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Hi everyone !

 

I've got a variax standard but models, design (and problems) are the same with JTV ;) (i think i'm gonna open the same post in variax std topics).

 

OK, i've got it since many months and have done all that stuffs to improve the models sounds.

I've read all the topics to stop the artifacts, to know the way to have better EQ between the strings.

I've changed the gauge string, tweak everything i could on workbench and the result is much better. Thanx to everyone who posts there !!!!!  ;)

 

Before, i prefered the sound of Variax's mag pickups and now that's not exactly the same.

 

Nevertheless, yesterday, i plugged my fender strato into the helix and thought that there's still something missing.....

With the models, i don't find this twang, the response is not the same or something in the tone ( i know i don't have to search exactly the same thing i have with my fender, the tone will never  be the same), many times you know something is wrong but can't explain where it is from ! That was the case !  :)

 

So i tried to plug my Variax with the jack instead of the VDI cable into my Helix. I put the baterry in (of course  :D )  and tried the mag pickups and the models.

And the sound was pretty different and tied in what i was looking for.

It seems to be more raw, rocky and realistic (even for acoustics).

I could compare that the VDI is like a mp3 (smoother) vs a vinyl disk for the jack cable.....

 

So this brings me here today to ask you :

 

- Have you noticed the same ? (I think if you haven't done the test, you are going to !  ;) )

- Have i a matter with my VDI cable, there misses something to carry all the informations  (i've bought a Neutrik to substitute the poor one in the standard package) ?

Or this is a known difference between those two cables ?

 

The problem is that the VDI cable is really interesting because it supplies the variax and it allows the Helix to command it......

 

Thanx for your answers !!!!

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The reason for any sound change would be that the VDI is a direct digital signal of the guitar models to your FX unit. The 1/4" goes through a digital to analog convertor to get out of the Variax and then an analog to digital convertor to get it into the FX unit. I could see how that might change the sound. Whether it sounds better or not would be subjective I guess. I've never tried it.

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Another difference that might be relevant is the Guitar In-Z parameter that applies only to the 1/4" Helix input. It is not available for the VDI input.

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Would the resistance of the cable itself and the length affect it as well? Each does sound a bit different but to my ears it's not a night and day difference.

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Thank you for your answers !

 

@brue58skie : this is exactly that i was afraid of ! 

 

@silverhead : I have my setup on multi enter and auto in-Z parameter

 

@Palico : i can understand it for a difference between two jack cable with different technology. But i don't understand why the VDI doesn't provide the best result and i believe the lenght doesn't alter the result....

 

Then, i didn't specify I've noticed that yesterday playing with my headphones.

I know there's a difference playing on a PA system but my headphones are more accurate and made me noticed that fact.

 

So i have done a try at midday with my FRFR, iv'e tried to change from jack to VDI and try the other VDI i own.

First, the difference is not so important than headphones listen but it's present !

The other thing is that the VDi i had in the package provides a closer sound to the jack.

The One i usually use sounds duller.

 

So i take a look eventually to order another one and i've noticed that there are some categories for the VDI cables (seen CAT6E, CAT5), what does it mean, there's no more explanation ? Do you think the VDI quality can differ from one product to another one ?

 

 

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"Another difference that might be relevant is the Guitar In-Z parameter that applies only to the 1/4" Helix input. It is not available for the VDI input."---- from silverhead,

... yes, more than likely.

 

brue58skie's assertion,... interesting, but no. Sorry I can't get into more detail than that, as that would be getting into circuit level stuff that I can't into here in public.

Interesting idea though.

 

Palico,... yes, there will be minor impedance differences between TRS guitar cable and the multi conductor VDI that would play into it. There are practices in the

electronics world that are world wide standards for cables, impedances, and a whole host of things regarding the elements that go into a piece of gear.

 

 

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Palico,... yes, there will be minor impedance differences between TRS guitar cable and the multi conductor VDI that would play into it. There are practices in the

electronics world that are world wide standards for cables, impedances, and a whole host of things regarding the elements that go into a piece of gear.

 

 

Thanx Psarikissian !

 

Is there any difference between VDI cables ?

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But i don't understand why the VDI doesn't provide the best result...

 

There's no objective truth to be found here... it's just another "tastes great / less filling" debate. The whole VDI vs 1/4" discussion ain't new. There are guys who prefer one over the other, and they'll all swear on a stack of Bibles that one is "better". Who's right? Nobody...at the end of the day, it's just a preference. My "best result" and yours won't necessarily be the same, but that doesn't make either of us "right" or "wrong". It's all subjective...use whatever works for you.

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I agree with you !

 

I should have said ; i've noticed a difference between the vdi cable and the jack (and i prefer the second one), is there a way to tend to the same sound with the VDI cable ?

 

The question I have today is to know if there's a difference between the VDI cables ? Can i improve something searching this way or not ?

 

I think i have to go on working on the setup on the variax too.....

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.....

 

The question I have today is to know if there's a difference between the VDI cables ? Can i improve something searching this way or not ?

 

.....

In general with digital cables there is no difference in the signal quality or characteristics between two working cables. The key word there is 'working'. A digital cable either works or it doesn't; one working cable can't work any 'better' than the other (despite what your local TV store salesman may tell you about the more expensive HDMI cables).

 

However, VDI cables can differ with respect to their protective housing/shield at the ends of the cables as well as their flexibility/stiffness. The housing is important for cable longevity and connection stability. The stiffness is more a personal preference. I have only ever used an older style Line 6 VDI cable. The housing is very good but it still remains a little stiff after several years. I understand the newer Line 6 VDI cables are more flexible but I can't say for sure.

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The other thing is that the VDi i had in the package provides a closer sound to the jack.

The One i usually use sounds duller.

 

Since you are playing with headphones: could it be that the headphone cable sometimes touches the body of the guitar and sometimes not? That will make a big difference on the perceived sound.

More than two different digital cables I think.

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Regarding comparing models with magnetics, sure they sound different. So would any two guitars of the same brand and model. Differences are good. I leverage the difference between the Spank model and the magnetic pickups of my JTV-69S to get different sounding Strats. That's more useful than having two that sound the same.

 

Regarding VDI cables - better quality cables generally are more reliable, last longer, are more flexible, and result in less digital errors between the guitar and Helix. These digital errors (sometimes called jitter) can have a negative effect on the tone. The quality of an Ethernet cable determines the maximum transfer rate and error rates.

 

Re: input impedance, I generally prefer to keep the 1/4" input impedance at 1M and not auto. This results in a bit more noise, but better response, articulation and high end. I don't use fuzz pedals that much, but if you do, then Auto might be needed, and VDI might or might not work well.

 

VDI with Helix of course has many other advantages. 

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Thank you all for those replies !

 

@davidegirardi : i can say if it was the case, i'm gonna have a try

 

@amsdenj : "This results in a bit more noise, but better response, articulation and high end." 

This is what i want to tell when i say there's a result difference between the VDI cable and jack (for the same "guitar" wether the mag pickups or the models, just changing the cable).

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"Is there any difference between VDI cables?"--- Not in the impedance. Minor differences in the outer insulation. 

 

"...  there's a result difference between the VDI cable and jack (for the same "guitar" whether the mag pickups or the models, just changing the cable)."---

That may,... may, be attributed to tolerances or variations in batches or cable vendors, in my decades of experience with this stuff.

 

"input impedance, I generally prefer to keep the 1/4" input impedance at 1M and not auto. This results in a bit more noise,

but better response, articulation and high end."---

Interesting observation. Noise is a frequency/amplitude thing, and impedance is a function of frequency, and filters and impedance matching control that.

With the HD500X, I use the Input Impedance selector to dial in the desired impedance for the desired effect. Sometimes ultra clean, sometimes not. 

Very good.

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Interesting read...is the consensus then that it IS preferable to use a 1/4 inch jack INSTEAD of the VDI for the Variax (both Mags and models?) If so - can the VDI still serve to "power" the Variax modelling while the Jack carries the guitar signal IE both cables plugged in at the same time?

 

Trying to avoid going back to batteries ;)

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Not a good idea as it makes both the A/D on the VDI and the D/A converters on the 1/4" Jack's active at the same time. The models are digital and the magnetic pickups are analog, so one has to be converted one way and the other converted for the other output... Don't know that the electronics can do both for long term. Psarkissian always warns against it...

Dave

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Line 6 recommends against using VDI and 1/4" simultaneously.

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