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I've been on Variax for about 7 years. I got two 300s with an XT Live. I used to tweak my tones and guitar models with Workbench, but haven't had any need to in possibly 5 years or so. I'm happy with the sounds, occasionally tweak a tone manually according to the room response. My question is this: with new gear out, like the X3 Live, James Tyler Variax, etc., are the old 300 models still supported? If I was to upgrade to the newest latest greatest, can I still use the Variax 300 model, with switching and guitar models intact?

 

I certainly would love to get a James Tyler, but am not looking forward to the expense, as I'd need to get two for live work. Add that to potential x3 Live, or whatever is the latest, I'm looking at a small mortgage.

 

What's most desirable? Variax 300 plugged into X3Live? James Tyler plugged into older XTLive? Stick with what I've got?

 

Added question: how does Line 6 digital wireless work with Variax? Or does it? I use the Variax cable to power the guitar. Seems like wireless would be unavailable in this type of set-up.

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I believe you can use wireless if you use a battery. (with the old Variax you'd need 6 AA batteries, so I suggest getting a pack of rechargeable AAs)

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I have always used batteries with my old Variax 500.  I keep two sets of NiMh batteries.  I now have an HD500x so I use the VDI with that.

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You might be able to find a good deal on a b-stock / scratch&dent69 / scratch&dent89 JTV.

The links for the b-stock / scratch-dent are in the $900-$1100 price range. Even some of the new prices are lower, around $900 for certain models / color tones. Or sometimes they go on sale! I got my JTV59 for a decent price when guitar cntr had sale, and zzounds did a price match (8 payment plan makes it a little easier to budget). Though I've since bought the rest of my gear from Sweetwater because of their 2 year free warranty..

 

But I digress! I hear ya though, they are not inexpensive, and if you need two, that's double trouble! There are somewhat substantial differences between the JTV59, JTV69, JTV69s, and the JTV89. Take a little time to read up on specifics, it goes beyond just the shape and style of the guitar.

 

59= les paul style,

69 = strat HSS style,

69s = strat single coil style,

89 = ibanez-esque

89f = floyd rose

 

The X3Live is the same FX and amp models as the XT; they just combined the bass and guitar XT models into one unit.

 

The newer HD modeling is quite good, though really doesn't try to achieve the scope of the X3, in terms of bass, mic preamps ,etc. But (to my ears at least) the HD modeling represents a significant upgrade in quality over the previous XT/X3 series. (I sold my X3L back in 2010 to buy an HD500).

 

The HD500x is the same amp models and FX as the HD500 - it just has a little bit more DSP / processing power, and also has upgraded footswitch hardware. Same programming and interface.

 

As far the James Tyler guitars, I can say, that I only recently went for the Variax, my first being the JTV59. It's a great instrument, and the Variax modeling is quite an experience! The older firmware for the JTV, prior to what they are calling the first of the "HD variax (firmware 2.0)" is the same as the previous Variax models.

 

The primary difference - prior to the newer firmware - is that the JTV's are also actual guitars, with actual magnetic pickups. And they play quite well, I use both the onboard mags and the modeling. They are supposedly made in the same factory in Korea which produces the PRS SE guitars.

 

The HD500x and HD series (bean, floor and pro) all have VDI for the variax, which powers the guitar. And from what I can tell (this actually confused the heck out of me when I first got my JTV) is that the HD does support the Variax 300 / 500 600 / 700 also. Those all show up in the HD editor software as control options for 'force' or 'don't force' variax model changes.

 

With the Tyler variax, you also get the tuning options within the editor / patch changes. And you can assign the knobs on the guitar to control FX parameters, like delay repeats or reverb mix, etc.

 

The HD series is also the first to offer the Line6 link function, which is quite nice - though if you were worried about a mortgage sized equipment bill for the POD and two JTV's, then you will want a second mortgage when you start to shop the DT amps and/or the StageSource speakers. Cheesy as the marketing is, it really is the Dream Rig... :)

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But wireless won't connect the Variax with the XT Live like the DI cable, right? I can't have the XT Live change the guitar settings via wireless? Or am I missing the boat? 

 

With the "old" Variax, I can do tuning changes, as well. I don't really used alternate tunings, but it's good to know if I should want to do some kind of Drop D situation, or decide to start playing slide. 

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You are correct. There is no wireless option for VDI. You can use wireless for audio with a Variax just like any other guitar, using the 1/4" analog output. But no digital data, which is what you need for control features.

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 seems to me line  6 does not support  the older  variax  guitars    other  than this  forum.

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How does the JT Variax work with the tuning changes? Are tunings even available for the JT? How does one mix the piezos with the magnetic pickups if the piezos are expediting a tuning alteration? 

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JTV works well with alt tunings.  Of course you can't alt tune the mag pickups so you can't blend them with alt tuning UNLESS the alt tuning is in harmony with the standard tuning.

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Interesting. But one could actually blend alt tuned guitar with standard tuned mag pickups? Wouldn't make any musical sense unless I wanted to call up a patch to play an atonal voicing not usually played on guitar, like FMaj7/GMaj7 that a pianist might play?

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Beware when updating to a POD500x if you use a gen 1 variax (not JTV). It will NOT communicate with Workbench anymore, just workbench hd,which, if you don't have a JTV, is usehless. You'd have to go back to using the interface.

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I have a Variax 500 and Vetta II amp as well as a JTV69, HD500X and DT25 amp.  The Variax 500 works great with the HD500X.  I mix and match these guitars and amps all the time with great results.  

 

One of the reasons the wireless doesn't work with the VDI is that it's only one way communication and wouldn't allow the HD500X to send any signals to the guitar.  

 

ColonelForbin hit it right on the head in regards to the JTV guitars being 2 guitars in one.  If, for some reason, the electronics were to die during a gig, you would just push in on the model selector knob and switch to the magnetic pickups.  The mags sound great BTW.

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