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Hi,

 

I have been offered a Variax 500 but maybe the digital connector is faulty.  I have a PoD XT Live. But can i se a Ethernet cable to test the connection? or do i have to invest in a Variax VDI cable? THis is just for testing, if it works, I will probably buy a VDI cable anyway.

 

Also, if the digital connector on the Variax is broken, can it be replaced?

 

Thanks,

Kasper

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you can use an ethernet cable to test... and i believe you can still get parts for the variax input.

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http://www.fullcompass.com/product/429493.html

 

This is the part you will need if you test and it is not working. It says "for Variax JTV-69" but I have already purchased this part and used it to repair my own guitar and can confirm that it will work. 

 

VDI cables can be expensive. You can purchase CAT5E cables in many lengths and colors at most Staples, BestBuy, etc… and put the Ethercon ends on yourself. 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Neutrik-NE8MC-1-Ethercon-Cable-Connector-Nickel-Housing-Qty-1-/171754855743?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27fd631d3f

 

For anyone else reading this, I have good success using home made VDI cables with my 500s however I could not get a home made cable to work on a Variax 300. Could not figure out the difference. My L6 VDI cable was working but none of the home made ones did.

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If the VDI connector doesn't work look carefully at the little gold pins.  There are 6 of them.  The usual cause of failure is those pins being damaged or bent.  Happens when somebody tries to put the 1/4 inch plug in there.  Easy to do.  The JTV has a little metal door to prevent that.  The 500 came with a rubber plug which everyone loses immediately.  Sometimes, you can carefully fix those pins and make the jack work again.

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http://www.fullcompass.com/product/429493.html

 

This is the part you will need if you test and it is not working. It says "for Variax JTV-69" but I have already purchased this part and used it to repair my own guitar and can confirm that it will work. 

 

VDI cables can be expensive. You can purchase CAT5E cables in many lengths and colors at most Staples, BestBuy, etc… and put the Ethercon ends on yourself. 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Neutrik-NE8MC-1-Ethercon-Cable-Connector-Nickel-Housing-Qty-1-/171754855743?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27fd631d3f

 

 

 

For anyone else reading this, I have good success using home made VDI cables with my 500s however I could not get a home made cable to work on a Variax 300. Could not figure out the difference. My L6 VDI cable was working but none of the home made ones did.

Thank you for this info I have just ordered the assembly for my Variax 500.Looks pretty easy to install. My VDI output is a little dodgy.

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HeHe

 

Full Compass just sent me an email saying that the JTV assembly wont work in the V500 as I had asked them via email a couple of days ago. If Lee says it will work I am sure it will!

 

Thanks Again!

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@leesteel

 

So I finally got my replacement output jack for my Variax500. I am confused about replacement. Is it a matter of a few jacks or is it some soldering too? Do I disassemble the existing one to get at all the connectors? Any hints would sure be appreciated!

 

thanks

 

TC

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That jack in the link is a JTV-69,... it won't fit physically and the electronic
connections are not the same. Parts for JTV's are NOT interchangeable with
the older Variax guitars (300/500/600/700).

Do not use regular CAT5 cable,... use the VDI cable with the casing. Regular
CAT5 will just wiggle around inside the jack, pins get bent and boards get
shorted out. We wee this all too often here,... please, don't become a statistic.

We've been warning people about that for years. And I think there may be
something about that in the Pilot's Handbook. We see this on our tech benches
all too often,.... use the proper VDI cable.

Take the 500 Electric to an authorized Line 6 service center, or Line 6 itself.
Don't try to open this can yourself,...  leave it to the pros.

 

 

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I use the Line 6 VDI cable. I will probably return the JTV-69 output jack assembly and just live with the faulty VDI side of the connector. I only use it for editing anyway. Playing the guitar with that cable is like playing my various Roland GK equipped guitars. Heavy unweildy and I have to wonder what the engineer/designers were thinking who decided on those cables for live performance. Obviously that is what the 1/4 in output is for because in actual use the VDI cable is terrible.

 

thanks for the info

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There are many good VDI cables available.  The Line6 one sucks big time but there are some that are just as good as a regular guitar cable for playing live.  You also  may be able to improve your flaky VDI connector if you can straighten any bent pins. 

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That jack in the link is a JTV-69,... it won't fit physically and the electronic

connections are not the same. Parts for JTV's are NOT interchangeable with

the older Variax guitars (300/500/600/700).

 

Do not use regular CAT5 cable,... use the VDI cable with the casing. Regular

CAT5 will just wiggle around inside the jack, pins get bent and boards get

shorted out. We wee this all too often here,... please, don't become a statistic.

 

We've been warning people about that for years. And I think there may be

something about that in the Pilot's Handbook. We see this on our tech benches

all too often,.... use the proper VDI cable.

 

Take the 500 Electric to an authorized Line 6 service center, or Line 6 itself.

Don't try to open this can yourself,...  leave it to the pros.

Interesting to read this comment about the JTV jack not being suitable for older variaxes, psarkissian - I contacted my local service agent in Sydney, and was told they ARE interchangable. Indeed ,to my knowledge, the older style are no longer being made - maybe you could confirm this for me? Maybe you could post a link to the jack we older variax owners SHOULD be ordering?

EDIT NOTE: I did a search on full compass for "variax jack plate" and it returned this:

http://www.fullcompass.com/search.php?parent=471&search_simple=true&txtAll=variax+jack+plate+assembly

I went ahead and ordered two, and despite a slight size difference, which required a little chiselling inside the 300 to allow it physically fit, (physically fit, physically fit ;) ). The connections are modular, and it is a bit of a PITA to swap over, as you need to remove the pickguard in order to allow internal access to disconnect the jack from the pcb, and the earth connection inside the cavity. Once this is done, replace, and reassemble. It's not rocket science, but also not for big clumsy fingers, which I'm sure you don't have, if you're a guitarist ( :lol: ). If you know how to change a light globe in your car, you'll laugh at the idea of taking a product that's clearly not covered by warranty to a service centre (how far away?), for a qualified (!) tech to do something that really isn't that hard.

MAKE SURE you take note of where the model selector is when you remove it for taking off the pickguard. I would suggest moving it to either of the custom positions, at the end of it's rotation. Putting it back on HAS TO BE in the same position from whence it came, otherwise your model selection is screwed up.

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I use the Line 6 VDI cable. I will probably return the JTV-69 output jack assembly and just live with the faulty VDI side of the connector. I only use it for editing anyway. Playing the guitar with that cable is like playing my various Roland GK equipped guitars. Heavy unweildy and I have to wonder what the engineer/designers were thinking who decided on those cables for live performance. Obviously that is what the 1/4 in output is for because in actual use the VDI cable is terrible.

 

thanks for the info

see above reply to psarkissian re "correctness" of the jack plate you ordered......

I'm sure I'm not just imagining being connected to my PodHD500 via VDI each week I gig...

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That jack in the link is a JTV-69,... it won't fit physically and the electronic

connections are not the same. Parts for JTV's are NOT interchangeable with

the older Variax guitars (300/500/600/700).

 

Do not use regular CAT5 cable,... use the VDI cable with the casing. Regular

CAT5 will just wiggle around inside the jack, pins get bent and boards get

shorted out. We wee this all too often here,... please, don't become a statistic.

 

We've been warning people about that for years. And I think there may be

something about that in the Pilot's Handbook. We see this on our tech benches

all too often,.... use the proper VDI cable.

 

Take the 500 Electric to an authorized Line 6 service center, or Line 6 itself.

Don't try to open this can yourself,...  leave it to the pros.

 

Everything about this post is incorrect.

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There are many good VDI cables available.  The Line6 one sucks big time but there are some that are just as good as a regular guitar cable for playing live.  You also  may be able to improve your flaky VDI connector if you can straighten any bent pins. 

 

I actually just purchased a couple of the jacks through Full Compass. You have to unsolder the old one from the little PC board and re-solder the new one (think it was 10 pins in all), worked perfectly. In the past, I purchased the entire output jack assembly from full compass. the one with the little trap door. There was a ground wire that I had to solder, however, the connectors were the same. On the 500, there is very little dis-assembly. I did open up the cover plate to unplug the connectors and have extra room to work after unscrewing the jack plate. 2 screws also hold the ethernet port onto the shroud. 

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Interesting to read this comment about the JTV jack not being suitable for older variaxes, psarkissian - I contacted my local service agent in Sydney, and was told they ARE interchangable. Indeed ,to my knowledge, the older style are no longer being made - maybe you could confirm this for me? Maybe you could post a link to the jack we older variax owners SHOULD be ordering?

EDIT NOTE: I did a search on full compass for "variax jack plate" and it returned this:

http://www.fullcompass.com/search.php?parent=471&search_simple=true&txtAll=variax+jack+plate+assembly

I went ahead and ordered two, and despite a slight size difference, which required a little chiselling inside the 300 to allow it physically fit, (physically fit, physically fit ;) ). The connections are modular, and it is a bit of a PITA to swap over, as you need to remove the pickguard in order to allow internal access to disconnect the jack from the pcb, and the earth connection inside the cavity. Once this is done, replace, and reassemble. It's not rocket science, but also not for big clumsy fingers, which I'm sure you don't have, if you're a guitarist ( :lol: ). If you know how to change a light globe in your car, you'll laugh at the idea of taking a product that's clearly not covered by warranty to a service centre (how far away?), for a qualified (!) tech to do something that really isn't that hard.

MAKE SURE you take note of where the model selector is when you remove it for taking off the pickguard. I would suggest moving it to either of the custom positions, at the end of it's rotation. Putting it back on HAS TO BE in the same position from whence it came, otherwise your model selection is screwed up.

 

EXACTLY! My only difference was that mine went into a Variax 600 and there was no chiseling required.

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There are many good VDI cables available.  The Line6 one sucks big time but there are some that are just as good as a regular guitar cable for playing live.  You also  may be able to improve your flaky VDI connector if you can straighten any bent pins. 

 

I have several VDI cables that I have made to have different lengths (a short one for the home studio for example). Cat6 cable is perfect. These connectors are not any different in size from the Line6 jack. I just put a pair of dial calipers on both. You can purchase the metal connector body on eBay. Some of them install on the cable without even removing the plug from the wire.

 

Neutrik NE8MC-B Ethercon Carrier eBay Item # 301294628251

15ft CAT6 Ethernet Cable eBay Item # 400499898906

 

Yes, a standard ethernet plug will wiggle without the metal carrier, however, I have only suggested doing that as a test when troubleshooting your guitar in a pinch, not as a solution for live performance. 

 

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I think that one main point that parkinson was trying to make was not to use a standard computer network cat5 cable instead of a cable with neutrik connectors on it and then to go running around stage - without the extra support of the XLR type surround of an Ether-con cable I can easily see the socket and/or plug getting damaged, and as two of those wires carry power I can also see that there is the potential for electrical damage. [i have no comment about applicability of the JTV jack plate to an earlier Variax]

 

The VDI compatible cable I use is just as flexible as any guitar lead I have ever used and I have no problems at all using it live, however that little door/flap/cover over the VDI has broken off, which doesn't stop it working, but is a bit annoying.  I can't find a UK supplier for this replacement jack plate (JTV-69) in or that ship to the UK - anybody know how to get one without sending it back for repair to Line 6 the authorised UK repairers that now cover Line 6?

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Rewolf48,... yes. 

Using a regular CAT5 cable, it can jiggle and wiggle, 

and that can (and often does) bend and damage the 

pins in the VDI jack (in older Variax and JTV). And that 

can (and often does) damage or short out circuitry. 

 

We see this all the time. We've been telling everyone

about this since the days of the early Variax guitars, to 

use the correct cable for the correct use. My lab mate 

has dealt with early Variax from the start, and I've

serviced hundreds (literally, so I've lost count) of JTV's

from its beginnings. We've seen too many bent pins 

in VDI jacks and too many shorted out boards,... 

please, use the correct cable for the correct use.  

 

Been doing this a long time (and I count in decades,

not years). I have an old 300 Electric and four JTV's, 

only VDI's on them and never had a problem. 

 

I don't care what brand of VDI you use, just use a VDI cable. 

It will save you a lot of grief later. And it will keep your 

guitars from ending up on my bench. 

 

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Often with the early Variax's folks damaged the VDI connector by accidentally trying to plug the 1/4 inch cable in there.  It was easy to do if you tried to plug in when you had the guitar in playing position.  The JTV smartly added the spring loaded door over the connector to help  prevent that.  There was nothing to prevent that on the older Variax except for a silly rubber cap that you would immediately lose. :-)  I read about this all the time in this forum.

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I think that one main point that parkinson was trying to make was not to use a standard computer network cat5 cable instead of a cable with neutrik connectors on it and then to go running around stage - without the extra support of the XLR type surround of an Ether-con cable I can easily see the socket and/or plug getting damaged, and as two of those wires carry power I can also see that there is the potential for electrical damage. [i have no comment about applicability of the JTV jack plate to an earlier Variax]

 

The VDI compatible cable I use is just as flexible as any guitar lead I have ever used and I have no problems at all using it live, however that little door/flap/cover over the VDI has broken off, which doesn't stop it working, but is a bit annoying.  I can't find a UK supplier for this replacement jack plate (JTV-69) in or that ship to the UK - anybody know how to get one without sending it back for repair to Line 6 the authorised UK repairers that now cover Line 6?

 

Full Compass can order you the plate with the door by itself without the electronics. You perform you own surgery.

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Ahh.. I found that Full Compass will ship internationally, but don't accept International (non-US) Credit Cards; maybe that is just the web-site.

 

Thanks

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That jack in the link is a JTV-69,... it won't fit physically and the electronic

connections are not the same. Parts for JTV's are NOT interchangeable with

the older Variax guitars (300/500/600/700).

Do not use regular CAT5 cable,... use the VDI cable with the casing. Regular

CAT5 will just wiggle around inside the jack, pins get bent and boards get

shorted out. We wee this all too often here,... please, don't become a statistic.

We've been warning people about that for years. And I think there may be

something about that in the Pilot's Handbook. We see this on our tech benches

all too often,.... use the proper VDI cable.

Take the 500 Electric to an authorized Line 6 service center, or Line 6 itself.

Don't try to open this can yourself,...  leave it to the pros.[/quote

 

Thank you again Mr. Sarkissian. I have read your post which is of course expert pedigreed advice I am sure.

 

I actually have been doing other non variax gigs( a lot of them) and and it has been sitting in the gig bag doing nothing because I have other things to do besides read a bunch of silly conflicting posts about something like this which should either work or not. if you have not tried to physically replace the JTV jack on an actual Variax 500 I would suggest you stay away from the conversation instead of reciting more standardized company service pablum. I bought the guitar used for very little. I have used it very little. It is cool and I have had some fun with it but think I will put it on Craigslist and move it on down the road with a bunch of other stuff I have been getting rid of so I can play my new Night Train combo and a couple of pedals with my other conventional guitars.

 

don't get your hair into a twist about long out of warranty cheaply purchased L6 gear that anyone is free to try to fix on their own..

 

LMAO about the miles of threads about DIY piezo fixes with rubber bands/ hair scrunched/ ponytail bands/ Velcro mutes etc...

 

And then the piezo replacements/ splicing tiny wires/ trying to solder tiny ground connectors lol!

 

 

To the rest of you who were helpful thank you!

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Update

 

got my long out of warranty $200 variax 500 out yesterday and had my 17 year old computer building ethernet pin fixing savvy son bend the pins back into place with a little hook I made from a sewing needle.

 

seems to be ok now.

 

I have some Beatle tribute shows coming up and will give it a bit of use in those

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Not the come line, but years of experience with these products,

and decades with other electronics, seeing most every way they fail. 

 

I used to crew for Iron Butterfly (1975-79), if that gives you some

idea how far back I go.

 

Keep those connections tight, a loosy-goosy can give you a spike.

And that's bad for the supply rail of the guitar.

 

In the meantime, make some music and rock on gear fab.

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I have to ask now i have a variax 300 Will the connection work to my Mac With a female rj45 to USB so i Can connect to my MacBook pro and use workbench... I bought the guitar used without the USB interface ... If you have one in spare i Would like to bye I have seen that a new interface cost 100$ that's to much

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I have to ask now i have a variax 300 Will the connection work to my Mac With a female rj45 to USB so i Can connect to my MacBook pro and use workbench... I bought the guitar used without the USB interface ... If you have one in spare i Would like to bye I have seen that a new interface cost 100$ that's to much

And if I use a normal Ethernet cable from my variant guitar and to the connection rj45 female to usb ... Will it work

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Not the come line, but years of experience with these products,

and decades with other electronics, seeing most every way they fail. 

 

I used to crew for Iron Butterfly (1975-79), if that gives you some

idea how far back I go.

 

Keep those connections tight, a loosy-goosy can give you a spike.

And that's bad for the supply rail of the guitar.

 

In the meantime, make some music and rock on gear fab.

I recorded with the engineer for the Doors.Bassist Nye Morton

30 years ago

 

how far back we go makes no difference but I guess its something.

 

the guitar worked great last night and it is effective for the band I worked with at that gig.

 

in 2010 I played a post clinic concert with drummer John 'JR' Robinson the most recorded drummer in history.

He has been Quincy Jones drummer for the last 30 years.

 

I got the call for that gig because I can play and have great gear tone and taste.

 

I would not have used rhe variax for that.

 

He requested a vintage Marshall and analog pedals and conventional guitars.

 

He knows a thing or two.

 

thanks again for all your help

 

my son got a pizza for his trouble

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Variax500 VDI jack finally failed.My tech is repairing it with the one from Full Compass (the wrong one) for the JTV69. He is an electronics engineer with several degrees.A master tube amp builder.Builds computers for large companies as prototypes.Does remote computer troubleshooting from his home computer in the US for off shore oil rigs in Canada.He laughd at Psarkissians posts when he looked at the jack and the guitar for about 5 minutes. The jack works great.

 

I try to be sure I know what I am talking about when giving technical help or advice.

 

Thanks to the players who helped me with this.

 

That is all.

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Yes - replacing that jack is a piece of cake for anyone who knows how to work with simple electronics.  Not rocket science. 

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Can anyone tell me what brand and model number Line 6 used for the first generation VDI cables that came with the Variax 500?  I lost mine and want to build my own and want that type of flexible cable.

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I wonder if there is such a thing as VDI/Ethernet cable with a right angle connector. I often sit on the couch playing my Variax and I worry the I might bend and break something.

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Wise to be gentle and wary of the I/O connections on these things.  It's rugged but still plastic - I've adopted classical guitar seating whenever I play Variax sitting.  Which is 98% of my work/playing.  

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