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mtreehugger

Variax Standard, you complete me

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I finally found a great deal on a (not) scratch n dent V-Standard at SW, and after 2.2 days I'm starting to get blown away.

 

Let me back up.  I entered the modeling realm with an HD500 when they were fresh (what, 2010?), thinking that I'd have more capability than the Spider Valve MkI that amazed me.  First thing I noticed on the POD was that all the stock presets sucked.  Playing at very low volume, I had to develop my own, which relied on a fair bit more gain than I'd normally go for in order to achieve any kind of crunch.  I moved from FRFR to DT amps, but still, always kinda had more gain than I wanted (except when I went totally clean with the lovely Twin model).  I picked up a Variax 600 and finally reached "dream rig" status, but really only liked the Strat models, Tele neck, and the Rick bridge.  The alt tunings seemed kinda crappy too.  Most of the other electric models were just too loud--much louder and with more gain than my real guitars with hot pups.  When I first tried my new V-Standard, it was looking like more of the same (except usable mags).

 

So I wondered, how do I get away from my presets with too much gain and into presets that work for my Variax?  In an epiphany of sorts, I started trying out all those presets in my HD500 that sucked, and guess what?  NO MO SUCKY!  They're amazing, for the most part.  Also, to my surprise, they all have variax settings already. 

 

So all I had to do was plug my dream rig in, using an ethernet cable and the digital L-6 Link, and now folks, I hardly have to tweak, I can just play my heart out!  Turns out those patches were very well crafted using Variaxes of some kind, and so far about 2/3 are keepers!  Has anyone else noticed this as well, or am I the first to stumble on this total treasure chest?

 

The magnetic pickups are pretty sweet too!  But the other thing I'm really thrilling over is the neck on the Variax Standard.  I was afraid that something this flat, this thin, and with medium frets might not work for my aging knuckles, but I gotta tell you that even with 10's at concert pitch this thing is a joy for my hand!  It's the most comfortable neck I've felt since the Japanese Variax 700 I've been wishing I'd have bought--and that's saying a lot.

 

I do have questions:

 

Is the light on the alt tuning knob supposed to be only momentary (unless you go to the "model" position)?  I wish the thing would stay lit in mag mode so I could dial up the tuning I want without activating all those other tunings in between.

 

Does anybody know how hard it would be to change pick guards?  I'm thinking white would look very sweet with my sunburst brown...

 

THANKS!!!

 

Mike

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Alt Tune is on momentary, long enough to find the position, then goes off once you found it.

 

How hard it is to change a pick-guard depends on how much experience you have with this

sort of thing. It can be a chore.

 

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22 hours ago, psarkissian said:

Alt Tune is on momentary, long enough to find the position, then goes off once you found it.

 

How hard it is to change a pick-guard depends on how much experience you have with this

sort of thing. It can be a chore.

 

 

Thanks, man!  I swapped the pickguard in my Strat and that was a chore!  I figure this might be a lot worse, but maybe not?  Is one of the major differences between this and a strat getting the knob tops to remain on the guitar after reassembly?

 

One other thing...  Sometimes when I first fire up my dream rig, I find that my HD500 is locked up.  This never happened with conventional guitars or my Variax 600.  I find that plugging in the Variax last seems to avert the issue.  The variax standard is at firmware 2.23 and I believe the HD500 is at the most recent level, but my DT25 is at factory reset status, so its firmware is prior to the major update that opened access to all the various amp models for users w/o Line6 controllers (by way of using MIDI to select amps, reverb, etc.).  Is there any kind of known compatibility issue with my amp or, in particular, older POD?

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-Main thing with the pick-guard is being sure it all fits. Make certain that it's a Variax Standard pick-guard.

-Turning on items in sequence rather than all at once, helps keep sudden current draws from pulling down any circuits.

-2.23 is fine, the update is for the Shuriken SR250, and doesn't affect anything else.

-Older POD's don't have L6 Link.

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