Changing a line6 piezo pickup in a Variax Guitar

Changing a line6 piezo pickup in a Variax Guitar
13th August 2015 Shane

Changing a line6 piezo pickup in a Variax Guitar

First get your replacement pickup from line6, I got sent one for free as I had just had my board replaced on a second hand Variax 300. Thanks Line6.

Line 6 Variax Piezo Pickup

Now get your tools ready, you will need a heat controlled or gas soldering iron, some flux to get rid of the old solder, some solder, some Philips screwdrivers and your variax.

Tools

I was told by support that you can replace the pickup by loosening the strings and lifting the bridge, but my soldering is not that good and I didn’t want to damage my guitar so I took the strings off using a string winder. Here she is on my makeshift operating table, note the towel underneath so as not to scratch the guitars finish.

Operating Table

So firstly loosen or remove all your strings using your fingers or if you want to do it quickly, use a string winder.

String Winder

Remove the four screws holding the bridge onto the guitar, you can then see the circuit board and the plug that you need to remove to take the bridge off completely.

Bridge on Guitar

Once all your strings are removed, she looks bald but I found this a necessary step.

Variax no Strings

You can now remove your bridge and replace the offending pickup.

Variax no Bridge

Here is what the bridge looks like out of the guitar, make sure you remember what string was making a noise or crackling, you don’t want to change a healthy pickup.

Variax Bridge Top View

Here is what the bridge looks like from underneath. As you can see Line6 have kindly labelled the pickups from high E to Low E.

Variax Bridge Underneath

Now get your soldering iron out and use your flux to remove the old solder from the offending pickup. I don’t have a temperature controlled soldering iron so I used a gas one, just as good.

Gas Soldering Iron

My offending pickup was my D string and it made a horrible droning noise, when played. So remove the solder and mind you don’t burn anything, shush don’t tell the misses 🙂

Towel Burn Whoops!

Once you have removed the solder, you can pull the pickup out from the top of the bridge and put the new one in, by poking the wire through the hole and out of the circuit board, here you can clearly see the hole the wire needs to go through.

Bridge Pickup Wire Hole

As mentioned above feed the wire through the hole in the top of the bridge and then through your newly exposed hole in your circuit board.

Variax Bridge Wire through hole

Now simply solder the wire back and your guitar will sound like new again. I did mention my soldering was not that good. Take a look at my newly soldered D string piezo pickup.

Variax Bridge Finished

Now all you need to do is plug your bridge back in, screw in the 4 screws and re-string.

Replace Bridge

And here she is all fixed and sounding much happier.

Fixed Line6 Variax

Copyright © Shane Hogan
Do not copy this article.

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