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I know it's a long shot, but I thought I'd ask if there has been any developments toward the possibility of a wireless VDI solution for Variax & Helix users?

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22 hours ago, amor4jc-2 said:

I know it's a long shot, but I thought I'd ask if there has been any developments toward the possibility of a wireless VDI solution for Variax & Helix users?

 

You'll get the same answer everywhere...Line 6 divulges next to nothing, and those "in the know" can't/ won't/ don't talk.

 

But if I had to guess, I'd say the answer is no. The one and only time anyone official showed up in here trying to gauge interest in a wireless VDI unit, the quoted price of $1000 was mostly scoffed at... there were a handful who seemed willing to pay the price of the guitar itself (or even more if you own a Standard) for a wireless, but most found it rather amusing. Don't hold your breath. 

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The one thing that stops me getting a Helix (but I will eventually succumb) is the thought of having to go wired for gigs again. I would be happy to stay with wireless output from my JTV-89F guitar jack to the Helix - I don't need to send the guitar sound through the VDI even if it sounds a bit better. I guess what is driving the expense of a VDI wireless solution is the need to handle the data from guitar to Helix - but I don't need that. What I really want is just for the Helix to send changes to the guitar to tell it which model to use and what tuning. 99% of the time the change would be between songs so a bit of latency over a solution like Wifi or Bluetooth would not be a problem - and it couldn't be much data. But it may be difficult to add on to the current VDI implementation - it would have to plug into VDI and Jack at the same time without blowing the circuits (see separate thread), send the jack sound off to the wireless pack, fool the VDI into thinking it was talking to the Helix if needed for any handshakes etc and receive change messages from the Helix over whatever wireless solution was implemented for doing that.

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Posted (edited)

VDI is basically power + AES/EBU + MIDI:   VDI interface diagram;

It sounds like you only need wireless MIDI:  Yamaha MD-BT01

Wireless AES/EBU has also been done,

but connecting a battery-powered DAC to JTV DVI for wireless analog guitar sound may be more expedient.

Edited by blekenbleu
typo

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The question thread with more technical aspects:

 

 

Aside from power, there are two streams of audio downstream + control and one upstream for control so it was thought that 3 wireless channels would be required. G10 has come out since so perhaps the $999 is no longer quite so high.

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1 hour ago, Rewolf48 said:

The question thread with more technical aspects:

 

 

Aside from power, there are two streams of audio downstream + control and one upstream for control so it was thought that 3 wireless channels would be required. G10 has come out since so perhaps the $999 is no longer quite so high.

 

I'm not sure that's a safe assumption... yes, the G10 had multiple available channels, but it's only using one at a time. I'm no engineer, but there's got to be more to it than that, otherwise we'd have seen wireless VDI already. Plus, that post is over 3 years old...I dunno about you, but I'm paying more for just about everything than I was 3 years ago, lol... if they built it tomorrow, it wouldn't surprise me if it was north of $1K.

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I was thinking that if a G10 (inc receiver) can be purchased for £109 retail then 3 x G10 can be bought for £327 (including 20% VAT)

 

https://www.andertons.co.uk/line-6-relay-g10-digital-wireless-guitar-system-grelayg10

 

There would be a bit more complexity and I would expect a base more in line with G10s but it should be possible to get something to retail closer to £400 given that the above includes 3x distribution and retail markup. The price of wireless hardware has come down a lot which is why we see digital units such as the Boss WL-20, X-Vive and Sennheiser XS in this price range

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1 hour ago, Rewolf48 said:

I was thinking that if a G10 (inc receiver) can be purchased for £109 retail then 3 x G10 can be bought for £327...

 

OK....I will happily concede that if I buy 1 candy bar for a dollar,  then 3 candy bars will cost me 3 dollars. But imho, that reasoning is more than a bit overly simplistic relative to this particular topic. 

 

Lots of things affect price...such as how many units they think they'd realistically sell vs. the R&D and production costs. Doesn't much matter how cheap the parts are if nobody will buy the thing. Variax is not exactly a household name, and the product would be of absolutely no use to the vast majority of the guitar-playing community... plus, the need for a wireless unit is far from universal to begin with, even amongst guys who think Variax is the greatest thing since indoor plumbing.

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But would they sell more Variaxes if they had Wireless?

 

What if they made it more generic and just happened to have VDI as a connection option? A unit that did Stereo Up and Down with MIDI data in both directions would give both Audio channels plus Stereo IEM and retain the control aspect and could be used by Keytar users too (!!!). A chunky Lion Battery could still power the Variax without the guitar needing to change at all.

 

That would appeal to me even though I never play stadiums. Used to use VHF analogue wireless before I went digital and not worrying about cables tangling or dragging the big knob around on Helix is something I want quite a lot.

 

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21 hours ago, Rewolf48 said:

But would they sell more Variaxes if they had Wireless?

 

 

Not if it costs as much as the guitar itself (or more if you have a Standard), and that's exactly what most folks balked at the first time around. And frankly, I think expecting the price to miraculously drop to less than half of the original quote is a pipe dream.

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On 4/27/2019 at 9:02 AM, cruisinon2 said:

 

Not if it costs as much as the guitar itself (or more if you have a Standard), and that's exactly what most folks balked at the first time around. And frankly, I think expecting the price to miraculously drop to less than half of the original quote is a pipe dream.

 

Wireless technology generally gets cheaper year after year, not more costly. Just take a look at Line 6's most recent version - $250 for a product better than stuff that cost over a $1,000 merely ten years ago. Spider V's are already able to do a version of this.

 

I think the next generation Variax should have wireless options. If nothing else the ability to control tunings and stuff with an app for those of us without a full blooded Helix would be amazing. That would be very useful, and not necessarily over the top pricey.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Kilrahi said:

 

Wireless technology generally gets cheaper year after year, not more costly. Just take a look at Line 6's most recent version - $250 for a product better than stuff that cost over a $1,000 merely ten years ago. Spider V's are already able to do a version of this.

 

I think the next generation Variax should have wireless options. If nothing else the ability to control tunings and stuff with an app for those of us without a full blooded Helix would be amazing. That would be very useful, and not necessarily over the top pricey.

 

 

 

The original quote wasn't exactly the distant past, and were not talking about a simple one way signal. The device would still have to do considerably more than any current wireless unit in existence. So I'll believe a $250 wireless VDI when I see it... but I'm reasonably confident that we won't see one anytime soon, for all the reasons I've already mentioned. It's not just a tech issue. In order for L6 to go to the trouble of bringing such an item to market, there has to be sufficient demand... and that's what I believe is largely missing from the equation. When Variax joins the list of "must have" instruments, like Strats, Teles, and LP 's, and a significant percentage of the guitar playing world owns one, then there'll be a demand for wireless VDI. Till then, it's a non-essential accessory for a very niche product. And stuff like that never comes cheap...

 

If I'm wrong, so be it...and we'll all find out soon enough. But I wouldn't bet the farm on it. 

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Wireless Variax VDI is not even close to as simple as a regular wireless guitar. Just to start with, a regular guitar doesn't have to communicate both ways. A wireless Variax would. The modeler would have to send any commands a patch would have for the Variax and the Variax would have to let the modeler know whether it switched to the correct guitar and the correct parameters. Then there's the Variax communicating to the modeler what model it switched to if you switched modeled guitars from the Variax's switch. That's double the transmitters and receivers of a normal guitar. That's just a start. Volume, tone have to be communicated as well. Both ways.  Here's an old post of someone trying to do one for the original Variax. Just to give you an idea of what's involved. It would be cool but I don't see it happening. i seem to remember someone pricing out all the parts about 5-10 years ago and it was over $1,000.

 

 

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On 4/24/2019 at 6:48 PM, blekenbleu said:

VDI is basically power + AES/EBU + MIDI:   VDI interface diagram;

It sounds like you only need wireless MIDI:  Yamaha MD-BT01

Wireless AES/EBU has also been done,

but connecting a battery-powered DAC to JTV DVI for wireless analog guitar sound may be more expedient.

 

The mag pickups are converted to digital on the variax. Line6 wireless already do digital wireless. Not stereo with bi drectional midi but they appear to have many of the necessary pieces.

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17 hours ago, toasterdude said:

 

The mag pickups are converted to digital on the variax. Line6 wireless already do digital wireless. Not stereo with bi drectional midi but they appear to have many of the necessary pieces.

 

Bottom line is this: They may have pieces... but it's all or nothing. Carrying audio is the easy part. If it can't send model/tuning changes to the guitar, then it's worthless. And the fact that it ain't gonna be cheap anytime soon is the biggest hurdle. 

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