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I own a Variax 69s that I purchased from Sweetwater in 2013. After I worked out a few bugs with ghost sounds I was pretty happy with what the guitar could do. In those early heady days I spent a good amount of time on this forum. It was exciting to check out everybody's adventures with this line of guitars (and new patches made by forum members).

 

What I have felt for quite some time though is that Line 6 has all but forgotten us as a community of users/customers. The last significant update to the Workbench was the HD update way back in 2013. There have been incremental bumps in 2014 & 2015, but they seem to be more bug fixes or compatibility updates. 

 

Have there been new features offered in either the Workbench or through firmware updates to the guitar? Is there still a group of R&D folks at Line 6 that still care about the Variax customers? I thought maybe Yamaha would infuse the company with some new passion and smart engineers to revitalize the Variax's capabilities. They did manage to come out with the "standard", but the only new feature that offered (that I know of) was a lower price.

 

I may be way off here. Am I missing something. If you feel the same way, or conversely, can point out what I am missing - please chime in. I'd love to find out that the company still thinks about us, and our Variax guitars occasionally. The silver lining in this is at least I did not purchase a "Made in the USA" version!!

 

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Am I missing something?

Yes. Joe at the F*** dealership doesn't care about you after you drive off the lot, and nobody at Wh***pool is up nights, wondering if you like your dishwasher. All that matters is whether or not your check cleared.

 

In other words, companies care about the next sale...not the last one, that battle is over. Warranties only exist because consumer protection laws finally came along after enough people got screwed.

 

Sad, but we persevere...

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Yes. Joe at the F*** dealership doesn't care about you after you drive off the lot, and nobody at Wh***pool is up nights, wondering if you like your dishwasher. All that matters is whether or not your check cleared.

 

In other words, companies care about the next sale...not the last one, that battle is over. Warranties only exist because consumer protection laws finally came along after enough people got screwed.

 

Sad, but we persevere...

 

Don't get me wrong, I get where you're coming from and why but I don't think Line 6 completely fits your characterization. Every issue I've had with Line 6 products have been resolved in my favor. EVERY issue. Including one that was my fault. There have been four.

One particular incident was that I had taken my POD X3 Live into an authorized Line 6 repair place for an official Line 6 hardware upgrade. When I got my X3 back it would continuously reboot. I took it back and the repair guy. At first he said it must have been my fault since it was "working" when I picked it up. I balked and he eventually said he would look at it. Well he said he could find nothing wrong with it BUT asked if I wanted him to fix it on my dime!!! Wait a minute, it's not been broken by you but you'll still repair my "not broken" X3 if I pay for it? I got a brand new one from Line 6. They could have easily taken the repair guys position and said "it must be your fault. The repair guy says it is". But they didn't.

And I have since found another authorized Line 6 repair place that I trust in my area. There is some truth in what you say but Line 6 has come through for me even when they haven't had to. They have dropped the ball on some things I think but overall, they're pretty honorable. IMHO.

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Don't get me wrong, I get where you're coming from and why but I don't think Line 6 completely fits your characterization. Every issue I've had with Line 6 products have been resolved in my favor. EVERY issue. Including one that was my fault. There have been four.

One particular incident was that I had taken my POD X3 Live into an authorized Line 6 repair place for an official Line 6 hardware upgrade. When I got my X3 back it would continuously reboot. I took it back and the repair guy. At first he said it must have been my fault since it was "working" when I picked it up. I balked and he eventually said he would look at it. Well he said he could find nothing wrong with it BUT asked if I wanted him to fix it on my dime!!! Wait a minute, it's not been broken by you but you'll still repair my "not broken" X3 if I pay for it? I got a brand new one from Line 6. They could have easily taken the repair guys position and said "it must be your fault. The repair guy says it is". But they didn't.

And I have since found another authorized Line 6 repair place that I trust in my area. There is some truth in what you say but Line 6 has come through for me even when they haven't had to. They have dropped the ball on some things I think but overall, they're pretty honorable. IMHO.

They've taken care of me too...took 2 tries for the same repair, but it eventually got fixed. The point is, they did it because they had to, not out of the goodness of their hearts. Unchecked, unregulated, and left to their own devices, no company would offer warranties. Or recycle, or appropriately dispose of hazmat materials, or pay overtime, or anything else for that matter. It all cuts into the bottom line...and therfore, somebody has to force them into doing it.

 

I've had conversations on here with folks from other parts of the world, where there's little to no consumer protection, no concept of "implied warranty", where every sale is basically "as is". If it works, great. If not, you're screwed.

 

It's human nature...generally speaking, nobody "does the right thing" until it's mandated by some entity waving a bigger stick. "We" kinda suck as a species...;)

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I have actually seen more examples of companies doing the right thing than the other way!  Companies have to make a profit or they go away.  That is the system that we live in - and I fully agree with it.  Technical resources are always in short supply so companies focus those resources on where they do the most good for the bottom line.  Sorry guys but Variax aint it!

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I have actually seen more examples of companies doing the right thing than the other way!

Again...not by choice. Wasn't always that way. Besides what better way to to increases profit margin than never spending a dime on warranty work? If they could, they would. And when I say "they", I mean everybody...not singling anyone out in particular.

 

Then try dealing with a company that's the only game in town. You'll spin your wheels forever and get nowhere. A certain cable TV provider leaps to mind...article after article has been written about their quest to elevate shady business practices and awful customer service to an art form...and they ain't going anywhere.

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I still say that is not the norm.  Companies want happy customers.  I don't know where you get your idea that companies are evil.

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Of course companies seek to maximize profit, but that includes staying in business by providing customer satisfaction. That's pretty much the basis of a capitalist economy. And like democratic governance, it's not perfect. Historically, both capitalism and democracy are proven to be the worst forms of economics and governance, expect of course for all the other forms that have ever been used throughout history.

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I still say that is not the norm. Companies want happy customers. I don't know where you get your idea that companies are evil.

From walking the earth for nearly 50 years and observing (often with disgust) human nature....

 

And I never said "evil"...self-serving, but not evil. Nobody's twisting a creepy mustache, or tying damsels to railroad tracks.

 

However, there would never have been a need for consumer protection legislation, collective bargaining, or child labor laws if companies were warm and fuzzy, and deeply concerned with acting in everybody else's best interest. If someone hadn't forced their hand, we'd still have 14 yr old kids working in coal mines. Yes things are better than they used to be, but not by accident, and certainly not because the Big Bosses of the world had some sort of spiritual epiphany.

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From walking the earth for nearly 50 years and observing (often with disgust) human nature....

 

And I never said "evil"...self-serving, but not evil. Nobody's twisting a creepy mustache, or tying damsels to railroad tracks.

 

However, there would never have been a need for consumer protection legislation, collective bargaining, or child labor laws if companies were warm and fuzzy, and deeply concerned with acting in everybody else's best interest. If someone hadn't forced their hand, we'd still have 14 yr old kids working in coal mines. Yes things are better than they used to be, but not by accident, and certainly not because the Big Bosses of the world had some sort of spiritual epiphany.

 

I have been on this earth for over 50 years and have also observed human nature. One thing humans tend to do is to make blanket statements about things without considering any specifics. I believe that is what you are doing. "All companies do........" That seems a bit narrow minded to me. Was, and is, there a need for consumer protection? Absolutely! Does EVERY company ONLY act in their self interest? No. Of course not. 

 

In my situation with Line 6 if they had been acting PURELY in their own self interest, I would not have gotten the conclusions I did from them. They did not have to send me a brand new X3. They could have sided with the authorized repair guy and not given me one. Which would have been the case if they were completely self serving. Would have been cheaper to not send me one. One other instance is I had accidentally stuck a 1/4" plug into the VDI socket of my Variax rendering the VDI completely useless. I was sent the VDI assembly absolutely free with only a phone call. Wouldn't have happened if what you say is completely true. So, I again, have to disagree with your blanket assessment that they operate purely in their own self interest.

 

I right now work for a company that when I started, was very much about quality and the focus was not on the bottom line but on giving the best to the "customer". Because of that reputation business was great. The pendulum has now swung to the area you are talking about. But the swing was so recent that the public view is still that they are more on the side of the customer than the bottom line. So I would say, unless you are in the trenches of a company, you can't empirically state where a certain company is coming from. And Line 6 has shown themselves to be in the middle, if not leaning more toward the customer side, than your blanket characterization of them. You generally can't know for sure where a companies "pendulum" is. Again IMHO.

 

And don't we all act in the manner you are describing from time to time. Do we go to the mom and pop store where you get great customer service and pay a little more. Or do we go to the large bulk store, or even online, because it's cheaper? i know I'm guilty of doing that. Good-bye mom and pop store. Good bye good customer service. Sorry, I think I've pontificated on this enough. I get where you're coming from and am also fairly cynical about the human condition. But I try not to make huge blanket statements about many things. It often seems to be more complicated than "this is how it is...period".

 

Having said all of that, I will admit that Line 6 has basically bailed on products after they have improved on it all they can, or (dare I say it?) want to. The Vetta amp line was like that, to name one. It had some things wrong with it that were supposedly being looked at and then suddenly nothing. No more info on the Vetta. Not even a "we've given up" statement to let us know what exactly the status was on it. Just suddenly nothing. I think there was a we've moved on kind of statement but it wasn't an official Line 6 statmenet. It was a response to many inquiries about what's going on with it.

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I have been on this earth for over 50 years and have also observed human nature. One thing humans tend to do is to make blanket statements about things without considering any specifics. I believe that is what you are doing. "All companies do........" That seems a bit narrow minded to me. Was, and is, there a need for consumer protection? Absolutely! Does EVERY company ONLY act in their self interest? No. Of course not.

 

In my situation with Line 6 if they had been acting PURELY in their own self interest, I would not have gotten the conclusions I did from them. They did not have to send me a brand new X3. They could have sided with the authorized repair guy and not given me one. Which would have been the case if they were completely self serving. Would have been cheaper to not send me one. One other instance is I had accidentally stuck a 1/4" plug into the VDI socket of my Variax rendering the VDI completely useless. I was sent the VDI assembly absolutely free with only a phone call. Wouldn't have happened if what you say is completely true. So, I again, have to disagree with your blanket assessment that they operate purely in their own self interest.

 

I right now work for a company that when I started, was very much about quality and the focus was not on the bottom line but on giving the best to the "customer". Because of that reputation business was great. The pendulum has now swung to the area you are talking about. But the swing was so recent that the public view is still that they are more on the side of the customer than the bottom line. So I would say, unless you are in the trenches of a company, you can't empirically state where a certain company is coming from. And Line 6 has shown themselves to be in the middle, if not leaning more toward the customer side, than your blanket characterization of them. You generally can't know for sure where a companies "pendulum" is. Again IMHO.

 

And don't we all act in the manner you are describing from time to time. Do we go to the mom and pop store where you get great customer service and pay a little more. Or do we go to the large bulk store, or even online, because it's cheaper? i know I'm guilty of doing that. Good-bye mom and pop store. Good bye good customer service. Sorry, I think I've pontificated on this enough. I get where you're coming from and am also fairly cynical about the human condition. But I try not to make huge blanket statements about many things. It often seems to be more complicated than "this is how it is...period".

 

I didn't single out L6 as being any better or worse than anyone else. In fact, I said they took care of the one issue I had. The question isn't what a company does or doesn't do, but rather WHY? Until I see evidence to the contrary, it seems to me that "doing the right thing" is mostly done because "they" (whomever they are) have to, not because they want to.

 

But you're right, the discussion is silly at this point. I give...

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.....

 

But you're right, the discussion is silly at this point. I give...

 

I don't think the discussion is silly, and I don't think you need to 'give'. I just don't think this is the place for it. As you said, Line 6 isn't being singled out here - it's a more general discussion of corporate behaviour in a capitalist profit-based economy. It's a useful discussion to have and your opinions are valid. I'm sure there are other forums where it's more appropriate.

 

EDIT: However, I suspect in those other forums the discussion may not be so polite and congenial. :(

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In our capitalist society it is in every company's best interest to treat their customers well.  Fair competition makes that the case.  Legislation doesn't really solve any problems IMO.  Litigation is just a way for lawyers to make money at everyone's expense.   Companies that are around for the long run are honest and fair and they devote the proper amount of resources to Quality, Performance, Features, etc.

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