Variax 700 (black)

The Variax 700 was the second Variax I owned. Around 2003 this was the height of guitar modeling technology (full D/A circuitry inside the guitar) from Line6, this being their top-of-the-line instrument, made in Japan. The Variax technology uses six piezos, a flashware ROM module, a D/A converter and an Ethernet interface to connect to the Line6 outboard/amp. This allows the Variax to emulate 48 different guitar models (mostly electrics, some acoustics), 10 of which can use custom tunings +/-12 tones per string. The piezo dynamics are such that the guitar excels in reproducing acoustic tones, while also representing the most popular guitar types (Strat, Les Paul, etc.) fairly well.

I bought this from a small shop owner in Amsterdam-West. A few months after I got this guitar, the circuitry suddenly failed and there was no output from it whatsoever. The parts were no longer available to buy anywhere. A Line6-specialised repair shop got hired to procure the parts, flash the circuitry and re-install it in the guitar. This took weeks and doubled the cost of the guitar. Still it’s a wonderful instrument and once I’ve done my fine setup on it, the action is lowest on any guitar I’ve owned.

As played by Steve Howe in this video.