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Line 6 Variax 500
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Line 6 Variax 500

Electric solidbody guitar with modeling from Line 6 belonging to the Variax Electric series.

32 reviews
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Average Score:
( 4.5/5 based on 32 reviews )
17 reviews
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"Line 6 Variax 500"

Line 6 Variax 500Published on 11/07/05 at 15:00
Here in his magnificent International Garage Studio headquarters, Kevin Mattson continues to create inevitable fame and riches as a singer/songwriter/guitarist/philosopher (whose wife has a real job). I'm a guitarist in general and 12-string specialist in particular. Just turned 50. Yikes.

I stumbled onto a closeout of the Variax 500 at Music123.com, for a little under $500.

I've got several 12-strings left after giving my seldom-used sixes to my kids over the years. But lately I wished I had access to a few good electric and acoustic sixes.

The demo at Line6.com made me curious so I took a chance.


It's ramarkable what the Variax can do. Good to excellent electronic models of 28......
Read more
Here in his magnificent International Garage Studio headquarters, Kevin Mattson continues to create inevitable fame and riches as a singer/songwriter/guitarist/philosopher (whose wife has a real job). I'm a guitarist in general and 12-string specialist in particular. Just turned 50. Yikes.

I stumbled onto a closeout of the Variax 500 at Music123.com, for a little under $500.

I've got several 12-strings left after giving my seldom-used sixes to my kids over the years. But lately I wished I had access to a few good electric and acoustic sixes.

The demo at Line6.com made me curious so I took a chance.


It's ramarkable what the Variax can do. Good to excellent electronic models of 28 separate instruments are available with a turn of an on-board knob and a flick of the "pickup" selector switch. (See below for technical details.)

The variety of instruments is well chosen, including Strats, Telecastors, Pauls, thin- and big-body electrics, and a range of resonator and wooden acoustics--including banjo and sitar.

The sounds rate mostly very good, with a couple excellents and a couple "nice try's."

The acoustic 6-string guitars all sound very good or even excellent, in the sense that they sound like real Martins and Gibsons which have high quality piezo pickups installed. And of course, the Variax 500 is built like a hard-body electric. So you have to get used to the odd sensation of playing an "electric" and hearing a big body acoustic sound.

I'm mainly an acoustic and jazz player, so I can't judge the rock guitars properly. To my ears, the rock axes all sounded authentic through my practice amp. But please note, the Variax's modeling is strictly the sound of the dry guitar. Amp effects (distortion, etc) have to be produced the way you would with the regular version of these guitars.

The set-up was poor. Action and intonation were way off, but easily fixed with included hex-wrenches--if you know what you are doing.

I could do with out the tacky white pearl pickguard.

No tremolo bar. The replacement model (Variax 600) has one.

The 12s are the weakest of the models. The sounds of the string pairs are purposely de-tuned to add to the jangle sound, which non-12 players think is expected. But Line6 over did the de-tuning, so the the 12s sound cartoonish. Also, the electronics can't seem to handle the 12 sounds when you strum. But arpeggios are OK. Fortunately I own plenty of real 12s.

There are no coil pickups on the Variax. Rather there are piezos for each string under each adjustable saddle element. So the "pickup" selector does three things. For some guitar models it mimics a pickup selector. It also can switch between models.

The volume and tone control act as they should, except for the acoustic guitars. For them, Line6 uses the tone control to model varying mic placements. It's a very useful control in those cases.

The basswood body is nicely contoured with a bolt-on maple neck with medium frets. I like the feel of the neck, except the frets are a bit high--I'll have them dressed when I get a chance. The tuners seem solid. The guitar is balanced nicely.

It comes with a well-made power supply/A-B foot switch. The A-B switch box allows you to choose between a standard 1/4 inch output, or an XLR out. The XLR is preferred for the acoustic guitar models. The Variax can be powered from the switch box, or six AA batteries in the guitar will give you 10 hours or so of play time directly into any amp.

The Variax 500 is remarkable value. Several of its 28 built-in instrument sounds would be worth the price alone.

It's great fun to play. It's a godsend for gigs where you want a variety of fretted instrument sounds.

If you can find this model, and you don't need a tremolo bar, it's worth more then every penny.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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"Line 6 Variax 505"

Line 6 Variax 500Published on 06/24/04 at 15:00
I paid £699 for this online.

I love the different guitars, especially the Gibons Les Paul and the Gibson acoustics. I love having a range of guitars from resenators to les pauls to telecasters. Another one that might interest people is the strat! You can make your own custom bank of guitars, and the pickups are built into the guitar, so you don't get any buzz from computers, etc.

It's so good I can't complain about it :s

Amazing construction, won't brake,even the battery holder(optional, you can use a power pack) is made out of metal, and is fantastic.

Amazing guitar, brilliant for guitarists who want to record, and don't have those 28 guitars to use. Also brilliant for live work,......
Read more
I paid £699 for this online.

I love the different guitars, especially the Gibons Les Paul and the Gibson acoustics. I love having a range of guitars from resenators to les pauls to telecasters. Another one that might interest people is the strat! You can make your own custom bank of guitars, and the pickups are built into the guitar, so you don't get any buzz from computers, etc.

It's so good I can't complain about it :s

Amazing construction, won't brake,even the battery holder(optional, you can use a power pack) is made out of metal, and is fantastic.

Amazing guitar, brilliant for guitarists who want to record, and don't have those 28 guitars to use. Also brilliant for live work, I've used it many a time, and i've had one problem, where it was fixed overnight, and sent back.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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"Line 6 Variax"

Line 6 Variax 500Published on 06/17/04 at 15:00
I bought my Variax on eBay about 6 months ago. It cost $600.00, plus $15.00 for shipping.

The Variax sounds just like the guitars it models, period.
I had a chance to plug it into the same rigs as a Les Paul Studio and a Fender Paisley Telecaster. It sounded identical in both cases.
The banjo, and sitar is so real that it is freaky!
I love being able to switch from instrument to instrument without switching guitars. I am a Keyboard player in a band and I often play acoustic, 12 string and banjo. Having all of those instruments really adds a lot of diversity to our band!
It comes with a A/B switch so you can switch between running direct into a PA with a balanced line system or an......
Read more
I bought my Variax on eBay about 6 months ago. It cost $600.00, plus $15.00 for shipping.

The Variax sounds just like the guitars it models, period.
I had a chance to plug it into the same rigs as a Les Paul Studio and a Fender Paisley Telecaster. It sounded identical in both cases.
The banjo, and sitar is so real that it is freaky!
I love being able to switch from instrument to instrument without switching guitars. I am a Keyboard player in a band and I often play acoustic, 12 string and banjo. Having all of those instruments really adds a lot of diversity to our band!
It comes with a A/B switch so you can switch between running direct into a PA with a balanced line system or an amp with an unbalanced line. You can power it with batteries or power it from the A/B switch.

The guitar itself is a inexpensive guitar. It is like a $375.00 (list price) Korean guitar. It sets up nice, but I am surprised that this guitar is like that. It is like having a 500 horsepower engine in a Pacer. It will run good and win races, but won't get you many dates!

It has good tuners, and a solid feel. The finish is OK... but for the price of this guitar, it should be much nicer. If you treat it right, it will last a long time, I would think.
Essentially it is like getting a $1500 computer in a $50 box. If the guitar had regular pickups, it would sell for $250 brand new.

The Line6 Variax is a great piece. It is well worth the price to have all of those guitars at your disposal. The sound is unbelievable. Definately worth the price of admission!

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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"Line 6 Variax 500"

Line 6 Variax 500Published on 05/12/04 at 15:00
from piedog.com 475 pounds in the uk, free delivery

many of the guitars sound great and it will be very useful for recording purposes. all the guitars sound like you're playing through a compressed.


some of the guitar sounds are rather synthetic sounding especially the twelve string guitars. playing the same note rapidly in succession sounds different to a real guitar. muting a string while rapidly doing hammer-ons and pull-offs sounds wrong. there seems to be a slight delay in the sound coming out after hitting the strings but this is less noticable the higher pitched the note is. some chords sound different, perhaps on a real guitar the different pitches on different strings affect......
Read more
from piedog.com 475 pounds in the uk, free delivery

many of the guitars sound great and it will be very useful for recording purposes. all the guitars sound like you're playing through a compressed.


some of the guitar sounds are rather synthetic sounding especially the twelve string guitars. playing the same note rapidly in succession sounds different to a real guitar. muting a string while rapidly doing hammer-ons and pull-offs sounds wrong. there seems to be a slight delay in the sound coming out after hitting the strings but this is less noticable the higher pitched the note is. some chords sound different, perhaps on a real guitar the different pitches on different strings affect each other.


it feels very solid.

it's very good but i wouldn't use it exclusively.

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

  • Manufacturer: Line 6
  • Model: Variax 500
  • Series: Variax Electric
  • Category: Electric solidbody guitars with modeling
  • Added in our database on: 07/09/2008

We have no technical specifications for this product
but your help will be much welcomed

»

Other categories in Solid Body Electric Guitars

Other names: variax500

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