Line 6 Variax 500

Electric 6-String Guitar

Made by Line 6

Description Simply, the guitar of one's wildest fantasies. He you are, holding a fairly nondescript, but comforatable electric guitar...and with ONLY the turn of a SINGLE knob, it BECOMES a Tele or Strat or Les Paul or D-28 or ES-175 or Rick 12 and many more!!!!
Posted By James Hohenzy (17)
Directory Equipment: Guitars
Rate/Review This Resource
Overall Rating: 5.0 (of 5)
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Member Reviews

On 10/5/2004, Luke Price (934) posted:
Overall Rating:
Until i've got the money to spend 1000 pound on a genuine american Telecaster I will be spending my money on amps and pedals, this guitar does everything I need. Nuff said
Price: $500.00 British Pounds (new)
Where Obtained: Fair Deal Music (UK)
The first guy that reviewed this gave a damn detailed review so I wont repeat anything he said... I would correct however that the Vriax 700 both electric and acoustic are not little brothers/sisters but actually a bigger beast, costs more and has more features, better build quality, etc. I should also mention there are two custom banks where you can load in 5 of the sounds from the other banks to build your own custom 5 way selectable guitar, all with some pulling/turning of that magic knob. With this many sounds how can I give it less than 5? And when the software comes out at xmas, you can change guitar tunings at the flip of a switch... oh my...
I heard some people complain about the neck... I love this guitar, fits me perfectly, and not a hint of buzz anywhere on the neck
Sound Quality:
Excellent cant fault it, so many sounds to play with theres bound to be something for you, I tend to use the telecaster bank more than anything.
Havent had it long but everything looks well manufactured.
On 7/20/2004, James Hohenzy (17) posted:
Overall Rating:
'Can't believe no one has reviewed this guitar-world-shaking axe before!!!

The Line 6 Variax-500 is truly a stand-alone (together with its fancier younger brother, the Variax 700 and lovely young sister, the Variax 700 Acoustic). This guitar is as revolutionary to the world of electric guitars as the Strat or LP was at the time of their introductions.

No, 'am not jesting. So go ahead, read that last sentence again.

At the literal touch of a finger, you GO from the sound of a '60 Strat to a Gretsch 6120 semi-hollow to a LP Standard to a Gibson Mastertone banjo to a Martin D-28 to an ES-335 to a Firebird to a Super 400 to a Guild 12-string...and many more very hip axe sounds.

Who was the sage who said(?), "Technology properly manipulated is indistuinguishable from magic."

The Variax 500 IS MAGIC, truly a guitarist's wildest wish list, come true.

This axe is a keeper. The Variax 500 started a whole new game in the world of electric guitar.

NO LEARNING CURVE, either. Just tweak your amp to best "agree" with the guitar modeled by the Variax.

Go to in "Community" and check out other players' thoughts, at the online "Variax Club"...or is it "cult"...?
Price: $700.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Sam Ash Music, Lombard, Illinois
Korean made-instrument from USA-based Line 6 corporation's development. 6-string electric, no visible pickups (peizo bridge). Double cutaway beveled Basswood body, 3-colour sunburst. 4-bolt, 22-fret 25 1/2" scale maple neck with angled-back headstock, 3-on-a-side tuners. Rosewood fingerboard with medium-jumbo frets and dot inlays. "Tortise shell" pastic pickguard. 1 each Vol and tone knob, 1 rotary model-selector knob, 5-way blade (Strat-style) selector switch. IT'S THE MODEL SELECTOR KNOB AND SELECTOR SWITCH WHICH MAKES THIS GUITAR FAR, FAR BEYOND EXCELLENT! Really heavy, excellent gig bag and AC power source are included.
The Variax 500 has been described as a bit of a mongrel guitar. 'Body style might be described as the love child of a Strat and LP Junior. Eminently playable, factory setup was round-wound 10s. Neck has been suggested as reminding people of a 60s Strat and LP. Interesting combo of parallel-to-body Fender style neck and angled, 3 on a side Gibson-style headstock, but it works! A couple of minor flaws visible through the translucent 3-colour sunburst finish, but hey, it's WOOD. The V-500 plays just fine, in my opinion, as good as (my experience with) any other guitar in its general price range.
Sound Quality:
'Cannot sing the praises of the Variax 500 loud enough! For many Variax-drivers and the many who will become same, the Variax-500 is THE ESSENTIAL guitar to own. This is THE guitar to buy if you play (or want to play) a gob of different musical styles, period. IT'S LIKE OWNING A WHOLE ROOM FULL OF HOT GUITARS!!!! NO JIVE!!! Just turn the magic (and it is truly close to magic) selector switch, and the instrument's sound quality changes far, far, far beyond dramatically. The word, "Magic" should be used all but literally, here. The Variax 500 is a modeling guitar. That means the Variax digitally recreates the sounds of instruments "modeled" into its ROM software. Juicy stuff like three Teles, a '60 Strat, some LPs, a couple Ricks (including a Byrds-style 12-string), two Gibson jazz boxes, five flat tops (including two 12-strings), a banjo, electric sitar, two well as a few others. And imagine, ALL the single-coil models ring clear, with NO noise! Like, YOIKS! The quality of the modeled sounds have been described from perfect to abysmal, but the vast majority of Variax owners agree; the models are at absolute minimum, acceptable wedding-gig quality. The instrument's MANY voices are certainly superb in the ears of this reviewer. Any amp will work with the Variax, but the chat board on the Line 6 website agrees, only Line 6's (magnificent) Flextone and Vetta modeling amps truly do the Variax justice, by coaxing all its voices out to best advantage. Or, lacking a Flextone or Vetta, owning 30 different classic amps will do you, equally well. The Variax's appeal remains downright amazing, five months into this reviewer's ownership adventure. The site has discussed this; the Variax tends to become owners' most played guitar.
Y'know, this is a very FIRST GENERATION modeling guitar. Therefore, think of the Variax 500 as a proverbial 1911 Model-T Ford, not a 2004 F-350 Crew Cab 4x4 with a Power Stroke diesel. Furthermore, my Variax 500 is not subjected to a tough life...okay, it's pampered. Therefore, commenting on the Variax 500's durability is probably not fair. 'Came factory-set-up in a huge, sealed corrugated carton, inside a heavily padded gig bag, and upon initial tunings, had a mite of a buzz at 6-1 and 2 and 5-1. A tweak with the included neck-adjusting hex wrench did the job, and that was five months ago. The Variax requires 'lectric power to do perform its magic. Line 6 gives you three options, two of which are easy. (1) Batteries inside the body (2) the INCLUDED AC power module-foot switch or (3) for Line 6 Vetta II amp owners, the Variax plugs into the BACK of the amp, both as an instrument input and power source. Source 2 is jus' fine with most folks.