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VAX700 last won the day on January 11 2018

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  1. I replied to Juanfe16 privately, but for the record... The Sennheiser 4.40 BT phones don't use AptX LL (low latency), they use ordinary AptX. The Priva lla BT transmitter is AptX LL capable, but the headphones have to be as well. See for an up-to-date list of AptX LL enabled headphones and earbuds.
  2. And as usual, a very clear and logical answer. But the real reason I'm commenting is "All about HD500X". Very impressive... I'll be visiting there often.
  3. True... However, the electric guitar world is anything but sane and orderly. Hence the term "whammy bar" : ) Ooops! I almost forgot. The JTV-59 doesn't have one... and in my most humble opinion, it's far too sleek and sexy looking for a bulky Bigsby. A lever-operated digital "whammy circuit" would be nice though. You could dive-bomb for hours without tuning problems. Maybe one day...
  4. Because piezos are in actual physical contact with the strings, they're way more affected by string vibration characteristics than magnetic pickups. Longitudinal string vibration, fret buzz, pick attack can all produce sound artifacts with piezos... much more so than with magnetics. I agree that string gauge, tension, set-up (action), and winding all have more effect on piezo sound characteristics than they do on magnetics. Flat-wound strings sound warmer, "flatter" and have less sustain; round-wound strings sound brighter, are more responsive and have more sustain. These round-wound characteristics increase with string gauge, but also depend on composition (chrome being warmer-sounding than nickel-plated steel, for example). I've tried lots of brands, gauges and compositions and have settled on my preferences. But in general I find lighter gauges sound quirkier, especially with a longer neck. In the end, it's a compromise... Let your ears be your guide.
  5. Glad that helped. I'm looking for replacement screws too. The following link seems to indicate 4-40 is the correct size Maybe psarkissian can confirm. Proceed with patience and caution... and make sure the set screws have a tapered end to fit the v-groove in the bridge posts.
  6. The tiny set screws can be very tight, especially if you forget to loosen the strings first. If you don't, the hex key can strip the screw head slightly, and a new key won't fix the problem. I know... it happened to me. Now I use a slotted jeweller's screwdriver, small enough to fit diagonally across the hex pattern. It digs into the screw head and works well. But if you go that route, be very careful not to scratch your guitar. It's either that... or replace the screws.
  7. What's most important IMO is backward compatability for the VDI interface. I was pleasantly surprised at how well my old 700 works with the HD500X... same for my JTV-59 and XTLive. Since L6 always designs new guitars hand-in-hand with new electronics, I think Variax circuit/hardware upgrades, though perhaps possible, would be cost prohibitive... and marketing-wise, not a likely option. I've simply come to accept each instrument as is. Considering how great they are, it's not hard to do. BTW this topic was partly covered here...
  8. Li-ion batteries are good (better than Ni-cads or Ni-MH) but they don't last forever. However, they do last longer if you maintain them properly. So whether it's your Variax, a cordless drill or lawn mower, here are some simple guidelines to follow: 1. Don't leave them in your device unless you use it every few days. 2. Never let them discharge completely. 3. Don't leave them in the charger longer than necessary. 4. For long-term storage (a few weeks or more) maintain them at half-charge. Storing them at full charge isn't recommended. That last one is a pain, because we tend to forget to check, but it's vital. Batteries slowly leak charge, even when stored, so it's important to check their charge-state every couple of months. Which reminds me...
  9. Here's the thing with power supplies: volts and polarity have to match; amps can be slightly over. Electronic devices only draw the amps they require... so plugging a 5000mA power block into a 3000mA unit won't harm it. However, a 2000mA power supply won't provide enough current for the device to work properly. Running a 12V supply into a 9V unit is potentially harmful... it can overpower the device and blow components/circuits. With AC, polarity isn't an issue... but with DC, polarity has to match or the device won't work, and components/circuits could potentially be damaged. The HD500 power supply converts 120V or 240V AC to 9V DC with centre pin + polarity, while supplying 3000mA. So a 9V, 5000mA centre pin + power supply would work just as well.
  10. The beauty of JTV's is that they come with 12 electronically selectable ALT tunings, including baritone (BEADFB)... Plus one of the ALT settings (called "Model") is custom programable so you can create any tuning you want. Or you can go the other way and consider a Variax Shuriken, which has a 27" short-baritone scale neck. Apart from its wicked good looks, the Shuriken also has different built-in guitar models and ALT tunings, designed to sound "baritone" with stock 10-46 strings... and easier to fret. Either way, turning a knob is much simpler, less expensive, and more versatile than changing a neck. But if you insist on slapping a Warmoth neck on a JTV, it won't affect the Variax electronics... the JTV's L.R.Baggs Radiance Hex piezos can handle heavier gauge baritone strings.
  11. The close-up of the neck bolts shows the guitar's true lustre... low-key, classy and stunning! "Your axe, sir, will cut."
  12. Quality control and build quality are two different things, of course. Judging from the all the positive reviews on JTV-59's (100's all over the internet) I'd say quality control is doing their job. I bought a new Korean "59" in Dec. 2016 and I'd rate it's build quality at 9/10 -- in other words, pretty damn good. A few minor things were off: The selector knob wasn't quite centred; there was a loose nut on the G tuning post; the truss rod cover fit a bit loosely... like I say, all relatively minor stuff. But where it counts everything was perfect: The frets were perfectly spaced and dressed; the neck was straight; the finish was impecable; and all the electronics worked as they should. But don't expect it to play perfectly out of the box. Every guitar needs a proper post purchase setup, which of course has nothing to do with build quality. The first thing I did was change to a set of 12/51 strings (D'Addario Jazz Lights EPN21) and that required a truss rod and bridge adjustment, plus intonation. Also, a couple of nut slots were a bit tight and needed some filing to prevent binding... but that's largely it. My conclusion is JTV-59's play beautifully after a proper setup. I've compared mine to Fenders and Gibsons that cost 5X the price, and as far as playing and sound quality goes... they're on par. So my opinion would be... you can purchase with confidence.
  13. Not sure exactly how that was intended... but I'm taking it as "More do use them every day." If L6 was big on "product placement" deals, then every second artist would flaunt a Variax on stage (in my "humble" opinion).✔ï¸
  14. And now, back to the topic at hand... "Is Variax being discontinued? I've seen them on sale." "They stopped making the 300, 400, 500, 600, 700... Can the JTVs be far behind?" "They're made in Japan, made in Korea, made in the U.S.... And they're all crap." You know what's worse than a bad product? Misleading information... that's what! And BS is easy to spread, as in: "Variaxes aren't serious guitars. That's why pros don't use them." So why is every guitar you see on stage a Fender, Gibson, Martin or Taylor? Aggressive marketing is why. I've played $5000 Fenders, Martins, Taylors, Gibsons. Anyone can... Just spend some time at a music shop. Do they play better than my Variax 700, 700 acoustic, or JTV-59? No! But that's a question of set-up. Are they built better? Some are, some aren't. It all comes down to components... and quality control. My Japanese-made 700 and Korean 700 acoustic have the fit, finish and feel of high-end instruments. My Korean JTV-59... maybe a little less so, but still damn nice! Would I trade any of my Variaxes for a Fender or Gibson? No... Though I might add a vintage LP or Strat to my collection if one were given to me.🙂 Is Variax being discontinued? Not any time soon. In fact, the way things are going, they might even outlast Gibson.
  15. I own a 2016 JTV-59, but I also have a Variax 700 and a 700 acoustic... They still work perfectly, still sound amazing, and play like a dream. So I think you can trust a 2011 JTV-59... as long as it wasn't abused by the previous owner. It will accept the latest firmware update (that is if it hasn't been updated already). I'm running v2.21 and have no problems... Sounds fantastic. As for circuit board replacement... really not worth it. Like psarkissian said: It corrects "a few minor things" that you probably wouldn't even notice. Most important is the JTV-59 is still in production, so complete service is available should you need it. They're wonderful guitars whether 2011 or 2017.
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