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Main :: Variax Guitars / Bass / Workbench

Variax 300 Piezo
by chouck on 2012-06-16 15:45:48.3470

I bought a used Variax 300 electric on Ebay about a year ago. Great deal & nice guitar for the bucks. Been very happy with it but have a high e string saddle issue. I researched the archives here & thanks to ALL those who have gone before me, managed to find a bazzilion posts, questions, answers, etc.

(btw, Great community of very knowlegable folks here). Followed all the typical check solder points, check ground issues, clean possible much from under, etc.So... Problem defined. Need to replace piezo saddle.

I go to purchase new part from Line 6.... uh oh.. looks completely different.... Line 6 support via the new ticket process (kudos for very quick response) tells me it probably has after market Graphtec Saddles on it.

OK. BUT... I just realized today the owner's manual has a drawing in the section for adjusting intonation that looks "very similar" to the ones on the guitar.

Questions are:

1. Does anyone know if Line 6 made a 300 with Graphtechs on it or were they just similar in appearance?

2. If they were not Graphtechs, what the heck are they?

3. Where does a tightwad such as myself buy (1) one without having to buy the whole set from Graphtech only to chop the plugs off to swap them out?

(For what its worth serial # is 04120331 Made in Indonesia)

Thanks in advance!




Re: Variax 300 Piezo
by amx05462 on 2012-06-16 15:59:08.2520

no question  those  are  graphtech  pickups.  first thing     loosen  the  screw  the  grounds  are   on  lift the   pcb and  make  sure  that  theres  some   electrical tape  or  something    that will insulate   the  back of the board   from the bridge  plate. if theres  nothing there  then  put  some  tape  on the  back of the pce.  those  wires  poke  through   the  back of thqat pcb and if they  touch the bridge  plate  they short out.  i just put my 300 in an epiphone  dot and   thats the first  thing i did  when installing  the   pickups.  insulate them  from  the bridge  plate.

  if that dont  do it  then check the  solder  oint  of the  bad  one. it  dont  look  that good  in the pic.  actually  none  of them do.

if thats not it then   strip the plastic  off the  crimped   grounds  and   add  solder to  those  clips      .. on both ends  to ake sure   there  are  no loose  grounds.   i just did  all that  on mine  and it  works  just fine  with the  graphtech  pickups. also dont go by that   generic  drawing  ast to being   a sign of  graphtech pickups.    its a cartoon   version  of something they should  have took a  photo for.

also     this person  did  do one thing  right,   they left  enough  wire  to redo the whole thing.

so  if you want to  just test the  pickup to see if its  good. unsolder  the  positive from the  pcb and put an ohm meter  on it  from positive to ground. that should tell you something.

Re: Variax 300 Piezo
by chouck on 2012-06-16 16:23:45.8310

Cool. You may be on to something. There is nothing between the board & the bridge plate..Also, before the saddle gave up the ghost (pun intended) I lost about 50% of the volume on that string at rehearsal. Of course I did what all non-tech folk do. I reached down, wiggled it, tapped it and eventuallay jammed a piece of pick betwen it and saddle for b string. Problem solved.. I thought. Several months later, poof... about 2% volume. I don't know squat about electronics, so one solder joint looks like another to me.

I've got a buddy who does electronic repair. I may have to get him to go over it and clean up what he can.

I appreciate the quick response and help!

I'll keep ya posted after someone who actually knows what a solder joint should look like takes a look at it.

Thanks again!

Re: Variax 300 Piezo
by amx05462 on 2012-06-16 16:35:05.1200

good  luck  let me  know  how   you   do  with it.

Re: Variax 300 Piezo
by chouck on 2012-06-16 16:36:33.2740

Will do.

Thanks again!

The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.