Jump to content
loobmandsd

Variax power.

Recommended Posts

I own several Variax guitars including a 300, a 700 (my favourite), a JTV 69 and an acoustic 700 (second favourite).

Apart from the JTV they all need a power supply and of course even the JTV will run on the same power supply if the battery is flat.

I recently went to look at the new Helix... and was amazed to find it cannot power a Variax guitar!

I was incredulous. Why would the latest (and indeed so many other) products from Line six not have a power supply for what must surely be the most adaptable guitar you can plug into it?

And indeed why has nobody noticed the power supply is missing?

Everyone on here talks about updating and so on and I know that certain Line 6 products include a ‘Variax’ interface, but I for one don’t need workbench onstage, and I don’t want to worry about having an Ethernet cable plugged in for live performances.

What I WOULD like onstage would be to plug my guitar straight into my amp and have power on my 700 thank you very much.

That could so easily be done with a nice simple quarter inch stereo jack with 9 volt power, now would that be so difficult?

Plug and play, Line 6 guitar to Line 6 amp, without all the gubbins.

Line 6 could have easily done that with the old ‘Kidney bean’ pod way back when the first Variax guitars hit the streets years ago.

Instead it seems even if I shell out for a brand new Helix I’ll still have to carry a switchbox and power supply transformer for the 700, the acoustic or even if I’ve forgotten to charge the battery in the JTV.

Here’s the thing, a new Line 6 amp will not power an old Line 6 Variax guitar, and just for the sake of a stereo jack.

Now please Line six tell me, why is that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, loobmandsd said:

I recently went to look at the new Helix... and was amazed to find it cannot power a Variax guitar!

I was incredulous. Why would the latest (and indeed so many other) products from Line six not have a power supply for what must surely be the most adaptable guitar you can plug into it?

 

I'm not sure where you're getting this information, but it isn't correct. The Helix will most definitely power the Variax over the VDI connection.

 

VDI isn't just an ethernet cable. It uses ethercon connectors, and those are much, much more robust than a standard RJ45 connection. People have been using them live with Variax guitars for years now. There's no reason to worry about it.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, loobmandsd said:

I recently went to look at the new Helix... and was amazed to find it cannot power a Variax guitar!

 

Where in the world did you get that idea? The Helix Floor, Helix LT and Helix Rack can all power a Variax guitar through the VDI port... just as the HD500, X3 and Xt did. Nothing has changed in that regard.  (Edit: Arghhhh. @phil_m beat me to it :) )

 

If you are talking about the XPS power supplies.... no POD or Helix has ever had that type of power capability. 

 

42 minutes ago, loobmandsd said:

I don’t want to worry about having an Ethernet cable plugged in for live performances.

 

I'm at a loss about not wanting to have to carry a special VDI cable for the Variax. To power it with an XPS you need a TRS cable, a standard cable, an XPS box and the power supply for the XPS. Even the solution you suggest still requires a TRS cable... why not use VDI? 

 

42 minutes ago, loobmandsd said:

I for one don’t need workbench onstage,

 

This makes me wonder if you really know the benefits of the VDI port in a live situation. Hint:  It has nothing to do with "workbench".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, loobmandsd said:

...

I recently went to look at the new Helix... and was amazed to find it cannot power a Variax guitar!

.....

 

Not sure how you came to that conclusion but as others  have pointed out it is simply incorrect. Helix powers a Variax guitar through the VDI connection. This one connection also carries the audio so it is the only cable you need. You can choose to power the Variax seperately using either its battery or an external power supply but in either case you lose the command and control features that the VDI connection supports - things like saving Variax model selection, alt tunings, and vol/tone knob settings in any Helix preset.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think you’re missing my point here. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with using a VDI cable, only that I would like to have the choice of pulling out a stereo cable and plugging my guitar in with it if I felt inclined to do that...

I find it frustrating that I’m not given that choice so puleeeez, enough with the "why (on earth) would you want to do that"?

The point is that I WANT to do that, and I can't, because Line 6 won't allow me to!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, loobmandsd said:

Think you’re missing my point here. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with using a VDI cable, only that I would like to have the choice of pulling out a stereo cable and plugging my guitar in with it if I felt inclined to do that...

I find it frustrating that I’m not given that choice so puleeeez, enough with the "why (on earth) would you want to do that"?

The point is that I WANT to do that, and I can't, because Line 6 won't allow me to!

 

 

No Line 6 processor has ever powered the Variax this way... They have the XPS power kit as mentioned above, and you could use that with the Helix if you want, but it seems a little silly. If you're going to use a cable to connect to the Helix, why wouldn't you just use the VDI cable? That way you get power and control over one cable. There are potential problems in having a powered TRS jack as the input for the Helix. The big one is it risks damaging other equipment if someone uses a TRS cable instead of a regular instrument cable for some reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing you DON'T want to do is have both the 1/4" and VDI inputs with cables in them at the same time. You can damage the JTV's circuitry. Not always, but it does happen, and will eventually if you keep doing it. What you are describing by the way, won't happen currently. And the circuit hardware it would require for a limited consumer base, I'm very positive would not warrant putting one in.  Also, they could have done that 2-3 Pod's ago and didn't. I just don't think the interest is there. You're the only person I've heard desiring this. Not that it's a character flaw or anything. Just the reality of it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


My foot hurts, and L6 doesn't have a staff podiatrist. Which way to the complaint department?

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:


My foot hurts, and L6 doesn't have a staff podiatrist. Which way to the complaint department?

 

Have you tried sticking you foot in the VDI port?

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I think this is a problem with a lot of home appliances. The other day I wanted to power my refrigerator with some double sided scotch tape, but after being on hold for 45 minutes, and then going round in round with fruitless negotiations for another thirty,  the manufacturer's rep yelled at me that I HAD to use the included power cord, and then rudely hung up on me. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, loobmandsd said:

enough with the "why (on earth) would you want to do that"?

The point is that I WANT to do that, and I can't, because Line 6 won't allow me to!

 

OK... your point was made...

But please consider the danger....

 

The majority of people that buy a helix will not be expecting 9v of power on that input. If they accidentally plug the cable "only to the ring position" that will place 9v of power on their pickups, or their wireless output, or external effects, or ????  I don't know any company that puts power on a standard input... I don't think any company wants that type of liability. 

 

IMO: The action of plugging into an XPS is deliberate. Forcing it onto unsuspecting buyers is dangerous. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the best "I want what I want because I want it, and damn the torpedoes!" thread, EVER... lmao.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't say I am concerned about the battery charging through a TRS or a TS cable although I don't see why it couldn't; even if some short circuit or whatever protections had to be built in. The battery on my robo-tuning Gibson SG charges that way and it has never presented a problem. As others have stated as well as earlier devices do power the Variax but I do wish the VDI connection charged the battery. Sucks to have to remember to constantly pull it out of the guitar for charging.  Put it off for too long and you have a dead battery that no longer recharges. So for anyone who is unaware of it, your battery is not charging via VDI. Would like to see Line6 make that happen in the next generation of Variax's. Maybe they figure if you are using VDI you don't need a battery but that is only until you need to update the Variax's firmware. That requires a battery unless anyone knows a way around that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

...but that is only until you need to update the Variax's firmware. That requires a battery unless anyone knows a way around that?

 

Still have my 500X, and you can update Variax firmware through that connection, sans battery or the notoriously fickle USB dongle... though at this point here hasn't been a Variax firmware update in years, and I seriously doubt we'll ever see another, so it's really a moot point anyway.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/6/2019 at 12:24 PM, cruisinon2 said:


My foot hurts, and L6 doesn't have a staff podiatrist. Which way to the complaint department?

Getting a little snarky are we?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...