Purchased from: Andertons
Sound — 10
The guitar sounds absolutely great! I love the sounds of all the models. Even if they were to sound nothing like they were meant to, they still sound amazing. I use it through my Line 6 Spider II 112 amp, and if you combine the models on the amp with the guitar models you get a great range. The guitar has very little background noise, especially with the built-in noise filter of my amp. It has a great rich tone, and lots of variety.
Overall Impression — 10
I play styles from soft rock and funk up to Metallica-style metal, and this matches them all perfectly. I've been playing for a total of 20 months, and this guitar has been very reliable for 10 of them. The one I had before was terrible, so comparitively this guitar is God. This guitar is amazing, and if I were to lose it, or get more money, I'd buy a 500. It's better than the 300, but the 700 isn't worth the price jump.
Reliability & Durability — 8
After having played this guitar for a few hours solid each day, and having played it live, it has survived very well. Everything about the guitar is solid, although the pickup Switch is starting to rattle a bit. I would trust this guitar in a gig situation without a backup, as long as I either had a power pack or new batteries, as the compulsory power can be annoying. Also, in an unfortunate incident, a part of the finish has chipped off, but I stuck it back on. It looks OK.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I got the guitar and first played it, it was set up perfectly. The tuning was perfect, as was the action (whereas the action on my previous guitar was about 1/2 a centimetre too high, and I didn't know how to fix it so I played it like that for a year). The finish was flawless, as were the attachments.
Features — 9
Obviously, the main feature of the Variax is the guitar models, which is the thing that attracted me to it in the first place (along with the unique appearance). The Telecasters give a good range, from a crystal clean to a satisfying distortion, and are surprisingly realistic, as is the single Strat included. The Gibson Les Pauls (Standard, Special, Goldtop, Junior and Custom) give a great distorted sound, sufficient for any style, as does the Firerbird. The Gretsch Silver Jetalso gives a good distorton. There are a great range of semis too, which sound great, espeically the Gretsch 6120. The resonators sound great, and the banjo and sitar are a lot better than I expected, as are all the 12-strings. The acoustics don't sound great, but having the sounds on hand is very useful. It comes with 22 jumbo frets, which provide great access, even when bending on the 22nd. For my 300 I got a choice of red/white and black, and they both looked great. The Strat-esque body shape looks great, and it manages to be original by modifying the body shape, changing the headstock (which looks great), changing the scratchplate (also great), and having the pickups hidden. There are 3 knobs on the body; volume, tone and model. The model knob can be used to set presets to the pickups, and if combined with the Variax Workbench can hold custom guitars and tunings. It came with a great case and powered Planet Waves cable.