Helix with 2.8 and Variax

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by frankg11, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. frankg11

    frankg11 Member

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    I have had the Helix and PowerCab+ for several months and I am jonesing for a Variax standard or maybe one of the Custom models. However we all know there are going to be a bunch of kewl 2.8 stuff that integrates with the Variax.

    I am interested in the thoughts and opinions of you all the have used the triple threat mix and how it all works out using 2.7 and what real advantages do we get with 2.8


    So penultimate question is posed to all you that have some experience with the Variax and current 2.7 release. Is the juice worth the squeeze. The Ultimate question is how many greenbacks am I going to shell out.

    Thank you and I am having a moment of trapped GAS.
     
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  2. Digital Igloo

    Digital Igloo Member

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    From the 2.80 Manual:

    Variax String Level
    Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT

    Helix can now remotely adjust the level of individual guitar strings on a connected Shuriken Variax, JTV, or Variax Standard. Just like with any amp, cab, or effect, String Level can be quickly assigned to footswitches or even Snapshots. "Wait. You mean I can turn off the top three strings for the verse (Snapshot 1) and bring them back in for the chorus (Snapshot 2)? And if the high E is too shrill I can back its volume down to 90%?" Yes. "That's pretty nuts." Yes it is.

    1. Select the Input > Multi or Input > Variax block and press PAGE > three times.
    2. Turn Knobs 1-6 to adjust each string’s level.
    3. If you want each string's volume to change with different snapshots, press and turn the string's knob. The value will turn white and appear in brackets.
    NOTE: Assigning a continuous controller (such as an expression pedal or slider on your MIDI controller) is not recommended, as it may result in minor pops and clicks; this is due to limitations in Variax DSP, not Helix.
     
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  3. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid Member

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    Variax is a really cool tool, especially for a live cover band situation. You can go from a Strat in Eb to a Les Paul in E standard to a semi-hollow in nashville tuning to a sitar or an acoustic or a banjo.

    For under $1000 it is definitely worth the squeeze IMO. Even if just for fun.
     
  4. LordByron

    LordByron The Dude abides! Supporting Member

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    :agree
     
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  5. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a Variax Standard. Not the world/s best guitar by any means, but i am really glad I bought it.
     
  6. kennywiegman

    kennywiegman Member

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    I have a standard/ helix combo been working aboit 14 months. The variax standard neck is really poorly manicured, all of the frets from 10 on are sharp and jagged on low and high side and it doesnt respond well to temperature changes(Im near Chicago). The electronics are responsive and the pickups arent bad, but the nexk is really a let down for me. Ive debated a swap,but dont feel like throwing any more money at my rig. Maybe playing one before buying would be a big help. Its about as good as its pricetag
     
  7. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    I've had a few over the years but never bonded with them.

    If I was playing in a covers band I'd have kept the JTV-69 and dealt with it. The Helix/Variax/Powercab combination is simply a remarkably flexible solution.

    I'm waiting for the nextgen Variax to see how I feel about it. It would be especially great if they could add bass modeling to it.
     
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  8. Jugghaid

    Jugghaid Member

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    I wasn't impressed with the standard so I got a JTV59
     
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  9. frankg11

    frankg11 Member

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    What is the next gen? when will it be released. what is different in the next gen than what I can buy today?

    after what I spent on a french door today, $1,000 is almost the cost of the tax on the door and install. LOL
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  10. davidb7170

    davidb7170 Member

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    Everyone is different... I got my Variax 300 in 2005, gigged it with my Pod XTLive, then the X3Live, got my HD500, then got the JTV 59 2011, then HD500X, then the JTV 69S 2012, then the Helix 2015, and the PC+ last year. All worked well together, but the helix control of the JTV is the best. The 69S is my go to. Very useful is the ability to set different tuning on a preset and within snapshots. I'm a Fender guy Strat and a couple Teles, and the 69S felt like home to me. The 59 is my backup. Both are very good instruments, very solid and reliable.
     
  11. frankg11

    frankg11 Member

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    Maybe you all can help. I look at guitar center and it appears that a new release of the variax is available in October. The purple standard is looking good but I am trending to a jtv. What’s up with October?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  12. arislaf

    arislaf Member

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    No idea, but i wouldnt hurry if a new variax is coming in october to buy a variax now.

    If i would buy a variax now, i would go for a 89f, since its the only with graphteck piezo installed, and a good tremolo. 59 is beauty, but the 3 way switch is not for me for a variax, but you can install graphteck. 69 (the one o own) has a pretty useless fretboard for me, a not so good tremolo, and no graphteck exist for that one. But has a nice vintage style of strat that i like.
    89 (non f) is a no go fot me, since there is no tremolo, and inverted tunners.

    Standard is a compromise comparing to the jtv, also a no go for me.
     
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  13. HavingSomeFun

    HavingSomeFun Member

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    I’ve a JTV-69S with my Helix. It helps with Open G, Open Gb, Eb tuning in songs I cover. The convenience cannot be beat.

    But it took a looooong time to come to terms with it. If you dont explicitly state the string tuning in Helix and expect a default of standard, don’t be surprised if the previous tuning sticks. Workbench HD is cool but a whole other app to learn and the synchronization with Helix isn’t quite there.

    The worst of it is trying to get a decent setup. I have a first string that is problematic and there are not too many techs who know the beast. String volumes need adjusting - always, typically all but the first and second string down drastically. This is shown as % in string setup for a preset. Want a global so you dont have to do it each time? Yeah, that’s in decibels. I’ve no idea how to translate that easily.

    I pick up my guitar and play an open G, snapshot to a lead in standard and back again. Next song and present is Eb, next one with an acoustic piece in it, next is an Open G and tuned down a half to accommodate my singer. All with a tap of the foot.

    So if your covering songs, it’s worth the squeeze. Just be patient and love to tinker cause it takes a lot of squeezing.
     
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  14. arislaf

    arislaf Member

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  15. LordByron

    LordByron The Dude abides! Supporting Member

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    Hmmm. Shame to hear that. The neck on my Standard was perfectly fine. Nicely dressed frets. Zero sprout issues. Neck played very nicely. I like the JTV-69S I picked up later better, because the neck is a bit chunkier, still, my Standard is perfectly pleasurable to play.
     
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  16. RandoMan

    RandoMan Member

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    I believe these are leftovers from the special edition run last year. I bought the Amethyst model back in March from GC but didn't receive it until late May. I thought maybe a new batch was being built and that's why it took so long, but the sequence number was #204 of the run and I've seen on the Line 6 forums that others have higher numbers that were purchased much earlier. Also I confirmed via PM with Frank R that Line 6 is not building more.
     
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  17. _pete_

    _pete_ Supporting Member

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    I don't see a link there for your bundle. Can you post it here or is it against the rules?
     
  18. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    Sign into the VGF forum and it's available for download.
     
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  19. _pete_

    _pete_ Supporting Member

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    Gotcha.


    "Awaiting admin approval". :munch
     
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  20. arislaf

    arislaf Member

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    this is the link, need to sign up first.
     
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