Anybody here use a Line 6 Variax guitar?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Bunford, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Bunford

    Bunford Rock Star

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    I'm in the market for a new guitar and was wondering what these are like to play? I believe they are Yamaha built with Line 6 modelling tech inside them? The option to play different types and tunings at will sounds appealing!
     
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  3. scrappy

    scrappy Producer

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    Hi @Bunford
    You might find some useful info here methinks:
    https://www.vguitarforums.com
    Scroll down to the
    'Line-6 Variax'
    discussions.
    (I don't use a variax nowadays, I use roland vguitar stuff;
    alt tunings, voicings, fx and synths).
    Hope this helps, good luck
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  4. notsoloud

    notsoloud Guest

    I have one in the studio with a Helix Rack. It sounds great! I run a direct signal to my interface and one to a Vox amp which I mic. The range of tones is quite is quite simply endless. How does it play? I really should have asked the guitarists who used it. Nobody disliked it and all were amazed that they could try different takes with hollow bodys, Teles, Les Paul's, Rick's or Strats. I'm not a guitarist and have the setup for guitarists who (frequently) arrive and find their 'killer sound' isn't quite what they thought. They then of course blame the engineer until I hand them the Variax. Most leave saying "I've gotta get one of those"
     
  5. Bunford

    Bunford Rock Star

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    Cheers for these. Good to know!

    Just checking, how does the software work? I have an eye on a local Variax 700 being sold for fairly cheap (£250) with all accessories (power pedal, USB interface etc). I noticed Line 6 has a Workbench and Workbench HD software. Can the 700 be used with both, or only the older non-HD version?

    In terms of tones, I really like Manson guitars, and the lighter single cutaway types of guitars, like Les Paul 'clones' that don't have the weight but have the sustain and darker tone. I also quite like Ibanez and Schecter type of guitars too. I'm not a shredder, but more of a riffer in terms of playing style. That's why I'm quite liking the sound of it as I could change tunings at the flick of a switch, plus I'm also partial to a little acoustic strum every now and again.

    Would the Variax 700 be any good for this kind of need?
     
  6. metaller

    metaller Rock Star

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    There are some options for guitar modeling in software format, e.g. Bias Fx 2, Blue Cat Audio Re-Guitar, and the old Peavey Revalver
    I like to know your opinion about these, and how it is compared to Variax
     
  7. notsoloud

    notsoloud Guest

    Firstly, I don't think I could safely recommend an older model Variax for metal. The new Shuriken is suited to this but the tones on the standard Variax are focussed on traditional classic electrics. Can the Workbench build you a Manson or a Schecter?... I have my doubts. The Helix has some brutally realistic Engel tones and some tweaking will get you a great result, but combined with a Les Paul it's too dark, use a Strat and it's too light. And yes, it does have some very good, convincing acoustic sounds. Even better than some acoustics with pick ups where that nasal tone dominates. So how would you compare a Variax to other modelling options? It's versatility is one of its limiting aspects as well. It sounds like a Les Paul and it sounds like a Tele and you wouldn't expect those guitars to sound convincingly like something else via software. It's a case of what goes in is what comes out. In other words there is no such thing as a "tonally neutral guitar" from which to model any kind of guitar you'd like. Not yet. It is happening with modelling amps and with microphones and it's entirely possible that a flat response guitar may be not too far away.
    Here is the Variax doing a Martin acoustic very convincingly
     
  8. artcrime

    artcrime Noisemaker

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    My humble opinion is dont buy a 700, they are too old, you should be able to find a standard for not very much more.
    I have had a standard for about a year, and somethings annoy me, mainly the whammer bar is kinda crap, trying to remember where your favourite patches are is a dog also tho you can assign them in the workbench software. Other than that it plays well, stays in tune and some of the sounds are excellent, I like the steel guitar, dobro & sitar sounds, the accoustic sounds are very good, things like the strat & gibson sounds, well why would you bother, especially when I have a tele that is heaven. I paid 700 AUD which is close to half the retail price.
    As a rough indicator for you.
    I use it with a podHD500x ,that seems to work well too.
     
  9. Bunford

    Bunford Rock Star

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    Yeah, I’m about to try and hunt down a Line 6 Pod XT Live too. Why the older one? Because it has what I need, to put it simply. I quite like experimenting with a Digitech Whammy, which is included in the XT but not X3 and later (they apparently have an inferior Line 6 Bender effect that cannot be routed to the expression pedal in the same way). I also like hi gain amps too, and the XT has the Diezel VH4 that I love via an add on pack.
     
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