Sound — 6
I'm a working pro, i.e. my income is derived from playing guitar as well as teaching others how to play. I could see this being a useful gigging tool for cover/wedding gigs, I play everything from country to rock to jazz to blues and the guitar appears to cover the gamut. I played this thing split through a PA for acoustic sounds and a Line 6 Duoverb for electric. Plenty of variety obviously, that's this guitar's hook. Tele, Strat, Paul, acoustic, sitar, blah blah blah. Not noisy, but kind of a sterile sounding thing. None of the guitar sounds really sound like a guitar. I actually didn't detect that much of a difference between a lot of the sounds and I played it for a good hour and a half. The sitar sound was pretty cool, I hung with that for a while. Bottom line: if you need a decent backup guitar or want some off the path sounds buy this, but don't buy this expecting to replace the experience of playing any of the guitars modeled. People have preferences (Fender, Gibson, semi-hollow, hollow, solidbody) for a reason.
Overall Impression — 6
Been playing 17 years. Have a Fender American Classic Strat and a Parker Nitefly, Boogie Mark IIa head and more recent cab, some stompboxes. What I dug about this guitar was the 12 string and sitar models. The wide variety of sounds would create a creative sitting around and fooling with ideas experience (kind of like my cheapo Boss ME50 processor.) I wouldn't buy this guitar, ever. The models just don't sound like guitars. Kind of like cheap Casio keyboards with different modeling sounds (my understanding is the levels of technology involved is similar), those models don't really sound like B-3 's do they? Feels like a guitar and works like one, but just isn't really. Buy it if you want some of those off the wall sounds like sitars and 12 strings in an electric format but do not expect to replace any of your beloved Strats, Teles, etc Line 6 does a great job of hyping their stuff but most of their of their products are underwhelming. Their stuff is very overpriced and just like computers, their stuff becomes obsolete overnight. Hopefully in a few years the technology will improve drastically (I think it will) but for now, beware.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I think the main hook to buying this guitar would be the lack of need to change guitars on a cover/wedding gig (just like the hook of buying a Line 6 amp would be their light weight, variety of serviceable sounds, and one stop shopping features.)Seemed solidly built.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
This guitar felt fine to me. No objectionable qualities as far as construction. Saw a lot of reviews slamming this area, but the one I checked out was fine. Feels like a good $500 guitar. Was pretty comfortable to play, and pretty light. For what it is I'd give it a high mark.
Features — 8
I'm reviewing the Line 6 Variax playing experience. Will not get into specs, don't know that much about it and you can find that info elsewhere. Other than to say it 's a modeling guitar that models a variety of Pauls, Telecaster, Stratocaster, jazzboxes, dobros, Coral electric sitar, banjo (?),acoustics, and other goodies. For what it is it's a pretty cool toy/gigging tool if you need a wide variety of sounds on a budget.