Considering a Variax...
Okay, I am about the furthest person from extremely knowledgable about electirc guitars as a person can be, and still play guitar a little.
First off, if this is the wrong place to post this, just please let me know where is the right place.
Anywho, I was at music store yesterday. I want to buy an electric guitar (my first), so I was looking for something really cheap. I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking for, and I found a few sounds I kind of liked, but...nothing really decisive (my gf found a bass she's in love with, for under $300, in, like twenty minutes. Lucky little midget... :D ). I'd been reading up about guitars (when I'm curious about anything, I research), and I stumbled across variax. I was about to leave yesterday, when I noticed they had one. I'd already packed up the cord I was using, so I figured I'd read some reviews before I tried out something that complicated. Besides, I was trying for about $2-300, and the Variax 300 they wanted $500 for, or $900 for a 500. But, I got to thinking, if I liked the sound on even a couple or three settings, and the detuning thing worked well, it would be worth the extra price. I mean, bloody cool if I could play metal on a guitar that also sounded like an acoustic. And switch tunings in between songs! Totally worth the extra couple hundred. If it works well.
So, I just wondered if anyone on here had played one, and had any opinions. I don't want to buy it and get to tinkering and find out that I bought a toy, not a serious instrument.
But, if it works, I was looking for something new, and this certainly seems to fit the bill. Would be cool...
Please, opinions, I'm begging.
Variax is actually a line 6 guitar...Although i have never played one, there are always a bunch of reviews on every guitar at Harmony Central.
I really like mine. When I say it, the geek in me really wanted to try it out and I love my podxt.
I'm only a hobbyist and I don't have the tonal knowledge of the different guitars that Line 6 models, but I really like my 600. Now with that said, I had a bit of trouble getting a guitar that I liked. I went to the local Guitar Center and they only had a display model 300. I also didn't like the 300 model. It just felt kind of cheap to me. I went to another GC that had a 600 and I really like that one, but it was also the display model. That one had one string pick up not working and it wasn't in the color I wanted. Both had cosmetic damage because they had been on display for a while and were not treated well while on the show floor.
I ended up ordering a sunburst 600 from Musician's Friend. When I got it, I loved it but it also needed a little work. The setup was fine but the all fret wires stuck out just a little bit on each side. I had the luthier I use fix it. I've loved it ever since. I also have the workbench, but all I've done is make a model that tuned all of the strings down an octive When I'm lazy, I can do quick bass parts without having to switch to my J-bass. I also use the acoustic guitars quite a bit too. Since I'm playing in my house I don't loud and I can hear the original note and the one tuned down an octive when I'm recording. When I play it back later I only hear the bass line.
After all that, I really like it and play it all the time.
Hope this helps.
I've got the Variax 700 and POD XTL. Had it for about 6 months now. Play it a couple hrs a day and am extremely happy. Run it through a Valve Jr.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean 79 ML (silverBurst) Dean 79 ML Arctic White
Dean V-Wing Dove
Wampler SuperPlextortion - Skreddy Lunar Module
Peavey Transtube 110 EFX - Vox DA20 - Valve Jr Head/Cab
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Line 6 Pod HD
The workbench alone makes the nerd in me drool. :lol:
I'm in love. A local store has a 300, and a 500, and they are on sale for $350 and $450, respectively, I think because they ahve been discontinued? Every site I go to says the 300 is, and even line 6's site doesn't have the 500.
Either way, they are kind of ...boring looking. I like a couple of the sounds, (esp. the accostics), but I've read that it's pretty easy to switch the electronics over to a different guitar, and I've looked, and it does look like it, so I'm planning on doing that when I can afford to (6mos, maybe?), but in the meantime, I'd ahve to live with the agreeably cheap-feeling 300, if I bought that. I just hope my gf won't get mad at me for spending the extra $100.
Do any of you know if there's any difference betweeen the 300 and 500 except the cheaper materials?
I have a 300, but as I am into acoustics it doesn't come out often. A friend has back-to-backed it against his PRS, Fender Strat and Fender Tele and the Variax does sound great, but not as good as the original. Hardly surprising considering it was one Â£300 Variax against 3 guitars worth Â£4000 or so, so in that sense the Variax is incredibly impressive.
THere is a guy who has built some beautiful guitars using the Variax electrics, check them out:
There's also a Variax forum:
As I understand it, the electrics are the same in all the Variax models, only the woods change and the top end has a 'whammy bar' (if thats the right term). If you really are planning on transplanting the electrics then the 300 would save you some cash to invest in the new 'chassis'.
Yeah, it would, but only $100, and for that price I'd have to live with it for a minimum of 6 mos, and I"m not sure that's worth $100...hence the indecision...on the other hand, if I could get a new "chassis," sooner, then it would definitely be worth it...
OH yeah, "whammy bar," or "vibrato something or other"
Thanks for the links. About to check them out.