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alheeren

Looking to buy my first Variax but...

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Hey, gang! 
I’m looking at buying my first Variax and I wanted to get some answers to some questions I have. I think it would be an awesome compliment to my Helix Rack and Helix LT. 
I currently play Gibson Les Pauls, Fender Telecasters and PRS. 
I’m looking at picking up the JTV89F because I used to play Ibanez RG’s and Jems.  This model reminds me of those guitars. I’ve always liked the wizard necks on Ibanez’s and though the JTV89F is different can anyone tell me if it’s similar to the RG’s/Jems?
Ok, before I make the jump into a modeling guitar...
1. I only need the digital cable and NOT 1/4” to communicate with my Helix, correct? (Piezo and mags transmit over VDI?)
2. The stored tunings on a JTV89F is different from the other Variax models?  I can’t find a reference to what the tunings are. 
3. If so, can I simply use the workbench software to change the tunings to match the other Variax models?
4. If so, can I replace the 89F knob so it also matches the other Variax’s?
5. Is the tremolo cavity routed so that the trem can be pulled up as well as pushed down? (Ala Ibanez models) I’m not buying the 89F for metal exclusively so the other (more common?) tunings would suit me better. 
6.  It’s my understanding the Variax is powered through the 1/4” jack so no battery is needed?  Then if I run VDI to the Helix I’m using battery only?
7. Plugging in both 1/4” AND VDI is a huge no no?
8. If all of my patches and snapshots call up particular models and tunings on the Variax (VDI) then I shouldn’t have to touch the Variax knobs at all, right?
I’m sure I’ll have other questions along the way.  Thanks for helping me out while I wait for the big online stores to actually get more Variax guitars in stock!
I’m thinking my dream rig would look like a Variax, Helix and Powercab Plus. 
Anyone running this rig?

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I liken the 89 neck to a Wizard III. Others may disagree. Also note that Variaxes tend to weigh more than their counterparts with less hardware under the hood. 
1. Everything transmits over VDI. Unofficially, you may use any generic CAT5 cable of desired length. Officially, use only official cables.

2, 3. The factory firmware tunings on the 89 are silkscreened on the tuning knob, but may be programmed to be whatever you like.

4. Don’t know why you’d want to replace the physical knob, but it would just be a matter of finding the part.

5. It’s a floating Floyd Rose with pull-up routing; range determined by your setup.

6. All JTVs are powered via either an onboard lithium-ion battery or via VDI. Powering via 1/4” requires a proprietary breakout box.

7. As I recall, Plugging 1/4” and VDI simultaneously is actually required when using the Workbench software independent of a POD/Helix USB interface (the 1/4” jack turns the guitar “on” and allows for real-time monitoring of tweaks)

8. Yes. You may program your Helix/POD patches to have the physical Variax controls slave to preset values In the unit.

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6 hours ago, alheeren said:

Hey, gang! 
I’m looking at buying my first Variax and I wanted to get some answers to some questions I have. I think it would be an awesome compliment to my Helix Rack and Helix LT. 
I currently play Gibson Les Pauls, Fender Telecasters and PRS. 
I’m looking at picking up the JTV89F because I used to play Ibanez RG’s and Jems.  This model reminds me of those guitars. I’ve always liked the wizard necks on Ibanez’s and though the JTV89F is different can anyone tell me if it’s similar to the RG’s/Jems?
Ok, before I make the jump into a modeling guitar...
1. I only need the digital cable and NOT 1/4” to communicate with my Helix, correct? (Piezo and mags transmit over VDI?)
2. The stored tunings on a JTV89F is different from the other Variax models?  I can’t find a reference to what the tunings are. 
3. If so, can I simply use the workbench software to change the tunings to match the other Variax models?
4. If so, can I replace the 89F knob so it also matches the other Variax’s?
5. Is the tremolo cavity routed so that the trem can be pulled up as well as pushed down? (Ala Ibanez models) I’m not buying the 89F for metal exclusively so the other (more common?) tunings would suit me better. 
6.  It’s my understanding the Variax is powered through the 1/4” jack so no battery is needed?  Then if I run VDI to the Helix I’m using battery only?
7. Plugging in both 1/4” AND VDI is a huge no no?
8. If all of my patches and snapshots call up particular models and tunings on the Variax (VDI) then I shouldn’t have to touch the Variax knobs at all, right?
I’m sure I’ll have other questions along the way.  Thanks for helping me out while I wait for the big online stores to actually get more Variax guitars in stock!
I’m thinking my dream rig would look like a Variax, Helix and Powercab Plus. 
Anyone running this rig?

1- YES

2 - Yes on the manual top bottom

3- yes but you can this trough the Helix (Normaly)

4 - don't know

5- Don't know

6- YOU DON'T need the battery with VDI cable, but YOU NEED it with the 1/4 jack if the VDI is not connected

7- I don't see the uttility to do this

8 - exact if you launch a preset the Helix control and change the model and tunings that yoiu have saved on your Helix, but you can change the model and tuning with the knobs, but to comeback just switch the preset and come to your saved one

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8 hours ago, alheeren said:

......
7. Plugging in both 1/4” AND VDI is a huge no no?
....


That’s correct. Line 6 advises against using both simultaneously because it results in the Variax being powered from two sources (battery and VDI connection). Note that the 1/4” jack acts as a power switch for the battery; the jack itself does not provide power, it is simply an ‘on’ switch.
 

6 hours ago, marcwormjim said:

......

7. As I recall, Plugging 1/4” and VDI simultaneously is actually required when using the Workbench software independent of a POD/Helix USB interface (the 1/4” jack turns the guitar “on” and allows for real-time monitoring of tweaks)

....


When using Workbench without a POD/Helix USB interface you need to use a Line 6 USB dongle called the Workbench Hardware Interface. This uses an RJ-45 connector like the VDI cable but it is not a VDI cable. Specifically it does not provide power to the Variax. It’s the two power sources that causes the issues; the dongle does not provide power and so is safe to use with the battery. 

 

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9 hours ago, alheeren said:

Hey, gang! 
I’m looking at buying my first Variax and I wanted to get some answers to some questions I have. I think it would be an awesome compliment to my Helix Rack and Helix LT. 
I currently play Gibson Les Pauls, Fender Telecasters and PRS. 
I’m looking at picking up the JTV89F because I used to play Ibanez RG’s and Jems.  This model reminds me of those guitars. I’ve always liked the wizard necks on Ibanez’s and though the JTV89F is different can anyone tell me if it’s similar to the RG’s/Jems?
Ok, before I make the jump into a modeling guitar...
1. I only need the digital cable and NOT 1/4” to communicate with my Helix, correct? (Piezo and mags transmit over VDI?)
2. The stored tunings on a JTV89F is different from the other Variax models?  I can’t find a reference to what the tunings are. 
3. If so, can I simply use the workbench software to change the tunings to match the other Variax models?
4. If so, can I replace the 89F knob so it also matches the other Variax’s?
5. Is the tremolo cavity routed so that the trem can be pulled up as well as pushed down? (Ala Ibanez models) I’m not buying the 89F for metal exclusively so the other (more common?) tunings would suit me better. 
6.  It’s my understanding the Variax is powered through the 1/4” jack so no battery is needed?  Then if I run VDI to the Helix I’m using battery only?
7. Plugging in both 1/4” AND VDI is a huge no no?
8. If all of my patches and snapshots call up particular models and tunings on the Variax (VDI) then I shouldn’t have to touch the Variax knobs at all, right?
I’m sure I’ll have other questions along the way.  Thanks for helping me out while I wait for the big online stores to actually get more Variax guitars in stock!
I’m thinking my dream rig would look like a Variax, Helix and Powercab Plus. 
Anyone running this rig?

 

1. Yes

2. I believe so... not entirely sure what the difference are, however.

3. Yes.

4. Maybe... don't know if the knob itself is the same hardware or not, but you can save whatever tuning you want to any position on the knob... you just have to remember what's what.

5. Given the target demographic, I would assume so...but I've never actually held an 89F, and you know what they say about assumptions...

6. NO, just the opposite... the 1/4" jack does NOT supply power... power is supplied from the Helix via the VDI cable.

7. According to the powers that be, yes... some sort of "overload" possibility exists if you use both outputs simultaneously, but they are rather vague about exactly why that's that case. Regardless, there's no compelling reason to do that anyway, so it's really a moot point.

8. Yes... you can trigger any model or tuning changes from the Helix.

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2) There a list in the online owner's manual.

 

4) The D-shaft slot may be shifted and not line up, using other JTV knobs.

 

6) Battery is needed when using 1/4" jack, and the cable plug should be a Tip/Ring/Sleeve type.

more about that in the Forum's Knowledge Base.

 

7) "Plugging in both 1/4” AND VDI is a huge no-no? " --- Definitely a big no-no. It is not design for that kind of current pull.

Too much current draw like that can and has damaged components on the processor board and VDI board in the jack plate.

It's what's called a small signal audio circuit, not the same as a power amp circuit. Any vagueness on the subject is because

circuit level info is proprietary.

 

 

 

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On 8/5/2020 at 9:18 AM, psarkissian said:

6) Battery is needed when using 1/4" jack, and the cable plug should be a Tip/Ring/Sleeve type.

more about that in the Forum's Knowledge Base.

 

 

So you can't use the old Variax's power supply? Is that true?

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You can use the old variax power supply with at TRS cable. 

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