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brue58ski

Variax has competition (sort of)

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The single coil to humbucker clip and its converse aren't terrible, but the acoustic sim leaves just about everything to be desired.... not convincing at all, imho.

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The acoustic filter/processing seem to be targeted towards the industry standard "live acoustic guitar" piezo, body sensor approach that's been around since Ovation, Takamine, Fishman, LR Baggs, Taylor Expression, etc.  

 

Some Variax users have requested that type sound model before but I for one don't mind if I never perform live with that tone again.  I prefer acoustic guitar sounding like a mic in front of it or simply how a decent acoustic guitar sounds when picking in a Bluegrass music jam.  Variax acoustic models come closer than anything I've used and I've used serious acoustic amplification schemes going back several decades.  

 

Kinda odd coming up on 20 years of Variax guitar modeling and yet no real similar competition has emerged.  Good for Line 6 but I would think by now some tech firm would've introduced serious competition?  

 

Oh well, I'm grateful for what Line 6 Gods give us and will leave it at that...

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2 hours ago, jerseyboy said:

Kinda odd coming up on 20 years of Variax guitar modeling and yet no real similar competition has emerged.  Good for Line 6 but I would think by now some tech firm would've introduced serious competition?  

 

Well, there's still the Roland VG stuff, which is in practice, more similar to the Variax, but it depends on external gear (for the most part).

 

I think the overall market for this kind of tech is still relatively small, so it could just be that companies don't see a huge incentive to invest R&D into an area where they would have trouble recouping an investment. In some ways, it's remarkable that the Variax ever came into existence in the first place just because of the ambitious nature of it. I don't think a lot of people actually appreciate the real risks Line 6 has taken over years.

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10 hours ago, phil_m said:

 

Well, there's still the Roland VG stuff, which is in practice, more similar to the Variax, but it depends on external gear (for the most part).

 

I think the overall market for this kind of tech is still relatively small, so it could just be that companies don't see a huge incentive to invest R&D into an area where they would have trouble recouping an investment. In some ways, it's remarkable that the Variax ever came into existence in the first place just because of the ambitious nature of it. I don't think a lot of people actually appreciate the real risks Line 6 has taken over years.

 

Which probably also explains why we haven't had a significantly updated Variax.

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9 hours ago, Kilrahi said:

 

Which probably also explains why we haven't had a significantly updated Variax.

 

Yeah... unless/until they find a way to address some of the tech's current limitations ("plink", the crosstalk with some of the alt tunings, etc), I don't know if I'll be rushing out to buy the next generation Variax, whenever it appears. I like my JTV for certain things... especially live on tunes that require switching between acoustic and electric tones. I was quite enamored with it initially, and played almost nothing else for quite a while when I got it. But I have some other really nice instruments and lately I've been gravitating towards those much more often. Part of it is that my JTV is my last remaining guitar without stainless frets... I've been completely spoiled by them, and find it difficult to play on anything else anymore. I bend strings a lot, and have a pretty wide vibrato. Regular frets feel like sandpaper to me now... so who knows. I might pick it up more often once these get replaced. 

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I intentionally didn’t mention VG stuff due to my experience with Roland Hex pickup going back to the original floor GR1 which was more about triggering synth sounds than guitar tones.  As I understand they later applied some guitar tones but I never drove any of ‘em enough to have an opinion about VG guitar modeling.  

 

I find the JTV59 to be a “Swiss Army Knife” of non-whammy guitar platforms.  Mags seem very satisfying for conventional amps, pedals, etc.  And of course the models and alt tunings raise my usage factor up by several notches.  But I still enjoy and work old 500’s too.  

 

Certainly unique tech but I can see where many a guitar manufacturer would avoid due to risk of poaching sales from their guitar lines.  

 

cruisinon2 - you don’t notice or seem bothered by any “zing” using stainless frets?  I played acoustic guitar and Strat with ‘em once and felt good but there’s was an odd tonal quality particularly with the acoustic guitar.  And as a Jerry Donohue fan/student of string bending I find a little friction kinda helpful dialing in my touch.  Kinda like a damper of sorts….

 

But different folks float different boats.  As long as it keeps you on top of the water it’s done the job.  

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3 hours ago, jerseyboy said:

cruisinon2 - you don’t notice or seem bothered by any “zing” using stainless frets?  I played acoustic guitar and Strat with ‘em once and felt good but there’s was an odd tonal quality particularly with the acoustic guitar.  And as a Jerry Donohue fan/student of string bending I find a little friction kinda helpful dialing in my touch.  Kinda like a damper of sorts….

 

But different folks float different boats.  As long as it keeps you on top of the water it’s done the job.  

 

I use Elixir Nanowebs (11's) on everything. Perhaps the coated strings make the "zing" that some dislike less apparent? Or maybe it's the heavier gauge... or both? Who knows... but it's never bothered me. Either way, I'm completely ruined on regular frets now, lol. Bending feels like I've got a 5lb barbell hanging from my fingers, but the stainless are like glass.

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