• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


Variax 700 playability?

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,914
Tone aside, in your hands, IYO, how do these play? Neck profile?

In my experience, MIJ's playability are generally pretty good...but I never had the opportunity to kick the Variax 700 tires and it would be an ideal guitar for an upcoming project I have. My first generation Variax 300(?) left a lot to be desired in the playability department and I don't want to go through the hassle of replacing the Variax wood with an electronics transplant.

Just curious...your experience with the Variax 700 solid body guitar's playability?
 

scott58

Member
Messages
5,884
I measure the feel of almost every other guitar by my 700. I really like this guitar. Had it for almost 3 years now with no intentions of getting rid of it. The MIJ quality is excellent.

Edit: I've tried the 300 and the 600. There is no comparison between either of those and the 700. It's like comparing an Esteban to a Martin.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,914
I measure the feel of almost every other guitar by my 700. I really like this guitar. Had it for almost 3 years now with no intentions of getting rid of it. The MIJ quality is excellent.

Edit: I've tried the 300 and the 600. There is no comparison between either of those and the 700. It's like comparing an Esteban to a Martin.
Thanks Scott, much appreciated!

Looks like not much love for the Variax around these parts...so, with the generous approval period at Sweeetwater, I decided to kick the tires of a 700 to see for myself. Should be here later this week.

I thought my original Variax 300 left a lot to be desired in the playability department but that the sounds, while not perfect, would be very usable for the wide variety of music my band has been into lately. I don't think it will replace my favorite Strat, but those "other" sounds could be very useful for my upcoming projects...if the playability is decent.

Have you tried the Variax software Scott? Looks like it might be fun to fool with if the 700 passes the tonal & tactile tests ;).

Is the 700's neck profile like Fender medium C, thinner or thicker?
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
33,318
I've looked, longingly, at the 700 (expensive, here) and have played a 300 quite a bit.
The 700 definitely fels much better with a larger c-ish neck.
The ability to switch Strat (-like) to Lp (-ish) with a switch flick plus other options is great. You will probably want the Workbench sw/interface to fine-tune the sounds and switching. The uncrowded playing area is also wonderful.
 

Release

Member
Messages
1,529
I have a 300 and love it and I would definitely agree with you that the playability is a bit lacking. From what I've read, there is going to be an update to the Variax line this summer. Apparently they're going to be working with a "California based company" to put these out. I'd assume it's Laguna since that company has Line 6 products in some of their ads. I'm very curious to see what kind of advancements they come up with this time.
 

bluegrif

Member
Messages
4,939
The 700's a fine playing, solid feeling guitar. Excellent craftsmanship. Even the factory fretwork and setup are way better than what you see on, say, average production Fenders and Gibsons. Some great sounds too. Although best if you don't get too hung up on sounding exactly like the guitars being modeled.
 

Rhomco

Making UPS, FEDEX and USPS richer every day!
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,888
Here is one of my vari-tele conversions. Very playable indeed.
Rob

 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,914
The 700's a fine playing, solid feeling guitar. Excellent craftsmanship. Even the factory fretwork and setup are way better than what you see on, say, average production Fenders and Gibsons. Some great sounds too. Although best if you don't get too hung up on sounding exactly like the guitars being modeled.
Thanks, that's great to hear! If the sounds are in the ballpark and the craftsmanship/playability are there, it should work for my upcoming projects. I even have a few potential spots for the silly sitar & banjo models....something my favorite Strat has no sonic chance at ;).
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,914
i assume you speak of the 700 electric? does it have good acoustic sounds?
I seem to remember the acoustic sounds in my original Variax 300 (same electronics as in the 700 solid body) being "in the ballpark" close enough...but I guess that's subjective. But I'm not an acoustic purist by any means ;).
 

bluegrif

Member
Messages
4,939
Thanks, that's great to hear! If the sounds are in the ballpark and the craftsmanship/playability are there, it should work for my upcoming projects. I even have a few potential spots for the silly sitar & banjo models....something my favorite Strat has no sonic chance at ;).
The sounds are very much in the ballpark. Some are scary close, others less so. But there are many, many nice, usable tones.

Regarding the acoustic tones: they're not bad at all and would sound authentic in a mix, but they're not as good as the sounds in the 700 acoustic. In other words, if you were going to do a primarily acoustic track, maybe fingerpicked, the Variax acoustic would do a far better job. But if you want an acoustic rhythm track, the electric Variax can certainly handle it. And in a live situation, would sound way better than all these electrics with an undersaddle "acoustic" bridge pickup.

Amazingly, some of my favorite tones on the 700 were the hollowbodies. Again, maybe not dead on, but nice tones in their own right and with a definite hollowbody vibe. Very cool. The P90 guitars are very nice also. The Fender style models are serviceable, but don't sound like the very best examples of their type. For instance, while the Strat sounds like a Strat, it doesn't sound like a great Strat. But like I said, forget about all that and just use your ears to pick the best sound for your application. If you approach it that way, you won't be disappointed in the least. A lot of the tones are very organic and dimensional sounding.
 

franksguitar

Member
Messages
3,683
I've had a 600 since the Variax first came out. I used it quite a bit in the beginning, but prefer real pickups and wood. It's very usable in the studio and has some uses live.
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
13,189
i assume you speak of the 700 electric? does it have good acoustic sounds?
I used a V300 for "acoustic" parts on a film project a few years ago and it worked great. I've since upgraded to a V700 and added an acoustic model as well.

They're all useful tools.
 

scott58

Member
Messages
5,884
I honestly do not want them to change a thing on the 700. It is perfect for me the way it is. The one thing you may want to consider however is putting an EQ infront of everything else you do with the guitar. Especially for the acoustic. Shaping a Variax's tone really made a huge difference after I got an MXR 10 band. I have yet to try any of the software (after almost 3 years of ownership) and really have no intention of doing so. I'm fine with it just the way it stands. As it is mine stays on the Rickenbacker 360 about 90% of the time so that's kinda where my heads at anyway. Just a great guitar in my opinion and if they do make changes i'll probably buy another 700 before they get scarce.
 

Gtrman100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,905
Tone aside, in your hands, IYO, how do these play? Neck profile?

In my experience, MIJ's playability are generally pretty good...but I never had the opportunity to kick the Variax 700 tires and it would be an ideal guitar for an upcoming project I have. My first generation Variax 300(?) left a lot to be desired in the playability department and I don't want to go through the hassle of replacing the Variax wood with an electronics transplant.

Just curious...your experience with the Variax 700 solid body guitar's playability?
I'm glad you're gonna give the V700 a try. You were interested in the one I have in the Emporium, and I don't blame you for not jumping in without a return policy.

Like others have posted, the playability of the 700 is excellent, the workmanship and materials are equal to my AS Strat, Ibanez Prestige, and only slightly below my Anderson Classic. I think you'll find it sounds really good too, like others, some models are great, others are just ok, but using Workbench you can tweak the ones you don't like, or create new guitars yourself.

I play in a cover band, so the Variax is fantastic for going from acoustic 12 string, to Les Paul, to Strat, to ES-175 at will. I also play in a blues band, and we do one tune by Staind(why I don't) which is tuned down to D with the sixth string down to C, so it's really great to pop that switch for the alternate tuning. Please post your evaluation when you get yours.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,914
I'm glad you're gonna give the V700 a try. You were interested in the one I have in the Emporium, and I don't blame you for not jumping in without a return policy.

Like others have posted, the playability of the 700 is excellent, the workmanship and materials are equal to my AS Strat, Ibanez Prestige, and only slightly below my Anderson Classic. I think you'll find it sounds really good too, like others, some models are great, others are just ok, but using Workbench you can tweak the ones you don't like, or create new guitars yourself.

I play in a cover band, so the Variax is fantastic for going from acoustic 12 string, to Les Paul, to Strat, to ES-175 at will. I also play in a blues band, and we do one tune by Staind(why I don't) which is tuned down to D with the sixth string down to C, so it's really great to pop that switch for the alternate tuning. Please post your evaluation when you get yours.
Thanks for the input! Yup, it was a tough decision...but, in the end, a return policy tipped the scale. Being a Strat-o-nut of the highest order, I don't expect the V700 to be my #1...but, then again, life has taught me to never say never ;).
 

DavidE

Member
Messages
3,636
A friend put the Variax 500 guts in the body of a PRS import and uses it extensively with his popular cover band. It feels much better now. I have a Variax 500 but haven't used it in a long time, but it does sound pretty good. I used the software to equalize the output of the various models so I could switch from an LP sound to a Strat sound without losing volume.
 

MusicGearGuys

Member
Messages
1,250
Mine sounds great for recording. I also still use one live for the banjo setting.
Much easier then miking a banjo.

Although I am not a huge fan of the neck profile. I heard the Warmoth neck is very nice.

Gregory
 




Trending Topics

Top