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Variax5 = Practical?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bass_drum, Apr 21, 2006.


  1. bass_drum

    bass_drum

    Feb 13, 2005
    Alberta,Canada
    Hey guys I was going around looking for a good 5 string bass when I came across the variax5. Granted I know it won't nail all the sounds of the basses perfectly, but I'm pretty sure I'll just have 3-4 main settings, Mellow bass, bright growly bass, good slap bass and upright-ish sound for the few johnny cash songs we play. (one of the main attractions with this bass wwas that it felt so right playing it, the feel was so amazing.)

    But I really need a practical bass so I'm wondering, do you think the variax 5 with the power supply/di is a practical setup for the average bass player? I need it for a gigging rock/cover band of mine and the school jazz band mostly, but I am always trying new things and want a bass that is flexible.

    If you dont think this would be a good bass for me, what do you think would be? I'd most likely be looking for a 5 string passive 21-24 fret jazz bass.

    Thanks for your time!

    ~Justin~
     
  2. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    The only way to tell is to try it. I always though of the variax as a lot of electronics in not a lof of instrument.
     
  3. yeah, i've played them, and they are cool, but i agree with every variax review i've ever read (guitar or bass) its a 300 dollar instrument with 700 dollars worth of electronics in it :)
     
  4. chrisp2u

    chrisp2u

    Aug 15, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I see Line6 is giving away BassPOD XT Live's with the purchase of a variax bass until July. Also, if you don't like the look/feel of the stock versions, I think Warmoth is making replacement bodies and necks for the Variax Guitars... you might want to inquire to see if they're doing anything similar for the variax basses.
    ---
    c
     
  5. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    I own a Variax 4, and think is a good instrument ... It's a $700 bass with $700 of electronics (I've got pictures of the inside of the Variax if anyone is interested). It's heavy, so check them out to see if you want to carry that much weight. Warmoth has said on their web site that they do not plan to provide Variax bass bodies. Too bad, as a light body would be a great seller.
     
  6. bass_drum

    bass_drum

    Feb 13, 2005
    Alberta,Canada
    Yeah it had a great feel and although the sounds didnt replecate the basses exactly, each one had its own little niche for a sound (like mellow, punchy, slap happy, etc.) , but I'm just wondering if you think they could be used as a practical bass aswell because i dont want a bass where I need to bring along alot of extra stuff (like my bc rich beast...uggg HUGE hardshell case:rollno: , and although I love my warwick have the detachable "shackle" for the strap also gets on my nerves).
     
  7. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    It comes with a gig bag (funny name ... I guess 'gig' was originally a lottery term for the bag the money was carried in ... so this is a bag bag). The only extra piece of equipmen is the DI box, which if you plug into a PA means you don't have to bring anything else (including backup batteries). There is no extra equipment as far as I can tell.
     
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    My guitarist bought (guitar version) one! I don't like it! Damn thing never stays in tune and it now takes him even longer to find his 'sound' for the next song! Ugh!
     
  9. bass_drum

    bass_drum

    Feb 13, 2005
    Alberta,Canada
    I already have a di ( aswell as a decent sized pedal board) so it would only be used to power the variax. The "huge case" comment was just that Its really annoying having to carry around this keyboard sized hardshell case everywhere for my bcrich and I dont want that again:p . I am basically wondering if, the variaz would be a sturdy bass that will stay in tune, be able to take a little abuse, be very usable at gigs and will sound good. I know its easy to play and the tone is good to, but I want to make sure its reliable.
     
  10. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    I'd heard that the quality is substantially lower on the guitars (or maybe they just have more parts, and the poor tolerances show up more). The Variax should not be mistaken for a boutique bass, though. It's your standard $300-500 Korean Fender clone with some fancy electronics. That's not bad, but you should properly set your expectations.
     
  11. bass_drum

    bass_drum

    Feb 13, 2005
    Alberta,Canada
    But will the variax be reliable and be able to hold up to some abuse?
     
  12. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    I played one at a store once and the sounds i got out of it were nothing like the ones advertised.

    Its a pretty good bass, especially with the free pod offer(are line 6 getting desperate?) Im sure with a pod you could get close to those sounds.


    Id like to hear some sound clips recorded by an actual owner of the bass, not the company that makes it.


    also, i think they look a bit weird without any pickups, but thats really personal taste
     
  13. I owned a Variax for about six months... and it sounded great for recording sessions, but when I played it out, it was not comfortable at all in live situations. For one thing, it was pretty damn heavy. All of the choices as well = a lot of dicking around trying to find a tone to satisfy the sound you hear in your head. Once you start fiddlin' with the knobs, you pretty much have to re-EQ, which really kills time. I also found that it did not cut through that well in a live mix. Another caveat, make sure if you do get it, drag that DI box everywhere unless you like draining batteries every other show.
     

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