Price paid: $ 799
Purchased from: Music Loft
Sound — 10
OK, this is where it gets controversial. I, personally, love the sounds that this guitar makes. Is it right on perfect? Probably not. Is it so close that people cant tell the difference? Yes. Because I play in a band where we transition really quick from one song to the next I didnt have time to Switch guitars. One song rocks, the next is entirely mellow. The Variax allows me to play a artin D-28, flip a Switch and a Strat. I run one distortion Switch and that is it. This guitar is the most awesome guitar for the stage that I have ever seen. For me it was a bargan at 799. 00. I have a Martin guitar that is four times that cost and never gets any gigs any more. The Variax is just too versatile. And, it uses standard 9 electric strings. So, fretting is just that much faster than on the acoustics with 12s. I might mention that the Variax also has banjo, resonators, scitar, and what seems like an excess of choices in electric rock and jass guitars. If you try the 600 or 700 on stage you will be hooked.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing Christian rock, worship, music for 5 years every Tuesday and Sunday. The ranges of the music we make go from head bang to mellow. This guitar is the best fit I have ever seen. I currently own a Martin DC17-E, a Les Paul, a Washburn custom acoustic, a Seagull 12 string, a Yamaha classical, a banjo and a mandolin. Except for the mandolin, this guitar fills all of those rolls at the flip of a Switch. I searched and searched for a guitar that would allow me to Switch gears on the fly and with little fuss. I never dreamed that I would find one this good, with this quality, with this range of guitars, at this price. I dont hate anything about this guitar. I simply cannot find a downside. If there must be a downside, it's that it must be plugged in to enjoy unlike the Martin which is dreamy to play anywhere.
Reliability & Durability — 10
So far my Variax has been rock solid. I will admit that I am a tad wary of the heavy dependance on electronics in this guitar. But, that's all psychological. This guitar has never even hinted that it will have an issue soon. I play it live twice a week and I never bring a backup guitar, if that tells you anything. I will say that as far as the little things, like strap buttons, they are a non issue. This guitar is built to a high standard and those things wont even need to be considered.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The 600 is set up perfect from the factory. The 300 is mostly an excercise in frustration. I paid twice the price of the 300 because I simply couldnt deal with the low quality of the guitar. The difference is huge. My 600 is as good as an American Strat or a Gibson SG. In fact, I think it feels better than the SG. As you know there are no pick ups on the Variax. So, it comes with nothing to adjust. Tune, plug and play.
Features — 10
My Variax is a brand spankin new 600 sunburst. It feels kinda like a Strat and the action is perfect. I tried a 300 before I bought this one and found it to be pretty bad craftsmanship. The 600 is really good, perfect, in fact. The hardware seems like lifetime kinda stuff. It came with all the stuff (foot petal, gig bag, cables).