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EriKSe

Why no acoustic preamp modeling?

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Hi,

it seems to be a common problem how to transform the acoustic guitar models provided by the Variax into a useful sound at a live performance. I am now trying for one year but it's still not satisfying, especially compared to the sound delivered by a "real" acoustic guitar with a decent built-in preamp. When I'm playing the Variax acoustic models, I supply the signal directly into the PA using a DI-Box, since it is not useful to run the acoustic modeling through an E-guitar amplification. Fot this, I have an A/B-Switch on my floorboard. But still, going throuth the PA with the acoustic modeling doesn't create the right sound, it is a "thin" sound without "belly" and very sensitive to heavy strumming, the latter often creating a clipping noise. So one has to strum very gently, which sometimes isn't very much fun.

The acoustic guitar modeling aims at the reproduction of a natural acoustic guitar sound like you would get sitting in a room and playing. But what we want to have is the sound we get when we play an acoustic guitar on stage, so the critical thing would be the built-in modeling of a decent acoustic preamp (e.g. Fishman). Any idea why line6 does not do so?

Greets from Germany

Erik

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This gets brought up every once in a while and Line6 mostly remains mum.  

 

Seems a missed opportunity because Variax has 6qty quality piezo bridge pickups.  Wouldn’t even need preamp modeling, just give us summed piezo output and I’ll send it to the stuff I use with my acoustic piezo bridge pickups.  

 

For a while, electric players were installing Baggs and other piezo bridge pickups in standard electric guitars to harness that “industry standard” live acoustic pickup tone using electric guitar.  

 

I enjoy Variax acoustic models and find that a light touch/attack definitely helps improve my tones.  Some of that might be related to the lighter gauge strings and plain 3rd which is normally not used on acoustic guitars?  

 

Amplification live for acoustic modeling should be Full Range.  I've learned to treat the input channel strip practically same as using a nice mic on the guitar.  Cool thing is to get that mic sound at high sound pressures - no feedback.  

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I think you want more than it already provides !  :)

 

The Variax is done to replace a lot of guitars.

But it gives the raw modeling sound of each ones.....

 

I think Line 6 has done the good choice. It's already tricky to obtain the good sound (because it needs some tweak in workbench), that i don't see where they could stop...

So why not including an amp for each kind of guitar, a marshall for the gibson, a twin for the strat, and so on ?

Those amplifications have to stay external of the guitar and to be left to the preference of each one.

 

To resolve your problem of bad sound :

 

Have you tried with a real electro-acousic guitar to see (hear in fact) if you can obtain a good sound with your materiel ?

May be, as suggested Jerseyboy, there's something in your chain that prevents you to have a full range, so the high frequencies aren't be able to output and the result is bad.....

 

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Hi, and yes, I compared the output of my Variax with the sound of a "real" acoustic steel string guitar with a piezo Bridge an Fishman preamp, which sounds brilliant - and that exactly was the reason for my post. I don't know what Line6 is aiming at - should the acoustic guitar modeling resemble the "natural" sound of an acoustic guitar or should it resemble the amplified "stage sound"? Since an amplification is required in any case for the Variax, the latter would make more sense, but I think this is not the case.

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3 hours ago, EriKSe said:

Hi, and yes, I compared the output of my Variax with the sound of a "real" acoustic steel string guitar with a piezo Bridge an Fishman preamp, which sounds brilliant - and that exactly was the reason for my post. I don't know what Line6 is aiming at - should the acoustic guitar modeling resemble the "natural" sound of an acoustic guitar or should it resemble the amplified "stage sound"? Since an amplification is required in any case for the Variax, the latter would make more sense, but I think this is not the case.

 

Well the lack of an onboard preamp doesn't mean that they've modeled the "natural" sound of an acoustic guitar...all the models are of mic-ed acoustics. The tone control sweeps through different mic distances/ positions on those models.

 

The acoustic models are a compromise... since you're actually playing a solid body electric, it's never gonna "feel" like a real acoustic. I find that it requires a very light touch as well, so if you're used to beating the daylights out of the strings, getting a satisfying sound will be a challenge. I suspect that the target demographic here are guys who are primarily electric players, who can't play real acoustics worth a damn (like me, lol), and only need an acoustic tone here and there for certain tunes, and are looking for a sound that's "good enough" to fool the Friday night drunks at Red's Corner Bar... but an accomplished acoustic guitarist who's used to playing a quality instrument(s), is probably never gonna be 100% satisfied with the modeling in it's current state.

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What I find odd is that my Kiesel Ae185 sounds many times better with its Piezo into my Helix patches than the acoustic of the Standard. Maybe it's the acoustic bridge on the Ae185 but the Ae185 totally rocks with magnetic pickups for many styles. I would sort of like to see them try a standard with an acoustic bridge to see what it does fir the acoustic sounds. Didn't Line 6 once make an Acoustic variax with different acoustic types? How did it sound? 

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