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elgurriato

How many Variax guitars have been sold so far?

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Just curiosity.
You know... every now and then it appears a thread in this forum about the Variax production extintion. The fact is that it seems that Yamaha/Line6 don't take a lot of care about the product (where are the lefties?, for example).
Is Variax a success for Line6? How many of us are there playing a Variax?
Anybody knows?
 

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I have no idea how many Variax guitars have been sold over the years, but I have to imagine that it's been considered a success. I mean, no sane company is going to continue putting money into making things that aren't selling to the point where their costs are covered. The first Variax, the 500, was released in 2002. The fact the Variax line still exists in 2020 means something.

 

As far as a left-handed Variax, it has nothing to do with caring about people. It's all about economics.

 

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46 minutes ago, elgurriato said:

Just curiosity.
You know... every now and then it appears a thread in this forum about the Variax production extintion. The fact is that it seems that Yamaha/Line6 don't take a lot of care about the product (where are the lefties?, for example).
Is Variax a success for Line6? How many of us are there playing a Variax?
Anybody knows?
 

 

Now that you've had a serious answer.....

 

I think there have been 827,651 Variax guitars manufactured as of 10:00 AM ET today.  And a few more since. It is a success and it is not extinct. There is a smaller number of people playing them since some people have multiple Variax guitars and some have not yet been sold.

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2 hours ago, elgurriato said:

The fact is that it seems that Yamaha/Line6 don't take a lot of care about the product (where are the lefties?, for example).

 

 

So let me see if I've got this straight... the fact that there are no lefty versions means that L6 doesn't care about the product?

 

There are no lefties for one simple reason...there's no money in it. Only a small percentage of the world's guitarists play left handed, and the Variax is a niche product to begin with, appealing to a small market share as it is... most don't even know it exists. And of those who do want one, 99% play righty.

 

 

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Tip my hat to Line6 for LH versions back in the beginning but I understand why little old L6 would drop that option during JTV era.

 

But kinda surprised Yamaha hasn’t committed to LH Variax guitars.  I guess it’s a business and large corporations usually know what they’re doing in regard to bottom line.  

 

I know at least 4qty Variax have been sold...

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Thank you all for your replies.

 

21 hours ago, phil_m said:

I have to imagine that it's been considered a success

So do I. But when Yamaha bought Line6, I thought that Variax would be pushed up, and things seems to be stuck since the Standard Variax was launched. No new designs, no software upgrades... Probably no news=good news. I don't know

 

20 hours ago, silverhead said:

Now that you've had a serious answer.....

 

I think there have been 827,651 Variax [...]

Are you being ironic? I don't get it when it's written. If it's true, is it public data?

 

19 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

So let me see if I've got this straight... the fact that there are no lefty versions means that L6 doesn't care about the product?

Please, don't get me wrong. That's an example of things that could be improved. Probably it's the most evident because there is a demand for lefties Variaxes. I thought that Yamaha has the economic power to make lefties... all in all Variax Standards are just Pacificas with the Variax Magic attached.

 

But that just an example of the many demands that are being ignored in IdeaScale. To name a few of the most popular:

- Lefties

- Midi control (there are reversing engineering projects out there and people are doing it on their own)

- Nylon strings sounds (they were available in the old acoustic Variaxes, but not in the JTV or Standard)

 

The only novelty in the Variax production has been the Shuriken, that seems to me like a step back from the JTVs, since it has only one magnetic pick-up.

 

All these thoughts make me feel a little scared about the Variax future. I love my JTV, but I would really like to feel that it's not obsolete within ten or twenty years.

11 hours ago, jerseyboy said:

I know at least 4qty Variax have been sold...

Al least five, with mine :-D

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52 minutes ago, elgurriato said:

All these thoughts make me feel a little scared about the Variax future. I love my JTV, but I would really like to feel that it's not obsolete within ten or twenty years.

 

 

I got news for you... with the pace at which technology currently evolves, products like the Variax that rely heavily on electronic wizardry, pass into obsolescence loooooooong befor 20 years pass by. The very first Variax is nearing the 20 year mark, and went the way of the dodo quite some time ago. The current generation of Variax is nearly 10 years old...yes, they've stuffed the guts into a couple of different body styles since the JTV's, but the modeling itself is all the same, and there hasn't been a firmware update of any significance in almost 5 years. Now I like mine too, but this is what you call "done". They clearly are not developing this generation of Variax anymore... that doesn't mean that they're abandoning the concept of guitar modeling, however. Sooner or later a new Variax iteration will arrive... when is anybody's guess, but it'll show up eventually.

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As I indicated, my response was not serious. I simply made up a number. Is it accurate? Only Line 6 knows, and they likely won't say......

 

And yes, a Variax you buy today will be obsolete in 20 years, in the sense that there will be superior products available by then. Just like any other electronic product. But it will probably still do then what it does today, just like the original Variax guitars produced 20 years ago.

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1 hour ago, silverhead said:

As I indicated, my response was not serious.

Thanks for clarifying. Believe me, irony is not for me, specially written and English is not my mother tongue. 

 

1 hour ago, cruisinon2 said:

... with the pace at which technology currently evolves, products like the Variax [...] pass into obsolescence loooooooong befor 20 years pass by.

[...] They clearly are not developing this generation of Variax anymore... that doesn't mean that they're abandoning the concept of guitar modeling, however. Sooner or later a new Variax iteration will arrive... when is anybody's guess, but it'll show up eventually.

 

1 hour ago, silverhead said:

And yes, a Variax you buy today will be obsolete in 20 years

 

You both are perfectly right. That's why I really appreciate the magnetic pickups. Let's hope that the spares suply last long.

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Yeah, sorry.... humour can be tricky in written form especially in a second language. I'm guilty of doing it probably too often.

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20 years is a long time to keep, well, almost anything. I have one guitar that I've had for about that long now. I've sold I don't know how many guitars in that time.

 

I think one reason the life cycle of the current generation of Variax guitars has been as long as it has been is because there really isn't much in the way of competition in this area. There's the Roland VG stuff, but it's more limited in a lot of ways. I just think that it's kind of an uphill battle convincing a lot of guitarists of using something like the Variax, and I think it's going to be for awhile. I don't think Line 6 is abandoning it, but I think they are being measured in their development of it.

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16 minutes ago, phil_m said:

I just think that it's kind of an uphill battle convincing a lot of guitarists of using something like the Variax...

 

Yup... it's a tough sell for most players

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21 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:
21 hours ago, phil_m said:

I just think that it's kind of an uphill battle convincing a lot of guitarists of using something like the Variax...

 

Yup... it's a tough sell for most players

Yes. For sure modelling amps are here to stay. But modelling guitars... Guitar players are reluctant. Most of us can't assume playing and instrument that sounds different than what is expected from what we see and touch.

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I bought a 500 when they first came out, and it's still great. I play live a lot and I bought a JTV as soon as they came out. Alternate tunings and not carrying a truck load of guitars had a really strong appeal. Interestingly I still get other players asking what it is and where'd I get it! As you all say this technology is 20 years old and still not mainstream. My only fear is that it may go the way of the Stagescape as far as Yamahas interest goes. Maybe we sit back and wait for the guys at Line 6 to buy it back a la Steve Jobs with Apple.

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9 hours ago, Smiffy said:

I bought a 500 when they first came out, and it's still great. I play live a lot and I bought a JTV as soon as they came out. Alternate tunings and not carrying a truck load of guitars had a really strong appeal. Interestingly I still get other players asking what it is and where'd I get it! As you all say this technology is 20 years old and still not mainstream. My only fear is that it may go the way of the Stagescape as far as Yamahas interest goes. Maybe we sit back and wait for the guys at Line 6 to buy it back a la Steve Jobs with Apple.

 

I know people don't believe me when I say this, but I have no reason to believe Yamaha is really dictating Line 6's product lines like this... I have been fortunate enough to know some of the product managers at Line 6 and have them bounce ideas around. There have been ideas that have been killed, but it has never been because someone at Yamaha made the call. From what I can see and what I've been told, Yamaha is about as hands-off with its subsidiaries as it could possibly be.

 

I think the StageScape system was going to be a difficult launch from the get-go. It was kind of an odd detour for Line 6 to take, and I think it struck a lot of people as something out of the blue. It was very cool, and it was ahead of its time in a lot ways. I think the big issue is that other companies who had been in the live sound business for quite a long time started making things that did a lot of the same sort of things. I don't think things would have been much different with it even if the Yamaha acquisition never took place.

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We'll have to agree to disagree. A good friend and his business partner bought in to a Line 6 dealership to use the Stagescape system for hire purposes, a very costly exercise about 12ks worth as aI recall.  This was approximately 12 months before Yamaha bought Line 6. Once they made the purchase they immediately withdrew support for established Line 6 dealers and changed the requirements to be a dealer. Yamaha said that if they didn't have a storefront they couldn't have access to the equipment at dealer rates and that included spares for the stuff they'd already purchased. As a hire company they didn't need a store front, just a warehousing facility. They sold it all off about 12 months ago, at a significant loss and now use L D Systems stuff. That's what leads me to believe that Yamaha do have the final say with Line 6.

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