A couple of years before Variax® was born, we decided to turn our attention from all that guitar gear to the guitar itself. We wondered—could it be possible to capture a complete range of this tone in one single instrument? It was a daunting task, but then so was the idea of squeezing a whole collection of amps and effects into one little kidney bean shaped metal box. So we figured, why not give it a go?
We knew our sounds would have to be amazingly accurate to meet the needs of discriminating guitarists, so we began an intensive research project into guitar physics. We assembled test guitars that would make Victor Frankenstein blush. We systematically examined every factor that contributes to a guitar's tone, and developed ways to measure the complex interactions of vibrating strings, resonant bodies, and magnetic pickups. More importantly, we developed ways to capture these interactions mathematically so we could get the same sounds from our guitar.
As we refined our measuring and modeling techniques, we began working on a new, powerful hardware platform that could deliver our shockingly accurate sounds. Variax needed to have less noise than a standard humbucker, the ability to switch sounds in the fraction of a second that it takes to slap a pickup selector switch to the next position, and be powered in a variety of ways. And, most importantly, perform so flawlessly that you could forget it's even there.
As the body and brain neared completion, it was time for us to create the soul. We auditioned an amazing array of vintage instruments to find the ones with the most distinctive voices and personalities. We applied our painstaking measuring techniques to these specimens, and refined our models while constantly referring back to the originals for accuracy. When the model reached the point not only sounding like the original, but also being as much fun to play, it was done.
The result of our labors? Variax. An entire guitar collection in a single instrument.
Comfort-contoured agathis body
Maple neck with Indian rosewood fingerboard
22 medium profile frets
25 1/2" scale length
12" fingerboard radius
Standard 1/4" guitar output jack
Digital I/O jack for PODxt Live, Vetta II, and Workbench connectivity
Includes XPS Mini power supply with 1/4" standard guitar output for connection to any guitar amp
Powered by XPS Mini, on-board batteries, Vetta II or PODXT Live
Also, with the workbench software (I could download it free because I have an XT Live) you can "design your own" guitar and alter the tuning of any model that you want. Here's a picture of the connector that can be used to connect the Variax to other Line 6 products (it's just a heavy-duty RJ45 ethernet connector). I bought it for £20-something but I'll throw it in with this lot for free as it's no use to me without the guitar.
1960 Fender Telecaster Custom
1968 Fender Telecaster
1968 Fender Telecaster Thinline
1959 Fender Stratocaster
1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard
1952 Gibson Les Paul “Goldtop”
1961 Gibson Les Paul Custom (3 PU)
1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior
1976 Gibson Firebird V
1955 Gibson Les Paul Special
1959 Gretsch 6120
1956 Gretsch Silver Jet
1968 Rickenbacker 360
1966 Rickenbacker 360-12
1961 Gibson ES-335
1967 Epiphone Casino
1957 Gibson ES-175
1953 Gibson Super 400
1959 Martin D-28
1970 Martin D 12-28
1967 Martin O-18
1966 Guild F212
1995 Gibson J-200
1935 Dobro Alumilite
Coral/Dano Electric Sitar
Gibson Mastertone Banjo
1928 National Style 2 "Tricone"