Submitted August 25, 2011 by a customer from wentzelwerks.com
"Performs as advertised for tweaking Variax sounds."
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Overall, it performs exactly as I had hoped it would.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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