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Line6 Variax FOUR-string now discontinued, too?!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DanielleMuscato, Mar 11, 2008.


  1. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Musician's Friend now shows the 4-string as discontinued, in addition to the 5er (discontinued last year), and Sweetwater doesn't even have the Variax basses on their site anymore!

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Line-6-Variax-Bass-700-?sku=511671

    The end of an era?? I'm glad I bought two of the 5-strings when I did!

    Line6's website is no help.... They still show both the 4- and 5-string models, even though I know the latter are discontinued. Anybody know for sure?
     
  2. Andy_colassal

    Andy_colassal

    Nov 21, 2006
    Regina, SK
    I wouldnt jump to conclusions, i remember the Gibson Special Faded SG (a VERY well selling guitar) was discontinued on musiciansfriend and the gibson website still had it. A mistake is my guess but anything can happen.
     
  3. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I posted about this on the Line6 forums, and here are some of the replies:

    http://line6.com/support//thread.jspa?messageID=183150

    "the four string has been discontinued for a long time... line6 discontinued the variax basses, but whatever dealers still had them in stock, still sold what they had, now that MF sold their last one, they cannot order anymore because they are no longer available...
    so they put that they are discontinued..."

    Apparently they've been discontinued since 9/11/2007, and MF just finally sold out their stock of them.

    http://www.vettaville.nl/page.php?id=92#412

    Man... that makes me sad. I guess there just wasn't a big enough market for them. In my opinion, they are downright necessary for any bassist who does studio work. Especially with the move to home studios, and less money being put into recordings overall, I would have thought that the Variax Bass would have really taken off. I'm really surprised to hear this.
     
  4. I thought Line6 was working on a new, revised Variax bass model?
     
  5. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Same thing happened to the V-Bass. I think the market of bass players pushing the sonic envelope with anything beyond stomp boxes is extremely small and really can't support that kinda stuff.

    Unfortunate...
     
  6. B.C.

    B.C. Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Indiana
    Well thats not good for me:ninja:
     
  7. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    It's a bummer, but a predictable bummer. Synths just don't work on stringed instruments. There's always some problem or some workaround you have to deal with, whereas with a keyboard, you press a key that hits a switch, and it's all electronic from start to finish with no converting needed.
     
  8. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I'm not surprised they've been discontinued. There was a shop in Newcastle that had two for a long, long time. I did play one of them (I'm sure that had to plug it into something before they ran it into an amp too!) and it was alright. I thought the bass itself was quite ugly and didn't pla brilliantly.

    But the range of tones was silly! I'll not lie and say they were all great, there were a few that sucked and a few that were useless to me, but some of them were good. I think part of the problem was that the average buyer just didn't know what they were looking at, didn't know what the technology could do. I never even saw anyone else looking at one!

    And I think at the end of the day, anyone who did reached the same conclusion as me, that a jazz bass just sounds and plays better! :meh:

    The end of an era, and those basses were a brave and interesting move from Line6.
     
  9. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    So many people were just disappointed in the instrument, I guess. People were sometimes buying them, gutting the electronics, and putting them into nicer instruments...but not everyone has enough money to simply "throw away" the donor instrument, in order to just get the electronics.

    If Line 6 had any sense (big leap of faith here), they'd offer the electronics package to instrument manufacturers and hobbyists that are actually capable of making instruments that someone would WANT to play.
     
  10. BINGO! :bassist::hyper::bassist::hyper:
     
  11. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    I posted a simliar comment on the Line 6 site, in that they should make an electronics package, like the Roland MIDI pickup, that can adapt to your favorite bass. I also recommended that they give us artist packages as add-ons. Can you imagine getting a complete model of Victor Wooten's personal Fodera Monarch, with his Ampeg rig and his effects rig for your Variax and POD? Would be worth $500 to me, for just that, if it were a close, accurate model. And Vic and other artists could cash in on some of the profits.
    I sent my Variax to The Low End in Murfreesboro, TN for a brass nut and a fingerboard ramp to be placed where a sweetspot pickup would be placed. Im going to pickup it up this weekend. I think if I have something under the strings for my right hand technique, not to mention the mental feeling that Im playing an AEB, I will dig it more. The brass nut will help acousically tighten things up, and Im going to switch to DAddario Half Rounds, to round out the bright sounds, and make the flatwound sounds feel better. Basically, the Fretless, 8 and 12 string, and the Tacoma Acoustic should have been left off. There terrible. The upright is useful, but not as a solo instrument, it must be buried in the mix. The synths are cool, but have a small delay. The MTD sounds nothing like the sound on the line6 site. My favs are the Alembic, Rickenbacker, Fender P Bass, Dano Longhorn, Stingray, Modulus Flea, and the Warwick. If you look at them as colors, or tones, rather than being actual models of their respective instruments, then you can go places with this thing. I hope that Line 6 listens to us next time they put out a Variax Bass. Give us what we need like artist packs, boutique basses we cant afford, leave off the 12 string unless you can get it to track harmonics, upright must be able to similate not only jazz, but rockabilly/country, and put a real magnetic pickup in it to blend with, for the missing midrange that the models dont convey through the piezo. That is my 2 cents.
     
  12. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    +1

    This would really make the project viable, especially if they could get them in a jazz bass!
     
  13. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    I really don't think it's viable even if you sell just the electronics package. I just don't think enough working bassists are interested in modeling, and kids who are interested in modeling get what they need out of a $50 Zoom pedal. I honestly have zero interest in it, and I don't know any bass players who have any interest in it.
     
  14. You know of several here, no?
     
  15. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    I've seen a couple people who own them on here but this is a worldwide website with tons of participants, so we're bound to get a couple people on here who are vocal about their love of the Variax. The vast majority of bassists simply aren't interested in it, though, and I seriously doubt that it's enough interest to sustain any sort of sales to make it worth it for Line 6 to continue with it. I'm not putting the product down. I'm just stating the facts. If it were viable, Line 6 would do it.
     
  16. Who knows, perhaps they are miniturizing it to the size of a typical preamp. As it is now, the electronics are kinda bulky. But as we all know, chips and the like get smaller every year.

    Imagine if installing an improved VariAxe sound could be as easy as a piezo pickup and preamp? Let's say for $300.00? Remember, your the bass you know and love will still have it's great passive sound, but at the flick of a switch....

    I strongly think there is a place for this idea in the future.
     
  17. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    The idea of putting it in "your" bass already happened....it was called the V-Bass ;)

    Much better (IMO...I know Dave and I will disagree on that point and that's OK) than the Variax and still it failed. To Rob Mancini; there's no conversion involved...neither unit being a "synth". I think that you summed it up well tho with "I just don't think enough working bassists are interested in modeling, and kids who are interested in modeling get what they need out of a $50 Zoom pedal."

    Every bassist I've ever exposed to the whole modeling thing is always very intrigued, but not once has any of them actually wanted to get it. It's always "Yeah, that's really cool but I'll never use it".
     
  18. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    On the contrary, Marcus; I've never really used a V-Bass, but I'd love to try one!
     
  19. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Ah, my bad then. Alas; that will be much more difficult now.

    The whole physical modeling thing is vastly misunderstood. I can't tell you how many times I was explaining the V-Bass (or my guitar buddy Kevin explaining his VG-88 system; basically the same thing for guitar) to people and over and over they would keep asking

    "So, how much delay is there to covert to MIDI?"
    "Can you drive any synth with it?"

    Or some other question involving MIDI. Seeing a MIDI port on the unit (ONLY for storing and/or manipulating patches in real time) and try to tell people it does NOT produce a MIDI signal and therefore there is ZERO delay never seemed to work.

    Even the few who "kinda" got it (and guitar players LOVED the acoustic model Kevin had and always swooned over it and said how great that would be...etc, etc) still never seemed to move past the point of seeing it as a novelty instead of a viable tool.
     
  20. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    Well, these types of instruments get lumped into the synth bass thing because they don't reproduce the actual string sound, I guess. I always thought there was some AD/DA going on with them. But apparently they don't operate that way. My bad!
     

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