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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking at one of these at my local guitar shop and I think the neck is nicely shaped for my hands and feels comfy to play.

The Variax has the in-built computer and at a turn of a dial you can change guitar modelling type.

Has anyone got one of these and been using it for a while?
Do they hold up well with alot of use?

Has anyone found issues with the onboard computer?
 

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excess to requirements
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ksdb has one and loves it. so does ricklepotimus (spelling?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I like the look of it and I like the feel of the neck plus I am a gadget freak and the guitar would just suit me so much :)

I am conscious of how good it would sound and how long it would last as £480 is alot to pay out for a gimmick that will break within 6 months.
 

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Drak_nyen said:
What didn't you like about it in particular?
Just the general feel of the guitar, I don't know, I guess it just didn't feel "real" to me. And I did not like the tones at all. I don't know, I don't mind using my PodXT for amp modeling, but I guess I am not ready for guitar modeling.
 

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I've had my Variax for about a year and a half and mainly use it to record with at home. Mine was one of the original models (which has now been designated as the 500 series). An acquaintance came over to play mine and ended up getting a Variax 700, which he uses to gig with. He has been very happy with his for gigging. Says he doesn't use an amp on stage, just runs it though a Pod XT and the PA.

Part of the appeal for me is all the different models. I already have a Les Paul and Telecaster and was in the market for a hollow body guitar. The Variax does the hollow bodies as well as all the other guitars, so I thought it would be cool to have such a versatile instrument. It took me a long time to decide whether to buy it. I played one in a Guitar Center in Dallas, but came away underimpressed. It was hard to really evaluate this guitar properly in one sitting.

One thing that later sold me were some of the demos I heard by a guitarist named Jeff Miller (who goes by Teleplayer at a Variax discussion site). Jeff is what I would consider a semi-professional guitarist and he is not a Line 6 employee. He's a fantastic player and he has not only provided great samples of the guitar, he was a fearless innovator who was one of the first guys to transplant the electronics from the Variax into another guitar (a Telecaster, of course). He has since done other transplants, and so have many other guitarists. Here are a couple of links:

Jeff Miller audio samples

All things Variax forum

The big drawbacks that many Variax players complain about are the quality of the neck or general construction of the guitar. They usually will replace the neck or do the transplant. Other guitarists like myself, don't mind the guitar body and neck as is. This would be very subjective of course.

Other complaints are centered around the tonal qualities of the guitar models. The Variax utilizes a piezo pickup, which can make the guitar sound like an amplified acoustic guitar. This is again very subjective; sometimes it's not noticeable at all, while other times it might be distracting.

Tracking isn't really an issue, because the guitar signal isn't converted like a midi signal or guitar synth. The piezo tone is modeled through digital shaping with the onboard electronics. Palm-muting is a little different, but other techniques like harmonics, artificial harmonics, pinch harmonics, feedback and string bending are the same as a regular electric guitar. The 12-string guitar models are a little weak because of the pitch-shift effect, but they are much better than a similar effect from an effects pedal.

The bottom line for me is the versatility of the guitar, the number of available tones and the quality of the recorded tones. The Variax is virtually silent because it doesn't use a conventional magnetic pickup. Therefore you get no monitor hum from your PC or flourescent lights. The modeled tones are much more convincing when they are recorded. I've posted several songs using electric and acoustic guitar models and have surprised a number of listeners. If people know ahead of time; their prejudices might prevent an honest assessment, but when you don't tell them, people are usually very impressed by the tones.

The Variax wouldn't necessarily replace or be better than other guitars, but when you want one guitar to provide several good sounds, it excels.
 

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I am a huge Line 6 fan and have a Vetta amp....but I have never tried the Variax....mainly becasue I would want one and they are expensive.

I did hear that with the new ones you can "electronically" change the tuning, such as hit a button and your guitar in now in open G just for kicks. That would be sorta cool.

Is that true KS?
 

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What are the main differences between the 300's and the 700's? Is it just more in depth modeling options or more guitars you can emulate? something along those lines...
 

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i wouldn't mind getting the electronics from one and expirimenting with a cooler/better guitar etc... i think the variax looks kind of lame, especially with no pickups... i'd have a guitar with 2 outputs maybe... so itd have pickups and the variax setup... then again the electronics cavity would probly wind up being huge lol...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Elysian said:
i wouldn't mind getting the electronics from one and expirimenting with a cooler/better guitar etc... i think the variax looks kind of lame, especially with no pickups... i'd have a guitar with 2 outputs maybe... so itd have pickups and the variax setup... then again the electronics cavity would probly wind up being huge lol...
There is a guy called Jeff Miller who has been doing that. He has taken the guts of a Variax 500 and put it into the body's of Telecaster clones & also on a handmade PRS lookalike.

Also Warmoth Direct also sell Strat & Tele style bodies that have a cavity for the electronics already cut out ready for them. They have a nice little disclaimer that tells you that you void your warranty with Line 6 if you do that :)
 

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The variax combined with the xtlive is pretty much line 6's answer to what I use - The Roland VG-88 + Hex pickup. Both model guitars and offer virtual alternate tunings - plus all the usual amp sims and fx. I still think the VG-88 is a litle more versitile but I do believe line 6's modelling is better, and probably even more stable.

I like the idea of the variax/xtlive combo. I really think they have stolen a march on Roland and line 6 are continuing to support the hardware in a way roland never have. Kudos to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Goport said:
The variax combined with the xtlive is pretty much line 6's answer to what I use - The Roland VG-88 + Hex pickup. Both model guitars and offer virtual alternate tunings - plus all the usual amp sims and fx. I still think the VG-88 is a litle more versitile but I do believe line 6's modelling is better, and probably even more stable.

I like the idea of the variax/xtlive combo. I really think they have stolen a march on Roland and line 6 are continuing to support the hardware in a way roland never have. Kudos to them.
Thats the kind of route I am looking to go for some home recording whenever I get good enough.
 

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I just played a variax today at the music store - they had it set up with a small line 6 amp of some sort. I put the amp on the cleanest setting I could get out of it and gave it a go, but I was not impressed. When I changed the setting from one guitar type to another it just sounded like the tone had changed. Didint sound like different guitars at all to me. I have heard the sample sounds on the line6 web site, and that stuff sounds really good - not so in real life - at least thats the impression I got. Maybe something was wrong.

Rj
 

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the thing with playing any guitar modeling is to understand the way the models would be played. my personal belief is the strat and tele sounds the bollocks. The acoustics/12 strings are a bit more reactive. play as you would with the genuine article and you get good results - play like they are an electric guitar and you get a very poor sound. The same goes for my VG-88.
 

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Ive got the Variax 700 Acoustic and i think its an awesome piece of kit.
Play every sound as if you were playing the real instrument and you will be fine !!!!!:thumb:
 
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