Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ColonelForbin

Variax Standard April 11

Recommended Posts

Zzounds recently updated their website to include the new Variax Standard; looks like the more realistic date may actually be April 11th... Looks like the black pickguard design is accurate too; Sweetwater is the only place showing the white pick guard.

 

http://www.zzounds.com/item--LINVARIAXSTDVariaxStandard_TobaccoBurst-0005_sl-8ac8

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Though just noticed, that for the 'closeup' detail image, Zzounds is showing the white pickguard....

 

ariaxStandard_4-5c07aefebcc742ddc9a944f2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not feeling this at all! Can't wait to actually play one. Hopefully it doesn't feel or play anything like a Yamaha Pacifica cheapo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard 2 post trems are better than 6 screw trems? Also, if the string trees are metal then yes that can be a problem with tuning. 

 

Honestly, I got a graphtech string tree and still it had problems so I just bypass the string tree altogether and it stays in tune great. No weird resonance noises on open notes. It doesn't even need it (my 600)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i like the black better myself....

 

and the trem 2point vs vintage styling is a trade off....

the 2 point is probably better if you use the trem alot....

but i think the vintage style allows the wood/body to factor more prominently in the tone.

i prefer the vintage style. 

if i'm picking.... otherwise they are both usable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not feeling this at all! Can't wait to actually play one. Hopefully it doesn't feel or play anything like a Yamaha Pacifica cheapo.

 

Me neither...but it could go either way, and there's only one way to tell. But if the history with the JTV's is anything to go by, actually getting my hands on one without paying for it first will be next to impossible. I live within 10 miles of at least 3 "Big Box" music retailers, all L6 dealers, and not one ever stocked a single JTV. I had to gamble online...I suspect it will be the same story with these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That bridge looks like you could put Graphtech saddles in it.  That would be a plus.  I can't see buying one of these myself though.  It looks like a step down from my JTV69S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That bridge looks like you could put Graphtech saddles in it. That would be a plus. I can't see buying one of these myself though. It looks like a step down from my JTV69S.

That was my point on a different thread. To which another poster tells me, "what are you complaining about? You already have the top of the line gear!"

 

He is right! With this new offering, we do have the top of the line gear. I guess I got wrapped up into the discussion about "improving" the HD's and "enhancing" new firmware updates, and "adding" new amp models. So much so that I was certain the NAMM 2015 would surely see new improvement, enhancements and additions to the Variax. Not this Pacifica rebranded.

 

With all that said, Line 6 and Yamah will be around for a while and I'm sure there will be a much "greater later" for the Variax and for the Dream Rig users as a whole.

 

Funny though, was there any mention of the "Dream Rig" at NAMM this year? You can barely find it on the line 6 website where it used to be front and center. I get it, new products to push=new front and center.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was certain the NAMM 2015 would surely see new improvement, enhancements and additions to the Variax. Not this Pacifica rebranded.

 

I asked DI about which model Pacifica they used and he told me flat out that while it looks like one, it was designed by Line 6's industrial and product designers in conjunction with Yamaha's custom shop in Burbank, CA. He told me it's Line 6's pickup design, Line 6's neck design, Line 6's headstock and pickguard design, and the body style is Line 6's too (their industrial designer was obviously inspired by Pacifica, as they knew Yamaha was going to manufacture it). The Burbank Custom Shop created Line 6's initial prototypes and made some suggestions.  He also recalled a conversation where the product manager said it's definitely closer to the $500 Pacifica than the $300 one, build-wise.  Hope that helps! 

 

If they offered it with the black quilted finish and matching headstock I would be sorely tempted...

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that Info! I'll trust it to be gospel. but I don't know man…..Click on these and you tell me...

 

Yamaha PAC012DLX Pacifica $179 

Variax Standard $800

 

That's a bit too close for comfort!

I'll give it a try whenever I can get my hands on one. Doubt I'll buy it, but who knows.

 

Now when they get it together and throw the Variax guts into one of these or one to these…..

 

I'm your huckleberry!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that Info! I'll trust it to be gospel. but I don't know man…..Click on these and you tell me...

 

Yamaha PAC012DLX Pacifica $179 

Variax Standard $800

 

That's a bit too close for comfort!

I'll give it a try whenever I can get my hands on one. Doubt I'll buy it, but who knows.

 

Now when they get it together and throw the Variax guts into one of these or one to these…..

 

I'm your huckleberry!!

 

Make this into a Variax

http://www.rondomusic.com/photos/electric/furrianmnbsbwtre5.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a bit too close for comfort!

I'll give it a try whenever I can get my hands on one. Doubt I'll buy it, but who knows.

 

Yeah I know, that's why I asked him specifically.  However, there are other Pacifica models like this one  or this one that are more in line with what I would expect.

 

Still, I think it was a huge marketing failure to make their own design so close to a Pacifica for that very reason! Most people think of the cheap one when they see it right off the bat.  So right from the start you are fighting the inital impression that its a $200 guitar for $800...  I think they should have just taken the PAC212 and modded it and marketed it as that right from the beginning.  At least that way you know what you are getting as a guitar plus the guts of a variax.  Frankly, the more I look at that one the more I think that is what they did except for the headstock.  I don't think they are dumb enough to actually use the cheap one...  I really like the 212 with the black quilted topand matching headstock.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I know, that's why I asked him specifically.  However, there are other Pacifica models like this one  or this one that are more in line with what I would expect.

 

Still, I think it was a huge marketing failure to make their own design so close to a Pacifica for that very reason! Most people think of the cheap one when they see it right off the bat.  So right from the start you are fighting the inital impression that its a $200 guitar for $800...  I think they should have just taken the PAC212 and modded it and marketed it as that right from the beginning.  At least that way you know what you are getting as a guitar plus the guts of a variax.  Frankly, the more I look at that one the more I think that is what they did except for the headstock.  I don't think they are dumb enough to actually use the cheap one...  I really like the 212 with the black quilted topand matching headstock.

 

Yeah, seems like thought it's inspired by the Pacifica look, it's not designed in the traditional sense as a Pacifica guitar. Still has me intrigued!

I wonder if they will come up with a bunch of cool variations on the style / color; and presumably the build- maybe an LP style Variax Standard down the road? Though, for that, it will be hard to beat the JTV59, it's already pretty awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are aware that the jtv69s, the Pacifica and the standard all look like a million other strat clones?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are aware that the jtv69s, the Pacifica and the standard all look like a million other strat clones?

 

LOL...

 

1grop.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are aware that the jtv69s, the Pacifica and the standard all look like a million other strat clones?

I don't think anyone is talking about "looks" per se. I think we are speaking more to build quality and playability. I think you may have missed the point just a wee bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think anyone is talking about "looks" per se. I think we are speaking more to build quality and playability. I think you may have missed the point just a wee bit.

But since none of us has played or even inspected one in person, the only thing we are discussing is how it looks in a photograph. From that we can garner so little about its playability, build quality and sound that it's impossible to make evaluations about it.

 

I would rather give Line6 and Yamaha (companies I have found to produce excellent and often brilliant products) the benefit of the doubt and not assume it's just a low level, poor quality instrument. If any assumptions should be made, based on their track records, it would be smart to assume they would produce something pretty f/ing awesome.

 

I used to work as Chick Corea's studio manager and tech guy. For those who don't know Chick, he is regarded as one of the greatest jazz pianist of all time, as well as a brilliant composer, and winner of dozens of Grammys. For decades he has been one of Yamaha's highest profile endorsers. In my previous capacity, I used many Yamaha products and experienced the quality and integrity of Yamaha service and was never less than thoroughly impressed. They totally have their lollipop together.

 

I would also add that as a long time Steinberg Cubase user, I have almost been disappointed by how little Yamaha seems to have impacted Steinberg products since their purchase of the company several years ago.

 

My point is that from their past records, I would not worry about them making something crappy. If anything I am far more sanguine that the Standard will be a great instrument than I was about an American boutique builder mass producing instruments in Asia. Yamaha has 60 years of experience in the guitar making game. They are just about the best company that Line6 could have been joined with from my perspective.

 

While the Standard does look like a no frills model, that certainly doesn't mean it won't be a high quality product. Let's wait and see.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My concern would be how they hit the price point.  The JTV's are too expensive to get the volume up where they need it to be.  Since the electronics cost is fixed, the only to hit a lower price point is to take cost out of the guitar itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no engineer, but from what I do know, electronics costs are usually quite low after paying off the R&D (assuming adequate economy of scale). I think the reason the Standard is lower cost is simply that it's a very simple guitar. Little to no R&D costs, tried and true design and parts and no fee for big name designer. Strats are inexpensive to produce, which was part of the goal when Leo Fender designed it.

 

My biggest concern is that I like the neck and it's not too baseball bat-ish and that the guitar is not dead feeling like many Fender Strats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But since none of us has played or even inspected one in person, the only thing we are discussing is how it looks in a photograph. From that we can garner so little about its playability, build quality and sound that it's impossible to make evaluations about it.

I would rather give Line6 and Yamaha (companies I have found to produce excellent and often brilliant products) the benefit of the doubt and not assume it's just a low level, poor quality instrument. If any assumptions should be made, based on their track records, it would be smart to assume they would produce something pretty f/ing awesome.

I used to work as Chick Corea's studio manager and tech guy. For those who don't know Chick, he is regarded as one of the greatest jazz pianist of all time, as well as a brilliant composer, and winner of dozens of Grammys. For decades he has been one of Yamaha's highest profile endorsers. In my previous capacity, I used many Yamaha products and experienced the quality and integrity of Yamaha service and was never less than thoroughly impressed. They totally have their lollipop together.

I would also add that as a long time Steinberg Cubase user, I have almost been disappointed by how little Yamaha seems to have impacted Steinberg products since their purchase of the company several years ago.

My point is that from their past records, I would not worry about them making something crappy. If anything I am far more sanguine that the Standard will be a great instrument than I was about an American boutique builder mass producing instruments in Asia. Yamaha has 60 years of experience in the guitar making game. They are just about the best company that Line6 could have been joined with from my perspective.

While the Standard does look like a no frills model, that certainly doesn't mean it won't be a high quality product. Let's wait and see.

I'll be sure to step over those names you just dropped! Lol! Just funning with you! But seriously, you are right. I am making a judgement based on a photo. But it is a photo that remarkably looks like a crappy entry level Yamaha guitar. I HAVE played crappy Pacificas that look just like this new Variax. So in reality, I guess I should have qualified my remarks by saying something like, "if this new Variax, which looks remarkably like an entry level Yamaha Pacifica, is similar in build quality and playability as the Pacifica that I personally played, then it is potentially a piece of crap." That's just a lot to have to type for every post and I just assumed that was more or less understood.

 

Don't get me wrong. I own a fantastic Yamaha SBG 3000. I love my Yamaha. They have a great history of making fine instruments. But they also have a history of making fine crap. We'll see where this new Variax Standard falls soon enough.

 

Chick IS the man! He, in my opinion, along with Herbie Hancock, introduced the world to the DX7! But dropping Chicks name as proof positive of Yamahas guitar building bonifides has a small flaw... Chick is a keyboard player and a keyboard ain't a guitar. I mean really, those who make guitars are Luthiers. Those who assemble synthisizers are....what now?

 

You are right to give Yamaha the bene of the doubt! I should too. For some reason, in this case, I am a bit suspect. It's a gut thing probably not based on much that is real.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn, after rereading my post, it does sound like I was name-dropping, but honestly, I'm almost embarrassed when I talk about being another musician's tech employee - even one like Chick. If I wanted to pump myself up, I have creds as a player that I'm much more proud of.

 

And you're not wrong that a keyboard player's perspective on a company is going to be different than a guitar player's.

 

The thing is, I was so blown away by Yamaha's service and products (partly the whole Japanese work ethic thing) that I have a ton of respect for them.

 

You're correct that the standard could turn out to be a disappointment, but for various reasons, I don't expect that from these companies.

 

I don't own a JTV. I've tried the 69 a few times at Sam Ash, and almost pulled the trigger, but I never felt 100% comfortable on the guitar itself - it felt clumsy and kind of clunky to me, a lot like most of the Fenders I have played over the years. I'm hoping the Standard has a more modern neck and better overall feel of quality. If I could love the instrument itself I would buy one immediately.

 

It does bear remembering that there were a lot of production problems with the jtv at first, some of which might have been avoided had a really veteran manufacturer like Yamaha been involved from the get go. I'm hoping they get into the electronics eventually, and beef up the hardware for more professional durability. I was not particularly impressed with the feel of the pots and knobs in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We shall see but I do not expect much.  I will be very surprised if the JTV owners find this guitar is as good as what they already have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's too many variables that I don't like to get this over te 69s, so I didn't.

The 6 screw tremolo, the fretboard option, 2.1 firmware only. 

 

If I'm getting a dream guitar then why not go all the way?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really want to like it! Though, I am gun shy after I bought a Roland GC-1 and sent it back to Zzounds within two weeks. Not a quality instrument.

And so I can resonate with folks saying JTV owners will not be overly pysched to get one of these; the price points are very close!

 

Though, I remain hopeful and cautiously optimistic :)

 

Just got my JTV59 back from the repair shop, got new strings and a setup. They did a little minor work getting it set up right, I think he said one of the higher strings had a little bit of buzz.

 

As for the 2.1 firmware, I have no problems with that. I updated my JTV59 right away, and never looked back. I realize many people have gone back and forth a bunch comparing / agonizing over the differences between the older firmware and the 2.0 and up. For me, it's not an issue, I think the newer firmware offers to0 much to worry about whether the models sound different from what they used to sound like..

 

For example. individual string volumes!!! I *love* being able to program Keith Richards style 5-string open tunings. Have to use firmware 2.1; can't use the old firmware. And I much prefer Workbench HD, so that decision was easier for me than others.. 

 

I am not trying to discount what others have experienced; whatever it sounds like to you is what matters most, not what anyone else thinks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 6 screw tremolo

 

I wasn't paying enough attention to the details, didn't notice that.. I am guessing since the piezo's are in that part, it would not be an easy swap out.

I am guessing the JTV69s is the more 'modern' two point?

 

http://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/the-tone-garage/vintage-tremolo-stability/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 6 screw Trem bothers me quite a lot - ok for a tiny bit of a wobble, but no chance of a dive... in fact I will never get a guitar with a 6 screw system as it doesn't have the range that I prefer.

 

I've just this last week gone back to my old Patrick Eggle LA, and the Wilkinson Locking Trem system on that is brilliant - really light action but when you release the arm it locks into a back plate and turns into a fixed bridge that you can lean on without going out of tune.  None of the OTT stuff involved in a Floyd system and complete stability.

 

It is one of these, but with a natural body http://www.patrickeggleguitars.org/htm/lastd.htm (notice Left Handed was No Extra Charge!)

 

Just for the moment I don't need to the JTV flexibility, but I do need a decent Trem, so the JTV 69 is taking a back seat to the Eggle.

 

Now if they could build a Variax with a neck like the Eggle and with a Trem like the Wilkinson Locking one then it would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 6 screw Trem bothers me quite a lot - ok for a tiny bit of a wobble, but no chance of a dive... in fact I will never get a guitar with a 6 screw system as it doesn't have the range that I prefer.

 

I've just this last week gone back to my old Patrick Eggle LA, and the Wilkinson Locking Trem system on that is brilliant - really light action but when you release the arm it locks into a back plate and turns into a fixed bridge that you can lean on without going out of tune.  None of the OTT stuff involved in a Floyd system and complete stability.

 

It is one of these, but with a natural body http://www.patrickeggleguitars.org/htm/lastd.htm (notice Left Handed was No Extra Charge!)

 

Just for the moment I don't need to the JTV flexibility, but I do need a decent Trem, so the JTV 69 is taking a back seat to the Eggle.

 

Now if they could build a Variax with a neck like the Eggle and with a Trem like the Wilkinson Locking one then it would be great.

 

What's the neck scale on those? Looks a little shorter than 25.5"...maybe it's just the photo?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

25" which in combination with it having 10s on, while my JTV 69 that I have used for the last 2 years has 11s and a longer scale and a floating bridge, which makes bending on the Eggle ridiculously easy. 24 frets too which it turns out I have missed as well now that I am playing a bit of lead again.

 

I don't think there is a single perfect guitar, just guitars better adapted for specific styles... If you want my complaint about the Eggle it is that I would prefer a 5 position strat style switch over the 5 position rotary, but that is quite minor.

 

Shame that the Wilkinson Locking part of the Trem got squashed by Patent stuff in the US and is not available anywhere any more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting closer! We're past the "in like a Lion" of March, we've crossed the St Patrick's day mid-point, and we're now on to the part of March that goes "out like a lamb (at least here the weather is decidedly nicer - the snow finally all melted!) :)

 

I suppose I am mostly excited about the HD500x firmware / model pack update; then next, still reasonably curious about the Variax standard. Intrigued by the new wireless system, but not in any hurry to go buy one; still sticking with the VDI cable for the time being.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What snow?  It's only 80 degrees here in Arizona. :-)  Has been for the past two weeks.  No "In like a Lion" here.  I'm much more interested in the HD500x FW upgrade / model packs than I am in the Variax Standard.  I will wait until we hear about it here from folks that have become "Early Adopters".  I am not expecting much to jump up and down about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What snow?  It's only 80 degrees here in Arizona. :-)  Has been for the past two weeks.  No "In like a Lion" here.  I'm much more interested in the HD500x FW upgrade / model packs than I am in the Variax Standard.  I will wait until we hear about it here from folks that have become "Early Adopters".  I am not expecting much to jump up and down about.

 

"Arizona in March: In like Bermuda, out like Bahama!".. Yeah, wasn't a ton of snow out here in Chicagoland, but it just stuck around for a couple months. First day of snow is magical, the other 57 days, not so much.

 

I hear ya, same priority here - HD500x model packs upgrade first and foremost! All the other stuff, will be interested to hear how people respond. I can see the basic concept - reduced price variax and floor board as an alternate to the JTV / HD series.

 

In terms of price point, it's enough to catch a certain market. Somewhere between the HD and the AMPLiFi gear perhaps?

 

Firehawk + Variax Standard is $250 less than a JTV  + HD500x.. Will keep my eyes out for JTV sales around the time the VS comes out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Arizona in March: In like Bermuda, out like Bahama!".. Yeah, wasn't a ton of snow out here in Chicagoland, but it just stuck around for a couple months. First day of snow is magical, the other 57 days, not so much.

 

I hear ya, same priority here - HD500x model packs upgrade first and foremost! All the other stuff, will be interested to hear how people respond. I can see the basic concept - reduced price variax and floor board as an alternate to the JTV / HD series.

 

In terms of price point, it's enough to catch a certain market. Somewhere between the HD and the AMPLiFi gear perhaps?

 

Firehawk + Variax Standard is $250 less than a JTV  + HD500x.. Will keep my eyes out for JTV sales around the time the VS comes out.

 

First generation anything is a crapshoot...don't care who's building it. And there's a lot going on in these guitars..."The more complicated the plumbing, the easier it is to clog the drain." - Capt. Montgomery Scott

 

I'll be on the sidelines for a while...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the Standard will generate interest at the lower price point.  I was just saying that it will probably not interest me in the least.  I would pay for new improved Variax features but not for a new packaging job since I have a JTV69S that I am happy with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah but its all part of the process...

get variax out there, and accepted...

then you have a bigger market to provide for=greater business potential.

 

I agree that the Standard will generate interest at the lower price point.  I was just saying that it will probably not interest me in the least.  I would pay for new improved Variax features but not for a new packaging job since I have a JTV69S that I am happy with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with that.  If the Standard is a quality instrument, it will expand the Variax market.  That may entice Line6 to do some more new things with the Variax line.  There are many folks that don't want to drop $1000 for a guitar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with that.  If the Standard is a quality instrument, it will expand the Variax market.  That may entice Line6 to do some more new things with the Variax line.  There are many folks that don't want to drop $1000 for a guitar.

 

Yeah; it's an interesting price point distinction; $1,000 seems to divide most major brands between their 'high end' import guitars, vs their 'entry level' USA guitars. For example, $800 gets you a PRS SE from Korea; $1,300 gets you a USA S2 with a gig bag instead of hard case. Though that same $1,300 gets you a 2015 US Les Paul with a hard case.

 

PRS S2 Vela: $1,279 w/ a gig bag

http://www.prsguitarseurope.com/2015/03/all-new-s2-vela/

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/S2VelaDMT

 

Les Paul 2015 Studio: $1,229 w/ a hard case

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LPST15DBSN-15

 

On the 6 screw trem conversation, I was curious to note the 6 screw PRS trem on a more than $4,000 US custom PRS.

I guess not all six screw trems are created equally!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I notice the Variax Standards have shown up on Amazon now.  Listed at ~850 with Prime shipping and approx 2 - 5 delivery.  Also the large pictures on Amazon show the sunsurst with black pickguard but the close up pictures show the sunburst with white pickguard (like ColonelForbin noticed).  I like the sunburst w/ black but really don't care for it with the white PG.  So now I'm considering just going with the all black to make sure I don't get a surprise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...