Hello Twangboy, based upon my understanding. Line 6 commissioned a custom version of the LR Baggs X Tremolo Bridge for the Vaviax 600/700 guitars. Similar in many ways to a strat Tremolo bridge, except the twang bar can move up and down. As to the quality and comparison of these two Guitars, bridge stability and whatnots. I myself have only gleaned a small piece info pertaining my to friends Variax 700. He had trouble with a loose whammy bar and the fix was to insert a nylon bushing into the whammy bar bridge hole and then to insert the whammy bar which solved the problem for time being. Do more research, use a hands on approach, beware of online purchasing, choose wisely and Good Luck...ZANDRU
The 300 and 600 guts are identical... the 700 is different. I have a 600 with the whammy bar... nice, but...
- You can only dive bomb or raise the pitch so much and the sound cuts out because of the string contact with the bridge.
- The metal cage around the circuit board (much like 300s) occasionally grounds out on the circuit board due to temperature or humidity, however shielding (even minimal) helps greatly.
- Nice guitars, but if you can swing it... the 700 is better... I just couldn't afford one at the time.
- The set screw that holds the whammy bar in is in an awkward place and can fall out. It's the same size as the bridge screws, so get a bunch from Line 6 if you can.
- As with all of the 1st generation the 12 string tuning ability is poor at best. You can't capo, or open tune any 12 strings... just change the pitch of the unison strings. IMHO worthless...
Other than that... a nice guitar
Hey, there. I own two Variax 700 electrics and use them almost exclusively now. "Blue" is serial number 00000001 (that's right, ONE), and "Red" was made a few years later. Very minor differences between them. Mostly, these are really great, playable guitars. Here's some of my experience, for what it's worth (thank you, Mssr. Stills):
Regarding the setscrew for the tremelo arm, I've noticed from these forums that many users have experienced loss of the setscrew, which then causes a very loosely hanging whammy bar. I talked w/ Line6 support but they don't stock parts like this.
You can order a set of 20 setscrews from fastener-express.com (include the dash in their address) for less than $10 including shipping. These are M3x0.5x3mm set screws with cup points. Their part number is 32098. These buggers are VERY small, but if you can manage to wrap just a tiny bit of Teflon plumber's tape around the threads, they should stay put for you.
Regarding use of the whammy bar on 700's: I do very little dive-bombing, more of the Gilmour-type of note-wavering. I went to my local guitar shop, bought ONE extra spring for the tremelo and installed it. When you go from 3 to 4 springs, the positions of the springs need to be changed from 1-3-5 to 1-2-4-5 to keep it balanced. It makes the whammy-bar more firm, but even with HEAVY bending, the 700 has stayed in almost perfect tune. I couldn't be more pleased with that.
There's a fairly rare problem with the model-select knob, and the solution is simple & free. You may notice the 700 doesn't change from one model to another sometimes when you rotate the knob one click ... or, maybe you rotate it several clicks and the modeling is one position off from the knob indication. I had presumed the potentiometer had gone bad and lived with this problem for several weeks until receiving and swapping out a new pot. Turns out, that's not the root-cause. See my document in the Variax Guitars documents:
If you acquire a 700 electric, I think you'll love it!
wow! serial no. 1?!?!?! thats awesome. Hoping i can find one as soon as the IRS check comes back. The 700 sounds like the way to go.
Thanks for all the info and time, i really appreciate it.
OK, so I stumbled upon a sunburst 600 a few months ago.Love it. Changed out the tuners for Hipshot lockers like on the JTVs. So far it's rock solid.
The guitar had the bag, bar, wrenches, pilots handbook, XPS AB and PS, gigbag, TRS AND VDI cables. Looked to have never been played.
PLUS, the store had another bag, full of the same goodies for a blue 600 that somehow got out of the store without its bag and all. So, I went back the next week (they promised to hold it for me for $50 bucks) and according to the guy that owns the place, Jeff Cook from Alabama came in the Monday after I bought the guitar looking to buy it. I say BS, as you'd think that a guy that played on 31 No. 1 country hits could call up Marcus Ryle and have him send out one of each the JTVs in return for endorsements. lol.
Anyway, I much prefer the maple board on the 600 and the beef of the maple neck. Play it every day, on the platform on Wednesday night and Sunday morning through either an X3 Live or the recent Xt Live i picked up at a pawn shop for $75 with no PS. (now i have several thanks to the extra gig bag and all goodies)
I appreciate all the info and i still want to find a 700 one day.
Yeah i am a total Line 6 freak. Love the thought and the execution behind their stuff.
(Would be MORE THAN HAPPY to try out a 700 or JTV in return for my (lol) unbiased opinion and do an article comparing/contrasting the old vs. new Variaxes.
I have a bit of history as a writer for 20th Century Guitar magazine for the series of articles called "Forgotten Guilds" #nowimbegging)
Thanks to Line 6 and all you guys here are my lifeline to info and support on these great things.