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Confused...explanations pls?


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We're planning to move overseas next year.  I've been playing since Jr High and have collected 20 stringed instruments, some early 60s vintage, but am hesitant to ship all those because of risk of damage and that most of them are irreplaceable.  My thought to reduce shipping costs and damage risks was to get a Variax JTV-59 and, maybe, a 700 bass (I'm primarily a bassist but play guitar when required) and only take the two with us.

 

I'm confused, however, by the descriptions of these models.  Would appreciate some answers to these questions:

 

1.  Power supplies versus battery packs.  Seems when purchased new the guitars come with an outboard PS, but nearly all the used JTV's DON'T have the power supplies with them.  The PSs are a bit hard to find on their own.  Is the PS really needed?  If so, would a generic PS be a good replacement?

2.  What's the difference between "Workbench" and "Workbench HD?"

3.  What is with all these different cables?  When I'm playing bass, I use a smaller amp for onstage and XLR from the amp into the house PA.  Did the same when I was required to play lead.  Do the Variaxes not support XLR'ing "out of the box" or are these separate, proprietary cables required?  Are separate cables required to connect it to a PC?

4.  Realize the basses aren't made anymore.  Have read a lot about electronics/piezo failures in the basses with replacement hardware hard to find.  If there is such a failure, is the bass rendered useless because of its not having pickups?

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1) I can't find any power supply's. Check this thread out about this issue and an internal power supply someone rigged up.

 

2) Workbench is for the original Variax. Workbench HD is for the JTV Variax's and all of their iterations. There is no Workbench for the Variax bass. It was promised but never delivered.

 

3) The Variax has two cable connections. A VDI cable for connection with other Line 6 devices. It can get it's power from those devices with the Variax input on them. The Helix is one.

The 1/4" output is for connection to the amp in the normal way. This is also how it gets it's power from the power supply which appears like it is not being made anymore. I would strongly suggest the battery for the JTV Variax. Make SURE it's the Line 6 version and not some generic one. It could ruin it. If you can find a Line 6 XPS-AB Variax Cabled Power Kit pictured here, that has an XLR output that you can switch to a 1/4" output from the pedal there. (you can see the two indicator lights). This will power both the JTV Variax and the Varaix bass, not at the same time. But, again, I'm pretty sure they don't make them anymore.

 

 

Line 6 XPS-AB Variax Cabled Power Kit | Keymusic
RE: The Variax bass. The bass is from the first version of the Variax. What this means is the same Cabled power kit will work, so you only need one if you're not using both bass and guitar at the same time. BUT the bass uses 6 AA batteries and not the Line 6 propriety battery that the JTV uses. I have a bass and I got 6 rechargeable batteries for the bass.
 4) The best place for line 6 parts is on the Full Compass website. I looked and found no bass parts let alone piezo's. Bottom line, if you can't find any, yes it is useless then. The piezos are the only thing capturing the sound..
 
Hope this helps. If it's a little confusing, ask and I'll try to answer as best I can.
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Appreciate the info.

 

Does that TRS cable use one of the conductors for powering the guitar's electronics from the pedal?  And is a standard guitar cable from the pedal to the amp?  Standard 1/4" cable used if powering the guitar from the battery pack?

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Yes to everything. When using the Variax power supply, you use a TRS to go from the Variax to the pedal. The guitar cable then goes from the pedal to the amp. And as I pointed out, there is also an XLR output on the pedal that you can use. And then yes, you use a standard guitar cable for the Variax when you are using batteries. If you have a JTV and the battery is dead, it will still have the magnetic pickups available. The Variax bass has no other options if the batteries die.

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Best to use TRS when using battery. TRS = tip/ring/sleeve, tip= signal, ring= +DC volt from battery, sleeve= ground return.

Use only Line 6 JTV battery, have had problems with 3rd party and knock-offs.

 

Use alkaline batteries for the battery pack in the original Variax guitars and bass guitars (page-4 in the original Variax manual).

 

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Thanks to all.  After consideration, I think I'll take my '88 MIJ JB overseas, store my vintage things, and keep on the lookout for a JTV-59.  I can get 8 and 12 string bass sounds with a POG or GT-1B.  Don't need an $800+ boat anchor with the apparently high failure rate for the bass.  Will miss my Rick 12 and Bass VI though.

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On 8/24/2022 at 8:28 AM, psarkissian said:

Best to use TRS when using battery. TRS = tip/ring/sleeve, tip= signal, ring= +DC volt from battery, sleeve= ground return.

Use only Line 6 JTV battery, have had problems with 3rd party and knock-offs.

 

I take your word for it but the Pilot's Guide does say on page 4 when describing the 1/4" input to "Analog Output - Plug in a standard 1/4 inch guitar cable here.". Can you say why it is best when using the battery to use a TRS to plug into the amp?

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TRS engages the battery, TS can dribble away charge if what would be the ring, is not there to isolate +Vdc from the ground/return pin.

Most all, if not all of our amps use TRS on the input to accommodate either one.

 

TRS has become something of a de-facto standard for guitars with active powered circuitry since (at least)

the mid 1970's (when I was doing guitar mod's with active, mostly battery powered) circuitry.

 

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