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Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by variaxlover on 2009-03-12 10:39:22

This is a thread that was starting to bear fruit on the old forum, so I'm reposting it here.  By "fruit", I mean that we obtained more hints about which luthier it might be, with a strong rumor stating that it would be James Tyler.  Here's the original "question":

Like many of you I've been dying for any tidbit of information I can get about the possible next generation Variax. Well, I did a little detective work and thought I would share my "findings".

There was a rumor on Harmony Central a couple months ago about the next generation Variax. It was from someone who claimed to have some inside info, and he said:

"The guitar itself is being designed and built in collaboration with a major LA luthier, and it will be a boutique quality instrument."

So I looked up the "official Line 6 survey" that was sent out last May, and lo and behold, it had a section about boutique manufacturers. Here's the question:

"How likely are you to consider buying an electric guitar from the following boutique guitar makers?

Heritage Guitars - http://www.heritageguitar.com/
Tom Anderson - http://www.andersonguitars.com/
James Tyler - http://www.tylerguitars.com/index2.html
Don Grosch - http://www.groshguitars.com/
Steve Klein - http://www.kleinguitars.com/
James Trussart - http://www.jamestrussart.com/
Patrice Vigier - http://www.vigierguitars.com/
Roger Sadowsky - http://www.sadowsky.com/
Robin Guitars - http://www.robinguitars.com/
John Suhr - http://www.suhrguitars.com/
Warrior Guitars - http://www.warriorinstruments.com/
Tony Zemaitis - http://www.zemaitis.net/ "

I clicked on the links thoughtfully provided by Line 6 to find out which of these are in (or near) L.A. -- and came up with a much shorter list:

Tom Anderson Guitars (Newbury Park, CA)
James Tyler Guitars (Van Nuys, CA)
James Trussart Guitars (Los Angeles, CA)
John Suhr Guitars (Lake Elsinore, CA)

So, to my mind at least, the evidence seems to say that the Variax II is (probably) being designed and built by one of these four luthiers!

Remembering that the Harmony Central writer said it was a "major LA luthier", which of these four would you say fit that category? Certainly Anderson does, but I don't know enough about the others to say . . .

Your comments?



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by Data on 2009-03-13 12:41:31

I personally love Paul Reed Smith guitars so I wish Line 6 would work with them.  I am currently playing in our church's worship band with a Variax 500 and sometimes my PRS.  I love being able to switch keys with the Variax without having to transpose on the fly.   We have re-auditions coming up because our church has grown so much.  Now we have plenty of new guitar players and some of us old timers may be "put out to pasture".  Actually, I'm not worrying about it.  I'm sure God has plans for me to continue playing somewhere in some capacity.

Data



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by Ed_Dixon on 2009-03-13 17:18:14

The concept of re-auditions for church music can be very difficult and sometimes destructive.  Among other things, it sets a precident for "out with the OK and dedicated, and in with the better".  Once you go down that road, it's difficult to get back to what you had before.

Ed



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by eatswodo on 2009-03-13 20:43:02

Data, Ed - interesting discussion.

You may want to take a peek over here - http://www.developingworship.com/forum/



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by steeeeeeeeeevo on 2009-03-15 11:31:34

Tyler Guitars

Is what Ive heard, and they will have the high end market variaxis going for about $3000-$3500 US for the high end guitars.

Strat Type models with real pickups and at least 1 style LP model. I dont know anything about mid- low end model Variax.

They should be released Very Very very soon.

Thats what I heard but Line 6 would never tell us that them selves on this forum.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by eatswodo on 2009-03-15 11:46:33

So who told you?



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by steeeeeeeeeevo on 2009-03-15 11:59:54

I dont want to get anyone fired or laid off...........sorry.

L6 can figure that out themselves.

I might be able to provide more info next week if line 6 does not jump in on this thread.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by joetheguitarist on 2009-03-16 08:35:48

Ahhhh. . .  but they know where you live!

Seriously though, that's the kind of info we needed to hear.  Time to start saving up for that bad boy!

Sure hope it doesn't say this on the headstock:

LINE 6

VARIAX

VARIAX

VARIAX

VARIAX

VARIAX



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by ehackster on 2009-03-17 19:34:02

Hmmm...I like what I hear

What happened to these forums? is anyone getting used to it?

Steeeevo, what about the electronics on the new Variax? new technology, or same technology



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by variaxlover on 2009-03-18 08:20:02

I'm not steeeeeeeeeevo and I don't know for sure -- but for $3500 we better get LOTS of new technology!  Did you see the Variax II survey they sent out last May?  Going by that, I'm expecting Mag pickups, built-in wireless capabilities, several new models ( PRS, Ibanez JEM, ???), an LCD display w/built-in tuner and hopefully several other new features.  Here's part of the survey -- we'll see what actually makes it into the guitar:

How likely are each of the following improvements to make you want to buy a new Variax guitar?

2 Guitar Sounds at the same time (1 from magnetic pickups, 1 from Variax modeling pickups)

Addition of standard electric (magnetic) guitar pickups

Automatic tuning to keep your guitar ‘in-tune’    

Longer battery life                    

Built-in rechargeable batteries                    

Guitar effects—such as distortion, delay or reverb—built into the guitar                    

Connect wirelessly to your computer to customize your guitar settings                    

Built-in LCD display to show guitar model names                    

Built-in electronic guitar tuner                    

Generate non-guitar sounds (piano, drums, strings, synths and more) using your guitar                    

Built-in midi output (13-pin connector)                    

Wireless connection to other Line 6 products to control guitar model selections                    

Additional inputs, outputs, and connectors to the guitar                    

Fewer inputs, outputs, and connectors to the guitar                    

Improved Variax Workbench software                    

Alternate tunings available for every guitar model at the turn of a knob                    

Connect wireless to your live rig                    

Connect wirelessly to your computer for computer-based recording

-------------------------------------------------------------

Please rank the top 3 physical body styles you would be most likely to buy that include the sounds of other guitars.

Les Paul® style     

Charvel® / Jackson® style     

Gibson® 335 style     

Telecaster® style     

Gretsch® 6120 style     

Jazzmaster® / Jaguar® style     

Stratocaster® style     

B.C. Rich® style     

Airline / Danelectro® / Silvertone® style     

Ibanez® style 

----------------------------------------------------------------

Please rank the Top 5 guitar sounds you would like accessible at the turn of a knob.


Note: Please assume that each model below provides the standard pickup selector positions for the type of guitar below. For example, the Les Paul Standard model has 2 humbucker pickups with neck, bridge and split choices.

Rickenbacker® 360-12 String     

Fender® Telecaster®     

Martin® 000-28     

Japanese Shamisen     

PRS® McCarty®     

Dobro® Alumilite      

Gibson® SG Standard     

Gibson® ES® 335      

Mandola     

Gibson® J-200      

National Style 2 "Tricone"     

Gibson® J45     

Martin® D-28      

Gibson® SJ® 200     

EVH® Frankenstein     

Epiphone® Casino      

Jackson® SL1 Soloist     

Ibanez® Jem     

Indian Sitar     

Gretsch® Silver Jet      

Gibson® Super 400      

Gibson® Firebird V      

Gretsch® 6120      

Gibson® Mastertone Banjo      

Music Man® Luke     

Gibson® Les Paul® Standard     

Fender® Stratocaster®     

Rickenbacker® 360      

Danelectro®



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by ehackster on 2009-03-18 16:08:38

looking at that list, I would pay 3K for a guitar that have all of these features

The only technology that tunes itself as far as I am aware is the Tronical one (used on the Gibsons Robots) ad this is 1k by itself.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by ct400b1 on 2009-03-19 17:38:08

I have heard several rumors about the new Variax.  I personally voted for the Les Paul body.  I had hoped that PRS would be involved.  I'm not too familliar with Tyler guitars and would question the availability of such a guitar.  Does Tyler guitars have the resources to build enough guitars to meet the demand in a timely manner?  I know PRS does.  As for the Tyler headstock I say YUCK!!!.  However the headstock does not make a great guitar, and playability is number 1 on my list of requirements.  Also, I hope they use another piezo manufacturer because every one of my V-axes have issues with the volume at the piezo ( I have to tap on them to make them come to life).  The only other thing I hope they offer is a body with a comfort contour at the top.  I have been really dissapointed with my PRS Mira because it's just too darn sharp along the edge which is the case with all PRS guitars made in the US.  Hopefully we will get an answer to all of our questions in short order cause' Line 6 has left us hanging for far too long.  Did I mention that Tyler headstock is.............

UGLY

UGLY

UGLY

TYLER

UGLY

UGLY

UGLY



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by Mr_Arkadin on 2009-03-19 18:03:31

For three grand i would want a headstock i could live with, not that ugly fugger.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by variaxlover on 2009-03-20 14:57:09

Saw a Tyler last night on the Jimmy Fallon show -- it was some country band so I didn't pay much attention, but the guitar sounded pretty good.  It looked like a sunburst Strat except for the weird headstock, but it wasn't as bad as some of those on the Tyler website.  I think this one only said "Tyler" once, in cursive.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by ehackster on 2009-03-20 15:48:15

I just looked at the neck...

Whoaaa what an abomination!!

If the VariaxII comes with *this* neck, no matter how gadegety it is, I am NOT buying it...itis really THAT ugly.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by variaxlover on 2009-03-20 15:54:04

I would still buy it, but then I'd swap out the neck for something that looks more normal.  For example, I have a really nice Eden neck on my "Baby Blue" 600.

Then you could bolt the Tyler neck on any old Strat and sell it for big bucks.  (just kidding!)



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by TheRealZap on 2009-03-21 10:12:40

one ugly headstock! same guy must have designed the ugly pickguard on the current version



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by Mr_Arkadin on 2009-03-21 12:52:58

variaxlover wrote:

I would still buy it, but then I'd swap out the neck for something that looks more normal.

Hhhmmm, for three grand i would expect the headstock i wanted. i have to say i was even put off the original Variax because i thought it looked a bit 'vanilla'. i only got one once the price dropped to £260, so i thought i'd give it a go at that price as i wouldn't lose out if i hated it. i love it but still never use it live because i'm worried about failure (it's a 300).



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by ct400b1 on 2009-03-21 13:01:14

Since I am definately a part of the popular opinion on the headstock, I would like to remind everyone that Line 6 is really good at keeping secrets and we might be pleasantly suprised when they do come out.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by eatswodo on 2009-03-21 19:02:41

Exactly. This whole thing is silly.

You're all bleating about the aesthetics of a headstock from a particular guitar maker. The only connection between that guitar maker and Line 6 (that we know of, or that anyone is admitting to) is geographical location.

Yet, after all the time that everyone has been clamouring for the mythical Variax 2, there seem to be many folks out there prepared to write it off before it even exists, because the headstock might look funny.

What happened to all the enthusiasm and clamouring for new features? You're prepared to write that off for something that doesn't look like a Strat?

Silly.

I suspect it has much more to do with the fact that if said maker is the hypothetical producer of the mythical Variax 2, most of you are have no intention of coughing up $3000+ for any guitar, let alone a Variax.

I think the standard PRS headstock looks way dumber than Tyler's. What's with those stupid girly pointy bits?



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by Mr_Arkadin on 2009-03-22 03:29:55

eatswodo wrote:


I suspect it has much more to do with the fact that if said maker is the hypothetical producer of the mythical Variax 2, most of you are have no intention of coughing up $3000+ for any guitar, let alone a Variax.

Well yes i probably wouldn't spend that much on a Variax with a crappy headstock - i mean for that money i could get a custom guitar that looked exactly like i want it to and have my luthier install the Variax components. A stock guitar (ie. one whose features you cannot specify) that doesn't meet your own aesthetics isn't going to sell at luthier prices - well not to me anyways.

Oh, and i hate Strats btw.

Sorry for the continued bleating. i shall try to bleat less in future.

Yours bleatingly,

Mr Bleater from Bleatersville.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by variaxlover on 2009-03-22 08:28:45

If the new Variax has even HALF the features mentioned in the survey, has a maple top and is made in the USA, I'll spend $3500 for one -- regardless of the headstock.  No maple top -- somewhat less.  I might have to scrimp and save, and maybe sell some of my other guitars, but I think it would be worth it.  Just in the past 2 weeks I've spent $2400 on 3 guitars which I could easily sell on eBay for $3600, so there ya go -- it's covered.  It's great to be single and not have to get permission from "the boss" whenever a deal pops up.

By the way, one of those guitars is a sunburst Variax 600 that I got for only $275 (minus the neck).  Thank you eBay!  I had a spare 600 neck anyway, so now it's a player.

Mr. (Bleater) Arkadin -- don't worry about any bleating.  We can't hear you from here.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by eatswodo on 2009-03-22 17:05:18

You've reinforced the point I was trying to make.

That is, there has been lots of clamouring for new features for an updated Variax. Assuming it ever appears with a decent subset of those new features, rejecting it because you don't like the shape of the headstock is just silly.

I think what's far more worthy of discussion is this:

IF Line 6 is heading in this 'boutique' direction, they appear to have concluded that there is no mass market for the Variax.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by Mr_Arkadin on 2009-03-23 02:26:16

Line 6 creating using a boutique maker does not preclude there being a cheaper mass model now does it? And seeing the general loathing for the headstock i would think Mr Tyler would address that on all his models, i mean if you had three grand to spend on any guitar would you choose a butt ugly one (i'm talking regular, not Variax) or would you think - hey i can get ANY guitar with this amount of money?

Anyway, sorry for having an opinion on aesthetics, as that counts as bleating apparently. i bow to your greater view, which is of course correct.

What if the only model was this btw:

http://www.gibson.com/Promotions/ReverseFlyingV/  .



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by eatswodo on 2009-03-23 06:12:32

Mr_Arkadin wrote:

Anyway, sorry for having an opinion on aesthetics, as that counts as bleating apparently. i bow to your greater view, which is of course correct.

You're taking this way too personally. My opinions, like yours, are just opinions. Take them or leave them.

What if the only model was this btw:

http://www.gibson.com/Promotions/ReverseFlyingV/ .

What an abomination. No wonder Gibson's in trouble.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by variaxlover on 2009-03-23 13:41:22

Eatswodo, can you elaborate on the statement that "Gibson's in trouble"?  I agree about the styling of many of their latest creations -- they are just plain ugly and WAYYYYY overpriced.  Seems Gibson has lost touch with what the public wants.  But I hadn't heard of them being in any trouble (I assume you mean financially) so I'd like to hear more about that.  Thanks!

p.s. what does your username mean?  just curious . . .



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by eatswodo on 2009-03-23 13:53:20

Happy to oblige - check this out:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090321/BUSINESS01/903210325

Maybe I should have included a smiley - there's no real reason that Gibson should be any more immune to the current economic conditions than anyone else. In fact, given that a guitar is a discretionary purchase for most people, it's perhaps surprising that we haven't heard of more layoffs around the industry.

However, if they really think that upside down Flying Vs represent the pinnacle of the luthier's art, they might have only themselves to blame...

'eatswodo' is a typo. Many years ago, I worked with a colleague who just could not type my name correctly. 'eatswodo' was the most memorable version, and I've used it ever since. And no, I'm no relation to Clint.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by mortega76 on 2009-03-24 15:19:39

What they have to do is make a Variax geared for Rock/Metal users as well... I had a Variax 500 and I absolutely hated the clanging chime I got when I palm muted the Variax. Horrible, just horrible. Please make one that doesn't clank like the crappy Variax 500. Maybe if they had the piezo pickups on the bridge like the T-Bridge from LR Braggs. If it does great natural palm mutes then I'm sold!

<a target=new href=http://www.lrbaggs.com/html/products/images/tbridge_header.jpg" class="jive-image" src="http://www.lrbaggs.com/html/products/images/tbridge_header.jpg"/>



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by Mr_Arkadin on 2009-03-25 15:27:47

eatswodo wrote:

Mr_Arkadin wrote:

Anyway, sorry for having an opinion on aesthetics, as that counts as bleating apparently. i bow to your greater view, which is of course correct.

You're taking this way too personally. My opinions, like yours, are just opinions. Take them or leave them.

What if the only model was this btw:

http://www.gibson.com/Promotions/ReverseFlyingV/ .

What an abomination. No wonder Gibson's in trouble

Don't worry, i wasn't that upset - i just think that people having contrary views to your own shouldn't be referred to as 'bleating'. Nice to see you have a limit on aesthetics - could even you argue that the Variax II's technology was so great you could overlook that monstrosity?



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by eatswodo on 2009-03-25 15:39:17

Mr_Arkadin wrote:

Don't worry, i wasn't that upset - i just think that people having contrary views to your own shouldn't be referred to as 'bleating'.

Fair enough...

Nice to see you have a limit on aesthetics - could even you argue that the Variax II's technology was so great you could overlook that monstrosity?

No, not 'even I' could overlook that.  I'd be embarrassed to be associated with anything that looked quite that stupid.

At least I could take a hacksaw to a Tyler-shaped headstock if it really bothered me



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by eatswodo on 2009-03-25 15:40:30

Are you aware that the current Variax already has a Baggs bridge with piezos embedded in the saddles?



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by mortega76 on 2009-03-25 16:37:15

I thought the pic would have better explained it but I guess what I'm asking for is a Les Paul Tune-o-Matic Bridge with a separate tail piece. The problem with my Variax was that nasty "clanking" whenever I tried to palm mute... maybe it's the cheap metal... I'm not sure, but it always sounded like a hollow clank.

If they decided to stick with the one piece, maybe if they used the same one from the Ibanez RG 7CST...



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by eatswodo on 2009-03-25 17:15:09

mortega76 wrote:

I thought the pic would have better explained it but I guess what I'm asking for is a Les Paul Tune-o-Matic Bridge with a separate tail piece. The problem with my Variax was that nasty "clanking" whenever I tried to palm mute... maybe it's the cheap metal... I'm not sure, but it always sounded like a hollow clank.

Ah, now I understand. I suspect you'd find the same thing with the tune-o-matic style. The problem is that when you palm mute, you're interfering with the way the piezo 'hears' the string, and that can result in unwanted noises. I don't believe it has anything to do with the metal.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by variaxlover on 2009-04-09 14:27:14

It's been over two weeks since anyone posted to this forum, but I wanted to "bump" it in case there is any news about the Variax II.  We are now pretty sure that James Tyler is making it, and of course the burning question is "when will it come out"? 

I'd especially like to appeal to my friend Line6Renken to pass on some hints, as he has so graciously done before (intentionally or otherwise).  ;^)  If you don't have a "release date" yet, maybe you can tell us about any new features we can expect . . .  or which body styles we'll see . . .  or any other tantalizing morsels you can toss to us salivating dogs out here . . . 

I have worked 168 hours in the past two weeks and when I receive tomorrow's paycheck I will have that $3500 cash in hand (the previously mentioned [speculative] price of the Variax II).  If it's less I'll buy a POD X3 Pro to go with it.  C'mon Line 6 -- we're all waiting!



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by steeeeeeeeeevo on 2009-04-09 21:20:36

I am thinking mabey heard somthing about june or july . It was a while ago when  I spoke with my source

I want L6 to take there time...we dont need another X3L .

Who wants to pay for something that is not compleatly fuctional anyway.

I gigged around the last year with a 90% functional X3L, Its in the shop now , warrenty is done and its gonna cost me $150 for the repairs.

My new live rig is really good and reliable but it cost about $2500 more than the X3L (Mesa 2:90 not included).

I hope the USB Dropout issue is working when the X3L comes back from repair because I will likley only use X3L

for practice/recording ideas at home.

I dont want to waist a bunch of time updating or trying to figure out why a piece of gear is not working the way it should right out of the box.

Cheers



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by RichRenken on 2009-04-09 23:38:19

I cannot talk about any of that. I can't wait to. But with all products, you just never know what may or may not happen. Here at Line 6 there is a really great balance between business and artistry. We all want to be sure we ride out the storm that is the economy and we want to make kick butt products for musicians. Like M13. Hang in there, the minute I am ok'd to talk, you can bet I will. Thanks for the positive vibes.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by starman on 2009-04-12 22:16:01

Hi

My name is Matt, I live in New Zealand, I have had a POD xtLive for a few years and secveral other PODs strategically located around the city for backup.

After playing the Variax thru the Pod and into the DAW in the studio for a few days I can't go back to my other guitars, they sound kinda crap .... EEEEK!

Mad keen to hear about another Variax with more modern features. Is there a mailing list to get on? Never saw the "survey" above and keen to take part in any more.

Will new Variaxs be shipped all over the planet?

Peace and Love

Matt



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by variaxlover on 2009-04-13 14:36:18

steeeeeeeeeevo wrote:

"Who wants to pay for something that is not compleatly fuctional anyway."

That's a new word to me -- "fuctional" -- but I know exactly what you mean.  As I get older, there is one part of my body that's not always "compleatly fuctional".  Thank god for those little blue pills . . .

But seriously -- would I buy a Variax II even knowing that it wasn't completely functional?  Yes!  Dammit Jim, I'm a pioneer, and I always have to have the latest and greatest toy, even though, like many pioneers, I end up with an arrow in my back.  At least I'll get to try out all the cool new sounds, "fuctions" and features.  And I'll trust Line 6 to provide a fix for anything that isn't 100% functional.  I have heard about the POD X3 Live problems but I think the Variax II will be different.  It's going to be a flagship product -- you can bet yer @$$ on that -- so I expect them to keep us (customers) happy.

I'll bet a million bucks that it's undergoing rigorous testing right now, and they're shaking out as many bugs as possible.  Yes, we guitarists will find several more after it's released, and they'll provide patches.  That's how it works nowadays, and I don't have a problem with being a beta tester or a pioneer.



Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
by devaguag on 2009-04-23 19:28:20

Just saw this in the line 6 jobs currently available

http://www.line6.com/company/jobs/198

Its a job as the "Director of Guitar Manufacturing" located in - Calabasas

The succsessful applicant would "participate in ideation and direction of guitar product line and identify additional opportunities for expanding and enhancing the Line 6 guitar line."

they want

  • 5+ working with Chinese vendors to develop and bring to market cost-effective guitar projects.
  • Experience with low -to-medium volume guitar manufacturing in the USA and Asia.
  • and

  • Ability to travel to Asia and other locations as often as necessary, as much as 50% or more of time.
  • The above implies that the guitar would be built overseas.

    I have a feeling it could just be a guitar designed by james tyler.. then manufactured overseas..

    like the whole spider valve thing.. designed by bogner.. but built overseas..

    Do you really think they would charge

    $3500 for a guitar made outside of the US?



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by eatswodo on 2009-04-23 20:24:53

    devaguag wrote:

    Do you really think they would charge

    $3500 for a guitar made outside of the US?

    No. That would be profoundly silly - assuming outside the US means in China, Korea, or somewhere similar.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by steeeeeeeeeevo on 2009-04-23 20:28:08

    I refuze to buy anything from China ........Japan Mabey



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by jdenkevitz on 2009-04-24 02:24:48
    • Quality has dramatically improved in regards to many korean and chinese guitar manufacturers. My Epiphone Masterbilt AJ500RENS is a really well made guitar (chinese).
    • The quality will depend on line 6 establishing proper oversight. 


    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by starman on 2009-04-24 03:37:50

    Yeah "Asia" is a pretty big place, lots of different countries and cultures and amazing tecnology, how many people here have travelled extensively to Hong Kong for instance, or Japan, it always blows me away how far ahead they are in technology compared to Western society, Europe/Australia/America etc. For me I have been well impressed with the quality of all the line6 gear so far, it isn't manufactured in my country, but it still kicks arse. I don't care if it is made in North America, South America, Australia, Asia, Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Africa, South Pacific, North Pole - it is about what quality standard is being set as a benchmark and whether quality control standards are put in place isn't it?

    Looks like they are getting ready to start cranking them out, and gearing up a team to make it happen - get the materials right the electronics right, the componentry right, set 'em up straight, get 'em out to us, we can take it from there!

    Sweet as guys, can't wait to get one or two.....



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by devaguag on 2009-04-24 13:01:25

    Ha!...sorry boys I was'nt implying cheap quality... I'm from Australia and all of my guitars have been made overseas...

    Infact my guitar tech just set up my variax 500 and was incredibly suprised at how easy it was for him to do a setup.. he had no issues with the guitar at all.

    I think i might ditch my gretsch tonight and use my variax at my gig

    I just doubt it'll be at the $3500 price point some people have said its gonna be.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by jdenkevitz on 2009-04-25 02:14:11

    Theres no way it will be anywhere near 3500. That would be suicided. Look at line 6's demographic. Im sure they want to expand their sales base from how the variax performed. Its likely they will have several models covering different price points.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 16:05:47

    ehackster wrote:

    Hmmm...I like what I hear

    What happened to these forums? is anyone getting used to it?

    Steeeevo, what about the electronics on the new Variax? new technology, or same technology

    Product Manager for the Variax here. Tis I your lowly M13 Product Manager. I am working on the future of Variax. And the future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.

    I can't go into to much at this point. But we are revamping the electronics. There are going to be some great new features. We are going to be removing things that were a problem. We are going to be adding things and features to make the user experience much more pleasant.

    All do respect to Steeeevo, some of his info is incorrect, some of it is dead on. I have asked him to hold off on details until I cut loose.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 16:30:36

    See my comments below after =============

    ct400b wrote:

    I have heard several rumors about the new Variax.  I personally voted for the Les Paul body.  I had hoped that PRS would be involved.  I'm not too familliar with Tyler guitars and would question the availability of such a guitar.  Does Tyler guitars have the resources to build enough guitars to meet the demand in a timely manner?  I know PRS does.

    ========= I can neither confirm or deny if Tyler is our partner at this point. But I must let you know, this guitar is going to be built in its very own custom shop to our partner's spec with them doing overview inspections. Not to mention that every single one will be inspected by me. I built guitars for 7 years with James Tyler, and I spent 10 years at Fernandes Guitars. I ran my own business doing repairs for a bit. I have worked on major guitar player's guitars to their delight and have guys even today beg me to set up their instruments. These will be amazing instruments.

    As for the Tyler headstock I say YUCK!!!.  However the headstock does not make a great guitar, and playability is number 1 on my list of requirements.

    ========= Hey, ease up on the YUCK.... One persons ugly is another person's beauty... Take a look at the players who play and love those guitars. Once you feel one and fall in love, suddenly a funny thing happens, you grow to love the headstock, like a badge of honor. I know that because I worked Tyler over when I first met him 23 years ago and I was buying a Kubicki Factor from him. I saw Neil Stubenhaus' bass hanging in his shop and said. Man, that is ugly. Who makes that, he said. "That would be me" I felt like an a$$. He was gracious enough to not smack me. But I eventually ended up playing one of his 5 string basses and I love the headstock now.

    ===== That said, whoever our partner is, is designing the guitars for us with some guidelines from us. It will be branded "partner" and "variax" but they will be new designs to the world. So it wouldn't be Jim's headstock anyway if he were our partner. Plus, no one we partner with would give his trademark headstock to us anyway. So remain calm for now.

    Also, I hope they use another piezo manufacturer because every one of my V-axes have issues with the volume at the piezo ( I have to tap on them to make them come to life).

    ========= Our partner has designed two new bridges from the ground up and we are reworking the entire piezo part. Will have details soon.

    The only other thing I hope they offer is a body with a comfort contour at the top.  I have been really dissapointed with my PRS Mira because it's just too darn sharp along the edge which is the case with all PRS guitars made in the US. 

    ===== At the moment our plan is to have a few different models that will appeal to different players. Can't give details but one thing I convinced Line 6 to do was to not try and make one guitar for everyone. But make specific guitars for specific needs.

    Hopefully we will get an answer to all of our questions in short order cause' Line 6 has left us hanging for far too long.  Did I mention that Tyler headstock is.............

    ===== Again, please don't be unkind.

    UGLY

    UGLY

    UGLY

    TYLER

    UGLY

    UGLY

    UGLY



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 16:33:27

    Mr_Arkadin wrote:

    For three grand i would want a headstock i could live with, not that ugly fugger.

    Actually, that is a funny thing to say. You don't get to tell Ferrari what logo to put on their car just because you pay $650,000.

    But, again, our new instruments will have their own unique identity.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 16:36:46

    ehackster wrote:

    I just looked at the neck...

    Whoaaa what an abomination!!

    If the VariaxII comes with *this* neck, no matter how gadegety it is, I am NOT buying it...itis really THAT ugly.

    Also, it is a whole other experience in real life. But again, the new Variax is its own thing.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 16:39:10

    Mr_Arkadin wrote:

    variaxlover wrote:

    I would still buy it, but then I'd swap out the neck for something that looks more normal.

    Hhhmmm, for three grand i would expect the headstock i wanted. i have to say i was even put off the original Variax because i thought it looked a bit 'vanilla'.

    Again, see Ferrari comment.

    But this made me smile. Tyler's totally original headstock is not for you but you also don't want Vanilla...    hhhhmmmmmm.......



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 16:43:12

    eatswodo wrote:

    Exactly. This whole thing is silly.

    You're all bleating about the aesthetics of a headstock from a particular guitar maker. The only connection between that guitar maker and Line 6 (that we know of, or that anyone is admitting to) is geographical location.

    Yet, after all the time that everyone has been clamouring for the mythical Variax 2, there seem to be many folks out there prepared to write it off before it even exists, because the headstock might look funny.

    What happened to all the enthusiasm and clamouring for new features? You're prepared to write that off for something that doesn't look like a Strat?

    Silly.

    I suspect it has much more to do with the fact that if said maker is the hypothetical producer of the mythical Variax 2, most of you are have no intention of coughing up $3000+ for any guitar, let alone a Variax.

    I think the standard PRS headstock looks way dumber than Tyler's. What's with those stupid girly pointy bits?

    Well said my friend...

    I have friends who love their Tyler's headstock and hate PRS guitars all together. I have always enjoyed PRS, I think he is great at what he does.

    P.S. I was building custom guitars with Tyler a year before PRS started building in his attic. Don't dog on Tyler too much until you get to know what he has done.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 16:44:40

    Mr_Arkadin wrote:

    eatswodo wrote:


    I suspect it has much more to do with the fact that if said maker is the hypothetical producer of the mythical Variax 2, most of you are have no intention of coughing up $3000+ for any guitar, let alone a Variax.

    Well yes i probably wouldn't spend that much on a Variax with a crappy headstock - i mean for that money i could get a custom guitar that looked exactly like i want it to and have my luthier install the Variax components. A stock guitar (ie. one whose features you cannot specify) that doesn't meet your own aesthetics isn't going to sell at luthier prices - well not to me anyways.

    Oh, and i hate Strats btw.

    Sorry for the continued bleating. i shall try to bleat less in future.

    Yours bleatingly,

    Mr Bleater from Bleatersville.

    Bleat away. I love to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. Especially the bad and ugly because those opinions help to change things for the better most of the time.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 16:56:47

    I think what's far more worthy of discussion is this:

    IF Line 6 is heading in this 'boutique' direction, they appear to have concluded that there is no mass market for the Variax.

    Actually quite the opposite we want to look to the future and step up to the plate and become a major contender. The company had great success as far as sales of the Variax guitars, and great success in the buzz they created but how many have you seen on TV or with pro live acts. Compared to the tens of thousands that are out there, nil. We did not capture the artist, pro players, pro session cats, semi pro cats. So we didn't really create a legacy. So the buzz slowed. But you guys here know the power of Variax. It is quite shocking and in my opinion as a non drinking the kool-aid product manager, I think that the Variax modeling is some of the best modeling we have done. To scrape the strings on the banjo and hear the paper drum. Huh? That is wacky. But that proves that with the 175 you are getting body resonance. That is truly amazing. And yes, we are stepping it up in many ways.

    So yes, we want to head in the "boutique" direction but only in the sense that at one point in time Gibson and Fender were boutique. Back in the 60's you could buy a Strat for $300 and that was premium. If you wanted cheap you went to sears and got a $50 guitar. And PRS, he was building guitars in his attic in 1985 and now has all different price points and models, but he established himself as a serious player back then.

    Line 6 did not establish themselves as a serious guitar company. My goal is to change all of that, and the company has really put a lot of faith in me to steer this boat. It is a bit scary, but the reactions I have gotten from the few people I have been able to share with has been overwhelming. We believe also that the future of guitar has to be modeling just like effects now are completely accepted as being digital and amps are starting to be completely accepted, eventually, modeling guitars will be as common. We started it and it is about time we step up and own it.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 18:39:57

    steeeeeeeeeevo wrote:

    I am thinking mabey heard somthing about june or july . I

    This guitar will be out when it is right. So no speculating.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 18:43:59

    devaguag wrote:

    Just saw this in the line 6 jobs currently available

    http://www.line6.com/company/jobs/198

    Its a job as the "Director of Guitar Manufacturing" located in - Calabasas

    The succsessful applicant would "participate in ideation and direction of guitar product line and identify additional opportunities for expanding and enhancing the Line 6 guitar line."

    they want

  • 5+ working with Chinese vendors to develop and bring to market cost-effective guitar projects.
  • Experience with low -to-medium volume guitar manufacturing in the USA and Asia.
  • and

  • Ability to travel to Asia and other locations as often as necessary, as much as 50% or more of time.
  • The above implies that the guitar would be built overseas.

    I have a feeling it could just be a guitar designed by james tyler.. then manufactured overseas..

    like the whole spider valve thing.. designed by bogner.. but built overseas..

    Do you really think they would charge

    $3500 for a guitar made outside of the US?

    Of course not. We have to be ready for all price points. I don't know if I personally would want to see a price point lower than $1,200. If you figure the guts are worth $500 - $600 street, then I think the Variax guts should not be in a guitar that is worth less than the guts. So a guitar that is $600 - $700 would be the cheapest instrument I would like to see it in. Does a beginner who has $600 to spend really want a modeling guitar? I don't see it. I think most of the 300 got transplanted or heavily modified by guys who understand what a 335 is or a 175.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 18:46:36

    Look at line 6's demographic. Im sure they want to expand their sales base from how the variax performed. Its likely they will have several models covering different price points.

    Exactly. So high end may be in the cards.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by eatswodo on 2009-04-30 19:20:19

    Oh boy, this is going to be fun.

    Mr. Renken - you've just thrown a lot of tasty red meat into the lions' pit There's a lot to digest here.

    One other thing occurs to me - the 600 might be quite a bargain right now, but a 700 might not be.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-04-30 19:51:04

    eatswodo wrote:

    Oh boy, this is going to be fun.

    Mr. Renken - you've just thrown a lot of tasty red meat into the lions' pit There's a lot to digest here.

    One other thing occurs to me - the 600 might be quite a bargain right now, but a 700 might not be.

    All I can say is we are heading off into a whole new land. So it will just be a different animal.

    But like Crusty Old Rocker states all the time. The new one is not going to make the old one suddenly not sound good.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by eatswodo on 2009-04-30 21:21:00

    Exactly.

    My 600 and XT Live will be no less functional, and no less amazing, when V2 arrives. Whether I lust after V2 depends entirely on how it matches up with my somewhat ill-defined needs.

    I'm fascinated to see what you guys come up with.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by eatswodo on 2009-04-30 21:26:58

    By the way, has anyone else been watching VG Strat prices lately?



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by ehackster on 2009-04-30 21:57:25

    No, are they dropping like a ton of brick?



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by ehackster on 2009-04-30 22:00:59

    Thanks for all the details you have given us Renken...

    I hope the emulation is a lot better than current Variax (not that it is that bad) and you have built-in wireless...and a LP shape, and an LCD screen, etc...

    If you need a beta tester, I am here for you



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-01 00:20:51

    eatswodo wrote:

    By the way, has anyone else been watching VG Strat prices lately?

    Yup. They are blowing them out.

    Any of you guys try one of those?

    I remember my people coming up to me at NAMM 07 and freakin out, "oh man, they are coming after. I went to watch the demo.

    For me.....

    +'s were in a "real" guitar, tuning on a knob, simple.

    -'s were only runs on batteries, only had strats and teles and acoustic, only 5 models, only 5 tunings, blue light, and the models just didn't sound good. The humbucker sounds to me like a single coil with the tone rolled off a bit. Since that time I messed around one to get to know it myself and had more than one cat mess with it and not get what they were thinking. The other big thing for me was all the latency when switching the 5 way on the model, changing models and tunings.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-01 00:24:14

    ehackster wrote:

    Thanks for all the details you have given us Renken...

    I hope the emulation is a lot better than current Variax (not that it is that bad) and you have built-in wireless...and a LP shape, and an LCD screen, etc...

    If you need a beta tester, I am here for you

    No prob.

    All I can say about the future for now is that we heard you guys. We may not get everything you want but we got a lot coming and we are going after getting you guys some of what you have wanted as Variax customers as well as going after the guys that we missed the first time around. If we get and keep the momentum, then we are going to get to go to all kinds of amazing places.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by ehackster on 2009-05-01 05:34:46

    Wow! some places selling them at 980$!

    Very tempting...

    But I could save this amount towards a the new Variax II

    Decisions, decisions...



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by eatswodo on 2009-05-01 05:58:03

    ehackster wrote:

    No, are they dropping like a ton of brick?

    Musician's Friend now has them on sale for $999.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by donfrantz on 2009-05-01 06:54:04

    Thanks for all the info Rich; having you in the equation makes the waiting process a lot more interesting. If you do for the Variax what you do for the M13 we're all going to be very happy. Thanks for being the best support guy. I wish the M13 had a Variax input, so I wouldn't need the Pod XTL. Maybe the new Variax will be powered differently...? And have a different interface system for getting at Workbench and storing custom models.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by mortega76 on 2009-05-01 09:27:32

    Please, please, please Line6Renken make the Variax a metal players dream... make palm muted notes sound natural... please, please, please!!! Make the nasty bridge clank go away! I just hated that cheap metal clank... I remember when I shelled out for the original Variax 500, I actually took my wife and new born child all the way to Austin (from San Antonio, TX) just to buy Guitar Center's only Variax 500 in stock... I convinced my wife by telling her... "Honey, this is going to be the last guitar I ever have to buy... it's the holy grail of guitars!" Only to find out during my first practice that it sounded like crap for palm mutes... very very disappointing... I even took it to my local Sam Ash and there I was hyping it up (before I had my first practice) as the better than sliced bread... I told the sales guy, "Let's compare it to a real MIM Strat and see how it compares..." well we first proceeded to plug in the Variax and he was running some licks on it and it sounded decent... then he proceeded to plug in the MIM Strat... and the sound was like night and day... the MIM Strat sounded 10x better... more alive... more of everything... Let down yet again. So I ask again... Please, Please, Please make the Variax sound "natural" and have great palm mutes.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-01 16:48:07

    donfrantz wrote:

    Thanks for all the info Rich; having you in the equation makes the waiting process a lot more interesting. If you do for the Variax what you do for the M13 we're all going to be very happy. Thanks for being the best support guy. I wish the M13 had a Variax input, so I wouldn't need the Pod XTL. Maybe the new Variax will be powered differently...? And have a different interface system for getting at Workbench and storing custom models.

    It will have VDI and TRS still. But as of now, it will be running on a rechargable lithium-ion battery. 10-14 hours of play time. If you roll down your volume, the guitar will go to sleep and perserve battery life.

    I am the Product Manager. I have a very different role than the support guys. Those guys are all better than I am at support.

    I am in here to hear from you guys. I am in here to let you know what is going on as soon as I can.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-01 16:52:14

    Palm muting is a problem. We are working on some ideas. You guys know what we are up against. It is a problem of using the piezos.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by eatswodo on 2009-05-01 17:06:25

    Line6Renken wrote:

    donfrantz wrote:

    Thanks for all the info Rich; having you in the equation makes the waiting process a lot more interesting. If you do for the Variax what you do for the M13 we're all going to be very happy. Thanks for being the best support guy. I wish the M13 had a Variax input, so I wouldn't need the Pod XTL. Maybe the new Variax will be powered differently...? And have a different interface system for getting at Workbench and storing custom models.

    It will have VDI and TRS still. But as of now, it will be running on a rechargable lithium-ion battery. 10-14 hours of play time. If you roll down your volume, the guitar will go to sleep and perserve battery life.

    I am the Product Manager. I have a very different role than the support guys. Those guys are all better than I am at support.

    I am in here to hear from you guys. I am in here to let you know what is going on as soon as I can.

    I like what I'm hearing so far.

    In addition to VDI and TRS, I hope there's USB in there too - or, as Don says, a different way of being able to get to Workbench. It's really sad that you have to buy extra hardware to do it with the current models.

    Heck, if those ripoff merchants at Behringer can put a USB interface into a $120 CrapStrat copy, I'm sure Line 6 can



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by McBrain on 2009-05-01 17:41:43

    This sounds amazing!

    Crossing my fingers for set neck singlecut(ish) model.

    But dang I hope they make it with a 24.75" scale. If not, it's a no-go for me...

    And if they don't, they hopefully stick with the standard strat neck pocket on the bolt-ons, so it's still possible to replace the neck with a Warmoth 24.75" scale conversion neck.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-01 18:15:42

    eatswodo wrote:

    Line6Renken wrote:

    donfrantz wrote:

    Thanks for all the info Rich; having you in the equation makes the waiting process a lot more interesting. If you do for the Variax what you do for the M13 we're all going to be very happy. Thanks for being the best support guy. I wish the M13 had a Variax input, so I wouldn't need the Pod XTL. Maybe the new Variax will be powered differently...? And have a different interface system for getting at Workbench and storing custom models.

    It will have VDI and TRS still. But as of now, it will be running on a rechargable lithium-ion battery. 10-14 hours of play time. If you roll down your volume, the guitar will go to sleep and perserve battery life.

    I am the Product Manager. I have a very different role than the support guys. Those guys are all better than I am at support.

    I am in here to hear from you guys. I am in here to let you know what is going on as soon as I can.

    I like what I'm hearing so far.

    In addition to VDI and TRS, I hope there's USB in there too - or, as Don says, a different way of being able to get to Workbench. It's really sad that you have to buy extra hardware to do it with the current models.

    Heck, if those ripoff merchants at Behringer can put a USB interface into a $120 CrapStrat copy, I'm sure Line 6 can

    Don't even mention that company in the same breath as where we are going.

    There will be some surprises in this respect.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-01 18:18:49

    McBrain wrote:

    This sounds amazing!

    Crossing my fingers for set neck singlecut(ish) model.

    But dang I hope they make it with a 24.75" scale. If not, it's a no-go for me...

    And if they don't, they hopefully stick with the standard strat neck pocket on the bolt-ons, so it's still possible to replace the neck with a Warmoth 24.75" scale conversion neck.

    I think you will be blown away.

    As far as the neck pocket. Let me just say, you will not have to be replacing the neck. Period, that is a promise.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by eatswodo on 2009-05-01 18:22:09

    Line6Renken wrote:

    eatswodo wrote:

    I like what I'm hearing so far.

    In addition to VDI and TRS, I hope there's USB in there too - or, as Don says, a different way of being able to get to Workbench. It's really sad that you have to buy extra hardware to do it with the current models.

    Heck, if those ripoff merchants at Behringer can put a USB interface into a $120 CrapStrat copy, I'm sure Line 6 can

    Don't even mention that company in the same breath as where we are going.

    There will be some surprises in this respect.

    Sorry  - didn't mean to upset you. I had another run-in with B*******r a few years ago in conjunction with another company whose products I have a great deal of time and respect for, and have harboured a semi-irrational resentment toward them ever since. OK - it's total resentment.

    Looking forward to the surprises!



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-01 18:40:17

    Sorry  - didn't mean to upset you. I had another run-in with B*******r a few years ago in conjunction with another company whose products I have a great deal of time and respect for, and have harboured a semi-irrational resentment toward them ever since. OK - it's total resentment.

    Looking forward to the surprises!

    You did not upset me. I was just being all tongue in cheek. Hard to do in here.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by mortega76 on 2009-05-01 19:10:29

    Line6Renken, thank you very much for chiming in here and actually giving us a heads up on what's going on! Whatever you guys can do to fix the palm muting would be greatly appreciated... what color schemes can we expect?



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-01 20:27:46

    mortega76 wrote:

    Line6Renken, thank you very much for chiming in here and actually giving us a heads up on what's going on! Whatever you guys can do to fix the palm muting would be greatly appreciated... what color schemes can we expect?

    As you know, we did some surveys and this is what won. So we will probably keep it to five of these.

    Chartreuse 21
    Periwinkle 16
    Hooker's Green 16
    Cerulean 10
    Puce 10
    Phthalocyanine Green 10
    Turquoise! 10
    Fuchsia 9


    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by jdenkevitz on 2009-05-01 21:46:48

    Renken,

    First off THANK you for hopping on and giving us some info. I well appreciate the necessity for you not to say to much about a product in development (ive worked in a legal corporate environment and know what limitations exist). I currently own 3 variaxs, a 300, 600, and 700 acoustic, as well as  Pod x3 live.

    Secondly, although Im sure you guys have done this already, I highly recommend you take a deep look at rolands vg99. There are many features which I would love to have in the Variax 2. The main feature being an incredibly robust alternate tuning engine. The 99 has its own processor dedicated to just alternate tuning, and it makes for fantastic sounds to have a 12 string in DADGAD tuning at the press of a button. If there would be a way to store custom tunings and apply them to a knob, and then ANY guitar model can be switched on the fly to any desired tuning, this would be great. I believe you guys have an edge over Rolands guitar modelling in terms of sound quality, ESPECIALLY in regards to your acoustic guitar modelling. The 99 benefits from more recent dsp horsepower, and I really hope you guys leapfrog forward and enable 12 string tunings which additionally permit per string pitch shifting. This is something the vg99 allows and the original variax does not.

    Thirdly, I understand theres a technophobic mentality among many guitarist, who are purists in many ways and may shun modelling. Fenders VG strat attempted to simplify features taken from Rolands vg99 and they cut corners and made it too limited. I hope you dont decrease the level of customization (workbench, handshaking with other line6 equipement) in a desire to appease these purists. I realize this may be a stretch, but id love to see a variax with a built in 13 pin output. Or even make this available as an option or only on a few models. I think a large user base of current variax afficionados are pretty cutting edge in terms of their mentality towards gear, and many use midi converters. Including a 13 pin output would make a new variax more appealing to these guitarists. I would happily pay more money to have this feature - up to 200 bucks more. FWIW all my variaxs have gk pickups on them.

    Fourthly, I realize I may be in the minority, but regular magnetic pickups are not important to me. Im extremely pleased with the modelled variax ones.

    Again thank you for your time. Feel free to contact me for any other feedback.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by starman on 2009-05-01 21:52:28

    Thanks again for coming to the forum Line6Renken, how cool you are monitoring consumer chit chat.

    I played for 20 years and pretty much live in my studio and the line6 gear is the most stable thing in the racks, it's never crashed, your amp and guitar modelling is the best thing on the planet for recording guitar, I can hardly go back to anything else now, I only play the variaxs!

    I have 2 variaxs and just want to be the person that says something about MIDI, I notice it was in your user survey of existing users - not sure how many other people are tracking MIDI when they play but as the swing happens toward more people spending more time with DAW setups at home and thousands of amazing soft instrument VSTs out there and stuff like ABLETON, having a guitar that tracks MIDI really well is invaluable in the studio (otherwise we all have to go learn to play the piano as a data entry device) and the hardware that is out there as far as guitar midi pickups go is kinda lacking.

    I just know your technical team could do something really cool for triggering MIDI while you are mucking around with electronics and piezos and exporting digital information from the guitar anyway, your electronics would have a pretty good idea of what is a note and what isn't a note, when it was played and what note was intended, I bet you could totally own the MIDI guitar market if you put that option in a new guitar, you know? Look at what that MUSE guitarist does with the korg kaos pad mounted in there behind the bridge and triggering whammy pedal effects and stuff from the gat. Cool huh.

    Anyway, +1 on palm muting and funkier whammy bars but also a quite whisper in the right ears about MIDI might put more of your axes into studios as the engineer friendly, producer's choice for guitar, I know it works for me.

    Cool.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by starman on 2009-05-01 21:55:45

    wow ... snap!



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-01 22:15:48

    See below after ========

    jdenkevitz wrote:

    Renken,

    First off THANK you for hopping on and giving us some info. I well appreciate the necessity for you not to say to much about a product in development (ive worked in a legal corporate environment and know what limitations exist). I currently own 3 variaxs, a 300, 600, and 700 acoustic, as well as  Pod x3 live.

    ========== Thank you for you kind words and understanding.

    Secondly, although Im sure you guys have done this already, I highly recommend you take a deep look at rolands vg99. There are many features which I would love to have in the Variax 2. The main feature being an incredibly robust alternate tuning engine. The 99 has its own processor dedicated to just alternate tuning, and it makes for fantastic sounds to have a 12 string in DADGAD tuning at the press of a button. If there would be a way to store custom tunings and apply them to a knob, and then ANY guitar model can be switched on the fly to any desired tuning, this would be great. I believe you guys have an edge over Rolands guitar modelling in terms of sound quality, ESPECIALLY in regards to your acoustic guitar modelling. The 99 benefits from more recent dsp horsepower, and I really hope you guys leapfrog forward and enable 12 string tunings which additionally permit per string pitch shifting. This is something the vg99 allows and the original variax does not.

    ====== I believe you will be pleasantly surprised. This has been at the top of my list. 

    Thirdly, I understand theres a technophobic mentality among many guitarist, who are purists in many ways and may shun modelling. Fenders VG strat attempted to simplify features taken from Rolands vg99 and they cut corners and made it too limited. I hope you dont decrease the level of customization (workbench, handshaking with other line6 equipement) in a desire to appease these purists. I realize this may be a stretch, but id love to see a variax with a built in 13 pin output. Or even make this available as an option or only on a few models. I think a large user base of current variax afficionados are pretty cutting edge in terms of their mentality towards gear, and many use midi converters. Including a 13 pin output would make a new variax more appealing to these guitarists. I would happily pay more money to have this feature - up to 200 bucks more. FWIW all my variaxs have gk pickups on them.

    ======= As far a 13 pin, that is a tough one. It is such a small market. We have thought about break out boxes that use the VDI and maybe 13 pin and many other ideas. But with this next generation. We want to give your hardcore Variax guys a good reason to want another, give you some of the things you have asked for over the years. But I have a strong feeling that we left a bunch of guitar players in the dust right at the guitar. Line 6 is so grateful for the success that Variax has had so far but we want to surge forward while turning a corner and scooping up the masses on the way. You bring up the VG here, and from what I understand, they are being blown out. I am not a fan of how the modeling sounded and many of my buddies who checked it out weren't either. I really believe that modeling is as important to the future of guitars as it is on effects and amps now and we started it, and I want to finish it and get the momentum going again. It is very exciting where we are headed and as soon as we can talk about it, you will hear. Stay tuned.

    Fourthly, I realize I may be in the minority, but regular magnetic pickups are not important to me. Im extremely pleased with the modelled variax ones.

    ====== No prob. You won't be bummed if there are pickups right? For me they will do a few things. Make the guitar more aesthetically pleasing, give you peace of mind if something goes weird with the electronics, you can finish the gig, give you another tonal palette to use, give the guitar better longevity as far as being a "real" guitar.

    Again thank you for your time. Feel free to contact me for any other feedback.

    ====== Thank you



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-01 22:20:28

    starman wrote:

    Thanks again for coming to the forum Line6Renken, how cool you are monitoring consumer chit chat.

    I played for 20 years and pretty much live in my studio and the line6 gear is the most stable thing in the racks, it's never crashed, your amp and guitar modelling is the best thing on the planet for recording guitar, I can hardly go back to anything else now, I only play the variaxs!

    I have 2 variaxs and just want to be the person that says something about MIDI, I notice it was in your user survey of existing users - not sure how many other people are tracking MIDI when they play but as the swing happens toward more people spending more time with DAW setups at home and thousands of amazing soft instrument VSTs out there and stuff like ABLETON, having a guitar that tracks MIDI really well is invaluable in the studio (otherwise we all have to go learn to play the piano as a data entry device) and the hardware that is out there as far as guitar midi pickups go is kinda lacking.

    I just know your technical team could do something really cool for triggering MIDI while you are mucking around with electronics and piezos and exporting digital information from the guitar anyway, your electronics would have a pretty good idea of what is a note and what isn't a note, when it was played and what note was intended, I bet you could totally own the MIDI guitar market if you put that option in a new guitar, you know? Look at what that MUSE guitarist does with the korg kaos pad mounted in there behind the bridge and triggering whammy pedal effects and stuff from the gat. Cool huh.

    Anyway, +1 on palm muting and funkier whammy bars but also a quite whisper in the right ears about MIDI might put more of your axes into studios as the engineer friendly, producer's choice for guitar, I know it works for me.

    Cool.

    See my answer above after the request for 13 pin. What you are asking will be cool one day. I don't think it will be on the first wave of this new ocean. But we have talked and are talking about this for the future for sure.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by jdenkevitz on 2009-05-01 22:51:39

    Definitely wont be disappointed in having magnetics. Its just not something that I felt I needed (i realize that by having them, you are likely reassuring alot of folks who are concerned about the 'what if' scenarios and broadening the products allure).

    Aesthetically I actually like the clean look of the pickup-free pickguards.

    Great to hear about the alternate tuning. This was a make or break feature.

    I agree the VG strats stunk for the most part. The models werent comparable and they limited it to their presets. The level of customization in the variaxes with workbench is one of its greatest assets.

    Any additional models you could include would be great in the new variax. Im extremely pleased with those in the original, but more would be great also , and more acoustic guitars would be even better (Nylon String!).

    Thanks again!



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by variaxlover on 2009-05-01 23:21:48

    That's a GREAT idea -- just roll down the volume and the battery goes into Sleep mode.  I can see myself leaving two of them plugged into my Vetta at all times (one through the VDI, one through the 1/4" jacks), thus having one ready to go INSTANTLY if I break a string.

    And a rechargable battery with LONG life between charges -- Line6Renken, you guys are ON TOP of it!

    I CAN'T WAIT!



    I am going to start a new thread.
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-02 00:06:32

    Lets go here with the future of Variax and get it out of Support....

    http://line6.com/community/thread/6801



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by variaxlover on 2009-05-02 00:31:50

    You guys don't seem to like Gibson's pointy guitars!  How about this one? (see pics)

    You're probably going "WTF?" right now . . .  it's a real Gibson that I owned a few years ago. 7 strings and 36 frets!  I paid $1700 and sold it for $5500.  It's probably worth MUCH more than that though!



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by mortega76 on 2009-05-02 06:25:15

    That was funny Line6Renken...



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by geeker on 2009-05-02 06:38:05

    starman wrote:

    Hi

    My name is Matt,

    After playing the Variax thru the Pod and into the DAW in the studio for a few days I can't go back to my other guitars, they sound kinda crap .... EEEEK!


    Matt

    +1



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by geeker on 2009-05-02 06:44:28

    I've been saving for the new Variax for almost two years. LOL I'll end up buying the high end model when it does come out....can't wait.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by toasterdude on 2009-05-11 05:25:28

    Line6Renken wrote:

    Mr_Arkadin wrote:

    For three grand i would want a headstock i could live with, not that ugly fugger.

    Actually, that is a funny thing to say. You don't get to tell Ferrari what logo to put on their car just because you pay $650,000.

    But, again, our new instruments will have their own unique identity.

    True but nobody would buy a ferari if it was ugly. I haven't read one post where someone said "wow check out that way cool,headstock". ;-)

    I hate the headstocks on variax 600s. .. look like old peaveys. . .  .so I changed my neck to a warmoth. . . . .much better now!



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-11 10:09:45

    toasterdude wrote:

    Line6Renken wrote:

    Mr_Arkadin wrote:

    For three grand i would want a headstock i could live with, not that ugly fugger.

    Actually, that is a funny thing to say. You don't get to tell Ferrari what logo to put on their car just because you pay $650,000.

    But, again, our new instruments will have their own unique identity.

    True but nobody would buy a ferari if it was ugly. I haven't read one post where someone said "wow check out that way cool,headstock". ;-)

    I hate the headstocks on variax 600s. .. look like old peaveys. . .  .so I changed my neck to a warmoth. . . . .much better now!

    Exactly, you would not buy it. So you are showing why one guitar does not fit all players. Ferrari doesn't build one car. Many guys think certain ferraris are blah. Me for one. I am all about the Ford GT.

    You won't get an argument from me on the 600.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by Pstrat on 2009-05-11 17:59:25

    Aside from the Shmear paint jobs Tyler's headstock is it's calling card. If the next Variax is being built by Tyler than I have a ton of savings to do.   Seriously, It may look odd but it's definitely something to behold when your playing live with one.

    Please tell me this isn't so, I can't afford the GAS you guys are giving me.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-05-11 18:36:54

    Pstrat wrote:

    Aside from the Shmear paint jobs Tyler's headstock is it's calling card. If the next Variax is being built by Tyler than I have a ton of savings to do.   Seriously, It may look odd but it's definitely something to behold when your playing live with one.

    Please tell me this isn't so, I can't afford the GAS you guys are giving me.

    We can't say anything at this point. Over at my other thread, I am gathering info and talking with the fellas about what they see in the future. As soon as I have stuff to talk about, I will be hitting that first.

    That said, I totally agree on the Tyler headstock. When I first saw it in a shop, I thought, hhhmm... But when I saw Michael Landau, Dann Huff and others playing it live, it change the whole thing for me.

    Seriously, if you have a friend that is old enough to remember when the telecaster came out with the 6 in-line headstock, there was rioting in the streets because it was so so ugly. My uncle remembers it clearly. 3 on a side was the only way to do a headstock for the most part (yes bigsby) but now, years later 6 in-line is as iconic.



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by Pstrat on 2009-05-13 15:18:35

    Absolutely, if you playing one your playing an elite boutique guitar.

    Honestly, I don't care who's building I like many others am excited to see Variax isn't dead.  Though I thought my V500 was quite playable the piezo sort of palm muting "thing" really bugged me.  I could never get used to it.  Give me mag pickups and Variax versatility even with the piezo "thing"  I'm a happy guitarist with.... a soon to be emptier back account. 



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by MerlinFL on 2009-06-08 14:31:47

    Hi guys - I just found this thread today as I started my own Variax thread yesterday.  I filled out my copy of the survey last month and I a hoping it's not mostly "fluff" like the previous survey I filled out was for me as a Line Variax/Vetta owner/player.

    I LOVE ALL of my Line 6 gear which is quite substantial as I started with them back in 2003.  I especially love my (2) Variax 700's hooked up with my upgraded Vetta I to the current Vetta II status.

    Most of what I've read in the survey "quite immodestly" (sorry, I'm really not an ego-maniac...just happy something is finally stirring regarding the Variax guitars) in reference to the Variax having new models, third party pick-ups, both a "real" pickup plus the usual piezos, the wireless functioning from amp to guitar & back (just like a wireless network runs), a Sustainiac or E-Bow function, "on the fly" alternate tunings on ANY guitar model, MIDI connection, and several other things that were not listed in the survey.  I had been sendng in these suggestions since 2005 when the intial release of the Variax 700 came out and I bought my first then a second since...a) it's ALWAYS a good idea to have a back up...b) I became so dependent on it working perfectly and NOTHING else I might bring would be it's equal...c) I just really loved the feel and the straight forward appearance.  I've always had Les Pauls with slim tapered necks, plus a 1985 BC Rich Mockingbird that BC Rich customized to my neck, fretboard, color, etc. specs.  It's nice to have worked and played in NJ where Bernie Rico owner of BC Rich was from and got to know him on a personal basis. Sorry to digress, but I feel obligated to mention Bernie as my Mockingbird is a one of a kind that he was kind enough to have his team make for me.

    Anyway - I'll be happy with ANYTHING L6 decides to do to not only keep the Variax line going but to make it EVERYTHING any guitarist could possibly want.  Plus I guess that anything software related will be upgradeable into the current Variax guitars through the Workbench software.

    Neal (Variax user/lover)



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by Bob-Lituri on 2009-07-25 11:22:19

    Just finished these threads and thought I would add a few of my thoughts.  I own two V700's (acoustic and electric).  I am an experienced luthier and both guitars have been set up to play like a dream (and they do).  I am an active player in my early 50's and I do own many examples of the real deals (custom PRS's, 60's Gretsch's, Gibsons-335, 345, Fenders etc).  I rely on my V700 electric quite a bit on stage.  It plays great and sounds convincining enough on live stages (mostly to simulate 6 and 12 string acoustics, 12 string ricky's, Sitars, Banjo's and Tele's).  The harmonic issues and slight latency issues asside, I would like to see the new Variax capable of talking to the X3 or next gen X-?, such that I can dial in two completely separate guitars along with two separate amp rigs and then blend them using an assigned expression pedal.  For example, one might envision a Strat or Les Paul into a Vox AC 30 coupled with an acoustic 6 or 12 string guitar (going direct - ampless).  Expression pedal heel down: all Strat.  Expression pedal toe down: all acoustic.  Espression pedal somewhere in between: a blend of the two.  Now that would give the live, gigging guitarist some very powerful capabilities in real time.  Imagine the possibilities!!  The sonic textures that would be afforded to the guitarist in a live environment could be quite amazing. 

    I personally love the "pickup-less" look.  Clean and artsy.  I've recieved countless compliments on the look and sound of the axe over the years!  I would like to see an onboard LED on the model knob.  Though I preset all of my Variax patches long before a show, every now and then I change it up on the fly and sometimes it is not easy to view on dark stages.  The Baggs two point floating trem works awesome if set up correctly.  Tuners and bone nut are fine but I did have to relived some nut pinch points on both axes when they were new.  Fit and finish is really very good; no complaints.

    I would love to see several PRS models included (Custom 22/24, McCarty electric and perhaps the 513).  I would also like to see more acoustic models (Taylors, Santa Cruz Tony Rice model) and perhaps a Nylon string model included since most of us electric guitarists rely on the Variax to give us those options at the flick of a switch or tap of a toe. 

    Well, that's all for now.  Thanks to all of the great folks at Line6 for being there.  I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of you through the years (including Marcus) and your gear and technology has profoundly changed the way I do live guitar sound in both of my live bands. 

    My onstage rig is; custom pedal board (boutique tube preamp and overdrives) into my XT Live into Bose L1's with direct sends to the main FOH.  This rig is relatively small, travels light and smokes!

    Thanks for listening....

    Best regards to all,

    Bob Lituri



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by RichRenken on 2009-07-25 13:15:41

    Hey Bob,

    Good stuff. Can you go post this in my "future of variax" thread.


    This is an old thread. All the new stuff is over there.

    Peace,

    Rich



    Re: Which of these 4 luthiers is building the Variax II?
    by vito1 on 2010-02-05 12:34:08

    For that kind of money it better handle and play like a Parker Mojo! LOL




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