PDA

View Full Version : Line 6 Variax 700 Bass


Shyanel
09-01-2005, 06:43 PM
Okay, so I was mega hyped about playing this, went into SoundControl this Tuesday, absolutely buzzing at the prospect of playing a Variax. Here's what I discovered:

Looks: 7

The Bass looks reasonable cool to me, the sunburst finish is well done and the tortoise pickguard looks nice. The perloid pickguard on the black version looked a little fake, but wasn't bad.

Playability: 6

Not a bad player by any measure, but not as comfortable as my old 160 Jay Turser, or my Yamaha RBX760, considering this is a 700-800 bass, I found this very worrying. The string spacing aint too bad but the position of the thumb rest is a bit crap, landing on a fairly low tension spot which would mean perferrers of light strings (like myself) would find it VERY floppy. This is definately a bass to slap those beefy 50's on unless you want to be catching your fingertips on the strings.

Sound: 4

Here's where it really falls on it's arse! The models are nothing special at all, the synth models clip like buggery and the rest of the models vary in their natural volume so much as to mean completely re-EQing everytime you change model. Considering this thing had about 20 models on offer I was quite let down to only find 5-6 useable tones and even then only after quite a bit of fannying about. The one tone which really stodd out was the Rickenbacker with round-wounds set-up. I really liked this, but then when I played a Rick 4003 straight after I realised even this reasonably nice tone wasn't a touch on the original. It's one saving grace was that the MODJ (modern Jazz) setting was actually better (IMO) than the American Active Jazz I played. Infact the MIA Jazz sucked, though oddly the MIM was real nice! :P

Build Quality: 9

One thing I will say for this is it's well put together. I'll admit it IS heavy, though I don't mind heavy basses so I didn't see this as any problem. The screws were all very solid though and the woods seemed to be of good quality and were all very well worked. The frets were clean and nicely polished and everything was well manufactured.

Overall: 5

Not bad for a bit of recording but utterly useless live. Considering the main point of this thing is to eliminate guitar changes and allow a massive pallet for a good price, to be honest it fell short in all the wrong areas. Avoid the Line 6 Variax, I was very let down by it, especially as it was possibly my next purchase. Now i've decided to go for a 4003 in Midnight Blue. Although the Corvette in Flamed Maple was also lovely and i'm finding myself getting a little Warwick GAS!

Still, bottom line (pun intended) this thing is a waste of money, the only reason you may have to buy it, is the exact reason not to, it only fulfils it's purpose on a very mediocre level and all in all is not worth the 800 price tag, considering there's Warwicks and Yamahas in the same band that are hella better! (Though avoid the Nathan east Yammy as it's completely devoid of tone!).

Worrpigs
09-01-2005, 07:06 PM
good review. a while back i was considering one of these basses, but decided against it. how was the action on it?

bass&cookies
09-01-2005, 07:31 PM
ive played one and totally agree. pretty much sucked tonewise and didnt play that great. i can geyt about as many tones out of my stingray

Shyanel
09-01-2005, 07:34 PM
good review. a while back i was considering one of these basses, but decided against it. how was the action on it?

The action was just a little higher than I would normally have mine, I have mine about 2-3mm off the fretboad all the way along. I' say this was about 4mm.

Chris K
09-03-2005, 04:04 AM
I must say, as a lover of the Thumb, I was quite rightly disgusted to hear the thumb simulation sound. Absolutley shocking!

edgebass5
09-03-2005, 08:21 AM
So, you're basing this review on going into a store and playing it by yourself and that's it?

You don't own it? You haven't given it a proper setup? You haven't tried it in a live band situation? You haven't recorded with it?

I'm sorry, but I really think your review has no ground to stand on if you can't answer yes to all of those questions.

Shyanel
09-03-2005, 09:02 AM
So, you're basing this review on going into a store and playing it by yourself and that's it?

You don't own it? You haven't given it a proper setup? You haven't tried it in a live band situation? You haven't recorded with it?

I'm sorry, but I really think your review has no ground to stand on if you can't answer yes to all of those questions.


Seeing as my review is based on my personal opinion and nothing more I think I have perfect grounds to say whatever I like to be honest Edge. I think anyone with half a brain can figure out that regardless of any review they read anywhere they should still play an instrument themself if they're considering it.

Beside that, how many people ANYWHERE buy an instrument and play it with their band before deciding if it's worth buying? Pretty much every musician I have ever known has only played their instrument on their own in the music shop before deciding to buy it. Would you spend 800 on a bass just on the offchance you might be able to work with it, if you didn't like it in the shop?

More to the point, I don't see how the things i'm pulling it up on would change in any other situation anyway! Volume changes, weak tones etc, these things won't magically be cured in a band situation.

I suggest you try to look past the end of your nose before you challenge people Edge. You may know your stuff, but that doesn't make you an authority on anything, especially when you make groundless, idiotic challenges against peoples opinions.

Radiobass81
09-03-2005, 09:45 AM
I agree with Edge, solely being because the Variax cannot be reviewed in one sitting. There is just too much you can do with each model.

Shyanel
09-03-2005, 02:11 PM
Well, I went into SoundControl with my brother and my friend Alex, we're all bassists and NONE of us liked it. Besides, everyone still seems to be overlooking the obvious fact that it's opinion, not gospel.

I'm telling people what I think of it, not what THEY should think of it!

edgebass5
09-03-2005, 05:50 PM
I suggest you try to look past the end of your nose before you challenge people Edge. You may know your stuff, but that doesn't make you an authority on anything, especially when you make groundless, idiotic challenges against peoples opinions.

You need to not take things so harshly and realize the logic in others comments before getting offended. There are lots of basses out there that will sound terrible by themselves but great in a band situation (Fender P-Basses fall into this category for me). In regards to buying a bass without having played it in a band situation. Obviously you can't drag your bass into a store and have a jam, but you can buy it with the intent of checking it out in a live/studio setting and then return it if you don't like it. Oh, and one more thing, what part of my statement was "idiotic"?

Machines
09-04-2005, 01:32 AM
I'm afraid i'm inclined to agree with the fact you can't review a bass when you've only played it in store. It's only a minor insight into any gears ability and doesn't give you the chance to fully exploit it's capabilities.

I have played the Variax, and liked it alot. I thought it was over-priced howver, and some of the models weren't a patch on their originals. However it is a very versatile bass that should be treated as a bass with lots of tones, not a replacement for any of the models.

Shyanel
09-04-2005, 12:51 PM
You need to not take things so harshly and realize the logic in others comments before getting offended. There are lots of basses out there that will sound terrible by themselves but great in a band situation (Fender P-Basses fall into this category for me). In regards to buying a bass without having played it in a band situation. Obviously you can't drag your bass into a store and have a jam, but you can buy it with the intent of checking it out in a live/studio setting and then return it if you don't like it. Oh, and one more thing, what part of my statement was "idiotic"?


Fair play, I was a bit radgy when I read your response, my fault as much as yours. The thing that annoyed me was how you seemingly challenged my opinion as opposed to the fact of the matter. End of the day, a review, whether in a mag you pay 3-4 for, or on a forum you read for free, is still just opinion, take it or leave it kinda thing.

No hard feelings :thumb:

d-1
09-18-2005, 08:10 AM
Nice review next time add a picture

1-D
09-25-2005, 01:28 PM
Nice review and nice guitar