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Everything posted by cruisinon2

  1. Sure... for session guys who have to be EVH one minute and Joe Pass the next (and can actually pull that off), the Variax is a dream come true. But the other 99.97% are generally only interested in one or the other. Most guitar players, even the good ones, are one trick ponies... and yes, I'm including myself in that lot, lol
  2. There's lots of reasons why they never really caught on... but mostly I think it's due to the fact that Joe Average guitar player just doesn't have needs/wants that are sufficiently diverse to justify the purchase, as those you've described... and that makes it a hard sell on a scale that would make it worthwhile for a big multi-national corporation to bother with. It's also a device that requires a great deal of time and tinkering to get the desired results, particularly with the acoustic tones... and I think that was a turn off for a lot of folks who aren't that tech-savvy and/ or knowledgeable about what makes different types of guitars sound the way they do in the first place. The latter was exacerbated by the way it was advertised, which convinced a lot of people that a realistic jumbo acoustic guitar tone would come flowing out of whatever electric guitar amp/cabinet setup they already owned, with just the flick of a switch on the guitar. Many of them, having no clue that the frequency response of typical guitar speakers simply can't do that, blamed the resulting crap-tastic acoustic tone on the Variax... there was a new thread complaining about this every 11 minutes back in the day, lol. Plus, most of the guitar playing universe gravitates towards a particular genre, with limited crossover outside of whatever it is that they like to hear and play. There just aren't that many guys out there who are equally at home playing a dobro, banjo, and shredding their way through "Matter of Puppets". The Variax concept was ambitious, and while not without its limitations, was largely successful. I just don't ever see it being widely adopted by the masses, even if there is a next generation at some point. My guess is that the bean-counters came to the same conclusion some time ago...
  3. The only thing that surprises me about this, is that it took this long for the axe to officially fall...(pun intended) ;)... development ceased long ago, as the last update worth discussing was in 2014, if memory serves. That's an eternity for any product that's heavily tech-dependent.
  4. That's nothing... after your free trial is up, you have to send them a complete set of dental records and a DNA sample. ;)
  5. Like anything else in life, your mileage may vary. There are always lemons, and somebody gets stuck with them. Nevertheless, I stand by what I said. The overwhelming majority of users are not touring pros, and their gear will not be subject to the ravages of life on the road. If they gig at all, it's every third Friday down at Walt's Trout Hut, and they have far more to fear from spilled beer than anything else. Not to mention the fact that half of the guitar playing world is still afraid to give a truss rod a 1/4 turn... they're not gonna confidently go futzing around with the Helix's inards, and especially not when there isn't a compelling reason to do so in the first place. And even if I'm completely wrong about all of that, appealing to L6 for some interior preventative maintenance cleansing protocol is a compete waste of time. In a million years, they'll never openly encourage customers to tinker around inside their products, because too many would f*ck it up beyond recognition.
  6. This is a solution desperately in search of a problem... I've owned my Helix for at least 6 years now, and I've had numerous similar floorboards, midi controllers, and pedals of just about every conceivable variety over the years/decades prior... and not once have I ever had the need to open one up to clean anything. I suppose if one regularly performs out in a wind-swept desert, then you might have some issues eventually... but that aside, this simply isn't something that most people will ever need to do. And not for nothing, but we live in a society where it's necessary to put warnings on plastic bags, so Joe Average doesn't stick his head in it....encouraging folks to start poking around under the hood of these things looking for a problem that isn't likely to exist, is a recipe for disaster. It's the very LAST thing that L6 themselves will ever encourage, and they're certainly never going to provide you with something that for many, would end up being a "How To Destroy Your Helix in 3 Easy Steps" manual...
  7. It'll only cost you a kidney... but don't worry, you can live quite happily with just the one, lol
  8. We'll I see we've finally reached the summit of Mt. Lazy... I'll tune back in when the AI algorithm plays the notes for me, too. I forget...which one of the Four Horsemen is this? ;)
  9. Must be that time of the month... the Eternal Question has returned, yet again. ;)
  10. We could debate all day over the likelihood of a malfunction when you get wherever it is you're going. My primary concern would be local access to a L6 service center, should the need arise. Depending on your destination, getting it serviced may or may not be possible without shipping it to hell and back, and a long delay without your instrument. If it were me, whether they've discontinued them or not, I'd be taking the path of least resistance by bringing an inexpensive, less tech-dependent instrument that I could have serviced anywhere on earth. Life's already unpredictable when you're not in the midst of an overseas, life-altering experiment... you're gonna have headaches as it is.
  11. Everything evolves, and while it's certainly not impossible that the existing design could be improved upon...I just don't think there's any money in it. Even the powers that be around here keep referring to the Variax as a "labor of love"... and nobody gets rich off of those, which makes it a hard sell to the bean counters.
  12. They just never caught on the way L6 had hoped. While I was quite enamored with my Variax initially, the more I used it the more difficult it became to ignore the shortcomings. In my case it was largely the drop D tuning that was utterly unusable with anything approaching high gain...too much cross-talk between the low E and A string piezo saddles. Little by little it just spent more and more time in the case. Being tethered to a cable didn't help either...I went wireless a long time ago. They're also way too finicky and unstable, and if/ when something goes awry, there nothing under the hood that's user-serviceable. Most guitar techs/luthiers have never seen one, and even if they're competent they haven't the faintest idea what to do with the hardware because it's not "normal" guitar guts. And finding an "authorized service center" can be a real pain in the arse depending on where you live. Nobody wants the extra expense of shipping a guitar to hell and back to get it fixed, on top of being without it for an extended period of time. They're also a lot of work at the beginning just to get them functioning... balancing individual string volumes from one model to another, etc. I think that turned off a lot of users who aren't the most tech savvy, or who just don't have the time or inclination to figure it all out. All of that adds up to a product that's just not destined to be widely adopted by the masses. It's a great concept, and perhaps at some point it'll be refined to a point where the platform is more stable and requires less tinkering to get results. Problem is I don't think there's enough of a demand for L6 to bother... the current iterations have been stagnant for years, and I'd be surprised if there's a next generation anytime soon. But who knows?
  13. SPOILER ALERT: Variax guitars aren't the only instruments that rot on the wall at GC for months/ years on end without being touched by so much as a dust rag, let alone having the strings changed...
  14. Lol... nothing elevates one's status quite like labels and name calling. I understand though... sometimes the guy in the mirror isn't easy to look at. Please do let us know if you'd like some help climbing out of the hole you've dug for yourself. After all, what good is whining without an audience? Peace!
  15. There's a negligible difference between being the first one in line to complain, and showing up later to echo the same sentiment. But you just go ahead and keep telling yourself otherwise...a powerful force, denial. Cheers!
  16. Can you not see the irony here? You're doing the very thing you've accused other of... authenticity might be first on your list, but that's hardly universal. Hell, I'd wager that 90% of those who own a modeler have never been in the same room with the "real" version of most of the amp models contained therein... but I digress. You're also missing the point. Most people couldn't care less what anybody else's needs/ wants are. However, what does tend to chap a$$es, are those who endlessly lament that a device they chose to purchase is inferior because it doesn't have "Feature X', whilst a competitor's does. The solution is simple: Do the appropriate research before you buy anything, and choose the device that best suits your needs. Problem solved. But to embark on an endless whining campaign after the fact is pointless, as there's a good chance that that you'll either never get what you want, or you'll wait for it for an extended period of time... and it all could have been avoided. I've yet to encounter the problem that's was solved through b1tching and finger pointing.
  17. Stir,stir,stir the pot... gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.... nobody gives a f*ck. ;) Could be worse, gents... at least he's not bitching about the tuner. ;)
  18. I looked up the sales pitch blurb for those things...a "rich boosted bass response" is not what you want for crafting guitar tones, because they are specifically designed to accentuate the bass frequencies. You will find yourself pulling out a ton of low end in all your patches to compensate. Then when you try to use those patches through any other playback system without an artificial low end boost, it'll sound thin and anemic. Those headphones were designed for 15 year olds intent on punishing their eardrums with 120 dB of whatever sonic drivel currently passes for "music". You need cans with a relatively flat frequency response, designed for studio use. Ditch those things...
  19. At this point you've done all there is to do as an end user... factory resets are just about the only tool we have, unless you happen to be really tech savvy, and can identify and fix your own hardware issues, which is what it sounds like you've got. No output except a low level hum doesn't sound like a software issue that rebooting would fix. Wait for the cavalry...
  20. There hasn't been "development" of the current Variax platform in nearly a decade. The last firmware update that actually had anything new in it was in 2014. If that doesn't tell you anything, then I don't know what will. Here's the simple fact: The Variax is a niche product, and always was. Yes, there's a devoted cult following who think it's the best thing since indoor plumbing, but 90% or more of the guitar playing public doesn't even know it exists. Are they hard at work on a completely different kind of tech that'll reinvent the whole Variax concept? It's not impossible... but given that the last one never really caught on with the masses, I'd say there's very little financial incentive to do so...R&D is expensive. Either way, the only folks who actually know the answer, ain't talking... they never do. All the rest of us can do is guess.
  21. We'd all have better luck trying to predict earthquakes. The answer is always the same: Nobody outside of the team at L6 that makes these decisions knows what's coming, or when... and they ain't talking. So hurry up and wait... just like the rest of us.
  22. This is among the weirdest threads I've seen on here in years... lol
  23. Every time you change the output device, your tone will change... sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. Headphones and studio monitors are two entirely different listening experiences. One has a complete lack of natural room reflections, and the other is well, a room, lol... and the inherent characteristics of that room will have a huge impact on the sound you get from any pair of monitors. Take the same monitors and stick them in: A) A room that's been acoustically treated specifically to serve as a studio... and B) Your home office with wall to wall carpet and a big fluffy couch. The first scenario will likely sound pretty good... and the latter is where trebel goes to die. Same speakers, entirely different results. The moral of the story is this: you have to tweak your tones based on how, where, and at what volume you intend to use them. And you can't really expect tones created for one scenario to be usable in another without (sometimes significant) adjustments... and unfortunately for us all, there are no magic "if you want this, do that" settings to employ. You gotta do the grunt work yourself... because what works for me might not work for you.
  24. Has anyone gotten good results? Yes... the proof is everywhere, as you've already discovered trolling youtube. However, as with any piece of gear... and modelers especially... the results are entirely subjective. You'll either get along with Helix, or you won't... and there's exactly one way to find out. Mostly it boils down managing expectations and having patience. A "plug and play device" it's not. If you go into it expecting to be up and running and thoroughly satisfied 5 minutes after you open the box, you will probably end up frustrated and disappointed. But if you're willing to put the time in, then it's very likely that you'll figure out how to produce the tones you want...but it will take time.
  25. The only people who actually know the answer to your question ain't talking... they never do. L6 never announces anything until it's release is imminent. That's just the way they operate. You'll find out the same way the rest of us will...when you read the press release.
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