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clay-man

Notable Variax Users?

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List some people you know who use or have used a Variax in their career that are notable or are a musician people would know.

 

Dustin Kensrue of Thrice used a Variax for about 2007-2012 until Thrice went on hiatus. He sold his Warmoth Variax transplant to someone on ebay. He used it for the drastic tuning differences in the Thrice catalog as well as having different guitars on their records.

 

Here's a picture of him using it:

dustin-kensrue-thrice-performs-shockhoun

 

 

 

Ed O'Brien of Radiohead has been listed to have used a Variax 700 though I can't find too much info on that.

Ironically enough, if you look in your Variax manual, he is stated in the description of the Rickenbacker 360:

"Though overshadowed by the success of the 12 string, the 6 string versions of Rickenbacker's stylish models continue to be popular with players looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, like Ed O'Brien of Radiohead."

 

Do any of you know any big musicians that utilized the Variax? Can by any Variax; first gen, JTV, acoustic, bass.

 

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The Edge has two custom Variax acoustics - this one and a silver sparkle one.

 

line_6-variax_700-black-vertigo-1.jpg

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The Edge has two custom Variax acoustics - this one and a silver sparkle one.

 

line_6-variax_700-black-vertigo-1.jpg

That is pretty badass. Are the designs modified by him or did he commission Line 6 to do them?

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James Taylor at Obama's inauguration. Guess he did not want to freeze one of the Olsons.

 

JTVAX.jpg

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I've read that Sarah McLachlan is amoung those artist as well. She's apparently recorded in studio as well as played and recorded live venues with backing & studio musicians, who've played Variax 700's etc.

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Kevin Cadogan of Third Eye Blind, Trevor Rabin of Yes (et al), Shawn Phillips,

Ted Leonard of Spock's Beard, David Freiberg of Starship, Robert Sarzo of Queensryche,

Carlos Rios (Chick Corea and Stevie Nicks), Oz Noy, Stevic McKay of Twelve Foot Ninja,

and others,... I know they are all Variax users, because I've had the pleasure of servicing their guitars.

 

There are some photos on the web of James Taylor with a 900 Acoustic. My lab mate got to service

that one,... and probably that electric in the photo here, since he does most the early Variax guitars.

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Steve Howe of Yes uses Variaxes: a 600 (played during the 2017 induction to the RnR Hall of Fame); he also has a 700 acoustic and a JTV59. Plus he uses a DT50 and swears by his Line 6 rig. (Check out Youtube)...

 

Adrian Belew is a Variax user as well.

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Steve Howe of Yes uses Variaxes: a 600 (played during the 2017 induction to the RnR Hall of Fame); he also has a 700 acoustic and a JTV59. Plus he uses a DT50 and swears by his Line 6 rig. (Check out Youtube)...

 

Adrian Belew is a Variax user as well.

Adrian Belew has Variax electronics transplanted into his Parker Fly signature model, but I don't believe he uses the modelling much....

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Steve Howe has two DT50-212 amps, and a Blue 700 Electric.

 

Adrian Belew,... transplants are a tricky and touchy thing to pull of. I done a few of them,...

Carlos Rios (left handed player) and Stevic McKay (JTV-89) are among them. Transplants do sound

different, as the body will have an affect on the tone color. You may or may not discern a difference.

 

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Adrian Belew has Variax electronics transplanted into his Parker Fly signature model, but I don't believe he uses the modelling much....

True... the Fly signature model is his thing, though I did see him play a few licks on a JTV69 in a Youtube video. Also, according to equipbord, he used a Vetta ll in the past.

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Steve Howe has two DT50-212 amps, and a Blue 700 Electric.

 

Adrian Belew,... transplants are a tricky and touchy thing to pull of. I done a few of them,...

Carlos Rios (left handed player) and Stevic McKay (JTV-89) are among them. Transplants do sound

different, as the body will have an affect on the tone color. You may or may not discern a difference.

Check out Steve Howe "Rig Rundown" on Youtube... He shows all his Variaxes, plus his DT50 and his HD500 (though by now he probably has a Helix).

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John McFee of the Doobie Brothers is another long-time Variax user. Though he's in the Line 6 Artists showcase, I think it's also worth mentioning here.

 

And... Jared Scharff, guitarist for the SNL band, uses a JTV59.

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Richie Castellano, lead guitarist for Blue Oyster Cult.

The entire band Garbage (I believe they bought 18 of them, some for studio, some for their European rig and some for their U.S. rig)

Pete Thorn.

Isaiah Sharkey, guitarist for John Mayer.

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Isaiah Sharkey, guitarist for John Mayer.

 

Are you sure he used Variax? I believe he was/is using Helix, but I've never seen him with a Variax. Same with Jared Scharff, lots of Fenders, offsets, and more recently Supro's. 

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Are you sure he used Variax? I believe he was/is using Helix, but I've never seen him with a Variax. Same with Jared Scharff, lots of Fenders, offsets, and more recently Supro's. 

 

You're probably right.  I think I got confused.  Same thing with Garbage and Pete Thorn.  Definitely yes on Helix but I can't seem to find any Variax confirmation.

 

Castellano is using his Variax for some of the Blue Oyster Cult live songs.

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Okay, here's another.

 

K.K. Downing lists a Variax acoustic 300 and an acoustic 700 as gear he uses in the studio according to his website.

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Old thread, I know, but I was just at the U2 Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary show over the weekend, and noticed The Edge is still using his custom Variax Acoustic. He's using  it on "Mothers of the Disappeared" for this tour.

 

Not the show I was at, but you can see it here:

 

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While he's not well-known to the general music-listening public, longtime sideman/studio player Billy Sullivan has appeared with many recognizable  'oldies' artists, such as Gary Lewis, Eric Carmen, Mark Lindsey, Mitch Ryder, Dickey Betts, Peter Frampton, Mark Farner, Ian Hunter, Eric Carmen, Sam Moore, Lou Christie, Lesley Gore, Billy J Kramer,Peter Noone, Tommy Roe, Bryan Hyland and others.

 

I've seen him play a couple of times on the old Jerry Lewis MD Telethons, sporting an original red Variax -- the one that became known as the '500' after the line expanded to the 300 & 600. It's been many years since he last checked in on ION website to talk about his Variax, and I don't know how long he may have employed one in his work.

 

YouTube undoubtedly has clips of him performing with these various bands, and I'd bet that you can find him with a Variax strapped-on in at least a few of them.

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