, I understand your disappointment. But it is what it is, and this discussion isn't going to change it. I think your feeling as expressed earlier is a bit of an overstatement:

I have argued time and time again, that if they don't treat their guitars like real guitars, people will view them as kid's toys instead of actual guitars, and you'll have a whole demograph of people dodging the Variax.

I just don't think there's a whole demograph who feel that way. Line 6 certainly doesn't.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by amx05462 on 2013-02-05 04:47:36

im sure  you could buy the  baggs  pickups  from lr baggs   direct.  but  they only sell in sets  to my knowledge.

as to why  l 6 wont stock  old parts .. theres  a tax  on stock..  every  year my company had  to pay tax  on in house   parts and  materials...   bad  enough  you  have a bunch of stuff    one person wants   once in a while  sitting  around  taking up space  but then you  have to pay tax  on same parts  year after  year..



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by sliding_billy on 2013-02-06 04:54:21

Line 6 has the right to do whatever they want regarding the old Variax.  ...just like they had the right to drop the Vetta with all the bugs intact after promising to fix them (along with numerous other "throw $hit against the wall" products like the Duoverb that they have dropped abruptly).  I do not claim to know how much business they have lost because of these business decisions, but I can tell you that it has severely impacted my purchasing decisions over the many years since I got my 1st original POD.  I still have some Line 6 products and even have an HD500 and JTV69.  That being said, I have been in a position to buy a DT and another JTV (either a 59 or possibly the new 89) and have chosen to spend my money on products that I know will last as long as I WANT THEM TO LAST and am willing to make them last.  Guitars and amps are not the same as computers and other electronics to me.  I have been playing guitars and using computers for over 30 years in both cases and there is a clear difference whether folks want to acknowledge it or not.  As for the economics/finance/accounting lessons... they are not on point IMO on either side of this argument.  This argument to me is simply about potential buyers making a decision about the life expectancy of a product that is competing with the life expectancy of a product that not only does not become un-repairable but in most cases becomes more desirable with age.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by phil_m on 2013-02-07 06:54:04

Line 6 stuff is not meant to be a collector's piece. It's meant to be used and abused for a little while then replaced by something else. The stuff Line 6 makes is more on the utilitarian side of things, at least from a pragmatic standpoint. So I'd say if a major driver of a person's motivation for buying new guitar equipment is what the re-sale value will be down the road, investing in Line 6 stuff isn't probably the best bet.

That being said, I think my JTV69 is a very well-made guitar. Whether or not I'll keep it for 10 or 15 years, I don't know. I really only have two guitars that I've owned that long. I don't have any amp that's made it that long. It just depends on how people think about gear.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by clay-man on 2013-02-07 14:18:01

I can kind of understand Line 6's decision when thinking of the JTV as an address to V1 Variax's problems. People did keep pushing them to fix stuff about the original models, I guess this was a combination of both the answer to our questions as well as an attempt to rejevenate the Variax so they can push it in marketing, especially as something brand new.

The old Variaxes were cool, but I haven't heard about ANYTHING about Variax until just last year, and they've been out nearly exactly when I started playing guitar.

Like I said, I just wish they kept SOME effort to please old Variax users.

I admit it, The JTV stuff is an amazing update on the concept, but I've said that a lot of us can't afford it so we're clinging to the old ones for now.

I must also admit, that I probably wouldn't have a Variax at all if the JTVs weren't out, causing the V1's to have a major price drop in the market.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by sliding_billy on 2013-02-08 00:06:57

I don't expect the Line 6 gear to become collectable either (was just pointing out a side benefit of other gear as it ages), but I do not expect it to be disposable.  Phil, that seams to be your take.  My point is that if Line 6 pushes the disposable gear thing, I believe they will lose more and more buyers as only those with enough disposable income to constantly replace their gear will be in the market.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by phil_m on 2013-02-08 06:29:33

I'm not saying that Line 6 stuff is disposable, at least not in the typical way that word is used. I think there's a large level of functionality between collectable and disposable, and really, that's where most consumer items fall. You could say there is some planned obsolescence at work, I suppose, but I think that with a technology driven company, there will always be motivation for customers to ditch the old so they can get the new. There are a lot of old processors from the 80's and 90's sitting in studios gathering dust not because they're bricks, but simply because something better came along that replicates and/or supercedes their functionality with more ease of use, better fidelity, more flexibilty, etc.

As far as Line 6 offering support for previous Variax guitars, I'm not sure what a reasonable expectation should be. I think it's like anything in the market. The availability of parts depends largely on how successful the item was in the first place. It also depends on how easy it is to keep manufacturing the parts. For traditional electrics, it's not so much of a big deal because all manufacturers are essentially drawing from the same box of parts, more or less.

I understand the hesitancy some people have in buying the guitar. I really do. I'm not trying to convince anyone. I just think for certain musicians, the Variax is an awesome investment even if they buy and it's essentially worth nothing in 10 years.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by Blues_man001 on 2013-02-12 12:04:33

I can't imagine that the JTV main-board (as well as all the other integral parts that make it a variax) can't be used for old school Variax's.  And with the number of people dying to use their Variax's, but can't due to failed parts - they should offer an "on-demand" parts replacement option.  Or at least give us the true manufacturer and let us decide if the expense is worth replacing the part.  I was directed to a company that has software for flash memory fixes, but since there's no USB input to the main-board, this option is moot.  With all this technology, it's sad that we just have to junk a perfectly good guitar - or break out the router.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by clay-man on 2013-02-12 14:50:14

I am kind of baffled to why Line6 doesn't use USB ports for the VDI. Perhaps it would need extra drivers, or maybe they want to sell cables.



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by TheRealZap on 2013-02-12 15:41:46

i'm not baffled... usb ports are far too delicate and the cables are not that durable... look up the many posts about the usb ports on the hd500



Re: My new thoughts on the Old Variax vs JTV support situation.
by clay-man on 2013-02-14 11:07:27

Actually you have a point. It wouldn't be ideal for live preformances.




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