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Retrofitting my Variax

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  • Retrofitting my Variax

    Hi all,

    I love my Variax and have read about and seen several instances where someone has successfully fitted the Variax electronics along with the bridge to another guitar. Well, I thought I might try the inverse. I want to install a set of passive pickups to my Variax. It would look something like this...



    The body is basswood. For a nice all-around tone, I think I might install a C5 in the bridge position and a 59 in the neck. I think basswood has a warmer tone, so a CC and an A2 Pro might be a bit too warm. What do y'all think?
    -Butch

  • #2
    Re: Retrofitting my Variax

    good choices for pups - they work well for me ...

    is it going to be a major project to rout the wood, cut the pickguard, and find room for controls? ... will you need to rout a new cavity in back too? witha custom back plate for it? YIKES !! ... you must REALLY love that guitar to do all that instead of putting it into a new body with a new neck - all done to your tastes

    good luck - have fun - take pics!!

    cheers
    t4d
    gear list in profile

    "no seymour - no tone ... know seymour - know tone!"

    Is it not the glory of the people of America that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience?" - James Madison - Federalist #14

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    • #3
      Re: Retrofitting my Variax

      Well, I believe I can use the same pots and switch. I do believe I need to have a minitoggle to switch between the Variax electronics and the passive...
      -Butch

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      • #4
        Re: Retrofitting my Variax

        Bump...anyone else?
        -Butch

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        • #5
          Re: Retrofitting my Variax

          The ONLY reason I'd use that guitar is for the electronics it has.....I wish they'd make a retrofit kit for regular guitars actually. That way anyone can have pickup/guitar modeling for the guitar that fits THEIR hands.


          But this seems like more trouble than it's worth at least to me.....

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Retrofitting my Variax

            Originally posted by Butch Snyder
            Well, I believe I can use the same pots and switch. I do believe I need to have a minitoggle to switch between the Variax electronics and the passive...
            I'm not confident that this is practical. IIRC, the pots and switches are mounted on a PC board so some surgery would be required to get 'em work the way you describe. I also have a niggling feeling that they have a linear taper which would give bad results in a conventional volume control.

            I'd suggest consulting the good folks at the Institute of Noise. A number of folks have done Variax transplants and can probably tell you a lot about the viability of retrofitting your guitar.

            Best of luck!
            Originally posted by LesStrat
            make sure that you own the gear, not vice versa.
            My Music

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Retrofitting my Variax

              Originally posted by ranalli
              The ONLY reason I'd use that guitar is for the electronics it has.....I wish they'd make a retrofit kit for regular guitars actually. That way anyone can have pickup/guitar modeling for the guitar that fits THEIR hands.


              But this seems like more trouble than it's worth at least to me.....
              Like this??

              Variax in another body

              You do have a point about using the Variax for its electronics though...


              Originally posted by aleclee
              I'm not confident that this is practical. IIRC, the pots and switches are mounted on a PC board so some surgery would be required to get 'em work the way you describe. I also have a niggling feeling that they have a linear taper which would give bad results in a conventional volume control.

              I'd suggest consulting the good folks at the Institute of Noise. A number of folks have done Variax transplants and can probably tell you a lot about the viability of retrofitting your guitar.

              Best of luck!
              Yep, they're good guys over there. I'll stop over and post the question there.
              -Butch

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Retrofitting my Variax

                Oh BTW, check out Jeff Miller's Warmouth PRS/Variax project. Insane.....



                -Butch

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                • #9
                  Re: Retrofitting my Variax

                  Wow, that project really looks damn nice. I thought Warmoth only did bolt-ons though??


                  Looks like he's got regular and modeled pickups on there??

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                  • #10
                    Re: Retrofitting my Variax

                    Yeah, I thought warmoth only did bolt on too, also what wood is that body?...
                    "What frequency are you getting? Is it noise or sweet, sweet music?"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Retrofitting my Variax

                      OOOPS!!!!

                      My bad....Jeff did the whole guitar himself. He has done Warmoth projects in the past I believe; but this one was totally done by him.

                      Check out the whole progress...

                      PRS/Variax Project
                      Last edited by Butch Snyder; 05-13-2005, 08:12 AM.
                      -Butch

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                      • #12
                        Re: Retrofitting my Variax

                        Wow....that guys work is pretty impressive to be able to do that from scratch!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Retrofitting my Variax

                          Originally posted by ranalli
                          Wow....that guys work is pretty impressive to be able to do that from scratch!!
                          Here's another project. He actually gets the necks from a luthier he knows.


                          PRS/Variax Project #2
                          -Butch

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Retrofitting my Variax

                            Adrian Belew mentioned in the latest Guitar Player that he's working with Parker to design a signature Fly model. He wants to included Variax electronics in the Parker guitar. Sounds like there's some negotiating to be done...
                            Tra-la-laa, lala-la-laa!
                            Rich Stevens


                            "I am using you; am I amusing you?" - Martha Johnson, What People Do For Fun

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                            • #15
                              Re: Retrofitting my Variax

                              Originally posted by ranalli
                              The ONLY reason I'd use that guitar is for the electronics it has.....I wish they'd make a retrofit kit for regular guitars actually. That way anyone can have pickup/guitar modeling for the guitar that fits THEIR hands.


                              But this seems like more trouble than it's worth at least to me.....
                              +1 im not so shure thats a good idea....


                              chris
                              "Get a BIBLE: open it, read it, and believe it" - Me

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