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Lamont32

Newbie here... Greetings!

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Greetings to everyone!

 

I'll finally be ordering a Variax this weekend.  I'm holding out to see if Sweetwater will be offering any unannounced "Black Friday" sales.  If not, I'll be paying full freight on a Variax Standard, a gig bag, and the power supply/AB switch.  

 

I was wondering if learning the use of it is going to be difficult.  Any tips for a newbie would be greatly appreciated.

 

thanks all!

 

 

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Hi Charlie_Watt,

 

I downloaded the manual for the Standard, and it seemed vague on first glance...   Is the battery removed and placed in a separate charger, or charged with the battery installed (as my iPhone gets charged)?

 

thanks,

mike 

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Removed and charged separately, well on mine JTV69S anyway.

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Yes you have to remove the battery to charge it.  Leave it in the charger overnight the first time.  You should get four leds lit when you push the test button on the battery box when it's fully charged.

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Basic usage is pretty straight forward, sounds like you'll be using the 1/4' outs for now.  Press the modeling knob, pick your sound and go...

 

Now if you want to muck about in editing/creating your own setups, that will involve using Workbench software - again fairly obvious, but a bit of a learning curve. 

 

Thing to remember  - if you're playing around with alt tunings, if you're not in headphones or playing fairly loud you're still gonna hear the actual strings sounding at normal pitch.  This has tripped up lots of people, they start yelling that the modeling has gone wrong or some such,  Word to the wise...

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Thanks for the tips!  It makes sense that you would hear the strings directly from the guitar to the ear while in alternate tunings.   I've been mostly playing direct to my Mac Pro via the Line 6 Toneport GX, and Logic.   I will use headphones when trying to record, or else just turn the amp up loud!  I am so looking forward to this!  Thank you for all your replies.

 

mike

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I found my new toy delivered when I got home from work this evening!  And I have the house to myself all afternoon tomorrow!  

 

Playtime....! :)  :)  :)  

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Hi! Just got my Variax Standard last week from Sweetwater. Very pleased with the playability and sound. I was sufficiently impressed with the quality to gig with it the day after it arrived. Worked better than expected, both in modeling and magnetic modes. I was impressed! 

Haven't tried anything with the Workbench software, but plan to soon. 

One note: the whole thing sounds best running the electric models thru a good tube amp, and the acoustic models thru the P.A. I did this with a basic A/B switch. The other guitarist (at the other end of the stage) thought I had switched to my Takamine acoustic when I played the acoustic model, then was freaked out when he heard a twelve string acoustic model on a song! I don't own an acoustic 12. VERY convincing! 

I'm happy with almost everything about this guitar, but would like to have some after-market parts suppliers making things like pickguards and necks available for it. Of course, finish options would be great also.

 

One note to Line 6: a push-in trem arm would REALLY be a nice upgrade. I use my trem a lot, and like to set the tension on it so it stays where I put it. Screw-in arms that swing free are less handy for players like me. 

Just sayin'...

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I'm happy with almost everything about this guitar, but would like to have some after-market parts suppliers making things like pickguards and necks available for it.

I like mine too, but don't hold your breath. There aren't enough of these things in the wild for any 3rd parties to bother making aftermarket accessories or necks. They'd never get their money back...too much of a niche product. It's just dumb luck that Strat replacement necks happen to fit the JTV69.

 

A pickguard you could get though. There are companies that will make you a custom one if you send them a tracing of the original, and tell em where the holes need to go.

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Thanks Guru. I have thought about having a custom guard made. I hope these things aren't too complicated to take apart. As for the necks; I know the main difference between a Fender Tele neck and a Yamaha Pacifica neck has to do with the overall length of the neck. The scale length is the same. When Fender added a 22nd fret to their necks, they did it as a fingerboard extension. When Yamaha designed their guitar, they made a 22 fret neck full length, so the heel of the neck makes the whole thing longer. G&L did the same thing. I'll bet a G&L neck would fit. Likewise, if a person had decent woodworking chops, they might be able to "fill in" beneath a 22 fret Fender style neck and get a proper fit. I may try that. I have some Fender necks gathering dust...

Otherwise, there are talented luthiers all over the country, so one of them could probably carve out a nice neck. 

Worth thinking about.

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Greetings Mrkgtr49,

 

I hope you are enjoying your VX Standard as much as I am.  Sounds like you got right into it too!  Never had the chance to play in a band myself... just play for my own relaxation, but the Variax fulfills a lot of sounds for me.  

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Hey Lamont!

Join a band!! It's fun even if you never play anywhere but your garage! It will make you a better player when you have to fit into a musical space with other players. I'll bet you've got some buds that would love to be in a band with you... ;)

I've found the magnetic pickups on the Standard to be very good sounding pickups, and I have scrapped plans to replace them (at least for now). I've been A/B-ing them against a MIM strat and a "partscaster" that has been my go-to strat for a few years. The sound difference is negligible for the most part, and the tone control on the Variax is actually useful without getting too muddy too soon. 

Here's something; at rehearsal last week, I started "Hard Day's Night"--that weird chord--on the Rick'r setting, and the rest of the band jumped in. I admit I struggled with the solo (never tried it before), but it still sounded good, and I think we'll add it to our repertoire.

I'm starting to love this guitar. 

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Hi,

 

I've picked up one of these second hand - an early model with no magnetic pickups.  I got it shortly after getting a second hand (yes, I'm a cheapskate!)  Pod X3 Live.  Played together they sound AMAZING. 

 

What I would like to do is download a more me-ish group of tones.  I've been navigating my way around Customtones.com but it's a bit tricky to find what you really want as all the patches seem to be sorted by artist / song names, whereas I want more generic sounds, like a good 60s crunch, a nice chorus funk tone, a wide & full delay tone etc.  Is there some way of finding your way around it like this? 

 

For example, I wanted a good setting to go with the acoustic simulations on the Variax, but if I type in 'variax acoustic' you get all sorts of nonsense. 

 

Lastly (sorry - lots of questions), unless I'm missing something, there's no way of hearing what they sound like without uploading them on to your pedalboard and trying them out.  Is that right?

 

Cheers guys - loving my new gear!

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Lastly (sorry - lots of questions), unless I'm missing something, there's no way of hearing what they sound like without uploading them on to your pedalboard and trying them out. Is that right?

 

Correct, you have to download tones to audition them. But here's the rub...

 

What you will find after slogging through Customtone for a while is that the VAST majority of what you download will sound absolutely nothing like it's description. The reason is simple. EVERYTHING that went into creating the patch you're hearing...the guitar, pickups, playing technique, the amp, studio monitors, headphones, PA speakers, or whatever he was using to hear himself, are ALL different from whatever you've got....everything but the POD itself. And sadly, that is not enough of a common denominator, with the chosen monitoring method making the most difference.

 

Plus, as you've already seen, much of what's there is artist/song specific. This requires the built-in assumption that whomever created the patch actually knows what they're doing, and has good enough ears to tone-match in the first place. Not a safe assumption more often than not, imho. And even when the skill exists, there's still all the variables listed above. In short, you can't expect much consistency from one player to the next with a given patch. Download a few and you'll see.

 

You'll get the sound you're after a whole lot faster if you just start building patches from scratch, figuring out what does and doesn't work for you.

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Hmmmm.... good point. I follow the reasoning. I had thought that having a Variax guitar would reduce the number of variables, but I guess all the rest remain. I had hoped I could save a lot of time by relying on other guitarists' hard work! Having had gear like this before, I guess my previous view (that you need some hard hours customising everything to your taste / style / equipment) is no different for a POD.

 

I remember answering my own question as to why I don't sound like David Gilmour when I play the same notes: it's because you don't play like David Gilmour! Simple really!!

 

Thanks for the reply. I'll get messing when I get a bit of time away from work / kids....

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