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Can I re-string a Variax Bass???
by RossRussell on 2009-05-15 10:10:22.2600


Im a lefty wanting to buy a Variax Bass. Since there is no left handed version of this bass available, I was wondering if the bass would still function properly if I re-strung it as a lefty? Would the modeling still work as it would strung right handed?

Please let me know.


Ross Russell

Re: Can I re-string a Variax Bass???
by juka421 on 2009-05-15 14:16:20.9170

if the piezo system is the same as the guitar version then yes.  You'll have to get the nut re-cut to fit the strings.

Re: Can I re-string a Variax Bass???
by roblof on 2009-05-15 14:40:42.7130

You can't restring the variax guitars. The reason is that the piezos are digitally filtered for each string. You can clearly hear this if you tap the naked piezo and listen to the output.

Only way to fix this is to reverse the wiring for the piezos and this could be a problem if it is the models with the flexiribbon instead of normal cable harness.

I belive that the Variax bass have the same issue based on that it have the synth patches and to me it looks like they use the same technique as Axon midi system. I'll tap my bass piezos next time and verify if they are the same as the guitar.

Re: Can I re-string a Variax Bass???
by ricksox on 2009-05-15 16:21:49.7070

Roblof is correct on this one. Without modifying the Bass you cannot simply just restring it for left handed use.


Re: Can I re-string a Variax Bass???
by Line6Tony on 2009-05-15 16:32:52.5740

This is unsupported by Line 6, as such a modification will void your warranty. If you are out of warranty, you are free to consult an authorized Line 6 Service Center to find if they've done such a mod, but Line 6 will not provide them with assistance.


Re: Can I re-string a Variax Bass???
by amx05462 on 2009-05-15 17:42:25.6330

i was just looking at a disassembly video of a 5oo variax.  theres six strings  and six contacts  in the center of the ribon connector. theres two outer leads one on either side . the question is  are they both leads or is one power. if there both grounds and the strip contacts on both faces then you can reverse the ribon where it goes into the main board . if  the ribon only  has contacts on one face then its not reversable.  also if one of the outers is power and the other is ground then its not reversable  either.   if on the other hand taking the above into consideration  it is reversable then  you still have to  get a lefty nut or make one. the other question is  are the saddles  string specific.  in other words  is each saddle cut  for the diameter of the string . if so  then you cant reverse the strings either.

                             i had an after thiught...... had the pickups been modualr connectors like the ones that lr baggs makes  normally then if there were enough wire you could just switch them  but that bridge setup i think is made exclusivly for  line 6 with the ribbon wire . of course you could change that out. any thing can be done but when you add that  and the nut  it might just be a good idea to  keep an eye on ebay for a used lefty bass.

Re: Can I re-string a Variax Bass???
by amx05462 on 2009-05-16 06:01:06.0230

i watched the video  of a pckup replacement  over in vettaville looks like all saddles are the same.  halfway through he shows a good view of  the ribbon  wire and a good closeup of  the back of the   bridge plate with the connections. looks like the pickup connectors are in the middle  and both ends are grounds. ... one side where  the ribbon connector goes into the board  has contacts exposed  the other is insulated from what i see. if you could remove the insulation from the back side of the ribbon connector  without damaging it you should be able to flip it over and plug it in  the ribbon wire goes into a pinch connector so that isnt a problem.  if you can  do this  then it will reverse the connections to the board and  then you can reverse your strings  change  the nut to a left hand nut( should be avalablee at your local guitar shop)  then  do your  string height setup and intonation and you got yourself a lefty bass. if you cant get a nut there then graph tech should  have one.  if you take some height measurments   and then  the distance between the back of the saddle to  the back of the bridge plate you should be able to reverse  the measurments and   set string height and intonation pretty easily. same with the nut.   measure the  thickness on both ends of the origonal. revers them   file  the nut if needed to the same thckness  and install your new left hand nut. the tricky part will be the  ribbon wire. what id do there is . get some fine  sandpaper . on a flat surface .... put the ribbon wire on the sandpaper the same amount as the  other side thats stripped and slowly rub it sideways till you clean off the insulation. once thats cleaned off  enough to explse the contacts  your golden.  dont take off any more than you need to  because that insulation also keeps the wires  properly separated. then flip  the wire in the board connector and the pickups are reversed.

                     one more thing. it wouldnt hurt  while you have the bridge off   to enlarge the hole the ribbon wire goes through  to ensure you dont bind up the ribbon wire when you flip it. . have fun.

Re: Can I re-string a Variax Bass???
by pathedo on 2009-05-25 01:16:13.6070

I just re-strung my new (used) Variax guitar.

There is an 8 pin connector that comes out of a hole under the pick guard. This hole clearly goes to the bridge pickups. It has 8 pins. The outer two pins are grounds. I simply broke off some of the connector so I could re-connect it upside down. It worked!

I had tried to just re-string it, but I could tell the pickups were string specific because the Sitar would make a low note when I hit high E & vice versa when I hit low E.

Some here said that it might have a ribbon, so it will probably work, but I'm sure it will be a hassle.

Try not to unscrew the bridge & try to get at the pickups that way. It was a complete hassle to take it off for me.

The nut on my Variax is a mirror image on both sides, so it can be flipped. Hopefully it is the same for the Bass.

Re: Can I re-string a Variax Bass???
by amx05462 on 2009-05-25 07:09:06.9420

if its in upside down to get it to work  and all the pickups are working  then if you have a block connector under the bridge  just reverse the wires.  if its a strip connector    you could un solder all the pickups and flip that over too and re solder them in   reversing the oposite end of the ribbon to match with your connection on the board.   the thing is that  if the strip  touches the bridge plate  to ground it which i believe it does  then  youll have to stripsome of the insulation  so it grounds.  then the problem is where your soldering  will be touching the  bridge as well  creating a short  so what id do there is make a jumper wire from the ground to  solder to the bridge.   after that then put a bit of electrical tape on the  side facing the bridge aftre having resoldering your pickup wires in.  that will prevent the positive wires  from grounding. or even some of that liquid  electric tape  you dont want the positives to touch the  bridge.  best thing though  might be to go to radio shack   get some modular plug ends and  put one on each wire where the plug is reversed ,  then put them all back in the  origonaal orderonce there all in just drip some hot melt glue oh  the tops  when the glue cools  youll have a new   connector to the board.

Re: Can I re-string a Variax Bass???
by WolfWare on 2011-06-30 11:17:14.6590

Yes you can.  I am doing one now for a customer.  It is tricky, delicate work and it invalidates your warrenty, but it can be done and it works.  You need to get a skilled engineer to remove the bridge, unsolder the tranducer tail-leads and flip the copper laminated transducer leaf-layer (see attachment).  You then solder the tails back (now mirrored).  You also need to insulate the under-leaf layer and solder some earth-tails to the upper-leaf layer.  Reconnect.  Restring previous left-handed as right-handed.  Test and enjoy.  CAUTION:  You hve to know what you are doing to attempt this and have the developed skills to do it without issue.


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