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which model Variax?

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:28 pm
by funsongs
Howdy.
Yeah - there's tons on YouTube to look at & listen to - but if there are some everyday users of this gear, I'd still appreciate a personal recommendation
for an instrument like this for the job (particularly studio recording) at which these apparently excel. Any particular model to obtain - or avoid?
In advance; thanks.

Re: which variax?

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:19 pm
by LamarPecorino
Hi Peter:

I have a Variax 300 that I have used in the studio for 8 years. I prefer the 300's hard tail bridge for tuning reasons. The modeled guitars are the same between the 300, 600 and 700 series. I have not used the Variax Acoustic guitars, but have played the 700 a little.

What are you wanting to do with the Variax?

Re: which variax?

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:04 am
by Kolstad
Hey Peter,
I've had a Variax Bass, and it was a well built instrument. A bit heavy, but felt good to play. The system works great, just flick a knob and change sounds, very simple. I didnt fall in love with the sounds, and found it a bit hard to get to sound really clear and punchy in a mix, but theres some great youtube demos online of it, so it might just have been me. What was great though was that I learned about how different types of basses, that I otherwise would never have owned, sounded. I remember especially the Hohner, the Gibson and the Rick as the best of them to my ears.

I wish there was a way to upgrade the sounds in it, as that could have made me keep it. In the end I decided to sell it while it was still sellable, and get a jazz bass I could "bond" with and use software for the other stuff. Not sure if I would reccomend it, as the sounds was the weakest part (allthough that is my subjective opinion), but the feel, build construction and the variax system was all good.

Re: which variax?

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:48 am
by mojobone
I have an original Variax in good working order and the action is the only thing I can really ding it on; the emulations are deadly accurate in most cases, though obviously the 12-string acoustic models are a bit more of a stretch. Nevertheless, the resonators are scary good and I have found a use for every sound in the thing, even the banjo and sitar. Plugged directly into a quality tube amp, you can really hear a lot of detail and variation in the various pickups & combinations and even some air in the semi-hollowbodies. They fare a smidge less well into modelers, but the difference is slight enough, you'll never hear it in a mix.

The action is set midway between an acoustic and an electric for the very good reason that it helps the feel when you're emulating an acoustic, but for druthers I'd get one of the newer ones that come in a very well made and designed James Tyler guitar. I can't recommend the acoustic version cuz I think you're better off having a real nylon string when you need that sound and at the end of the day, the same size Martin dreadnaught sounds pretty much like Gibson's. And as for the bass, well...many players go their whole lives with one bass and one bass amp and on a bass, strings can make a bigger tonal difference than the pickups.

Re: which variax?

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:23 am
by funsongs
Thanks, guys.
Main reason I'd be tempted to get the JTV would be for studio application - 12-string electric or acoustic. Don't need the bass; have a Fender/Squier Precision that works fine for that.
Having all those combinations of electrics & acoustic sounds makes me think it would be a worth-while piece of gear to have handy.
Typically I record with 2 different acoustics, using mic only - no plug-in: a Martin and a Lyle (Gibson Hummingbird knock-off); and a Classic Vibe Squire Tele for that Country stuff;
and a Blueridge Adirondack for Bluegrass (with the Martin).

Some of the YouTube clips seem to reveal pros & cons about the better/best type of bridge - Floyd Rose type on the 89 better? The older style problematic?
Would like a bit more confidence about which is the better choice.

Re: which variax?

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:06 am
by LamarPecorino
Peter:

If you are mainly interested in 12 electric and acoustic guitar sounds, then you should check out the Digitech Mosaic pedal. I love mine. It sounds great with acoustic and electric guitars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjK9lpdbpN4

Re: which variax?

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:46 pm
by funsongs
LamarPecorino wrote:Peter:

If you are mainly interested in 12 electric and acoustic guitar sounds, then you should check out the Digitech Mosaic pedal. I love mine. It sound great with acoustic and electric guitars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjK9lpdbpN4
Hey Lamar - that's a good idea, too.
The Tele in that clip looks zackly like mine. :? :shock: 8-)
Thanks.
Wonder how that would sound with a nylon, classical-style guitar... 12-strings?!

Re: which variax?

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:15 am
by LamarPecorino
Hey Peter:

It sounds great with my electric and acoustic electric guitars. I had never thought to try it on my nylon string. Certainly worth checking it out. That being said, I do like having the Rickenbacker 12 string on the Variax. I've not played the JVT versions. IMHO, the best thing going for them is the pickups. If the module dies, then you had nothing happening. :(

Re: which variax?

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:05 am
by Kolstad
LamarPecorino wrote:Peter:

If you are mainly interested in 12 electric and acoustic guitar sounds, then you should check out the Digitech Mosaic pedal. I love mine. It sound great with acoustic and electric guitars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjK9lpdbpN4
Oh yeah, that looks cool! Could come in handy for some Beards or Tom Petty!

Re: which variax?

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:06 am
by LamarPecorino
By the way, I have experienced no tracking issues with the Mosaic pedal. FWIW, I bought this pedal because my hand can't take the strain of playing on a 12 string neck. Its a pain getting older! ;)