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Using a 300 Variax with a Helix

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I recently bought a Helix and have been happy with it. I wanted to revisit having a 300 Variax which I had previously owned and see what it would sound like with the Helix. I'm really having no luck with it because other then hooking it up to the Helix.  I really don't see anything about what I should be doing next because I don't see any video's specifically about that. Does anyone know of a video or written material that explains to how to get your Variax up and running with a Helix. Thanks

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In order to use Variax and Helix features together you first need to make sure you are connecting them using a VDI cable. If you just connect the Variax using a standard 1/4" guitar cable then the Variax is just another guitar as far as Helix is concerned.


Although the Variax 300 is not officially supported with Helix (too old) you can control a V300 to some degree with a VDI Cable connecting them. Helix can store Variax 300 model selections in its presets and recall them properly when the preset is selected. However the interaction is not as complete as it is using a JTV or a Variax Standard/Shuriken as described in the manual.

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I've used an HD500 and Variax 300 for a few years now but just recently picked up a HELIX LT. 


For anyone interested in connecting an older Variax and a Helix... take the time to learn how they will interact with each other, or you will be left scratching your head in confusion... especially if you came from an HD500 or earlier POD. 


The two most important things to understand... when you use "force mode" to load guitar models from a preset or snapshot change....

  1. You can only set the model access from the HELIX... You cannot change the model on the guitar, then save on the Helix like you used to with an older POD
  2. The HELIX can only access the FACTORY Variax Models, Custom 1 and Custom 2 locations. Read that carefully!  Here's why!
    • If you customize your variax guitars in Workbench, then store them over their original location the Helix cannot access those. You can call them up on the guitar itself, but the Helix cannot load them through preset or snapshot!
    • Any custom guitars you need instant access to from the Helix (ie: loaded with a patch/snapshot change) must be stored in a CUSTOM 1 or CUSTOM 2 location. 
    • If you change guitar models via snapshot... and are in the habit of changing pickup positions on the fly... I strongly suggest you set Snapshot behavior mode to "discard". If not... it won't take long to learn why :) 

IMO: The reward of having guitar model changes available via snapshots more than makes up for any inconvenience of learning a few quirks. My Variax 300 has new life under the HELIX... now that I've learned it's new personality :) 

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