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Variax A/B switch

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Thought I'd throw this out again - asked years before.  I use my JTV-59 through HD 500X for performance.  While the acoustic models are fine and used, I would like to take advantage of the models on my Vax 700 acoustic without having to bring an additional pedal (I still have the XTL and the X3).  I could run it on battery or the power supply, but then I lose the model switching features of the pods.  So now the question:


Can Line 6 make one or does someone know of a secondary market version of an A/B box to allow me to switch between the two variaxes and just run one cable into the HD 500X

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Did the Vax 700 Acoustic come with it's own outboard power supply - like the power supply A/B box combo that was supplied with the standard Variax 700? In other words - do you still have the stand alone power source and standard 1/4 jack cable connectivity for the Vax 700 acoustic?


If you do still have the ability to run the Vax 700 Acoustic stand alone without using a VDI connection from a POD then why don't you use the VDI connection to power and control the JTV59 and then plug the Vax 700 Acoustic in standalone to the GUITAR IN on the HD 500X.  Then set up your patches to either use VARIAX input or GUITAR input depending on which one you will play.  The only downside will be that the pod patch won't be able to change the guitar model patch on the Vax 700 acoustic.


If you want to be able to connect both JTV59 and Vax 700 acoustic via VDI and have the ability to automatically change guitar models when you change HD500X patches then I believe you will need two VDI capable pods. 


I am certain that Line 6 do not make an A/B box that supports two VDI connections into one for the HD500X and I have not seen any posts from forum members saying that they had built anything like that.

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Thanks for the reply - yeah I can power the VAX 700 with the power supply, but yes, then I lose the PODs ability to change the guitar models.  I have separate presets in the all three of my PODs for the JTV, the VAX 700 and my original Vax 500 electric (which is now just my rehearsal guitar). I would want to be able to A/B between the guitars and switch to the presets for that guitar without having to unplug one VDI from the POD and plug in another. 


This should have been a no brainer option when L6 originally came out with the acoustic to pair with the electric since it had more acoustic models than the electric and you couldn't share between guitars (I would love to be able to move the Nylon and Maccaferri models into the JTV). 


At this point my only real option is to use the HD 500X for one and the X3 for the other.  Just complicates things for my live setup.  I already have the POD, I use my Boomerang looper though the FX send/return (the 500X is okay, but not nearly as seamless as the Boomerang).  If I added another POD, then I have to send both pedals out to mixer, then send that signal through the Boomerang and back to the PA, so adds two more peices of gear and more potential for signal chain errors/issues.

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I think the big problem with developing an A/B box for VDI connection is the power supply from the POD to the Variax.  It is only designed to power one guitar - so what happens when you try connecting 2 guitars - I would think the POD would not be able to supply sufficient power for both.   So any A/B box would only be able to power one Variax at a time, and when you switch from one to the other it would effectively simulate physically unplugging one and plugging in the other.  The POD is also designed to only see one Variax connection - so it would not be able to manage two simultaneously connected - but it can handle physically disconnecting one and reconnecting another - so an A/B box could be built to physically switch the input between the 2 connected Variaxes.  Each Variax would be powered on/off each time it is switched to and from, and the POD would see a different Variax being connected each time the A/B switch was pressed.  I would imagine that this may introduce some latency as powering off and powering on a Variax is not instantaneous and the POD takes a little time to recognise the new device.  There is also the fact that powering on/off a Variax many times during a performance may not be good for it long term - particularly if you swap guitars a lot. 

Just my thoughts on the subject.

I wonder if anyone has actually experimented with building a VDI A/B selector box?

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I tried using one of the older Variax Power Supply A/B boxes and a starting point, but couldn't get it to work - don't have enough electronic know-how to know what wires in the CAT-5 should be sent for power (I had a schematic somewhere that showed what each of the 8 wires were assigned to) so I couldn't get it to swap the power from one line to the other, so I gave up.  Never wanted it to run 2 guitars at once, just be able to switch between the two. 


Actually had the same idea about 10 years ago when I was bringing 2 AX2's to gigs and wanted to be able to A/B the foot pedal.  Maybe someone will build one.

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I had the same question recently, and I got one of these:


It's an Ethernet a/b manual switch in a box.  It does work, but it only has the standard CAT5 connections on the back.  I used some standard CAT5 cable to test the box, and it will switch from one guitar to the other (I also have a JTV59 and VAC700) and allow the patches on my HD500 to change the guitar models.  I looked into getting a few custom VDI cables and incorporate this set-up to my live gigging rig, but haven't followed through on it yet.  The cables weren't cheap, and I haven't had enough gigs lately to justify purchasing them.  I also haven't used it long enough to know if it will mess up the HD500 by changing the type of Variax that's plugged in to it, and that's a concern for me as all my tones are in there and I don't have a backup.  But feel free to give it a try and see what you think!

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  • 1 year later...

This may help I use 2 variax guitars  a  700 and a 300 fitted with a Roland midi  pickup for use with a GR 33 

I use 2 Line 6 AB switches to power the guitars and each outputs which would normally go  back to the amp I put into a Fender ABY box true bypass which allows me to select  A or B  with 1 cable back to the rack mounted pod


This works fine with no popping or clicks when selecting the guitar 


I now need 2 additional guitars for live work with my band Godin xtsa  and a custom  MacSwain  with bareknuckle pups Fernades Sustainer and Kaos pad  and looking at using a second Fender ABY foot switch for the second pair of guitars and each output of the ABY 1 & 2 into a 3rd Fender ABY switch which will mean only 1 cable back to the pod 


 I am completing this stage at the moment and should have it finished  by the weekend anyone interested in the final result let me know  and although the board is a monster it allows me to set up in less than 5 mins instead of 25 as it is all pre-wired and just need 1 240 volt power lead a cable to the pod and a cable to the PA for the Roland 

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