Jump to content
gjohung

Varian into real amp & acoustic setup

Recommended Posts

Hey! 

 

I been having love hate relationship with Line 6 products throughout the years from POD 2.0 days.  I went through: POD 2.0, POD XTLive, M13, Flextones, Variax 300, Amp farm...etc....Currently I own a HD 500 and ordered Variax Standard to give it another try.

 

My current set up is Guitar into bunch of analog pedal into Mesa Five 35 combo. The tone is jus heaven. I tried using HD 500 as effects pedal only and it sounds real good. I have also tried combo power in mode on the Egnator Rebel 30 and it sounds real good.

 

Now.. I am looking forward to ultizing the acoustic model. 

 

Option 1) Use AB Box...and use my analog pedal board into Mesa and split acoustic signal into house PA during acoustic patch. I have to do 2 things when patching.. push the Varian knob. and hit the AB switch.  

 

Option 2) Use HD 500 as pedal board - using just the unbalanced 1/4 cables. Can I patch it to send only acoustic signal to the XLR on HD 500 - using mild effects like delay.reverb...

 

Option 3) Use VD1 Cable and hook up all signal to House - shoot back signal back to my real amp for monitoring.

 

I really do not want to give up may Analog Pedal Mesa setting... just want to add acoustic feature into my set up..  Depending on the set list ,, I have my Martin D-28 on a Embrace Stand - into House PA. and reach over with my electric guitar still hanging over my neck to strum D-28..  I am getting old and it is bit cumbersome setup - I want to simply the set up. 

 

Any help will be appreciated.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Option 1 or 2 will probably yield the best results. Bouncing back to your amp for acoustic tones is likely to be disappointing. The acoustic models through a "real" amp are generally awful, and it'll sound nothing like what's going to FOH.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is XLR always feeding amp sim signal?? If I use it as pedal board only - with no amp block. what is coming out of XLR? I kind of think Helix is very versatile on this end able to route if lot of different configurations.. I hope to hear from user that uses acoustic set up live and how are they using it..  even with  DT35 setting the acoustic sound should not run through amp.  I hate to go FRFR route. I tried that with POD 2.0 and XTLive through a Roland KC 500.. (FRFR?) new years ago.. I know line 6 technology has evolved a lot but I still think elec guitar through real amp sound best.

 

Having said that I am sure there are many players just do FRFR mode live..and I want to hear their take on giving up real amp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having said that I am sure there are many players just do FRFR mode live..and I want to hear their take on giving up real amp.

I'm never going back to an amp. With a little tweaking (OK...a lot of tweaking), I've got the best sounding (and smallest) rig I've ever had. No pedals, no batteries, no retube-ing pre-amps or power amps, and no having to turn everything to 11 to get the tone I want, especially when I'm in a space that isn't suited to window-rattling volumes. And, for your stated goal of getting Variax acoustic tones dialed in, no DI boxes or funky signal routing in and out of amps and PA's. L out to my L2T for my stage volume, R out to FOH. No fuss...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a Variax Standard (or Variax 700 Acoustic) for acoustic tones through a specific acoustic guitar patch in Helix. Sometimes I use my Martin 00C15AE if I'm playing a lot of acoustic. In this case the Helix patch is modified to include an acoustic guitar body image I extracted from my Fishman Aura Spectrum so that I can compensate for the piezo pickup.

 

In any case, the Helix output is to the PA and my FRFR stage amp. I like the FRFR approach because it gives me a lot of flexibility. I can play bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar or mandolin through the same setup just using different patches. And I can use a different amp model then the other guitar player in our band to provide contrasting tones in each song.

 

The HD500(X) can be used similarly, but just can't have any acoustic guitar body image IRs. I use this setup for a number of years successfully with the same FRFR amp and PA. Helix is a game changer for tone and feel though. Can't recommend it enough.

 

If you're using a guitar amp, you can't use it with acoustic guitar patches, you need a FRFR amp or PA for this. The HD500 routing options aren't as flexible as Helix, so you will probably need to do some switching to engage the PA input and mute your guitar amp input when playing acoustic guitar. You'll need a monitor to hear yourself. If you have a good one, you might find its a reasonable FRFR for electric guitar too and can be an option for going without a stage amp, especially in small club situations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great reply, thank you all.

 

I thought I went through most of Line 6 evolution and I tried hard...real hard to adapt to modeling realm. So I gave up and went analog route. I was a long time M13 user. loved using expression pedal for controlling drive parameters and modulation. At one gig my M13 power supply went dead - and I had to use all analog setting on my Mesa Mk3. and rediscovered how good tube amp sounded. 

 

About a month ago my local Sam Ash were blowing HD 500 for $250. I thought this could be good for home recording and just to fiddle around. Yet, I found that HD 500 was a significant improvement over 2.0 and XTLive that I used use.  Now I am considering to adapt some of the feature into my setup. 

 

My main gig is church and we are all on IEM on Avioms.  I am miking my Mesa V 35 and had some mixed results using their new CabClone speaker simulator output.  To me Line 6 sounded better compare to fizzy CabClone. Having said that I my current rig is best sound that i ever had. 

 

I am considering having a AB/Y switch and have it split all the time. A goes to my Mesa, B goes to FOH, control B with a volume pedal. So I can blend in acoustic sound. I am wondering if Variax can out put both magnetic and modeling simultaneously. 

 

I will keep you all posted... My Variax is scheduled to deliver on 5/11/16

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using Workbench HD you can create custom patches in Variax Standard that mix magnetics and models. There may be phasing issues. Play with that too.

 

I found Helix pedal models much better than the similar HD500(X) models. I could never get a compelling tone out of the HD500X into the front of a guitar amp. But Helix does this with no problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Variax Standard came.. and I am not impressed. I had a Variax 300 aside from modeling - it was piece of crap guitar. i find Variax Standard to be not much better.  Only the fact that it has magnetic pick-up. Acoustic modeling is thin and lacks any kind of realizm.  I thought line 6 would do it better.  I mean it is not James Tyler but.. still.

 

I am not sure as many people say that Helix is game changer - would make any difference...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do a good setup on the Variax Standard, that might really help. I don't think they come from the factory with good setups, takes too much time and can change over time anyway.

 

I thought the same as you and others, that the older 300 tones were more interesting, more spanky, more tele. But then I did two rehearsals, one with my Variax 300 and one with my new Variax Standard. Both were into the same Helix patch and FRFR amp. I did them on different nights so that I could just react to the sound in context, not compare one against the other.

 

I was surprised to find that the Variax Standard modeling tones held up in the mix better than the 300, even though I thought I like the 300 models better standalone. I was not inspired to use the 300 again while the Standard models were just fine and worked well. It could be that the 300 models are more hyped, and so sound "better" when demo'd solo while the Standard HD tones are more natural and realistic, and fit better in a live band context.

 

In any case, I don't expect the Variax Standard to be my main instrument, nor do I expect it to sound or play like a vintage guitar. And I'd probably never record with it. Rather its a gigging workhorse that provides serviceable tones that adds some variety and interest in a four hour gig that is convenient and not possible any other way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am wondering if a patch can be setup as Studio Direct and adjacent patch can be setup as combo power in. Looks like the output setup is global. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am wondering if a patch can be setup as Studio Direct and adjacent patch can be setup as combo power in. Looks like the output setup is global.

Nope...it's one or the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm never going back to an amp. With a little tweaking (OK...a lot of tweaking), I've got the best sounding (and smallest) rig I've ever had. No pedals, no batteries, no retube-ing pre-amps or power amps, and no having to turn everything to 11 to get the tone I want, especially when I'm in a space that isn't suited to window-rattling volumes. And, for your stated goal of getting Variax acoustic tones dialed in, no DI boxes or funky signal routing in and out of amps and PA's. L out to my L2T for my stage volume, R out to FOH. No fuss...

please tell me exactly how you get good acoustic sound from a Variax/Helix/L2T rig, especially using virtual capo.  this is THE main reason I went down this path but so far the acoustic sound is really not up to snuff esp with a virtual capo on a 12 string model

thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

please tell me exactly how you get good acoustic sound from a Variax/Helix/L2T rig, especially using virtual capo. this is THE main reason I went down this path but so far the acoustic sound is really not up to snuff esp with a virtual capo on a 12 string model

thanks

Well the 12 string models leave a little bit to be desired by themselves. I don't use them, much less with alt tunings. Between the extra 6 strings it has to "create", and adding alt tuning on top of it is WAY too much processing imho, and it sounds very artificial to me. I'm also not a Helix guy...so I can't help you there. Initially the OP said he was running the HD 500...I have the 500X. I use no amp model, a little reverb, and usually just the graphic EQ, seasoned to taste. Very simple patches for my acoustic stuff. You could also just run it straight to the L2T in "acoustic guitar" mode, and skip the POD altogether. I've done that too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the 12 string models leave a little bit to be desired by themselves. I don't use them, much less with alt tunings. Between the extra 6 strings it has to "create", and adding alt tuning on top of it is WAY too much processing imho, and it sounds very artificial to me. I'm also not a Helix guy...so I can't help you they're. Initially you said you had the HD 500...I have the 500X. I use no amp model, a little reverb, and usually just the graphic EQ, seasoned to taste. Very simple patches for my acoustic stuff. You could also just run it straight to the L2T in "acoustic guitar" mode, and skip the POD altogether. I've done that too.

I just upgraded from 500X to a Helix!  But if the acoustic sound is no better, maybe I will downgrade again :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just upgraded from 500X to a Helix! But if the acoustic sound is no better, maybe I will downgrade again :-)

Realistically, all about an FRFR speaker, EQ, and the Variax. With no amp or cab model in the chain, it's not the POD or Helix that is giving you the acoustic sound. If I'm recording acoustic tones, I go straight into my interface, and use the EQ and FX in the DAW...with studio monitors or headphones, I get results just as good as the L2T. No POD at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happy 2019 ya'all! Revisiting the idea; bumping this old thread rather than make a new one

 

I recently picked up a variax standard and snagged that powered cable kit DI box thing also; with the intent to integrate Variax into various existing pedalboard rigs with a few tube amps. (Peavey Delta blues; Marshall Origin 50, PRS Sonzera 50, Mesa Express 50:5+ and Friedman Runt50 combo)

 

Also have the M20d mixer with L3 mains and L2 monitors set up at our jam spot; so am fairly well set up to to route the XLR of the direct Variax stuff to the PA.

 

Anyway; curious to hear from folks using Variax in front of pedals and tube amps rigs; but also finding a way to A/B the direct Variax stuff to a powered speaker or direct to PA/mixer. 

 

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×