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Changes From Old Variax Models

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This has probably been discussed on here somewhere, but I'm hoping to get some info from my personal experiences.


Does anyone know specifically what Line 6 has/hasn't changed to fix the issues with model jumping on the old Variax's?


I used to gig constantly with a 500, and had no issues at all, it was solid as a rock. Recently I picked up a 300 and a 600, and both have horrible problems with the 5-way selector and model select knob randomly changing models on me while playing. It makes the guitars completely un-giggable. I've heard this isn't an uncommon problem.


I really want to use Variax's as my primary guitars. I'm totally sold on the concept, and I absolutely love what I can do with them. They're perfect guitars for me, but I need to be able to have complete confidence in my gear. I'm thinking about picking up one of the new JTV Variax's, but I'm hesitant. I don't want to spend that kind of money on something that is going to start developing the same issues in a few years.


I'm hoping this was enough of an issue with old Variax's that Line 6 has done something to fix it and make the new one's more reliable, but I can't find any info on specifically what they might have done to fix some of these old issues. Does anyone have any info from Line 6 about this?



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I remember on the 300, it had something to do with grounding or lack of grounding of the "coffin" -- the shielded metal portion where they "unitized" the electronics package under the faceplate, to simplify guitar assembly.... I used my 300 for several years before getting my JTV's, but never had the reported problems with mine. I still have it, just haven't messed with it much since I got my JTV's... I need to replace the nut. Also had a flakey piezo on the B string under humid conditions (grounding issue with the piezo)... Did the 600 also have the "coffin"? I think it did....


You could scan the old forum archives on that issue -- I do remember some discussions on it.... Seems someone found a workable "fix" for it.



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Interesting, I thought I had heard somewhere that this was a common issue with the old ones. I'll have to scan through the archives and see what I find. If it's something simple like grounding, I might just have my 300 and 60 repaired. I know there's a local guy who does repair work on these, but I was hesitant to drop more money into fixing them when I could put that money towards a JTV... though it would have 2 instead of 1 which would be nice...

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I have no problem with my 600 besides once in a blue moon, jumping from position 2 to position 1 doesn't register, so I have to flick between the positions again.

I hope the 600 has a proper coffin though so I don't run into problems like this.


Are the pickup selectors normal guitar pickup selectors or are they specifically designed for the Variax?

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I have a 300 and 600 - both share same Variax guts (600 has the tremolo) 


PU Selector Switch can be seen here:




Most pics of the insides are here:




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Well, I found the answer. It seems the metal coffin is the culprit. I took my 300 apart, shielded the whole thing, and the problem is gone! I'm gonna take the 600 apart tomorrow and do the same thing.


Does anyone have gut shots of the JTV? How are the electronics mounted inside it? I hope they've moved away from the metal coffin...

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