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Line 6 Variax - anyone had a hand to one yet?
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Jules
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25th November 2003
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Line 6 Variax - anyone had a hand to one yet?

Jam
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26th November 2003
Old 26th November 2003
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Played one or two and sold a few more. As guitars they are all right ( they always need a good setup ) but should probably cost about £300 and as all that extra value ( £500 ) is in the modeling I suppose that should be the main point but it is so hard to seperate how a guitar plays from how it sounds.
So the modeling ? Well it was pretty much what I expected. Imagine you had a Pod Xt Fender Twin and a well recorded miced Fender Twin on two tracks. A/B between the two and that is a good frame of reference as to what you can expect from the Variax vs the original Guitar.
So in short I won't be buying one.

Jam
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26th November 2003
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Over here in Belgium they seem to be a rage ... they're popping up a lot! I like the acoustics in them but as a friend of me said: It's not a guitar, it's a piece of wood that can be made to sound like a guitar.

They get out of tune real fast though and changing strings is a PITA due to the piezo-bridge thing.

Can't say Line6 didn't try hard neither: on strats there's the reverb of the tremolo-springs you hear, on aoustics you can hear a hand 'bumping' on the soundboard...

As with the Pod-series: not the real thing but pretty handy when doing demo's or when playing in band where a lot of different tones are needed (eg. coverband/tribute band)


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26th November 2003
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I recently recorded several tracks with a guitar player who used one - was great to have the wide flexibility when switching between feels - but when we wanted a Strat specifically foir one tune, the real Strat definitely won out - but I think it is tremendous for what it is, and the player really likes the feel of it, and would much rather bring that to a session than 8 guitars...
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26th November 2003
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IMO, it's best suited for live performances right now.
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26th November 2003
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The thing that concerned me was the build quality. It felt cheap...as if in 2 years time the neck might be a mess.
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26th November 2003
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To me, it seemed like a guitar with an eq or convolution to model different guitar tonalities. Not real convincing as far as accuracy of the sound of the guitar. I lacked the magic from a real nice guitar....like my 78 Les Paul Custom! Or any nice strat I've played for that matter.
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28th November 2003
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I have tried one a few times. the guitar is very average in and of itself. The flexibility is kind of neat in a gimmicky sort of way, but if you are a player, it is no substitute for the real thing.
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1st December 2003
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It is $200 worth of guitar and $600 worth of processing. It is a great idea, but they need to make it a retrofit so you are not stuck with the Line 6 guitar. It would be a great tool for a top 40 band or cover band-- when you need a lot of tonal variety.
Other than that I would stick to my PRS
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Jules
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1st December 2003
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I have since discovered that the real enthusiasts that like these things, retrofit their OWN necks (Strat necks seem popular)

It seems to be a innovative product that will keep getting updated, it's (perhaps) the ideal 'covers band' tool...

Although you might feel a 'tool' for playing one... or (ahem!) owning one...

I have half an eye on getting one second hand and putting a decent neck on it...

Totally satanic I know......

But there ya go,

I do LOVE a gadget..... I mean, it connects with ETHERNET to the Vetta amp I bought, COME ON! Is that a cyber gadget or what?
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2nd December 2003
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I've had one for a few months now , and I think it's wicked fun - and usefull in a "let's try a dobro through a little smokey in the pool " kind of way.
Swapping out necks is a good idea, or at the very least a good set up, and new tuners. Some patches have a bit of a delay, but so what.
All in all it's a great little tool for record making - If you have the real thing, you'll use the real thing - But this thing models like twenty guitars that I don't own! So why the hell not !
good luck/have fun/make noise - Dave Darling
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2nd December 2003
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I think I WILL get one..... eventually....

And put a new neck on it or get it very well set up.

Thanks!

Do any mods to yours?

what did you have to do to get it set up to your liking?

thumbsup
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2nd December 2003
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New tuners - basic truss adjust - heavier strings ( it came w/009's )
Other than that, it plays O.K - not great, but good enough.
peace - Dave Darling
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4th December 2003
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Re: Line 6 Variax - anyone had a hand to one yet?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
http://www.line6.com/variax/studio.asp

I'm interested although I know I might burn in hell for it....

someone MUST have had a go on one or heard one used on a session....

Hey Jules.
I used one on a record i just finished.
It was quite useful as alternate type of flavor over and above the "real" guitars used. Meaning once we got the meat and potatoe parts down, Im of the habit to find some trick or alternate parts or layers, and I found the Variax quite useful in this application.
I think its a great deal for the 12string and sitar alone.
The acoustic sounds can be convincing as well.
Heres a tune that has quite a bit of the Variax on it

http://www.gvnband.com/music/Shadow.mp3

take care
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Paj
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6th December 2003
Old 6th December 2003
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Since March . . .

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6th December 2003
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I'm definetly going to get a second hand 500 model.

Probably spend some extra $$ on getting it set up / machine heads...

The Vetta amp has been very usefull the first session I used it on.... the digital ethernet style connection possible between it and the Variax tickles my interest!

Sometime a technology comes along and just from reading about it you KNOW you are going to get it!

I'v been hanging / posting on those forums for a few weeks already but thanks very much indeed for that and the report. I will check the MP3 out too!

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31st January 2004
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The Variax acoustic 700

"Features a set-in mahogany neck, chambered mahogany body and natural finish cedar top.

16 acoustic instrument sounds, feedback-resistance, unique tone-shaping options and instant access to alternate tunings."


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Jules
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31st January 2004
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I bought the earlier electric model 500 second hand a month ago.

The feel of the neck is bad (standard I hear) so I am having it set up soon.

Once I get the digital card for the Vetta amp I also bought I can connect the Variax to the Vetta digitally (via an Ethernet cable)

Once the neck is fixed up I feel it will be a valuable asset to the studio.

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31st January 2004
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Does it mean that the shape is bad / replacing the neck, or that it needs position adjustment?


Ruphus

PS: Imagine you had shown to someone say 15 years ago that there comes light out from your guitar cable. Or had anybody experience you playing steel while there comes nylon sound out of the amp. Can you think of the sensation?
I find the technical development very fascinating.thumbsup :O)
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4th February 2004
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Hi Jules,

I´m guessing it to be the shape of the neck, but let me ask again: Is it that the shape is bad / replacing the neck, or just that it needs position adjustment?
( I´d like to know, because might get me one of these one time.)

Thanks :O),

Ruphus
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4th February 2004
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Neck is a bit too wide + feels bad with sharp edges etc

I will let you know how nine feels once it's set up propperly.
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4th February 2004
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Thanks, Jules!

Ruphus
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5th February 2004
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By the way the UK retail has dropped last week to £500 ish so it's much more attractive

Jam
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5th February 2004
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Try downloading this (whole) video

http://www.vettaville.nl/vvlatestnewsnl.htm

It shows off what the Variax can do when hooked up digitally to a Vetta amp (my rig)

Be warned, it's satanic & evil because it draws you away from REAL guitars and REAL amps!

Dont try this at home folks!

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25th February 2004
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Hey Jules, it's been a while now, does the variax get a thumbs up or thumbs down?
I had a session today with a player who had one, and it was interesting. I will have to wait and see how it sits in the mix before I can comment. Anyone else???
Thanks all
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26th February 2004
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I have a producer client with over 200 guitars. Our joke is that he will sell them and buy a pile of variaxes. And use each one for a specific sound only.
Seriously tho, in my experience the modeling thing is bull
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26th February 2004
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With all due respect.... someone has to say it!

As guitar player, I consider the Line6 products to be toys.

I would think VariAxe when I think "gift for little cousin Johnny", so he can play through headphones and not bother his parents.

dfegad Line 666, "digital modelling" vdrums, etc.

I recorded an "all digital" act once... v drums, guitar and bass pods, modeling synths, voicemodeling...

They sounded like complete ass, especially live, and have since gone back to "real" instruments. (they still suck)

Analog/Real gear has SO much more dynamic range than modelled crap, you can achieve much more powerful sounds that don't disappear in the mix.

Granted, I think vdrums and pods a great tools, especially for laying down scratch tracks/and or jingles, but I wouldn't be caught dead using them on a rock record, unless the artist's sound was specifically built around them. (think Omar Hakim's solo album - all vdrums).

For more experimental/electronic music, these tools have more uses, but for rock n roll? Nah, not for me.

YMMV

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26th February 2004
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by cdog
[B]With all due respect.... someone has to say it!

As guitar player, I consider the Line6 products to be toys.

Wel another real guitar player, Jeff Beck, disagrees.
Check out his recent interview in GP.


Hmmmmmm
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26th February 2004
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When the POD came out it was said that Brian Adams was using it on tour. ( No guarantee given.)

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11th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog
With all due respect.... someone has to say it!

As guitar player, I consider the Line6 products to be toys.

I would think VariAxe when I think "gift for little cousin Johnny", so he can play through headphones and not bother his parents.

dfegad Line 666, "digital modelling" vdrums, etc.

I recorded an "all digital" act once... v drums, guitar and bass pods, modeling synths, voicemodeling...

They sounded like complete ass, especially live, and have since gone back to "real" instruments. (they still suck)

Analog/Real gear has SO much more dynamic range than modelled crap, you can achieve much more powerful sounds that don't disappear in the mix.

Granted, I think vdrums and pods a great tools, especially for laying down scratch tracks/and or jingles, but I wouldn't be caught dead using them on a rock record, unless the artist's sound was specifically built around them. (think Omar Hakim's solo album - all vdrums).

For more experimental/electronic music, these tools have more uses, but for rock n roll? Nah, not for me.

YMMV


Line 6 products are far from toys. There are too many pros out there using them to consider them that. They are tools, and like all tools you have to learn to use them. I use a Vetta II and love it. I was in a guitar center not long ago and plugged into a new Vetta just for fun. I couldn't get a good sound out of it to save my life because the presets sounded so bad. But mine, because I've put the time into learning how to tweak it, and I know what sound I want and how to get it, sounds fantastic. I've played it on stages with several tube amps and it always more than holds its own. I had one gig with a guy who was using a badcat, and I was far from blown away. I'll keep my vetta any day. Not to mention how easy it makes recording.

I also have a variax. When I got it I did an a/b recording against my les paul standard (2003 model) and my SRV sig strat. I then emailed it to my friends who played to see if they could tell the difference. 4 out of 5 picked the variax as the "real" guitar. They couldn't believe it. Now the variax isn't without its faults. Most notably the bottom strings get a weird "chinging" sound when palm muting at high gain settings. From what I understand this is from the sound of the piezo pickup. I hope they can fix this, because otherwise it's a fantastic product. Especially with workbench!

So just because you've heard people use modelling and sound bad, don't blame the modeling. It will sound as good or bad as the person using it.

Now vdrums on the other hand I agree with you about However I have heard them used to trigger dkfh samples with good results.
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