Line 6 Variax Bass 700
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Line 6 Variax Bass 700

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

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MGR/Derek Mok 10/04/2007

Line 6 Variax Bass 700 : MGR/Derek Mok's user review

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Primarily a singer, I've been playing guitar for about 10 years, been in a band (drummer!), and have continued to record and play with other musicians on a non-professional basis. My styles range from folk to hard rock, with heavy power-pop leanings -- Big Star, not Green Day.


Bought from Musician's Friend for $499. I wanted a bass that could have sounds from different models I loved such as the Precision, the StingRay, the Gibson short-range models, and standup basses.

I've played many of Line 6's Variax instruments. The first Variax electric guitar was promising but ugly in appearance, the Variax acoustic was a tremendous disappointment for me. No such complaints here. This bass looks great and has all the sounds it promises, right down to 6- and 12-string models and synth and acoustic/standup models. An instrument like this encourages innovation and songwriting, making you go places you've never been. And for recording, having all these sounds at your fingertips without dealing with multiple amps and basses is a godsend.

This thing positively devours batteries -- needs six AA batteries to operate. It weighs a pretty substantial amount, comparable to a StingRay, so if you're used to Peaveys, ESPs or Ibanezes, get ready for the weight. Also, like other Line 6 Variaxes, there's a "generic" feel to the neck and body. Not entirely uncomfortable, but still lacking in that "old friend" feel that makes us come back over and over to certain instruments in our arsenal. I don't think Korean instruments necessarily have to feel like this -- I used to have a Korean-built Ibanez acoustic guitar that felt great -- so I'm thinking it's a Line 6 design or materials issue. The neck is also pretty huge, even bigger than the StingRay copy I've been playing for years.

Pretty good. Visually this is the most attractive Line 6 instrument I've seen, with a beautiful pearloid pickguard accentuating the black finish nicely.

One MAJOR complaint, however: The volume knob is so loose and floppy that while you're pressing on it to change from "Green" to "Red" models or vice versa, you could well roll your 10 to a 0 without knowing it. This is inexcusable -- the knob feels wildly unresponsive and can screw you up live. Also, I consider it a design flaw that the "Blend" knob is backwards -- you have to turn it towards the bass guitar's bridge to get the "Neck" sound! This makes absolutely no sense.

I do love this instrument. Several design/build flaws (volume knob looseness, badly designed Blend knob, giant neck) keep it from getting a perfect score from me, but this Variax bass has made a singer-guitarist excited about playing bass again, just like when I'd started learning. Great inspirational tool for a musician.

This model is no longer available at many retail outlets; I can only hope it's because Line 6 is coming out with updated versions, not giving up on the model, because this is one great tool.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com