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Rating and Reviews: Line 6 Variax Workbench

Create custom guitars with body type, tuning and pickups for tones that fit every type of playing style with this software.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Performs as advertised for tweaking Variax sounds." submitted August 25, 2011

By a customer from wentzelwerks.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician/Composer
Music Style: Rock/Bluegrass/Songwriter
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: Sound quality isn't particularly applicable to this product, but I must say that the Variax 700 comes awful darned close to recreating some of the truly great classic guitar sounds, and having 50 of them at your fingertips at all times is nothing short of addicting! Having the ability to tweak them through Workbench is an incremental benefit that allows you to replace the few sounds that you don't really care for with ones that you do. Feature: Pretty much off-the-shelf parts make up the hardware. The software UI within Workbench is adequate if not elegant. It gets the job done for me. Ease of Use: Not the most intuitive, but the Help screens give you the basics to do what you need to do. Once you're up and running it is very easy to modify, save and upload new sounds to the Variax. Quality: One word of caution -- the first time I plugged the RJ45 cable into the Variax it wouldn't come out again. Fortunately someone else out there had had the same problem and posted a solution -- open the Neutrix housing in which the RJ45 plug lives and snap off the plastic tab that is designed to hold the plug in place. It's not needed, since the Neutrix housing has a separate tab/release mechanism that secures it to the jack. And the little plastic tab apparently gets stuck inside and won't release its hold on the jack when you try to pull it out. Really annoying! (Not to mention an obvious Quality Control failure on Line 6's part.) Perform this little operation BEFORE PLUGGING IT IN THE FIRST TIME to avoid an hour or two of frustration. Value: Seems overpriced for what you get -- my guess is that you could put the hardware pieces together yourself at a fraction of the price. But since Line 6 has a monopoly on this technology you don't have much choice. Still, it's worth it if you need to tweak the sounds. Manufacturer Support: Line 6 support has proven to be very spotty -- I know because I own a lot of their products. Fortunately there is a fairly substantial user group out there who post solutions pretty actively, so you can usually find out what you need to know. The Wow Factor: Not sexy, but if you want to tweak the onboard sounds in your Variax, it is essential. Overall: Overall, it performs exactly as I had hoped it would.
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"If you're even remotely considering a vairax, be sure you include workbench. It will help you get Flash Memory Updates." submitted July 14, 2007

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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Worship, Rock, Alternative
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: This product is amazing. My favorite guitar that I've made so far is a Jazzbox type body, with a Jazz P-90 humbucker in the bridge and then putting a single coil pickup in the middle between the two pickups. The result was an incredibly clear tone that the regular Jazz style guitars weren't putting out for me. The point is that you can do anything. what ever sound you really want, you can have. You just have to be willing to take the time and mess around with things. Feature: Imagine it...you can take any of the guitars, and you can you can make them into what you want them to be. Try taking the Firebird and putting telecaster pickups on it... why? because you may get a tone that you really like. Honestly...I've created several guitars that I'm never going to use...they were just good ideas. But, on the other hand...I've made one guitar that I use consistantly because it sounds great. Ease of Use: It's easy. You pick the body, then pick the pickups, and that's it. It'll even let you listen to it as you change things. It's easy. Quality: if you're computer can handle it...it works. The cable that comes with the little box isn't stage ready, but it works great for the purpose it was made for. Value: of course we'd like things to be cheaper, but it will be worth as much as you put in. Overall: The other really great thing about the Workbench is that it will allow you to connect your guitar to Line 6 Monkey (their download helper) and you can actually update the Firmware in your guitar. After you do this...the 12 string models are going to come out a lot better, and some of the tracking models are going to get solved to. If you have a Variax, or are going to get one...this product should be considered just a part of the expense of the guitar. Good news is, if you have a PODxt Live or a Vetta II, you don't have to have this product, you just have to have the VDI/RJ-45 cable and you can download the software for free. It's worth it. I promise.
7 of 8 people (87.5%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"If you don't get this, you're a dumb a$$" submitted May 14, 2005

Overall
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Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: This is the best thing available. With my Variax 500 and XTL, the software was free for the download. I jumped at the chance to grab it the first night it was available. Feature: One word...COOL! Quality: Very nice Value: For free? Can't go wrong with that... Manufacturer Support: Havn't had to call. The Wow Factor: Got it! Don't know I would live without it now... Overall: This is revolutionary. No longer are you required to bring 5 guitars to a gig or tune after capo'ing or take 5 to drop D...BAM...it's there at the turn of a dial...WAY COOL!
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"Hot Tool for a complete rig" submitted April 27, 2005

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Sound
Features
Quality
Value
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Sound: If you own a XTL you can download it for free to use with your variax. This is the coolest....tone you can dial up to your taste. Feature: I'm loving the alternate tunings....I play mostly acoustic stuff. Was playing with tuning the E and A strings an octave down and it's slick. Quality: Software...hmmm...well I guess the fit and finish are fine. You have to pay attention that you download all the drivers, latests software as they describe. Get a pad of paper and write it down. It all works, but setup is critical. Value: Well it cost me a Variax 500 and a Pod XT Live to get the workbench free. I figured having 28 guitars, all the effects, and the ability to do alternate tunings with a flip of a switch was worth $1000 or so. This is a great gigging rig. Tones of tone options. Manufacturer Support: I called them and they got me on track. The Wow Factor: You have to look at this as a "rig" and it's very slick. Overall: Really happy now that I can do the alternate tunings and other adjustments. The workbench makes this whole thing a really flexible solution. I worry it will lose it's mind on a gig...but so far so good. I've had my variax since spring of 2004 and the XT Live about 6 months.....now I can really see what it will do.
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