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andymguitar

Set up for a Variax

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Just had a new Standard, love it  and enjoying getting to grips with all of the different models!

 

There's a bit of buzz on the neck, which I think needs a bit of relief. Anyone have any experience of doing this themselves, and any tips if so?

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Me.

 

Best leave it to an authorized Line 6 service center that does guitar work.

Like any guitar, if it's not done right, the neck can twist and warp.

 

Buzz can come from anywhere between the tuning post and the string retainer

under the bridge. Relief and string action are two places, The whole set-up should

be checked out.

 

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Just had a new Standard, love it and enjoying getting to grips with all of the different models!

 

There's a bit of buzz on the neck, which I think needs a bit of relief. Anyone have any experience of doing this themselves, and any tips if so?

It's no more difficult to adjust the relief on a Variax than it is on any other guitar on earth. It's wood and a truss rod...subject to the same environmental changes as any other guitar, and will respond to adjustments in the same manner.

 

That being said, while it's not difficult, if you're not comfortable doing your own set-ups, don't. Damage is easily done, no matter who's logo is on the headstock. Any competent luthier can do it, fancy guts aside, it's still a guitar...

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First rule of truss rods, just do it in increments, no wanging it one way and then the other. Great way to warp the neck.

Do it in increments, let it sit for the rest of the day, then check it and give it some more,... if it needs it.

 

Straight out of Erlewine's book on guitar repair. What we've all been taught about this.

 

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I have adjusted a neck before, and agree with the small increments above. Looking at the variax manual they explain how to adjust the rod anyway which I was quite surprised at!

 

But disappointed with the set up from the factory really, but maybe to be expected.

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But disappointed with the set up from the factory really, but maybe to be expected.

I've yet to see ANY factory produced guitar that didn't need some degree of adjusting right out of the box, regardless of price. I've owned dozens of guitars over the years, and unboxed 100's more serving out my music retail sentence...outside of extraordinary dumb luck, it just doesn't happen.

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Set-up at the factory, then again at the distribution hub. They don't know where the end location is going to be,

so they do a spec set-up. Some retailers will do the set-up locally before going out the door.

 

Service and repair, I know where the end destination is and set-up for that climate before I send them back.

Then it's about 2-4 days to acclimate, and it should be good by then.

 

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Not to hijack this... but did the factory string leave your fingers all dirty after playing? I just got my Amethyst Standard back to my place (it was a gift from my GF so was delivered to her place) and after about an hour or so of playing... my fingers are filthy.

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Not to hijack this... but did the factory string leave your fingers all dirty after playing? I just got my Amethyst Standard back to my place (it was a gift from my GF so was delivered to her place) and after about an hour or so of playing... my fingers are filthy.

Well that's a new one, lol...

 

First thing I do with a new guitar, especially one purchased online, is change the strings...no telling how long they've been on there, or under what conditions. Doesn't take long for strings to get $hitty, even un-played.

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Well that's a new one, lol...

 

First thing I do with a new guitar, especially one purchased online, is change the strings...no telling how long they've been on there, or under what conditions. Doesn't take long for strings to get $hitty, even un-played.

It might not be the strings. I have a few guitars with rosewood boards that always leave my fingers black, no matter how often I have cleaned them.

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It woould be helpful to know the suggested amount of relief and how to measure it.

Same for string action.

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It woould be helpful to know the suggested amount of relief and how to measure it.

Same for string action.

Measuring relief on a Variax is no different than on any other guitar...you need a precision straight-edge to really see what's going on.

 

As for how much relief, there's no universal answer for that. Relief goes hand in hand with the action. If you like your action super-low, you'll need a little bit more relief than somebody who prefers their action a bit higher. It's not a "right" or "wrong" thing, nor is it instrument specific... it has more to do with HOW you play, rather than what guitar you're playing it on. Guys with a really light picking hand can get away with action that's a dime-high, and a pin straight neck. If you beat the strings to death, that set-up won't work for you, and you'll be buzzing all over the place. And all of this applies to any fretted instrument under the sun...Variax has fancy guts, but it's still a guitar.

 

Part of it is also just preference for the way the neck will feel, especially when bending strings. There needs to be enough relief so that notes don't fret out and die, but not so much that you could use the neck at an archery competition.

 

If it's comfortable to play on, with minimal buzzing, then it's set up properly...regardless of what a bunch of numbers on a spec sheet dictate.

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Measuring relief on a Variax is no different than on any other guitar...you need a precision straight-edge to really see what's going on.

 

As for how much relief, there's no universal answer for that. Relief goes hand in hand with the action. If you like your action super-low, you'll need a little bit more relief than somebody who prefers their action a bit higher. It's not a "right" or "wrong" thing, nor is it instrument specific... it has more to do with HOW you play, rather than what guitar you're playing it on. Guys with a really light picking hand can get away with action that's a dime-high, and a pin straight neck. If you beat the strings to death, that set-up won't work for you, and you'll be buzzing all over the place. And all of this applies to any fretted instrument under the sun...Variax has fancy guts, but it's still a guitar.

 

Part of it is also just preference for the way the neck will feel, especially when bending strings. There needs to be enough relief so that notes don't fret out and die, but not so much that you could use the neck at an archery competition.

 

If it's comfortable to play on, with minimal buzzing, then it's set up properly...regardless of what a bunch of numbers on a spec sheet dictate.

What you wrote is correct and very well known but it doesn`t change the fact that Line 6 could give us some indications. They anyhow did it at least one time...

Yamaha does it with their Pacifica guitars, take a look at page no. 8 of the manual

https://usa.yamaha.com/files/download/other_assets/6/803126/EG%20Owner's%20manual_EN.pdf

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I just unboxed my new Standard last night and have the same buzzing issue on the four lowest strings. Also, the middle pickup is positioned so high that my pick is aggressively clicking against the plastic casing and pole pieces with every note I play. Any advice on whether it's ok to lower the pickup? (I'm assuming the screws are there for just such a function, no?) I'd hate to spend $100 on a setup if these are easy enough tweaks to do myself, but also don't want to mess anything up.

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You can lower the pickup as low as it's flush with the pickguard without any issue. IMHO a good setup by a good tech is always worth the money.

For example: proper nut height and intonation will make the alternate tuning and 12 strings acoustic sound waaaay better.

 

FYI on a Variax having the pickups too close to the strings will create some issues with the modeling.

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What you wrote is correct and very well known but it doesn`t change the fact that Line 6 could give us some indications.

They could, but they won't... having decided long ago that mere mortals cannot be trusted with such knowledge. Fortunately, it matters little. If you can setup the rest of your guitars, you can setup a Variax. If not, then you're handcuffed no matter who's instrument you buy, whether it's got fancy electronics in it or not.

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Well I had a go at setting mine up last week and it now plays brilliantly.. There are a few good guides to setting up online, as has been stressed above go easy on the truss rod and let it settle. Changing the action and intonation is much simpler.

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