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"How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-04 19:03:34

Just curious...

does Parker Guitars have to rip apart Variax's to make the Adrien Belew Fly (for 10 grand, they could afford it)?  or does Line6 provide them with the guts?

and does anybody around here actually own an AB fly?  or know anybody that does?

has anybody that owns one opened them up to see what's going on in there?  or has anybody seen pics on the net of somebody who has?

if anybody here has an AB fly or knows somebody that does, can you please open it up and take some pics?  it would be a great help to us transplant enthusiasts...  there are a few things going on with that guitar that i've never seen on a transplant so far, and it would be nice to see how they did it...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by ricksox on 2009-06-05 14:25:33

chrisblackwell wrote:

Just curious...

does Parker Guitars have to rip apart Variax's to make the Adrien Belew Fly (for 10 grand, they could afford it)?  or does Line6 provide them with the guts?

Although I'm not 100% positive I'm pretty sure we supplied them with the guts in this case. Adrien is one of our bigger endorsers here at Line 6 so I'm sure we accomodated this for him.


Unfortunately I've never heard one for myself so I can't answer your other questions. Perhaps someone here in the community has though.

Line6Miller



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-05 16:13:30

hmm...

well, here's a few other questions...

do you not think that the fact that adrien belew, who according to you is one of your "bigger endorsers", has decided that he would much rather have the variax electronics in a guitar of his own choice rather than one of your own guitars, might just indicate that there is indeed a market for a variax transplant kit?

if he's such a big supporter of line6, wouldn't he just play a variax guitar?  and would line6 authorize the use of thier technology in another manuafacturers products, not to mention willingly provide them with this technology, while at the same time insisting that the look and design of thier own guitars should be acceptable to everyone else?

i'm confused as to why line6 would choose to alienate its own customer base, while at the same time provide a competing guitar manuafacturer with the technology that thier own loyal customers have been begging for...  the fact that adrein belew, somebody who has played with such legendary acts as frank zappa the mothers of invention, david bowie, king crimson, and the talking heads, just to name a few, has decided that the line6 variax guitars are not compatible with his own aesthetic and functional standards just might indicate that some of us who are not so fortunate as to be associated with such legendary musical acts might feel the same way...

does it really make a difference that he's famous and we're not?  is that line6's standard for customer service?

we've been asking for this technology, and we've been clear that we're willing to pay for it...

it was one thing when line6 was unwilling to offer a transplant kit to anybody, but now that the precedent has been set that line6 is indeed willing to offer the technology to somebody, it's starting to border on the insulting that the privilege is reserved for the elite...  i've never seen adrien belew on these forums (maybe he's got a cleverly disguised user name...  if so, clue me in)...

WE are your customers, not adrien belew...  maybe line6 should start doing US some favors...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by mdmayfield on 2009-06-05 20:33:59

Who didn't see this coming a mile away, after the setup of that question?



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-05 20:51:42

hehe...  sometimes it's necessary to do the dance...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by trouthead54 on 2009-06-06 02:51:17

"Who didn't see this coming a mile away,"

Line6Miller apparently!



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by orangekeeper2 on 2009-06-07 12:44:26

Miller must be having a bad day... I'm not sure there's anyone left on the forum who doesn't know to consult a lawyer (Or 3) before replying to one of Chris' posts :-)



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-07 13:41:03

flattery will get you nowhere



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by RichRenken on 2009-06-08 00:52:00

chrisblackwell wrote:

hmm...

well, here's a few other questions...

do you not think that the fact that adrien belew, who according to you is one of your "bigger endorsers", has decided that he would much rather have the variax electronics in a guitar of his own choice rather than one of your own guitars, might just indicate that there is indeed a market for a variax transplant kit?

if he's such a big supporter of line6, wouldn't he just play a variax guitar?  and would line6 authorize the use of thier technology in another manuafacturers products, not to mention willingly provide them with this technology, while at the same time insisting that the look and design of thier own guitars should be acceptable to everyone else?

i'm confused as to why line6 would choose to alienate its own customer base, while at the same time provide a competing guitar manuafacturer with the technology that thier own loyal customers have been begging for...  the fact that adrein belew, somebody who has played with such legendary acts as frank zappa the mothers of invention, david bowie, king crimson, and the talking heads, just to name a few, has decided that the line6 variax guitars are not compatible with his own aesthetic and functional standards just might indicate that some of us who are not so fortunate as to be associated with such legendary musical acts might feel the same way...

does it really make a difference that he's famous and we're not?  is that line6's standard for customer service?

we've been asking for this technology, and we've been clear that we're willing to pay for it...

it was one thing when line6 was unwilling to offer a transplant kit to anybody, but now that the precedent has been set that line6 is indeed willing to offer the technology to somebody, it's starting to border on the insulting that the privilege is reserved for the elite...  i've never seen adrien belew on these forums (maybe he's got a cleverly disguised user name...  if so, clue me in)...

WE are your customers, not adrien belew...  maybe line6 should start doing US some favors...

They bought the parts. I made it happen. It is a signature model. He has a deal with Parker.

You should see what they went through to make all of that stuff work together. That is another reason it is not wise to sell a kit. They had two brilliant engineers and a guitar builder and a major guitar brand working on it and it still took a lot of assistance from myself and 3 other people here at Line 6.

So I will say it again. We are more interested in building and selling great guitars than kits. Kits do not even come close to Line 6's financial goals.

So, if we want to sell killer guitars with Variax and I have the chance to sell parts to Adrian Belew to bring awareness to Variax, not to mention that fact that he is a friend, that is my call, right?

Now if we turn our guitar business into a mainstream, needed, and wanted path for players, then maybe one day we will have the money to invest in the research it would take to make an easily installable "kit". That will be cool. It is not in the cards right now.

I am the Product Manager for M13 and am working on derivatives for that and have a late summerish release coming. I am a bass player and guess what, I don't get to tell the company I want an Octaver in the next update. I made the request but even I don't get all that I want.

I get it guys, you want a kit, our guitars were sub par. Not going to happen soon but I hear you. It is written down. I hear you loud and clear.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-08 04:56:17

rich

i have an old 300. as you know ive transplanted it once and im going to do it again with  the same parts.  they can say what they want .  for the price i paid.  i got my moneys worth and more. i said this before and ill say it again. what else does what the variax does.  show mw something better in its price range.  ill bet you the answer to that will be . theres nothing else. if there was then there wouldnt be all this controversy. people would move on. that doesnt mean there isnt  room for improvement.. there always is. and ill bet when the vax 2 comes out  the same people will be saying  they should have done this or that theres no end  to it. just make the best reasonable priced  guitar you can  and still make a profit..  it will sell ....trust me.   i have plenty of other guitars but i bought the variax  not for looks   or even  playability but for what it can do.  some people will never be satisfyed. the most important thing  is  make it reliable.  my 300 hasnt failed me yet.  oh and as far as you helping out a friend.....well isnt that what friends do   i cant tell you  allthe favors ive done for people over the years..  and if someone dont like it  well thats just too bad.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-08 07:08:23

> They bought the parts. I made it happen. It is a signature model. He has a deal with Parker.

> You should see what they went through to make all of that stuff work together. That is another

> reason it is not wise to sell a kit. They had two brilliant engineers and a guitar builder and a

> major guitar brand working on it and it still took a lot of assistance from myself and 3 other

> people here at Line 6.

> So I will say it again. We are more interested in building and selling great guitars than kits. Kits

> do not even come close to Line 6's financial goals.

k, well, first, nobody is asking line6 to hold our hands (well, i suppose that some people would, but it's not what i'm asking for anyway)...  the idea that line6 couldn't include some sort of disclaimer to protect themselves from people harrasing them as to why thier variax electronics don't work in their strat doesn't really make sense to me...  if you buy a fender pickup and you're an idiot and it doesn't work, fender isn't going to fix your guitar for you...  the fact that variax electronics are even more complicated means that it is even more reasonable for line6 to say "well here's the stuff but we don't want anything to do with your problems"...  we know it's not cut and dry stuff...  i would argue that a majority of the transplants being done are being done not so much to be able to play banjo licks on a strat, but because of the interest that people have in technology and what it can do and how it works...

and i'm starting to think that the word "kit" might be just as responsible for line6's hesitation than anything...  the word "kit" implies packaging, instructions, marketting, advertising, etc. which i doubt is what parker got...  i imagine all they really wanted were the boards and the model selector knobs...  because everything else can be dealt with...  so instead of wanting a whole kit, what if i just wanted to buy a board and a model selector knob?  you don't have to make a big hoopla about it on the website or in guitar magazines, but it would be nice if we could get new parts directly from line6, so we could be reasonably assured of thier functional state (which line6 doesn't necessarily have to guarantee, obviously)...  whether you want to participate in the process of figuring out how to get it to work or not is up to you...

not everybody is unreasonable...  i'm certainly not asking line6 to hold my hand through the process...  i've done my own research...  i stil haven't figured it out yet...  i would appreciate any assistance you'd be willing to offer, but if you don't want to, i wouldn't consider that out of the ordinary...  i do consider not even offering the parts even in an unofficial capacity a bit out of the ordinary...  i mean, i wonder where adrien belew even got the idea that he could have variax guts in his guitar?  maybe he saw the transplants people have done?

is offering parts on an unofficial basis really outside of line6's financial goals?  a community of people that are so enthusastic about the possibilities of your technology that they want to learn as much as they can about it and see if they can figure out how to do things that haven't been done yet, things that ultimately could end up on one of your guitars one day...  to actively discourage that, i believe, is outside any company's financial goals...  most companies would kill to have that kind of enthusiasm and word-of-mouth marketting going on for them...

> So, if we want to sell killer guitars with Variax and I have the chance to sell parts to Adrian Belew

> to bring awareness to Variax, not to mention that fact that he is a friend, that is my call, right?

of course it's your call, who's disputing that?...  but if awareness is what you're after, the transplants have brought more awareness to variax technology than the AB fly has or ever will...  forget the pricepoint of that guitar, number one you can't even find it on the parker site (all you'll find is a link to adrien's site), and i have yet to see anything about that guitar that has more than a passing reference to the line6 technology...  they're not advertising for you any more than we are...

and if being your friend is the difference here, well, what are you doing next friday?  (hehe)

> Now if we turn our guitar business into a mainstream, needed, and wanted path for players, then

> maybe one day we will have the money to invest in the research it would take to make an easily

> installable "kit". That will be cool. It is not in the cards right now.

again, maybe the idea of a kit isn't the right way to go about it...  like i said, that involves packaging, instructions, marketting, advertising, support, blah blah blah...  i can see why line6 would want to stay away from that, especially the support issue...  but again, it wouldn't be the first time that a company put a disclaimer on a product saying that installation is at your own risk, will not be resposible for incorrect installation, support, etc...  i'd be more than willing to sign whatever you want me to to get my hands on a brand new board with the model selector knob (within reason)...  again, it doesn't have to be an official product...  you don't have to advertise...  the people that would want it are all pretty much around here all the time anyway, so all you would have to do is let us order it and send it to us...  seems to me there's less hassle in that than having these arguments with me all the time

> I am the Product Manager for M13 and am working on derivatives for that and have a late summerish

> release coming. I am a bass player and guess what, I don't get to tell the company I want an Octaver

> in the next update. I made the request but even I don't get all that I want.

well, i can't comment on the decision making process there at line6...  i'm not there...  but i hope that you or miller or anybody else that have had these mildly amusing arguments with me don't think i'm blaming it on you guys...  but you guys are the ones who respond to these posts, not the executives right?  give me the executives email and i'll leave you alone, i guess...  but me and you both know that's not going to happen, so i'll continue to state my case here until i get what i want...  you're perfectly within your right to ignore me...

> I get it guys, you want a kit, our guitars were sub par. Not going to happen soon but I hear you. It

> is written down. I hear you loud and clear.

again, i can understand your fustration having to be bombarded by people's gripes all the time and mine in particular...  and i understand that even though you might agree with me (or not, i don't know), you can only do so much to affect what gets done and what doesn't at line6...  it's not my intention to annoy you personally, but i hope you understand that i'm not going to stop thinking what i think and saying what i say and wanting what i want because you're getting tired of the whole thing...  i don't like repeating myself any more than you like hearing it...  but if i was to shut my mouth, would it ever get done?  no...  if i keep griping, will it ever get done...  probably not...  but "probably not" is better than "no" so i'll take it...  again, you're perfectly within your right to ignore me, and i wouldn't blame you, because i admit i'm not really interested in taking your feelings into consideration...  so i'll do what i have to do and you do what you have to do...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-08 07:38:01

come on chris..... who in there right mind is going to buy  a kit or what ever you call it  without some kind of warrantee.  you might as well take a shot  on ebay  and....it probably would be cheaper.. no warrantee. not me pal. besides. how many people  are going to do a build. ten  a hundred. its not worth there time to  make a package.3/4 of the people here with problems  are leary of soldering in a new pickup. do you really think that theres any kind of market for a kit .  why dont you get right to the point and say that YOU  want these parts  for yourself instead of beating this to  death.  rich renkin said its not gonna be done in the near future  if at all . you got your answer didnt you? hes being more than reasonable  here. quite frankly after having  answered this  umteen times  i would not bother to keep going over  a dead issue . at least just say you want it just because.....you want it.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by Seann on 2009-06-08 08:49:19

If Line 6 actually made a kit available, how could they monitor the quality of work? Just imagine if someone somehow damaged the motherboard during the installation, and then made the claim that it was defective. Would the completed guitar have to be sent to an authorized repair facility of Line 6 to make the determination? Who would pay for this, or even cover the cost of tech support during and/or after the installation? From reading posts about transplants, especially when people add in magnetic pickups, midi connections, other brands of piezos, etc., it can get very complicated, even for people with a high degree of technical knowledge and expertise. I've made this point previously, that it's like me wanting Apple computer to sell me all the internal components for one of their computers in a kit form, so I can install them in a custom case of my choice. I realize that the computer has lots more parts and components, but it's a similar scenario. It seems like if Chris, and others like him with a similar desire but less persistence, could get access to the Variax motherboard and proprietary connectors, they could get the other components (bridge, saddles, cables, switches, etc.) on their own. If they could buy a replacement motherboard from a service center, with no Line 6 support or warranty, then they would be on their own to make the rest happen. Line 6 wouldn't have any liability or tech support costs, but would still be vulnerable if someone wasn't satisfied with the performance of the Line 6 supplied components in their finished project. These days, it's very easy for a dissatisfied person to post something on the internet and make a big fuss, and it can be hard to sort out who really is responsible.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-08 10:05:17

yep  a major can of worms



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by magruger44 on 2009-06-08 14:43:20

I have a question,   does Line 6 make a Variax  with a Floyd Rose license tremlo ??? . I have 2 Line 6 guitars, a Variax 700 acustic and a Variax 500 , I love them both but I would give up both for a Floyd Rose Line 6 with 24 frets  .  Seems  the best solution is to just add a new line of electrics to the Line 6 family. I am sure there are lots of guitar factorys that would love the work.  Just my 2cents



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-08 14:57:36

they dont come  with floyd rose but i saw a post a while back that someone put one on a vax. he said he got the last gold one in england. not all that hard to do. i did see one somewhere with  the piezo pickups  already in it..pricy though. and youll still have to wire them to the board under your current tailpiece. but if there lr baggs pickups on i  its a piece of cake.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by orangekeeper2 on 2009-06-08 15:36:29

I got a Black Graphtec FR on my Ibanez transplant... I think it cost £200 to ship from Canada but only because the £ exchange rate hadn't fallen apart at that point...It's not difficult to convert the connectors on the Graphtech to connect to the Vax mobo but it is fiddly and (for me) time consuming. I cut the ends off the graphtech wires and soldered them individually to a small bit of board. I did the same with the Vax mobo connecting wires to the other end of the board, insulated it and it fitted nice and snug into a space in the FR cavity in the guitar...

Next up, an LP transplant :-)



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-08 15:49:08

yeah orangekeeper is right i have graphtechs on my vax  and its not alot diferent.  i separated the grounds from the hot wire .  soldered the  hot wires to the existing board  and  the grounds to a loop that i put on the  screw that holds the board in place.  not hard at all just  tedious.   take your time and it will come together.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-08 17:24:09

come on chris..... who in there right mind is going to buy  a kit or what ever you call it  without some kind of warrantee.  you might as well take a shot  on ebay  and....it probably would be cheaper.. no warrantee. not me pal.

apparently i would (i suppose it's debatable whether i'm in my right mind or not)...  anybody who dares to do a transplant knows that they're voiding the warranty...  the fact that the parts i would be getting are coming straight from the factory would instill alot more confidence in me than pulling them out of something i bought on ebay...  ebay is notorious as a dumping ground for non-functioning gear...  even though buying a variax guitar would be cheaper than buying the parts off of line6, if the guitar didn't work, i would have to buy another guitar off of ebay (which might not work either), or i would have to pay line6 to fix it anyway (because if the guitar was still under warranty, it would have made more sense for the original owner to just fix it rather than try and dump it)...  whether line6 would choose to warranty those parts or not is really not that important to me, especially if i agreed to those conditions...  i understand the reasons why line6 wouldn't want to warranty something like that, so i'm willing to forgoe the warranty, because the reasonable amount of confidence i'll get from acquiring the parts from line6 directly would be enough for me to not worry about it...

besides. how many people  are going to do a build. ten  a hundred. its not worth there time to  make a package.3/4 of the people here with problems  are leary of soldering in a new pickup. do you really think that theres any kind of market for a kit .

well, i do believe there is a market for it...

is profit from variax kits going to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars?  probably not...

are there going to be more people doing transplants than are doing it now if they offer the parts?  probably, but not definately...

is the point i'm making that line6 could make huge profits off of this?  not at all (although if they went at it full force, there is some additional money to be made on some particular parts that are impossible to get without getting them custom made and that are really only applicable to variax electronics)...

but, is immediate monetary profit the only measure of a sucessful company or product?  certainly not...  my argument is that line6 has the opportunity to take this groundbreaking product and turn it into something bigger than it is...  we might not be aware of it, because we here on the line6 forum have already come to terms with the legitimacy of digital modelling in all forms, but there are alot of people who are dead set against anything resembling digital technology at all...  the fact that the variax technology is only available in a particular style of guitar only lessens the chance that certain people will ever give it a chance...  we can accuse these people of being close-minded, picky, unrealistic, whatever you want to call them, but the fact is that for this product to succeed, line6 needs to appeal to as many people as possible, no matter what their particular problem is...  what better way to convince some crusty old blues rocker of the usefulness of the variax technology than to have him see me with that technology in my hollowbody gibson?  if he saw it in a variax guitar, he might just ignore it, but if he saw it in my gibson, he might just give it a chance...  sure, line6 didn't make that much profit off of selling me the parts, but how much did they make by having people come up to me and ask "how did you make your hollowbody sound like a strat?  or a banjo?  or a sitar?  or an accoustic?"

does line6 want to make money this year, or do they want to go out of thier way to ensure that they are still at the head of this game in 20 or 30 years?  gibson, fender, and who knows who else, are already getting into this digital guitar modelling thing...  personally, right now, i think line6's entry is the best...  but if they don't go out of thier way to make that technology better in alot of different ways than the others, those companies that have legendary names are going to take over...  one way is to make availability and installation of the technology just as versatile as operation of that technology...  sure, there are obvious difficulties in doing that, but it's not impossible...  there's always a solution to every difficult problem...

why dont you get right to the point and say that YOU  want these parts  for yourself instead of beating this to  death.  rich renkin said its not gonna be done in the near future  if at all . you got your answer didnt you? hes being more than reasonable  here. quite frankly after having  answered this  umteen times  i would not bother to keep going over  a dead issue . at least just say you want it just because.....you want it.

did i ever suggest anything else?  yes, i want these parts so i can do a transplant...  if line6 sells them to me and not anybody else, am i going to keep bitching about it?  probably not...

again, i want to make it clear that i don't post messages on this forum for the express purpose of insulting or annoying forum members or moderators...  but if that's a concequence of lobbying for what i want and coming up with good reasons for it, there's not much i can do about it...  i'm certainly not going to stop saying, thinking, and wanting what i say, think and want just because people get insulted or annoyed...  as much as i have the freedom to say what i want and how i want to say it on a forum such as this one, anybody has the freedom to ignore what i say or what anybody else says...  and that includes the forum moderators...  i certainly will be the last one to be insulted by being ignored...  the fact is that i have no interst in playing some game to get what i want...  i'm going to state the obvious as i see it, and if people want to read it they can, and if they don't want to they don't have to...  i know that miller and rich have been reasonable...  like they've said, it's not up to them to make these kinds of decisions, but the fact is that i don't have the president's email...  if i did, i'd be griping at him...  this is the best place for this kind of discussion...  miller and rich are paid to do this, and i hope they know it's nothing personal...  they are the people at the other end...  i didn't pick them and they didn't pick me...  we're just lucky enough to have found eachother i guess...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-08 17:36:30

i  respect your opinion  even though i dont agree with it  and your right  to state your opinion wether we agree or not. hopefully  you feel the same way.  heres my opinion on kits and why they will not be sold.  lets use  rich renkins  price for the electronics. $500..   the current price for a 700 vax is $1400 at guitar center.  an imediate loss of   $900

.

                                 this is why you will not see a kit. one kit sold  one less guitar sold.      simple math.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-08 17:50:46

If Line 6 actually made a kit available, how could they monitor the quality of work?

why would they have to...  right now, if you pull the electronics out of a variax, you're voiding the warranty...  so why does line6 have to provide a waranty for buying the parts directly?  obviously there are alot of factors as to the sucess of a variax installation, and anybody who expects it to be a simple matter of a few soldered wires is being unrealistic to begin with...  that's what disclaimers are for...

I've made this point previously, that it's like me wanting Apple computer to sell me all the internal components for one of their computers in a kit form, so I can install them in a custom case of my choice. I realize that the computer has lots more parts and components, but it's a similar scenario.

it's not a similar scenario at all...  i guess maybe i'm old school, but i consider my guitar to be much more than just a case to hold electronics...  i've never heard anybody talk about thier laptop's feel...  nor have i heard about somebody transplanting the electronics out of thier apple laptop into thier dell laptop because they like the case better...  there's already a history of variax transplants, because guitars are not computers...  it's not something that i invented...  so if it's already going on, my argument is that line6 should actively support it, so that it increases the success of the attempts to use the technology, and also because of the grass-roots word-of-mouth advertising that comes along with it...

It seems like if Chris, and others like him with a similar desire but less persistence, could get access to the Variax motherboard and proprietary connectors, they could get the other components (bridge, saddles, cables, switches, etc.) on their own. If they could buy a replacement motherboard from a service center, with no Line 6 support or warranty, then they would be on their own to make the rest happen. Line 6 wouldn't have any liability or tech support costs, but would still be vulnerable if someone wasn't satisfied with the performance of the Line 6 supplied components in their finished project. These days, it's very easy for a dissatisfied person to post something on the internet and make a big fuss, and it can be hard to sort out who really is responsible.

yes, you're right...  all i need is the motherboard and the variax selector knob...  everything else is attainable one way or another (although, if anybody out there has any idea where to get a 2-sided, 5-way gibson-style pickup selector switch, lemme know)...

but this whole thing about an unsatisfied customer making unwarranted complaints about a product that the company wasn't liable for in the first place...  that happens every day all over the place and that's the unfortunate reality of the internet...  i could go on any site and gripe all i want about thier products without ever having to prove that i even know what it is...  so what?  when you buy a product, do you do it solely based on the percentage of good to bad customer opinions?  i hope not...  i hope you do what you can to find out yourself...  anybody who puts that much faith in internet complaint boards (ie. forums) isn't paying attention...  if this is the best reason anybody can come up with for not offering the boards seperately, then there really is no hope, because that's a pretty weak reason...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-08 17:55:06

that's a rather bold assumption (sorry, i couldn't resist)...  anyway...

well, if i wasn't going to buy the guitar for $1400 anyway, then it's a gain of $500, no?



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-08 18:04:26

true but  if you cant get the electronics anyother way  then i guess youll have to spring for the $  1400 guitar to get them.    sorry bout the bold  print  i hit some key and didnt want to re write what i already wrote..   reading it once is enough  dont you think.  hey   if you can get them to sell the kit for the same price as the guitar  ya might just have a shot  that way.  there not gonna take a loss to satisfy  either one of us . by the way  my next build is already costing more than a new 700  but its gonna have alot more than the 700 does.    it will  have in it  variax  roland and the graphtech kit.  a 13 position kit for the pickups. and i might come up with something else yet.  not sure what else i can squeeze in.  you may be right about the 500 gain but lets face it  no matter how  you look at it  there gonna see it as one less guitar sold.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-08 18:08:24

by the way  hope your not taking any of this  personal   im not.   just stating  my point of view..      got a good chuckle from the bold assumption bit.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-08 18:20:48

you mentioned a two way 5 position selector switch  for a   gibson.   isnt the  switch o bb kings  lucille a 6 way switch.  and i am pretty sure that  my danelectro has a  5 or 6 position  switch  its a dc3   3 pickup model..  will either of these work for you? these are both rotary switches and will fit into where the toggle on a les paul  is.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-08 18:40:41

true but  if you cant get the electronics anyother way  then i guess youll have to spring for the $  1400 guitar to get them.  

well, as much as i'd prefer to buy just the electronics directly from line6 for $500 rather than a $350 ebay wager, i think i'd rather just take my chances on ebay than spend $1400...  i could lose my shirt 4 times on ebay before it made sense to rip apart a brand new variax...  plus, wrecking any guitar is just bad karma, no?

hey   if you can get them to sell the kit for the same price as the guitar  ya might just have a shot  that way.  there not gonna take a loss to satisfy  either one of us .

well, for that price i might as well take the guitar...  even if/when (it's quickly becoming a when) i get one off ebay, i plan on putting a pickup or two in it after i take the variax guts out, and maybe sell it on ebay to offset my losses or give it to some kid for a starter guitar...  i might not like them, but a guitar's a guitar and i'm sure somebody out there could make use of it even if it doesn't have the variax guts in it...

by the way  my next build is already costing more than a new 700  but its gonna have alot more than the 700 does.    it will  have in it  variax  roland and the graphtech kit.  a 13 position kit for the pickups. and i might come up with something else yet.  not sure what else i can squeeze in. 

ya, i'll have to pick your brain on a few things...  i really want to do a transplant into my ES-339 but i'm really wary about ripping into the wood until i know exactly how everything is going to work...  my plan is to build a strat first as a test guitar so i can sort all this stuff out...  if i can't get the variax and the mags to work without the "whine" (the variax noise being picked up by the mags), i won't do it to my gibson...  also (i think i've talked with you about this before), i'm trying to figure out a way to get the mag signal, the variax signal, and the hexaphonic signal out of the guitar with one cable...  i'd like to have all these great things in one guitar but i don't want to make my gibson look like a freak...  i like technology and all it has to offer but i like classic, stock looking guitars...  i've already figured out how i can combine the funtion of the variax controls and the mag pickup controls (custom made single-shaft dual-pots), and i plan on putting a chicken head knob on the model selector...  the other one that's hanging me up is the pickup selector...  i don't want a strat-style switch on my gibson...  and since i'm already using the chicken head for the model selector, i really don't want another rotary switch either (i'm trying to keep everything very close to the classic gibson look)...  i've searched far and wide but apparently there is no such thing as a 5-way gibson-style switch...  and if you check out jeff millers site, you'll see that he used the second (unused) side of the variax 5-way to control his mag pickups...  ultimately i would like to have just one pickup selector to control both the mags and the variax...  so it seems i need a 2-sided 5-way gibson-style switch...  i've already contacted switchcraft about the possibility of having one custom made...  haven't heard back from them yet...

i know i'm being totally unrealistic about this stuff, but like i said, if i have to make my gibson into a freak, i'm not doing it...  i love that guitar too much...  but you know what they say, it's the journey, not the destination, right?  i've never really been into guitars much more than playing them, and this whole variax thing has really inspired me to find out about how guitars are made and stuff like that...  i suppose it's ironic how the fact that you can't just buy a variax kit and have somebody put it into your guitar has got me interested in this stuff...

be sure to put some pics up of your latest build on here...  especially the insides...  i'm interested in what you have to do to split the piezos for variax and midi and still give them the levels they need...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-08 18:46:25

the problem (i guess it's really not a problem, more of me just being stubborn) is that i really am trying to come up with a way to do this transplant without making the guitar look that much different...  i'm already planning on replacing the knob on the model selector with a chicken head knob, so putting another rotary switch just makes it look wierd, plus i have yet to see one that is two sided...  if i could find a 2-sided, 5-way gibson-style switch, that would solve everything...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-08 19:07:58

of course not...  i hope nobody is taking what i'm saying personal either...  i just think the variax transplant scene is here to stay, and i would like to make it somehow easier for us who do it and to find a way to somehow get some benifit out of it for line6...  if we all work together to do this, it's all blue skies...  if all we do is come up with reasons to not do it, you can bet it'll never happen...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by RichRenken on 2009-06-08 19:32:13

No kit for you!!

As I said, we won't forget that it has been talked about. You know why? Because, years ago, we talked about it way before it was requested, we have talked about it in the past couple years and because, as Chris said, he is bringing it up.

That is all I got.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-08 19:57:52

hehe...

well, i guess the fact that you discuss it just because of my constant griping is more than i could have expected...  i guess i'll have to bring it up more (i can almost hear the collective moan from the forum)...

'till next time...  it's been real...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by Seann on 2009-06-08 21:05:47

"it's not a similar scenario at all...  i guess maybe i'm old school, but i consider my guitar to be much more than just a case to hold electronics...  i've never heard anybody talk about thier laptop's feel...  nor have i heard about somebody transplanting the electronics out of thier apple laptop into thier dell laptop because they like the case better...  there's already a history of variax transplants, because guitars are not computers..."

     If you have never heard anybody talk about their laptop's look and feel, my guess is that you don't have much communication with Apple computer users, or read articles about their new product releases. And who, except for maybe a joke, would try to put their apple laptop's electronics in a dell anyway? That would be like me taking the components out of my beautiful, black 700, and installing them in a lower quality, less attractive guitar. Apple is known for cutting edge product design, and the look and feel is hugely important. They typically use better components, and have much higher customer satisfaction than any other computer manufacturer. My scenario would apply to someone who wanted to transplant their apple components into an even more high end, custom case, maybe with exotic inlays or a special finish. Why you could even put them into a hollow body guitar, connect it to a remote monitor, integrate the pick guard with the touch pad, and surf the web while playing a song, or maybe while waiting for a long drum solo to finish. Next you could attach the iSight camera to a small boom, and then use skype to demonstrate your latest musical creation by video chat. I got my Variax after reading about it on Apple's web site. What makes a Variax different is the electronics, and from what's posted about transplants, people are doing it for their own custom look, feel, and functionality. Sure a guitar does different things from a computer, but what you want are the Variax electronic components to put in the guitar of your choice.

"yes, you're right...  all i need is the motherboard and the variax selector knob...  everything else is attainable one way or another (although, if anybody out there has any idea where to get a 2-sided, 5-way gibson-style pickup selector switch, lemme know)..."

     As this is all you need, with your creativity and extensively demonstrated persistence, would it be so hard to get these Variax components from a service center? Their have been posts about people obtaining replacement motherboards for out of warranty guitars. We've heard from the Line 6 folks that they aren't interested in selling transplant kits, but I haven't read anything about not making components available in special cases, and I'm confident that you, as well as anyone who has followed your posts, know you are that special.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-08 22:33:34

If you have never heard anybody talk about their laptop's look and feel, my guess is that you don't have much communication with Apple computer users

ya, you're right, i try to avoid apple users (sorry, you left yourself hanging out there)...

My scenario would apply to someone who wanted to transplant their apple components into an even more high end, custom case, maybe with exotic inlays or a special finish.

ya, that's kinda what i meant...  sorry for disrespecting apple by suggesting that anything dell could be better than apple...  actually, now that i'm thinking about it, that was kinda dumb of me to say, but i wasn't really considering the quality of one versus the other...  i was just making the analogy of wanting to transplant the guts out of one computer into another one because you didn't like the case...  anyway, i'm as big a computer nerd as the next guy, and i wouldn't waste a millisecond of thought thinking about transplanting the guts of one laptop into another...  certain pieces i suppose...  one's that are already meant to be exchangable, like the processor, the memory, etc...  but if you wanted that case so bad, wouldn't you just buy that computer?  last time i checked, the good cases come with good computers...  and let's just say that there was a computer with a particular componant and you could only get it on that computer, but the processor was slow and it had no memory and you couldn't expand it, and the monitor was EGA and it had a trackball and a cyrillic keyboard and a plain grey case that was totally rectangular and ugly...   you have to ask yourself "is it even possible to transplant that component into this bitchen computer over here?"  because it is possible to do with the variax guts...  people have done it...  it's nothing new...

anyway, please, this is starting to hurt...  no more laptop analogies, my god...

Why you could even put them into a hollow body guitar, connect it to a remote monitor, integrate the pick guard with the touch pad, and surf the web while playing a song, or maybe while waiting for a long drum solo to finish. Next you could attach the iSight camera to a small boom, and then use skype to demonstrate your latest musical creation by video chat.

if you ever hear me talking about doing that, please, my address is 205 vodden street east, brampton, ontario, canada, apartment #501...  come over and put a hollow point bullet in my head...

     As this is all you need, with your creativity and extensively demonstrated persistence, would it be so hard to get these Variax components from a service center? Their have been posts about people obtaining replacement motherboards for out of warranty guitars. We've heard from the Line 6 folks that they aren't interested in selling transplant kits, but I haven't read anything about not making components available in special cases, and I'm confident that you, as well as anyone who has followed your posts, know you are that special.

well, i'm glad somebody noticed...

but, ya, i hadn't thought of that one...  the lack of a variax guitar might make that a bit difficult...  but i know some slippery people at my local music store...  who knows, maybe i can get somebody to stick it to the man for me...

but really, do i want to do such a dishonest thing to my favorite digital modelling company and all the swell friends i've met here...  i wouldn't want to let the kids down!!!  i have a reputation to uphold, you know?

no, but really, is that the point?  i admit that if line6 were to email me tomorrow and tell me that they'd be willing to provide me with all the variax parts i want as long as i keep my mouth shut about it, i'd probably take it (i take enough friggin' flak from users around here, why the hell should i stick my neck out for you deadbeats...  hehe...  jk), only because i'm really the only one around here that takes it much further than agreeing that they would like one...  but ultimately i'm trying to make the point that it's good for business, maybe not on an immediate monitary basis, but on a community relations/marketting basis...  the variax technology is in its infancy right now, imagine what it's gonna be like in 20 years...  should line6 not be attempting to expand thier customer base any way they can, regardless of current profits?  shouldn't they be representing themselves not only as a company that has the ingenuity to invent such a unique bit of technology, but also one that will bend over backwards to put that technology in your hands, instead of making cursory excuses aimed at keeping you away from it unless you play by thier rules?

sure, i can just buy a variax off of ebay and get the parts i want, but what i really want is a community...  i want a whole transplant section in this forum...  i want to be able to ask really technical questions about the variax electronics and get answers from the people who make them...  i don't want us to be fumbling around with this stuff...  as much as i've enjoyed my bit of research into the subject, i'm no luthier...  i don't build guitars...  i don't modify them...  i play them...  the only reason i even come on this part of the forum is because i'm so friggin' facinated with the whole variax concept...  i don't own one...  i've never even played one!!!  but if it does even half of what everybody around here says it does, i want that...  but i want it in my guitar...  even if gibson came out with an es-339 with variax already in it, same color, same neck, same everything, i'd still want it in my guitar...

line6 knows that they will never be able to satisfy everybody no matter what kind of guitar they make and no matter who they get to make it...  why limit yourself like that?  because you're afraid of some idiot like me bitching about it not working?  there's got to be a reasonable working solution to that problem...  they're just not looking for it...

why are they not looking for it?  well, it wouldn't be the first time i said that i felt that they have the wrong people pulling the strings over there...  not enough vision, not enough balls...  they might have been the first, they might even be the best, but everybody and thier mother is making amp modelling processors these days...  the variax is the one thing that sets them apart (don't even mention gibson and fender's weak-ass attempts), and they're too chicken to pull the trigger on it...  i can't wait for the next variax to come out so i can start shaking my head...  i already know there's no built in wireless VDI (shake, shake, shake)...  that alone makes me quite convinced that they have no idea what they're sitting on...  what the hell was the point of buying the X2 technology?

anyway, i'm getting way off topic here, but the point i'm making is that they're sitting on the most important piece of guitar technology (and i mean guitar technology, not amp tech or processor tech) since the friggin' volume pot, and if they don't get off of it, it's going to suffocate!!!  and we, the people that are in love with it (even though some of us haven't even played one...  hehe), are willing to help them do that...  LET US HELP YOU!!!

that is all...  nice gripe, don't chya think?



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by kristianbrigman on 2009-06-09 12:48:15

I really wish this could get resolved... the whole transplant scene complicates things in other ways too.... my variax is currently on the fritz, and it looks like the CPU board (i've taken everything else apart and checked it). The nearest Line 6 service center is at least 100 miles away. But I can't really get any service documentation, and I can't even get a replacement CPU board, except by going through a service center, who (at least the one I talked to over email) won't do it unless I ship them the guitar and then I'm also paying their bench fees. I am somewhat technically competent (i do CPU validation, which isn't directly comparable but I do know which end of the soldering iron is hot). I've repaired a few vintage synths, and did some mods for a cs-15 I once had. But I really can't do much with my broken variax.

Now, my variax is a 300, and is amazingly cheap for what it does; it's my first 'real' electric guitar and it's amazing for that. And eventually I'll be brave enough to ship it through the mail to get it fixed (i still have to get a box for it). And (I have to admit) based on the replacement costs, Line 6 is not reaming us, and they actually make replacement CPU boards available for a reasonable cost. So I really shouldn't complain too much; at least it's cheaper to fix it than buy another one used (although not by much once I factor in shipping), which is often not the case for older digital synths. I bought a Pod X3 to go with it and sold my H&K crunch master/korg A1 combo more than anything because the ability to switch programs on the fly with the footswitch really appeals to my engineer side. So I know i'll get my fixed (or get another one) sooner or later. It's just a little frustrating knowing that it's probably something simple and relatively cheap, but Line 6 has to be very tight about parts and technical information because of the whole transplant thing.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-09 13:00:23

i know what you're saying, but i don't think the transplant thing has anything to do with it...  line6 is pretty tight lipped about all thier products...  i have an X3L, and because there is crosstalk between the 1/4" outputs, i can't use it as an A/B switch to route signal to either one of the channels on my fender twin...  since they didn't see it as a big enough deal to warrant fixing it (they said is was withing acceptable tolerances), i asked them for some technical information so that i could either get somebody at my local repair shop to modify the unit to suit my needs, or if it was simple enough to do it myself...  they won't tell me anything at all, and i've never seen or heard of them release technical information like that at all...  having you send in your guitar is pretty standard practice for line6, and indeed alot of companies these days...  most people that are doing transplants get a used variax off of ebay...  it was mentioned in this thread, but i haven't heard of anybody getting a hold of the variax electronics from a service center...  it's more than likely because they are just generally protective about those kinds of things, not because they're specifically trying to prevent transplants...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 14:41:32

how bout something like this?  see attatched photo.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 15:21:09

i can  see your point in not wanting to spoil the looks  of a nice gibson thats why  when i did my first transplant i went with a danelectro pretty much everything is on the back of the pickguard.  i had to custom make that one  and seal the pickup holes  i put the  1/4 inch connection there as well    i needed the room for the boards to clear  so i put a 1/4 inch mono guitar plug where the trs plug was and made an external battery pack on the guitar strap. that eliminated the little battery box on the back.   question is how are you going to get all this in the gibson without  messing the  back of the body up. im assuming its a hollow body.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 15:25:46

this is what i plan to hook everything into.  i have to make up a  harness from the piezos that will split to this and to the vax board. shouldnt be hard to do.  just as i like to say  a bit tedious.  check attatched pdf



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-09 16:12:01

ya, it's still a rotary switch...  it's not even so much the look, it's the quickness of being able to use a switch like that...  i'm used to being able to just flick my finger quickly and get a different tone...  if it's a rotary switch i'll have to actually grab it and turn it...  that would be fine for the model selector knob, but not for the pickup selector...  i'm in the middle of an email attack on the internet trying to find somebody that either already makes a switch like that or can make custom made switches...  i found a place that makes custom pots, i don't see any reason why there shouldn't be somebody that makes custom switches...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-09 16:16:19

oh, i've accepted the fact that i'm going to have to cut into the back of the body, but i plan on getting it done with a CNC and i'm going to use the wood that is removed to make the covers...  once the hole is there i'm going to make a housing out of some nice wood and glue it in there, and use those magnet thingys that midirose uses to hold the covers in place...

i'm still very much in the thinking part of this whole thing, so everything might change, but as far as i can tell right now, this seems to be the best way to maintain the look of the guitar as well as the tone/sustain....



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 16:36:50

im sure someone could make up something for you  probably something  like a start type but with a  gibson top so you could  mount it in the   existing hole. wouldnt think that would take much more than changing out the  switch arm   and adding  a screw in top.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 16:41:02

its too bad you couldnt remove the whole back do your  electronics then put it back in place with some small hidden screws under the edging  so if you need access at another time. before i did the danelectro  i was considering doing it to an epiphone dot i have .  but it plays so nice and has such a good sound  ..i didnt want to ruin it.  did you check out the pdf grom graph tech ?



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-09 16:46:54

i wouldn't even know who to get a hold of to have something like that done...  i've been all over the internet, googling "custom switches", "custom selectors", "5-way gibson style switch"...  stuff like that...  i've stumbled upon some sites that have thousands of switches but it's hard to go through them all and figure out which is the right one...  i don't know what the codes mean or what the details are that i'm looking for...

for instance, how would you describe this switch to an electronics manufacturer (ie. how many poles, whatever that means, etc.):

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics/products/0/0/1/370001.jpg

like i said, i'm not a luthier, i'm not an electronics guy...  i'm a guitar player who's slowly getting interested in how guitars work and all that...  i'm a relatively smart person but alot of it goes right over my head...  that's why i want to do the strat first, so i can at least test out the electronics part without much hassle (much easier to put a cavity into a solid-body than to start ripping wood off of a hollowbody)...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-09 16:51:54

ya i thought about that, but ultimately that seems even more invasive and destructive than cutting out the cover with a CNC...  i'm confident that in the end, what i'm planning on doing will look pretty nice...  but i'm probably still years away from even attempting to do this, so i have alot of time to think about it...

ya i checked out the .pdf...  i'm still trying to figure out if the hex board does the splitting or if you have to split it before the hex board and the variax board...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 17:08:43

yeah i know what you mean i learned  alot the hard way  and a strat is a good place to start problem with a strat is this  the  line6 bodies are thicker than strat bodies.  that being the case the coffin case  if you use that type  is probably too thick  to put in a strat bodie. it wouldnt fit in   the danelectro hollow body either. i scrapped the coffin case and just used the boards.  it didnt have any ill affects. i think the case is just a way of plunking  it all in  in one piece anyway.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 17:13:22

as far as  the split goes i figure maybe an inch out of the plug ends on the pickup wires  on the  end that goes into the board  then branch off to the vax board under the bridge plate.    vax  wiring takes care of the rest.   by the way did you mention you had a fender twin  in an earlier post?



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-09 17:18:50

as far as  the split goes i figure maybe an inch out of the plug ends on the pickup wires  on the  end that goes into the board  then branch off to the vax board under the bridge plate.    vax  wiring takes care of the rest.  

ya but don't you need to do something to make sure that the signal level doesn't get cut in half when you split them?   as far as what i've read/seen/heard, that's the whole issue behind variax and 13-pin using the same piezos for both

by the way did you mention you had a fender twin  in an earlier post?

yeah, i got one of those '65 reissues...  no master volume, no fx loop, which makes it probably one of the worst amps for using with a multifx like my X3L, but i've figured out where to set my tone knobs and i get pretty good results...  people actually compliment me on it rather than complain about it...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 17:25:58

thats mine under the vox  1972  nice amp.  ive had it since 1995. had to replace the toggles in the back. other than that never a problem. sounds real good  with  the variax acoustics.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 17:30:29

i probably wont be using any two of the things im putting in at once but if i do  then i can always  use a pre amp or just crank the volume up. but im still working this out in my head at this point.  everything has been ordered and some stuff has arrived i needed to get everything   before i start doing the body up. you know  .... i dont want to do a job like  the one  i just looked at.  that guy should be cutting meat for a living     its probably going to be a long slow build.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-09 17:42:37

i probably wont be using any two of the things im putting in at once but if i do  then i can always  use a pre amp or just crank the volume up.

from what i can gather, the issue is not the output volume of anything...  it's that the variax DSP board needs a certain input signal level in order for it to work properly, or maybe at all...

an excerpt of something orangekeeper posted on this thread (http://www.line6.com/community/thread/8797?tstart=60):

If you want to run the Vax and the MIDI at the same time, you will definitely need custom circuitry to buffer the output to MIDI (The piezio levels you were talking about). Look for Trouthead's (And others) posts regarding this as there has been a discussion about wiring from one of the Op Amps on the Vax board, to a buffer circuit and then to the 13 pin circuit. 1 person tested and confirmed it worked but I believe the general consensus was it was a VERY scary procedure, even for those with hardened soldering skills.....

you know  .... i dont want to do a job like  the one  i just looked at.  that guy should be cutting meat for a living     its probably going to be a long slow build.

i look at that thing everyday and tell myself "patience chris...  figure it all out...  we're talking about a hollowbody gibson here, not some project guitar...  if you can't figure out how to get 100% of what you're after without doing a hatchet job, forget about it...  it's not worth it..."

the only reason i PM'd you that is because i don't know if the guy hangs out around here and i don't want to insult him...  but that's a really bad bad bad transplant...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 18:00:36

i figured that was  the case  that was why i tried to keep it as plain as possibl with the reply  but i think were in agreement on that one 



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-09 18:05:47

ok, cool...  i hope it all works...  if/when i ever get around to doing this thing, i'll be sure to pick your brain as to exactly what is involved...

i just posted on the parker guitars forum, just to see if anybody on there has an adrien belew signature fly, because that guitar has variax and midi...  i'm hoping somebody can provide us with some pictures and/or a detailed explanation of exactly how they made it work...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 18:10:03

thanks for the heads up on this issue  ill be  doing more research on  this for sure .  so far  i dont plan to use them at the same time .  the reasons for building this  is   1)  just  to see if i can do it.  2) if it works  then i can take all these capabilitys out in one package. did i mention i was giong to eliminate the 5 way switch for three toggles i built a  strat setup in a les paul style body  but put in three toggles for the pickups   just to get the combinations you cant get with  the standard  5 way,   next thing you know someone else got the same idea and was selling pre wired pick guards  and a kit to do it yourself  ..  go figure.. i wanted to do it but never thought of   selling it.  it does get some great sounds with the other combinations though.   you cant get the  neck and bridge at  the same time  with the   normal swithc let alone all three at the same time.  and putting it in a les paul  really  turns heads when they hear a strat  sound coming out of it.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-09 18:13:58

well im no genious  at this    i just know what  ive learned along the way  but if  i can do anything to help  out   id be happy  to



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-09 18:37:26

somewhere i heard of a 7-way switch that can give you all the combinations...  but i suppose 3 toggles would do just as good...  that's alot like a mustang or jaguar (one of those)...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-10 02:50:53

i think i mentioned this one to you   its got the  3 small toggles   and the strat electronics and pickups.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-12 15:38:36

http://http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Components:_Switches_and_knobs/3/3-way_Pickup_Switches.html">http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Components:_Switches_and_knobs/3/3-way_Pickup_Switches.html">http://http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Components:_Switches_and_knobs/3/3-way_Pickup_Switches.html check this out when you get a chance  and  crusty came up with a way  to do your switching  its under les paul transplant.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-12 20:55:43

i checked out the thread...  didn't see crusty's name anywhere...  maybe i got the wrong thread...  if i did, please hook me up with a link...

what i did see was a link to stew mac's 3-pickup gibson switch...  the problem with that switch is that it is still a 3-position switch (bridge, bridge + middle, neck)..  the variax electronics require a 5-position switch to function properly and completely (ie. with all 5 positions per model select knob selection)...  plus, i need the switch to be 2-sided so that i can use it to control both the variax electronics and the mag pickups...  a tall order for sure, but i persist...

thanks for the suggestion all the same...  i'm glad people are looking out for a solution just like i am...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-13 04:05:42

im sorry     i said crusty  but it was orange keeper..    it was late   its under   les paul transplant basicly hes using two switches   to do this.  also  that site  i think i gave you the link. theres another likn to a guy that has done a few transplants  a link there goes to his  web page with the transplants showing how he acomplished this theres a photo of an extra switch by the control knobs.   photos of 5  nice looking transplants.  iwould just copy what was  written by orangekeeper but  i cant seem to do it. or dont know how but under  the les paul  transplant post is all  this stuff.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-13 09:49:11

ya, again, even if i used a push/pull pot so i didn't have to visually modify the guitar, it still wouldn't be as fast and intuitive as just a plain old switch...  i'm starting to think that barring actually being able to locate this apparently non-existant 5-way switch, using the 3-way wouldn't be so bad...  i could use workbench to put the sounds i want in the right places...  but i'm still lookin' for that switch!!!



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-13 11:31:34

wouldnt it have to be something like this. attatched photo   sorry bout the drawing   contact point  on front  wires to the  arm and  back of pannel?



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-13 11:48:02

ya something like that...  you're right, the pivot has to be higher up like a gibson-style switch...  but where do you get things like that made?  i can use a soldering iron, but i wouldn't be able to make a switch, at least not one that i would trust...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-13 11:52:39

i have no idea to tell the truth .  only time ive ever seen a switch like this was on an old  model train set when i was a kid. there must be someone out there  that makes custom switches but i wouldnt kow where to start to look.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-13 12:04:37

could  this work?



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-13 12:05:55

well, i've googled "custom guitar switch" to no avail...  i'm emailing some local companies that came up when i googled "custom electronics", but who knows if this is anything like what those companies do...  i guess i'll have to wait until monday for an answer...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-20 17:43:49

thought id send you a photo of the body  im going to put all that stuff into.  just  took it apart.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-21 17:45:40

i don't see how it would...  i don't know if this is a return to center switch, but even if it wasn't there's only 4 positions, right?  i would need 5 positions...  and plus i don't know how you would make it look right...  it is an interesting idea though...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-21 17:47:57

man you're friggin' killing me...  i've been looking at those for a while...  there's something about a clear strat that makes me think that it's the perfect guitar to do a transplant into...  let me know how the routing goes...  that's the only thing i was a little iffy about...  is it the same as routing wood, and can you polish the cavity after so it becomes transparent again?



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-21 18:15:05

im not sure how  you could do the nut mount on the switch   maybe youll have to use the screw mount from  a gibson type switch  and some how make it part of the switch i showed . for the toggle handle you could mold one  and use  some silver coloring to make it look like metal  im experimenting with molding  clear  pickup covers for strat pickups.  so far  i dont like what im getting but there clear. a bit too soft.  im going to try fiberglass resin in the morning.  the stuff im using now  is what they make those  clear  awards out of.  ok if its thick but thin walls  move too much.  i tried  a bit of  amchining on the body.  tryed polishing it  .  it wont buff dead clear.  if it gets hot it tends to want to melt. you have to be careful drilling it too .  a step at a time or the drill hangs up.  what i did learn today is to use  one of them dremel  routing tools.  then when i get it smooth  mix up  a bit of the award   stuff and rub it on with my finger.  then it clears up nice.  ive got a test spot in the existing cavity drying now.  ............ just took a look  it looks pretty good.  i redrilled the hole from the cavity to the   out plug  with   that same cutter  cleaned it up 95 percent. when drilling you got to go slow rpm and use oil to prevent it from heating up. working on reshaping  the head stock tonight. but i think ill calll it quits till tomorrow. i attatched  some pics of whhat i plan on putting in it.   i bought that body as a whole guitar. neck is good   rosewood.   and  the body is nice but  a bit thinner than a normal strat. kinda  heavy too but i have to remove  some  material and it will lighten up. also i got  clear pick guard and  clear knobs.  got to mold a switch  end and pickup covers. and ill try to mold that black plastic holder for the  outputs of the vax.  first try  didnt come out right.   making the mold that is. so ill give  it another try tomorrow.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-21 18:20:10

heres a few more pics

                    you can see the cost of the project  and what im putting in  then  theres one of the clear pick  guard  the knobs  replacement  momentary switches.   i dont like the roland ones.  and the mold i made for the clear pickup covers. my drummer has an old set of orange  lucite ludwigs.  so wait till he sees this  lucite  strat 



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-21 19:06:22

http://www.instructables.com/id/Acrylic-Guitar-LED-mod/

i saw this a few months ago...  i don't see the point in having a clear guitar WITHOUT LEDs in it...  especially a clear transplant... 



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-22 04:10:23

at one time i thought of putting  leds on my harley  breifly   some people  use them to light  the engine area .  but i dont ride  at night  much  so i decided not to   same with the guitar.  theres usually a light on  and that  would  make  the  light up  factor  minimal at best.  to tell the truth   i have one led  for the roland  stuff that  i want to remove.   i want this guitar  to be clear so  people can see what i have in it. clear bodies arent anything new.  theres a pic  of a few from the  70s.   ampeg  did  a 1 year issie of the dan armstrong clear body  looks  very close to the ibanez one in the picture.  it didnt sell cause  it  was very heavy as all  lucite bodies are. it might have been them  that had changable pickups that  were put in from the back. anyhow  the point is just to see into the body  to see what  is inside. thats why the  clear pick guard  knobs and pickup covers.i was trying to figure  how to   remove the headstock and make a clear one but i gave up on that . i even thought of casting a lucite neck but   not sure  if it would holdup.   the lucite may have sheer strength  bt i dont thing it would be  all that good as a neck  with the string tension  on it all the time. i could always give that a try  later on. maybe with a double truss rod. that would be  a difficult   process at best. as far as the light up guitar   rickenbacker did that a long time ago back in the 70s. see attatched  photo. turns out the  ibanez is a copy of the dan armstrong.   and that one did have the  slide in pickups.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-22 06:41:02

just finished reshaping the  headstock. what do you think.  i have to seal it then make up the new decal today. i tryed the fiberglass resin. it gets nice and hard but its yellowish so im going with my second choice.   rainy day  good day to do this stuff.

             well i finished the job waiting for the clear to dry  didnt come out too bad for an amateur



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by carlo_leone on 2009-06-22 13:08:21

What a discussion and it should make Line 6 sit up and take notice. Here's my contribution. I am 59 years old and still have every one of the 14 guitars I played throughout my career. I have just bought an 500 and I am totally in love with it. But what happens if my guit packs up in 5 years time? These guitars are now being discontinued so will my 500 become an ornament against the wall? I am sure that in 5 years time spares for thes guitars will not be available. I own a Roland 707 MIDI guitar and Roland had no probem in supplying me with a spare motherboard should my 707 ever packed up. PS. Although I have my working guitars (the 500 now joining the ranks), yes I still frequently vondel my beloved babies from yester year!!!



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-22 13:35:18

quite frankly  line 6 policy seems to be   if its broke  send it to a service center.  if they cant fix it  too bad for you  buy  a newer one  .  theres a  few places to get some of the parts  but the boards   forget it. and as far as them  sitting up and taking notice............the only thing they seem to notice is a way  not to respond   or to avoid an answer.   and ofcourse  the dollar bill.  support is minimal at best. you get more help here on this forum  in one  post than you get from the company.   only thing you hear from them  is send it out to be fixed. they wont tell you a thing other than that     reflash  the guitar   and  this is not a supported discussion.. just look back  through this forum. you can see for yourself. fortunatly theres a few knowledgable people here on the forum that will try to help you the best they can... wish i could say as much for line6.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-22 13:42:12

forgot to ask  isnt that  the roland with the giant 24 pin plug...  how does that sound?  i bought a  gr30 and im putting a roland pickup into the build  im doingive already tryed the gr30  with  a pickup on my strat and i like it but programming is a bit difficult as the readouts dont tell you very much. i may be confusing it with a 303   see attatched photo. i believe its the same internals but  i could be wrong.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-22 18:12:25

http://www.tycoelectronics.com/catalog/bin/TE.Connect?M=BYPN&C=1&PN=4-1437577-5&LG=1&I=13

i read somewhere that jimmy page had little switches underneath his pick guard...  here's a small DP5T that could fit under the pickguard...  i could control the variax with that and still have the switchcraft control for the mags...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-23 00:11:50

thats pretty low profile too .  how  are you going to mount that ?



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by carlo_leone on 2009-06-23 14:47:59

That's the one! It had quite a latence on the bottom strings so what I did was to fit it with 6 'E' strings and changed the electronics on the module to except this and transposing the strings to their correct pitch 'EADGBE'. This reduced latency to practically nil and tracking is excellent especially when using the wammybar. Obviously with this setup I cannot use it as a 'normal' guitar but that is not what I bought it for.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by MerlinFL on 2009-06-23 20:23:03

Just happen to stumble upon this thread.  Of course I agree with the most intelligent reply which is the one from Rich aka Line6Renken.  I DO NOT know how difficult it would or would not be to make a kit for insertion into other guitars, but just on the violation of warranty issue ALONE (there's the lawyer bit for the person who wrote bringing lawyers LOL) - I would not touch it with a ten foot pole.

PLUS to the CHRIS who had such "interesting" remarks about why Adrian Belew chose to have th guts of a Variax put into a P. Fly and how he has played with famous people - yadda, yadda, etc.  Ok, well then how do you expain Steve Howe??  I'm pretty sure most people know who he is and what he has done in his musical career.  HE DOES play the Line 6 Model 700 - same as little ole nobody famous me.  I happen to LIKE the design and playability of the 700 electric andI have WAY more expensive Les Pauls in my collection that I nearly never use since I've got the MP's EXACT sound plus tons of other guitars I'd never have the money to go out and buy.  Steve Howe has many dozens of guitars to choose from and simply uses the Variax when he wants or needs it.  I'm SURE he could have afforded to have something simliar done with one of his favorite old school brand name guitars, but he CHOSE not to.

So this is where I say thanks for reading my post and to all a good night.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-23 21:16:50

some sort of glue/cement i suppose...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-23 21:37:56

I DO NOT know how difficult it would or would not be to make a kit for insertion into other guitars, but just on the violation of warranty issue ALONE (there's the lawyer bit for the person who wrote bringing lawyers LOL) - I would not touch it with a ten foot pole.

then don't...  if you don't want a transplant kit if/when they put one out, don't buy one...  i do want one, so i will...

PLUS to the CHRIS who had such "interesting" remarks about why Adrian Belew chose to have th guts of a Variax put into a P. Fly and how he has played with famous people - yadda, yadda, etc.  Ok, well then how do you expain Steve Howe??  I'm pretty sure most people know who he is and what he has done in his musical career.  HE DOES play the Line 6 Model 700 - same as little ole nobody famous me.  I happen to LIKE the design and playability of the 700 electric andI have WAY more expensive Les Pauls in my collection that I nearly never use since I've got the MP's EXACT sound plus tons of other guitars I'd never have the money to go out and buy.  Steve Howe has many dozens of guitars to choose from and simply uses the Variax when he wants or needs it.  I'm SURE he could have afforded to have something simliar done with one of his favorite old school brand name guitars, but he CHOSE not to.

So this is where I say thanks for reading my post and to all a good night.

i'm glad you find my remarks "interesting"...

anyway, i'm quite aware there are people out there that are as famous or more than adrian belew that CHOSE to play a variax guitar...  i'm happy for them, and all the other less-than-famous people out there that like their variax guitars...  i'm not criticizing anybody's stylistic taste when it comes to guitars, i'm just saying that the variax doesn't cater to mine, for whatever reason...  if you like your variax, then it's really nothing you have to worry about...  i like the possibilities of the variax electronics, but not the guitars themselves...  so i CHOSE to investigate the alternatives...  and anything i can do to make the alternatives a reality, i will do...  i don't see how the concept of a transplant kit or any discussion on the topic would apply to those who have no interest in it...  you have your guitar and you're happy with it...  a transplant isn't for you, so don't worry about it...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2009-06-24 22:31:27

i sent reply to you hopefully you got them  if not let me know and ill resend them.  i got  kickbacks from  the forum so i  am not sure  they went through.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by chrisblackwell on 2009-06-24 22:36:49

nothing in my inbox...  maybe it takes a few minutes...



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by toasterdude on 2009-07-07 06:41:26

MerlinFL wrote:

Just happen to stumble upon this thread.  Of course I agree with the most intelligent reply which is the one from Rich aka Line6Renken.  I DO NOT know how difficult it would or would not be to make a kit for insertion into other guitars, but just on the violation of warranty issue ALONE (there's the lawyer bit for the person who wrote bringing lawyers LOL) - I would not touch it with a ten foot pole.

PLUS to the CHRIS who had such "interesting" remarks about why Adrian Belew chose to have th guts of a Variax put into a P. Fly and how he has played with famous people - yadda, yadda, etc.  Ok, well then how do you expain Steve Howe??  I'm pretty sure most people know who he is and what he has done in his musical career.  HE DOES play the Line 6 Model 700 - same as little ole nobody famous me.  I happen to LIKE the design and playability of the 700 electric andI have WAY more expensive Les Pauls in my collection that I nearly never use since I've got the MP's EXACT sound plus tons of other guitars I'd never have the money to go out and buy.  Steve Howe has many dozens of guitars to choose from and simply uses the Variax when he wants or needs it.  I'm SURE he could have afforded to have something simliar done with one of his favorite old school brand name guitars, but he CHOSE not to.

So this is where I say thanks for reading my post and to all a good night.

Does steve howe play the Variax as his MAIN guitar? I would think Adrian may since the guitar has it all. To me for the Variax to take off you need major players using it as their MAIN guitar. If not it will seen more like a novelty guitar. Sure so and so artist uses tha Variax for that one song he needs to get an acoustic sound. . .. but plays the rest of the set with his "real" guitar. If a guy like Steve Howe is using the Vax for his main guitar then that is a different story.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by guitarest on 2010-01-03 21:20:02

So, if we want to sell killer guitars with Variax


Then go back to either MIJ Guitars like the first series or go with American made and get away from those crappy Indonesian guitars; IMO



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by jason367 on 2011-02-20 11:56:24

I don't want a variax guitar kit.  I want a Variax Pedal that accepts a high impedance (XLR) input.

Why wouldn't line 6 want to market a pedal that can be used with any piezo guitar and can be midi-footswitched between guitar models

Look at the acoustic models in the Zoom A2.  The cheap model is only $80.

I would pay $6-800 for a midi-switchable pedal that had all the line 6 guitar models and compatibility with the software, especially if firmware updates were available (even at an upcharge) as the technology improved.

Basically, modeling just requires a decent, saddle-piezo source.

Line 6 is never going to make a decent economic gain on guitars because

1) the guitars aren't good

2) good guitar building isn't profitable (a good guitar has to cost >$3k because it takes not only design but also skill and skill is expensive.)

3) having a huge battery in your guitar will require added weight and extensive routing that will ruin most good guitars, not to mention the unfavorable user inconvenience of having to have a guitar that's properly charged whenever you want to play it.

If line 6's intent is to sell Variax units, they would be better off selling a ton in pedal form.

In guitar form that number is equal only as many as people are willing to deal with the hassles of a battery and a suboptimal guitar or the inconvenience of  transplant.

Take that to the board meeting.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2011-02-20 12:26:24

ah  the  age  old  question.

  heres  the  answer


they  want to be  in the  guitar  business.    i agree though  id  rather  have a pedal  variax.     if thats  what you want    check out


rackvax.com



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by jason367 on 2011-02-20 12:32:40

The rack vax is $1200, doesn't come with a piezo pickup, doesn't use XLR inputs and doesn't do midi switching.  For my purposes, it would be cheaper to cannibalize a cheap JTV.

If zoom can make a profit off 12 models for $80 at amazon, I think Line 6 can make a profit off of $500 for 25 models with full firmware functionality.  Nice to know that the rack vax is available though.  Thanks for the link.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2011-02-20 12:39:52

i agree  completely

  this  was  talked  to death  though  when   the renkin forum   was  up  and   i believe  chris  blackwell also   posed  this  question to the  company.    in both   cases  it was a firm but  friendly  no it aint gonna  ever  happen.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by phil_m on 2011-02-22 18:06:25

If you know so much about Line 6's business and how they should make their money, why not start your own business?

I guess I tend to think that people who are actually manufacturing a product tend to know a bit more than the people simply sitting around talking about making a product.

There are tons of sub-par acoustic emulator pedals.  They might sound near OK, but none of them anywhere near as good as the acoustic emulations on a Variax.  I also don't think the new JVT Variaxes can be described as "suboptimal" in any way.  Granted they are only available in the three styles at the moment, but they are the real deal.  They aren't just some cheap, entry level instrument.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by jason367 on 2011-02-22 20:01:08

Phil M said:"If you know so much about Line 6's business and how they should make their money, why not start your own business?"

If a JT variax cost's $1k at musician's friend, deduct markup and the electronics/R&D cannot cost more than $500 or else L6 is taking a loss.  L6 wouldn't be selling their electronics at a loss in order to market a bunch of mediocre guitars.  The precision of the economic argument matters not, the point is that they could sell way more guitar modeler pedals than they will EVER sell JTVariaxes-- even if the implementation of a random piezo guitar plugged into a variax modeler yields a sound with more latency or slightly lower tonal quality than hardwiring the unit inside a guitar with a tested and refined piezo design. 


I don't have to know much about L6 to know that prioprietary instruments are a bad decision from an economic standpoint.  This will be clear when zoom, fractal, eleven rack, Korg, Yamaha, Digidesign, Native instruments or some other company decides it's going to jump into the pedal market with an array high quality guitar simulators. Gibson just tried their own "supervariax"  (guitar models + effects) which is really a piece of crap design but it does indicate that the instrument modeling competition is going to start soon

"I  guess I tend to think that people who are actually manufacturing a  product tend to know a bit more than the people simply sitting around  talking about making a product."

I'm not talking about making a product, but I'm gonna take an educated guess that you're wrong about a lot of things you 'tend to think'

There  are tons of sub-par acoustic emulator pedals.  They might sound near  OK, but none of them anywhere near as good as the acoustic emulations on  a Variax.

And they aren't designed to be used with an in-line XLR output either.

I also don't think the new JVT Variaxes can be described as  "suboptimal" in any way.  Granted they are only available in the three  styles at the moment, but they are the real deal.  They aren't just some  cheap, entry level instrument."""

I didn't say they were garbage, I said they weren't good.  While there are plenty of good guitars that don't cost $3k, I'm simply not interested in buying a factory assembled strat/LP copy.  Cannibalizing a $1000 guitar so I can put the electronics in a single custom guitar just isn't as appealing as paying $500 for a rack or pedal unit that would allow me to install piezo saddles in any of my (11) guitars and plug into a Variax emulation.  If the number of replies to this thread is any indication, I'm not alone.  I will never buy a JT Variax to play as my personal guitar but I would buy an emulator rack or pedal unit.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by JellyWheat on 2011-02-23 02:04:19

For what it's worth, I think your arguments are bang-on target, and very well put. I agree with every point you have made wholeheartedly. [And besides, I never take comments prefaced by: "Oh yeah, well if you know so much..." seriously. Anything that follows that kind of preamble is usually puerile.]

Thank you for so clearly expressing what many others also feel about this matter.

My $0.02/FWIW/YMMV

JellyWheat



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2011-02-23 02:47:34

well phil    opinions  are .... well a  smart  person  like yourself  knows  . everyone  has  there  own  opinion..   and  ive  always  said  they  make  a decent  product .   any  BUSINESS  person  knows  theres  always room for improvement   and  any BUSINESS   man   will tell you  there  only going to go    far enough  and  no further. wht  phil. because    its  about  profits.     BUSINESS   men phil also  take  into   there  plans   how much   of   a product  they  can put   on the  market  that will sell within a  price  range    that the  general public   will be able to afford

  this  is an example  of  what  i mean

  a diamond  encrusted  soper  variax  with  a solid  gold  neck.  1,000 ,000 . how many are  you gonna sell phil........

so  they will improve     to a point  where.  they casn sell the latest  one  make  some  money  as you say  and   wait till    the   excitement  dies  out    and  make  the  next   planned  improvement   so    they  can go another  round  of  sales.

take  microsoft  phil  as an  example  every  couple  of years   the newest  version of  windows  comes  out.

   how much more  do you get  for your  money.    while  your  ruching  to the  store   there    working on the nexxt  version  htere  gonna sell to you.

  thats    a  hort  and simple version version  of   how  business  works  phil

  as to why i personlly  arent  in business  phil

   finances    phil

tellya  what  though

  let  me  know  when  you  want  to back a  project  or  two  and  well go  partners    .  i got  some ideas  and    amnufacturing  experience.   i need  some  backing.      what do you say..........



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2011-02-23 02:56:38

jason i agree .   heres  what  it  is      the company  has  decided   what  profit  per  unit  they want to  make.

they  manufacture   acordingly.   renkin  quoted  500  bucks  street  value  in  his   threda on the  new  variax      the 500 was howevr   the price  of the old  electronics.

  also the  quote  ws 200  for the   rest of the guitar

  point being  the  guitar  was  equivalent to  a  squire    strat   or  equivalent  guitar.

now  you know  street  value  is  not  what they  paid  for the  electronics.      anyone  who  knows   about thaat can tell you      that those  boards  are  made    relatively     cheaply    in   asia.

and so  are the  majority  of  jtvs  being  made   . so   thats  where  they   make there  profit.

and  thats  why  an  american made  jtv  will cost you   a  leg and  an arm.

  well gotto  go do some  manufacturing  now  

  tty   later



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by amx05462 on 2011-02-23 02:59:58

when they   start  with   oh yeah....

  well you know the  rest 



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by phil_m on 2011-02-23 06:44:38

Puerile?  OK...

I was actually being serious.  I'm not trying to just denigrate his idea.  I happen to agree that if there were something that could match the modeling capabilities of the Variax in pedal form it probably would sell very well, and it would probably actually make the Variax itself obsolete.  I just don't see anything in the market coming close to that capability, though. Even solutions that use MIDI pickups suffer from tracking problems, and they still require some modification of the guitar itself.  So I think if there are people who insist on using their top-of-the-line guitars in a modeling situation, it means they have to do some sort of after-market modification still.

So while I see why it might read like I was blowing the comment off, that wasn't my intention.  There seems to be an obvious hole in the market right now, and no one has really been able to fill it.  I find to be the Variax solution to be pretty good.  The JVT are well-made guitars, and they do what they do well.  However, it seems there are people who will be resistant to buying another guitar (although I would suggest they at least give the JVT an actual try before passing on it - everyone I've talked to who's actually played one seemed to really liked at least one of the three models currently available).

Line 6 does actually listen to customer complaints and suggestions pretty wellas far as I can tell.  If there's something that people want that isn't out there yet, I'd say it usually comes down to a matter of being technically infeasible or simply not viable from a cost perspective yet.  I just have to believe that Line 6 wants to succeed and sell product more than any of their biggest fans on the boards do.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by JellyWheat on 2011-02-23 07:11:20

Well, phil, I honestly did take your first two paragraphs in the post to which I responded as being rather presumptuous, but that's water over the dam.

I don't think that anyone (myself included), who would like to be able to buy a RackVax type of rig directly from Line 6, wants to start up a business to fill this void. Line 6 offers their POD products in several different physical configurations, ranging from the beloved bean, to floor units, to sophisticated rack units. I presume they can realize a profit from all of them, and that the products compliment, and not cannibalize, one another.

What causes you to assume that offering the same choice of configurations to Variax afficioados will inescapably extinguish Variax guitar sales? I think this is a weak link in your argument. A second weak link is that Variaxes are well-made guitars. I have owned 3 of them, and NONE of them was anything to write home about. The variax 700 made by Fuji-gen-Gakki that I owned for a number of years was by far the best-made, but - for the $1,750 I paid - it didn't deliver the playability I expect from an electric guitar in the $1,000-$1,200 price range (discounting the cost of the electronics). Others who now own JTV Variaxes have posted comments that echo these sentiments in great enough numbers to lend credibility to the observation.

I no longer own any Variaxes, since the advantages of the modeling technology TO ME are not worth the trade-off of having to play a second- or third-rate instrument in order to access it. I would, however, be prepared to either fit a hexophonic bridge to one of my Les Pauls, or to buy a Roland-ready Stratocaster that I could plug into a Variax rack unit. The way, if the Variax rack unit is superseded by newer technology, I don't have to contemplate ditching one of my cherished instruments, to which I have become accustomed, in order to keep current.

I would imagine that others who don't have as extensive high-end guitar stable as I am privileged to own might want to but a JTV Variax and be done with it, so a Line 6 guitar would, indeed, serve the hobbyist or "weekend warrior" market niche (which is large enough to merit its own product offering). Why Line 6 is so resistant to even discussing a varaint of their current marketing vector is beyond me. I can only surmise that they don't want companies like Behringer to knock off pirated copies of their Variax box, and feel that encapsulating the technology in a crappy, proprietary guitar will afford at least some protection, however transitory, from this threat.

It's all conjecture on my part, of course. What remains is that I can think of no good reason why any innovative, market-oriented company would refuse to dialogue with its prospective customers except, of course, unless the principal shareholder was Steve Jobs. Line 6 cannot aspire to the type of autocratic marketing success that has accrued to Apple, however, because in my opinion, their vision of the end-user's experience is incomplete and therefore flawed.

[Here endeth the lesson, let us sing Hymn #342...]

JellyWheat



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by rackvax on 2011-03-21 19:37:52

jason367 wrote:

The rack vax is $1200, doesn't come with a piezo pickup, doesn't use XLR inputs and doesn't do midi switching.  For my purposes, it would be cheaper to cannibalize a cheap JTV.

If zoom can make a profit off 12 models for $80 at amazon, I think Line 6 can make a profit off of $500 for 25 models with full firmware functionality.  Nice to know that the rack vax is available though.  Thanks for the link.

RackVax is MIDI controllable / switchable and integrates into MIDI rigs perfectly. If you mean it doesn't have a 1/4" T/S switch output for amp channel switching, you're right, but that kind of feature doesn't belong in this type of device anyway. RackVax is a rackmount guitar modeling device which is designed to sit between your guitar and amp as if it wasn't even there so that you can get the sounds of the Variax from any guitar equipped with a GK pickup. Your effects processor is the more appropriate amp switcher.

The point about an analog XLR input is moot as one of the requirements of the advanced guitar modeling DSP and the digital retuning functionality as found in the Variax is a polyphonic / hex pickup with a separate analog audio channel for each string. An analog XLR input is not really appropriate for these types of devices as analog XLR implies a monophonic signal.

However, it is arguably more desireable to have an XLR output, and this is easy to obtain with RackVax by using the Line 6 XPS foot switch.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by rackvax on 2011-03-21 19:55:56

phil_m wrote:

Puerile?  OK...

I was actually being serious.  I'm not trying to just denigrate his idea.  I happen to agree that if there were something that could match the modeling capabilities of the Variax in pedal form it probably would sell very well, and it would probably actually make the Variax itself obsolete.  I just don't see anything in the market coming close to that capability, though. Even solutions that use MIDI pickups suffer from tracking problems, and they still require some modification of the guitar itself.  So I think if there are people who insist on using their top-of-the-line guitars in a modeling situation, it means they have to do some sort of after-market modification still.

While it's not in pedal format, RackVax is the closest thing to a Variax pedal available. It does not suffer from "tracking problems" and plays just like a Variax. No modification to your guitar is required. A Roland GK-3 external pickup can be attached without any modification whatsoever.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by jason367 on 2011-03-21 22:13:21

rackvax wrote:


RackVax is MIDI controllable / switchable and integrates into MIDI rigs perfectly.


So if I want to integrate with a G system, I can program patch 30 of the TC electronic G-system to use 50% telecaster sound coming from the piezo/modeling and 50% electric pickups of my guitar then footswitch to patch 31 for a guild 12 string model with completely different effects and amp routing with no electric pickup mix?  That's the type of midi control/integration I'm looking for.

...

The point about an analog XLR input is moot as one of the requirements of the advanced guitar modeling DSP and the digital retuning functionality as found in the Variax is a polyphonic / hex pickup with a separate analog audio channel for each string. An analog XLR input is not really appropriate for these types of devices as analog XLR implies a monophonic signal.

     I didn't know Variax required hexaphonic.  The zoom modeling works relatively well with a generic piezo but doesn't have the variety/quality of models.  I like the Ghost system I have in one of my strats.  The XLR request was just an upgrade for a higher quality signal.  I figured it would improve the modeling to have a purer output than running a unbalanced1/4 plug to the modeler as most people do with acoustic electrics.

However, it is arguably more desireable to have an XLR output, and this is easy to obtain with RackVax by using the Line 6 XPS foot switch.

I would want XLR out to the PA + 1/4 out to amplifier that was switchable depending on the chosen patch.  Thanks for the reply, I learned more about the Rackvax than was evident from your webpage.  It seems like a good product but it's still quite expensive.  If I had a guitar with a GK pickup, I would consider it.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by rackvax on 2011-03-21 22:26:56

jason367 wrote:

rackvax wrote:


RackVax is MIDI controllable / switchable and integrates into MIDI rigs perfectly.


So if I want to integrate with a G system, I can program patch 30 of the TC electronic G-system to use 50% telecaster sound coming from the piezo/modeling and 50% electric pickups of my guitar then footswitch to patch 31 for a guild 12 string model with completely different effects and amp routing with no electric pickup mix?  That's the type of midi control/integration I'm looking for.


With RackVax, you can switch between the Variax modeled sounds and your magnetic pickups using MIDI program change or CCs. Our switching circuit maintains the purity of your tone in both cases.


We decided against a blend circuit just as Line 6 did with the James Tyler Variax and opted for a true bypass because the purity of the tone was more of an importance than being able to mix the sounds.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by buddy85216 on 2011-03-28 22:54:09

Thanks guys. Great thread. And now I know about RackVax. I had just spent the whole weekend looking at the Warmoth site pondering. I'm seeing it 180 degrees different than I did. Modeling FX belong on the floor or in a rack - not in the amp or guitar.



Re: "How does Parker get thier Variax electronics?" and other exciting questions...
by Colin2113 on 2011-09-24 11:35:22

     amen to that I LOVE my black on black Variax 300. It sounds absolutly incredible paired with my PODHD500. I just got it used a week ago for 275.00.

     Anyone thinking about buying an orginal used variax now is the time. There are not many left in the 2-300 price range. I searched ebay for days finally found the used one I wanted at a guitar center in New Jersey ( I live in Florida )

there is a guy in pennsylvania that does the variax transplants for a living.

Warmoth.com has an entire section of their site dedicated to building a custom guitar with your own Variax guts.




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