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Mrkgtr49

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About Mrkgtr49

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  1. Mrkgtr49

    Variax Standard mods

    Hi Michael, The tuners that fit the Standard are the same two-pin configuration as are used on the American and Mexican non-"vintage" Strats and Teles. If you are looking at ebay, look for tuners with two pins on the base, and no little tab with a hole sticking out. I just looked on ebay a minute ago and found some described as "NEW 6-in-line LOCKING 2 pin tuners" that are made by Allparts. These look exactly like the ones I bought. These will work fine on the Standard. Sent from my iPad
  2. When I read the instructions for Workbench, it mentions being able to use it off line to set up different things, and it states "open file" or "click on file", which I am unable to find. In fact, I can't seem to open Workbench at all without having the dongle and guitar hooked up to my computer. What am I doing wrong??
  3. A while back I read something here about how to make.the acoustic models sound more realistic. It talked about the piezo pickups, using 11's and playing technique. I can't seem to find that information again. Does anyone have a link to it? Thanks!
  4. I got the magnets working again, and they've stayed working for a couple of weeks. Not sure what the issue was, but one thing I did was short out the capacitor on the output jack plate circuit board. When I put everything back together, the pickups worked. Wish I had more definite info to report.
  5. Does anyone know which terminal is the "hot" out from the mags on the 5-way switch circuit board? I want check the pickup signal from the switch thru the harness to the board to be sure I'm not loosing it before it gets there.
  6. Yes, there is a relay. I hear it click when I switch in and out of modeling. The solenoid part of the relay works, but there may be an intermittent contact issue I guess. At this point I guess I need to open a service ticket. Thanks for all the help and suggestions!
  7. OK; here's the update: I tried the guitar one more time. Still no mags. I removed the output jack plate and checked the jack continuity the best I could without undoing any wiring. No problem found. While the jack plate was loose, I plugged the guitar direct into my test amp, and I got sound from the pickups! I unplugged and replugged several times, and it worked every time. i unplugged it again and reinstalled the plate. Plugged it in, and it still worked. Problem solved...I thought. I turned on the modeling and switched to several different models, intermittently switching to the magnetic pickups. They continued to work several times, but then went dead again when switching from modeling to mags. So far, I haven't been able to get them back, and the guitar is currently sitting with the jack plate hanging loose and the cover off the motherboard cavity. Looking at the installation, I see wiring harness coming from the motherboard to the output jack printed circuit board. From what I can see, the wires from the pickguard area all run directly to the motherboard. There are two sets, which are identical and go into a single connector. I presume these are the wires from the 5 way switch; one set is for the magnetic pickups, and the other must be for the modeling selections. The coloring is red, white, yellow and black, Farther down the board, 4 wires --red, white, yellow and black--go to the output jack PCB. Wiggling the wires produces no sound, and neither does unplugging and reconnecting the connectors those wires go to. I've sprayed all the connectors I've removed with contact cleaner. Bottom line: I'm stumped. The modeling works fine, the mags work very intermittently, and since last dying haven't come back, even with all my poking and prodding. The one thing that's consistent every time the mags stop working has been switch the modeling on and off. Is there a connection through the modeling selector push switch?? It's apparent that the signal from the mags runs through the motherboard, even if there's no processing. There is no other possible connection based on what I see in the motherboard cavity. I really hate the idea of pulling the motherboard to trace the signal! Is there any kind of wiring diagram available for this guitar; at least one that covers the magnetic pickup circuit path? I'm thinking of establishing a "true bypass" circuit path with a switch that I can use to cut in/out the magnetics w/o going through the circuit board. Any thoughts?
  8. BTW Guru, Thanks for recommending the reflash of the firmware. It does sound better on several of the models, especially the acoustics. That's what I was after when I started all this! As soon as I get the mags sorted out, I'm going to work on getting the acoustic models improved per some recommendations I've found here.
  9. Here's what I've found re: workbench application: 1. The guitar has to be registered, even if it was bought used and you have no idea about the purchase date. Just enter when YOU bought it, and it'll work. 2. ALL connections have to be made: battery in the guitar, 1/4" cable plugged it, interface cable plugged it. 3. Latest Line 6 Monkey update done. Then it all began working! The unrecognized USB was apparently attempting to hook up an unregistered guitar. The magnetics still don't work. Everything past the output jack of the guitar checks out, so the I'm removing the jack plate so I can access the connections on the jack itself. I'll report back what I find. Thanks again for the tip on Workbench.
  10. Thanks for the info. The Workbench Pilots Guide is vague about hookup connections. So regarding the magnetic pickups: the Workbench application has no way to switch them off? I presumed that they might be run through the software somehow. I guess it could be a 1/4" jack issue, but the guitar wasn't used much at all, and hasn't exhibited any issues until after the attempt to use Workbench. The next thing to check is continuity through the jack?
  11. I bought a demo Variax Standard from Sweetwater Sound about a month ago and have been impressed with guitar, so I recently purchased a used JTV-69, estimated year 2012. The previous owner claims never to have used the interface hardware/software that came with the guitar. I installed the Workbench software and Line 6 Monkey onto my Mac which is running on OS 10.6.4. The Workbench hardware/software combo claims not to recognize the USB connection; it keeps telling me to plug into a USB port on the computer when it's hooked up. When I look at the interface box, I see a green light and a flashing red light, so at least I know it's getting power from the computer. I worked on this situation for some time with no success. I finally decided that the guitar probably had to be hooked up to the interface, so I tried that. Still no success. I ran out of time to deal with it, so I disconnected everything and put it away for a few days. When I got the guitar out and tried to use it, to my surprise the magnetic pickups were dead! No sound what so ever from the amp. I swapped guitars with the same cable into the same jack of the amp and that worked, so I reconnected the JTV. Still no sound. I switched to the modeling sounds through the 1/4" cable and they worked fine; just no magnetic pickups. Could the attempt to get the Workbench software working have somehow switched off the magnetic pickup output? Am I missing something here? Any ideas/suggestions would be extremely welcome at this point. I am seriously worried about attempting anything with my Standard until I know what's going on with my JTV. Thanks!!
  12. OK. Thanks to all of you who've spent lot's more time on this than I have. Here's what I've found...but first: I have a Variax Standard, and a used JTV-69 that I picked up off Reverb.com. The Standard was a demo at Sweetwater. I haven't hooked either of them up to Workbench yet and have no idea how much (if any) tweaking was done by previous users. In fact, the owner of the JTV didn't even know what the interface box was or how to hook it up. The Pilots guide had not been touched... So: I did a HUGE amount of research and viewing of videos before buying a Variax. Most of the acoustic sounds I heard from these guitars were good enough for me to decide to purchase the Standard and gig with it. I played it literally the day FedEx delivered it. At the gig, one of my band mates asked "how the hell did you switch from your Strat to your Takamine and back without me noticing?". I edited out the expletives. It was the other guitar player. When I set up that night, I ran the Standard into my guitar amp and the PA head via an A/B box. I switched to PA when I hit the model knob, and was lucky that the PA channel I grabbed sounded reasonably good--it was set for my Tak from the previous night. I had done no tweaking to the HD settings in the guitar, kept the tone knob at 100%, and lowered the volume just a touch when playing the acoustic model--the Martin D28. From what I heard in the monitor and what the other guitarist heard, the guitar sounded awesome. I've since done the same thing with the JTV and it doesn't sound quite as good, but still acceptable if I reduce the high's just a bit on the PA and move the tone knob on the guitar to about 50%. I don't play hard on the acoustic, and in fact strum with my pinky at some points for a different dynamic. When I use a pick, it hold it lightly and am careful not to brush the bridge with my palm, although I do occasionally palm mute. All in all, I think the models in these guitars are fine for live performance, and the pleasure of not having to lug half a dozen guitars to a gig more than makes up for not having the EXACT sound I used to have with my acoustic. What I do have sounds just fine to all concerned. Just sayin'...
  13. I just performed my first mod to my Variax Standard: locking tuners. Turns out that the tuners on these guitars are identical to the tuners Fender uses on their newer guitars. They are generally refered to as "two pin tuners", meaning that the the tuners have two pins that keep them in correct position relative to the headstock. I have been using locking tuners on all my "6-in-line" headstock guitars for years, and was happy to discover that I didn't have to drill 6 tiny holes in the headstock to install them on my Variax. I found some very nice locking tuners on eBay for approx. $40, and swapped them in under 1/2 hr., reusing the same strings that came on the guitar to avoid any set-up issues while I was experimenting. It worked fine, and I'll use those old strings at rehearsal tomorrow, then put on new ones. The next bit of customizing will be a new custom pickguard. Has anyone done this yet? Any recommendations on suppliers? Does anyone know of a pickguard maker who already has the pattern on file? My plan is to take the original off the guitar and make a tracing/pattern with all the holes and cutouts to be sent to the supplier. I have one in mind, but am curious if anyone has done it already and had a good experience. Next mod after the guard will be either pickups or a custom neck. I believe I may be able to fit a Fender-type 22 fret neck by making a spacer to go under the finger board extension, and will likely try that in the next month or so, but ultimately I would prefer a fatter neck with a nice headstock shape. Maybe even a 3x3 headstock. I get that production makers of after-market necks won't want to tool up for an "odd-ball" guitar like the Line 6/Yamaha, but I know at least one luthier in my area who would be willing to sculpt a new neck for this guitar. It'll be pricy, but unique. Incidentally, I believe a G&L neck will work on the Variax Standard/Yamaha Pacifica. Both G&L and Yamaha have gone with 22 fret 25.5" scale necks on their bolt neck guitars, and the only thing that seems to separate them from Fender 22 fret necks is the under-cut fingerboard. Fender did this so that a 21 fret and a 22 fret neck will fit on the same body, allowing owners of older strats and teles to be able to "update" their guitars with with newer necks. G&L and the Pacifica guitars came along after that 22 fret "standard" had been established, so there was no need to produce necks with the fingerboard extension. Thus, their bodies are made with a neck pocket positioned for the slightly longer necks. I wish I had a G&L neck to experiment with! Anyway, I'll keep everyone up to date on the mods I make and what, if any, pitfalls accompanied the work. Stay tuned...
  14. Mrkgtr49

    Newbie here... Greetings!

    Hey Lamont! Join a band!! It's fun even if you never play anywhere but your garage! It will make you a better player when you have to fit into a musical space with other players. I'll bet you've got some buds that would love to be in a band with you... ;) I've found the magnetic pickups on the Standard to be very good sounding pickups, and I have scrapped plans to replace them (at least for now). I've been A/B-ing them against a MIM strat and a "partscaster" that has been my go-to strat for a few years. The sound difference is negligible for the most part, and the tone control on the Variax is actually useful without getting too muddy too soon. Here's something; at rehearsal last week, I started "Hard Day's Night"--that weird chord--on the Rick'r setting, and the rest of the band jumped in. I admit I struggled with the solo (never tried it before), but it still sounded good, and I think we'll add it to our repertoire. I'm starting to love this guitar.
  15. Mrkgtr49

    Newbie here... Greetings!

    Thanks Guru. I have thought about having a custom guard made. I hope these things aren't too complicated to take apart. As for the necks; I know the main difference between a Fender Tele neck and a Yamaha Pacifica neck has to do with the overall length of the neck. The scale length is the same. When Fender added a 22nd fret to their necks, they did it as a fingerboard extension. When Yamaha designed their guitar, they made a 22 fret neck full length, so the heel of the neck makes the whole thing longer. G&L did the same thing. I'll bet a G&L neck would fit. Likewise, if a person had decent woodworking chops, they might be able to "fill in" beneath a 22 fret Fender style neck and get a proper fit. I may try that. I have some Fender necks gathering dust... Otherwise, there are talented luthiers all over the country, so one of them could probably carve out a nice neck. Worth thinking about.
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