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spookytooth69

Whatever Happened To The Acoustic Variax?

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I always wanted one and now I see not only have they been discontinued and are very difficult to find?  Was there a problem with the model?  Were they just not successful?  I played one once about ten years ago...  It seemed like a nice guitar...

 

Anyone have one they want to get rid of?

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they didn't have any particular problems that i'm aware of. I also thought that they were reasonable successful.

I always assumed that they had a generation 2 model in the works... but it never materialized, I think they shifted their focus to the dreamstage live gear.

I have one and love it... would have to be a ridiculous offer to get it from me! :D

but i do see them for sale, more and more rarely though.

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I LOVE Mine!

22432_l.jpg

I use my Variax Acoustic 700 to play several gigs every week. In my world its a lifesaver. Folks listen with their eyes, and plugged into the PA, everyone thinks I'm also playing a "pure acoustic" instrument, as I sit in with Bluegrass  / Celtic / New Age bands on the Central Cal Coast.

 

By contrast If I showed up to these same events with my JTV-59, the "traditionalists" and the Promotor (who pays the band)  would not let me near the stage.

This sums up the current situation

http://uniqueguitar.blogspot.com/2012/04/line-6-variax.html

 

 

In 2003, Variax produced two upscale versions. One was an acoustic guitar called the Variax Acoustic 700. This instrument came with a basswood neck, a mahogany body and a solid cedar top. The top was later replaced with solid spruce.
 

Variax_Acoustic_300_Steel_Front_View_Hi_ Variax Acoustic 300



Line 6 also came out with the less expensive Acoustic Model 300. This guitar came with steel strings and was available as a nylon string instrument. These acoustic/electric guitars featured modeling technology allow the guitar to sound like over a dozen acoustic instruments as well as play in alternate tunings, all done through the Variax control. The acoustic line-up was discontinued in 2010. (Big Mistake!)

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I like mine too.  It plays much more like an acoustic and it sounds great.  It's too bad that Line 6 doesn't put more effort into guitars.  Maybe the market just isn't there.

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I get many favorable comments about my Variax Acoustic 700 Guitar sound at my recent acoustic gig.

 

And a few folks in the audience made it a point to ask about the guitar, saying while they knew about Line6 Amplifiers - they never knew Line6 ever made Acoustic Guitars too.

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I still prefer the acoustics in the Acoustic 700 over any other variax acoustic emulations. Including the 'HD' one in the JTV's.

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I still prefer the acoustics in the Acoustic 700 over any other variax acoustic emulations. Including the 'HD' one in the JTV's.

 

 

YES - DEFINITELY!

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By contrast If I showed up to these same events with my JTV-59, the "traditionalists" and the Promotor (who pays the band)  would not let me near the stage.

 

That's funny, because with the acoustic models on the Variax, it's honestly not that different from an electric acoustic with a piezo system.

The only difference is that instead of an EQ on your guitar, a processor is shaping your signal for you.

 

I haven't heard an electric acoustic guitar really sound as great as a Variax, and the Acoustic Variaxes sound even more amazing.

 

A long time ago, I got bored and put acoustic strings on my electric, and the acoustic models sounded even more amazing (The electrics sounded weird though). Since it's not a magnetic pickup, you can use strings that aren't magneticly responsive.

 

With the Variax Acoustic, they probably dedicated the programming more, and with using actual acoustic strings, you get even more close to sounding like an acoustic guitar. 

 

Either way, I don't see why a "traditionalist" would whine about using a Variax as an acoustic. 

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... its because they are whining with their eyes and not their ears...

it's a visual thing and not an audible thing...

 

 

Either way, I don't see why a "traditionalist" would whine about using a Variax as an acoustic. 

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... its because they are whining with their eyes and not their ears...

it's a visual thing and not an audible thing...

 

So I guess a piezo electric guitar would still make them whine even without the processor and motherboard stuff?

 

I still want to know how many people whined when the electric guitar was invented. "Oh my god, that's not a guitar, stupid new technology!"

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One big difference is that the Acoustic 700 plays and feels like an acoustic.   But I like the flexibility you get with the JTV.

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This concert has one of my favorite examples of the Variax Acoustic in action. Actually, both guitarists use Variaxes at different point in this concert. I believe the other guitarist uses a 500 for a few songs. I also think Sarah McLachlan's bass player was using a Variax Bass, although I don't know if he uses it during this show. Bass players don't usually get a lot of camera time. :)

 

Check out at around 35:44 to see a cool solo with a slide on the 700 Acoustic.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RknWWswLVA

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Remember the Audience "listens with their eyes", if they "see" an Acoustic guitar - they "hear" an acoustic guitar.

 

The Variax 700 Acoustic complies with this requirement  - Although the Acoustic Modeling works OK on the Tyler Variax  ( my favorite is the old Tyler 1.81 Firmware) JTV-59 does not look like an acoustic and it leaves the audience playing "where's Waldo" looking for "Who is playing the Acoustic Guitar?"

 

Dont get me started with describing my "confused audience" live gig experience using the Fishman Tripleplay driving pianos with a MacbookPro.

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Remember the Audience "listens with their eyes", if they "see" an Acoustic guitar - they "hear" an acoustic guitar...

 

 

I've been thinking of doing a JTV transplant into a cheap acoustic guitar for my acoustic duo gigs.  I'm trying to find one that is very thin and has decent upper fret access.  

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Remember the Audience "listens with their eyes", if they "see" an Acoustic guitar - they "hear" an acoustic guitar.

 

This is why they need to make a Variax whose top is one big smart phone screen so it can look like any guitar.  Cool or what?  And thanks for nothing Fishman.  Here I thought I pretty much had everything I wanted and then you come up with Triple Play.  I'm impressed and will be saving my pennies.

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I sure don't care what my guitar looks like.  I don't care what a band's guitars look like when I watch them live.  I pay attention but I don't care.

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I sure don't care what my guitar looks like.  I don't care what a band's guitars look like when I watch them live.  I pay attention but I don't care.

 

I care about what my guitar looks like, which is why I want a Telecaster Variax.

 

What I don't care about, is to get pissy about an electric making acoustic sounds.

They need to get used to it, because most live acoustics are electric anyways, because they use pickups, unless they somehow got a great mic setup for their guitar.

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I've been thinking of doing a JTV transplant into a cheap acoustic guitar for my acoustic duo gigs.  I'm trying to find one that is very thin and has decent upper fret access.  

 

Have a look at the Yamaha APX500.

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That's what I meant.  I do care what my guitar looks and feels like but not Acoustic vs Electric look.  I think banjo or sitar sounds coming out of a guitar that looks like an electric is interesting.

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I sure don't care what my guitar looks like.  I don't care what a band's guitars look like when I watch them live.  I pay attention but I don't care.

 

I know it seems silly for me to transplant JTV into an acoustic, but there are a lot more acoustic duo gigs where I live than full-band gigs.  Full band gigs are Fri & Sat only.  I've been full-time musician for 17 years now, and can't live on weekend pay only.   And it really helps getting the acoustic gig if you're holding an acoustic guitar, even though to my ear a clean Strat sounds much nicer playing leads over an acoustic than another acoustic does.  

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Have a look at the Yamaha APX500.

 

Thanks!  That one actually caught my eye.  But I would really like something thinner than that if possible.  Acoustic tone of the guitar doesn't matter, as I will be using Variax all the time.

 

Anyone know of a really thin, acoustic looking guitar?

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I would think the hard part with doing a transplant in one of those guitars is going to be dealing with the bridge and saddle. I don't really know of any acoustic guitar that uses has separate saddle for each string like the Variax Acoustic did. I was thinking something like the Epiphone Chet Atkins could be a good candidate for a transplant because it's actually a solid body, and the body could be routed pretty easily. Other than that, there are thin-body acoustics - the Fender Stratacoustic and Teleacoustic come to mind... But again, I don't know if doing a transplant in one of those is even feasible. You'd probably have more luck trying to find a used Variax Acoustic.

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I would think the hard part with doing a transplant in one of those guitars is going to be dealing with the bridge and saddle. I don't really know of any acoustic guitar that uses has separate saddle for each string like the Variax Acoustic did. I was thinking something like the Epiphone Chet Atkins could be a good candidate for a transplant because it's actually a solid body, and the body could be routed pretty easily. Other than that, there are thin-body acoustics - the Fender Stratacoustic and Teleacoustic come to mind... But again, I don't know if doing a transplant in one of those is even feasible. You'd probably have more luck trying to find a used Variax Acoustic.

 

That Stratacoustic is definitely thin like I wanted!  Thanks!

 

I figured I would have a block of wood under the bridge, connecting the front and back of the guitar, much like a hollow PRS has, and use a different style bridge all together with possibly Ghost saddles.

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I know it seems silly for me to transplant JTV into an acoustic, but there are a lot more acoustic duo gigs where I live than full-band gigs.  Full band gigs are Fri & Sat only.  I've been full-time musician for 17 years now, and can't live on weekend pay only.   And it really helps getting the acoustic gig if you're holding an acoustic guitar, even though to my ear a clean Strat sounds much nicer playing leads over an acoustic than another acoustic does.  

 

 

I have been seriously considering buying a cheap older Variax and transplanting it into something like this:

 

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/msg/4059839183.html

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Folks listen with their eyes, and plugged into the PA, everyone thinks I'm also playing a "pure acoustic" instrument

 

By contrast If I showed up to these same events with my JTV-59, the "traditionalists" and the Promotor (who pays the band) would not let me near the stage.

Same here -- if I take this thing to church, I get to play with the acoustic group (all of whom are plugged into the mixer and are not particularly acoustic at that point, either). If I pull out an electric, I get shooed away.

What's really cute, of course, is that this is a solid-body mahogany electric guitar hiding under the spruce top.

 

Every now and then people sort of glance around to see who's playing the 12-string when there isn't one on stage, and the best part was when I used the bottom two strings tuned down an octave with the upper four tuned normally, and it was *really* interesting to see them glancing offstage to see who was sitting in with a bass.

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Same here -- if I take this thing to church, I get to play with the acoustic group (all of whom are plugged into the mixer and are not particularly acoustic at that point, either). If I pull out an electric, I get shooed away.

What's really cute, of course, is that this is a solid-body mahogany electric guitar hiding under the spruce top.

 

Every now and then people sort of glance around to see who's playing the 12-string when there isn't one on stage, and the best part was when I used the bottom two strings tuned down an octave with the upper four tuned normally, and it was *really* interesting to see them glancing offstage to see who was sitting in with a bass.

 

Wouldn't that be a fun part of having a Variax though? "Someone has some kind of wizard guitar!"

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I've been trying to find out if the old acoustuc variax models (acoustics, specialy shamisen, mandola, nylon,etc) are available and somehow can be loaded in the JTV Tyler model electrics ??

 

That would be insane.

 

Anyone know ??

 

Thanks.

 

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I've been trying to find out if the old acoustuc variax models (acoustics, specialy shamisen, mandola, nylon,etc) are available and somehow can be loaded in the JTV Tyler model electrics ??

 

That would be insane.

 

Anyone know ??

 

 

Can't be done at the present time. It would be cool if it were made to happen, but I don't know what the chances of it happening are.

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My bet is Slim to None.  Too bad because the Acoustic Variax had some very nice models.  Since there is no Acoustic Variax available it would be nice if there was a way to have more Acoustic models.

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I always wanted one and now I see not only have they been discontinued and are very difficult to find?  Was there a problem with the model?  Were they just not successful?  I played one once about ten years ago...  It seemed like a nice guitar...

 

Anyone have one they want to get rid of?

I don't know if you are still interested, but I have one in excellent condition.  I love it, plays well but I don't play out much anymore and the guitars have piled up through the years.  It has all of the original equipment (case, switch box, cord, power cord and manual)  I can be reached at harm0scar@gmail.com  I saw one for sale at $2300.00.  I won't be asking that much. Let me know.

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Either way, I don't see why a "traditionalist" would whine about using a Variax as an acoustic.

Because traditionalists and purists whine about everything new or different. It's their default response. Change is scary...;)

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I always wanted one and now I see not only have they been discontinued and are very difficult to find?  Was there a problem with the model?  Were they just not successful?  I played one once about ten years ago...  It seemed like a nice guitar...

 

Anyone have one they want to get rid of?

Hi spookytooth69, I see this is an old post, but if you're still after a Variax 700, Acoustic - in brilliant condition and complete with leads, footswitch, etc etc. Let me know if you're at all interested!

Cheers!

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