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Ok guys I’m in limbo. I play a lot of P&W. But I’m also a metal head lol. Don’t say it I know, I know. Lol. I love the helix for bass, electric guitar, recording/creating music. In fact I sold my pedalboard gear and HD500x for it, so I definitely love the line 6 floor rigs. So I do  have an acoustic but I would love to not have to switch guitars to do so. I know my way around the helix a little but I’m new to the Variax world. Is it possible to accomplish the acoustic sound on a electric guitar without a Variax? Or should I invest in the Variax?

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In my opinion you can't really get realistic acoustic tones using an electric guitar.  Variax will deliver much better acoustic tones.

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+1 to what Silverhead said.

 

I play P&W and use a JTV-69S for my main axe. The acoustic tones are convincing. I also find the banjo and resonator models useful from time to time.

And the convenience of being able to change models using Helix snapshots is hard to beat.

 

 

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+ the tuning capabilities. Open tunings, whole step down for metal, etc. That's the main reason I bought mine.

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If you're doing solo guitar, Variax might not cut it. If you're one of many performers in a 5+ group with a dense sound, Variax will probably sound just fine. Things in between could be good or bad depending on the context and instrument.

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Pardon my ignorance, but ...

 

"P&W"  -- what's that? parties & weddings? It's new to me...

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D'oh! Thanks. Looks like I need some of that old-time religion, eh? 

 

 

41 minutes ago, silverhead said:

P&W - Praise and Worship

 

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On 8/4/2019 at 7:05 AM, amsdenj said:

If you're doing solo guitar, Variax might not cut it. If you're one of many performers in a 5+ group with a dense sound, Variax will probably sound just fine. Things in between could be good or bad depending on the context and instrument.

I agree. My Variax acoustic results vary by the song. Sometimes it's passable. Other times I can't get a full mid based sound and it's either too boomy or too shrill. Worth having as an option, but not a great option.

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On 8/2/2019 at 7:42 AM, pballjock said:

Is it possible to accomplish the acoustic sound on a electric guitar without a Variax?

 

Yes it can be done - especially with Helix using e.g. Acoustic guitar IR;s: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=acoustic+guitar+impulse

 

There are examples on this video for the 3 Sigma ones using some very electric guitars - how good they are is up to what you are hoping for: 

 

And there are other guitars that combine an electric body with piezo or a semi body with electric pickups and piezo.

 

While I play a JTV69 I quite fancy one of these:

 

 

If you don't have that sort of money then these actually sound quite good in acoustic mode but are a bit limited as an electric:

 

 

Many other options are available - the key is that Helix and Acoustic IRs can significantly enhance the sound of any solid-body guitar with piezo pickups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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At the risk of offending my good friends at Line6 - another cool IR device = Audio Sprockets Tone Dexter.  It works IR magic with user created WAV maps of individual instruments.  I created Tone Dexter IR's of all my acoustic guitars and now I can play my easy-action Taylor yet spit out the salty old high-action Martin. 

 

Recently did a music store workshop and we mapped a nice Martin with Fishman under saddle pickup using AKG C1000s microphone.  Then we grabbed $150 Recording King brand with very  similar under saddle pickup.  Tone Dexter was happy to spit out the WAV mapped tone of the Martin - eyes in the room got very big.  

 

Very impressive and possibilities are endless.  Festival guys learning they can bring the sound of their expensive boutique instruments into harsh conditions using a much cheaper workhorse axe.  

 

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Acoustic IRs have to be designed for the source as well as the target. That is, the IR is essentially the difference between the sound source, and the desired sound target. So an acoustic IR for a piezo pickup in an acoustic guitar will be a very different IR than one for the bridge pickup on an electric guitar for the exact same target guitar model. Creating these different IRs isn't the problem. There are really two problems. The first is that the exact sound source we're putting into the IRs isn't the same as what was used to produce it. Our guitars are different, our pickups are different, strings are different, etc. The second is that an IR can't produce sounds, it can only transform or convolve what it is provided as an input into an output. Electric guitar pickups just don't produce a lot of high frequencies. So they don't provide as much for the IR to work with. Acoustic IRs for electric guitars tend to over-hype that 4KHz frequencies because that's all they have to work with. This sound somewhat artificial and brittle to me. 

 

But an IR designed for a piezo pickup in an acoustic guitar in Helix does work really well. I use one for my acoustic guitar and mandolin for all acoustic gigs. These do a great job reducing the piezo quack, and warming the tone.

 

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