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wrig_

Line 6 Variax 300 and 500

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I got GAS on Line 6 Variax yesteday after hearing some clips from line 6 website and reading HC user reviews. I tried to find one today from all music stores in my town but there weren't any at the moment.

 

The strange thing is that one music store guy said that they won't order any Variax 500's but only 300's and 700's. He told me that 300 and 500 models are basically the same, with the expection that 300 is cheaper. I already knew that they had the same electronics but according to that guy there is no real difference in materials, parts and build quality. Is this really true?

 

I was thinking of buying Variax 500 if I like it, 'cause the 700 model is far too expensive. But if 300 and 500 models have no real difference I'd of course rather buy the 300 model for like 200

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The 500 is made in Korea, the 300 in Indonesia. The woods and workmanship are different. The electronics are the same. I bought a 300 because I'll never play it live, its for recording. If you're going to play it live, I'd go for a 500 or save up for a 700.

 

The 300 feels like a Squier. If you don't mind that, go for it. The tone will be identical to the more expensive ones.

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Thanks for really useful information! I will use it live if I like it so quess I'm looking for 500 then. Squier feel doesn't sound good and on the other hand I really can't spend some 1350

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Warmoth do custom bodies and necks for the Variax 500.. about the only reason I'll be considering one really..

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I heard you could also install any strat neck to variax. Don't know if it's true though.

 

It's funny that many people are telling that Variax plays and feels great. Others keep saying that it doesn't feel good at all.

 

Anyone have experiences of Variax on gigs? Are the electronics reliable enough for gigging without backup? Also if theres something wrong with the neck, what is it?

 

Also I'd like to know more of pros and cons on 300 vs. 500.

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I have a 500 and it sounds great, but only plays so-so. I just ordered a replacement neck from Warmoth last week. My original intent was to do a full transplant, but I chickened out.

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I have a Variax 500. When I bought it, the tech from the store told me that many of these guitars are nearly unplayable when they arrive. If you order one, expect to do some setup work on it.

 

The electronics are the same for all three models of Variax. The 300 is a cheaper guitar than the 500, made in Indonesia rather than Korea. I haven't had the opportunity to check out a 300 in person so I don't know if the quality difference is significant or not. The 300 wasn't around back when I got my Variax.

 

The models work very well for clean or low gain applications. Lots of gain will make most of the models sound the same. If your style is Metal then you might want to rethink purchasing a Variax. The acoustic models require a PA, mixer, or acoustic amp to sound their best. I don't know how accurate some of the models are, but the tele sounds right to me, and the guitar provides a good variety of useable tones.

 

I wouldn't want to play one as my main insterment because you either need a lot of batteries, or the AC adapter to power it.

They work well as a recording guitar.

 

If you plan on modifying the Variax, then I suggest you save some $ and get the 300 since you are replacing much of it anyway.

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do a search for my username and you'll find a pretty thorough review I did of the Variax 300 when I first got it.

 

When I said It feels like a squier, it wasn't a complete diss. It feels like a low end Fender. I have a squier tele custom and they're pretty similar in build quality. Both made in Indonesia, hmm...

 

I love my 300. It's a great recording tool, and together with a Pod XT it kicks ass for almost any music style, except Metal. The Variax is not a metal guitar.

 

The pod XT live will get software updates very soon, and when workbench is released, the whole system will be amazing. Create a custom guitar, play it through a virtual amp, and connect/power the variax through a single cord, without having to use the XPS box.

 

But Workbench for Pod XT live is not out yet, and I don't know when it will be released. Probably in the next month, though.

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Thanks alot for useful replies!

 

How much are those Warmoth necks? Couldn't find information from their website after quick search.

 

I play mostly groovy/funky stuff, not metal and I will be using it live if I choose to buy it. (haven't had a chance to try it yet :( ) Also I will still use my double fat strat as main guitar.

 

I will consider both 300 and 500 but 700 is far too expensive. If 500 actually feels better I will most likely choose it.

 

Damn! Wish the local music store gets them soon! :D

 

Edit: Blackmonday I couldn't find your review. Link?

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The warmoth neck I ordered is maple with a brazilian rosewood fingerboard. I got it with Planet Waves tuners, a graphite nut, stainless steel 6105 frets and SRV neck profile. With finish and shipping the total was $405. Hopefully it will be here in a few weeks!

 

I had a 700 amber hardtail on order, but they are backordered so I got a 500 from GC for $499. For that price, plus the price of a neck built to my specs, it's a pretty good deal and quite a bit less than the 700 was gonna cost me. Not to mention the fact that it should be a better playing guitar than the 700.

 

As I said earlier, I bought the 500 with the intention of doing a full-on transplant, but since I use the guitar strictly for recording I decided in the end to just do the neck.

 

I record using a PODxt Live into Sonar. If you want to hear what the guitar sounds like, check out my webpage on Soundclick [ http://www.soundclick.com/deserthermit.htm ]. The song "Mr Lester" is done entirely (except the bass and drums, of course) with the Variax in the Lester position, hence the name. All the other songs are done with my strats and ric.

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I guess I'd settle for the original neck at least in the beginning. If I don't like it in the long run, I might consider upgrading.

 

I can get Variax 500 for 679

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A friend mentioned to me, just before I bought my V500, that it seems to break strings more often. Boy, I'll say! I am breaking 1 or 2 strings per show, using the same strings (D'Addario 10s) that I use on my Strat with no problems. :eek:

 

They mostly break at the bridge, but sometimes at the peg which has *never* happened on my other guitars. Anyone else had this problem? The standard response from my pro buddies is to check for burrs, but on a brand new guitar?

 

Also, since the pickups are in the saddles, I'm pretty concerned about messing with them at all.

 

I know the guitar needs finishing work. The fret ends were very rough & sharp, the setup was poor, and the setscrews that adjust saddle height seem to have rattled loose, lowering the saddle on at least one string. That of course makes me very curious about the quality of the "inexpensive version" V300.

 

So, talk to me, anyone else having string problems? How did you fix them?

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OK, so I see the Workbench software is available for download! That's great, it's part of why I bought the V500. But what about the connection?

 

The Variax website shows the Workbench hardware/software package at $99 street.

http://line6.com/store/hardware.html?modelID=47

 

However, Variax also appears to offer the same software for free here:

 

I found the package for sale at zZounds for $99.95 here:

 

I'm planning to get a PodXT Live, will that include all the hardware I need to connect to Workbench? I don't want to buy hardware now that the PodXT Live will make unnecessary. The Line 6 download page (listed above) seems to be saying that this version of Workbench doesn't work with the PodXT Live yet.

 

In all, what DO we need, and where's the best place to get it? :confused:

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Grinhooks: I also had a string breaking problem on my strat. It was due to saddles. I'm getting new ones today. What do you mean with "the pickups are in the saddles"?

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Yes, the XTLive can be used as an interface between Variax and Workbench. All you'll need is the VDI digital cable to connect the Variax digitally to the XTLive.

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Originally posted by wrig_

Grinhooks: I also had a string breaking problem on my strat. It was due to saddles. I'm getting new ones today. What do you mean with "the pickups are in the saddles"?

 

The Variax does not have the usual magnetic pickups under the strings. Check the photos. The only pickups are piezo pickups, one in each saddle.

 

:) Upside: if I'm playing a club with lots of hum problems, like Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago or Crystal's in Atlanta, I get zero hum.

 

:( Downside: I'm very, very reluctant to take a file to my saddles, or to let anyone else do it.

 

I repeat my question: Have any other Variax owners had problems with string breakage?

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Originally posted by bivith

Yes, the XTLive can be used as an interface between Variax and Workbench. All you'll need is the VDI digital cable to connect the Variax digitally to the XTLive.

 

OK, so I can plug a standard USB cable from my computer into the XTLive, and talk to it from Workbench, and I won't need to buy a USB adapter thingy? Does that mean I can just download the software, and because I'm an XTLive owner (which obviously makes me very cool :cool: ) I'll be good to go with no further expense? Then again, didn't I see something about the current version of Workbench not even supporting the XTLive yet?

 

Does anyone here actually have this set of gear up and running?

 

Sorry to be so careful. Scar tissue, y'know.

 

"We won't get fooled again!" - The Who

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Grinhooks

 

read this page and your 'up to date' on what you can do

 

 

although you can use PODxtl at the moment (line 6 states at your own risk) you will have a Workbench 1.1 version in the near future that enables you to use workbench fully with your XTL or Vetta and you don't have to buy the hardware package...

 

see here

http://www.vettaville.nl/vvworkbench3.htm

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