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Line 6 Variax Standard

Electric Guitar With DSP Modelling
Published December 2018
By Paul White

Line 6 Variax Standard

We get up to speed with the latest leaps in Line 6’s guitar‑modelling technology.

The Line 6 Variax has evolved considerably since the first models appeared. They sported no conventional magnetic pickups at all but instead had a set of six piezo pickups set into the bridge saddles. These picked up the signals from the individual strings and the guitar then converted them to a digital signal before processing them via the onboard DSP modelling engine. The same hexaphonic pickup system is still used today, but for the past few years the modelling technology has been put to work alongside the conventional magnetic guitar pickups. This has given the user the ability to switch between the ‘normal’ and Variax modelled sounds, and also to provide a safety net should the Variax battery ever go flat during a performance.

Since Line 6 were acquired by Yamaha, the Variax technology has been teamed with Yamaha‑built guitars, and this current generation uses a more detailed modelling process that has been made possible by increases in the DSP power that runs the HD v2.0 firmware. To take advantage of this power, the Line 6 engineers used the best‑sounding guitars from a very valuable collection as the benchmarks for their models. The basic formula, however, is pretty...

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Published December 2018