Thanks for the input. So, is it the neck that make the 300's so bad? I have a few tele and strat necks. Wonder if the neck pocket is the same.
I read that the 300's have a 1.69" nut. If that's the case, then I don't want one unless I can change the neck.
Here's one I built a few years ago. Still have the old 500 body around here somewhere. This was when I was going through my big neck phase.
http://www.suddenlink.net/pages/robj38/album/Variax Transplant -- 500.00/index.html
This may be totally true when played through a generic amp at low volume (never done it with a Variax), but personal experience with 11R and amplified up to ear splitting levels the Variax is awesome. Pushing a lot of air makes up for deficiencies I'd suppose.
Reliability is a factor. If you gig with it I think you should have two. I had two variax guitars and one flaked out. I trust the Variax as far as I can throw it, but same as 11R, I have two for that reason. Blowing fuses with a tube amp is easy, bring fuses and have replacement tubes. The new JTV models evidently from some reports sound "better" but from the LINE 6 literature and posts there's no difference in the modeling from the 300/500/700 to the newer JTV.
The 300 felt like a toy; Crappy fretjob, horrible playability. If you enjoy any techniques featuring palm muting (which are numerous,) the artifacts/ringing-weirdness you get is a huge nuisance.
Now the 700 felt like a REAL, quality guitar, nice fretwork, nice feeling neck.
This is one guy's opinion of course.
If I were using a Variax in an orchestra pit for theater, I'd want to have a duplicate handy. Same for any live work, I'd say. But that applies for the entire rig.