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Amplifi and Variax


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I recently bought a Variax JTV 69 & was curious to see how well it would pair with my Amplifi 150. I am happy to report that the combination is absolutely superb. I was a bit concerned that running a modelled guitar into a modelled amp might result in some latency issues, but nope, it's like having an unlimited number of guitars and amps at my fingertips snd it sounds just as present and lively as it would if I had purchased all the guitars and amps separately. The difference, of course, is that I can swap instantly between combinations (I have a shortboard controller for the amp).


One thing to note: I changed the strings on the Variax to Elixir nanoweb 11s to fatten up the sound for acoustic guitar models. That set is a good compromise for all the different guitar options on the Variax.

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Did my first gig with the Variax last night. Fabulous! It's so great to have a huge range of sounds available at the flick of a switch. The controls have been very well thought out.

Here's my rig: Variax into an Amplifi 150, which is connected to a powered USB hub. The hub also has connections from a Beatbuddy drum machine through a Roland OM-1 midi to USB converter, a Griffin iMic soundcard which goes to the PA, and the hub feeds an iPad running MidiBridge to Loopy. I've prerecorded loops with bass lines, guitar backing and some keyboard for many of our numbers.

So when I hit the pedal on the Beatbuddy, Loopy starts and they stay in sync. Also the feed from my Amplifi ends up going through the PA as well as through the Amplifi's speaker. Loopy plays through the PA and also through the Amplifi. Beatbuddy output goes through coax to the PA in stereo. If I want to I can loop in real time on stage using the reverse feed from the Amplifi to Loopy.

Prerecorded loops are so much warmer than sequenced midi.

For numbers that don't suit Loopy (because their structure can't be effectively looped), I've prerecorded backing in GarageBand. The advantage of loops is that when the audience is up and dancing you can keep going; you're not constrained by the length of the recording.

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  • 6 months later...

No, the Amplifi and Variax don't change each others' settings, if that's what you mean.


I was concerned when I bought the Variax that playing a modelling guitar through a modelling amp might introduce some kind of interference or delay, but that hasn't happened.  Combining the two gives you a huge range of guitar and amp combinations and they sound fabulous. Playing techniques that introduce squeaks and overtones work as normal and the response seems just as instantaneous as with a normal guitar and amp.

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