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Mumpitz74

Variax HD transplant into an acoustic guitar?!

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hello,

 

I know many do a Variax transplant into an electric guitar (Fender, Ibanez...whatever), but I would like to have the system in one of my acoustic guitars. For recordings I want to mix the modelling sound together with the mic`d sound of my acoustic guitar to get an even more realistic sound. Maybe it is not necessary to build the Variax electronics into my acoustic guitar - maybe I can put it external into a wooden box and a long cable goes through the soundhole or through the endpin jack to the bridge. Possible? Do I need a special saddle/bridge or just a simple piezo pickup to connect with the Variax computer?

I am not a technical guy...hope to find a luthier to do that...if possible...

 

thanks...

 

Marko

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I am not expert but I am pretty sure that the method you describe to mod an acoustic guitar likely won't work. Your best bet might be to track down a Variax Acoustic guitar.

 

My understanding of how the Variax system works is it uses the actual vibrations of the strings in the modding process so the Variax systm would need to be installed in the acoustic guitar.

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Have a look at this:

 

http://www.rackvax.com/products/rackmount/rackvax-electric/

 

I know this was available in the early years of the original Variax guitars. I don't know if it is still available. And if so I'm pretty sure it won't have the HD models.

 

You would need to install a compatible pickup system on your acoustic. I don't know how feasible that is.

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Besides actually getting the electronics into an acoustic, which in and of itself would be a real pain, you also have the issue that pretty much any acoustic bridge that's using a piezo pickup has just one, or possibly two, pickup under the saddle. The Variax needs a separate pickup for every string. I've never seen an acoustic bridge that offers that. Beyond that, I just don't think the results would be all that spectacular or necessary. The Variax acoustics are modeling a miced acoustic, and it's actually very close to what a real miced acoustic sounds like. So blending that in with a real miced acoustic sound might not be all that dramatically different. In fact, it might actually sound bad because of phasing and comb filtering issues.

 

If you're happy with the acoustics you have (and it sounds like you are), you might be better off looking into something like the Fishman Aura. It would allow to do something like your proposing without having to alter your guitar other than installing an under-saddle pickup.

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Only acoustic bridge I have seen that would work is the one on the Variax Acoustic.  That was a very successful Variax and I am sort of surprised that they have not continued with some sort version of it.  I do not think that a transplant into an Acoustic is going to be a very good idea.  Way too difficult to mod a real acoustic guitar bridge.  The variax electronics don't work with all of the normal acoustic guitar vibrations.  They rely on the 6 pickups being as isolated as possible.  That ain't going to happen on a real acoustic guitar.  The whole bridge vibrates quite a lot on an acoustic.

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Fishman Aura is crap...every image sounds like an acoustic guitar recorded in a tin...and I had a Variax Acoustic 700 two times already...but the body is not hollowed...so micing this guitar makes not much sense but that bridge has probably 6 individual pickups...pickups for every string...so I need this pickup but where can I get one? There are no other simular pickups out there - from other brands? If there are such pickups for electric guitars - why not for acoustic guitars? There must be a solution....

I just found this video where someone put all the Variax components in an external box like I want it....but with the difference > connected to an acoustic guitar..

 

 

 

the rackvax seems not to be available anymore and you can`t update it...this unit doesn`t have the better sounding HD...and doesn`t work with the Workbench HD.

I experimented with a GK-3 and a Boss GP-10 but the acoustic models were not as good as the Variax acoustic models but it was fun f.e. to tune the modeled guitar one octave below and mic my guitar in standard guitar tuning...> fat sound and not so artificial-digital sounding!

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The Variax Acoustic used a 6 piezo custom bridge with the same piezo's that are in the current variax.  The electronics were different than current Variax though.  It was a solid body and the bridge was glued on the front like most Acoustics.  Solid Body is the key I think.

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the pickup underneath is maybe the same...but the bridge/saddle? Totally different...

 

do I need a hexaphonic pickup? ... f.e. >

 

Shadow Nanoflex 6/SH 4020

 

RMC pickup gold standard

 

L.R. Baggs T-Bridge

 

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Yes you need a hexaphonic pickup.  Variax processing is all on a per string basis.  Only way it can do alternate tunings.

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Wouldn't the acoustic vibrations cause a lot of problems with the pickups?

 

Also, it would sound off since you're using Bronze strings instead of Steel.

I put acoustic strings on my Variax 600 for s***s and giggles and the electrics were unusable, but the acoustics actually sounded better.

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The Variax needs hexaphonic pickups so it can work with each string individually. It's both for modeling purposes and for alt tuning purposes.

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Have a look at this:

 

http://www.rackvax.c...ckvax-electric/

 

 

Sadly its no longer available (but I had a hand in the RackVax design)

1425409584_89656207_RackVax.PNG

Remember, when using an Acoustic Guitar,  DSP Alt Tunnigs will suffer. Explains why Breedlove stopped making the Synergy versions of its Acoustic Guitars with RMC Piezo hex pickups and external  PolyDrive IV GK 13 interface.     

 

If proceeding down this path of adding a Guitar Modleing DSP to an Acoustic Guitar

 I recommend using RMC Piezo hex PU  - but feed a Boss GP-10 

 

Boss GP-10 TOP THINGS TO KNOW

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=11796.msg85343#msg85343

GP-10_Studio.jpg

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Remember, when using an Acoustic Guitar,  DSP Alt Tunnigs will suffer. Explains why Breedlove stopped making the Synergy versions of its Acoustic Guitars

 

Never played a Breedlove, but some of those exotic wood models sure are pretty to look at. Makes me wish I didn't suck at playing acoustics, lol. Such a different approach...hence my JTV. Oh well...maybe in the next life.

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as I wrote I tried the GP10...the sound of the banjo, reso...are terrible....and the rest? Also not good enough...

 

is it possible to connect the RMC pickups with the Variax system? Or only with 13 pin connectors ....midi stuff? Does somebody know other hexaphonic pickups for acoustic guitars?

 

Vibrations cause a lot of problems with the pickups? The Variax Acoustic 300 was not solid like the Variax Acoustic 700, right? It was hollowed...or with chambers...it must be possible...unfortunately it didn`t came with all the different acoustic models > banjo, reso, 12-string...

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as I wrote I tried the GP10...the sound of the banjo, reso...are terrible....and the rest? Also not good enough...

 

Different strokes for different folks 

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is this the solution? > taking out the saddle and pickup of an old Variax Acoustic 300/700 or Nylon - put it into an acoustic guitar and connect it to a Variax HD system?

A used Variax Acoustic 700 is still expensive...especially for just taking out the saddle and pickup...but the Acoustic 300 is affordable...for me...

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You could do that.  The Acoustic 700 was a great guitar.  You could save yourself a bunch of trouble and get one of those.  Remember that all of the modeling guitars are based on a solid body - for a good reason.

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I never saw a 300 but the 700 is solid with a fake sound hole.  The bridge is mounted on the solid part.  I still have my 700 but I usually play my JTV.

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I've got a Variax 700 acoustic but would like some helix action (Inc tuning). Could the gubbins of a Yamaha Variax be slotted into the 700?

I just wish line 6 (or Yamaha) would make a new acoustic Variax.

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"Could the gubbins of a Yamaha Variax be slotted into the 700?"---

Too many hardware incompatibilities. Unless you have intimate knowledge about these two

guitars, good at guitar custom work and a lot of time on your hands,... then I would advise against it.

 

 

"I just wish line 6 (or Yamaha) would make a new acoustic Variax"---  submit to Idea Scale.

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