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I just performed my first mod to my Variax Standard: locking tuners. Turns out that the tuners on these guitars are identical to the tuners Fender uses on their newer guitars. They are generally refered to as "two pin tuners", meaning that the the tuners have two pins that keep them in correct position relative to the headstock.

I have been using locking tuners on all my "6-in-line" headstock guitars for years, and was happy to discover that I didn't have to drill 6 tiny holes in the headstock to install them on my Variax.

I found some very nice locking tuners on eBay for approx. $40, and swapped them in under 1/2 hr., reusing the same strings that came on the guitar to avoid any set-up issues while I was experimenting. It worked fine, and I'll use those old strings at rehearsal tomorrow, then put on new ones.

 

The next bit of customizing will be a new custom pickguard. Has anyone done this yet? Any recommendations on suppliers? Does anyone know of a pickguard maker who already has the pattern on file? My plan is to take the original off the guitar and make a tracing/pattern with all the holes and cutouts to be sent to the supplier. I have one in mind, but am curious if anyone has done it already and had a good experience.

 

Next mod after the guard will be either pickups or a custom neck. I believe I may be able to fit a Fender-type 22 fret neck by making a spacer to go under the finger board extension, and will likely try that in the next month or so, but ultimately I would prefer a fatter neck with a nice headstock shape. Maybe even a 3x3 headstock. I get that production makers of after-market necks won't want to tool up for an "odd-ball" guitar like the Line 6/Yamaha, but I know at least one luthier in my area who would be willing to sculpt a new neck for this guitar. It'll be pricy, but unique.

Incidentally, I believe a G&L neck will work on the Variax Standard/Yamaha Pacifica. Both G&L and Yamaha have gone with 22 fret 25.5" scale necks on their bolt neck guitars, and the only thing that seems to separate them from Fender 22 fret necks is the under-cut fingerboard. Fender did this so that a 21 fret and a 22 fret neck will fit on the same body, allowing owners of older strats and teles to be able to "update" their guitars with with newer necks. G&L and the Pacifica guitars came along after that 22 fret "standard" had been established, so there was no need to produce necks with the fingerboard extension. Thus, their bodies are made with a neck pocket positioned for the slightly longer necks.

I wish I had a G&L neck to experiment with!

Anyway, I'll keep everyone up to date on the mods I make and what, if any, pitfalls accompanied the work.

Stay tuned...post-2519092-0-10893700-1488670659_thumb.jpgpost-2519092-0-83320800-1488670717_thumb.jpg

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Hi there, i could only find non pin locking tuners here in Ireland,do you think they will fit the bill anyway? Cheers!

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I just performed my first mod to my Variax Standard: locking tuners. Turns out that the tuners on these guitars are identical to the tuners Fender uses on their newer guitars. They are generally refered to as "two pin tuners", meaning that the the tuners have two pins that keep them in correct position relative to the headstock.

I have been using locking tuners on all my "6-in-line" headstock guitars for years, and was happy to discover that I didn't have to drill 6 tiny holes in the headstock to install them on my Variax.

I found some very nice locking tuners on eBay for approx. $40, and swapped them in under 1/2 hr., reusing the same strings that came on the guitar to avoid any set-up issues while I was experimenting. It worked fine, and I'll use those old strings at rehearsal tomorrow, then put on new ones.

 

Stay tuned...attachicon.gifimage.jpgattachicon.gifimage.jpg

 

 Hi OP!  I'm getting my Variax Standard this week and am looking at doing the same with the tuners?  Do you know the size and type you put in?  Sorry for the noob question here, I'm not sure which locking tuners will work with the Standard.  Thanks!

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Hi Michael,
The tuners that fit the Standard are the same two-pin configuration as are used on the American and Mexican non-"vintage" Strats and Teles. If you are looking at ebay, look for tuners with two pins on the base, and no little tab with a hole sticking out. 
I just looked on ebay a minute ago and found some described as "NEW 6-in-line LOCKING 2 pin tuners" that are made by Allparts. These look exactly like the ones I bought. These will work fine on the Standard.
Sent from my iPad

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Hi Michael,
The tuners that fit the Standard are the same two-pin configuration as are used on the American and Mexican non-"vintage" Strats and Teles. If you are looking at ebay, look for tuners with two pins on the base, and no little tab with a hole sticking out. 

I just looked on ebay a minute ago and found some described as "NEW 6-in-line LOCKING 2 pin tuners" that are made by Allparts. These look exactly like the ones I bought. These will work fine on the Standard.

Sent from my iPad

 

 

Thanks!  I picked up these today:  https://www.pitbullaudio.com/fender-locking-tuners-chrome.html - they are the 2 pin type and look like they'll match up.  Here's hoping!

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Well those don't work :( The pins on the back are just a tad bit wide, so I'd have to drill new holes, which I'd rather not. Well back to the search...

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Did anyone find any different pickguards for the Standard? I ended up using modeling paint from Hobby Lobby and did a green sparkle burst.

DCA08FB0-2650-43D7-AAA6-8FFCBD79BE16.jpeg

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On 5/18/2019 at 12:37 AM, ksfan17 said:

Did anyone find any different pickguards for the Standard? I ended up using modeling paint from Hobby Lobby and did a green sparkle burst.

DCA08FB0-2650-43D7-AAA6-8FFCBD79BE16.jpeg

Awesome man!!! Just my idea, but a silver cover on the neck pickup and 2 black knobs would set it appart!

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