Line 6 Variax Bass 700
Line 6 Variax Bass 700

Variax Bass 700, 4-string bass guitar from Line 6 in the Variax Bass series.

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tarrtime 01/18/2013

Line 6 Variax Bass 700 : tarrtime's user review

« Variety of Bass Sounds »

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The Line 6 Variax Bass has some very simple controls that do a lot to change the sound. There is a volume control similar to any standard. There are 'bass' and 'treble' eq knobs typical of what you might find on a bass with 'active' pickups. There is a knob that blends between 'neck' and 'bridge' pickups. You might be wondering about this because there are actually no magnetic pickups on the bass. In fact, this knob really just blends between the sounds of modeled 'neck' and 'bridge' pickups. This is a really cool feature that just makes the range of sounds even more versatile. The final knob is unique to the Variax. It is a knob to switch between all the different bass models (Jazz bass, precision bass, rickenbacker, Music Man, even sound acoustic sounds and synth sounds). It is not complicated at all to figure out. If you want to achieve the sound of a particular bass, it might be helpful to consult the manual to see what kind of bass each model is taking after. Some model descriptors like 'modern' aren't as informative as others.


When I purchased this bass, I was mostly interested in the variety of sounds it could produce, not whether is was comfortable to play. However I was pleasantly surprised by the play-ability. My previous bass was a standard j-bass. The radius of neck on the Variax bass seemed much smaller in size compared to the j-bass. If anything it almost felt more like I was holding a guitar than a bass, maybe the neck was even a little too small.
The bass needs to be powered in order for the DSP chips to process the sound from the piezo bridge pickups. You can use batteries or use the provided TRS cable with power supply to power the bass. I also own a Variax 700 electric guitar and a POD X3 and HD500. All this to say that the bass can also be powered using a Variax ethernet cable. This is my preferred method of use.


I use this bass primarily to achieve of variety of sounds in the recording studio. For the money, I think this is a no-brainer for anyone that records bass a lot, especially for a variety of music. I have only used it a couple of times in a live setting. I always feel that the subtle differences in bass models get lost in a live setting and are more apparent on a recording. Plus, I also have the impression that the bass might have more parts that could stop working at any point so it would be less reliable that a trusty j-bass.


The Variax 700 bass by Line 6 can produce a variety of really good bass sounds. The quality of craftsmanship may not match the 'top of the line' models of the companies the bass models, but you can be certain that the sound comes really, really close. Plus, you can usually find these bass guitars pretty cheap online. I think compared to other bass guitars in the $400-500 price range, the craftsmanship is on par and the sound quality exceeds the competition. Can it replace a collection of $3000 bass guitars? No. But should it replace your Squire P-bass? Absolutely.