Price paid: $ 622.2
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 10
I play a lot of classic rock (Led Zeppelin, Status Quo), Blues (SRV, Eric Clapton) and some 80's Metal (Black Sabbath, Scorpions). Using all of the different sounds makes this guitar very useful for band practices so you don't have to lug a few seperate guitars and a load of effects around with you. I favour the Vintage '57 Stratocaster sound (the exact model used by SRV) for my blues and some rock, but I also like the Les Paul settings. The acoustic settings and resonator settings are second to none I have ever heard. these include the Gibson Mastertone Banjo, the Gibson J200 Jumbo and various 12-String settings which are fantastic. At home, I use a Marshall MG50DFX amp which is a very good amp that goes well with this guitar, but I never use many effects.
Overall Impression — 10
For the style of music I play, and for the various styles people I know play Who ave used this guitar, it is a perfect match, I am almost certain you could get any tone you want out of it a long as you use even a half decent amp to play through. I cannot think of the slightest thing I could have asked, as my Uncle (Who already owned a Variax 500) had told me pretty much everything I needed to know about this guitar and after playing it, I had found the perfect guitar! I would definitely consider buying another Variax guitar if this one happened to break or get stolen purely down to the reliability and how practical it is. I just love the fact that you can take this single guitar with you to a rehearsal knowing that it is all you will need no matter what you are going to play. I own a Gibson SG Standard aswell as this guitar and an Affinity Series Squier, and I can honestly say that out of the guitars I own, this is my favourite, and possibly my favourite out of all of the guitars I have ever played including my Uncle's various guitars inluding American-Made highway Strat's and Vintage LP's. It has everything I want, there is nothing else it could have. It is simply the perfect guitar for me, and probably every other guitarist out there, whether it be a beginner or an experienced professional.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have only used this guitar to do a few shows in school, and it has handled very well. You can be very rough with it, but it will still stay in perfect tuning. For the very low price paid for it, everything is extremely well made with seemingly good materials. I believe I could use it at a gig without backup due to the purely sturdiness and reliability of this guitar, I would feel very confident in knowing that everything would be fine on stage.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
As I bought this guitar second-hand from an ebay seller, I would not really know much about what it was like new, but everything was in pristeen condition when I got it, a very solid body and neck. Everything was very sturdy and also smooth to play. The only single criticism I had was the Master Control Knob produces a slight crackling sound when it is being changed between settings, but apart from that, everything is great!
Features — 10
I believe this model was originally made in 2003/2004 in Japan. It has 24 medium frets, and a bolt-on rosewood neck. There is a solid bridge which is very good, I had the option to go for the Variax 600 model, but the bridge and tremolo on that are not very well made and prone to detuning very fast and easily. Since it is a modelling guitar, it has no pickups, but some small sensors in the bridge, that lead to a basic onboard computer-type system with all of the various settings stored. This guitar does not get affected by anything really tuning wise, I have left it in a room with no heating system for 3 days in the middle of a British November and it did not go out of tune in the slightest.