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jbright44

Why I've never pulled the trigger on a Variax

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I know this is probably an incendiary topic to start with on a Variax forum.  So, I'll say I get that.  The Variax is something that has always peaked my interest and now that I've had a Helix for about 1.5 years now, I'm beginning to get more an more interested in it. The thing that's got me hesitating at this point is one thing: Inability to upgrade electronics.

 

I think Line 6 has done a good thing with the JTV series.  They learned that at first, this device has to be a good guitar, period.  And I think the JTV's build quality and even the offering of the USA Custom Shop series were fantastic ideas.  Obviously the USA custom shop didn't take off like they hoped and maybe JTV sales have been slow too.  I don't know.  But I think the market is saying the same thing I am.

 

If I buy a nice guitar today.  Say, a PRS or a Les Paul or a USA Standard Fender, 10 years from now, it will still be a nice PRS, Les Paul or Fender.  And no marching of technology or future releases or upgrades are going to diminish the value of that guitar as a great guitar from a great manufacturer.  

 

The problem here is, as nice as the JTV's are as guitars, you cannot separate (for me) the obsolescence anxiety I feel about the electronics that are paired with it.   If 10 years from now, Line 6 has 2 generations newer electronics, my JTV is no longer just "a really good guitar."  It's a really good guitar with really old electronics and no person is going to purchase my now worthless guitar as just a "very good guitar" with some extra, albeit old technology. I know people will say "if it sounds good, who cares!? If it still works, who cares!?!"  Come on guys, we're all in this market together and we all know that guitar purchases are largely emotional and have little to do with facts and logic.  

 

So all this to say, that if Line 6 made a variax that was a really good guitar (I'm talking G&L Tribute, PRS SE, typical super bang for your buck import guitar) and tagged on Variax electonics, where the primary DSP/Computer/Engine was a modular system that could be upgraded as newer models and newer hardware gets developed in the future, I would buy one today.  Because now, I've got a really good guitar, with incredible usability, that doesn't get left behind by the march of technology. 

 

Charge me $300-$400 for an upgraded Variax brain and give me the updates as long as that hardware is current gen.  No problem.  Now I've got really good guitar in an of itself AND I've got a platform that won't go obsolete.  And for me, THAT is a huge value that gives me security in my $1,000+ investment.

 

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I'm curious. You say you've had Helix for 1.5 yrs. Why do you not have the same concern about it? It does not have upgradeable electronics. Why no obsolescence anxiety with Helix? Perhaps I'm missing an important distinction here?

 

(I'm not arguing that you should buy a Variax - just interested in the difference.)

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I do have that anxiety too to be honest. Look what people payed back in the day for Flextones and Axys212's.....

 

It's one of reasons I've stayed away from modelers for years even though the concept of it was always appealing.  However, the other side of that is that I've never felt like the modeling was good enough to satisfy me.  At the time Line 6 came out with the helix, my playing situation had changed to where going direct to FOH was turning out to be a more pragmatic fit for me and I felt like the technology had finally "nailed it" and of all the top end modelers out there, I felt like Line 6 nailed the interface as well to make it easy to use.  So, that decision was more pragmatic than anything else.

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Well, be thankful you aren't a keyboard player, I guess...

 

I guess I have a couple thoughts. First, I don't think musical instruments are good investments vehicles, unless you're talking about things that are very, very expensive. Even if a guitar appreciates in value, the rate of return is likely not going to be anywhere near what you would get if you actually invested money in something like an index fund. The older I get, the more I come to see the money I spend on my gear as a sunk cost. Sure, I can sell stuff and get something out of it, but generally, I will always be "losing" money on it. But, it brings me joy. As far as the Variax, I bought my JTV69US in 2012, and I have never regretted it. It's been one of my most useful gear purchases. When I amortize my purchase cost over 5-1/2 years, I've probably spent more on coffee from the coffee shop I go to in the morning since then than I did on the guitar...

 

The other thing I would say is that I don't think the older Variax guitars will become totally worthless. You could probably sell it and get something for it even if it is in some sense obsolete.

 

In reality, I think the used guitar market is very soft right now for various reason. Mainly, it's kind of saturated. I see very nice guitars going for a fraction of the original purchase price all the time.

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Thanks for the explanation. For me, the range and flexibility of the Variax are worth any perceived deficiencies in the modeling itself. Personally I think the modeling is very good. My 1970-s era Les Paul Deluxe sits in its case now because I can't tell any significant difference in its sound from the sound of my JTV-59 Lester models. The Les Paul is slightly better to play but again, the range and flexibility of the JTV wins out for me.

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I'm with you Silverhead. I sold my Epiphone Casino, Epiphone Emperor Jazz guitar and Gretsch 6120 after buying my JTV69s. I figured - that with sufficient tweaking and EQ-ing - the Variax could come as close as I needed it to be to the actual models. Still have the LP, Tele, Strat, & 335, though. If I'm still alive when the JTV becomes totally obsolete or the circuitry fails, I'll just buy whatever is the state-of-the-art replacement, if that time comes.

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I buy guitars to play, not for their value as collectibles. Like Sllverhead, I have an early 70s Les Paul Deluxe that sits in its case. And a mid-70s Tele that sits in its case. And a '96 Strat Plus Deluxe that sits in its case.

 

The Strat was my main axe from the time I got it until the day I bought my original Variax -- now referred to as the '500' -- when they first hit the market. The 500 took over the role and has remained #1 until the middle of last year, when I finally started favoring the JTV-59 that I bought several years ago, but never really 'took-to' until somewhat recently.

 

So what's the value of my Variax 500 relative to the Strat, Tele or LP? Don't know, but there's no mystery which is the least valuable, by a wide margin. And I don't care. The Variax allowed me to play a wide range of different, fun sounds that made people smile, for a long time -- and that's what it's all about. Still have it, still works, still play it. It's obsolete. Who cares?  :)

 

With technology, waiting until it's optimally-priced to buy something, often means not buying it at all. Glad I spent nearly $1000 on the old 500...

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That's right cbrillow. FWIW, even if the 2012 JTV69s I bought for $987 in 2013 depreciates to $0.00 salvage value someday, it's still a whole lot less money than I would have spent on all those guitars the Variax can sound like.

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I guess it's because we aren't used to thinking about a guitar as something "disposable" - I mean, I fully accept that my laptop will become "obsolete" (okay, it will still be able to be used and still function, but it will probably need to be upgraded at some point) in about 5 years  - that is just the lifecycle of that device - the Variax is kind of the same way, I guess.  At least with the magnetic pickups, they can still function as an instrument for the rest of your life, really, even if the modeling hardware no longer functions.  The old Variaxes didn't have that going for them, although I suppose they could be retrofitted for pickups or as 13 pin Roland GK / piezo system guitars with a change of electronics.  As long as Line 6 continues to use piezo bridges and there is a decent sized electronics cavity in the body, you could still make use of the guitar - and updated boards MIGHT be able to be retrofitted into the cavity, depending on if Line 6 offers those kinds of materials to their authorized dealer/repair shops or if you can find "donor" instruments.

 

Bottom line is I guess you just have to enjoy the guitars for what they are and get your joy and use out of them, like someone else said about keyboards.  :-)

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I have been in the Line 6 arena ever since the XT POD and the first Variax. I always made my purchases with an attitude of, if it never gets better, I'm OK with this. Right now I am absolutely content with my Helix. Even if there is another latest greatest, the Helix has what I've been looking for ever since I got into this aspect of guitar. In my quest I've purchased a Digitech GSP2101, Sans Amp rack mount, Rockmaster preamp and ADA Ampulator, various Rockman gear, etc. I'm doing very good now with my Helix and JTV. The JTV's are slightly lacking in the acoustic arena but, again, if it never gets better, I'm good. I didn't buy my SG or my JC120 worrying that eventually they'll build a better one. So try a JTV Variax and if you like it as is, get one with the idea that this is what you want. Don't get it if you just consider it a compromise until they build a better one. For me, I'm good with the Helix and JTV. I'm very sure I will never buy anything else along those lines again. What Line 6 gear have I purchase you ask? XT POD, XT POD Live, Variax, XT Bass POD Live (that came with my), Variax bass, Vetta, X3 POD Live, HD500X, UX2 interface, Pocket POD, and currently have the Helix, JTV 69 and JT89F. In a way it's a little pathetic I guess but I got MUCH enjoyment out of all of that and have never regretted getting any of them.

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I guess it's because we aren't used to thinking about a guitar as something "disposable" - I mean, I fully accept that my laptop will become "obsolete" (okay, it will still be able to be used and still function, but it will probably need to be upgraded at some point) in about 5 years - that is just the lifecycle of that device - the Variax is kind of the same way, I guess.

I think this is exactly it. People think of guitars in different ways than they do other pieces of gear I think. At least I do anyway. Plus as someone who is often buying and selling and trading and changing as my musical tastes and styles evolve, few things have stuck around for long periods of time.....

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If you want an iron-clad guarantee that a purchase will be worth something in the future, buy gold (or a brothel 😂). Sentimental value notwithstanding, pretty much everything else one can purchase will eventually be worth less than a warm cup of pi$$...if that's really what drives your decision making, you'd never buy anything.

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I own four Variax guitars, and old black 300, a very nice 700 acoustic, a Standard, and a JTV-69S. Since I replaced the magnetic pickups in the JTV-69S with Jerry Amalfitano Daytonas, it has become my #1 gigging instrument - almost every song of every gig. I have a wonderful Strat Deluxe (with the same pickups) and a ‘67 Les Paul with Tom Holmes pickups. These don’t go on gigs anymore. My gig backup guitar is a black Epiphone Sheraton II Pro which I really like.

 

Here’s how I think about the Variax: New technologies are interesting and enabling, but they often change fast. I just updated my 15†2012 MacBook Pro to a 2017. The delta between a mid 2000’s and early 2010’s MacBook Pro is pretty great. The delta from 2012 to 2017 wasn’t nearly as great. They’re both great computers.

 

I have owned every generation of the POD series since the original POD 1.x all the way up to Helix. That’s five generations of hardware and firmware. Helix isn’t perfect, but its good enough that I suspect the next generation will not be the same delta as between the HD500 and Helix - which was pretty great. And Helix does a great job meeting my needs. There’s nothing I absolutely need that I can’t get from Helix.

 

Variax is in its second generation. The modeling tones clearly have a way to go, even ignoring clang tone. Has the technology reached its limits? I hope not. I suspect a 3rd generation will make a significant difference - if there’s enough market to support the research and development. Since the biggest delta between 1st and 2nd generation Variax was the introduction of magnetic pickups and dual processors, I’m hoping the next delta will be more internal hardware and firmware changes that won’t result in significantly different physical guitars. I really hope that Line6 continues investing in Variax technology, and they help us preserve our investments in our instruments and them by ensuring the new hardware can be retrofitted into existing JTV instruments.

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I own and regularly use 4qty Variax.  2qty JTV59 and 2qty 500.  Never regretted buying them or the “spares†as they’re amazing and bring wonderful value to my work.  

 

Also have no interest in updating electronics.  I view the package ASIS and best kept that way, IMO.  

 

Of course better tuners, good fretwork and great setup are fair game for improvement(s) but the electronics really seem to match the current package and I would fear a loss of product focus and carefully implemented refinement by deviating into other electronic platforms…   

 

 

If/when a “complete†newer version arrives I may adopt it quickly or wait until I see a need?  Hard to tell until that time arrives?  

 

I understand taking the plunge is fraught with unknowns and Variax simply may not be for everybody.  But, what I eventually realized is that even if it's a total bust for me, someone will want it and at most I might lose a few dollars?  If nothing else, minimal cost of tuition to explore and learn the vast guitar universe.  

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I could fix my 1965 Fender Strat today, if a "friend" didn't borrow then sell it years ago.   :(

I can't fix my Variax 300's as the main pc board is no longer available.

 

Folks have replace mag pickups on JTV series, just like fixing my 65 strat.  

As a normal guitar, the upgrade/maintenance/ normal parts... is the same.  Life of that part should be the same also.

 

When Line 6 non longer makes those rare pc board parts for the model then you have issues.

 

With the current models, you'll be left with a really nice "normal" guitar for about the same price.

Not like the red Variax 300 paperweight I now have with no PC board available.

 

Better, next Gen stuff...  $ for $ both Brand new : 1965 strat vs 2018 strat, which would you choose?

That also seems part of the question.  How much really has changed. 

 

Analog - digital, dip and back to analog circuits are fast enough for most ears.

Think of the quality of a between a song played from tape vs digital recording.

Then your really a good listener and might be able to hear a difference in GEN 3.. 4.. as circuits by default get faster.

 

You replace a laptop computer with a newer one as software/hardware can do faster and faster things.

I can still fire up a Macintosh Plus from 1980's, but we've come along way from PONG and solitaire on a computer.

 

In a music world, a G chord has not changed.  whether your guitar can make it sound like a banjo or a 65 strat is what Variax brings to our fingertips.

 

Just got a JTV-59 and will consider buying a backup PC board so I have it, or my grand kid has it when needed to keep this unique guitar 100% functional.

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I feel the OP's logic, but anyone purchasing modeling gear really has to understand that a decent re-sale value has a short shelf life in that once the tech is outdated, you'll get pennies on the dollar.

 

It's only money, and I can make more at my job... To buy more gear I don't need. :D

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I feel the OP's logic, but anyone purchasing modeling gear really has to understand that a decent re-sale value has a short shelf life in that once the tech is outdated, you'll get pennies on the dollar.

 

It's only money, and I can make more at my job... To buy more gear I don't need. :D

 

Yep, that's the thing about money... It's one of the most common things in the world...

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I think this is exactly it. People think of guitars in different ways than they do other pieces of gear I think. At least I do anyway. Plus as someone who is often buying and selling and trading and changing as my musical tastes and styles evolve, few things have stuck around for long periods of time.....

 

 

I think it's true today, but what about future ? No one can tell !

Imagine in 10/20years, the traditionnal guitars could eventually been obsolete. and just be sold to museum or decorate houses walls....

The modeling are very good today and i think we are at a turning point.

 

I agree and have noticed that too when there's an amount of electronics in a device, it ages faster and faster.

Personnally, i do photography, in this art there have been the apparition/revolution of DSR cameras.

In the last century, film cameras used to have a constant price and you could sold it without wasting a lot of money.

What happens now ? The old film cameras are very cheap because no one want to buy one.

The DSR is based on the exact same process as computers, the new product burries the previous one (you lost a lot of money).....

 

 

I think Variax is unfortunately based on this process and i prefer not buying an expensive one as suggested because i'm sure in some years i won't be able to sell it at a good price. My ecological mind would like a good guitar that you can change easily electronic parts to improve it in time.......But it has not been designed this way !

 

Nevertheless, i had/have very good guitars before buying a Variax. So, why have i bought one ?

It responds to one need. I play in a band and we use to have many kinds of style.

In my opinion, the modeling world is really fantastic for its flexibility.

I can change my instrument, the tuning, the amps/cabs, effects....Just with one switch in the same song.....

 

Even if i wanted to do this from one song to another one, it demands much more time......

 

In fact, i've put my hands on a multi-FX and have decided to dive entirely into the concept.

I can be considered as a simple minded, i had to force myself to do this but i've changed all my rig to make the most use of those capabilities and bought a variax and a FRFR too.

I don't understand the interest of buying a Helix and using it with a tube amp and a standard guitar.

It would have been better to buy a cheaper pedal board in this case......

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I put very nice pickups on my JTV-69S. If the models become obsolete, its still a very nice traditional guitar. That isn't true of the Variax 300 I still have. Not sure what to do with it.

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So, I'm aware that this is old thread, but maybe someone will someday get something from it.

 

I have the same reservations about buying anything new. Everything is worth significantly less almost the instant you leave the store. A new guitar is almost never something that should be viewed as an investment. It's a tool to accomplish what want to accomplish. As a tool the Variax guitars accomplish a lot more than more other instruments around.

 

A new Fender or Gibson will also depreciate significantly & maybe after decades certain models might apriciate a little. Those will only ever do one thing, so as a tool they're fairly limited. If you decide you'd like something different you'll have to modify or sell them & or buy another guitar. If you modify them they are devalued even more.

 

No traditional guitar will offer dependable alternate tunings on the fly (auto tuners are not dependable). 

 

Variax is whatever you want it to be without perminant modding. As long as it's cared for & functional it will have value.

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I agree ibdrkn1.  

 

As a matter of fact original working Variax 500 seem to hold around $400-500 used value.  I never see JTV59's less than $600 used.  

 

And to be more depressed as a bargain hunter, used Variax 700 acoustic's seem to have ticked upwards past couple years.  I used to see em around $400 eBay/Craigslist but most completed auctions running north of $600.  $800 not that uncommon.  

 

Will Variax lose value initially when bought new?  Most likely but they seem to hit a bottom and so far remain relatively desired in used gear marketplace.  

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1 hour ago, jerseyboy said:

I agree ibdrkn1.  

 

As a matter of fact original working Variax 500 seem to hold around $400-500 used value.  I never see JTV59's less than $600 used.  

 

And to be more depressed as a bargain hunter, used Variax 700 acoustic's seem to have ticked upwards past couple years.  I used to see em around $400 eBay/Craigslist but most completed auctions running north of $600.  $800 not that uncommon.  

 

Will Variax lose value initially when bought new?  Most likely but they seem to hit a bottom and so far remain relatively desired in used gear marketplace.  

 

In other words it will do what new guitars do. Depreciate a lot initially, then level out. I have a 300 & a JTV59. I've had a 500 & another 300. All have been decent guitars.

 

The 300 still does what's it's supposed to do, & I'm assuming it has had an O.S. upgrade as it has features I had thought weren't on the first Gen 300's such as alternate tunings. My first 300 didn't (that I know of). So my current 300 is proof that the guitar you already own can evolve as well if you want it to.

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12 minutes ago, ibdrkn1 said:

So my current 300 is proof that the guitar you already own can evolve as well if you want it to.

 

To a point, yes... but like all tech-heavy products, eventually it reaches EOL, and then you're SOL. ;)

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2 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

To a point, yes... but like all tech-heavy products, eventually it reaches EOL, and then you're SOL. ;)

 

No doubt in the case of the 300. One day it will fail, then it will be nothing. However, the first gen came out in 2003 & it still does what it does with no issues.

 

The OP is talking about the newer JT series. So if the JT's modelling lasts the same 15+ years the 300 already has, then there will still be a well made, good playing guitar that is still useful with or without the brains. It'll always have some value. In that time how useful will it have been in comparison to a traditional guitar?

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Pardon me - and no offense intended - but the argument seems borderline ridiculous. Avoid buying a Variax because it might depreciate or become obsolete? Consider how much a new car depreciates (far more costly than a Variax). I bought my JTV69s 6 years ago new for $987. So far, that "investment" ( or, "expense" more properly) has cost about $165/year and the guitar is still going strong. Ask yourself what you pay for endless commercials delivered via cable TV - PER MONTH !

True, Line6 has not materially changed the Variax modelling technology in years. Been no problem for me. Don't know what the current re-sale value of a JTV69s is - and don't care.

Still performs a valuable function. Same as when new. Just like my 1973 model acoustic guitar.

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1 hour ago, mrbuggo said:

Pardon me - and no offense intended - but the argument seems borderline ridiculous. Avoid buying a Variax because it might depreciate or become obsolete? Consider how much a new car depreciates (far more costly than a Variax). I bought my JTV69s 6 years ago new for $987. So far, that "investment" ( or, "expense" more properly) has cost about $165/year and the guitar is still going strong. Ask yourself what you pay for endless commercials delivered via cable TV - PER MONTH !

True, Line6 has not materially changed the Variax modelling technology in years. Been no problem for me. Don't know what the current re-sale value of a JTV69s is - and don't care.

Still performs a valuable function. Same as when new. Just like my 1973 model acoustic guitar.

Exactly. 

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On 6/18/2019 at 6:54 PM, mrbuggo said:

Don't know what the current re-sale value of a JTV69s is - and don't care.

Still performs a valuable function. Same as when new. Just like my 1973 model acoustic guitar.

 

Yup...

 

Collectors buy rare, pricey instruments as "investments"... and virtually nothing that's factory produced will ever be worth more than two wet farts unless it was owned by somebody famous.

 

Musicians play... and they want a functional instrument that meets their needs, and that satisfies whatever their definition of "sounds good", is. I've never met a working musician who's concerned over the potential resale value of anything they use. They're tools. When the band saw or impact wrench craps out, you get a new one.

 

Looking for an ironclad "investment"?... buy gold or real estate. Everything else in life is a consumable expense.

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On 6/20/2019 at 7:30 AM, cruisinon2 said:

 

Yup...

 

Collectors buy rare, pricey instruments as "investments"... and virtually nothing that's factory produced will ever be worth more than two wet farts unless it was owned by somebody famous.

 

Musicians play... and they want a functional instrument that meets their needs, and that satisfies whatever their definition of "sounds good", is. I've never met a working musician who's concerned over the potential resale value of anything they use. They're tools. When the band saw or impact wrench craps out, you get a new one.

 

Looking for an ironclad "investment"?... buy gold or real estate. Everything else in life is a consumable expense.

 

I admit I'm not in the business of earning money off this. It's just my passion and hobby, so maybe that changes your perspective. However, for me this is what guitar gear has always been - a tool for my hobby. I can't even fathom looking at it with resale value as a high priority.

 

Now, I DO sell things again when I'm done. I got a pretty good amount of cash back when I sold my HD 500x. If you tried to call it an investment the return was abysmal, but it was totally worth selling when I knew I was ready for something different. 

 

Even with those happy surprises, I will continue to buy all of my guitar gear with the assumption that it's salvage value is zero. 

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If you're going to buy a Variax guitar for the modeling, don't expect it to work for as long as a guitar. Yeah, the magnetic pickup stuff will work, but its not that great a guitar for the money without the modeling.

 

Line 6 seems to have totally abandoned legacy Workbench support for the Variax 700 acoustic. I need Workbench to tweak my models and tunings, so I have to jump through Java hoops and workarounds to get it to work. The Variax acoustic is not a useful guitar without the modeling. So there ya go, the writing is on the wall.

 

I bought a Variax Standard for alternate tunings and slide. I figure when Line 6 eventually abandons it,  I'll be in the same boat. Yeah, it has magnetic pickups and would still work as a guitar — just not what I bought it for. I'd dump it in a hearbeat if Workbench went away.

 

Bottom line .... if you're buying a Variax for the modeling, don't be surprised if support for the guitar goes away some day. Yeah, its still a guitar, but underneath its an electronic computer. It won't outlive a nice Tele or Strat.

 

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2 hours ago, soundog said:

It won't outlive a nice Tele or Strat.

 

 

No, they won't...I look at any tech-heavy purchase same as I do a set of tires. It will perform a very specific function for a limited period of time, end of story. None of this stuff is maintainable forever, nor is it "investment" material.... the pace at which technology evolves, and the fact that these devices need to interact with ever-changing computer operating systems pretty much makes that impossible. Wishing and/or pretending otherwise is just guaranteed disappointment.

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That's why I like my sax and harmonica. After the apocalypse and none of our electronics work any more, I can jam with other survivors.

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4 hours ago, soundog said:

That's why I like my sax and harmonica. After the apocalypse and none of our electronics work any more, I can jam with other survivors.

 

There's always an acoustic... then again that means that it'll be like living in a never-ending episode of MTV Unplugged. One second thought, I don't think I want to survive. ;)

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On 7/10/2019 at 2:45 PM, cruisinon2 said:

 

No, they won't...I look at any tech-heavy purchase same as I do a set of tires. It will perform a very specific function for a limited period of time, end of story. None of this stuff is maintainable forever, nor is it "investment" material.... the pace at which technology evolves, and the fact that these devices need to interact with ever-changing computer operating systems pretty much makes that impossible. Wishing and/or pretending otherwise is just guaranteed disappointment.

Yes, but the JTV models are pretty nice instruments without the Variax models. I really hope Line6 allows hardware upgrades of existing JTV models when Variax HX is released. 

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On 7/12/2019 at 2:04 PM, amsdenj said:

Yes, but the JTV models are pretty nice instruments without the Variax models. I really hope Line6 allows hardware upgrades of existing JTV models when Variax HX is released. 

 

I do too. I'm not buying a new one unless my JTV craps out. And even then, I may not. My circa 1975 SG still works. If my JTV lasts as long, it will be my last guitar. Not confident that it will.

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On 1/12/2018 at 11:00 AM, jbright44 said:

I know this is probably an incendiary topic to start with on a Variax forum.  So, I'll say I get that.  The Variax is something that has always peaked my interest and now that I've had a Helix for about 1.5 years now, I'm beginning to get more an more interested in it. The thing that's got me hesitating at this point is one thing: Inability to upgrade electronics.

 

I got a PRS custom 24 in '92 (sadly, sold it later). Virtually every aspect of that guitar has changed since.  I got mine for $1500. It'll cost me $4k to buy a new one.
Which is fine...except...it only does PRS sounds. Yes, for my 50th, I'm replacing my prs custom 24 out of love. It truly is a fantastic instrument.
That said, when confronted with buying a practical recording guitar a year or so ago, i got a variax for $1100 instead...which does acoustics, and all sorts of other guitar models. is it perfect? naah. It is good enough to fool most?  sure.

When my variax finally craps out...i'll replace it, too, and still be ahead of the game for the price of the dozens of guitars it emulates.
The technology will change.  Thankfully, a new variax probably won't cost half of what a single new PRS, Les Paul, or Strat does or will, and will do so much more.

 

Just try one, see if you dig it, and go from there!  if you have a helix, get the special cable, and it's even cooler.

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