1. Many guitarists wish their guitar would sound like a different guitar. Why they didn’t buy that guitar in the first place is a mystery. Subsequently they modify the instrument to make their Strat sound like a Tele or their Tele sound like a Les Paul.
guitar to sound like a different instrument. When I was 14, I bought a Maestro Fuzz Tone.
In the instructions I was promised this “synthesizer” would make my guitar sound like a trumpet or trombone and get fantastic effects. All I wanted was to sound like Keith Richards guitar on Satisfaction. It never delivered on that sound.
|My personal pedal board|
The guitar synthesizer allowed players to use their instrument as a “trigger” to summon up all sorts of guitar and non-guitar sounds. Though they have come down in price considerably, guitar synthesizers are still fairly expensive.
This was the first amplifier to provide the player with models of classic guitar amplifiers, as well as a complete arsenal of stomp boxes and effects..
The POD. This kidney bean-shaped desktop device went beyond just the modeling of many classic amplifiers; it was created to solve another critical problem that had plagued guitar players: recording great guitar tone. In 2000, the company went on to develop a POD for bass players, a professional version of the POD and a rack mount version. Line 6 also came out with the Flextone II amplifier.
Vetta amplifier, which allowed the player to have the stereo sound of two amps playing together at the same time.
It was in 2002 that Line 6 engineers hit upon the idea of using the electric guitar as a stand-alone processor of differing sounds and alternate tunings, all of which were at the players’ fingertips by just repositioning a knob. This guitar was dubbed The Variax 500. The guitar used as the controller was an inexpensive bolt-on instrument.
The body was mahogany with a carved ash top. The neck was maple. The 22 fret finger board was rosewood.
|Variax Acoustic 700|
|Variax Acoustic 300|
Line 6 also came out with the less expensive Acoustic Model 300. This guitar came with steel strings and was available as a nylon string instrument. These acoustic/electric guitars featured modeling technology allow the guitar to sound like over a dozen acoustic instruments as well as play in alternate tunings, all done through the Variax control. The acoustic line-up was discontinued in 2010.
The guitar unit was functional, but nothing special. Many players bought a Variax 300, took out the inner workings and mounted them in a nicer instrument.
Gibson Mastertone Banjo and a Coral/Danelectro Sitar.
You can quickly change from playing a Telecaster Thinline to a Rickenbacker 360 twelve string, then to a Gibson Super 400 and finally to a Martin D-28 just with a twist of a knob.
Here is the list of possibilities:
* 1960 Fender Telecaster Custom * 1968 Fender Telecaster
* 1968 Fender Telecaster Thinline * 1959 Fender Stratocaster
* 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard * 1952 Gibson Les Paul "Goldtop"
* 1961 Gibson Les Paul Custom (3 PU) * 1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior
* 1976 Gibson Firebird V * 1955 Gibson Les Paul Special
* 1959 Gretsch 6120 * 1956 Gretsch Silver Jet
* 1968 Rickenbacker 360 * 1966 Rickenbacker 360-12
* 1961 Gibson ES-335 * 1967 Epiphone Casino
* 1957 Gibson ES-175 * 1953 Gibson Super 400
* 1959 Martin D-28 * 1970 Martin D 12-28
* 1967 Martin O-18 * 1966 Guild F212
* 1995 Gibson J-200 * 1935 Dobro Alumilite
* Danelectro 3021 * Coral/Dano Electric Sitar
* 1928 National Style 2 "Tricone * Gibson Mastertone Banjo
James Tyler. This 2010 line up of instruments replaced the original models. All of the newer models incorporate the original piezo based bridge along with magnetic guitar pickups.
The mahogany set neck is capped with a rosewood fret board and the headstock features 3 on side tuners. This is the most expensive model with a street price of $1500.
The guitar comes with a tremolo unit that has been updated from the usual Fender through-the-block style. The bridge on this guitar contains the R.L Baggs Radiance Hex piezo saddle pickups. The guitar is topped with a Tusk XL nut that makes staying in tune easier. This guitar has a street price of $1400.
Additionally the neck heel is recessed to make reaching those high notes easy. The headstock is reversed. The tailpiece is designed with an R.L. Baggs Radiance Hex piezo system. This guitar sells for $1300.
There are some unique features on the guitars in this line-up that were not found on the original models.
The Standard setting overrides the saved tunings to set to standard tuning. The remaining 10 settings are made up of commonly used alternate tunings.
The guitar also has a virtual capo, which allows the player to transpose your playing to any key. Ever try to play in Db, Bb or Eb? With this baby, you can play everything is C or G.
These are the built in alternate tunings:
*STANDARD: E A D G B E *DROP D: D A D G B E
*1/2 DOWN: Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb *DROP Db: Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
*1 DOWN: D G C F A D *DADGAD: D A D G A D
*OPEN D: D A D F# A D *BLUES G: D G D G B D
*RESO G: G B D G B D *OPEN A: E A C# E A E
*BARITONE: B E A D F B
It comes with the normal three single coil Stratocaster pickups, plus a built-in Roland GK Hex pickup right above the bridge that controls the guitars built in synthesizer features.
The guitar is made of an ash body Ash body, along with a maple neck and a maple or rosewood fretboard. The 3 ply pick guard comes with 3 single-coil pickups and chrome hardware.
The 5-way blade switch switches you between sounds in the modeling modes just like on a regular guitar.
The sounds of the VG Stratocaster include:
*American Series Strat® (no synthesis) *Virtual Ash bodied Strat (for use of tuning function)
*Virtual Telecaster *Virtual Two-Humbucker Strat
*Plus an assortment of 5 acoustics, from Dreadnought to Resonator
The Tune function rotary control allows for:
*Normal — regular tuning *Drop D
*Open G *DADGAD
*Baritone/Low B *12 string
On the back of the body are 3 compartments. The center one houses the tremolo unit, as found on most Strats. The upper compartment is for battery storage. While the bottom compartment houses the synthesizer.
I believe this guitar was an excellent idea, but it just didn’t sell. It was introduced in 2007 and discontinued two years later.
This video features a custom-built guitar with the Variax built in to give and idea of the different sounds.
Here is the Line 6 James Tyler JTV69
Here is a video released by Fender Musical Instrument Company about their VG Stratocaster featuring Fender demonstrator, Greg "Gristleman" Koch.