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I've just been trying out a Helix at Yamaha London - the 'main' Line 6 dealer for the UK - and when I questioned why they only had one 59 for me to try it on (the pickup selector push on the tunings pot was broken which I pointed out) I was told that they aren't stocking them as the James Tyler connection has finished and a new product will be announced shortly.

 

Ho hum...

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Retailers have been floating different iterations of that basic statement for a while now, and every time it comes up around here, somebody official chimes in and says "Nope"...so somebody, possibly more than one somebody, is either misinformed or lying.

 

Personally, I see little point in continuing to release different versions of Variax, unless there's been some quantum leap in the technology. There simply isn't enough interest in these things...the Standard is just a little over a year old, and it ain't cheap to tool up and produce new designs all the time. These things don't exactly fly off the shelves...but who knows?

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Yes, the 'lad' who I was talking to said something along the lines of a JTV is basically a computer and dosen't appeal to guitar players.  That said, he didn't know about switching pickup selectors  on a 59 - he said he thought it only had three positions - so could be a case of he didnt know what he was talking about...

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I think part of the sales problem is that a lot of the stores don't really know what the Variax can truly do, but get them in on the basis of the Acoustic side. I was lucky with mine as I'd already done the research and the store was actually prepared as soon as i asked the bloke was trying to show me workbench and all its powers rather then just blabbing the typical sales style!

 

 

That being said, I'd say L6 would have to have something lined up, need to keep the Variax up to date and I feel that the Modeling could be improved with a magnetic pickup for the electrics etc, JTV series has been around for 6 years too so sounds like time for a refresh. Doesn't make the current JTV's any worse!

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I really would hope that that particular store knew what it was talking about - it is branded and owned by Yamaha (who own Line 6, but you all knew that).

 

Unfortunately that doesn't mean that every sales person knows every feature of every product.

 

In this case however there is also the fact that Workbench HD hasn't been updated to support editing via a Helix and that there hasn't been an update for a very long time and you do begin to wonder. I wouldn't expect anybody here to pre-announce a new product, but the right retailers might know so that they don't stock up with the wrong items, and that one is the "right retailer" in the UK.

 

Other than the Helix 2 firmware things have been relatively quiet from Line 6 for quite a while now and "new products" have been mentioned a few times

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I picked up my JTV59 about a month ago from Sweetwater. They are constantly on back order there. I think the Helix revived the demand as that's what drove me to get mine. VDI native support and the ability to change models or Tunings per snapshot now and Impulse Response to take acustic models to that next level, it's amazing.

 

I will say this, when I got the guitar (rarely ever do something like that without a test drive, but zero stores anywhere have them) I was initially a bit shocked at the neck. Super thick, all the way down to the nut (at least 60s lLes Pauls taper a good bit around the lower frets). I'd read about being wary to alter the factory action as acoustic models etc are very unforgiving with any degree of buzz. But last week a luthier friend of mine did an amazing job setting up the guitar and world of difference. I have to say, even through the magnetics it plays and sounds beautiful, and being able to flip the switch on stage and get a pretty convincing acoustic nails the thing for me.

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 I was initially a bit shocked at the neck. Super thick, all the way down to the nut

 

Correct - just like a genuine vintage Les Paul ( or reissue)

 

1455310051_1751069888_IMG_3125.JPG

 

 

For me, thick necks = less hand fatigue.

 

And explains why I prefer the  JTV-59 - get them while you can !

 

Here's mine

 

http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=9291.0

 

20130523_022535_zps2a602406.jpg

 

20130523_022424_zpsff90e2d6.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

 

 

Nigel speaks the truth!

 

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The Great Divide:  on the one hand, people who either can't or won't read and figure things out.  On the other, the "tweakers" who will learn how to take advantage of technology.  If I get a whiff of "dunno" out of somebody, I don't even try to sell them on modelers or JTVs -- lost cause.

 

The times they are a'changing.  People have to decide if they want to be like some my age who don't use email or own a cell phone.

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Line 6 would be making a good business decision to terminate the Variaxe completely.

 

From the standpoint of performance it does a lot of guitar models fairly well. When I play I don't want something that sounds kinda like a Tele, I want a Tele. Variaxe is a nice toy and fun to fiddle with using workbench but not a serious guitar by any means. It's acoustic models are embarrassing as is it's frumpy Lee Paul sounds.

 

The other issue it is widely recognized as failure prone and finicky. I think it has done enough damage to the Line 6 name. Dump it and focus on core competency.

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Line 6 would be making a good business decision to terminate the Variaxe completely.

From the standpoint of performance it does a lot of guitar models fairly well. When I play I don't want something that sounds kinda like a Tele, I want a Tele. Variaxe is a nice toy and fun to fiddle with using workbench but not a serious guitar by any means. It's acoustic models are embarrassing as is it's frumpy Lee Paul sounds.

The other issue it is widely recognized as failure prone and finicky. I think it has done enough damage to the Line 6 name. Dump it and focus on core competency.

That's a point of view. But I guess you must be lonely, not having a mobile phone, TV, car etc.....

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There's alot of people love them, guess you can't please everyone.

 

I've just bought a JTV69S, still in the packaging, not had time to have a play yet as I'm full of cold.

 

But I'll reserve judgement till then

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That's a point of view. But I guess you must be lonely, not having a mobile phone, TV, car etc.....

I have had: a half a dozen cell phones, none failed I replaced because of technological advances; I have had multiple TVs, again not one failed they were replaced for improvements sake; cars I have owned have not broken down, I got tired of the one I had before it gave out on me etc...

 

Maybe my luck ran out with the Variaxes.  however two out of two failures and many other es reporting similar problems with the Variaxe leads me to believe that it has design flaws and/or manufacturing process problems.

 

I did overstate my criticism of the Variaxe sounds by just focusing on the negative.  The Variaxe does a very good job modeling the Telecaster and Stratocaster.  

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I guess my point didn't come across very well. Line 6 has always been at the forefront of tech - early mobiles here in the U.K. could only be used in very limited areas until they 'caught on'. And they were the size of two house bricks!

 

I'm not saying we should accept that the tech fails though and I'm sorry you have had these issues. I agree Line 6 should sort it. But since I've owned PODs & variaxes most major companies have started offering modelling amps and I am sure we will see modelling guitars from major companies soon. Many now offer piezo equipped guitars so you can switch to 'acoustic'.

 

Ok, a variax doesn't sound a lot like a vintage Les Paul and maybe isn't as fun to play but if you play in a gigging band that plays a wide variety of genres I don't think you can beat it. Yes, you do have to spend a bit of time tweaking this and that but very believable sounds are possible. No, you are never going to fool the beard strokers but I'm usually playing for the audience that are digging the music, not the 2 people at the back discussing whether I used the red or the blue comp on a particular sound.

 

I guess you tried talking to Line 6 about sorting your issues?

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I have been talking to Line 6 customer service for three weeks.  The representative is very nice, professional and trying to do all he can.  Unfortunately Line 6 policy on this is that they want to repair the guitar and make a significant profit at my expense. (example they will charge $180 for a main board that Full compass sells for $128.  I'm sure Full Compass has already put a hefty mark up on the part and Line 6 in their greed and in my opinion unethical dealing whats more at my expense.)

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Sorry hear of your problems. I've not encountered that myself. As others here I've owned Line 6 gear for years and had no major problems. My 500x went a bit awry out of warranty but I opened it up and found a loose connector.

 

The very nature of this being a 'support forum' - and it will be the same with any product reviewed on the net - it attracts mostly people with problems. The vast majority of people will have no need of it so we won't ever know hat they are having faultless fun with their product.

 

How do we know that 'Full Compass' are not supplying an inferior product for the less money? Is that where Line 6 get their parts? Line 6 is after all a business and needs to make a profit. Ok, not a Ferrari driving profit on things that have gone wrong!

 

I hope you can get your issues sorted soon!

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I have been talking to Line 6 customer service for three weeks.  The representative is very nice, professional and trying to do all he can.  Unfortunately Line 6 policy on this is that they want to repair the guitar and make a significant profit at my expense. (example they will charge $180 for a main board that Full compass sells for $128.  I'm sure Full Compass has already put a hefty mark up on the part and Line 6 in their greed and in my opinion unethical dealing whats more at my expense.)

 

If you try to get a board and install it into your guitar, I'm pretty sure you're going to be pissed off in the end.

I tried that with an older Variax and it did absolutely nothing. The board was not flashed with any code so it couldn't communicate to the VDI port, so I couldn't even flash the guitar.

 

Pretty sure Line 6 needs to do some type of hard flash on the board that can't be done via your USB hub and monkey. It's probably some equipment they only have.

 

Sounds lame, but it'll save you a lot of grief unless you want to mess around with sending something back to Full compass.

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The cost of Variax repairs is not unreasonable!  Compare it to what you pay for a new tail light for your car.  ($500 for mine)  Fortunately, the guy that busted it paid for it.  A repair center has to make a profit like it or not.  A new board is the whole electronics for a Variax.  Stuff like that is not cost effective to repair.

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