The Variax 300 is an electric guitar from Line 6 that models the sound of other electric guitars by using digital signal processing. This guitar does not have traditional magnetic pickups (single-coil or humbucker). Rather it uses a piezo pick-up in the bridge to transduce the string vibrations to an electric signal. This guitar can sound like a Telecaster, Strat, Les Paul, Firebird, Gretsch, Rickenbacker, 335, and a bunch of acoustic guitars.
The first question everyone asks about digital modeling is: does it sound like the real thing? Honestly, I was very skeptical about this guitar before I tried it out. My opinion is that it sounds very good, and very similar to the guitars it is modeling. I don't think it is a fair comparison to criticize the entry level Variax because it doesn't sound perfectly like a $4000 Les Paul. I think the better comparison is does the Variax model of the top-of-the-line Strat sound better than a Squier Strat is the same price range as the Variax 300. In this comparison, the sound of the Variax is much better than a Squier in the same price range. Based on sound quality - I think the Variax 300 is miles ahead of anything else in its price range.
The biggest problem with the Variax 300, is the physical guitar seems to be made very cheap. The body, neck, and hardware of the guitar are really cheap. Line 6 isn't manufacturing this guitar anymore. If you are trying to buy it, then you are going to have to buy it used. Unless you find one that is in really good condition, I wouldn't count it lasting for years and years to come.
I purchased this guitar 'new' when Line 6 was ending production and trying to dump the last remaining units. I try my best to take really good care of my gear so that it will last a long time. Unfortunately, after owning the guitar for several years, it was stolen out of my church. I searched for a long time for a replacement. All the 'used' versions that I found had something wrong. Eventually, I found a used Variax 700 in great condition. This guitar has the same exact modeled sounds, and also has better hardware.
Line 6 has now released the James Tyler Variax. Someday, I am sure I will buy one of these guitars to upgrade my Variax 700. If you are in the price range for a low- or mid-priced guitar, I think finding a used Variax 600/700 is a great idea. This guitar will sound better than buying a Epiphone or Squier. If you can afford the James Tyler Variax, it is probably your best bet. Well...unless you can afford 20 different $5000 guitars - then you can forget about modeling.
I came to be an owner of the Variax through necessity more than want. I've been lucky enough to be performing as a 'one man band' 5 out of 7 nights a week for the past 7 years. After years of using Ovation acoustic/electric guitars (with satisfaction),I learned about the ideal innovations of the Variax guitar from a fellow professional, who gave a high recommendation. I have special requirements because of the nature of my act, & the Variax sounded like just the thing I needed. I went to Guitar Center because they have been giving me the best deals for over 17 years.
When you entertain nightly visitors along with a regular following in a downtown atmosphere, the instruments you use better have no equal. I need the best equipment that delivers from the first to the last note, including a state of the art guitar with streamline make-up; and the Variax fits this bill perfectly.
I play guitar, play harmonica, sing, & play percussion rhythm with my feet via four pedals which are hooked up to a digital drum module. I have different sounding percussion, but the mainstay of my set-up are 2 snares (one for each foot), a kick, & a cymbal I crash or choke. My act is as visual as it is audible, & the only drawback is that I have no time to mash any stomp boxes or momentary foot switches for different sounds. Well, the Variax opened more doors and dimensions for me by having the very sounds I need built right into the guitar! With a flick of my finger I can go from a sitar sound like I need for 'Norwegian Wood' to a 12 string Martin for in between the verses. Everything I play is live, yet many people ask me where my 'back up' cd's are! The streamline shape of the Variax enables me to keep the guitar close while I'm stomping away on my pedals, & the sampled sounds within are nothing short of lush musical purity. It even has a built in port, so that you can hook it up and record on your computer! And here's the REAL kicker; all for the price of a regular guitar! Hats off to the innovative creators of this mind blowing guitar which makes me sound better than I am! My only hope is that the same people that came up with this extraordinary instrument come up with a way to house orchestral sounds as well, so that an end to those expensive synthesized guitars is realised! For those of us who don't have a lot of money and/or have families to feed, yet would love to have the many vintage sounds of some of the most coveted guitars in the world; THIS is the guitar for you!!
The only drawback about the Variax is the neck. It seems a bit more in depth & width than my electric, which makes it a bit more difficult to play than my electric, but not difficult enough to make me want to put another neck on, which you can do easily enough as it is a simple bolt-on style neck. It does handle much better than a neck on an acoustic. Also, I would gladly trade some of the vintage guitar sounds (as I don't need as many as it has to offer) for some string sounds, piano sounds, & the like. The only sample that isn't up to snuff in my opinion is the banjo sound.
Construction is solid. The shape is perfect for me because it's difficult enough playing beats & fills throughout the night without stretching over a wide guitar & balancing yourself on a drummer's throne! As far as the quality goes, the body's A-1, but the neck's a bit iffy, being a bit too thick & wide for a 'buttery' feel.
I see this guitar as a hopeful trend of musical products to come. It's great that this instrument can be used as effectively for recording as it can for live applications. In my 28 years of performing, I've never owned a piece of equipment that's made my act even better, at a price that is equally as mind blowing. Just think; a plethera of vintage guitars for the price of one! Awesome.
Here I just tested the Variax for at least two hours with my buddy Ludo is a music magazin nimes.
after the toy a little cots al oproche the instrument goes that she was not surprised to see all these sounds as a sought-my door on a single guitar.
good going there.
on the model tests the guitar does not tennait the agreement it took the acorder at least 10 times
finish looks good but I have to find the handle a bit too academic frisouille not bad.
move to the sounds /
Very good access to acute and ergonomics.
but for me the main c is the sound.
at the first aproach I have found all these sounds very well except very few realistic acoustic parts and bland.
but here after one hour quard the sounds start to become boring rather like those digital synthesizer front of the analog.
but it is mainly through its strat has a real Strat that I understood the difference.
day and night on a real strat can play for hours taking the total distance.
but on this guitar once good first impression is soon going hungry.
Well I must confess this guitar suits the style and everything for the beginner c is a good idea for you here is of a stroke with a range of several guitar.
the problem is that c c is not you find your PERSONALITY.
pro and amateur go your way.
lovers variétoche and academic panel fast premach sounds standardis this guitar is for you !!!
ok this quitar is very well it just does not possess a true Les Paul or Strat or Tele ... not to mourn;
2 HOURS no more.
say my buddy Ludo almost the buy before trying a real guitar devienez what he took ???.
of powder eye this guitar really
How long have you use it?
2 years now.
What is the particular feature you like best and least?
Plus: the multitude of sounds available, of course.
The least: perhaps as ... very subjective though. Otherwise, I had a sensor that was released at a time, and I took time to find another ...
Have you tried many other models before buying it?
No, no, a friend wanted to get rid of because he was using more, I jumped at the chance. With that said, having had only acoustic guitars before, I do not really know to what kind of sound I turn to an electric. Having use in home studio to record my songs, I find that this instrument allows me to have the appropriate sound each time, regardless of the style.
How would you rate the quality / price?
So, pretty good ^ ^
With experience, you do again this choice?
Yes, even without having had the opportunity at the time, I think that given my use, it's perfect.
Then, as drummer initially, it will never stage.