The future of Variax?

LaXu

Member
Messages
6,575
I never liked the Variax because I did not like the guitars. I would probably like the Yamaha Pacifica based models that are available now.

But really the Variax system should be some compact retrofit kit you can fit in a guitar, maybe with an external box for the processing part if the internals cannot be shrunk into something that will fit most guitar electronics cavities. Having it be Helix controlled would also be cool.
 

CowTipton

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,111
My JTV59 is a better LP than my (ex) '04 LP STD LE. Didn't even have to have a new nut cut for it when I received it...unlike the Gibson. :p

I think it's a great guitar for both tone and playability.

I also have a LP Std LE (Pacific reef) and a JTV59P.

While I love the Variax for versatility, it's not a better LP than the Gibson. You must've had a really bad one.
 

John Mark Painter

Silver Supporting Member
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9,674
Compatibility with the guitar seems more complicated with its Piezo system than with a stick on Hex pickup.
But that’s just me guessing
 

RGB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,188
I also have a LP Std LE (Pacific reef) and a JTV59P.

While I love the Variax for versatility, it's not a better LP than the Gibson. You must've had a really bad one.
Even after getting a new nut cut...High E was falling off the board...it never intonated well and wouldn't stay in tune. Was kinda pretty though. :)
 
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2,802

I've said time & time again, I sure do look forward to a new Variax release.... I'd still own my JTV-69, but sold to help fund my DGT. Really getting the itch to get another Variax, and I usually get hopeful this time of year - and then, depressed after NAMM/Messe when a new Variax doesn't appear.

I'd love some other variations on acoustics such as Nylon, shamisen, mando, etc... maybe a synth model? I created a sitar on my jtv with the strings doubled, it sounded HUGE! Outboard variax box to put after guitar/before any rig would be amazing. But, I think a Revstar with the old voices and maybe a few new types of voices would make a lot of folks smile.... I mean -- the shamisen & mando voices were in the variax acoustic. Old tech for a dead product -- couldn't that be loaded into a new variax via workbench? Fretless guitar sounds could be cool... or, maybe even some other polyphonic voices like brass/keys/woodwinds/synth?
 
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Chris_G

Member
Messages
129
I busted out my Variax Standard (Amethyst Limited) last night to try and bond with it (failed so far) and noticed the Workbench HD is not supported in MacOS Catalina or later. Line 6 has been pretty good about updating software for products that are going to stick around. The lack of an update for nearly a year since Catalina came out leads me to believe that at a minimum something new on the software editor front is on the way. I hope it’ll be tied to a new guitar design as well. The current Variax tech is pretty old and could probably be updated.
 

disconnector

It's been swell, but the swelling's gone down.
Gold Supporting Member
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1,810
I busted out my Variax Standard (Amethyst Limited) last night to try and bond with it (failed so far) and noticed the Workbench HD is not supported in MacOS Catalina or later. Line 6 has been pretty good about updating software for products that are going to stick around. The lack of an update for nearly a year since Catalina came out leads me to believe that at a minimum something new on the software editor front is on the way. I hope it’ll be tied to a new guitar design as well. The current Variax tech is pretty old and could probably be updated.
The updater for the workbench hardware is Line6 Monkey which *definitely* doesn't work on Catalina. But once you update the firmware to the latest version (use a VM or a crappy PC ;-) ) the software runs fine on my Macbook Pro . . . maybe you need to update the drivers?
 

Chris_G

Member
Messages
129
The updater for the workbench hardware is Line6 Monkey which *definitely* doesn't work on Catalina. But once you update the firmware to the latest version (use a VM or a crappy PC ;-) ) the software runs fine on my Macbook Pro . . . maybe you need to update the drivers?
I wasn’t talking about Workbench hardware, I was talking about the Workbench HD app. I’m connecting my Variax to the computer via my Helix and used the Workbench HD app to edit guitars which worked fine prior to Catalina. The Workbench HD app does not work on Catalina or later as it is 32-bit, I never noticed because I haven’t taken my Variax out of the case in over a year. The Workbench HD icon is ghosted and has a big circle with a line through it.

I’m honestly not too bothered by it because I don’t really like the guitar that much as a just a guitar — I generally don’t like Yamaha guitars so that’s no surprise. All I’m saying is the lack of updates from Line 6 possibly indicates something new is on the way. I hope that the new something is not just software, but a new Variax with new tech.
 

phil_m

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Gold Supporting Member
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12,368
I wasn’t talking about Workbench hardware, I was talking about the Workbench HD app. I’m connecting my Variax to the computer via my Helix and used the Workbench HD app to edit guitars which worked fine prior to Catalina. The Workbench HD app does not work on Catalina or later as it is 32-bit, I never noticed because I haven’t taken my Variax out of the case in over a year. The Workbench HD icon is ghosted and has a big circle with a line through it.

I’m honestly not too bothered by it because I don’t really like the guitar that much as a just a guitar — I generally don’t like Yamaha guitars so that’s no surprise. All I’m saying is the lack of updates from Line 6 possibly indicates something new is on the way. I hope that the new something is not just software, but a new Variax with new tech.
There was an update for Workbench HD back in August of this year that added compatibility for Catalina.

Line 6 Monkey isn’t compatible, and I don’t know know if it ever will be. Monkey has been replaced with Line 6 Updater for everything else, so I’d suspect that maybe they’ll add make the Variax compatible with Updater.
 
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Chris_G

Member
Messages
129
There was an update for Workbench HD back in August of this year that added compatibility for Catalina.
Thanks, I see it now. I searched the downloads on the Line 6 sight for Variax and Workbench HD and the latest version was 2017. When I just searched for Workbench HD without specifying hardware, it returned the Aug 2020 version you referenced. I’ll install it later today, I’m sure it’ll work.
 

germanicus

Member
Messages
2,191
It's always interesting how differently we all hear things. I've yet to hear a Roland/Boss clip that sounds nearly as convincing as the best Variax clips.
I currently have a vg99, gp10, and a sy1000, and still prefer my two JTV's with Helix for modeled guitar sounds.
The sy1000 did improve their acoustic guitar modeling, but it still sounds not quite as good to me. JTV can trick you when recorded.

Both are certainly good enough for live performance.
 

germanicus

Member
Messages
2,191
Oh also, remarkably, the Acoustic Variax 700 is still my favorite for acoustic sounds (besides micing a real acoustic). I treat mine with kid gloves.
Acoustic Variax 700 with a GK3 on it driving a Helix and an Sy1000 (3 separate modeling pathways) is kind of bananas, but lots of fun.
 

marshall2288

Member
Messages
1,098
Is the original Workbench still supported? I connected my old 300 with my new Helix and was having issues with Workbench
 

maxnew40

Member
Messages
963
I was still using my JTV-59 and JTV-69 up until the gigs dried up. They are perfect for a cover band gig with a Helix. I can switch between 12 string acoustic and electric for Melt With You for example. I find they sound good if you use them to create the Helix presets. I would not use one of my strats to make a preset and then use the Variax set to the strat setting.
 

phil_m

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,368
Is the original Workbench still supported? I connected my old 300 with my new Helix and was having issues with Workbench
The Helix won’t work as an interface for the original Workbench, no.
 

thumperjack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
605
I think the concept is great, but the execution just average
Those guys stay busy, they have fun toying with the tech, package it in an interim way to keep it selling even if in cartoon land at first, then as tech and development catch up, cartoon land becomes WHERE HAVE WE ARRIVED. It stays cartoon ville always fun but matures into mind blowing realism when the time comes. Quietly and confidently. They don't need to shepherd their malnourished mutant half-breed through its growth stages with exaggerated unfounded claims of superiority carried on a foundation of intimidation delivered appeals to pity.

Line 6 will never die. With yamaha at the helm, Variax tech will never die. Yamaha already takes the cake in drums, motorcycles, pianos, guitars, but low key about it. Variax ain't goin nowhere. Yamaha guitars has always been a quiet reliable niche anyways, variax tech is an even smaller niche within an old niche. If they keep it in house it would always stay really small development attention allocation, if they licensed the tech out it would still stay a niche, like a Fishman TriplePlay or midi guitars.

Only way it would really blow up big is if they took the tech and packaged it in a entry level format, like $250 guitar price point with Variax tech, that you can plug into a Spider that runs Helix algorithms, entry level gear and pricing but varix+helix tone. No one would even buy anything else at entry level, you get Strat/lesPaul/335/baritone/alt tunings...etc etc. In a $250 Pacifica...
 

ChrisVereb

Member
Messages
2,039
Those guys stay busy, they have fun toying with the tech, package it in an interim way to keep it selling even if in cartoon land at first, then as tech and development catch up, cartoon land becomes WHERE HAVE WE ARRIVED. It stays cartoon ville always fun but matures into mind blowing realism when the time comes. Quietly and confidently. They don't need to shepherd their malnourished mutant half-breed through its growth stages with exaggerated unfounded claims of superiority carried on a foundation of intimidation delivered appeals to pity.

Line 6 will never die. With yamaha at the helm, Variax tech will never die. Yamaha already takes the cake in drums, motorcycles, pianos, guitars, but low key about it. Variax ain't goin nowhere. Yamaha guitars has always been a quiet reliable niche anyways, variax tech is an even smaller niche within an old niche. If they keep it in house it would always stay really small development attention allocation, if they licensed the tech out it would still stay a niche, like a Fishman TriplePlay or midi guitars.

Only way it would really blow up big is if they took the tech and packaged it in a entry level format, like $250 guitar price point with Variax tech, that you can plug into a Spider that runs Helix algorithms, entry level gear and pricing but varix+helix tone. No one would even buy anything else at entry level, you get Strat/lesPaul/335/baritone/alt tunings...etc etc. In a $250 Pacifica...
To the first paragraph....what? Not in a "I disagree with you" way. I just don't understand what you're saying.


As for nobody ever buying any other entry level guitar if there was a variax at $250....I disagree. There's a lot of not terrible sub $100 guitars now that parents will always buy for a kid they aren't sure stick with the instrument. I helped my sister pick out an electric for my nephew about a year ago. The $250 guitars were never going to be an option while there was reasonably functional $120 squires hanging on the wall.
 

thumperjack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
605
now chris is here. where is rex, my blood pressure isn't high enough, it's all so invigorating
 




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