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Line6 Variax 705 came today...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DanielleMuscato, Apr 22, 2006.


  1. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I got a Line6 Variax 705 in light of their free Pod xt Live offer. The Pod isn't here yet (you have to send away for it; takes 4-6 weeks), but I played the Variax on its own through my regular rig (see my signature).

    WHOA.

    I've played a Variax 700 through a practice amp at a guitar store before, and liked it, but through my rig, I am blown away.

    I played the Variax back-to-back for over an hour with both my Modulus Q5 and Spector NS-5. The Variax sounds better, hands-down, no contest. I was stunned, not even considering it's only $1200!

    It doesn't play as well (I prefer neck-through-body, laminate, pretty basses with a Warrior/Spector/Modulus/etc feel, rather than a Fender feel) as my Spector or Modulus, but man - the sound is killer. It's so punchy and full and thick and bright and snappy and woody and sticky and... you name it, it does it. If the Variax only had the Hollow, Alchemy, and Thump settings, I would still prefer it over my Spector and Modulus for tone - and it has TWENTY-ONE OTHER MODELS!

    Anybody wanna buy a clear gloss Modulus Quantum 5er or a Spector Euro NS-5 in natural finish? lol... seriously! The Modulus is very clean, blank warranty card and all accessories still in the original plastic bag with OHSC, and the Spector is literally brand new - I bought it on Wednesday from a local dealer.

    Really though, the Line6 is amazing. I wish it played more like my Spector, but tone-wise, it's unmatched. I can't wait to try it out with a Pod.

    What do you guys think of them?

    Dave
     
  2. Lia_G

    Lia_G

    Oct 27, 2005
    I tried one at Bass Northwest the other day. I went in there to look at the Variax, because of the free Pod offer ... but came home with this instead:
    [​IMG]

    ;)

    However, the Variax was very cool. I also found out that Evan, one of the Bass Northwest owners (who is also an extremely good and experienced player), owns one of the 4 strings plus a Pod himself. He was that impressed with them that he bought one for himself.

    I may pick one up some day, who knows. I just couldn't turn down that MusicMan, though!

    Liam
     
  3. bass_drum

    bass_drum

    Feb 13, 2005
    Alberta,Canada
    So Dave, how practical is the variax? I'm deeply concidering getting a 705 but I'm still wondering, do you think it would be easy to use as a main gigging bass? My bands starting to pick up and we will probably be playing 2 or 3 gigs a month (and yes we're only 11, 13 and 14 :smug: :bassist: ).
     
  4. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Good for you!! I'm very glad to see guys your age playing out. I started playing out when I was about 15 or 16, and I wish I'd started earlier.

    As far as practicality, the Variax power supply is a pain, but it also runs 12-14 hours on AA batteries, or 1-2 hours on a 9V in a pinch. In my opinion, the power supply is worth the trouble for the tone of this thing. Especially considering that you're looking for a primary gigging instrument, a Variax would be perfect. They are half the price of any of the instruments they model, and until you REALLY get a good idea of exactly what sound you like, a modeling guitar is a good move. I've gone through more than my share of $2k+ basses as my idea of good tone has evolved, and a Variax from the start would have saved me a lot of trouble and $. I really envy you right now... having an instrument like the Variax available at your age and playing level! I wish they were around 10 years ago.

    I HIGHLY recommend the Variax, but play one first - the feel is NOT for everybody. As I mentioned in my Gear Review, I like the feel and look of Warrior/Spector/Modulus type basses, and not so much bolt-on Fender-type basses, but if it's comfortable for you, then absolutely, go for it! The free Pod is an incredible offer, too... When I was playing electric guitar for my old band, I used a Line6 Pod Pro (rackmount guitar preamp with controller floorboard) directly into the PA, with no guitar amp at all. Bassists do that a lot, but it's rare to see a guitar player perform with just a preamp... however, Line6 knows what they're doing.

    Let me know what you decide, or if you have any more questions... my email address is mail@davemuscato.com.

    Good luck!

    Dave
     
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Let's see the Q5. Pics? Price?
     
  6. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    How does it respond to dynamics? Does it come across as overly compressed?
     
  7. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Hey Sean,

    The Variax uses individual piezo saddle pickups, and responds the same as any other bass. You can't tell just by listening that you're not using the real McCoy. My guitar player, and my guitar player's dad (who's been playing guitar for 25 years, and is a piano tuner) couldn't tell which was which between my Modulus and the Modulus emulation in a blind listening test. Actually, both preferred the sound of the Line6 a little bit better (it emulates a Modulus Flea, and my real Modulus is a Quantum).

    Dave
     
  8. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I've played the Line6 back-to-back with my Spector and Modulus quite a bit the past few days, and decided that I prefer the feel of the Line6 to the Spector. The strings are spaced a little wider (there is a taper from the nut to the bridge, and it's MUCH wider at the bridge end), and this makes it MUCH easier to slap, which I do a lot. The reason I bought the Spector in the first place was because the scale length of the Modulus was longer than I liked for a lot of my playing - I am short, 5'5", and my hands are not very big - but the Line6 has a shorter scale. The scale actually doesn't affect the tone at all, because the digital emulator simply uses string vibration at the saddle as an input - you could replace the neck with a longer or shorter scale and it wouldn't make a difference.

    Overall, I decided that the Line6 is more playable than either my Spector or Modulus. The only thing I don't like playability-wise is that the back of the neck is more rounded near the nut - I prefer a flatter profile, like my Ibanez or Spector.

    Man, what a killer instrument!

    Dave
     
  9. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Wonder if they are having the sale because a new version is pending?? Do you think line6 will update the sounds in the 705, or is it non-upgradeable?
     
  10. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    I've played the basses and I owned one of the XT Lives. I was impressed with the basses. They played nice, and most of the sounds were cool. A few were pretty bad. The XT Live on the other hand was a pain to deal with and I returned it. I wonder if they aren't having trouble getting rid of the XT Live's, hence, the "free offer".
     
  11. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Looking around the Line6 site at this thing........

    It looks like once you get your PodXT Live, if you get this cable the bass will be "phantom powered" - no need for batteries. And one less digital-to-analog conversion as well. And you can control model selection from a footswitch instead of having to reach for a knob on the bass - seamless switching between sounds. Very cool.
     
  12. ... and for that matter, the Variax Basses themselves. :eyebrow:
     
  13. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Having trouble getting rid of hte XT Live's, or the basses or both? My guess is the latter.

    Can somebody tell me why the bass version is so much more expensive as compared to the guitar version? Made in the same factory from the same components, its just some different chips as far as I can tell.

    Thanks for the great reviews, I have been considering the Variax 705 for some time, and would have jumped on the offer itself were it not for the fact that it isn't available in Canada.
     
  14. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Does anyone know the string spacing at the bridge?
     
  15. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    Can you record some clips of it?

    i dont really trust the line 6 site.:D


    also, "basses dont exist without pics" seems to be the consenus around here :D
     
  16. pdusen

    pdusen

    Aug 18, 2004
    Well, if the XT live's sales are poor enough that they may be cleared out, then I'm glad I bought one when I did. These things rock.
     
  17. I was reading that you can download all the bass cabs and stuff to a regular PodXLT - I'm thinking Line6 may be phasing out the BXLT and marketing the regular PXLT to both bassists and guitar players. One item, one upgrade, one marketing push, makes sense to me.

    I tried a Variax 4 string the other night and loved it. I playa Stingray 5 but wanted a 4 stringer just to simplify things now and then. The thing does not feel cheap in any sense, and the varity of sounds was amazing.

    Slee
     
  18. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    You still need the power supply if you use that cable. In fact, if you use the power supply without that cable, it will actually be using the batteries, and not the power supply. it comes with a TRS cable for hooking up the power supply, or you can use and mono 1/4" to 1/4" cable with batteries instead.

    Dave
     
  19. The digital interface cable will supply the power to the Variax without using batteries or the power supply. The Variax guitar can be powered by the Vetta II while the bass can juice up from the BXTL.

    Slee
     
  20. grathan

    grathan

    Nov 10, 2006
    Dave, can you recommend a good preamp for the 705? I mistakenly bought a pod xt in a rush decision. Is the Pro much better? I find the xt to be blurry and weak sounding. I'd like to spend under $1k. Maybe the bmax-t? thanks
     

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