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Line 6 Variax Acoustic 700 - any experiences?

MikeVB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,735
Anyone have experience with a Line 6 Variax Acoustic 700?

Saw a used one today, and thought that it might be a lot of fun for my acoustic duet gigs.

Here's a demo...though the sound's not the greatest.


 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,641
I used that exact guitar as a stage performance acoustic for about 3 years and it was the right tool for the job. Zero feedback, open tunings on call and quality sound. Set up correctly, it was a delight to play.

Until the new JTV series, I really think there was no better solution for a stage acoustic and it still is a very good tool for the job.

FWIW - I pulled the sticker in the soundhole (never liked the look with the sticker), had a new bone nut done, had the frets leveled by my luthier and it was a serious instrument for the stage.

You'll need some outboard EQ and compression (the onboard stuff is limited IMHO) but it really sits right in a mix and the no-feedback is a serious +++ on stage.

IMHO, YMMV.
 

MikeVB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,735
I used that exact guitar as a stage performance acoustic for about 3 years and it was the right tool for the job. Zero feedback, open tunings on call and quality sound. Set up correctly, it was a delight to play.

Until the new JTV series, I really think there was no better solution for a stage acoustic and it still is a very good tool for the job.

FWIW - I pulled the sticker in the soundhole (never liked the look with the sticker), had a new bone nut done, had the frets leveled by my luthier and it was a serious instrument for the stage.

You'll need some outboard EQ and compression (the onboard stuff is limited IMHO) but it really sits right in a mix and the no-feedback is a serious +++ on stage.

IMHO, YMMV.
Thanks Scott. I usually plug my acoustic straight into my Presonus 16.4.2.

How do the acoustic models sound versus the Tyler Variax? I mean is it short-sighted to buy one these when you get more sounds with the JTV-59?
 
Messages
2,866
I owned a 700 acoustic for a short period, and while it was very cool -- I ended up just not keeping it. I can't wait to get funds for a JTV (prolly 69)... would you be ok playing an 'electric' guitar in your acoustic duet gigs? If so, I'd likely go bigger and go JTV.
 

Mincer

Member
Messages
4,560
I use my Acoustic 700 with the PODHD 500, which powers it. I use compression, eq, delay and reverb. I would think the Acoustic 700 would sound better than the JTV's acoustic because the 700 uses acoustic strings. I haven't tried a JTV, but the 700 is my main gigging acoustic now. Now feedback, and instant, perfect sound. A real dark horse of the Variax line.
 

toasterdude

Member
Messages
2,015
I use my Acoustic 700 with the PODHD 500, which powers it. I use compression, eq, delay and reverb. I would think the Acoustic 700 would sound better than the JTV's acoustic because the 700 uses acoustic strings. I haven't tried a JTV, but the 700 is my main gigging acoustic now. Now feedback, and instant, perfect sound. A real dark horse of the Variax line.
I have an AC700 as well as a nylon string variax. I agree that the AC700 sounds better than the JTV for pure acoustic sounds. Much of that may very well be the strings as well as some people having lower action on their electrics.
 

itsLars

Member
Messages
173
Hi,
imho the 700 Acoustic sounds much better than the JTV's acoustic sounds.
Main reason imho is the type of strings:

the electric guitar strings on the JTV sound different, even the digital processing can't cheat the physics: string tension is much lower on the JTV (which is a big issue soundwise) and you have an unwound G string there whereas you play a wound G string on the 700 Acoustic.
I wonder if the guitar's electronics one day will be able to completely compensate this. I think they won't.
Nevertheless, the JTV is a great guitar, and the acoustic sounds are somewhat usable, especially when you adapt your playing style to the lower string tension.

Bye,
Lars
 

burningyen

Member
Messages
14,714
I gigged with one for several years, and still have it in case my band gets going again. I honestly don't think there's a better solution out there for live acoustic work.
 

dspellman

Senior Member
Messages
8,309
Thanks Scott. I usually plug my acoustic straight into my Presonus 16.4.2.

How do the acoustic models sound versus the Tyler Variax? I mean is it short-sighted to buy one these when you get more sounds with the JTV-59?
I have both the Acoustic 700 and one of the older Variax. The models aren't the same between the Acoustic and the electrics (including the Tyler/Variaxeses); the Acoustic 700 has a whole 'nother set, and all are of the acoustic variety, with different resonator models, etc.. There's a different sound setup on the Acoustic as well; you set the "distance of the mike from the sound hole" kind of thing. Download the User's Manual from Line 6 to get a better idea of what's available.

There's another reason I have the Acoustic 700; it fits better with other acoustic guitars than the Tyler/Variax -- visually, at least. While it's actually a solid body mahogany guitar (thus, no feedback), it *looks* like a thinline acoustic. It's been used in a church setting as a bass (the alternate tunings will easily drop a full octave) with the bottom two strings set for bass and the rest set normally, and we've had some people craning their necks to see where the bass player is standing. Ditto the 12-string settings. We've had the same people peering around to see where THAT's coming from, since no one in visual range has one.

Last but not least, you can use bronzewounds on it. If you like the feel and string noise, you get it. You're probably not going to be using 9's on this guitar, but you *might* be using them on the Tyler/Variax. That has something to do with the way you play the guitar. And so on.
 

tvegas99

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,699
these are really great guitars IMHO

so easy for gigging out and recording... highly recommended!
 

germanicus

Member
Messages
2,190
Thanks Scott. I usually plug my acoustic straight into my Presonus 16.4.2.

How do the acoustic models sound versus the Tyler Variax? I mean is it short-sighted to buy one these when you get more sounds with the JTV-59?

I actually prefer the 700 to the acoustics in the JTV's. Especially after the recent JTV firmware update which replaced the acoustic models with ones with built in ambient early reflection sounds.
 

kevinpmajka

Member
Messages
281
It's neat. I find that when I play my friend's 700, I have to adjust my touch a little bit but it's a good sounding guitar. I like the C&W, Jumbo, Dread, and Nylon ones most. The latency for tuning changes is minimal, but depending on what you are doing it can get a little weird sounding. The jumbo one is great though.

They capo well too. I'm considering getting one over my Walden A/E just due to consistency of sound and being able to power it off of my HD Pro and switch patches with it.

As an acoustic player primarily, it's very attractive for live use with full band.
 

HolyMuffDiver

Member
Messages
419
I'm just curious: isn't there a lot of dissonance when playing a model with an alternate tuning? I assume the guitar itself produces a sound, so unless you're playing really, really loud, wouldn't the sound of the guitar mixed with the sound coming out of your amp/monitor/PA be difficult to cope with?
 

burningyen

Member
Messages
14,714
If you're playing at any kind of reasonable band rehearsal or gig volume, you don't hear the physical twanging of the strings at all. If you're playing at bedroom levels, yeah, that could be annoying.
 

germanicus

Member
Messages
2,190
I'm just curious: isn't there a lot of dissonance when playing a model with an alternate tuning? I assume the guitar itself produces a sound, so unless you're playing really, really loud, wouldn't the sound of the guitar mixed with the sound coming out of your amp/monitor/PA be difficult to cope with?

The guitar has a 'fake' soundhole for this very reason. At very low volume amplified levels it can be distracting, but really only to you or someone sitting right beside you. I've played coffee house gigs with them and had no issues.
 

dspellman

Senior Member
Messages
8,309
I'm just curious: isn't there a lot of dissonance when playing a model with an alternate tuning? I assume the guitar itself produces a sound, so unless you're playing really, really loud, wouldn't the sound of the guitar mixed with the sound coming out of your amp/monitor/PA be difficult to cope with?
Again, even though this may look like an acoustic, it's really a solid mahogany bodied guitar, so there really isn't all that much sound produced by the guitar itself. You don't have to turn the amp up very high to hear only the amplified sound. I've never had an issue with it. It's definitely NOT like, say, a Taylor 814ce in terms of acoustic sound output.
 

HolyMuffDiver

Member
Messages
419
Again, even though this may look like an acoustic, it's really a solid mahogany bodied guitar, so there really isn't all that much sound produced by the guitar itself. You don't have to turn the amp up very high to hear only the amplified sound. I've never had an issue with it. It's definitely NOT like, say, a Taylor 814ce in terms of acoustic sound output.
Oh, so there isn't really a sound hole? Ha! I always assumed it was a real acoustic that also did modeling! Seriously, I've been wondering for years why they'd make a guitar like that.
 

kevinpmajka

Member
Messages
281
Pater -
I tried my buddies again last night through a loud acoustic amp and really went to town on the capo settings, setting up patches etc (he never did). If you are a sometimes acoustic player - I recommend it. It's a lot of guitar for the money.

And my apologies to the original poster Pater - I have a few more in depth questions:

I'm primarily acoustic player who plays with a 5 piece country band. I got the POD HD Pro to not drag around a combo amp for 10-15 electric songs a night, so I know I could power it through that.

How do these sit in the mix? How would it be for a "primary" guitar sound acoustically speaking for a country band. We do Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Cash, Miranda Lambert tunes, etc... We need a strong acoustic sound for those.

Does the "capo" sound convincing in the mix? I'm afraid of digital "sounds" due to latency. Just wondering if anyone has real loud band experience from carrying the song in the mix with a 700.

How do these sit in the mix when it's loud? I'm competing with pedal steel, Gretsch guitars, bass and drums. I want to make sure that it will sound "right" in that setting. I have a line on one locally but it has no case, Variax Digital cable, or power box/DI. Will any old cat5e ethercon cable work? Like this one? This company has different length ones for a decent price: Link.

Thanks for any input.
 

Audioholic

Member
Messages
2,573
Had one for awhile, GREAT to play on stage through a PA, not great to record with, well, meaning that a nice acoustic micd up sounds much better in studio then running one of these direct, but for live playing, very clear and bold sound, and easy to play, no feedback etc...
 




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