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Hola.

 

I just got my Variax, and one thing i want it to do is sound "acoustic".  I am whatever then opposite of a gearhead is....i am just not much "fascinated" with guitar electronics. I use them, i love them, but I do not like working on them much.

 

So, here is my request.  If you have found acoustic success tonally, please tell me anything/everything that you did, from strings to settings to set up, that made it work well for you.  I have a Variax standard strat, and our set up does not use "amps".  We run guitar direct form pedalboard to soundboard.  I am particularly interested in getting a simple full 12 string strum sound.......

 

Thanks!

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What is wrong to your ears with the existing acoustic and 12string sounds? I plug my JTV into a Stagesource and it sounds good enough to me for acoustic parts.

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Bobbo, what does your pedalboard consist of?  Jason Sadites has some great Helix presets for the Variac acoustics that really took the Variax tones to the next level. 

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Hi Bobbo.

 

Let's play 'spot the Variax'

 

Three of these tones are JTV'59 Variax and one is a 2005 Taylor Fall Ltd all solid koa 324ce (Expression system version 1). There is no EQ, compression, reverb or anything else, just straight into a Mac through a Presonus Audiobox interface.

 

Have a listen and then say which one you want to sound more like (if any).

 

Perhaps also think about the rest of the instruments in the mix and what else sits in the tonal range of the acoustic. Are you up against a wall of keyboards and other guitars or pretty much solo. You will tend to lean towards some quite different acoustic tones in these different scenarios. 

 

 

Spot the Variax.mp3

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On 1/15/2021 at 6:04 AM, Fenderflame28 said:

Hi Bobbo.

 

Let's play 'spot the Variax'

 

Three of these tones are JTV'59 Variax and one is a 2005 Taylor Fall Ltd all solid koa 324ce (Expression system version 1). There is no EQ, compression, reverb or anything else, just straight into a Mac through a Presonus Audiobox interface.

 

Have a listen and then say which one you want to sound more like (if any).

 

Perhaps also think about the rest of the instruments in the mix and what else sits in the tonal range of the acoustic. Are you up against a wall of keyboards and other guitars or pretty much solo. You will tend to lean towards some quite different acoustic tones in these different scenarios. 

 

 

Spot the Variax.mp3 1.12 MB · 6 downloads

 

I own a Variax and I am curious which is which. I'm pretty sure the 1st one was Variax and the third one was the Taylor. Can you tell me what each of the Variax models were? I play my Variax through the VDI on a Helix and your sounds seem to have more body. I wonder if going out the 1/4" on the Variax makes a difference. Hey I just got a Taylor 324CE but it's mahogany top with a Tasmanian blackwood body. It's the nicest instrument I've ever owned.

 

The best non-acoustic acoustic sound I ever got was with the first generation of Variax technology and the POD HD 500X. It was the Variax acoustics with a certain mic preamp in the POD. I can't remember which one. The acoustics were only OK until you added this one preamp. I would have never hesitated to use it. Shortly after that, the second variation of Variax's came out. I got one and the acoustics IMHO, were thinner sounding. Too much high end zing. Not enough "body". No preamp in the POD or the Helix would fix it. I've tried EQ and IR's and it never get's to what I had with the old Variax and POD HD 500. Good enough in a pinch but a real acoustic is way better. Why don't I just go back to the old Variax? Because, I would only be doing it for the acoustics, Otherwise I like the models better on the JTV Variax's.

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At last someone has responded! I'm not going to give the results just yet but your analysis is interesting.

 

I did use the 1/4" out rather than VDI as I was wasn't going through Helix for the recordings above.

 

I used to use Variax with POD HD500X and always used the mic pre with it. The one in Helix is OK too. Live I'll always use a compressor and a couplebof of EQs. I have a 'more mids' and a 'brighter' EQ set up on switches depending on which other instruments are being heard in the mix too. I think this is the key thing for the OP. What else is in the mix that you are trying to avoid so you can be heard? That's the place to start with acoustic tones.

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On 1/15/2021 at 8:04 AM, Fenderflame28 said:

Let's play 'spot the Variax'

 

I'll play....

  1. Variax: Martin D-18
  2. Variax: Martin O-18
  3. Real Taylor
  4. Variax: Gibson J-200

FWIW.... I always got a great acoustic tone from my 1st Gen Variax through my X3 Live.... and I get a great tone (easily) with my Helix. I always struggled with an acoustic tone through my HD500... but I struggled with every tone through my HD500. I always use a VDI cable with my Variax. 

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A good begin is to use good strings at least 10-46

And don't forget the tone knob full open /close give a little difference

 

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18 hours ago, Punkyboy said:

A good begin is to use good strings at least 10-46

And don't forget the tone knob full open /close give a little difference

 

 

I actually used 11's for the Variax but a couple of years ago, my age got the better of me and I had to go to 10's. I will go no lower on a Variax. I use the Helix to control the Variax and it has issues with the tone knob. So for now I have to have it full on/open. I can't wait until it's fixed because I prefer the acoustics when the tone knob is not full on/open.

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On 1/21/2021 at 10:45 AM, Fenderflame28 said:

At last someone has responded! I'm not going to give the results just yet but your analysis is interesting.

 

Sooooooooooo.........?

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16 hours ago, Fenderflame28 said:

Soooo, top marks for Codamedia.

 

I did guess which cut the Taylor was correctly but I'm not familiar enough with the Variax models to distinguish between them but they all had that zing/less body thing that I was referring to earlier. By the way, it occurs to me that it was with the X3 I got good acoustic tones with the previous Variax not the HD500. Having said all of that, I think your acoustic sounds are as good as I've heard out of JTV Variax's.

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Thanks Brue58ski.

 

Good ears to you too! I always play on 11s.

 

I hope this exercise helped the OP a little further on his tone journey.

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