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Everything posted by eenymason

  1. Hi Charlie_Watt, I wonder would you be so kind as to shed a little more light on this? How do I recognise what to debug and desolder/solder, and what skill level would I need - I have a (very basic) line 6 service agent about 50 km away, and the Australian distributor/service centre about 90 km away, so if I CAN fix this problem myself, that would be great.
  2. I have an old 300 (bought 2nd hand) which had a couple of issues when I bought it. One issue was that the E and B strings would not produce any audible sound when first plugged in, then after a while (maybe minutes), they would change their minds, and play ball - wierd! Even weirder, they would be picked up by the tuner, and I could tune them, but I still couldn't hear anything. I replaced the piezos with Graphtech Ghost pickups, and the problem appeared resolved. However, twelve or so months later the problem has re-appeared. I am lucky that it's a momentary thing, and I use it as a back-up incase of failure/string breakage on my first player when gigging. I plug it in for a while while setting up gear, and it normally remains active on all strings for the night. I have asked about this before on this forum, but had no reply, and would love to resolve it for once and for all. Well - until next time anyway......
  3. Nice work - thanks for sharing this. I liked also the individualistic styling. I am not usually that keen on the "metal" side of things we usually see demonstrated on the Pod, but your taste is a little left-field, which I like. What's your end of chain - FRFR or power amp/cab for live work- or do you not you use it live? cheers again, Ian.
  4. measure your string gap and check the link for your model. I transferred two vax guts into two Strat clones and changed to Graphtech and havent looked back. You'll have to go into workbench and lower the string outputs to avoid overloading the Pod (or whatever you use). I found about 70% was the same lever as the Baggs ones I replaced. My transplants were from a 300 and a 600, but from what I know all piezos were the same on the early vaxes. I found it easier (on the second transplant) to separate the ground wire from the hot wire on the Graphtech and and cut the ground near the connection plug, leaving the connection on the hot wire and plugging that directly into the main PCB. Hope this makes sense. Go carefully separating the wires - they're really fine. For soldering the grounds all together, just get a lighter or some kind of flame and burn off the coating. Good luck with it!
  5. This may not directly help, but maybe indirectly?
  6. An option which may just kill two birds with one stone.... I loved my 600 when I first got it (well ok, AFTER I got the neck closer in size and shape to my Strat which had been my only player for years), but the tremelo just never cut it. Never stayed in tune, and as it got older, it got worse. The two post system is a major failure in my opinion with ALL Strat style guitars. Metal fatigue, and resultant wear, where the two points meet, means really bad tuning stability ensues. I got around this by buying a couple of cheap Strat copies, and installing the guts of my 300 and 600 into them along with replacing the piezos with Graphtech Ghost saddles. I have one maple, and one rosewood fretboard, otherwise they are identical pretty much. Tuning now is not perfect, but it's MUCH better, and even with heavy use, I just have to tug a couple of strings to pull them down in pitch if needed. The brand I chose is SX (Essex) and after a bit of work the necks are great. Look around, and you'll find the other style of trem you want is on a lot of copies too, and they'll most likely be the same size as the Baggs. Measure the string spacing on the Baggs, and sally forth (with ruler in pocket) into pawn shop heaven! Good luck!
  7. You'd need to exhaust all possible power supply avenues. If you don't have a pod (HD500 or the like) and haven't tried the dedicated cable to connect those two, I'd find the nearest dealer to stock the Pod of pedals and try a connection to it (basically an ethernet cable if you haven't used them). These also provide power to the vax, and allow control of preset variax banks by the Pod. Doesn't matter if it's the older X3 or XT or the current HD series of Pod - they all supply power to the variax. Sounds like you MAY have a dead one though if the battery doesn't work either. It COULD be a simple connection problem. I'd say seeing as the warranty is no longer valid, you may as well dive in and check it's innards for that. It's all modular, so it's NOT rocket science to check connections before going to the next step......
  8. When I first connected my second hand 300 (maybe a year ago), workbench didn't even recognise a connection with it. Then it did after a while, but it wouldn't update the backup of my 600 to make them identical setups. - kept on timing out, or losing connection. I just kept trying, and eventually it played ball. Dunno how many times you may need to bang your head up against a wall tho'
  9. Most likely the same as for 300 etc. Contact distributor - I reckon the unit they produce to replace faulty units on the JTV's will be used on older vaxes now, as the two I received appear to be the same as on the new JTV.
  10. Unclear on how you're connecting - is it from a pod with a Line 6 ethernet style cable or are you using the TRS style jack connection from the A/B power box the variax came with? Tried different leads? Do you have the same problem when you're using battery power? It could be a dodgy/dirty connection in the jackplate which is replacable (well certainly is for 300/600, so I assume is the same for the 500). Your local Line 6 dealer could supply you with one surely - modular fittings, make it easy. Only problem I had was the newer replacement was slightly longer and I had to take to the body with a hammer and chisel to make it fit - needed more depth in the cavity.
  11. The first time I removed the guts of my 300 (essentially the same as a 600 as far as this job goes), I removed the neck, as that's how it appeared I had to do it. Once I had finished removing everything though, I realised I needn't have done it that way. This isn't like removing the guts of a Strat, where the pickups etc are connected to the pick-guard, and you simply remove the screws holding the pickguard in place, then pull the whole guts out, still.connected to the pick-guard. The innards of the Variax 300 and 600 are connected to both the coffin case AND the pick-guard, and the coffin case is screwed into the body cavity, so it won't come out together. Once all the controls (knobs, pickup selector) are separated from the pick-guard (two teaspoons - one either side of the control knobs to lever them up works - the selector knob will probably be the stiffest to remove - also note where the selector is situated before removing - I suggest setting it to custom 1 or 2 so you remember how to re-install it), and the pick-guard screws are removed, you can lift the pick-guard at the bridge end, and once clear of the knobs and pickup selector, you can pull it further away from the neck, and out from under the fretboard overhang. Hope this is clear enough - if not just shoot another question!
  12. The only thing that I can think to do now is to remove the model select knob and spin the switch stem around with my hand and see if I can find a recognizable sound. Then put the knob back on in the correct position. This is def the way to go. BTW, can the instrument select switch on the Variax 300 also be pushed for something? Like an on off switch, or is it only to select the different models? No push function, tho it does appear to move ..... Next time, put the switch in one of the custom positions prior to pulling it off, and it'll be easy to put back in the same position.
  13. Thanks for suggestions - tho I don't believe I have a problem with this. I actually moved the board from under the bridge to inside the body cavity. It's screwed in place with insulating rubber under it. With the 600 xplant, I bypassed that and plugged the Ghost connectors straight into the main PCB - no soldering necessary!
  14. Hi all, I have had a problem re-appear after appearing to be "fixed". Appearances CAN be deceiving!!! I bought a 2nd hand 300, with the intention of transplanting the electrics into a strat clone. I had already replaced the jackplate on the 300, cos it appeared the 1/4" out didn't work, and the first two piezos would only give any "audible" signal after having being connected to the Pod HD500 for "X" minutes. I say "audible" as I could tune the guitar straight away using the Pod's tuner, but on engaging a patch, only string 3-6 would be "audible". This glitch would correct itself, sometimes quickly, sometimes after being connected for quite some minutes and the guitar was fully playable across all 6 strings. This in itself tells me, the problem wasn't a piezo problem, Even so I transplanted the 300's guts into a strat clone and in doing so upgraded the piezos to graphtechs. It was always my intention to do this, and I also did it with my 600 which was my "workhorse". After a bit of time and effort, re-doing, and re-checking my soldering, and the ground contacts, the 300 transplant was working fine, across all strings, volumes lowered on all strings to around 70% to match the output of the 600. Beautiful! Recently tho, the two intermittently "dead" strings problem has re-appeared. I can only figure it must be another contact (I think unlikely), or a PCB issue. The two strings come back "to life" at the same time. If it was prior (and still is) a PCB issue, why would it go away, then re-appear. Also I haven't checked it out audibly (ie with my ears), but I always plug the 1/4" out into the guitar input of a "Live 3" vocal effects pedal, and I'm pretty sure the light on the unit doesn't "go on" (showing input signal) when I play the 300 xplant, but it does when I play the 600 xplant. I need to check this too, as it could even be related. Any "idea" input would be appreciated.
  15. I have the same problem - two distinct notes being heard on only the first E string. Not THAT discernable when playing a chord, but absolutely distinct when playing only the first E. I don't use alt tunings THAT much, but it's definitely an issue. In the past I don't recall it being an issue, but recently (since latest workbench update), I am conscious of it. I have a couple of transplants (from both 300 and 600), and they both display the same problem.
  16. Note also if you replace the entire jackplate assembly, the new ones (I guess designed for the JTVs) are slightly longer and you'll need to attack the body of your 300 with a chisel and hammer in order to remove some timber allowing it to fit properly.
  17. To the best of my knowledge, the HD500 acts as the computer's soundcard, when connected via USB. You'll need to connect speakers or head/earphones via headphone output from the HD500 and monitor sounds from there. This is so that when you're recording direct to computer using the HD500, you will have minimal latency.
  18. Hey - I thought of this several weeks after seeing one these magnifying sheets in a shop, and of course haven't seen em for sale anywhere since!!! Where to buy - anyone?
  19. Cheers for all the info - Mike's a wee bit far from home for me (near Sydney Australia), but you've both given me incentive to attack yet another vaxplant in the future!
  20. So does that equate to a big route at the rear for the vax guts? I've done a couple of vaxplants, but dispensed with the mag pickups. My next one should be keeping the mags, but I guess I gotta figure how to control vol/tone selection etc without the guitar being one surface covered in pots/switches.
  21. Looks like you did a really great job there! Nice idea to put a 300 into a Gretsch! So if you still have the original(?) p/ups and output jack wired, are they usable at the same time as the piezos? If so how is this wired, and how well does it work - ie interference etc? How do you control the magnetics - is that the other knob I see to control vol/tone?
  22. "since i'm not big into alternate tunings and don't really need a guitar with pickups (have some good ones already) - is the advancement in processing in the JTVs a huge jump over the older Variax models? I liked the idea of being able to overwrite ALL of the banks on the old Variax models, while still being able to re-access the original untouched model banks. so someone please convince me, i am taking the plunge on a variax very soon (my HD500 needs one!)" OK this is MY barrow to push... If you want opinion that is, but if you are simply looking for affirmation to do it, then look away - avert your gaze now!!! Just don't do it - not yet anyway. People have varying opinion about whether the new firmware for JTV is actually "better" - it's different, and maybe not all for the good. What is your favourite guitar to play? A Gibson/Fender/Whatever? There is going to be compromise either way you go (original vax or JTV). I didn't know you couldn't overwrite models on the JTV, so if that's true, then I'll add that to the list of reasons to NOT buy one. I had a 600 as my main stage guitar, but it always lacked the feel of my previous "player",(my 1970 Strat), which I have now put out to pasture so to speak. The 600 was ok, but definitely "not a Strat". My solution was to buy me a couple of Strat copies at a hundred bucks each, transfer the guts from the 600 (and also another 300 I bought for the same reason), and hey presto! Two guitars which have all the playability (upgraded to Graphtech nut and piezos), and also all the flexibility when connected to my HD500 I could hope for. It was a bit of a learning experience, but I had dismantled/rebuilt and worked on the playability of guitars before, so I relished the challenge. So for quite a bit less money than the price of a JTV, I have TWO great players! Rant over.
  23. allow me to throw a spanner in the works... No, no and no - oh wait that may have been one too many nos. ;) No I wouldn't buy a second, cos I wouldn't buy the first. I am firmly entrenched on the Strat/floating bridge side of the hill. I owned a 600, then as I started playing more regularly (I hesitate to say professionally, tho I have no other "work"), I figured a second instrument is necessary in case of string breakage. Yeah, yeah, I hear the Gibson/fixed bridge camp holler from over the hill - if I didn't have a floating bridge etc etc... I just don't like playing Gibson style guitars OK? The necks are too chunky and I tend to steer away from most C@(< rock style music the Gibson fans tend to gravitate to. (Lookout - incoming!!!) Different strokes etc... whatever... Bottom lines for me in a working guitar are: 1 Playability 2 Looks Without even trying the JTV's, they are UGLY (my opinion). The only one which moderately attracts my eye is the 59, but it would have one of those big chunky necks that the Gibbos are renowned for, Bleargh. The 69 has the same old 2 post tremolo system which will inevitably give bad tuning stability, and in the long run fail, due to metal fatigue at the pivot points. Exactly the reason I eventually transferred the electrics into a $100 pawn shop bargain (I've mentioned this in other posts, so no need to bang on about it) with Alder body, maple neck, vintage slotted type tuning pegs, vintage style bridge, Graphtech piezos and Tusq-X nut. Painted and reliced in my fav colour for a Strat, Fiesta Red. This is the second one I've done, so I now have my two players, just how I want them. I love what the Line 6 gear gives me in terms of tonal flexibility - just not a JTV fan. Rant over.
  24. measure the nut on your 700 - and here is the info on graphtech sizes: to fit, take out your 700 nut, and place the tusq next to it to work out how much to sand down. place sandpaper on a flat surface and VERY carefully keeping it square, sand down to same height. Edit: measure your string gaps - this is more important than total nut width - I sanded down the ends of the nut also, taking off maybe 5-6mm off the total width (2-3mm each side) My graphtech nuts are barely slotted - ie the strings sit "high in the saddle", so you need to take this into consideration working out the finished height of the nut. You could order 2 nuts just in case you take it too far, but I just kept trying it out to check for height, and then sanded a little bit more, etc At least this is what I did for my 600, and I guess translates to the 700 also, as long as the nut has a flat bottom - good luck. I did this actually for my 600, and then for two strat clones which received the guts of the 600 and a 300 respectively - see link:
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