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Charvel2

Helix and legacy Variax guitars

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After about six months of hovering over the "Add to cart" button at guitarguitar.co.uk, I've finally ordered a Helix and should have it tomorrow. I've been entirely software based since moving on from my old Pod XT Live some years ago, but I still have my small family of Variaxes: an original 500, an Acoustic 700, and a 705 bass. The acoustic probably sees the most use these days because as much of a pain as it is to wire up the PSU/DI box with the TRS cable, it's still less hassle than micing up my Larivee when I just want to put down a scratch track.

 

Anyway, I've had a dig through the forums, and I haven't really found a definitive answer on this: To what extent are these guitars compatible with the Helix?

 

To be clear, I'm not overly concerned about controlling the guitars from the Helix - or vice versa - but I'd hope to be able to at least power the guitars via the VDI input and send audio. I'll happily tweak settings manually on the guitars themselves, and I don't intend on getting into any deep editing, so I'm okay not having Workbench.

 

Thanks!

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Yes the Helix will run them with the VDI but there is limited functionality as you suspected. This was posted about a year ago and I believe is still current.

 

Officially it is unsupported but communication actually works in one direction - from Helix to Variax. You can use the Helix controls to store/save/recall Variax models in the Helix preset and it behaves as desired. However, communication from Variax to Helix does not work. So for instance if you switch the model using your Variax controls the change will not be reflected in the Helix preset and the Helix Variax page display turns to gibberish.

 

I don't think it will send tunings to the old Variax either.

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