Line6 Variax 700 HT


Dr_simon
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Dr_simon
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03/01/2006 8:51 pm
OK this is a modeling Axe from those very clever people at Line6 who have previously relieved you of you cash through there line of POD guitar modelers. There are several types of Variax, and the rule of thumb is the higher the number the better the axe

here is a picture:



It retails at about $1400 and I got mine from www.musiciansfriend.com (despite my previous tirades).

What it does:

models different guitars, examples being: '59 strat, an bunch of Teles, a selection of Les Pauls, some acoustics a resonator and a sitar. There is a more in depth discription at www.line6.com

Review:

In short is is a little odd to play built it sounds fantastic.

The strat models sound nicer than the three (very nice) Fender Strats I own, the LP mod sounds better than my Gibson RI 1960 Classic LP and Im just gob-smacked.

The only thing I have guitar-wise that can hold a candle to this beast is my PRS CE24.

Summary: This is a wonderful bit of kit. I wish I'd got one years ago, it would have saved me a fortune ! It is just fantastic !!

9.2/10

Two minor points where it dropped marks:

1) playability as, next to Jackson's and PRSs it will feel a little clunky however this is also a matter of my personal taste and really not a biggy.

2) Line6 are cheap ******** for suppling it with a gig bag rather than a hard case. Come one guys do you want people to take you seriously ?
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# 1
PRSplaya
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PRSplaya
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03/01/2006 9:12 pm
Ok, that's it, I'm on my way to Iowa! :D

Couple question...

How does the neck feel compaired to the PRS wide fat carve? Any smaller than that and it feels too small to me. My schecter's neck was a bit too small for my taste.

How well balanced is it? Is it neck heavey at all?

Are the tuning key's pretty good?

How well does it respond to picking dynamics?

Do palm mutes sound right? I heard this was a problem for some when they first came out. Are different palm muting dynamics noticable?

How about the frets? Are they dressed well, or are there any rough/sharp edges?

How well was it setup when you got it? Did the action, intonation, and neck relief need adjusting much? Is there much or any fret buzz?
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PRSplaya
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PRSplaya
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03/01/2006 9:13 pm
Oh, and when do we get to hear some soundclips? :D
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# 3
Dr_simon
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Dr_simon
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03/01/2006 9:31 pm
Originally Posted by: PRSplaya

How does the neck feel compaired to the PRS wide fat carve? Any smaller than that and it feels too small to me. My schecter's neck was a bit too small for my taste. How well balanced is it? Is it neck heavey at all?
[/QUOTE]

It is a bit fatter and a little more clunky. It is well balanced and not at all neck heavy.

I prefer the PRS for playability but it is not really a fair comparison as it is mainly down to taste. This is not really a shredding machine it is a tone monster !

Originally Posted by: PRSplaya
Are the tuning key's pretty good?
[/QUOTE]They are OK, I normally rip 'em off and put sprezles on at the first opportunity however I think Ill leave these ones alone.

Originally Posted by: PRSplaya
How well does it respond to picking dynamics?
oh just fine, no problems ! Lead runs, double /triple stop double bends all are just yummy. Finger picking the acoustic models is also nice !

[QUOTE=PRSplaya] Do palm mutes sound right? I heard this was a problem for some when they first came out. Are different palm muting dynamics noticable?
I don't think this is a shredding machine however I palm mute a lot with out even knowing Im doing it to control dynamics and it suits my playing style just fine. If you want to wind up the distortion and palm mute a bunch if tritones well yep it will do that also.

[QUOTE=PRSplaya]How about the frets? Are they dressed well, or are there any rough/sharp edges?

How well was it setup when you got it? Did the action, intonation, and neck relief need adjusting much? Is there much or any fret buzz?


Fret dressing was fine, the action, neck bow and intonation were all good and the finish is lovely. It is just a shame about the bloody gig bag !!
My instructors page and www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS
# 4
Dr_simon
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Dr_simon
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03/01/2006 9:38 pm
Sound clips to follow as I'm waiting for my (backordered) digital cable to hook up with the xt-live. Im playing on patch 1b the Vox AC 30 and Im just dribbling man !!

The Strat neck (think Hendrix) and strat bridge and middle PU (you know that really quacky twangy stratty sound) are just fantastic as is the LP neck (think Slash) setting.

Man what a best ! I am going to have sore fingers tomorrow !
My instructors page and www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
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# 5
magicninja
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magicninja
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03/01/2006 9:38 pm
Does it have the special connections to hook it up to the various PODs and what not? I thought the new Variax/PODS/Vetta had special connectability. Well worth the pesos I presume?
Magicninja
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# 6
Dr_simon
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Dr_simon
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03/01/2006 9:41 pm
yep there is a digital cable that can be used to go fro the axe to either a new vetta or a pod xt live and miss out an additional round ov D/A and A/D conversion.

It is not an option for the pod xt pro or the xt kidney bean (shame !). It can also be used to power the axe which runs on either a TRS cable out of a stomp box type thing or a bunch of batteries.
My instructors page and www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
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# 7
magicninja
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magicninja
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03/01/2006 9:44 pm
Very nice. I can only imagine the tonal possibilities with a Variax>PODxt live>Vetta setup.
Magicninja
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# 8
Dr_simon
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Dr_simon
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03/01/2006 9:47 pm
I have gone variax to TSL100 or Variax to xt-Live to desk and both sound great !
My instructors page and www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
my toons Brought to you by Dr BadGAS
# 9
magicninja
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magicninja
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03/01/2006 9:53 pm
*envy*

If only I could bring myself to get a second mortgage.
Magicninja
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# 10
Dr_simon
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Dr_simon
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03/02/2006 1:06 am
it reminds me of a passage from a Terry Pratchett book..

(three witches discussing the theater ad not really getting it !)

"things that are trying to look like things often look more like the things they are trying to look like than the things themselves !"

marvelous !
My instructors page and www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
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# 11
hollis_gov
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hollis_gov
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03/09/2006 12:42 am
How is the modeling on this verus a modeling amp - Line 6, Fender, etc. ????

What strings and what settings do you use such as Extra Light or .009 or .010 or higher? Was it easy to setup?

Thanks,
hollis_gov
# 12
Dr_simon
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Dr_simon
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03/09/2006 1:28 am
The modeling is very good, the SPANK setting sounds like a strat, in-fact they sounds better than my strats !! the Lester model sounds better than my LP Classic.

The guitar was set up with 10s and this was done well, no major tweaking required. I normally play either 9s or 10s so this suited me well.
My instructors page and www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
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# 13
bigbuda
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bigbuda
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03/09/2006 2:55 am
Sweet axe! Sounds like it's just what the Dr. ordered. :D
I am a constant evolving music machine. Oh Man, I just forgot what I was playing. Oh well, on to the next song. :rolleyes:
# 14
Dr_simon
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Dr_simon
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03/17/2006 10:32 pm
Ok Ive had it a while now and it is still a nice axe.

The digital cable arrived and this allows me to run a program called workbench. Workbench is free and very useful if you have the right connectors. If you don't it will cost you.

Workbench basically allows you to create and store your own custom axes.

Ever wanted to put some P-90s in a a strat body and wire then in parallel out of phase, this is your man !

The only bad thing about this is that the alternate tunings just don't work. I contacted Line6s tech support about this and they said..."we are working on it". This is fare enough I guess as the rest of the kit is just marvelous.

Oh yes,. btw P-90s on a strat wired in parallel out of phase is just great !

Not a shedding machine but defiantly a tone monster !

I have no buyers remorse here !
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elklandercc
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elklandercc
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03/17/2006 11:19 pm
Alternate tuning like drop d or like open g, or do you mean anything other than standard. And, Doc, I believe were all waiting for sound clips!!!!! :p
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Dr_simon
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03/18/2006 1:14 am
yep, drop D, hi G, lo G, open E, open A, C7th and custom ones. the full monty !!

You will have to wait for sound clips, they are combing but Im as sick as a dog at the moment !
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elklandercc
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elklandercc
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03/18/2006 9:20 pm
Originally Posted by: Dr_simonthe full monty
.....You will have to wait for sound clips, they are combing but Im as sick as a dog at the moment !

You can leave your hat on....... Same here, I feel ya.
"During this line, the kid acted like he was pushing buttons on a calculator in the air. The kid played ******* air-calculator!"

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alucard0941
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alucard0941
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03/21/2006 4:21 am
What made you interested in a Modeling guitar in the first place? Are there any awesome benefits from that to a guitar with pickups?
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whoooo hoooo !!!!
# 19
Dr_simon
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Dr_simon
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03/25/2006 1:15 pm
benefits..well...

I can go from a strat to a sitar or a banjo or change my tuning (in theory anyway) with the flip of a switch.

I have about 30 vintage classic guitars at my fingertips..which I can customize with out effecting there value.

I can swap from an arch-top to a vintage LP or Tele live with out so much as opening a guitar case and if one is in tune they all are !!

And then there is the sound of the axes them selves !
My instructors page and www.studiotrax.net for all things recording.
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