Jump to content
gtr1

Variax Standard with 1.9 ?

Recommended Posts

I think the issue is that the small changes in the Variax Standard would require some minor updates to the 1.x firmware for it to work properly on that guitar. I suspect Line 6 is not interested in investing in these updates. That's fine.

 

But I hope this is not an indication that there will be little investment in new Variax firmware going forward. That is, I hope I didn't just buy an obsolete instrument that is only one year old.

 

The Variax shows the huge potential in what its possible in modeling instruments. I don't think the 2.x HD models are quite right yet, they seem entirely too dark, sound a little over processed, have too much resonance (that banjo sound on all the models) and don't sound as good to my ear as the earlier 1.x models at least in some cases.

 

I think we have evidence that 1) Line 6 knows what they are doing with Variax modeling, 2) the hardware/software system architecture is capable of producing good, realistic sounds, and 3) there's still room for firmware choice and/or improvement.

 

Let's hope Line 6 is committed to Variax and we'll see some choices and updates soon.

I think they tried to reinvent the wheel with the HD 2.X models, and it wasn't necessary. The Strat model in particular, suffered. It's great is you want that tinny, "strings sitting on the frets" SRV-ish clang...but not much else. I had to start using a custom model that someone had posted that much more closely emulates the old Strat model in 1.9. New one was just unusable for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they tried to reinvent the wheel with the HD 2.X models, and it wasn't necessary. The Strat model in particular, suffered. It's great is you want that tinny, "strings sitting on the frets" SRV-ish clang...but not much else. I had to start using a custom model that someone had posted that much more closely emulates the old Strat model in 1.9. New one was just unusable for me.

Do you have a link to that custom model, or can you summarize the changes? I've heard some people have ad success lowering the string volumes in the models. Maybe they were turned up to hype the models - things that sound louder are often perceived as sounding better. I can't get my Varaix Standard to connect to Workbench HD or Monkey, so I can't try these things yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have a link to that custom model, or can you summarize the changes? I've heard some people have ad success lowering the string volumes in the models. Maybe they were turned up to hype the models - things that sound louder are often perceived as sounding better. I can't get my Varaix Standard to connect to Workbench HD or Monkey, so I can't try these things yet.

I found it! Which is borderline miraculous, as I did it about a year and a half ago. Generally I couldn't tell you what I had for lunch yesterday, but I digress...click the link in the first post

of this thread:

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/10186-version-19-sound-alike-strat-bundle-for-version-2x/?fromsearch=1

 

Regarding string volumes, I found them to be all over the place, depending on the model. Low E and A strings I have dialed back considerably on the Strat model (50-60%). Piezo outputs vary too, so that's part of it, but some models need more tweaking than others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the point of getting a JTV and putting it in a Standard? Why not use the JTV?

 

I'm sure there's some way to hack a Standard to use 1.9, but do you really think that's going to happen? 

It's virtually impossible to get 1.9 on a Standard.

 

Basically, if you like 1.9, do not get a Standard and look for a JTV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the point of getting a JTV and putting it in a Standard? Why not use the JTV?

 

I'm sure there's some way to hack a Standard to use 1.9, but do you really think that's going to happen? 

It's virtually impossible to get 1.9 on a Standard.

 

Basically, if you like 1.9, do not get a Standard and look for a JTV.

I have a JTV 89F and I needed a 2nd (spare) guitar. As the Standard's price was about 2/3 of a JTV it seemed logical to have it, especially knowing that their hardware is the same. My idea was to roll Standard back to 1.9 immediately after buying, so have a sonically equal guitar with my 89F – but then it came to light that although hardware is the same, some software restrictions apply.

I was not satisfied with that because I frankly could not understand why Line6 restricts rolling back on software side when there is no restriction on hardware side. So I decided to make an experience and put my JTV main board to my Standard and voila: it started to show up in Line6 softwares as JTV. Kind of a Frankenstein's creature: Standard body, JTV software. So (at least to myself) I proved that it is possible to have a sonically identical JTV and 89F with 1.9 software version.

Now I am hard at trying to convince Line6 via psarkissian to elimit that software restriction. I think they could make happy not just me but another bunch of Standard owner guys and girls out here. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Now I am hard at trying to convince Line6 via psarkissian to elimit that software restriction"----

Unfortunately it's not up to me.

 

Your Alt Tune selections won't match what's on the knob.

 

Anything below version 2.0, and you won't be able to use Workbench HD, only the

earlier version of Workbench will work with that. Just so that you and others are aware,

if you are not already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Now I am hard at trying to convince Line6 via psarkissian to elimit that software restriction"----

Unfortunately it's not up to me.

 

Your Alt Tune selections won't match what's on the knob.

 

Anything below version 2.0, and you won't be able to use Workbench HD, only the

earlier version of Workbench will work with that. Just so that you and others are aware,

if you are not already.

Dear psarkissian,

 

Who is it up to then? I hope not Ideascale, that is a bit slow method to introduce changes.

 

Alt tune selections I reprogrammed, as I've said earlier, so it is not a problem at all, and I am aware that only Workbench can be used, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Who is it up to then? I hope not Ideascale, that is a bit slow method to introduce changes.

 

 

 

Ideascale is just about the only chance you've got. Get enough people to whine incessantly

vote for something, they might throw you a bone...;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Idea Scale is a good start. There are a number of people above me.

All I can do is make recommendations. As with here, some take my advice,

some don't,... in spite of my four decades plus, in the tech world.

 

I put my two sense (or cents) into it, then it's up to others after that.

 

Part of that two sense is, don't try to go beyond what the product is

designed to do, it just creates more problems for you. Understand what

it does and how it does it,... then run with it.

 

This is a sharp bunch of people here, or I wouldn't be here.

Rock on!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay Gentlemen, I will put my idea to IdeaScale.

 

Regarding going beyond what the product is designed to do:

I do believe that I understand what the guitar does and how it does that – but I hardly can run with it because I know Standard's hardware is capable of more.

Standard has exactly the same electronics as JTV89 does. The only difference is in software, and whether it is allowed to roll back to 1.n (knowing all the possible issues with alt tunings) or not is solely depends on Line6 decision.

As psarkissian mentioned: they are sharp people, so I do believe they understand the old Latin proverb: Vox populi vox Dei. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course putting a JTV board in a Standard is going to make it read as a JTV. 

 

I believe Line 6 decided against rolling back on a Standard because they want to move on from the old firmware.

focusing on supporting the old stuff too much will slow down any progression of the new things they have.

 

It took me a while to get used to the HD firmware, but I honestly like it a lot better than the old firmware now. I think it's because the tonality of the old firmware had more exaggerated differences between the sounds, or at least in what they modeled. 

The new firmware sounds a lot crisper though and has this more convincing tonality to it. The problem is, some of those tones aren't what people want.

 

All you can do is suggest on Ideascale to get that restriction revoked, but it's up to them.

Having the option to choose between 2 sets of sounds does increase what the guitar can do, which I think is awesome, but at the end of the day, we're going to pick one over the other for personal reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@clay-man I tend to agree with you on the new HD guitar models. When sitting in your music room by yourself, the old Variax 300 models sound more exaggerated, spanky, more tele to me than the new models. But when I used the Variax Standard a rehearsal last week, I found the models fit in very nicely in the mix with the whole band, much better than I had expected. As soon as my guitar gets repaired, I need to do a lot of volume leveling an fine tuning on the tones. I may experiment with stacked pickups, etc. to get tones that standout a bit more. But overall I think this is going to be a serviceable instrument that plays the role I need it to play. 

 

I don't really need the Variax to be a vintage guitar - to look, feel, sound or play like one. I have a couple of those already. What I want it to do is be a serviceable, playable, reliable, flexible instrument that can provide some reasonably realistic tonal differences than I can't achieve with those vintage instruments, avoid gigging with those instruments in places where them might be put at any risk, and to provide convenient tone changes that I might not bother with if they required changing guitars too often.

 

I think the Variax Standard is perfect for this. And the fact that it much lighter then may Strat or Les Paul is an advantage for these old bones too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@clay-man I tend to agree with you on the new HD guitar models. When sitting in your music room by yourself, the old Variax 300 models sound more exaggerated, spanky, more tele to me than the new models. But when I used the Variax Standard a rehearsal last week, I found the models fit in very nicely in the mix with the whole band, much better than I had expected. As soon as my guitar gets repaired, I need to do a lot of volume leveling an fine tuning on the tones. I may experiment with stacked pickups, etc. to get tones that standout a bit more. But overall I think this is going to be a serviceable instrument that plays the role I need it to play. 

 

I don't really need the Variax to be a vintage guitar - to look, feel, sound or play like one. I have a couple of those already. What I want it to do is be a serviceable, playable, reliable, flexible instrument that can provide some reasonably realistic tonal differences than I can't achieve with those vintage instruments, avoid gigging with those instruments in places where them might be put at any risk, and to provide convenient tone changes that I might not bother with if they required changing guitars too often.

 

I think the Variax Standard is perfect for this. And the fact that it much lighter then may Strat or Les Paul is an advantage for these old bones too.

 

It definitely is subjective, because honestly, I will say that some of the HD stuff does have some drawbacks.

Many people have complained about quack positions not sounding quack enough. I can hear what they mean, switching from SSS magnetics to spank modeling.

I think the HD modeling has more clarity than the old modeling, but I think the HD modeling still suffers a bit of presence loss compared to magnetic pickups, and this shows a lot on the quack positions.

 

It's strange to compare, honestly. While HD sounds crisper, at the same time, I feel like I can get way more twangy sounds out of the old Variax modeling. 

 

Another problem is what type of strats, and other guitars, they modeled.

This was 10 years after the original modeling, and I do believe, that the original guitars used to model after in the first gen modeling were borrowed.

They don't have these guitars anymore, so they needed to use a lot of different type of guitars, even if it's the same model (strat, les paul, tele. whatever).

Even then, these guitars can have tonal differences. The way the pickups are made, what type of pickups, what hardware, how it's made, etc.

 

A lot of people think the Strat sounds way too nasally. A lot of people think the 335 sounds weird.

Personally I grew to love them. I do think the Strat sounds insanely close to the magnetic pickups on my SSS JTV 69s, and that's all I can ask for, is accuracy.

 

Tone is ultimately subjective. Some people love those BOSS distortion pedals, and I think 90% of them sound like harsh garbage compared to an amp. Some of them can get a great unique sound, but you throw me a metalzone and I'll throw it in the toilet where I personally think it belongs.

 

 

Hopefully one day they can open up 1.9 to Standard, but I get both sides. One wants tone they love, the other wants to move on from that technology and disband it. It's like if Line 6 kept messing with the POD 2.0, but strangely enough, every once in a while they throw in "legacy" amps from those PODs into the HD, so why not the Variax?

 

I think the biggest issue, is that, believe it or not, the Variax's memory is pretty used up.

It would be nice to have a system to be able to flash different models within the model roster, like the actual modeling files for each model, not just a workbench patch.

I think it would be an awesome way to get new sounds without having to make everyone buy another set of Variaxes with bigger memory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with all these observations, especially regarding the tone of the HD models lacking presence compared to the single coil magnetic pickups on my Variax Standard (which are actually quite nice). That's ok, I have those magnetic pickups if I want that tone, and once I can get connected to Workbench HD, I might try blending in a bit of the mags to recover some of that presence.

 

Yes, it could be the guitars they modeled too. I found the Variax 300 Spank model to be radically lacking in sustain and was able to recover the sustain without changing the tone by changing the body model.

 

Then the Lister model bridge pickup was too bright and the neck pickup too dark. With the neck pickup I found turning on the 12sting processor but not changing anything added the presence back reasonably well.

 

But all these things are to be expected to change the instruments to one's liking and style. It's not really a reflection on the quality of the models one way or another. And it's good that there is that flexibility to make the customizations within limits.

 

I suspect the architecture of the models between 1.x and the 2.x HD models is different and might require some real work to translate them. Finding those development resources could be a challenge. I guess at this point I'd rather see Line 6 looking forward, not back on the instrument models.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've currently got a Standard and a 300 and have had a couple of the Tylers but build quality on both Tys led me to move them on. I'd say the 300 sounds are better than the new Standard and I wish we could put 1.9 on it! The digital sounds for Tele and Strat I find too dark (Not as good as the 300 as well). I also feel that when the volume knob is turned down all the sounds have a hint of Banjo to them (or the unaltered Piezo sound is being mixed in).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting discussion.  I just received my Standard a couple of nights ago, having wanted to upgrade to a JTV for years now.  I assumed there would be a night and day improvement in the modeled guitars vs. the old 300/500/700 tech, but out of the box it was the other way around: my old 500 (a transplant actually) sounded worlds better than the Standard.  I'd almost made up my mind to send the new guitar back, but finally loaded up Workbench and noticed that increasing the level 4db brought "Spank" back to life.  Some of the other models still sound weird and phasy to me, even having made similar adjustments, but it's early going.  I'll have to see what else I can coax out of them in Workbench.

Biggest takeaway is that variances in piezo output must be pretty wide, and their preamps aren't properly calibrated vs. the modeling algorithms on some of these guitars.  Mine wasn't even ballpark...

I hope by the time I'm done the Standard comes around to sounding like an upgrade.  I'm still fighting for apples and apples here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

please Line6, do something about it. Make the firmware 2.x sound the same as 1.9. People are now modelling the modelling.

If you can't hear any difference between those two on the spank, tele and acoustic models something else must be wrong (the ears, the amp, the playing, the...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ pol2711,... you might want to submit that to Idea Scale. It does work, it's how the Helix was created.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Done. Hopefully there will be news soon. My JTV on 1.9 sounds good. My standard athemyst is hanging on the wall looking at me. He is also hoping to be played soon 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bumping cos nothing is happening since my last post.

Hopefully a new firmware will roll out soon for the standard. Cannot believe that everybody is happy with the spanks and teles modelled. Juist turn the modelling off and hear the difference........ In my case a huge one.

My JTV has 1.9 which sounds good. No 2.x for me there but that is giving me some other issues at the softwareside. But for me the sound is more important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/30/2018 at 4:31 AM, pol2711 said:

bumping cos nothing is happening since my last post.

Hopefully a new firmware will roll out soon for the standard. Cannot believe that everybody is happy with the spanks and teles modelled. Juist turn the modelling off and hear the difference........ In my case a huge one.

My JTV has 1.9 which sounds good. No 2.x for me there but that is giving me some other issues at the softwareside. But for me the sound is more important.

 

While I don't know for certain, I wouldn't expect any more firmware updates... at least not with any new/ improved models... bug fixes maybe, but even that's a stretch at this point. The JTV's debuted more than 8 years ago, and while the Standards are "newer", the modeling is identical. There hasn't been a significant upgrade in years at this point, since before the Standards were released, if I'm not mistaken. In today's world, an 8 year old tech platform is ancient... when updates cease for extended periods, it usually signals that the "next big thing" is on the way. Smart money says the next generation of Variax stuff has been in development for some time (whatever it'll be), and will be probably be ready for prime-time in the not too distant future, though exactly when is anybody's guess. And don't be surprised if the new platform isn't backwards compatible...

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.


×
×
  • Create New...