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Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2005 » Archive through August 24, 2005 » Line 6 Bass? « Previous Next »

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Intermediate Member
Username: 88persuader

Post Number: 144
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 2:03 am:   Edit Post

I've been looking on line for a new cheap 6 string guitar for recording and have been checking out the Variax by line 6. While on their site I checked out the Variax 700 bass. While looking at the list of basses it's sampled I saw that it claims to have sampled a vintage 70s long scale Alembic bass. (I assume a series bass.) Has anyone played one of these and if so what do you think of their Alembic copy? I can tell you the low end Variax 300 6 string guitar has interesting sounds however plays and feels like the $400 guitar it is. Anyone with a view on this?
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 942
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 5:21 am:   Edit Post

I've found that ANYTHING that claims to be "just as good as the original" or better still "takes the place of all of these" like the Line 6 stuff, isn't real good at anything. Any woodworkers out there remember the "Swiss Army Knife" of all woodworking machines..the ubiquitous ShopSmith? It took the place of at least a dozen machines, but didn't do any task well, LOL!. Your take is exactly right IMHO: it sounds OK at mimicking other guitars, but feels and plays like a cheap POS. The bass I haven't played, but I'd bet it isn't any different than the guitar.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 2195
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 6:54 am:   Edit Post

There's a discussion of the variax here.
Intermediate Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 139
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 9:37 am:   Edit Post

I never see any movie that advertises in the style of "IF you liked {Insert Movie Name}, your gonna love this one . . ." If a product can't sell itself on its own merits there is probably a reason.
Username: trekster

Post Number: 45
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 10:56 am:   Edit Post

WEll, 8 months since I did the original post, and I *still* have not tried one of these boogers out! However, I do have some observations:

1) From what they were asking in the beginning to now, the price on the Variax has dropped considerably.

2) I don't know if they have done this for the Variax bass yet, but for the Variax guitar there are some third-party parts manufacturers that are offering replacement bodies that are specifically routed for the Variax electronics (In fact, I think one of these is also offering the routing templates so you can do it yourself to a body of choice). Plus, since the Variax line is bolt-on neck tech, it makes it pretty easy to upgrade if the desire is there.

I'm still gonna wait until I hear it with my own ears. And now that the XT Pod has an Alembic Pre-amp setting, I'm especially curious to mate a Varaix Bass and an XT Pod together to see what happens.

Username: beelee

Post Number: 69
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 1:55 pm:   Edit Post

I don't have alot of experience with line 6 products and have nothing against them.........but how can they say the Variax 700 Bass has a Alembic long scale bass emulation when it doesn't have 24 frets ?

yeah I know that its a sample of an Alembic, but its not the same.

however a guitarist I performed with a while back used a POD with his setup and he got some great sounds out of it.

also I purchased a NOS Line 6 AX-212 AMP with the floorboard about a year ago, cause I wanted/needed a portable guitar amp ( I had also considered a Fender Twin Reverb and Roland JC-120) to use with my Chapman Stick and for my studio.......the price was right and 3 different guitarists I work with have used it to record and at live shows, they were quite pleased with its sound as was I too. one of the gtrsts just purchased that new Line 6 floor unit for his rig and has used it at some rehersals and live shows, it sounds really good as well.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 461
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2005 - 5:27 pm:   Edit Post

Analog guys like me (and a lot of you) should perpare yourselves now and this is why:

In the late 70s and early 80s, the best synths (Prophets, OBs, Jupiter 8s, etc.) had knobs and you built your own sounds (just like amps). When the DX's came out, you had a presets and only rudimentary controls (volume, etc.). Over the years, knobs on keyboards have never come back as far as creating sounds from scratch. Now with CyberTwins and other modeling amps, the march will simply proceed in the same fashion for amplifiers. The knob manufacturers will go the way of aircraft propeller builders, so diversify your portfolio now!

J o e y
Intermediate Member
Username: 88persuader

Post Number: 145
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 14, 2005 - 8:46 pm:   Edit Post

Well as I stated when i started this thread the Variax 300 had some nice sounds but felt like cheap crap. However i haven't played one of the more expensive models. The sounds are 100% the same in the higher priced models so I have to assume it's because the guitars are higher quality and more playable. I honestly don't think these guitars will ever really take over for the tried and true originals but if they come 80% close to the originals in sound and feel good they may be great for recording or doing a cover gig. As far as I see the Variax bass goes for around $1300 street price. That's a lot of cash for a pretender when you can get many of the real basses it copies for the same money. Personally I was just wondering if someone who owns a long scale Series Alembic ever played one. I own a SC short scale so can't really play one and compair their Alembic copy to a Series. Personally I'm not even interested in their bass, i was checking out the guitar. But when i read "70's Long Scale Alembic Bass sound" it caught my attention.

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