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Considering a Variax...

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saint_duud
(@saint_duud)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

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.


   
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infamous16
(@infamous16)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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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.

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Guitar/product/Line+6/Variax+300/10/1 -300

blah.


   
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aleholder
(@aleholder)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 52
 

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.


   
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scott58
(@scott58)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 44
 

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
H2O Chorus/Echo


   
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Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

The workbench alone makes the nerd in me drool. :lol:


   
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saint_duud
(@saint_duud)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

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?


   
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Rich_Halford
(@rich_halford)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 225
 

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 £300 Variax against 3 guitars worth £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:
http://www.guitaristjeffmiller.com/guitars.htm

Wow!

There's also a Variax forum:
http://www.instituteofnoise.com/Forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=17

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'.


   
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saint_duud
(@saint_duud)
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Topic starter  

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.


   
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