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Everything posted by marcwormjim

  1. I liken the 89 neck to a Wizard III. Others may disagree. Also note that Variaxes tend to weigh more than their counterparts with less hardware under the hood. 1. Everything transmits over VDI. Unofficially, you may use any generic CAT5 cable of desired length. Officially, use only official cables. 2, 3. The factory firmware tunings on the 89 are silkscreened on the tuning knob, but may be programmed to be whatever you like. 4. Don’t know why you’d want to replace the physical knob, but it would just be a matter of finding the part. 5. It’s a floating Floyd Rose with pull-up routing; range determined by your setup. 6. All JTVs are powered via either an onboard lithium-ion battery or via VDI. Powering via 1/4” requires a proprietary breakout box. 7. As I recall, Plugging 1/4” and VDI simultaneously is actually required when using the Workbench software independent of a POD/Helix USB interface (the 1/4” jack turns the guitar “on” and allows for real-time monitoring of tweaks) 8. Yes. You may program your Helix/POD patches to have the physical Variax controls slave to preset values In the unit.
  2. Yes; it seems the particular Tele Thinline and Les Paul Black Beauty guitars used for the Gen 1 modeling were no longer available to Line 6 when they built their Gen 2 library. Count me among the many who felt they botched the “HD”/warts-and-all/no-quack Strat model, as well. Fortunately, you can mix and match components and model levels in Workbench to get in the ballpark of the 1.9 models.
  3. On paper, it’s as simple a mod as on any other 2 humbucker guitar: The pickup selector switch sums the start wires for each humbucker in parallel in position 3. By using an additional switch to send the humbuckers’ series connections to ground, the selector switch instead receives the split coil signal for all switch positions (making 2 and 4 redundant). Some 89 owners have utilized Tripleshot rings to achieve this option and more. The issue with any mod to the Variax’s magnetic pickup circuit is that a single mistake can spell disaster that only Line 6 can remedy, and even then at their discretion. Officially, Line 6 would likely advise you to use the Variax for its intended purpose of creating a model bank in which switch positions 1 and 5 are the 89 humbuckers and 3 is just a tele. But being as I’m not Line 6, I’m curious to see what you end up doing.
  4. I’m afraid not. I recall owners requesting this since Workbench was first released in 2005. I liken it to L6 receiving requests for a three amp stereo path in a POD built to run two amps at the most. You can try to move two pickup types around in Workbench until the sound is approximated but, alas, the Swiss Army knife philosophy of the Variax means it can’t replace the main guitar(s) of players such as us who utilize unconventional switching.
  5. I don’t use a GK pickup on my JTV89F anymore, but I used a conversion pickup ring I bought on eBay to mount the GK3 with zero permanent modification. You just replace the bridge humbucker mounting ring with it and it gives you the clearance and a flat mounting space that doesn’t contact the guitar body. You may want to look into fabricating one yourself with a sheet of metal or plastic.
  6. Just a random Artec PAF set from a parts box - Put whatever you want in. FYI, I’ve had four JTV89s (multiple return-exchanges due to sub-Squier QC); and none of them had pickup routing deep-enough to lower the stock pickups enough to balance them with the models. A less-invasive option is to air or swap the pickup magnet, or shim the neck and raise the bridge.
  7. I dealt with this issue by swapping the 89’s high-output pickups for a lower-output set. This alleviated the balance issues between the 89F mags and the pickups in my other guitars and, should I want that sound, I still have the factory firmware’s modeled ‘89 pickups to use with the neutral body.
  8. ^True. This would be a more thriving community, if only every thread didn’t end with needing a support ticket to blow your nose.
  9. I own and have owned many of the guitars modeled in the Variax series. Even in the original line, I had to use Workbench to bring the modeled pickups' and strings' output up or down to what I had the real ones set up for.
  10. The 89F I own is my third (the previous two were returned, before I settled): Each had the same CNC and QC issues ( neck pocket routed too deep to achieve low action, humbucker routes too shallow, action way higher from the factory than other brands at the same price point, Graphtech Floyd unable to be lowered into its route without compromising the pivot point, all three are extremely body-heavy, frets need leveling, etc.). The Variax line has always accomplished the "Swiss army guitar" feature with the electronics constituting most of the cost, but rarely do they come out of the box set up to compete with much cheaper instruments. As others have said, a TLC session with a good tech (and perhaps a neck shim) can make it less of a chore to play. The issue for me isn't that Line 6's official position is to withhold setup specs, but that James Tyler allows his name on it.
  11. Yes; you can either rotate the pups or re-solder the leads, depending on whether or not you wish to keep the screw coils on the outside. If I had to guess, it's because Tyler or someone at Line 6 judged that splitting to the screw coils resulted in either too bright a sound for the 500k analog pots, or perhaps the "Tyler-designed" pups have less of a drop in output with the slug coils selected. In either case, I prefer the outside coils, as well.
  12. I too would be interested in replacing my 89F neck at some point - Please post photos if/when the mod is complete.
  13. I'm going to go ahead and guess you'll be told to open a support ticket.
  14. Chances are you're using two very different sets of guitar modeling - Roll back to firmware 1.9 in the JTV for the 300 algorithms. You'll have to use the old Workbench software, but many people prefer the old electric sounds. I (and everyone used to the pre-2.0 modeling) was in the same boat, but eventually got used to the "HD" models. What initially won me over were the acoustic models. A common compromise is increasing the overall volume of the 2.0 models in Workbench HD.
  15. As stated in the OP, this seems a trivial matter - But I'll indulge: Without opening too many specifics up for debate, I feel the JTV line and its marketing was an earnest effort to learn from mistakes made with the original line. i love that the Variax brand exists, but the free market has consistently relegated its game-changing innovations to something niche; and you can't expect the company to double down on devoting advertising funds to subsequent generations of a product line that has never exactly set the world on fire. That's me trying to be diplomatic. My own personal experiences in owning, returning, and reselling Variax instruments since their introduction has unfortunately informed an opinion that I'd rather Line 6 prioritize product quality over taking out a page in Guitar World.
  16. I have multiple rigs, with the smallest being an iPad-based one that fits in a gig bag. The 21st century shows promise. I've found Bias FX iOS to be great for what it is, but with fewer effects and less flexibility than the HD500.
  17. Hello, all. My current rig includes an alumitone and midi-equipped guitar running into a GR-55 for modeling and alternate turnings. The prospect of downsizing to just a Variax is appealing, but I'm hesitant to replace the stock pups with Alumitones, if I can approximate the sound with a tweaked workbench model. Has anyone attempted this?
  18. I owned a 705 and fretless 700, to round out my Variax collection. I, too, found that there just wasn't need for the horsepower they had under the hood to justify using them for anything beyond recording applications - None of the idiosyncrasies of the modeled instruments stood out in a gig-mix and, as I'm sure owners found, I often ended up choosing comfort over tone when it came to which instrument I brought. That Line 6 never bothered with Workbench didn't help sway me from eventually selling them off before any components failed. Ever since, I've just had a Roland GK3B on a 30"-scale six-string; and it's been the best of both worlds. It's a shame I was part of the majority that was more in love with the IDEA of the Variax bass than the executed reality of it.
  19. Thanks for the replies. I'm getting the idea that I just happened to get two bad guitars in a row. My initial buzzing was on the low frets, due to the relief problems. I should mention that I own a regular 89 hardtail that's had no problems. Being as I've been told to just take it to a luthier, I'll mention that I AM a luthier. On this particular guitar, I had to resort to shimming the neck to get it in playable condition. I've never had to do that with a brand-new, $1000+ guitar, and it ideally shouldn't be an option a luthier gives - I'd tell them to go get refunded for the crappy guitar. I understand that the difference in mounting-ring heights is to compensate for the incline of the neck - However, in my case, I'm claiming that this feature was used at the factory to cheat a defect with my particular guitar. I've never seen a guitar that had a bridge pickup seated at the bottom of the route, and still be an inch-and-a-half taller than the bridge saddles. Hence, raising the neck was my only non-invasive fix. I've revised my original post to communicate more-clearly that I don't think this is a widespread problem. I made this thread to see how common this problem actually is - Looks like it's just me, so far. Thanks to everyone who tried to help. I'll take the hint of getting two lemon JTV-89F packages in a row, and buy a different guitar. Does anyone here recommend the Suhr Modern? That somebody is needed at the factory.
  20. Thanks for the reply. The mounting rings aren't the issue, though - The 89 bridge pickup itself is too "tall" - It could just be a matter of the cavity-routing for some 89F bodies being too shallow. Regardless of the cause, in this case, the taller mounting-ring was used to disguise it. I'm just trying to get a sense of how common this is, due to both of the 89Fs I've received having this quirk. I've shimmed the neck to compensate for it - But I still have 56 days to return the guitar for a refund, and I'm hoping to see if any others who've experienced this will come out of the woodwork.
  21. Hi - I'm wondering if anyone else has encountered problems with lowering the action on the 89F. I recently purchased an 89F, and had to have it replaced due to problems with the battery charger-cradle and USB interface. My replacement 89F appeared to have no issues, until I tried setting it up to my preferences. Though the fretwork is mostly great, the neck requires substantially-more relief than other RG-copies I've played to eliminate buzzing in the first five frets. This was the case with both guitars. That's a small gripe, though - The real problem shows itself when I lower the action. I can get the strings quite low, but the lowest the bridge humbucker sits in its route is higher than the graphtech floyd can be lowered - I don't know if this is exclusive to my guitar; as the stock pickup-mounting rings are different heights, in this case for the sake of cosmetically-hiding this issue. The result is that, for the guitar to be playable, the action has to be high-enough up off the neck to clear the bridge pickup's polepieces. The only choices seem to be either replacing the bridge humbucker with a shorter one, modifying the stock pickup's mounts, or shimming the neck. Now, I don't doubt that there's some variation among the production batches - Perhaps the neck pocket is deeper on some than others. But considering that the stock pickup rings are height-staggered, I'm curious to know if anyone else has had to deal with this. Also, does anyone know why the routing for the trem prevents the owner from being able to adjust the bar tension? Was Line 6 really that paranoid that someone would stick an allen wrench up there and rip out the piezo leads?
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