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Andrew Cockburn
post Feb 27 2007, 03:52 PM
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Well, today is my 40th Birthday. Of course this sucks because my life is now over etc. etc., but on the plus side, for the last few weeks at GMC I have learnt amazing new techniques, started a regular practice routine found a great bunch of guitarists to hang out with, and my playing is better than it has ever been!

The best bit is that I got a new Axe - a Line 6 Variax 5 string Bass (can you call a Bass guitar an Axe?). I am going to use it for recording bass lines instead of using samples. The new Bass lessons couldn't have come at a better time for me!

She looks like this :



By the way, you can get them for $499 at the moment, down from list of $2000 - if you can get hold of one these are an absolute steal at the moment with 24 different guitar models!

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Feb 27 2007, 03:55 PM


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My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Robin
post Feb 27 2007, 04:39 PM
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Congratulations with your birthday and the bass!! smile.gif


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buckjones
post Feb 27 2007, 10:31 PM
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yeah andrew happy birthday!!!! where did you get that deal? thats awesome... i once had a crappy cruise? bass that i bought off a friend for 25 bucks that i learned quite a bit on... that was originally what i wanted to play but then i turned around and sold it for 50 bucks and applied it to my first electric guitar and amp. i wish i still had it though it's nice to have one around.

line 6 again... what a wonderful innovative company... i love those guys

nate

btw - kind of off topic but i wanted to thank you for your contributions to the theory board... guitar theory has always intimidated me but you and steelkonsum have really been able to explain it in such a way any layman could understand! thanks again!

This post has been edited by buckjones: Feb 27 2007, 10:33 PM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Feb 27 2007, 10:43 PM
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QUOTE (Robin @ Feb 27 2007, 10:39 AM) *
Congratulations with your birthday and the bass!! smile.gif


Thanks!

QUOTE (buckjones @ Feb 27 2007, 04:31 PM) *
yeah andrew happy birthday!!!! where did you get that deal? thats awesome... i once had a crappy cruise? bass that i bought off a friend for 25 bucks that i learned quite a bit on... that was originally what i wanted to play but then i turned around and sold it for 50 bucks and applied it to my first electric guitar and amp. i wish i still had it though it's nice to have one around.

line 6 again... what a wonderful innovative company... i love those guys

nate

btw - kind of off topic but i wanted to thank you for your contributions to the theory board... guitar theory has always intimidated me but you and steelkonsum have really been able to explain it in such a way any layman could understand! thanks again!


Hi buckjones - yes, they are innovative ... I got that price from musicians friend, but it seems to be available all over. Maybe they are running stock down, or perhaps even thinking about replacing that model (though they deny it on their forums) - perhaps they want to get things moving. I'm not a bass expert but it is a nicely built instrument and seems to play well, and best of all hooks into my Pod XTL for which I already have all of the Bass expansion Amp models :-)

Regarding the theory board - thanks, its great to get good feedback, we'll carry on posting lessons for as long as there is interest, and all and any feedback helps, so thanks!


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Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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ClifordACDC
post Feb 27 2007, 10:59 PM
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How do those work ive seen there guitars too and they dont have anny pickups unless im going blind


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Andrew Cockburn
post Feb 27 2007, 11:17 PM
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QUOTE (ClifordACDC @ Feb 27 2007, 04:59 PM) *
How do those work ive seen there guitars too and they dont have anny pickups unless im going blind


The pickups are actually individual for each string and are in the saddles. They are piezo electric, so never any hum! The clever stuff starts after that - the signal for each string is processed according to one of the many models the guitar has, to make it sound like for instance a MusicMan Sabre, or a double Bass. You are still playing a real instrument, the sound you makes is what is ultimately coming out of the Amp, but it takes on a very different tone depending on which model is in use. I have the Variax 700 lead guitar as well, and I can switch from a Strat to a Les Paul at the flick of a switch - awesome!


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Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Robin
post Feb 28 2007, 01:22 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Feb 27 2007, 11:17 PM) *
The pickups are actually individual for each string and are in the saddles. They are piezo electric, so never any hum! The clever stuff starts after that - the signal for each string is processed according to one of the many models the guitar has, to make it sound like for instance a MusicMan Sabre, or a double Bass. You are still playing a real instrument, the sound you makes is what is ultimately coming out of the Amp, but it takes on a very different tone depending on which model is in use. I have the Variax 700 lead guitar as well, and I can switch from a Strat to a Les Paul at the flick of a switch - awesome!


Been wondering about those Variax guitars, the price seem very low. Does it sound exactly as good as a Les Paul, or strat? And can you play with your band/live with it? I'm thinking of buying one because they seem awesome laugh.gif and the price is nice.


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Andrew Cockburn
post Feb 28 2007, 02:54 PM
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QUOTE (Robin @ Feb 28 2007, 07:22 AM) *
Been wondering about those Variax guitars, the price seem very low. Does it sound exactly as good as a Les Paul, or strat? And can you play with your band/live with it? I'm thinking of buying one because they seem awesome laugh.gif and the price is nice.


Ok, I'll preface all of this by saying I am biased, so take it all with a pinch of salt, but you did ask :-)

I'm a great fan of the Variax concept, their products are high quality and playable, and they work as advertised. Now I have never owned or played any of the models in my Variax 700, except that I played a '93 Strat Plus for years before I moved to the Variax. In terms of playability for me, the Vax was immediately a nicer instrument, but to be fair to the Strat it has been around the block and could do with a good setup, and I am going to rebuild it sometime. in terms of sounds, subjectively, I think, and more importantly people who actually know, think that the models are pretty accurate. Some are better than others, for instance, making an electric guitar sound like an acoustic is hard, and what Line6 have achieved is a reasonable representation of an acoustic, but it is not spot on. I would use it for gigs, but not recording. However, the other models sound great - the Strat has the right kind of Twang/Brittle treble, the Les Pauls have more punch, body and even a correctly modeled higher output level.

When you add to this something like a Pod XT Live, you can get all of the classic Guitar/Amp combinations you need, straight into a recording setup or live PA, in a completely repeatable way - no messing around with Mics, Gain controls etc to recreate a sound. I can record some lead, and save the patch along with the song. The patch includes the amp models, effects AND the guitar model, so you can easily switch guitar models along with patches on stage. So I would absolutely use this live, and have no need to cart several guitars around with me. It also rocks for recording (if you have the Pod XTL or similar)

As we all know, when recreating a particular sound, you start with the guitar. You will never get a strat to sound much like an SG unless you mess with pickups etc. What the Vax does is give you incredible variation for your starting tone (there's even a Banjo and Sitar!) - then you can couple it with excellent AMP models and get a Huge tonal palette out of a single guitar and pedal combo. For gigging in a band where you need this variation it can't be beaten. For recording, you get an end-to-end digital solution, no hum and great sound.

Now, to answer your actual question wink.gif - I am sure if you did blind tests with someone who REALLY knew the real thing, they would spot differences, but I am equally sure that they would be minor. I heard a (possibly allegorical) story that Line6 did some tests like that, and were upset that the line6 stuff was picked as such each time, until they figured out that the lack of hum on the L6 gear was giving the game away! They added spurious hum, and got something like a 50/50 split, meaning that to all intents and purposes they sound like the real thing.

I don't have a particular sound anyway - I just like the huge variety I can get out of the combo, and pick a sound that works for the song I am doing at the time.

The only downside I can report is that due to the pickup positioning, palm muting is a little different on the Variax. Some people wonder what the fuss is about, others can never get used to it. Other than that, these guitars rock!

There are 3 models - the 300, 600 and 700. I have the 700, which is top of the line and it plays great. I played the 300 in the shop, and although the sounds are the same, there are a couple less of them, and the guitar itself is lower quality - the 300 is the one that is on sale for a great price, and I would say that it is a steal at $299, the 700 is still around $1300 and worth it IMO. The 600 is about midway between the 2 - never played it, but I think it is closer to the 700 in quality, and also designed to play more like a Strat.

Ok, I'm done preaching ...


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Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Robin
post Feb 28 2007, 04:17 PM
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Woah thats a long post tongue.gif Thanks alot for your time. too bad they dont have it anywhere where I live, but if I'm on vacation or something where they have it I'll have a look, sounds like a good deal. and now that I just joined a band that both uses acoustic and electric it will be great to be able to switch beetween when playing chords etc. playing chords with an electric with clean sound is awfull imo.

Thanks alot!!


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Andrew Cockburn
post Feb 28 2007, 04:43 PM
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QUOTE (Robin @ Feb 28 2007, 10:17 AM) *
Woah thats a long post tongue.gif Thanks alot for your time. too bad they dont have it anywhere where I live, but if I'm on vacation or something where they have it I'll have a look, sounds like a good deal. and now that I just joined a band that both uses acoustic and electric it will be great to be able to switch beetween when playing chords etc. playing chords with an electric with clean sound is awfull imo.

Thanks alot!!


No problem! BTW, the Line6 website has a lot of videos about the products and the range of sounds you can get from them all - well worth a look if you are considering a purchase.


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Check out my Instructor profile
Live long and prosper ...

My Stuff:

Electric Guitars : Ibanez Jem7v, Line6 Variax 700, Fender Plus Strat with 57/62 Pickups, Line6 Variax 705 Bass
Acoustic Guitars : Taylor 816ce, Martin D-15, Line6 Variax Acoustic 300 Nylon
Effects : Line6 Helix, Keeley Modded Boss DS1, Keeley Modded Boss BD2, Keeley 4 knob compressor, Keeley OxBlood
Amps : Epiphone Valve Jnr & Head, Cockburn A.C.1, Cockburn A.C.2, Blackstar Club 50 Head & 4x12 Cab
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Robin
post Feb 28 2007, 06:25 PM
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Ok great, I'll check it out, thanks.


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