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Variax Bass in Denmark Street, London, UK?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wulf, Jan 4, 2005.


  1. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I've got a Lovesjones rehearsal tonight at Enterprise Studios, which is just behind Denmark Street in Central London. Does anyone know if any of the shops in or around Denmark Street has got a Variax bass in? I'm jonesying to try one and it might be worth travelling up a bit earlier if there's a good chance of getting my paws on a Variax bass.

    Wulf
     
  2. I would be surprised if anyone had one, yet alone on Demmark Street. Did you call Bass Centre?
     
  3. cetera

    cetera

    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    There is a Bass Variax available to demo just over the road in Sound Control (below Virgin Megastore) at Tottenham Court Road.

    Enjoy! :bassist:
     
  4. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Ah yes - Sound Control. Open until 9pm as well, I see. It depends partly what time I get out of work but that might be worth a look. No promises but I'll post some thoughts if I do get my mitts on one tonight (or in the next couple of weeks).

    Cheers,

    Wulf
     
  5. VellaBass

    VellaBass

    Aug 29, 2003
    London, UK
    Hey Wulf, when's your next gig?

    Garry
     
  6. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    This Friday, with Lovesjones, but it's a private party for staff at the Science Museum so I can't invite you all :crying:

    Lovesjones might then be a bit quiet for a while as various people are off to different parts of the world doing things. However, I'm excited about my next performance with The Elusive Teeth at the Burn Bullock pub in Mitcham, South London, on Thursday 27 January (the gigs before that will be duo's as I've got other commitments). It's an open mic night that we're helping to host (the Bullock's landlord has been very helpful in supporting us over the last year). I'd love to see a big crowd there - and I'm also interested to hear from anyone who might be interested in peforming a slot either solo or in a small group.

    Anyway, as far as the Variax bass goes (I did get round to trying it last night), I think I'd give it one thumb up. It was a well made instrument as far as the overall construction and design goes. However you are stuck with the choices they've made - for example, I've grown used to 24 fret necks so I'd have to think about how much having only 21 frets would limit me. I don't often go right to the top end but it's nice to know that you can.

    The modelling aspect did manage to capture a wide range of sounds (although I only got to try half of them - neither I nor the shop assistant realised that you had to press down on the volume knob to access the second bank). Some of the models were very good, such as what I presume was the Rickenbacker emulation. If I really wanted the sound of a Rick, I think the Variax would be a strong contender (and, AFAIK, cheaper as well).

    The model I was really interested in was the double bass sound but, checking the demo page on the Line6 website, the one I tried was the electro-acoustic bass. Perhaps I should forgive it for not sounding very much like a double bass (my comment was that it reminded me of an amplified DB but without much character) ;)

    In summary, I wasn't blown away but I do think I'll give it another try before too long.

    Wulf

    ps. Thumbs up to Soundcontrol though. It would have been good if the assistant I spoke to was more clued up about the instrument but it was new in and I can't fault the way he got me set up and trying it, leaving me to experiment rather than hovering around. If I hadn't needed to rush off he would also have gone to search for the manual.
     
  7. Oh my gosh. I spent a month in London last summer and I miss Denmark street so much :bawl:
     
  8. bassbloke

    bassbloke

    Feb 26, 2002
    UK
    Be interested in any follow-up. I've just got a Roland V-Bass and I wondered if the Variax was a better way of approaching the idea of a getting that kind of variety on your instrument. I'm not much interested in the Rick sound: more interested in the Jazz, P and Musicman sounds.

    I was disappointed with the sound of the double-bass on the Variax site - they've gone for a kind of rockabilly doghouse sound, whereas I'd be more interested in a sound that'd be good in a jazz setting: the acoustic bass guitar sound is a waste IMO because (as the Variax site itself admits) acoustic bass guitars tend to be used to give the "unplugged" image rather than for their sound.
     
  9. Rusty Chainsaw

    Rusty Chainsaw

    Oct 15, 2002
    The Cronx
    For basses, Denmark St is a bit crap, really. There are much better places to go in London, like The Gallery or The Bass Centre. Or even Soundcontrol (Spectors... droooool). All a lot more likely to give you money off too! :) There are some nice vintage guitars to be found in Denmark St, though.

    Russ :bassist:
     
  10. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    I was in Sound Control looking for the Variax about two weeks ago, and they didnt have it. The assistant didnt even know it was in production. Bit disappointing, frankly.

    Regards


    Mike
     
  11. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I can't comment so much on those. I thought there were a bunch of usable sounds there but I've less hands on familiarity with those other basses whereas I've done quite a lot of 'Rick-time' in the past few months. Having tried a V-Bass setup in the past, I think the Variax is much more focused on emulating instruments, whereas the V-Bass seemed to give a much broader range of controls - I didn't look at specific bass sounds (apart from the double bass section) but it did have some whizzy noises!
    Mind you, I think having the appearance of an upright bass is important for a jazz type gig - even if you have to mic it up and loose the nuances of the sound. I'll post another comment when I get round to trying the second bank of patches!

    Wulf
     
  12. bassbloke

    bassbloke

    Feb 26, 2002
    UK
    Yes the bass modelling is only a part of what the V-Bass does but I think the Variax plus, say, a Pod could potentially give me most of the kinds of sounds I would want to use with the V-Bass without some of the downsides you get with the V-Bass in terms of ergonomics.

    Agreed the look of an upright is a huge part of its charm, but unfortunately I don't play upright so I will have to live without that. Something that could get close to the sound (which the V-Bass does, obviously with limits, but I think you could record it and fool a lot of people) strikes me as pretty useful, whereas an acoustic bass guitar sound seems a bit pointless. Maybe others disagree, though.
     
  13. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I have worked on one or two recording projects where people have specifically wanted to use an electro-acoustic bass for the sound. Personally, the main attraction of any kind of acoustic instrument to me is that you don't have to plug it in to start making music (which, of course, can't be modelled) but I do think you'll find a fair number of people who consider it an attractive sound.

    Wulf
     
  14. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    SC in Dundee has one. I didn't play it.
     
  15. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    I see. This one was London, as it goes. Annoying because I was quite keen to have a bash!
     
  16. I was just in London last week...I dunno man the guy in the bass store on Denmark was realllly unhelpful, he was kind of mean actually...I dunno he didn't help me that much at all...I was a little annoyed...but what can you do...
     
  17. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    The bald guy in the bass celler? Yes, he is the icon of rudeness and bad service. Been talked about on here quite a bit. I've had run ins with him several times, normally because I'm 21 and he assumes I can't afford to buy a half decent bass.
     
  18. cetera

    cetera

    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    Yep, John (the bald guy) is rude, unhelpful and arrogant. He is notorious! :spit: :mad:

    As a result, I take great childish pleasure in winding him up by going in there and trying something out only to go and buy it ELSEWHERE and then walk past his shop window with it in my hand for him to see!! haha! :D :p
     
  19. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    I played the variax extensively today in Sound Control, London. They now have one in :D I really liked it. Very playable, and some very useable tones. Ie. Jazz basses, P's, Thumb, Rickenbacker.

    I'd love one.


    Regards


    Mike
     
  20. The Bass Centre are advertising them on their website for £845!

    Bass Centre

    I don't know if they have any in stock though

    T