The Variax 700 combines Line 6's exclusive modeling technology with a newly designed custom solid body guitar to bring you an entire collection of electric and acoustic guitars, over 25 in all, into one finely crafted instrument. The Variax 700 wo...
"Yes, the onward march of technology is a wonderful thing. I'm very pleased with the Variax, but I have to admit I did take a regular guitar to Italy, just in case; but I didn't bother in Vienna. The sounds are 99% there, but the overall EQ is slightly mid-heavy, which leads to a bit of amp-twiddling! However, some additional software for the guitar is being released in September(ish) which I'm hoping will address the (minor) problem. I'll keep you informed." But in November 2004 Geoff declared that he was not using the Variax onstage except for acoustic sounds…more
The Variax 700 combines Line 6's exclusive modeling technology with a newly designed custom solid body guitar to bring you an entire collection of electric and acoustic guitars, over 25 in all, into one finely crafted instrument. The Variax 700 works just like a traditional guitar and features a contoured mahogany body, Fixed bridge, one-piece hard maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, and Gotoh tuners. Instantly familiar controls allow for easy use - just turn the knob to change guitars. Translucent finishes feature a contoured ash top on a mahogany body.
A couple of years before Variax was born, Line 6 decided to turn their attention from all that guitar gear to the guitar itself. They wondered - could it be possible to capture a complete range of this tone in one single instrument? It was a daunting task, but then so was the idea of squeezing a whole collection of amps and effects into one little kidney bean shaped metal box. So they figured, why not give it a go?
Line 6 knew the sounds would have to be amazingly accurate to meet the needs of discriminating guitarists, so they began an intensive research project into guitar physics. They assembled test guitars that would make Victor Frankenstein blush. They systematically examined every factor that contributes to a guitar's tone, and developed ways to measure the complex interactions of vibrating strings, resonant bodies, and magnetic pickups. More importantly, Line 6 developed ways to capture these interactions mathematically so they could get the same sounds from their new guitar.
As Line 6 refined their measuring and modeling techniques, they began working on a new, powerful hardware platform that could deliver their shockingly accurate sounds. Variax needed to have less noise than a standard humbucker, the ability to switch sounds in the fraction of a second that it takes to slap a pickup selector switch to the next position, and be powered in a variety of ways. And, most importantly, perform so flawlessly that you could forget it's even there.
As the body and brain neared completion, it was time to create the soul. Line 6 auditioned an amazing array of vintage instruments to find the ones with the most distinctive voices and personalities. They applied their painstaking measuring techniques to these specimens, and refined their models while constantly referring back to the originals for accuracy. When the model reached the point not only sounding like the original, but also being as much fun to play, it was done.
The result of their labors? Variax. An entire guitar collection in a single instrument. There's something magical about playing a 50-year-old guitar. Even better is a guitar that's actually been "played" every day of that half-century. Those instruments have a sound to them that only comes from the passing of time, hundreds of sessions, thousands of gigs... The guitars that are modeled in Variax aren't just showroom pieces. They have been played to perfection. These guitars have dings, scratches, and, most importantly, unbelievable tone. With one knob and a 5-way switch, Variax will take you through this historic collection of guitars.
Variax Models are based on: 1960 Fender Telecaster Custom 1968 Fender Telecaster 1968 Fender Telecaster Thinline 1959 Fender Stratocaster 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard 1952 Gibson Les Paul 'Goldtop' 1961 Gibson Les Paul Custom (3 PU) 1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior 1976 Gibson Firebird V 1955 Gibson Les Paul Special 1959 Gretsch 6120 1956 Gretsch Silver Jet 1968 Rickenbacker 360 1966 Rickenbacker 360-12 1961 Gibson ES-335 1967 Epiphone Casino 1957 Gibson ES-175 1953 Gibson Super 400 1959 Martin D-28 1970 Martin D 12-28 1967 Martin O-18 1966 Guild F212 1995 Gibson J-200 1935 Dobro Alumilite Danelectro 3021 Coral/Dano Electric Sitar Gibson Mastertone Banjo 1928 National Style 2 'Tricone'
Variax On Stage - The Right Guitar for Every Gig For years, guitarists have struggled with the fear of losing their most prized guitars on the road. You could probably count on one hand the amount of players who actually drag their one-of-a-kind vintage Strats, Teles and Les Pauls* to every gig. It's even worse for acoustic players. Even if you decided to pull out your favorite old acoustic, getting a properly miked acoustic guitar sound at stage volume can be an absolute nightmare.
What if you could take one guitar and not only have all your electric needs covered, but have a pristinely miked acoustic sound at the touch of a 5-way toggle switch? Sound too good to be true? It used to be...
Variax in the Studio - Inspiration at the Speed of Creativity Talk to any working studio guitarist and they'll tell you that traveling with a guitar trunk the size of a small car is the norm. When the red light is on, and you're expected to come up with "the right part," the last thing you want is an uninspiring guitar sound. Even if you have the right guitar in your road case, it's still going to take you few minutes to change, re-tune and get back into the vibe of the track. With Variax you'll be able to audition 25 different guitars all at the turn of a knob. Now that's inspiration at the speed of creativity.
Of course, for the rest of us who just want to demo an acoustic-heavy song at home before the dog and kids start making the "sounds of war," Variax will become indispensable. You'll be able to record a dobro, sitar or 12-string all without having to worry about mics or the bleed from the TV in the next room. Variax will help you be as creative as humanly possible with the 20 minutes you have after work and before you have to drive the kids to football practice and ballet lessons.
Variax is the first guitar to break the physical barriers to great tone by modeling the subtle qualities and interactions that create every guitar's unique voice - including body resonance, sustain and pickup characteristics. In the process, Line 6 found modeling solved a few pesky issues that have long plagued guitarists. For example, single coil sounds can be both dead-accurate and dead-quiet, and rich acoustic sounds at stage volumes no longer threaten to feedback.
How does it work? Although at first glance Variax appears to be a conventional electric guitar, closer inspection reveals its lack of traditional magnetic pickups. The string vibrations are detected by a hexaphonic bridge pickup and are converted directly into digital signals. These signals are processed through software algorithms that capture the interaction of each instrument's pickups, their placement, the tone controls, and details of the instrument's physical structure. Unlike MIDI instruments or guitar synths, Variax dynamically alters the signal of its own natural string vibrations to match the modeled instrument's unique tonal characteristics. The signal is then converted back to analog, so Variax can be plugged directly into any electric guitar amplifier.
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