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Couple questions about the 89 and the signal chain

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Hey guys,  I'm looking to make the switch to using a dream rig type setup and have a couple questions that I've been having a hard time finding proper information about.

 

Firstly, other than the floyd, is there any difference between the 89 and the 89F ?  I've read a couple places that the 89F has more higher gain settings, different tunings, etc, so I'd like to get it straight.

 

Next, I'm pretty sure I'll go with an HD500x since their used prices fit well within my budget, but what I am not sure about and don't quite understand is the amp / speaker part of the chain.  I see the "dream rig" is one of the DT series amps, but doesn't the HD500x handle amp and cab simulations?  I've also read about getting some sort of FRFR pa speaker to connect directly to so that the tone after the pod isn't colored in any way.  

This is the part that I'm most confused about and trying to understand, that is what to use after the POD and why I should go one way or the other.

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Hey guys, I'm looking to make the switch to using a dream rig type setup and have a couple questions that I've been having a hard time finding proper information about.

 

Firstly, other than the floyd, is there any difference between the 89 and the 89F ? I've read a couple places that the 89F has more higher gain settings, different tunings, etc, so I'd like to get it straight.

 

Next, I'm pretty sure I'll go with an HD500x since their used prices fit well within my budget, but what I am not sure about and don't quite understand is the amp / speaker part of the chain. I see the "dream rig" is one of the DT series amps, but doesn't the HD500x handle amp and cab simulations? I've also read about getting some sort of FRFR pa speaker to connect directly to so that the tone after the pod isn't colored in any way.

This is the part that I'm most confused about and trying to understand, that is what to use after the POD and why I should go one way or the other.

The "real amp" vs. FRFR debate will never end. They both have their merits, and you can get good results either way. It really boils down to how you intend to use the gear, and how much of a "purist" you are. If you can't bear the thought of not having a tube amp driving a cabinet, then look at the DT amps. On the other hand, if you intend to use any of the acoustic models in the Variax, then you really need an FRFR rig capable of producing the frequency range of an acoustic guitar. If you try and use them through a traditional guitar amp with the limited frequency response that they ALL have, the results are disappointing...almost useless. Also, if you intend to run the POD straight to a PA, and you want the tone you hear on stage to be the same thing the audience hears out front, FRFR is really the only way to achieve that. The same patch running through a PA and a guitar amp are gonna sound VERY different.

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Firstly, other than the floyd, is there any difference between the 89 and the 89F ?  I've read a couple places that the 89F has more higher gain settings, different tunings, etc, so I'd like to get it straight.

 

 

I don't know if there are any differences out of the box but it doesn't matter.  I have the JTV-69 and loaded the 89 high gain models into it along with some alternate tunings that I wanted (Open C, Open B, Drop C, etc..).  

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The "real amp" vs. FRFR debate will never end. They both have their merits, and you can get good results either way. It really boils down to how you intend to use the gear, and how much of a "purist" you are. If you can't bear the thought of not having a tube amp driving a cabinet, then look at the DT amps. On the other hand, if you intend to use any of the acoustic models in the Variax, then you really need an FRFR rig capable of producing the frequency range of an acoustic guitar. If you try and use them through a traditional guitar amp with the limited frequency response that they ALL have, the results are disappointing...almost useless. Also, if you intend to run the POD straight to a PA, and you want the tone you hear on stage to be the same thing the audience hears out front, FRFR is really the only way to achieve that. The same patch running through a PA and a guitar amp are gonna sound VERY different.

 

Thanks for the explanation.  I don't need the whole tube amp driving the cabinet since I've always been more of a solid state guy anyway.  And I would like full acoustic capabilities and to hear the same sound that the audience hears.  So that being FRFR appears to be the solution for me based on that info.  

 

Is the Stage Source L series Line 6's FRFR solution?  And is there any advantage to using one of those over a more generic brand FRFR?  Better integration options or what not?

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I don't know if there are any differences out of the box but it doesn't matter.  I have the JTV-69 and loaded the 89 high gain models into it along with some alternate tunings that I wanted (Open C, Open B, Drop C, etc..).  

Hmm that's interesting..so the only real difference between the models are the body / neck shapes, the pickups when in manual mode, and the model/tuning settings that they come with out of the box (which can all be changed with the software?)

 

Are the names on the dials for the models and tunings able to be changed or are they hard coated on the dials?

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Is the Stage Source L series Line 6's FRFR solution?  And is there any advantage to using one of those over a more generic brand FRFR?  Better integration options or what not?

 

Yes, the Stage Source speakers are intended for use as FRFR instrument speakers.  They have a built-in notion of response profile that may make them more friendly with guitar amplification.  If you use the HD500 (X) floor device or (I believe) a Helix, you can configure the speaker personality on a per-patch basis.  Whether that's an advantage or not is subjective.  Plenty of folks are using, e.g. QSC K-series speakers with great success.

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Yes, the Stage Source speakers are intended for use as FRFR instrument speakers.  They have a built-in notion of response profile that may make them more friendly with guitar amplification.  If you use the HD500 (X) floor device or (I believe) a Helix, you can configure the speaker personality on a per-patch basis.  Whether that's an advantage or not is subjective.  Plenty of folks are using, e.g. QSC K-series speakers with great success.

 

I'd like to find something a little more cost effective at the moment to learn on if there are cheaper but good solutions out there that will work fine with an HD500x.  I'm very new to all of this and I'm not gigging at the moment, mostly just home play and friendly basement / garage jam sessions about once a month so I figure now is a good time to experiment in changing up my signal chain.

 

I appreciate all the help and suggestions!

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Thanks for the explanation. I don't need the whole tube amp driving the cabinet since I've always been more of a solid state guy anyway. And I would like full acoustic capabilities and to hear the same sound that the audience hears. So that being FRFR appears to be the solution for me based on that info.

 

Is the Stage Source L series Line 6's FRFR solution? And is there any advantage to using one of those over a more generic brand FRFR? Better integration options or what not?

I have an L2T, and I love it. Live, I use it as a floor monitor for my stage volume, and run straight from the POD to the PA.

 

They ain't cheap though, and there are a bunch of less expensive options out there that will give you similar results. As far as integration is concerned, yes there are certain settings on the L2T that can be controlled via the POD using their L6 Link cable, such as the L2T's output mode (PA, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, floor monitor etc etc). They're nice features to have, but not essential. You can get good tones spending a lot less money.

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I have an L2T, and I love it. Live, I use it as a floor monitor for my stage volume, and run straight from the POD to the PA.

 

They ain't cheap though, and there are a bunch of less expensive options out there that will give you similar results. As far as integration is concerned, yes there are certain settings on the L2T that can be controlled via the POD using their L6 Link cable, such as the L2T's output mode (PA, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, floor monitor etc etc). They're nice features to have, but not essential. You can get good tones spending a lot less money.

 

Thanks for the info! Sounds like the L2T would be the end goal once I get back into gigging but not necessary for now. Do you have any recommendations of cheaper FRFR's that I should look into?

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Hmm that's interesting..so the only real difference between the models are the body / neck shapes, the pickups when in manual mode, and the model/tuning settings that they come with out of the box (which can all be changed with the software?)

 

Are the names on the dials for the models and tunings able to be changed or are they hard coated on the dials?

The names on the dials are permanent.  I've loaded all of my custom stuff into the 'Custom 1' and 'Custom 2' slots (10 total).  Also, with a Helix or HD500X you have the ability to call up different Variax models and tunings from the presets.  For example, I can create a patch that automatically switches the Variax to a Les Paul with the bridge pickup selected and DADGAD tuning.

 

I'd like to find something a little more cost effective at the moment to learn on if there are cheaper but good solutions out there that will work fine with an HD500x.  I'm very new to all of this and I'm not gigging at the moment, mostly just home play and friendly basement / garage jam sessions about once a month so I figure now is a good time to experiment in changing up my signal chain.

 

I appreciate all the help and suggestions!

If you're looking for a really good 'bang for your buck' solution, take a look at the Alto PA speakers.  I have a pair of TS110A's, which cost $200 each, and they sound really good.  And while stereo is cool, you don't really have to have 2 of them.

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So do they make the import hard tail JTV-89 anymore? Is there actually any difference between the hard tail version and the floyd version other than the trem?  Does one have updated parts / circuitry, or does the 89F have more capabilities in terms of sounds or performance?  

Or is the trem really the only difference?

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So do they make the import hard tail JTV-89 anymore? Is there actually any difference between the hard tail version and the floyd version other than the trem? Does one have updated parts / circuitry, or does the 89F have more capabilities in terms of sounds or performance?

Or is the trem really the only difference?

Doubt there's anything different besides the trem...the JTVs seem to be in a holding pattern as far as any updates/improvements are concerned. Hasn't even been a firmware update in quite some time. They're a VERY niche product, with a limited audience...L6's efforts are clearly directed elsewhere at the moment.

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Don't believe the 89 without the Floyd trem is even offered any longer. If you look at this site's product offerings on the Variax family, it (along with several other models & color options) are no longer shown. Too bad - they could have done a better job at continuing promotion of the line, imo. Besides the addition of the trem on the 89F, IIRC I believe they have a different brand of piezo transducers. Can't remember which they went to. The original 89's had the same LR Baggs piezo's as the rest of them.

 

Dave

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Don't believe the 89 without the Floyd trem is even offered any longer. If you look at this site's product offerings on the Variax family, it (along with several other models & color options) are no longer shown. Too bad - they could have done a better job at continuing promotion of the line, imo. Besides the addition of the trem on the 89F, IIRC I believe they have a different brand of piezo transducers. Can't remember which they went to. The original 89's had the same LR Baggs piezo's as the rest of them.

 

Dave

 

Hmm, better for palm muting perhaps, or just to retrofit into a floyd trem system?

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The names on the dials are permanent.  I've loaded all of my custom stuff into the 'Custom 1' and 'Custom 2' slots (10 total).  Also, with a Helix or HD500X you have the ability to call up different Variax models and tunings from the presets.  For example, I can create a patch that automatically switches the Variax to a Les Paul with the bridge pickup selected and DADGAD tuning.

 

I always wanted to create a template for a sticker you could type in whatever you wanted the dial to say and then stick it to the dial. Something that wrapped completely around the knob. Although I did figure lining up said sticker perfectly could possibly be probalmatic. Don't know. haven't tried yet.

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Slight difference in the program between 89 and 89F, to deal with the minor

differences in the piezos, and the tone color subtleties between fix and floating

bridges (and floating bridge pitch tracking). The Models and Alt Tunes are the

same between them.

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