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Posts posted by VAX700

  1. 19 hours ago, hurghanico said:


    when connecting a 2nd expression pedal to the POD the onboard pedal becomes EXP1 and the external pedal becomes EXP2, and it is like this for a logical reason..


    All about HD500/X

    new forum!


    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. 

    • Like 1
  2. On March 26, 2018 at 9:12 AM, jerseyboy said:

    And to be a real nit-picking-A-hole, it’s a Vibrato mechanism.  


    In a sane and orderly electric guitar world, Tremolo describes a periodic variation in volume. 


    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...

  3. 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.



  4. 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.

  5. 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...


    • Upvote 1
  6. 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...

    • Upvote 1
  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.


    • Upvote 1
  11. 2017 vs 2011 JTV59 are there any Differences?


    Bought a 300 in 2008, died just as the electronics were no longer available.

    Don't want to go down the same path and pickup a used 2011 JTV59 then can't be fixed because of changes.


    Any insight?

    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.
    • Upvote 1
  12. As long as the specs match you can safely use another power adapter.


    Input: AC 100 - 240V, ~50 - 60Hz, 0.5A

    Output: DC 12V === 1000mA

    Centre positive.


    Otherwise... the charger may not work at all; or it could take longer to charge; or the battery may not charge completely; or worst case scenario... the battery could catch fire.


    If possible, bring your battery charging dock to make sure the new adapter's plug barrel fits properly.

  13. Six years is a long time when it comes to electronic tech. Personally speaking, I'd get a 2017... budget permitting. It's not like you're after an older discontinued model.


    As much as I like/respect L6 products...


    A few minor things that are circuit level, and can't into with an end user.

    Proprietary stuff I'm afraid.


    Getting functionality to work better and smoother.

    To me, that sounds like "We improved some circuits and fixed some quirks. But we really don't want to tell you exactly what... Cause if we did you'd notice for sure."😎


    It's ok L6... I love my "59" quirks and all (kinda like my wife).ðŸ˜

  14. No. The HD Pods have newer / more advanced processors than the XT Live, so you can't import XT tones to an HD500X. It's like trying to run Pentium 1 software on a quad core i7 computer. But you can come close to recreating your XT tones: You need to replicate them effect by effect, parameter by parameter (or as close as possible) on your 500X. It takes some time but it's worth it... the patches / presets might not sound exactly the same, but in the process you may find your old tones have actually improved.

  15. hey guys just wondering what kind of headphone adapter am I supposed to be using? i have a sony one (not sure what size it is) but for some reason when i connect it into my PHONES input, i have to leave some of the adapter out, meaning that if i push the adapter all the way in the sound waaaaay to low and when i have it popped out maybe 1/2 a centimeter it sounds there a reason for this? anybody else have this "issue"?

    Try another 1/4"/3.5mm adapter and make sure it's TRS to TRS (not TRS to TRRS or TRS to TS). Also, try different headphones. If that doesn't work then you have a plug issue and it's ticket time.


    Bluetooth latency is sometimes horrible, depending on the unit in question. Even if you get it working, you may find that there's a significant delay between when you strike a note or chord, and when the sound actually arrives at your ears. Bluetooth headphones are fine for passive music listening because the latency is don't even know it's there. But for this kind of application time is of the essence as it were, and a delay of much more than 20ms or so will be completely unusable.

    Also, it's very likely that the frequency response of those headphones is anything but flat...not great for creating modeled guitar tones. You need some new cans.

    You can use BT but both transmitter and headphones need to use a low latency codec such as AptX-LL... or you can plug your wired phones into a low latency BT receiver. AptX-LL has a 32 to 40ms lag between "strum and sound" that's imperceptible to the brain. This AptX link explains LL and lists all the BT transmitters, receivers and headphones currently incorporating the low latency codec...



    it's normal that listening by headphones you hear some more details (bad and/or good) compared to what you perceive from an amp at some distance in a room..


    both the real amp/speaker and the surronding air/distance act as natural filters masking in part those details you clearly perceive instead by using the headphones..


    personally, even if I could use the best cans in the world, for my pleasure I would always prefer the tone coming from real speakers, no doubt

    Very true. However, I find the detail from a pair of decent near-field studio monitors rivals headphones, and that level of clarity definitely sharpens one's playing... But late evening practice calls for phones (or a sound-proof room) ✔ï¸
  16. Monkey / Workbench can't fool the piezos into feeling the physical vibration / resonance of heavier strings. It's the actual vibration that gives the acoustic dynamics / texture you want. I use Martin Darco Jazz Light (12 - 52 with wound .024 G) on my Variax 700 and JTV-59. For some reason they're easy playing despite the gauge and surprisingly bendable... more than any other 12 - 52 brands I've tried. They make the JTV-59 acoustic models sound very convincing, while also delivering a really solid rock crunch (IMO). It should be the same for your 69... though the Martins won't match the slink of 10 - 42s, you might be able to live with them. And if the .024 G string is too heavy, you could replace it with a D'Addario wound .021 G (sold individually). Anyway, Martins are not expensive so maybe worth a try.

    BTW I also have a 700 acoustic and it's strung with Martin Flexible Core SP Light (12 - 54) phosphor bronze. Same story there... surprisingly bendable despite the gauge and very easy on the fingers.

    • Upvote 1
  17. Time for a change? Have you tried running your rig through stereo monitors (I use KRK 6" G3 Rokits). The punch, detail, crispness are outta this world... You'll hear yourself in a whole new "light". And the stereo effects (ping-pong delay, chorus, etc.) will transport you to another dimension. I've tried twin amps (Marshalls) set up in stereo, but the definition was lacking. A pair of new monitors will set you back less than an amp, and sound ten times clearer (my opinion). Plus, the effects you dial in on your pod will really come to life. That should cure your bored ears. You can rent monitors from your local music store and try it out... nothing to lose.

  18. Do anything repeatedly for long enough and you're going to: 1) Get bored; and 2) Lose perspective... Both of which are counter-productive and counter-creative.


    I understand your lament. Here's my Rx: 1) Try a different pod; 2) Switch guitars; and... this is the hardest 3) Take a break.


    1) I just switched from my 500X to my XTLive and I'm still blown away by the amazing range of tones it offers... It does wonders to refresh perspective, dispel boredom and enhance creativity. And anyone who says "old equipment doesn't deliver" is just generalizing... or being elitist: Vintage amps, guitars, pedals all deliver. (Sure, I'm considering a Helix / Helix LT, but not to the exclusion of my other boards... budget permitting, of course.)


    2) Same goes for guitars. Getting caught in a rut is easy... but there's nothing like switching guitars to get you out of your comfort zone, and the blahs. It's like a splash of cold water to the senses.


    3) Don't let your passion cloud your judgement... Take a break! Set everything aside for a week and you'll be amazed with how NEW everything feels and sounds.


    So, that's what I do whenever I burn out on the "same-old". Works for me... it might for you too.

  19. In my opinion, upgrade to HD500X but keep the XTL if possible. Here's why:


    They both sound great... different, but great! While the 500X is an evolutionary step ahead (more DSP power, HD models, more connectivity...) the XTL has a sound spectrum all its own. There's no doubt the 500X will blow you away with a whole new sonic realm, though a number of presets are "over the top" special effects that aren't practical straight outta the box... They showcase the 500X's possibilities but require some work to make them useful.


    The XTL doesn't have many frills, but it's very useable as is. It has a wide range of appealing presets (IMO) that feature conservative use of basic distortion, mods and delays... which don't need much tweaking to suit most needs. Plus, the XTL is built like a tank!


    I know many say the HD modelling sounds better, but personally I think they both sound great... In fact, I've been working to reproduce my favourite XTL tones on the 500X.


    So yes... Definitly get the 500X, but keep the XTL if you can.

  20. This topic comes up often, because you'd intuitively expect roughly equal output from the XLR and 1/4" jacks... but not all outputs are equal.


    1. The quick & simple answer is... use the 1/4" outputs with the Pod set to Line. Line provides a higher output signal for running into a mixing board / PA; the Amp setting pads the output since you don't need a hot signal running into an amp. The sound guy most likely prefers the cleaner signal to noise ratio that XLR delivers, but having a signal that's too "low" is worse than dealing with a little "noise". The balanced output "ground/lift" switch doesn't effect output level... it just removes hum caused by ground loops.


    2. Understanding something about balanced XLR outputs will answer a lot of questions...


    At the risk of stating the obvious, XLR "balance" has nothing to do with stereo "balance". XLR represents "Ground (X), Line (L), Return ®" -- three wires, 3 pins. The low impedence, line and return signals have "balanced" opposite polarity, like humbucking pickups. Noise from electrical interference picked up by the cable over long runs (30+ feet) can effectively be filtered out... so better signal to noise ratio.


    Because XLR cables are also sheilded and have latching mechanisms, they can safely carry phantom voltage (48v) needed to power condenser mics (note: the XLR outputs on the L6 Pods don't output phantom power). Plus, nowadays most mixing boards have pre-amps for XLR inputs and can gain-stage the signal. Though balanced TRS has gained popularity, TRS can't carry phantom power for mics.


    Note: Most powered monitors don't have pre-amps, so the volume drops when you use the balanced XLR output/input. Since distances are usually short going to a powered monitor, noise isn't a problem using the unbalanced 1/4" line out.

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