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Helix FW 2.20 (The "Get Low" Update) OUT NOW

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Someone's not paying attention.

 

Last you said new firmware was slipping into March... where I work slip into next month means week 1 of month!

 

Is silverhead disclosing solid information?

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I am merely repeating what DI said earlier in this thread, at least as far as timing goes. My statement that a new editor, driver, and Updater program are also coming is based on previous firmware releases.

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Patience, children. It will come.

I don't think Silverhead has any inside info on when. I'm a beta tester and I don't have solid info on when it will come, and I don't think SH is... so...

 

...patience children...

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Why don´t we encourage the guys modeling at Line 6 to deal with those very expensive or discontinued things that regular Joes like us can`t afford?

Asking for a POG or a Whammy DT is really selfish when you can save a couple bucks and just buy it, when compared with the 5 grand you need in order to buy a Diezel VH4 or a Herbie... Other thing with phasing... Just Two phasers (the Deluxe Phaser is the worst effect by far in the Helix with that tweety bird inside singing wee-wee with every cycle) vs. 4 Flangers vs 3 Filters vs 4 Choruses (taking into account the new Arion Stereo Chorus model, hope they nail it because it sounds awesome)...

Maybe the Boss HM-2 can apply because it´s not easy to get a hold of right now... old but classic pedal...

Come on guys... you just can`t have everything in a U$S 1500 multi-fx processor and expect to be updated with products you can go buy at your favourite music shop for 300 bucks or less in ebay...

Summing up... more expensive guitar and bass amps with top notch quality modeling. More discontinued pedals. And that`s it.

 

Your general sentiment here makes a lot of sense to me regarding modeling top notch amps and effects, especially expensive ones that would be inaccessible to many otherwise. However, I don't like packing a huge pedalboard full of extra cabling, power supply(s) and lots of additional things to go wrong. Therefor for me I prefer that as many great amps/effects, vintage and expensive (or not), be included, especially the ones that are most likely to be used. My days of carrying 4x12 Marshall stacks and 55lb pedalboards and ridiculously over-engineered PAs are I hope over. These days I minimize my rig so I welcome any model added that sounds good and is usable on the Helix. I don't know if polyphonic effects are coming to this version of the Helix or not but I think they would be a great addition, even to already existing models like the whammy and 3 Osc Synth. In general I would love to see a little bit more in the way of guitar synth capability on the Helix, at least enough to easily dial in some basic alternate instrument emulations like sax, flute, harmonica as these instruments pop up in enough solos to be incredibly useful. Not disagreeing with you, just think priorities regarding what should be modeled differ according to whether the Helix is being used primarily for studio or stage and also according to how much extra equipment the player is willing to maintain, drag along, and connect and manage at performances. With that said the Helix is certainly outfitted for optimal ease of use with external equipment and those that use it that way are probably getting the most out of it.

 

I agree the HM-2 or a couple of good distortion effects with EQ geared towards a more metal sound would probably be a good addition.

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First of all, I´d like to thank you for your answer... I´m just a rookie in this forum and you´re the first member who took the time in order to give some feedback to my humble opinion regarding the firmware updates for the Helix. I sincerely believe that this is just a matter of limited resources and endless customer desires. There are thousands and thousands of pedals as much as millions and millions of their fans who would like to have them inside the Helix to save some space in their pedalboards, prevent some back injuries while loading and moving their gear while touring or gigging... Unfortunately, writing software and coding data in order to replicate those amps and pedals is a long, steady and human activity which needs a lot of time, brainpower and money... I´m just a guy playing at home and sometimes with friends with a lollipop Marshall DSL 15c... Hahaha... Though I know what it feels like pushing heavy 4x12 1960B Marshall cabs and lifting a JVM 410 head... It´s a drag adding a lot of external equipment, but there´s no way to add a Diezel or a Randall digital amp without buying a Fractal or a Kemper...

I´d love a modern phaser different than the Deluxe Phaser... it sounds terribly bad. I already have a Boss PH-3 and tomorrow I´m getting an used EHX Bad Stone.

Anyway, I believe that Line 6 is doing a very good job and has stepped up to the plate playing in the Majors with Fractal and Kemper.  

 


Your general sentiment here makes a lot of sense to me regarding modeling top notch amps and effects, especially expensive ones that would be inaccessible to many otherwise. However, I don't like packing a huge pedalboard full of extra cabling, power supply(s) and lots of additional things to go wrong. Therefor for me I prefer that as many great amps/effects, vintage and expensive (or not), be included, especially the ones that are most likely to be used. My days of carrying 4x12 Marshall stacks and 55lb pedalboards and ridiculously over-engineered PAs are I hope over. These days I minimize my rig so I welcome any model added that sounds good and is usable on the Helix. I don't know if polyphonic effects are coming to this version of the Helix or not but I think they would be a great addition, even to already existing models like the whammy and 3 Osc Synth. In general I would love to see a little bit more in the way of guitar synth capability on the Helix, at least enough to easily dial in some basic alternate instrument emulations like sax, flute, harmonica as these instruments pop up in enough solos to be incredibly useful. Not disagreeing with you, just think priorities regarding what should be modeled differ according to whether the Helix is being used primarily for studio or stage and also according to how much extra equipment the player is willing to maintain, drag along, and connect and manage at performances. With that said the Helix is certainly outfitted for optimal ease of use with external equipment and those that use it that way are probably getting the most out of it.

 

I agree the HM-2 or a couple of good distortion effects with EQ geared towards a more metal sound would probably be a good addition.

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I personally don't care much about 'boutique' stuff since most boutique stuff is just tweaked versions of mass market circuits anyway. A diezel would be nice, but its another variation on hi gain, I could live with the archon if I wanted something close enough.


If lots of people's pedalboards have a particular pedal = get it in there. The common 'industry standard' gear should be the first to go in IMO.

 

Look at it this way: when I bought the Helix I had a friendly argument with a fellow musician who balked at the idea of dropping over a grand on a guitar pedal. My response was "no no its cool! I replaced my entire pedalboard with it!" if I have to add the disclaimer (except for pitch effects because those aren't so good so I had to set aside another 300 to buy a POG I can patch in) that kind of weakens my argument somewhat.

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This update sounds great, and seems to have some features I'd been hoping for.

 

That said, the Workbench HD feature aggravates me.  The HD implies that it will only work with some newer Variax models.  if that's true, Line 6 is once again blowing raspberries at left handed guitarists.  The only left handed Variax they ever made was the 500.  I have one, but that model was discontinued some years ago.  All of the Helix literature says the Helix works with Variax guitars, but never (as far as I've seen) says it doesn't work with the 500.  It DOES work somewhat with the 500, but can't retune the 500's strings as it can newer models; I don't know why.  Now, it seems, it also won't connect with the version of Workbench used by the 500.

 

So, even though I have been a loyal Line 6 customer for 20 years or so, buying many of their products, because I am left handed they shut me out from the full utility of my expensive purchases.  To be clear, I have:

 

1. A left handed Variax 500, bought new

2. A left handed FrankenVariax, made at great cost by a luthier and Variax tech from the guts of a Variax 300 and a custom built body to work as a left handed Variax (because you can't find a left handed Variax to purchase anywhere, and I needed a spare for gigs)

3. A Helix floor model

 

And I can't even use the Helix to connect either Variax to Workbench, meaning I have to hold on to my HD500 solely for that purpose.

 

The sad thing is that I would gladly buy two or three NEW Variaxes IF Line 6 made left handed models.  But they so far refuse to serve that portion of their market, and so further disappoint some of us by not supporting us with updates such as this one.

 

I will look forward to this update, to be sure, but knowing I will get less from it than most of the rest of you.  Line 6 really should make at least one model of Variax left handed that will work with the Helix.  I'd buy it.  Or they should offer for purchase whatever parts are necessary for older Variax models to be upgraded.  To me, a loyal customer, this seems only fair. 

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That said, the Workbench HD feature aggravates me.  The HD implies that it will only work with some newer Variax models.  if that's true, Line 6 is once again blowing raspberries at left handed guitarists.  The only left handed Variax they ever made was the 500.  I have one, but that model was discontinued some years ago.  All of the Helix literature says the Helix works with Variax guitars, but never (as far as I've seen) says it doesn't work with the 500.  It DOES work somewhat with the 500, but can't retune the 500's strings as it can newer models; I don't know why.  Now, it seems, it also won't connect with the version of Workbench used by the 500.

 

The alternate tuning limitation with the older Variaxes is a limitation of the Variax itself, not the Helix. In the original Variax, alternate tuning was baked into the models themselves, and could only be accessed by Workbench and saving the re-tuned model in a preset slot. With the JTV, Standard, and Shuriken models, the tuning exists as a separate variable outside of the models, hence the Helix (and POD HD models) can change it remotely.

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Yes, I understand that.  But you see, that only makes the fact that Line 6 advertises the Helix as working with the Variax - without specifying that it doesn't really work with all models of the Variax - more aggravating.

 

Besides, you are actually misunderstanding the case.  The alternate tunings are not "baked into the models themselves" on the older models; they were editable using the appropriate software (as you say).  So, there is no reason that the newer software - including the software of the Helix itself (its firmware) couldn't provide the same functionality, except a decision by Line 6 not to support the older models - which effectively means left handed players are deliberately excluded from the full functionality of products they paid full price for.

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Yes, I understand that.  But you see, that only makes the fact that Line 6 advertises the Helix as working with the Variax - without specifying that it doesn't really work with all models of the Variax - more aggravating.

 

Besides, you are actually misunderstanding the case.  The alternate tunings are not "baked into the models themselves" on the older models; they were editable using the appropriate software (as you say).  So, there is no reason that the newer software - including the software of the Helix itself (its firmware) couldn't provide the same functionality, except a decision by Line 6 not to support the older models - which effectively means left handed players are deliberately excluded from the full functionality of products they paid full price for.

 

Well, I suppose it would be technically feasible for Helix to support the older versions of Workbench, but it's probably wouldn't necessarily be a simple task from what I understand. It simply comes down to a matter or resources, I'm sure.

 

But, yes, alternate tuning are baked into the models in the original Variax. Apart from changing them in Workbench and saving that custom model, there's no way to change them. With the newer Variax, you can apply an alternate tuning from the guitar itself or just by calling sending it out through the Helix or POD HD. The original Variax simply doesn't have the architecture to allow that behavior.

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But the phrase "baked in" misstates the case.  Fundamentally, the string tunings are just data.  Those data can be written to any required data location, to a specific model, to a general "tuning" area of the Variax, or even to a place on the Helix.  It would take a decent programmer, armed with the right knowledge, less than a couple of hours to write code to make those decisions, and maybe another couple of hours to test it.  Maybe a day or two total, and they would have served ALL of their Variax customers, not just those - non-left handed - ones who can purchase and play the newer models.

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... Those data can be written to any required data location, to a specific model, to a general "tuning" area of the Variax, or even to a place on the Helix.  It would take a decent programmer, armed with the right knowledge, less than a couple of hours to write code to make those decisions, and maybe another couple of hours to test it.  Maybe a day or two total, ...

 

Not sure how you came up with those estimates but I think they are grossly inaccurate. Nor do I think the job is as technically simple as you suggest. But you're entitled to your opinion, as am I.

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As are you.  What causes you to doubt what I say?  Seriously, without being sarcastic, I'm willing to learn and change my opinion.  But I see the tunings as data, which can be written and stored to any area of any device the programmer finds available.

 

Of course, none of this mitigates the fact that Line 6 ignores its left handed guitar customers and even advertises misleadingly from the left handed perspective.  And that's my real point.  If they made left handed Variaxes, I'd buy several, assuming decent quality. 

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But the phrase "baked in" misstates the case.  Fundamentally, the string tunings are just data.  Those data can be written to any required data location, to a specific model, to a general "tuning" area of the Variax, or even to a place on the Helix.  It would take a decent programmer, armed with the right knowledge, less than a couple of hours to write code to make those decisions, and maybe another couple of hours to test it.  Maybe a day or two total, and they would have served ALL of their Variax customers, not just those - non-left handed - ones who can purchase and play the newer models.

 

Sure, we're talking about the firmware of the guitar and the way the code is written. The original Variax handled alternate tuning completely differently than the JTV and newer ones do. That's all I'm saying. Would it be possible for Line 6 to change that firmware? I imagine so, but I can't see any company opening up the firmware for a discontinued product to make that sort of fundamental change. It might not even be possible for other technical reasons.

 

I think you're thoroughly underestimating the amount of work involved, though, from everything I have seen. The Workbench HD compatibility is just being added with this new firmware... Do you really think that if it were a matter of hours, it would have taken a year and a half for it to be added?

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Once again, I think (although I am open to correction) you are misunderstanding the case.  You seem to be confusing code with data.  The code is what causes the data to be stored.  The firmware is code, not data.  The tunings are data, not code.  You write the code to store the data where you need it stored.

 

And how long it takes for customers to see updated firmware, which obviously contains many, many more changes than the relatively small one I'm describing, is no measure of how long it would take to make a minor change such as adding a place or two that data may be stored.

 

Anyway, all that said, I look forward to the new Helix update just like everyone else, only with some disappointment that Line 6 seems not to care about users of older Variaxes, nor about left handed players.

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....  What causes you to doubt what I say? ..... 

 Perhaps it's my decade or so of experience in software development in a global telecommunications company. NOTHING can be properly integrated, much less tested, into an existing complex code base in a matter of hours or days.

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..... You seem to be confusing code with data.  The code is what causes the data to be stored.  The firmware is code, not data.  The tunings are data, not code.  You write the code to store the data where you need it stored.

 

....

 

That depends entirely on how the code/data separation is implemented in the design and architecture of the product. Neither I nor you have any idea of how this is handled in the original Variax products. What is code at the time of original devleopment (e.g. a guitar's standard tuning) might be data at some future unanticipated time (e.g. alternate tunings). Ideally, the design is flexible enough to anticipate that certain elements of today's code might be tomorrow's data. But that doesn't always (often?) happen. Let's remember that the original Variax firmware architecture is more than 10 years old. It's probably not simple to turn code into data.

 

Remember the Y2K fears? You may not. But it took a herculean effort throughout the software industry to prevent serious global security and other important issues resulting from the fact that software developers in the early years had treated the first two digits of a year (e.g. 1960) as code, and allowed only the last two digits as data. The year 2000 loomed large and a lot of effort was expended making sure planes didn't fall out of the sky, elevators drop to the floor, and nuclear reactors go into meltdown.

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Once again, I think (although I am open to correction) you are misunderstanding the case. You seem to be confusing code with data. The code is what causes the data to be stored. The firmware is code, not data. The tunings are data, not code. You write the code to store the data where you need it stored.

 

And how long it takes for customers to see updated firmware, which obviously contains many, many more changes than the relatively small one I'm describing, is no measure of how long it would take to make a minor change such as adding a place or two that data may be stored.

 

Anyway, all that said, I look forward to the new Helix update just like everyone else, only with some disappointment that Line 6 seems not to care about users of older Variaxes, nor about left handed players.

It's not a matter of caring, I'm sure... It's a matter of the market realities and Line 6, like any other company, having limited resources and getting the most out of those resources. I don't know of any company that would invest a lot of time and energy into integrating new functionality into a product that's over a decade old. What you're asking for with alternate tuning and the original Variax is a functionality that has never been there. The XTL, X3L or POD HD couldn't change the tuning directly on the original Variax. It's a feature that was never supported anywhere other than through Workbench.

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The reason we can be sure that the tunings have consistently been code, not data, is because they have always been changeable by code.  They have never been "baked in", because there has always been a Workbench program (code) that can change them.

 

That said, even with my over 30 years as a college professor teaching computers and programming, I'll concede that it's probably more complex than I made it seem.  I was being inappropriately hyperbolic because this situation aggravates me.  I hope that is taken into account.  Little support for older Variaxes, and no current left handed models.  it's aggravating.

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'It's not a matter of caring, I'm sure... It's a matter of the market realities and Line 6, like any other company, having limited resources and getting the most out of those resources. I don't know of any company that would invest a lot of time and energy into integrating new functionality into a product that's over a decade old. What you're asking for with alternate tuning and the original Variax is a functionality that has never been there. The XTL, X3L or POD HD couldn't change the tuning directly on the original Variax. It's a feature that was never supported anywhere other than through Workbench."

 

And that's the crux of it.  Creating newer versions of products that completely leave some of your customers out of the loop.  One person's "market realities" is another person's aggravation.  and that's all I've been expressing here.

 

Ask yourself why the newer versions of Workbench - or even the Helix, for that matter - couldn't contain code to support customers with older Variaxes.  We know the code exists.

 

I just don't find the "market realities" argument convincing.  Sorry.  I feel like a troll here, but I genuinely don't mean to be.  I'd just like to be able to fully participate in the Helix/Variax experience, that's all.  After all, I have proven myself to be part of Line 6's "market reality" by purchasing many of their hardware and software products over the years, from the original POD on down.

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..

 

..  Sorry.  I feel like a troll here, but I genuinely don't mean to be. ...

 

No need to feel trollish. I understand the frustration. I was just trying to counter the claim that it would be a simple thing to do.

 

I do tend to believe the 'market realities' argument. I'm a 6'3 left-handed golfer. It's frustrating for me to not have the wide club selection that my right-handed buddies have, and forget about driving to the course in an affordable subcompact car. I can't even fold myself into those things.

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And how long it takes for customers to see updated firmware, which obviously contains many, many more changes than the relatively small one I'm describing, is no measure of how long it would take to make a minor change such as adding a place or two that data may be stored.

 

Definition, ramping up the old Variax development tools, relearning the old Variax development tools (that was a long time ago and certain engineers have left for Apple and Tesla!), debugging the old Variax development tools, actual development, compiling for new systems, and testing would take months.

 

If you want us to update the old Variaxes, vote it up on IdeaScale; until then, the hundreds of more frequently requested features, models, and products should take priority, yes?

 

Anyway, all that said, I look forward to the new Helix update just like everyone else, only with some disappointment that Line 6 seems not to care about users of older Variaxes, nor about left handed players.

I'm left-handed. And since we're both left-handed (10% of the population but only 2-3% percent of guitarists), you know how pathetic the choice is out there for us at any given music store (to the point where I gave up and now play right-handed, which sucks). The issue is not about lack of compassion for southpaws—it's the improbability of you ever walking into a guitar store and finding a Variax on the wall—much less a left-handed version—much less the body style you want—much less the color you want.

 

If your average Guitar Center, Sam Ash, Thomann, and Music Store GmbH had 30 Variaxes on the walls, this would be a very, very different conversation. But as it stands, Variax is a niche product, and understand that you're requesting a ton of effort to deliver a tiny sliver of a niche product.

 

Making a traditional electric guitar in a left-handed version is a piece of cake compared to the multiple custom UI and DSP boards required for a left-handed Variax. The tooling alone might cost more than what we'd profit from making a left-handed version.

 

Or put another way: If our old left-handed Variaxes sold well enough to be viable, we obviously would've continued making them and we obviously would've made a lefty JTV. Again, IdeaScale is your best bet. I'll vote it up as well, because I feel your pain.

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I'm left-handed too... I just learned how to play guitar the right way. :D

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I'm left-handed too... I just learned how to play guitar the right way. :D

 

Ditto.

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My sincere sympathies go out to all left-handed guitarists subject to the market realities of lower sales numbers for left-handed merchandise which result in a dramatically more constrained range of choices. My compliments to cchimi for expressing his frustration with great restraint and courtesy. Both his and Line6's points are legitimate and there is no simple resolution here. Maybe what the southpaw community needs is an arts foundation for funding custom designed instruments for left-handed musicians. Otherwise I don't know how else the left-handed community gets relief in the near term short of a law that mandates that anything that requires a dominant hand to operate be made in right and left handed versions. Maybe in the future 3D printing will offer manufacturers an inexpensive solution that won't require mirrored redundant machinery and additional machining of parts for lefties. That should finally offer this under-served but significant portion or the population (10%) some well-deserved options. In the meantime, we should encourage any manufacturer who can make a profit, even with a greatly reduced margin, to do their best to serve this part of our community, particularly in the arts. A tax credit for producing left handed merchandise would probably be very helpful as well.

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Why don´t we encourage the guys modeling at Line 6 to deal with those very expensive or discontinued things that regular Joes like us can`t afford?

Asking for a POG or a Whammy DT is really selfish when you can save a couple bucks and just buy it, when compared with the 5 grand you need in order to buy a Diezel VH4 or a Herbie... Other thing with phasing... Just Two phasers (the Deluxe Phaser is the worst effect by far in the Helix with that tweety bird inside singing wee-wee with every cycle) vs. 4 Flangers vs 3 Filters vs 4 Choruses (taking into account the new Arion Stereo Chorus model, hope they nail it because it sounds awesome)...

Maybe the Boss HM-2 can apply because it´s not easy to get a hold of right now... old but classic pedal...

Come on guys... you just can`t have everything in a U$S 1500 multi-fx processor and expect to be updated with products you can go buy at your favourite music shop for 300 bucks or less in ebay...

Summing up... more expensive guitar and bass amps with top notch quality modeling. More discontinued pedals. And that`s it.

In other words, "Requesting what you want is selfish! Now listen to what I want..."  :P

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I will jump in here - based upon more years than I want to recall in software; lets just say I started when you had to copy line by line source code from magazines to program a Commodore Pet,

Anyway I have no reason to want support for the Old variax because I have a JTV but I will suggest that there is a huge difference between full Workbench support via Helix which I am sure would be a challenge and sending the MIDI/SysEx produced by old Workbench when somebody edits a patch to get an alternate tuning. This doesn't have to be a permanent change and will still have all of the old restrictions such as you cannot change to other pickup positions (except through snapshots).

If Helix could duplicate this then it should be able to swap patches and apply a tuning change for the older variax and give a significant improvement for legacy variax guitars without any of the excessive overhead of new Workbench editor working through Helix. The one big restriction is that you cannot alternate tune a 12 string because the old hardware could only do one set of pitch shifting.

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In other words, "Requesting what you want is selfish! Now listen to what I want..."  :P

 

completely disagree. It's more an "economies of scale" thing.

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completely disagree. It's more an "economies of scale" thing.

His post had nothing to do with economies of scale.

 

He said others were being selfish for requesting what they wanted. Then he went on to request things. That is literally exactly what he did.

 

Whatever, I'm not looking to get in a fight over this. I just found it amusing.

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This update sounds real exciting and I patiently await its release. To the engineers involved with this project, the improvements since launch have been vast and I thank you. Try not to feel pressured and just keep doing what you have been doing. The helix is already awesome and I predict it will become even more so based on you're efforts so far. To you lefties out there, take a look at Kiesel Guitars. Lots of lefty love over there and they build an awesome guitar as well. My brother is a southpaw and he's been getting the shaft on everything from baseball gloves to guitars his whole life. Being a lefty doesn't mean being left out. I play with a lefty that out shreds me all day,every day.

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Went shopping for a Variax for my son in the Dallas TX area, and found ONE on the shelf. A standard that they have had for quite a while and had it marked down significantly, but still new. Yes, it is a niche market. 

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I'm left-handed too... I just learned how to play guitar the right way. :D

 

 

Have you heard the theory that a "normal" right handed guitar is actually designed for left handed people?

 

... something to do with the fact that the left hand gets the job of all the tricky business of selecting the notes whereas the right hand simply has to pluck them.

 

Not sure if I agree 100% with the idea - but it's made me think about it.   if it's true then 90% of us are playing guitars the wrong way round :)

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I will jump in here - based upon more years than I want to recall in software; lets just say I started when you had to copy line by line source code from magazines to program a Commodore Pet,

 

While the Pet was before my time, I cut my code teeth doing that stuff with my parents' C64, complete with a cassette tape deck until they splurged for the 1541 floppy drive.  You just brought back some memories...  :lol:

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I'm left-handed too... I just learned how to play guitar the right way. :D

 

 

Ditto.

 

Double ditto. The first guitar lesson I ever had was the most valuable one; my teacher told me I was holding the guitar upside down.

 

Have you heard the theory that a "normal" right handed guitar is actually designed for left handed people?

 

... something to do with the fact that the left hand gets the job of all the tricky business of selecting the notes whereas the right hand simply has to pluck them.

 

Not sure if I agree 100% with the idea - but it's made me think about it.   if it's true then 90% of us are playing guitars the wrong way round :)

 

Never heard that theory, nor do I think that one hand plays a more important role in guitar playing than the other, unless you're someone like Allan Holdsworth, who picks about one out of every five notes he plays. I'm glad I learned how to play righty; lefty guitars were extremely rare when I started playing in the '60s. These days they aren't nearly as rare, but I guess we've still got a ways to go with making life as easy for lefties as it is for the right handed majority.

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My sincere sympathies go out to all left-handed guitarists subject to the market realities of lower sales numbers for left-handed merchandise which result in a dramatically more constrained range of choices. My compliments to cchimi for expressing his frustration with great restraint and courtesy. Both his and Line6's points are legitimate and there is no simple resolution here. Maybe what the southpaw community needs is an arts foundation for funding custom designed instruments for left-handed musicians. Otherwise I don't know how else the left-handed community gets relief in the near term short of a law that mandates that anything that requires a dominant hand to operate be made in right and left handed versions. Maybe in the future 3D printing will offer manufacturers an inexpensive solution that won't require mirrored redundant machinery and additional machining of parts for lefties. That should finally offer this under-served but significant portion or the population (10%) some well-deserved options. In the meantime, we should encourage any manufacturer who can make a profit, even with a greatly reduced margin, to do their best to serve this part of our community, particularly in the arts. A tax credit for producing left handed merchandise would probably be very helpful as well.

Well said, technology is growing in a way where customization (which is essentially what you are talking about on a very basic level, aka left handed) is becoming more accessible than ever before. 3D printing is a huge step in that direction, probably the biggest yet, but it goes largely unrecognized by mass public (and not for completely benign reasons either!)  People use to (and still do) look at me with the oddest looks when I even try to mention to them what 3D printing is, or what it is capable of doing.  They can (with this technology) print  houses in 24 hours.  Half a dozen printers, and you have a decent neighborhood in 72 hours. Using stem cells they can print body parts... It only gets more efficient from here on. 

Hell, they are already printing guitars.  At first they were pretty bad, but with the higher precision printers, and as the technology matured... they have started to get some nice results.

Arguably that future better hurry up because at the rate of our current trajectory going backwards, or even stagnating at this point is extremely detrimental. 

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I'm also a left hander playing right handed, but there are degrees of left handedness. I do some things left, but most others right handed. Playing right handed was not really a conscious choice I remember making, it's just how I learned. Same with throwing a ball, etc. Things I do left are basically writing and eating. I know people who are left handed in everything they do, so for them, the guitar would only feel natural lefty. However most guitar players I know to be even more lefty than me, play right handed... Just an observation on my part. I've only personally known one person that plays guitar lefty. It would be good if a Variax was made for those folks as well, but yes, I see the market aspects as well. If L6 wants to break it out of the niche, they should revisit that variation....

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I'm also a left hander playing right handed, but there are degrees of left handedness. I do some things left, but most others right handed. Playing right handed was not really a conscious choice I remember making, it's just how I learned. Same with throwing a ball, etc. Things I do left are basically writing and eating.

 

Same here (except my conscious choice was to play lefty and fortunately that was corrected before I could do anything with a guitar besides use it as a weapon). I know a lot of lefties that do some stuff righty. I think our brains were wired wrong. Not that I'm complaining.

 

Sorry to derail this thread with our dexterity leanings. Just killing time while waiting for the next firmware.  :)

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