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  1. The switches I am about to replace the original ones with are square through hole (4 pin), 6mm x 6mm, 50mA at 24VDC, top actuated (100gf actuating force), round button, B3F Tactile Switches. These can be found in any online major electronics store. A bag of 10 such tactile switches goes for about 3 to 4US$. Be careful when you disassemble the switches that there are tiny little springs with even tinier rubber inserts (about 1mm) at the end of the springs, right under the footswitches plungers, and you should NOT loose these parts. Carefully remove the solder on the old tactile switches using a "solder sucker" and then clean the holes with "desoldering copper braid" before to proceed to mounting the new Tactile Switches. The new tactile switches are mounted flush on the circuitboard. The orientation of the switches doesn't matter, as the switches are completely symmetrical, and therefore can be flipped 180°.
  2. The BUNDLES and PRESETS files which can be saved and loaded to and from your computer using "Spider IV Edit", have the exact same parameters structure (that I won't detail here), at the EXCEPTION of ONE SINGLE DIGIT in both BUNDLES files (.s4b as file extension) and PRESET files (.s4e as file extension). The BUNDLES files for the Spider IV 75 have "02" as exadecimal value in the 12th position from the beginning of the file, and the BUNDLES files for the Spider IV 150 have "04" as exadecimal value in the 12th position from the beginning of the file, as shown in the scre en copy about BUNDLES. The PRESETS files for the Spider IV 75 have "02" as exadecimal value in the 20th position from the beginning of the file, and the PRESETS files for the Spider IV 150 have "04" as exadecimal value in the 20th position from the beginning of the file, as shown in the screen copy about PRESETS. You can export a PRESET or a BUNDLE from on amp to the other, BUT, you have to edit the PRESET or the BUNDLE file in order to have the appropriate value in the position previously mentioned. After exporting, you will have to edit the "volumes" of the presets, because both amps have a different responses in terms of "balance of volume" between different amp models.
  3. As a matter of fact, these amps don't like to be played at high volume for a reasonable amount of time (1.5 or 2 hours). For instance, the tape which sticks the power amp integrated circuit to the casing (like any other heat sink tape) will deteriorate with time and won't be as efficient as new heat sink tape to transfer heat and cool down the power amp integrated circuit, so you also have to take care about that issue. It would have been better to have the power amp integrated circuits screwed to the heat sinks (or casings) with thermal paste in between to maximise heat dissipation, but, drilling and thread tapping holes, and screws, all that is extremely expensive as you can imagine (just kidding). And the name of the game is "get a taste of it" then buy the latest thing (that you'll eventually have to replace a couple of years later). I have both the Spider IV 75, and the Spider IV 150 2x12. They both failed. The Spider IV 75 had its mainboard dying, and I got the Power Amp PCB (16€) and Power Supply PCB (12€) replaced as a "prophylactic measure". The Spider IV 150 2x12 also has a major issue: the Power Amp Section for the Left Loudspeaker doesn't work anymore. The Spider IV 150 "SEEMS" to be a MONO amplifier, but its mono signal output "SEEMS" to be split to feed 2 Power Amp Sections, each feeding its own Loudspeaker ... And I said it "SEEMS" to be that way. I haven't read any clear answer about that subject from Line 6 yet (maybe that it's here somewhere, but I didn't spend enough hours of paging through the "support forum" to find it). Anyway, when I started inspecting the Spider IV 150 to find out what is wrong with the Left Loudspeaker, I 1st swapped the Left Loudspeaker with the Right one to find out that both Loudspeakers were working fine, but nothing was feeding the Left Output coming out of the Power Amp Section. Then I checked the Power Amp PCB, and after carefully disassembling it (you start by disassembling the heatsink from the casing, it's easier that way) I found out that the STICKER supposed to have one of both of the Power Amp Integrated Circuits (STMicroelectronics TDA7293) adhere to the heatsink had dried out and wasn't sticking anymore. Is it the cause of one "STMicroelectronics TDA7293" dying on me? DON'T KNOW! But the result is 2 amps with roughly 10 years of age, and not a lot of "heavy duty" use, either dying or defect. And we're quite a lot to have similar experiences with these amps. You need to trust Mr "psarkissian" when he says "Having serviced hundreds of Spider IV's". I guess I'll have to order some more parts from my Official Service Centre (located hundreds of miles away from me), 'cause I won't pay the price of a new amp in shipping for Service ... and for a used amp which is "practically" discontinued. I think I'll start with the Power Amp PCB, and the Power Supply PCB, hoping and praying that nothing has happened to the Mainboard.
  4. I need the LINKS to the "Standard Line 6 FACTORY PRESET BUNDLES" (.s4b files) for the "FIRMWARE 2.0", for both the "Spider IV 75" and the "Spider IV 150". Some of the effects aren't working properly (although they worked fine under original Firmware 1.04, on both my Spider IV amps), and Line 6 should definitely provide "FACTORY BUNDLES" (.s4b files) to reset the "Spider IV 75" and the "Spider IV 150" to FACTORY after update to "Firmware 2.0". Such BUNDLE files are actually less than 10Kb (like less "weight" than a small text file).
  5. It's because this amplifier has the nasty tendency to OVERHEAT. There is nothing like heat sinks nor fans to cool the chips on the main board, when the amp starts to overheat it goes in "failsafe mode". If you haven't installed any solution as fans nor anything that would prevent this amp to overheat and you've overheated your amp too often, chances are that the main board is already fried. In that case here are the part numbers for the boards : Main board _ 50-02-0332-1 Power Supply PCB _ 50-02-0336 Power Amp PCB _ 50-02-0335
  6. OK then. I'll reformulate and repost there. Thanks for the friendly advice. Best regards.
  7. But Mr psarkissian, it isn't really a Helix subject, it is a Variax subject at its very core. The Variax must evolve, with the latest standards of electronic developments : faster modern processors and memory modules, better and more reliable modern electronic components, just like any computer on the market. The Helix is the "other side" that generally deals with effects, amp tones, and various external equipment control (switching, parameter control, etc). The core of the sounds of the instrument resides within the motherboard of the Variax guitar. How many times have I heard "It would be nice to have a Nylon String guitar in the Variax!" ... well, it is time to offer that, and way way beyond that. Line 6 could offer series of "Banks of Variax RAW Sounds" to purchase and download and organize into the New Version of a Variax Guitar ... I mean, the commercial possibilities are absolutely ENDLESS, for as long as Line 6 keeps a strict program in terms of "Downward Compatibility", which is pretty easy to achieve when you program taking "higher standards" in count (like programming the core of the software to be able to manage sample rates way beyond the ones delivered in the first versions of the product, for instance ... and this doesn't cost a dime more than programming with "restricted standards", but it allows you to reuse the same software for applications of a better rendering quality, and right from the front). Another thing, about the general architecture of the New Variax Guitar, it should be designed just like a computer : you have a motherboard, with its attached components, and peripherals (mainly the control buttons and the piezo system, and maybe a sustainer like I said in the previous message), and it all should be easily diagnosed just like a computer with its attached devices and drivers. Then, whenever anything wrong happens, a customer goes to the "Line 6 diagnostic page", runs the diagnostic, and as a result gets the parts to purchase with their installation procedure and the drivers to install in order to get them running properly ... and job done (Oh ! You have a problem with a memory module. Here is the page to purchase that memory, and the instructions to install it on your guitar. CIAO !). Anyway, thank you for your answer Mr psarkissian. Best regards.
  8. After 2 decades of Variax, and one decade of James Tyler and Standard Variax around the same motherboard, I hope that Line 6 soon comes with a brand new Variax motherboard and new guitar "platforms". This guitar modelling technology has endless possibilities within its "concept", and together with a "sustainer" it could easily become an instrument to play about ANY INSTRUMENT SOUND one could imagine (cello, organ, ... you name it). If you added a software like the "Antares Guitar Auto-Tune" to the package, Line 6 would have a series of instruments DECADES ahead of the rest of the industry. Imagine coupling such a new design to an extended version of the Helix, and any type of musical instrument could come out of your rig at the flip of a switch or the push of a button on the peadalboard, with the "feeling" and the "touch" that no other platform can produce ... other platforms like keyboards in most cases, which always sound somewhat "sterile", compared to guitars with all their vibrato and pick or finger technique possibilities. I played some synth guitars, but none of them really sounded good ... a new Variax motherboard could forever change the game and bring these synth or modelled sounds to life.
  9. Jonathan ! Your comment really sums it up perfectly. You have some sort of a modern piece of equipment advertised and sold for its flexibility ... and you just find out that it all was just ADVERTISEMENT. I loved your "Maybe I'll use it to control the lights in the sitting room..." :lol:
  10. There is a HUGE BUG with the Firmware 2.0 for the Spider IV 75. If you try to restore the "Factory Presets" using the method by powering the amp off, then pressing and holding the "A" button, then powering the amp again, and waiting for the screen to ask you to confirm the reset of the "Factory Presets", then you're going to make a MESS with the IQ of your amp. It simply doesn't work at all ... the result is a HUGE NOISE for each and every preset and for each and every amp setting. The only way to go is to 1st make a safeguard on your computer of your personal preset bundle under Firmware 2.0. Then you must install the old Firmware 1.01 (or the last Firmware under which the reset method worked without trouble), then you can SAFELY use the reset method (power on while pressing "A" button), and then you must install the Firmwares back to version 2.0. In the end you wind up with your amp loaded with the Factory Presets running under Firmware 2.0, and you can finally make a safeguard of that Factory Presets Bundle on your computer. Either Line 6 decides to update the Spider IV Firmware (like a version 2.01) to include a FULL FUNCTIONAL RESET PROCEDURE, or you need to go back to the last Firmware under which the reset method was still working fine. Have fun.
  11. I think "snhirsch" has a point here. The Variax guitars are basically "software based" instruments. Guitars in general are instruments which are "never perfectly in tune" (and I put that within apostrophes because it can be relevant for some musicians, and totally irrelevant for others ... and both cases absolutely legitimates). Considering that the core of Variax guitars is a somewhat identical software installed on various guitar chassis, and that this software individually analyses the pitch of every string of the guitar as part of the various data used in order to generate different guitar tones and separately modify the pitch of every string, then it is possible to provide the musicians with what people know as a "True Temperament Guitar" (you know, the guitars with compensated frets zigzagging across the fretboard). Perfect Pitch with True Temperament is a very interesting option, as a luthier I'm constantly confronted to that concept because most guitarists come up with that "tuning issue" at one point or the other when we're dealing with "standard luthery theory", and I always have to explain that a fretted guitar is a "compromise" in terms of tuning and pitch due to it's architecture. Some will come with stories of guitars from this or that master luthier made of this or that "tone wood" (Oh no ! Don't talk about tone wood for solid body electric guitars, please!) and they shall be in tune everywhere across the fretboard, and blah blah blah ... and the answer is invariably that a fretted stringed instrument with straight frets is an instrument which is basically slightly out of tune everywhere. I digress !!! Perfect Pitch with True Temperament is a very interesting option ! PERIOD ! It is totally possible to implement that option as a "software extension" on any "software based guitar" (... to my knowledge there's only Line 6 that I know now for building guitars with such complete autonomous on-board features, as Peavey and Antares both completely discontinued the Peavy AT-200 and the Auto-Tune for guitars). Line 6 as innovators and leaders in the modeling technology are constantly improving their products and they'll have to improve that "Perfect Pitch" aspect on their guitars. And right now is the perfect gap to make that move, as Peavey and Antares left a vacuum in that domain that they occupied before. Line 6 should come up with their own True Temperament technology and take that place in the market. On top of that they definitely should develop several patented "modules" that could be sold to other companies to increase their market, their production volume, and therefore be able to substantially lower their production costs. These modules could be for instance a complete "sensor module" based on a piezoelectric saddles system or an electromagnetic pickup system with independent pickups for each string (like the midi pickups), and a basic board that analyses the signal. That type of "sensor module" could have numerous applications, like for instance driving motorized tuners such as the "Tronical Tune" with a way better accuracy than the overall sensing of the headstock. That type of "sensor module" could be sold to companies which deal with guitar synthesizers, etc, etc. Line 6 could also produce a "complete OEM module" which could be sold to other guitar manufacturers to build guitars with "Variax technology", like the Parker "Adrian Belew Signature" Fly Electric Guitar for instance, except that you could find the Variax technology on an ESP or a Suhr, or whichever brand which would desire to design a "modeling guitar". I truly believe that Line 6 is coming up with a new line of products for their Variax guitars ... with a bigger more advanced board, more advanced software, more "guitar tones", maybe unexpected tones (Why not ?) like other stringed instruments you wouldn't expect on a guitar and which could be made available as software packages to purchase and download ... with a direct midi driver, for anyone who wants to drive any synthesizer with the guitar ... AND WITH THE BRAND NEW LINE 6 "PERFECT PITCH AUTO-TUNE" SYSTEM ... (Yippee !!!)
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