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Is Variax being discontinued?

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I see on Ebay, there are a couple dozen of the black JTV69S with maple necks, that are listed as used and discounted. Are these all returns? It seems strange that this is the only model that has that many used, listed.

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I see on Ebay, there are a couple dozen of the black JTV69S with maple necks, that are listed as used and discounted. Are these all returns? It seems strange that this is the only model that has that many used, listed.

There's no way to know. Behind Wall Street and "waste management", retail is the shadiest business in the world. Returned items get passed off as new all the time.

 

Or they've just been collecting dust in some warehouse for years, and they want to be rid of them...both equally likely scenarios as far as I'm concerned.

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attachicon.gifIMG_2771.jpg

 
It's from China. SN was recognized by your system.
But it must be a time-traveler, because beside some old strings I can not find any sign of usage.

Maybe the chinese copy-cats work with some delay?  :ph34r:

 

That's the Variax standard. The $700 dollar entry level Variax. Does not surprise me it's from China

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That's the Variax standard. The $700 dollar entry level Variax. Does not surprise me it's from China

Don't lick the frets...;)

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That's the Variax standard. The $700 dollar entry level Variax. Does not surprise me it's from China

The Variax 600 is the Variax "standard"? *confused

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The Variax Standard - a brand name - is the latest model. I believe brue58ski is using the term 'standard' in its general form referring to the older 600 model, like saying the Deluxe is a standard Fender amp.

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The Variax Standard - a brand name - is the latest model. I believe brue58ski is using the term 'standard' in its general form referring to the older 600 model, like saying the Deluxe is a standard Fender amp.

I dunno about that. That pic looks like the back of a Pacifica headstock to me...

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I dunno about that. That pic looks like the back of a Pacifica headstock to me...

That's my matured Lady

post-2321913-0-33011300-1469113973_thumb.jpg

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Brue58ski, the one in the jpeg,...

 

It's an older Variax. It's not the newer Variax Standard,... wrong serial number format,

and the head-stock cut is different, and a slightly different color neck. The newer Variax

Standard is made at a Yamaha factory, as it's a collaborative product.

 

More than likely the 600 in the jpeg is not a Chinese knock-off, though the one I have

here in the lab is not one of the Chinese made ones. From a time before I came here.

 

Standard vs "standard",.... I can see where it would be confusing.

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I'm sorta hoping they don't discontinue the Variax stuff. I hate when they do that. I'm still on the lookout for a 705 bass (the five-string) because it turns out it was/is a pretty good bass all by itself and the models work pretty well besides. I love the Acoustic 700 I have and wish there was an updated model (and by the way, the nylon string model lives there). 

 

I think the USA versions are silly, and I can't think of any way that I would pay that money for that guitar over the Koreans I have. But I am going to have to have G&G build me a case like theirs. 

 

I haven't spent a lot of time trying to reproduce the "flaws" that the Bedroom Boys have detected, though I appreciate their diligence. I appreciate what the Variax guitars I have DO far more than care about what they don't do well. When the drums come in, it's very difficult to hear the issues. 

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That's my matured Lady

attachicon.gifline6variax600white-500x500.jpg

 

Ah, the first "cheap" Variax. It looked like a Pacifica headstock to me so that's why I made the presumption. But given that it was the "cheap" Variax, it then still doesn't surprise me it was made in China.

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 I'm still on the lookout for a 705 bass (the five-string) because it turns out it was/is a pretty good bass all by itself and the models work pretty well besides.

 

If 1000$ including shipping from Spain for a near-mint 705 Sunburst is OK for you, feel free to PM me.

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Ah, the first "cheap" Variax. It looked like a Pacifica headstock to me so that's why I made the presumption. But given that it was the "cheap" Variax, it then still doesn't surprise me it was made in China.

Does anybody know how much this cheap one did cost, after it was released? And in what time range it was available?

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My Variax 300 was the lowest on the totem pole. I bought mine in 2005 for around $500, and found it in a small town music shop about 30 or 40 miles away. It's the red one without trem. It played fine, but the fit & finish was so so. Didn't really like the body shape much. Still have it, and it still works, but the Helix is weird with it, doesn't display the the models correctly, think I heard it won't change models with the patches either. It does on the XTLive, X3Live, HD500, and HD500X I have. The neck was fine,but I need to change the nut that was kind of cheap plastic, and the strings cut their way into it. Heard a lot of folks swapped the neck out for a strat neck. Pretty sure these were the ones made in China, though I'd have to look....

 

I had picked up an epi LP, and was using the 300 for special models and tunings. I was considering a Gibson Traditional Pro when they came out with the JTV's and I jumped for the 59, then a year or so later the 69S... The 300 was my "gateway drug".... 😎

 

Dave

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Yeah - the V300 was my 'gateway drug' too. I transplanted it into a Warmoth Variax body and neck, adding Graphtech piezos, and fell in love with it. Soon after that the JTV series was released, rendering my souped-up Warmth V300 worth way less than I had invested in it, and I bought a JTV-59. But I still love playing it, and it sounds great through Helix even though not fully compatible in terms of presets and automation. But now my Helix and JTV is my main rig, and I use the Warmoth V300 with my Firehawk FX for much fun jamming and tone matching.

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Does anybody know how much this cheap one did cost, after it was released? And in what time range it was available?

They came out around 2008. I saw a review from 2012 on them. I believe the MSRP was $1200 but you could get them for $800. Not exactly as cheap as I remember.

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Is Variax being discontinued?  There are heavy discounts on the JVT-69s at Musician Friends and they say that model is going away.   Does any one know if Variax is dead, being revised, or if something new is coming?

There are no plans to discontinue Variax, as you could probably tell from the release of our first Artist Signature Variax in collaboration with Stevic MacKay of Twelve Foot Ninja, the Variax Shuriken. There are not a ton of them at the moment and they are selling fast. In my opinion, it is one of the best guitars (even outside of the Variax world) that I have played. The quality is our best yet, as far as I'm concerned. Our engineers along with Yamaha luthiers (who do the high end, truly custom guitars for Yamaha artists) spent a lot of time refining the production quality of the Shuriken to meet both ours and Stevic's high standards of quality. Try it and let us know what you think!

 

My point is if they are taking the time to build out the Variax integration in their flagship product, I highly doubt they are going to be discontinued.

 

I'm telling you man... Helix snapshots... That feature is straight-up amazing.

Oh yes, Helix Snapshots are the greatest thing to ever happen to guitar, in my opinion. In fact, I find I use my Variax more than ever, especially the alt tunings, since I got a Helix. Variax, Helix, and StageSource. That's my entire rig these days. If I'm only using one StageSource speaker, I can even load in with just one trip, thanks to the Helix backpack! \m/

 

But you still can't run WB with Helix!

 

You can use Workbench HD with Helix since March 30th (just in case anyone here missed the 2.20 update).  :)

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I am glad to hear from abonica as he appears to be the product manager for variax...

So can we start some conversations about where we the consumers would like variax to be enhanced?

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abonica is right,... Variax is still here. A new Variax comes out and is added to the selection,... then all

the sudden the present model is going away. Gossip and rumors every time. Variax is all still here. I wish

people wouldn't shoot their mouths off without knowing the facts first. 

 

As far as MFI goes, that is a post from 2016, out of date, and incorrect. Thank you abonica for setting that straight.

 

Workbench and Helix,... are you using Workbench or Workbench HD?

If using Workbench HD, that's for JTV and more recent models using Flash v2.00 or later. Older Variax

data formats (300, 500, 600, 700 and basses) will not be compatible Workbench HD and the v2.00+

data format from a dozen years ago.

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It would make total sense for the James Tyler branded variaxes to be discontinued, yamaha have been making quality instruments forever and have no reason to be associated with an american luthier for something that they can do on their own...

 

I own two variaxes and love them very much, they are great tools, but I somehow feel that the system hasn't quite evolved at the same pace as other line 6 branded products...

 

I am very much looking forward to the next evolution... :-)

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I have a Variax Standard and a JTV-69S. The Standard is ok, but not a great instrument. I liked enough to get the JTV which is a much nicer instrument in every way. I also have a 700 Acoustic that I use a lot. I too hope the Variax line continues to be offered and evolve.

 

Having more physical guitar choices is great, but I would also like to see some evolution in the models, maybe even the ability to load new models from WorkbenchHD. I would also very much like to have access to the raw piezo outputs, no pickup or body model, so that I can use instrument IR models in Helix with my Variax.

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I am very much looking forward to the next evolution... :-)

The modeling will hopefully evolve and improve, but I don't foresee any quantum leaps in guitar quality for the Standards as long keep shoving the guts into a Pacifica body...

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JTVs were pretty good value I think, I own both models and, with some mods they are very capable instruments...

 

I upgraded the pickups and did a proper fret dress and setup on my 59 and did this on my 69:

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/28305-modified-jtv69-with-fretlight-neck/

 

I kind of whish yamaha would install the variax electronics in something like their new RSP20CR:

 

 

There is currently no hi end variax system, except from the obsolete and uber rare USA JTV, which was stupidly expensive, and not even made by Tyler...

 

And I think it is not only a shame for the users but also a marketing error, no hi end model means few pro users, which decredibilises the product...

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this is old hd500 stuff :)

Nope. On HD500 you could use knobs on jtv as expression with pod effects only. With helix you can control any external midi gear with CC commands. Also on HD you can't save model and tuning on a snapshot by snapshot basis. Of course HD doesn't have snapshots but if line6 was killing variax why add variax stuff to snapshots?

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JTVs were pretty good value I think, I own both models and, with some mods they are very capable instruments...

 

I upgraded the pickups and did a proper fret dress and setup on my 59 and did this on my 69:

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/28305-modified-jtv69-with-fretlight-neck/

 

I kind of whish yamaha would install the variax electronics in something like their new RSP20CR:

 

 

There is currently no hi end variax system, except from the obsolete and uber rare USA JTV, which was stupidly expensive, and not even made by Tyler...

 

And I think it is not only a shame for the users but also a marketing error, no hi end model means few pro users, which decredibilises the product...

 

The US JTVs are rare and expensive (rare because they're expensive), but they're not obsolete in any sense... You can still buy a new one if you like, and they're still supported. I have a JTV69US, and it's actually probably the nicest guitar I own.

 

As far as marketing, I don't really think guitar marketing works that way anymore. People don't care what guitar a famous guitarist is playing anymore because all of the famous guitarists are grandparents or great-grandparents now...

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As far as marketing, I don't really think guitar marketing works that way anymore. People don't care what guitar a famous guitarist is playing anymore because all of the famous guitarists are grandparents or great-grandparents now...

By that logic, Gibson should re-brand the Les Paul... who wants a guitar named after a dead guy? ;)

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Orville Gibson, Adolph Rickerbacker, Leo Fender and Harold Rhodes (whom I knew),...

... all long since passed on.

 

Yeah, name it after a dead guy, gives it a sense of music technology history appreciation,... like Stradivarius.

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I think "snhirsch" has a point here.
The Variax guitars are basically "software based" instruments. Guitars in general are instruments which are "never perfectly in tune" (and I put that within apostrophes because it can be relevant for some musicians, and totally irrelevant for others ... and both cases absolutely legitimates).
Considering that the core of Variax guitars is a somewhat identical software installed on various guitar chassis, and that this software individually analyses the pitch of every string of the guitar as part of the various data used in order to generate different guitar tones and separately modify the pitch of every string, then it is possible to provide the musicians with what people know as a "True Temperament Guitar" (you know, the guitars with compensated frets zigzagging across the fretboard).
Perfect Pitch with True Temperament is a very interesting option, as a luthier I'm constantly confronted to that concept because most guitarists come up with that "tuning issue" at one point or the other when we're dealing with "standard luthery theory", and I always have to explain that a fretted guitar is a "compromise" in terms of tuning and pitch due to it's architecture. Some will come with stories of guitars from this or that master luthier made of this or that "tone wood" (Oh no ! Don't talk about tone wood for solid body electric guitars, please!) and they shall be in tune everywhere across the fretboard, and blah blah blah ... and the answer is invariably that a fretted stringed instrument with straight frets is an instrument which is basically slightly out of tune everywhere. I digress !!!
Perfect Pitch with True Temperament is a very interesting option ! PERIOD !
It is totally possible to implement that option as a "software extension" on any "software based guitar" (... to my knowledge there's only Line 6 that I know now for building guitars with such complete autonomous on-board features, as Peavey and Antares both completely discontinued the Peavy AT-200 and the Auto-Tune for guitars).
Line 6 as innovators and leaders in the modeling technology are constantly improving their products and they'll have to improve that "Perfect Pitch" aspect on their guitars. And right now is the perfect gap to make that move, as Peavey and Antares left a vacuum in that domain that they occupied before. Line 6 should come up with their own True Temperament technology and take that place in the market. On top of that they definitely should develop several patented "modules" that could be sold to other companies to increase their market, their production volume, and therefore be able to substantially lower their production costs. These modules could be for instance a complete "sensor module" based on a piezoelectric saddles system or an electromagnetic pickup system with independent pickups for each string (like the midi pickups), and a basic board that analyses the signal. That type of "sensor module" could have numerous applications, like for instance driving motorized tuners such as the "Tronical Tune" with a way better accuracy than the overall sensing of the headstock. That type of "sensor module" could be sold to companies which deal with guitar synthesizers, etc, etc. Line 6 could also produce a "complete OEM module" which could be sold to other guitar manufacturers to build guitars with "Variax technology", like the Parker "Adrian Belew Signature" Fly Electric Guitar for instance, except that you could find the Variax technology on an ESP or a Suhr, or whichever brand which would desire to design a "modeling guitar".
I truly believe that Line 6 is coming up with a new line of products for their Variax guitars ... with a bigger more advanced board, more advanced software, more "guitar tones", maybe unexpected tones (Why not ?) like other stringed instruments you wouldn't expect on a guitar and which could be made available as software packages to purchase and download ... with a direct midi driver, for anyone who wants to drive any synthesizer with the guitar ... AND WITH THE BRAND NEW LINE 6 "PERFECT PITCH AUTO-TUNE" SYSTEM ... (Yippee !!!)

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I used to be so interested in the new technology and yada yada ...but one day I realised that all the music/songs I love are produced with simple standard bread and butter instruments, no auto tuning or perfect pitches or tone. Also a good song/piece is a good song. A guitar with all that is not garantted to play the hits lol

 

Imagine having a “perfect tune guitar system†what difference would it make to the ears of clients I gig for? Sometimes we forget that the guitar is just a tool to make music. And sometimes music is just music, music can be used in the background (elevators/shopping malls/movies/jingles etc), music that could be danced to etc

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I used to be so interested in the new technology and yada yada ...but one day I realised that all the music/songs I love are produced with simple standard bread and butter instruments, no auto tuning or perfect pitches or tone. Also a good song/piece is a good song. A guitar with all that is not garantted to play the hits lol

 

Imagine having a “perfect tune guitar system†what difference would it make to the ears of clients I gig for? Sometimes we forget that the guitar is just a tool to make music. And sometimes music is just music, music can be used in the background (elevators/shopping malls/movies/jingles etc), music that could be danced to etc

 

I know what you're saying and we've all surely heard masterful guitar work from old Silvertone masonite guitar with straight non-compensated bridges and technically horrific lipstick pups.  But, in the hands of a master it can be music to our ears.  

 

Hell, even the history of Fender Amps - highly educated engineers wanted to "improve" those tried and true circuits and Leo resisted until he left the company.  Those engineers finally had their way for a brief time but the damage was quickly done and players lamented the new amps as being too clean and sterile. 

 

When it comes to music, sometimes we need technical imperfections (and perfections) to find and exploit a creative pocket which helps drive our soul...???

 

In the case of Variax, sometimes quick/easy "auditioning" different textures and sounds brings with it some useful inspiration.  I don't look at it as means to an end but it's certainly a convenient and useful tool which can help lead to more interesting and satisfying guitar music compositions/productions.  IME...

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I don’t treat the Variax as a means of reproducing the tone or multiple instruments. Rather I treat as a new instrument in its own right. It has its own feel, tones, flexibility and limitations, just like any other instrument. It is those characteristics after all that make all instruments and their contribution to music unique.

 

Take palm muting for example. It does sound a bit different than palm muting magnetic pickups. And that does change your hand position and technique a little. But that’s not necessarily bad. The different tone produced is certainly different, but might be considered better in some context. Its finding those contexts in which one instrument contributes better than another that is worth striving for. Variax provides a pretty wide range of capabilities in a broad range of contexts. That’s almost always a good thing unless you’re looking for something very specific that isn’t there.

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And now, back to the topic at hand...

 

"Is Variax being discontinued? I've seen them on sale."

"They stopped making the 300, 400, 500, 600, 700... Can the JTVs be far behind?"

"They're made in Japan, made in Korea, made in the U.S.... And they're all crap."

 

You know what's worse than a bad product? Misleading information... that's what!

And BS is easy to spread, as in: "Variaxes aren't serious guitars. That's why pros don't use them."

 

So why is every guitar you see on stage a Fender, Gibson, Martin or Taylor? Aggressive marketing is why.

 

I've played $5000 Fenders, Martins, Taylors, Gibsons. Anyone can... Just spend some time at a music shop.

 

Do they play better than my Variax 700, 700 acoustic, or JTV-59? No! But that's a question of set-up.

Are they built better? Some are, some aren't. It all comes down to components... and quality control.

My Japanese-made 700 and Korean 700 acoustic have the fit, finish and feel of high-end instruments. My Korean JTV-59... maybe a little less so, but still damn nice!

 

Would I trade any of my Variaxes for a Fender or Gibson? No... Though I might add a vintage LP or Strat to my collection if one were given to me.🙂

 

Is Variax being discontinued? Not any time soon. In fact, the way things are going, they might even outlast Gibson.

 

http://gawker.com/gibson-guitar-is-a-remarkably-unpopular-company-1713072808

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“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.â€--- Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain.

 

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Guitar players are all crazy one way or another...but especially the seriously fixated brand-loyal ones. Trying to talk a lifelong Gibson/Fender/PRS/Whatever guy into believing that anything else is worthy of consideration is generally pointless. It's just like the tube snob conversations. They don't WANT anything else to be "good enough" because it would shatter a lifetime of deeply ingrained brainwashing, and they'd have to admit that their oft-regurgitated references to the Gospel According to "Insert Brand Here", is in fact just the result of effective advertising. And thus, nothing else will ever measure up....too much risk to the psyche.

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More every day...

Not sure exactly how that was intended... but I'm taking it as "More do use them every day."

 

If L6 was big on "product placement" deals, then every second artist would flaunt a Variax on stage (in my "humble" opinion).✔ï¸

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If I were a pro, and had my own signature sound, I'd likely use a Les Paul or Strat into a boutique tube amp with 2x12 Celection G12-65 in an open back cabinet. But I'm not a pro. I play in a reasonably busy reasonably good club band playing rock dance music. Helix and my JTV-69S are perfect for this. I can get any sound I need easily. Is it the best? No. Is it good enough? Absolutely, more than go enough.

 

I had to work on that JTV-69S - new nut, good setup, polished the frets, and Amalfitano Daytona pickups. But now my Strat Deluxe (with the same pickups) sits on the stand and my Les Paul stays home most of the time. I love that JTV-69S and don't mind at all making the changes that make it mine. I also like the thicker neck even though I don't have big hands. The thicker neck is more stable and has better sustain.

 

Now to the marketing - there are a lot of pro guitarists that use ultimate and/or vintage pro gear. Great, we can learn from them and set our Helix and Variax to come close to their rigs and tone. But there are LOT more guys just like me playing in clubs all over the world for $100/gig, having a great time, and buying our share of gear.  So I think there's a place in the world for Variax, even if all the pros don't decide to use it.

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