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macnevine

Variax Purchase Consideration- Help needed.

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Wow- big decision- I like a full range locking tremolo system- so it seems to me the F model- w/ 2x humbuckers in black or red is my only option.  Too bad because I like the 2 single coils and one HB model because I also like a classic strat sound and I like the rock sound via the humbuckers.  I have never tried a Variax. I have read read read....  It is a big investment.  For the price of a Variax I could pick up an American Fender Strat.  But my needs are wide.  I capo a lot in my songs.  I like to loop some acoustic but then to solo over with the electric while singing in some solo gigs- for these reasons the Variax sounds like it could be a fit.  I own a Helix floor. What are your thoughts?  This forum is riddled with Variax's (especially the F model) having issues and hours of fine tuning to make the sound even tolerable.  Help me out.  Would you suggest I get a Variax  or spend my money on a traditional American strat modded with a locking tremolo?  What do do?

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I have one. I REALLY like it. I would say you need to find a store with a 30 day, no questions asked, return policy. Like Guitar Center. With the Helix, you have a lot of options available to you. Aside from the models, you can have instant tunings. The thing with the tunings is it's only electronic. So the signal will be changed but the physical strings will, of course, be in standard tuning. Not an issue for me personally but you either have to have the signal so loud it drowns out the sound of your physical strings, or just get used to hearing it. I find I don't have to have it that loud to drown out the physical strings but I think there are other people who do. You can have both the magnetic pickups and the model going at the same time. I use this for a Stairway To Heaven Patch. It's stereo, one side always has the magnetic pickups, the other side is either an acoustic or a Rickenbacher 12 string. Regarding the full range locking trem. It is a floyd rose but for the Variax to work, it requires that the strings remain in contact with the piezo's in the bridge. Of course, as the strings go slack, they lose contact. If you want full range you'll have to use the magnetic pickups. It does have a big enough range for me. There have been issues with the JTV 89F and I've had some myself. But they worked themselves out and I am currently very happy with my JTV now.

 

So that's my experience but, and I know this is a cliche, you really need to try it out for yourself. It's the only way to be sure. Let the store know if you don't keep it, you'll get the Strat. If they don't have a 30 day return policy, maybe that'll convince them. I really like it but it is kind of a specialized thing. You will either really like it or you won't. Doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground,. There are people that prefer the sound of their real guitar but because of the massive flexibility of the JTV, don't touch their real guitar much anymore. Again, it's really up to you but if you can find a 30 day return policy, I say it's definitely worth checking out. If you like it, you'll probably really like it if not, dare I say it, love it. I personally hesitate to go all the way to love, but i haven't touched my SG since I got one.

 

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Thank you! I see they have a JTV on amazon prime but no F model with the Floyd Rose.  I'll give that a try and work backwards.  Maybe I do not need the locking Trem.  I rarely dive bomb and mainly use the tremolo for heavy delay warbles at times in only some songs.

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I adore my Variax. I seriously don't get the people who complain about the sound. In my experience, the people who rag on that aspect have usually never heard them. The unwashed heathens I play to seem to love how it sounds.

 

Now, complaints about reliability are something else. It's a complicated instrument to be sure, but I have to say my Variax had some issues and Line 6 totally took care of me.

  • Haha 1

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4 hours ago, Kilrahi said:

The unwashed heathens I play to seem to love how it sounds...

 

Lmao...

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Thank you Kilrahi,... I remember your guitar on my bench. Very good.

Glad I could help.

 

  • Thanks 1

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I have botha JTV59 and a JTV89F.  I love the 89F.  You may not realize it but the 89F goes to single coil in the 2 and 4 position.  Also with a Helix and a goo0d vdi cable you have a lot more options than you realize such as harmonizing between the models and the pickups, switching from the pickups to the model with the volume/wah pedal (Great for switching between a distorted signal straight to acoustic.)  On the fly detuning etc etc 

 

So there are a lot of reason to go for the JYV89F vs a standard guitar.  It depends on how you use it.

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Thanks for the 89F specifics.  Somebody said something about for larger dive bombs the Variax pickups need to be engaged so for Variax what happens when there is an extreme dive bomb using the Floyd?  Can you describe what happens?

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53 minutes ago, macnevine said:

so for Variax what happens when there is an extreme dive bomb using the Floyd?  Can you describe what happens?

 

Sound go bye-bye... for piezos to work they need physical contact with the string. Thus, a sufficiently silly 80's arena-rock dive bomb can make the strings going slack enough to break that contact. No contact, no sound. 

 

For truly authentic whammy-wanking histrionics, use the mag pickups (and leopard skin spandex)....;)

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