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Digital_Igloo

Question for the Forum About Wireless Variax

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i'm a bit late to the party, but i would pay $1k for it.  look at shure and their UHF-R's.  the retail on those is over 1k per channel for straight audio (and some misc info), and the last tour i was on ran 20 of them (14x dual receivers for mics and 6x duals for the band).  VDI is a much more niche market, since at most a tour would be buying 2 per guitarist (1 for use, 1 spare) and maybe 1-2 extras as tour replacements, and most likely you'd only have 1 guy wanting to go that route.  still, not being able to untether is a big downside when considering the firehawk/pod + variax as a tour option.

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I'd rather have another Variax at that price...or be 2/3 of way to a Helix.

 

If I were playing football stadiums, and actually moving across a large stage, sure, I could probably afford it ;). Otherwise, no thanks. For the stages I'm on most of the time, being tethered is not really a hindrance...no real need for wireless at all, VDI or not.

 

If I could lead a battery-free existence, I would...just something else to keep track of and replace.

 

 

I have always thought a wireless VDI as a marketing product. Though I would buy one for sure, two almost sure. I think more "big guys" would buy into the whole dream rig ecosystem if it didn't mean being tethered to a POD with a 25 foot cable.  Having Helix change guitar "presets" tuning etc or using variax volume and tone as expression pedals is the coolest new idea in years. . . if you can be 25 feet from your Helix and are not a spazz like me. I absolutely hate cables.

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I have always thought a wireless VDI as a marketing product. Though I would buy one for sure, two almost sure. I think more "big guys" would buy into the whole dream rig ecosystem if it didn't mean being tethered to a POD with a 25 foot cable.  Having Helix change guitar "presets" tuning etc or using variax volume and tone as expression pedals is the coolest new idea in years. . . if you can be 25 feet from your Helix and are not a spazz like me. I absolutely hate cables.

  Lets say Garbage wanted to use the full goodness of a varix/helix combo, but going wireless was necessary. Maybe they decide to not get 18 helix racks, some variaxes, controllers and yeah a few wirelesses.

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Would I absolutely love a wireless VDI? Yes.

 

Would I pay $1000 for it? If it powered my JVT, definitely.

 

Otherwise, $300 tops.

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Hi everyone,

 

First I would like to thank you for being considering a wireless solution for Variax officially. I am waited a long time for it. ;;

 

But US$ 999 is too much for us in Brazil. =(

 

Please keep working for the Variax wireless solution, I am anxious for a result.

 

Sorry for my poor English.

 

Regards,

John

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I'll add a free opinion. I recently went wireless with a G10 unit. I love the freedom it gives me, I can't believe I didn't do this sooner.

I'm thinking of getting a Variax JTV69. Not being able to go wireless is causing me to hold off buying. Going back to a cable that I read is kind of stiff, sounds like such a bummer. As far as the price, when I want something that's expensive, I usually just squint as I type in my credit card number. That seems to work.

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As far as the price, when I want something that's expensive, I usually just squint as I type in my credit card number. That seems to work.

Now I understand why my wife always looks like she's going blind...;)

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You guys realize you can STILL go wireless by using a wireless system, you just can't do the POD stuff, and you need to use the battery.

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You guys realize you can STILL go wireless by using a wireless system, you just can't do the POD stuff, and you need to use the battery.

 

The only reason I'm considering a Variax is because of my Helix, and I'm in a cover band, so it might come in handy. Other than that, I'm good on guitars.

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The only time wireless would ever appeal to me ( since my VDI cable is 25 feet ) is to check the sounds I'm getting in front of house.
I can do that occasionally with a 20 ft 1/4 inch cable from POD to direct box, plus the long VDI cable.  That should get me 30 feet out into the room in front of the stage where I can hear the mains.

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I have already designed and built a working prototype that I am currently using, and would be able to produce and turn a decent profit for less that $500 per unit. It transmits/receives wireless, the  +AES/-AES, +RX/-RX, and +TX/-TX while using Variax's (I have the 700 model) on board battery for power. I've also added a small circuit to make available signals from each individual string for use with a 13-pin midi setup (works with my GR-20) I have just filed a provisional patent for it, but the idea is for sale Line 6...so you say you're hiring?     hehe ;)

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I have already designed and built a working prototype that I am currently using, and would be able to produce and turn a decent profit for less that $500 per unit. It transmits/receives wireless, the +AES/-AES, +RX/-RX, and +TX/-TX while using Variax's (I have the 700 model) on board battery for power. I've also added a small circuit to make available signals from each individual string for use with a 13-pin midi setup (works with my GR-20) I have just filed a provisional patent for it, but the idea is for sale Line 6...so you say you're hiring? hehe ;)

OK, I'm intrigued...the mothership claims they can't do it for less than $1K. Can't wait to see how this plays out. ;)

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I have already designed and built a working prototype that I am currently using, and would be able to produce and turn a decent profit for less that $500 per unit. It transmits/receives wireless, the  +AES/-AES, +RX/-RX, and +TX/-TX while using Variax's (I have the 700 model) on board battery for power. I've also added a small circuit to make available signals from each individual string for use with a 13-pin midi setup (works with my GR-20) I have just filed a provisional patent for it, but the idea is for sale Line 6...so you say you're hiring?     hehe ;)

 

Video with documented proof or it didn't happen.

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I think it is possible using WiFi tech - 8 audio channels (24 bit @ 48k, VDI + Mags + 6 strings) isn't exactly challenging - perhaps 1.5M bps with 30% overhead. 

 

But what is the latency and quality of service when there are 10,000* other WiFi devices** in the close vicinity? 

 

* Well in my case 100 is more than enough 

**Assuming that you are using legal frequencies (in the main market countries).

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I would be down as long as I can be powered, wireless for mags or modeled, and can control program changes from the helix/hd500x and in return control gain knobs/pitch shifter of amps from the assignable pot on the variax.  Basically, letting me do everything I do now, but wireless!

 

Count me in!

 

For me, this would be the end all, be all.  I use the hd500x and helix for separate places, two variax's.  I just lack wireless.

I would prefer not rack for the purpose of keeping it on my pedalboards/transportability between places.

 

Thanks for polling the community!

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I would be down as long as I can be powered, ....

Power can't be provided wirelessly. That technology does not yet exist. You will need to use the Variax battery.

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Power can't be provided wirelessly. That technology does not yet exist. You will need to use the Variax battery.

 

Don't tell Tesla that!!  :lol: :lol: :lol:

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$999 is just an educated guess at this point and is based on three required G70-level channels: Models, Magnetics, and a back data channel for remote capability.

 

Do you have one in the Faraday cage that I could try? You guys have already done this, haven't you. It's just not a commercial product yet, right?

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You'd need such an E field that your teslacles would fall off...😋

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I still don't understand how you'd need 3 separate radio signals instead of combining the info into 1 stream of data packets.

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I still don't understand how you'd need 3 separate radio signals instead of combining the info into 1 stream of data packets.

 

 

Because this isn't a LAN party; it's 2.4GHz wireless. The rules of wireless are radically different from tethered solutions, and are subject to countless telecommunication laws and restrictions that change from country to country. Our radios are single channel, 24-bit/48kHz audio. For two channels, you can't just say "Oh, make it 96kHz and bit split at the other end," as the radio would need to shuttle literally twice the amount of data at once and use twice the bandwidth—that is, two channels worth. You could admittedly run two channels at 24kHz, but we're never going to do that because it sounds like crap.

 

And don't forget the back channel that goes in the opposite direction. You need receiver hardware at the transmitter and transmitter hardware at the receiver, both with range parity.

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Power can't be provided wirelessly. That technology does not yet exist. You will need to use the Variax battery.

 

 

Right, haven't read anything that the wireless unit would power just itself, or since it would likely be a CAT5 connection, would the variax draw power from the wireless transmitters power supply.  Or have they (line 6) been able to separate the power, so that the variax will use its battery, and the transmitter will use its own.

 

For what its worth, last semester we did some report over blue/green algae.  Its the new "Green" wireless energy creation of micro photosynthesis power cells.

Kind of cool stuff...

 

Has it been said how big these units (transmitter and receiver) would likely be?  I'm envisioning Dr. Egon wearing a proton pack...or something along those likes lol

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Because this isn't a LAN party; it's 2.4GHz wireless. The rules of wireless are radically different from tethered solutions, and are subject to countless telecommunication laws and restrictions that change from country to country. Our radios are single channel, 24-bit/48kHz audio. For two channels, you can't just say "Oh, make it 96kHz and bit split at the other end," as the radio would need to shuttle literally twice the amount of data at once and use twice the bandwidth—that is, two channels worth. You could admittedly run two channels at 24kHz, but we're never going to do that because it sounds like crap.

 

And don't forget the back channel that goes in the opposite direction. You need receiver hardware at the transmitter and transmitter hardware at the receiver, both with range parity.

 

Alright so bandwidth is an issue. That's more understandable. I know that streaming 2 audio signals and 1 control signal is a lot of data, but I feel like there's some way to handle that, but then again, we're talking about realtime processing which might be something that would be a problem for what I'm talking about. 

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Hi All,

 

Who here would be interested in wireless VDI for $999? Not "oh, that'd be cool—you should make that!" but "I'd pay $999 for wireless VDI were it available today."

 

$999 is just an educated guess at this point and is based on three required G70-level channels: Models, Magnetics, and a back data channel for remote capability. Assume traditional guitars could work with the system as well.

Thanks!

 

 

I see you mention traditional guitars could be used with this system.  Would it be possible to set this up with dual mono 1/4" or stereo single 1/4" for standard mag/piezo gutars?  How about integrating just plain wireless MIDI using existing Variax, optional L6 hex pickup, etc. for use with software or hardware MIDI instruments (maybe integration with Helix), similar to the $399 Fishman Triple Play system (which I am currently considering)? Offering a few new additional features may help justify the $999 without getting too crazy.

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I see you mention traditional guitars could be used with this system. Would it be possible to set this up with dual mono 1/4" or stereo single 1/4" for standard mag/piezo gutars? How about integrating just plain wireless MIDI using existing Variax, optional L6 hex pickup, etc. for use with software or hardware MIDI instruments (maybe integration with Helix), similar to the $399 Fishman Triple Play system (which I am currently considering)? Offering a few new additional features may help justify the $999 without getting too crazy.

And a tuna sandwich....;)

 

The Variax is a tough sell for a lot of players as it is, even with the Std's price tag at what, $800-ish? An even tougher sell would be a $1K wireless system for that same $800 axe...they'd be lucky if they even broke even on the R&D costs.

 

And as much as I like my JTV, adding other synth hardware and software would make it more science experiment than guitar. The more things you stuff in there, the more things there are to break. They're fragile enough as it is. Just my 2 cents...

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And a tuna sandwich.... ;)

 

The Variax is a tough sell for a lot of players as it is, even with the Std's price tag at what, $800-ish? An even tougher sell would be a $1K wireless system for that same $800 axe...they'd be lucky if they even broke even on the R&D costs.

 

And as much as I like my JTV, adding other synth hardware and software would make it more science experiment than guitar. The more things you stuff in there, the more things there are to break. They're fragile enough as it is. Just my 2 cents...

 

 

Yeah, I agree.  Variax was tough for me to swallow all these years.  It took good Helix integration and control, as well as a lower price to bite.

 

I guess my point was that I am considering spending $400-$600 on the Fishman Triple Play system with footswitch and MIDI ports, which has wireless MIDI.  It seems that the proposed Line 6 Variax/VDI-capable wireless system will have 3 channels; two audio for mag/Variax models and one Variax control.  If Line 6 could somehow include some non-Variax capabilities and options that would leverage these 3 channels, such as wireless MIDI capability (even with a simple accessory hex pickup) and dual/stereo 1/4" capable for standard mag/piezo, they might broaden their market to non-Variax owners too and see a bit better return on the product.

 

It would be nice if it could include the 2 Variax mag/model audio channels, Variax control, AND add MIDI capability via hex pickup, but that might take 4 channels.  Line 6 would get the $600 I'm about to give to Fishman though, and maybe then some ;)

 

Post edit: Looks like I'm late to the party...DI pretty much killed this in April.  Sounds like this thread was basically community confirmation that Variax VDI wireless wasn't really viable or desired at $999 price point.  It was still good fun to think it through.

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To continue Digital_Igloo's thread,... it's wireless, there's a carrier and two side-bands.

Packing in all the stuff to a finite bandwidth you want, and still have good audio on the other

end is not as simple as you think.

 

And for those who would say "use 5G or 6G" communications carriers to fit more side-band bandwidth,...

... that's a wavelength region you don't want to be standing next to. But 2.4 GHz is okay.

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i think this would be a cool product and id love one, but the production cost would probably stop it being worth trying to sell.

 

i gig regularly and use lots of line 6 gear. JTV, Helix POD HD, Wireless etc, but 1000, would stop me buying it, but then im not saying thats what it needs to sell at, just at that price point id be out . i use jtv wired and 2nd guitar wireless for times i wont to be more mobile, and i can make it work.

 

now if the JTV wireless receiver could also recieive from my G55 i might consider it. but id be think more about a max of £500

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For what it's worth, since buying myself a Helix, I have played my Variax guitars more than ever! Moreover, since meeting Stevic and hearing him explain how he utilizes Variax technology, that took me to a whole new level. The easy and tight integration between Variax and Helix (most of all, Snapshots) will, I believe, make Variax even that more appealing and/or an vital part of many guitarists' workflows. That being said, the more that tour with it, the more I see wireless VDI being a necessity. It only seems like a couple folks in this thread could benefit from wireless VDI, but someone like Stevic Shuriken (sure can). See what I did there? Too lame of a joke? Even better.  :P If it were as easy (and inexpensive) as a G10, I'm sure it'd already be available. However, as many others have stated, there are a number of factors that have precluded pursuing it over the years including cost, technology, and the niche market. Might it be more viable in the future? As a Variax player myself, I sure hope so.  ;)

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Stevic is a sharp guy and knows how to get what he wants out his gear.

Good guitar player, and cool guitar designer. Sydney guitar maker Charles

Cilia did a great job with the prototype that I check out for them. Plays great.

Also checked and tweaked the L6 version Stevic demoed at NAMM,... nice! 

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$999... I'd buy that if it tracked perfectly. As good as modern wireless units.

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All those clamoring for a wireless unit... Don't just focus on cost. There's also size and weight, this wireless unit will have a two audio channel transmitter + midi transmission and a receiver unit + a battery to power the whole shebang. It could end up being cumbersome for $1k.  Just saying....     

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Yep, I'd buy that. $1,000 is a little steep but you've got a captive market here with the VDI protocol.

 

I've already paid about $5,000 for the Helix rack, foot controller and JTV (I'm in Australia so we get screwed royally on these things). What's another grand to make it all integrate perfectly without tripping over cables?

 

So just make it already.

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What's another grand to make it all integrate perfectly without tripping over cables?

What it is, is lost cause. There just isn't enough interest at that price. The guitars themselves are $1K... less if you buy a Standard. Another thousand to hear it? It's like selling someone a car, and then telling them the steering wheel is an extra $30K.

 

Aside from a handful of touring pros who might want one, and the occasional well-off weekend warrior, they'd sit on warehouse shelves forever.

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What it is, is lost cause. There just isn't enough interest at that price. The guitars themselves are $1K... less if you buy a Standard. Another thousand to hear it? It's like selling someone a car, and then telling them the steering wheel is an extra $30K.

 

Aside from a handful of touring pros who might want one, and the occasional well-off weekend warrior, they'd sit on warehouse shelves forever.

 

Well excuuuuuse me for voicing the opinion of someone who's actually spent time touring and knows what he needs to do a job.

 

I've been a touring pro.  I've paid $2,000 per channel for top quality wireless gear back when that's just what it cost.  Not digital.  No fancy VDI stuff.  Just a single channel analogue UHF wireless system in one direction - $2,000.  I bought 8 channels of it.  And after spending about $20K on that system, with all the antenae merging gear and a high end flight case, they go and give the 800MHz wireless spectrum to TV, making my gear illegal to use and therefore completely worthless, overnight.

 

So when someone asks if I'd pay $1,000 for a 3 channel, digital system that allows all of the VDI functionality wirelessly, I say yep, I'll have one of those any day of the week and twice on Sunday's.

 

Line 6 is asking who wants one.  I'm just putting my hand up.  If that bothers you then feel free to take your head out of your butt and realise that nobody is forcing you to buy it.  If Line 6 don't make it well, that's life.

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Well excuuuuuse me for voicing the opinion of someone who's actually spent time touring and knows what he needs to do a job.

 

I've been a touring pro. I've paid $2,000 per channel for top quality wireless gear back when that's just what it cost. Not digital. No fancy VDI stuff. Just a single channel analogue UHF wireless system in one direction - $2,000. I bought 8 channels of it. And after spending about $20K on that system, with all the antenae merging gear and a high end flight case, they go and give the 800MHz wireless spectrum to TV, making my gear illegal to use and therefore completely worthless, overnight.

 

So when someone asks if I'd pay $1,000 for a 3 channel, digital system that allows all of the VDI functionality wirelessly, I say yep, I'll have one of those any day of the week and twice on Sunday's.

 

Line 6 is asking who wants one. I'm just putting my hand up. If that bothers you then feel free to take your head out of your butt and realise that nobody is forcing you to buy it. If Line 6 don't make it well, that's life.

Well clearly someone pi$$ed in your Wheaties this morning, but it certainly wasn't me. And thank you for proving my point for me, albeit in a thoroughly obnoxious fashion.

 

I didn't criticize you're opinion, nor your decision to voice it. Put your hands wherever you like...I couldn't care less. I merely expressed my opinion as to why you're not likely to see L6 produce this unit. Have a lovely day.

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I still don't understand how you'd need 3 separate radio signals instead of combining the info into 1 stream of data packets.

For bandwidth, they do not.  Wi-Fi is already bidirectional; 2 multiplexed channels one way with one channel the other is trivial.  In fact, grab almost any pair of relatively recent Android phones with the right app and you can stream video from one camera to display on the other, involving well over 96kbps.  One problem, with stock network and Wi-Fi software "stacks" is latency, as anyone who has used e.g. Apple's Airport Express for piping music could have experienced.  Another problem is maintaining adequate wireless bandwidth in the presence of competing 802.11a/c radios.

 

Reimplementing this might run into bandwidth/channel allocation "opportunities" for relatively recently relocated digital microphone channels in the 2.4GHz band, with which Line 6 is already familiar, given their XD-V55HS and XD-V75HS.

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