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Yamaha Variax left handed ?

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Moving a post to this discussion:

----------------

 

Thank you for your replies,

 

I was just reading a press release for the Variax standard. It was saying something like a modeling guitar for everyone. I guess they where just kidding about that.

 

I am not left handed, also, I purchased a Variax a year or so after they first came out. My query is for a gift.

 

With so few companies making guitars for leftys it makes sense for Line 6 to make one. The purchase of a modeling guitar would be the only logical choice for a lefty since it's so hard to get a variety of guitars to play.

 

I had around 12 guitars in my closet once. It wasn't that hard to do and I really don't have much money. For a lefty that would be pretty hard or you would have to be rich.

 

Line6!! Put 2 and2 together!

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Transplants of the electronics are not at all easy.  It would be much easier to convert the Standard to lefty by swapping the nut and changing the Piezo hookups.

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Wuld it not be possible to buy a cheap model esp ltd and throw the innards from the variax over in the esp?

Could not be to hard....

 

Transplants have been done, so it's not impossible, but it is a big job. Would likely require routing the body to accomodate the main board. The ones in the JTVs are a fair size, so I'm assuming that the ones in the Standards are similar, if not identical.

 

Unless you really know what you're doing, or have access to someone who does, it's probably easier to learn to play right-handed. ;)

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Modifying a guitar to play lefty is done all the time!  Reverse the strings and nut, set up the bridge,  and turn the sucker over.  The only additional issue with a Variax is reversing the Piezo connections to match the reversed strings.

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And you're bumping your elbow into the controls, because they're

on the other side now.

 

And transplants have their own pitfalls. Last week, someone had one

and the Models sounded different, being in a different body and all.

 

He wanted me to adjust it and tweak it. Had to turn it down, it's some

other company's product. And adjusting the Models to fit the tone of

the body,... well, there simply isn't an adjustment for that.

 

I warn people about this all the time. I've been getting paid to do tech

stuff for the last 40-years (as of last month). I hear from those who didn't

heed my warnings. And they not the four or five people in the Americas

I trust to do mods (or transplants) without messing up.

 

So be careful when doing this sort of mods or transplants (rather not see any),

... it's a pricey thing to mess up. 

 

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Last week, someone had one

and the Models sounded different, being in a different body and all.

 

He wanted me to adjust it and tweak it. Had to turn it down, it's some

other company's product. And adjusting the Models to fit the tone of

the body,... well, there simply isn't an adjustment for that.

If the body style affects the sound of the modeling, and there's no way of adjusting for different body styles, then how do the 3 very different JTV configurations manage to function?

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And there are 3-switch configurations for the different JTV configurations.

And so they have to be programmed as such.

 

The guy from last week, took his guts and put it into a non-JTV body, so now

his guitar body won't fit the tone colour of any of the 3-switch configurations

programmed into it.

 

I guy I know put his guts into a Flying-V,... it sounds different. But he knew that

from the start because I went over all of this with him. He knows our product,

because he used to work for one of our service partners. He is one of those five

people in the Americas I trust to do a mod or transplant without messing up.

 

 

It's not as simple as dropping in the guts into another body, then plug-and-play.

 

Been involved with guitar synth stuff since 1978, and known about modeling since

1976 (back when it was called numerical modeling, and CPU's ran 8-bits). I've been

doing this a while.

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If the body style affects the sound of the modeling, and there's no way of adjusting for different body styles, then how do the 3 very different JTV configurations manage to function?

 

My guess would be that there are different sets of FW, for example, if you try to flash your JTV, Monkey is looking for a specific model, 69, 89F, ect...

 

I wish they had a "no model" model in workbench that would pass the dry piezo signal, that might be interesting.

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It's not the Flash.

But that's as much as I can say about that.

 

"I wish they had a "no model" model in workbench that would pass the dry piezo signal, that might be interesting"--- my guess

is that it would sound like a hot pick-up or pick-up with active circuit amps.

 

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I had not seen this forum before as I have posted on the Line 6 ideas forum. I'm a left player and would LOVE a lefty variax. I'm also in business and can agree with all the posts that say the demand will drive the wiliness to make a left handed version. I've researched the demand and found out a few interesting facts. Handedness is on a spectrum which is why the numbers in the literature vary from 4% to about 30% (from memory). The most widely quoted range in the general population is 10-15%. However, left handedness is over expressed in people who gravitate towards the arts, math and architecture where the figures are in the 20-22% range. So lefty musicians you are not alone:) But there is more. On average, lefties make more money, oh so now maybe there is more interest. Appling these numbers to publically available data from NAMM on number of guitar players and purchase patterns of electric guitars there is a sizable market. I have modeled it!

 

On the technical side of things. Those who say there is more to making a lefty Variax are correct. However, it's not impossible and I'm working on it. Yes the piezos have to be routed to the correct pins which requires swapping them around. I just extended the wires coming from the piezo and soldered them to the correct point on the board. If I was to industrialize this the easiest thing would be to make up a new connecting cable. The bridge needs to have a left handed plate if you want to keep the tremolo and so holes need to be drilled for the wires. Mounting the controls etc, does require the production of a dedicated scratch plate. Right now mine is a piece of cardboard. I choose to use a Squire Strat as a donor guitar as my wood working skill are not good enough, plus I wanted to get as close to the Variax Standard as I could just in case the wood effects the tone. My next challenge is the routing out of the body to accommodate the additional electronics and battery. I need help with that or a nice person with a drill mill in the NJ area:)

 

 

I think one of the challenges we have is to speak with a single voice. Across the line 6 message boards there are multiple threads calling for a left handed Variax. All charged with different levels of emotion and passion. It would be great if everyone who is interested post o the ideas forum as this will give Line 6 am idea of demand.

 

The project has been slow as I don't get much time but I hope to make some progress over the holidays between recording, family and the usual chores.

Peace

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Dear all I know I have been posting and promising a lefty Variax... well today the beast lives! Pretty much everything psarkissian  says was true especially if you line up all his posts. I will try and document what I did. In case anyone wants to do the same. Have a lot of things I learned. In my case the strategy for the electronics was dead straight forward. Only swap the piezos to make sure they go to the right pin. I had to extend the wires which are very fine and if you screw up, you are done. Also, you just have to put up with the fact the selector switch will be back to front if you don't want to get into reprograming the guitar.What tripped me up was the routing of a squire strat I bought to drop the electronics into. It was way too much for my wood working skills and I took it to an amazing Luthier. (who told me never again would do one of these :D) If I were to do it again, I'd custom make the body in two halves and cut holes for the electronics and then glue a back to it and shape the back afterwards, save trying to route anything. The Variax is everything I hoped it would be. I'm happier than a porcine in excrement :D

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Dear all I know I have been posting and promising a lefty Variax... well today the beast lives! Pretty much everything psarkissian  says was true especially if you line up all his posts. I will try and document what I did. In case anyone wants to do the same. Have a lot of things I learned. In my case the strategy for the electronics was dead straight forward. Only swap the piezos to make sure they go to the right pin. I had to extend the wires which are very fine and if you screw up, you are done. Also, you just have to put up with the fact the selector switch will be back to front if you don't want to get into reprograming the guitar.What tripped me up was the routing of a squire strat I bought to drop the electronics into. It was way too much for my wood working skills and I took it to an amazing Luthier. (who told me never again would do one of these :D) If I were to do it again, I'd custom make the body in two halves and cut holes for the electronics and then glue a back to it and shape the back afterwards, save trying to route anything. The Variax is everything I hoped it would be. I'm happier than a porcine in excrement :D

 

 

Can you post pictures?

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Dave,... not too shabby. I can understand why your luthier doesn't want to do another, I've done a

few (two for Carlos Rios which still work fine, as a favour for and the boss) so I know what he went thru.

 

To everyone else,... remember, this would have an affect on the warranty if you attempt this, since it

is not a Line 6 sanctioned modification. This is not for the faint of technical hearts, nor for someone

on a budget. Like they say on TV, "performed by stunt professionals, don't try this at home".

 

Tread with caution.

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Thanks psarkissian. Much appreciated. I'll reinforce your point about the warranty. I've hacked a few things in my time with the knowledge I could not go wah-wah wah back to the manufacturer if it went wrong.

 

I think my learning is it may be better to build a bespoke body from the start rather than retro fitting into another guitar. The Strat was a good choice for a proof of concept but mine was a tad too thin which contributed to much of the headaches. Not much wood left in the guitar

 

When I have time I'm going to try making a body and then transfer the guts. This will make the routing easier plus this will avoid the modification I had to do on the battery box.

 

That all said, I jut love playing this guitar. The ability to flick between standard tuning to open G is great especially for Stones covers:)

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Hi Blobbragg

Not sure if I can post here.

I have a couple of pictures on my Twitter account. @nofretlefty

Ping me there and if you want more I'll post some more.

Thanks for your interest:)

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Hi

I have done it. It's possible. However, the Variax is a bit thicker than a cheap strat. Now I know why. Not much wood left after you route out the space for the electronics. Have a look at my other posts. Also, you need a new pick guard, a modified left handed bridge tray and if you try it with a strat you will need to modify the battery box as the body contour means that area is too thin.

 

That all said. I LOVE my Variax. I use it with a VoxVT 20 into the PA between the two I have most everything I need to gig. I'm getting on in years and I'm done with lugging heavy equipment and lots of guitars.

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Just remember that putting JTV electronics into a different body

will result in different body resonances, and that there will be slight

tonal differences in the colour of the sound (EQ curve will change).

Some more, some less, depending on the body.

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It may be impossible, but

I absolutely want a left-handed variax standard…

Nothing is impossible:)

I love my lefty Variax standard. It's now my main guitar (LP Gold Top, Fender Stat, Fender Tele, Resonator and Aria acoustic all in the cupboard). I also bought a right handed JT 59 which sounds great. I plan to make it lefty. I think it will be easier than the standard.  However, it depends how handy you are and how much you will cry if it all goes wrong. As you will see in the post its not as easy as you might think and there is a risk you will break it (or it will sound crap) and Line 6 will not fix it for you. However, for me it was worth it and thanks to some of the folks here and in other places I have a blueprint for what to do and what not to do. I'm not in a place yet to industrialize the process. I have also got my hands on a Fender VG which plays well but I'm not sure the models are as good. That one I plan to convert to lefty too. The routing is way easier and I plan to get rid of the piezo bar in favor of a similar set up on the Variax. As I say, I learned much and nothing is impossible.

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The one you re-wired last year?

Yes, a year down the line still loving it. Had a couple of issues, battery drain, turned out to be the switch that tells it there is no jack plug inserted, the other issue was a dry joint... My bad. I'm playing with a 59. I've had a few ideas for modification. :)

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Check the Knowledge Base for any related info before proceeding.

Hope it's out of warranty by now. :)

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