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#2565 - 03/10/05 02:53 PM Steve Howe playes Variax...
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Don't search for the pickups Steve 'cause you'll never find them...
http://www.line6.com/textArticle.html?id=207&category=artist

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Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)
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Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#2566 - 03/11/05 12:24 AM Re: Steve Howe playes Variax...
Nigel Offline
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6202
Loc: Ventura CA USA
If you are a guitar player you just have to love Steve Howe. I am a fanatical Yes fan and especially like the older albums featuring Steve on guitar and Rick Wakeman on keyboards such as Fragile and Close To The Edge. Phenomenal composition and performances by all members of that band.

I was actually a bit wary of the Variax line but recently I have come to think that I should drop into a music store and check them out. I already use a Line6 Pod and like that a lot so I may like the Variax as well. And as Line6 are just a few miles down the road from me in Thousand Oaks CA I should support local products.

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#2567 - 03/11/05 01:09 PM Re: Steve Howe playes Variax...
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Quote:
Originally posted by Nigel:
...I already use a Line6 Pod and like that a lot so I may like the Variax as well...


Hey, I'm likewise doing it. This little 'pod' has great sound abilities, hasn't it? I love the breath taking sound of Fender's, Marshall's and Mesa Boogie's amplifiers but this sweet little red 'ass' do it all and more in one.

I'm a little bit confused - a guitar without pickups. I've heard about it but I've never seen it. Is the Variax a kind of guitar synth?


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Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#2568 - 03/14/05 02:24 AM Re: Steve Howe playes Variax...
Nigel Offline
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6202
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Sheriff:
I'm a little bit confused - a guitar without pickups. I've heard about it but I've never seen it. Is the Variax a kind of guitar synth?


No the Variax isn't a guitar synth. And it does have a bridge piezzo pickup that you can't see, just not conventional magnetic pickups. It still doesn't create the sound from nothing and requires the acoustic signal. The acoustic signal from the piezzo pickup is then passed through the Variax digital modelling circuitry where it is shaped and EQd into the final guitar model.

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#2569 - 03/14/05 03:32 AM Re: Steve Howe playes Variax...
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Quote:
Originally posted by Nigel:
...The acoustic signal from the piezzo pickup is then passed through the Variax digital modelling circuitry where it is shaped and EQd into the final guitar model.


That sounds very interesting. Maybe I should also go to my dealer and let him show me the Variax. Is there anybody who has tested the Variax (except Howe)? I'm interested in some informations from experienced users...


------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#2570 - 03/14/05 03:44 PM Re: Steve Howe playes Variax...
Nigel Offline
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6202
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Yes, one of our members royandreno has 2 Variax guitars. I know that because we talked about it in The Bar a little while back at http://www.synthzone.com/ubbs/Forum35/HTML/000031.html

By the way I was also wary of the Variax because of its price. But Line 6 have just announced a low cost version they are bringing out at around $300. Obviously they must have cut some features to lower the price that much but I'd be much more likely to buy one at that price than I would at $1500.

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#2571 - 03/14/05 06:39 PM Re: Steve Howe playes Variax...
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Okay, Nigel! Thank you very much!!!
With your help I've read over 90 postings and some of them were REALLY long. I have translated all these texts into german, have tried to understand and have gone tired now...

Maybe it's better to hold on with my POD and to use furthermore my Les Paul, my Strat and my Yamaha accoustic guitar. At this point I don't really need any new guitar sound.

It's 3:33 am local time and so I go to bed now...good night...


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Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#2572 - 03/15/05 08:53 AM Re: Steve Howe playes Variax...
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Okay, I'm up again! A new day is born in America and a new evening is just beginning here in Germany.

I sum up the informations I've readed the last night. Maybe the Variax will get some fine new tunes to anyone's music but it will never replace a 'real' guitar. It seems to be the same thematic as with virtual synths versus real synths.


Oh, by the way, the two photos of the 'Guild' showed a really beautiful guitar. I think I do remember I've seen this guitar in a music dealer's showcase a long time ago. Unfortunality I didn't have the money for it so I bought a Yamaha's accoustic guitar a few years later. I was a poor child with expensive dreams...


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Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

[This message has been edited by Sheriff (edited 03-15-2005).]
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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#2573 - 03/15/05 10:35 AM Re: Steve Howe playes Variax...
3351 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 1194
Loc: Toronto, Canada.
The Variax reminds me alot of ROland's VG-8 and VG-88 virtual Guitar systems. The ROland stuff seems somewhat more versatyle since it allows you to use any guitar that you wish (as long as you have a ROland pick-up installed). Quality wise, the ROland stuff sounds much better to me, but I'm picky.
I wouldn't compare one to something like Line 6 POD since we are talking about totally different kind of processing. The POD is nothing more than an amp modeler with a bit of extra FX. Even though I used PODs to death I have to admit. They just don't cut it for me quality wise. NOisy mother f***ers too I might add. They never really did it for me. Not bad, they do have the warmth and some of the tone qualities of the real amps but comparing to Roland's GP-100 they sound cheap. Not afraid to use the word.
I find that Line 6 stuff in general has a lot of cut backs on the quality of A/D converters.
I think they are only about 33k. Not that that's the only indication.

However, as I mentioned I used PODs to death and just got sick and tired of the quality issues. There were ways to make them sound decent in the mix but the result wasn't worth the effort.

So my current guitar setup consists of 15 guitars (mostly GIbsons and PRS, but I have a couple of Fenders) a few Fender and vintage ampeg amps as well as processors like VG-88 and GP-100 as well as GPX700.

I tend to use a bit of everything. Whenever I need to sit in front of my Mac while recording guitar traks the VG88 comes in handy since the Roland pick-up (with its multipin connector) doesn't pick up the hum and interference from the monitor. THe only problem with guitar modelers is that no matter what model you have selected it will still sound like the guitar that you're using. So I get a variety of really cool Strat sounds. I thought of hooking up one of my Les Pauls but I'd hate to ruin the finish on it just to mount the damn ROland pick up.

So same goes for the Variax, no matter what you are trying to model, it will sound like the variax. YOu will get the convinnience of changing tunings (without having to re-tune your guitar), adjust tone balance between the strings as well as virtually shift positions of the pick-ups (not that anyone will notice that one) but you will not be able to get a sound of a 57 ES 335 or get even close to it.

So as Sheriff said, modeling isn't quite there yet. Wait for a few decades and may be then we will need nothing more but one variax type toy to make ourselves sound like we have a multi thousand dollar guitar collection.

For now, I'll stick to using 15 guitars and all the toys that I have.

Regards,

-ED-

[This message has been edited by 3351 (edited 03-15-2005).]
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A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally.
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#2574 - 03/15/05 12:05 PM Re: Steve Howe playes Variax...
Sheriff Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 965
Loc: Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany
Hey, guys! I had a dream last night...

I went on stage - there were thousands of people standing and crying out my name (ahhh, what a good feeling it was). I went to the mike nearby the stage's corner, took it in my hand and shouted in it:

"Hello everybody!!! Are you ready to rock???"

A bombastic thunderous speaking out with one voice dashed back:

"Yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

I put back the mike into its fitting with a knowing smile in my face. Then I turned back and went a few steps toward a small table guided by the immense applause of the visitors (yes, I really loved this part). When I reached the table I put on a wired headset with two laser screens in front of my eyes. After that I put on some wired thimbles - once per finger - and the folks were still awaiting the show - the applause even got some louder (yeah). At least I sat down on an easy chair with my feet up on table and started to 'feel' music.

I fluttered with my fingers in the air and saw my guitar on the small laser screens. Every little thought in my mind formed a new sound modell and the virtual fingers played faster than me on my virtual GibYamIbFen Les Strat studioLineCustom DiMarzSingleHumb Varinix guitar.
Wow, that was a great gig...but where was my band? Where were all my loyal roadies going to? I was absolutely alone with thousands of hungry people...and they were starting to take notice of it...


------------------
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

[This message has been edited by Sheriff (edited 03-15-2005).]
_________________________
Greetings from Frankfurt (Germany),
Sheriff ;-)

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