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What happened to Variax?

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For months now we have not seen updates, videos, news, excitement, or anything regarding Variax development. Did this technology lose its momentum? Are guitarists just not interested?

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I suspect this explains part of the reason for sluggish updates and a refocus on semi-pro gear like Amplifi:

http://line6.com/press/releases/1520

Line 6 to be Acquired by Yamaha Corporation

Outline of agreement

  1. Based on the resolutions adopted by the Line 6 board of directors on December 19 and the Yamaha board of directors on December 20, a definitive agreement has been executed regarding the acquisition of all of the capital stock of Line 6.
  2. Yamaha will acquire all of the capital stock of Line 6 owned by the founders, venture funds and employees.
  3. The transaction is expected to be completed during January 2014 after receipt of customary regulatory approvals.

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There was a comment on the HD500 thread by a Line 6 representative that 2015 was going to be a big year for Line 6. He did say to expect an HD 500 upgrade around the end of next year. Take what you want from it. Could be the Variax is part of that "big year"

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The more I use this thing the more I feel I wasted my money. I've tweak, tried editing and nothing is useful live. Nice studio guitar with some editing but doesn't live up tot the hype.

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I use my 59 & 69S JTV's out live gigging pretty much exclusively. I do use the mags probably 80 - 90% of the time, as I am very happy with the mags' sound. For downward-shifted or drop D types of tuning, I set up a patch on the 500X for selecting a model and using the alt tune. When I was using my Variax 300 prior to the JTV and HD Pods (XTL, then X3L) I had to set up pre-alt tuned models in my Custom banks and select those.

 

I have always liked the dynamic response of the mags the most, but have lately been doing extensive model tweaking, now that the Workbench works via the 500X & VDI. On my 69S, I worked a lot on the Spank set, and have it set up to my liking -- so much so that I have to keep an eye on the model knob to tell which mode I'm in -- mags or models....

 

Messing with the string levels has been key for me, as I would have certain strings "stick out" like a sore thumb on certain models. On my particular guitar, the G and high E seem to be somewhat louder in general than the B and other strings, I think variations in the piezo's can happen for relative string loudnesses. When I back them off, it brings them more in line with the other strings and the model improves vastly and also lessens the "plink" of the strings. I also mess with the overall loudness of the models, so when changing models, the relative volumes are in the same ballpark. While the volume differences between different pickups and guitars is accurate, you normally are using one physical guitar or another at a time, and adjust your amp to compensate. With all these virtual guitars in one physical guitar, I want to be able to change to the different tonality of a particular model without having to change the amp level settings.

 

I match up the models' levels as best I can even between the models and the mags, because I switch at will between those as well. One consequence of that is that my 59 mag signal level is about 5 or 6 db hotter than my 69S -- as most humbuckers versus single coils. I had to set up 2 set lists on the 500X that are duplicates, but one set for the 59 and one for the 69S. Same patches, but different input levels -- since my 59 was my first JTV, I duplicated the patches for it and boosted the input levels for the 69S. When I work with the JTV models, I get it to my liking on either the 59 or 69S, then transfer the model patch to the other one and adjust for level to match up with that guitar. So far so good.

 

Dave

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...

 

I have always liked the dynamic response of the mags the most, but have lately been doing extensive model tweaking, now that the Workbench works via the 500X & VDI. On my 69S, I worked a lot on the Spank set, and have it set up to my liking -- so much so that I have to keep an eye on the model knob to tell which mode I'm in -- mags or models....

...

 

Would you be willing to share your presets Dave? I'd love to hear them.

 

See I love the playability of the JTV89f, but prefer the sound of the JTV69 mags. So it would be great to try it out.

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I play in an 80s cover band and an Original Progressive Rock Band (Elephants of Scotland)  I use my JTV 59 for the 80s band an my JTV89F for the progressive band.  Since I will switch between up to 4 modeling emulations in a song live (and that's the way the songs were also recorded) I can pretty much only use a Variax for live performances.  I started with the original VAX 700 and VAC700.  I have found all of my Variax's (4) to be well worth the money and the capability with the VDI into an HD500X to automatically switch modeling emulation and alt tuning on the fly to be indispensable in live situations.  I do use the mags about 10-20% of the time also.

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I play in an 80s cover band and an Original Progressive Rock Band (Elephants of Scotland)  I use my JTV 59 for the 80s band an my JTV89F for the progressive band.  Since I will switch between up to 4 modeling emulations in a song live (and that's the way the songs were also recorded) I can pretty much only use a Variax for live performances.  I started with the original VAX 700 and VAC700.  I have found all of my Variax's (4) to be well worth the money and the capability with the VDI into an HD500X to automatically switch modeling emulation and alt tuning on the fly to be indispensable in live situations.  I do use the mags about 10-20% of the time also.

 

I am in a covers band. Although not Prog Rock (sounds too much like hard work LOL) there are situations where I need to switch between acoustic and hard rock tones mid song as well as using multiple tunings. MyJTV59 allows us to play songs that just wouldn't be possible without carrying multiple axes around and I find all the models on the JTV more than usable live. It would be nice to see some updates (a nylon string model would be good) but to be honest I'm really happy with what I already have.

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I bought a Variax 500 when they first came out as it saved me so much lugging of gear. Lets face it the average guy on here doesn't have a tech to run on stage with a ready to go "G" tuned guitar for the next number, and then again as you swap to an "A" for the next one and so on!! I now have a JTV and it's even better than the Variax 500, though I did have to polish the frets and do some tweaking to get it where I wanted it. For a gigging muso to me it's a no brainer, but the amount of gear snobs that pull a face when they see me take it out of the case is unbelievable. They normally change their tune (no pun intended) when they hear it. We also use Yamaha DTX drums and our drummer gets the same reaction, with one guy asking why he used a practice kit. Same guy apologised after we'd done the first set complete with timpani and bongoes where needed without the aid of a percussionist. I think we as guitarists can be, and I include myself in this as I still have my '72 Strat and won't sell it as nothing else sounds like it, a little set in our ways. Next thing for me is a 500X so I can stop lugging my Spider Valve around. Great amp but so heavy.

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I bought a Variax 500 when they first came out as it saved me so much lugging of gear. Lets face it the average guy on here doesn't have a tech to run on stage with a ready to go "G" tuned guitar for the next number, and then again as you swap to an "A" for the next one and so on!! I now have a JTV and it's even better than the Variax 500, though I did have to polish the frets and do some tweaking to get it where I wanted it. For a gigging muso to me it's a no brainer, but the amount of gear snobs that pull a face when they see me take it out of the case is unbelievable. They normally change their tune (no pun intended) when they hear it. We also use Yamaha DTX drums and our drummer gets the same reaction, with one guy asking why he used a practice kit. Same guy apologised after we'd done the first set complete with timpani and bongoes where needed without the aid of a percussionist. I think we as guitarists can be, and I include myself in this as I still have my '72 Strat and won't sell it as nothing else sounds like it, a little set in our ways. Next thing for me is a 500X so I can stop lugging my Spider Valve around. Great amp but so heavy.

 

Yeah, I know what you mean about the gear snobs. The one thing that seems to change their minds is when they hear the acoustic models. A have had a couple of guys come up to me at the break to ask about the guitar. I was talking to one of them and he told me he had a 1977 Les Paul Standard. His exact words to me?....."I wish my guitar could do that!". Not too shabby!!!

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Yeah the acoustics are really handy, especially with altered tunings and the banjo works well too. Nice thing about the JTV is that they have the mags on as well.

 

It's funny though that the gear snobbery doesn't stop with the guitars. I run a PA hire company and we've ditched our Peavey rigs and started using the Stagescape and Stagesource gear as it's a no brainer. We can usually show a novice how to get decent results in about 30 minutes!! We get the same reaction to the M20d as we do with the Variax, but why not use the tech if it makes our lives easier. The other thing for us is that using the "Link" and an iPad, we don't need a van load of Speakon cables, and snakes, and if we rent out a system without an engineer then nobody is going to drag the rear end out of an amp by daisy chaining the speakers.

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I use Roland GK3 equipped guitars/ HD500/GR55 guitar synth/ Alto powered speakers/ old Marshall and new Fender amps and a bunch of old and new stuff.Any one with any Variax questions needs to go see John MacFee of the Doobie Bros. play a live show.

 

He will cut your head using a Variax and a Pod. Period.

 

Cut Your Head.

 

He can play whatever he wants.

 

That is all I need to know.

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Back to the topic, looks like L6 just posted video explaining the differences between the JTV models. What odd is that it looks like it was originally tape awhile ago as the firmware is 1.8.

 

 

James Tyler Variax Electric Guitars Overview | Li…:

 

Cheers,

 

jayson

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Back to the topic, looks like L6 just posted video explaining the differences between the JTV models. What odd is that it looks like it was originally tape awhile ago as the firmware is 1.8.

 

 

James Tyler Variax Electric Guitars Overview | Li…:

 

Cheers,

 

jayson

 

I think that video is actually a few years old. I'm almost certain I remember seeing it before. It looks like perhaps to just put a new intro on it (the shot with the Amplifi in the background) and put it up on their Youtube channel again.

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Actually its 2 years old - many or the identical Video sequences were culled from this Oct 2012 Dream Rig Video 

Go to 25 seconds into this video below: 

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I'll try to attach a zip file of the last time I saved the Spank bank...

 

Dave

 

Thanks Dave, I'll get around to testing them out soon :)

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You realized Line 6 like to focus on improving 1 thing at a time right? At least most of the time. They're busy with their amplifi stuff right now.

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