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Bass of the Week: Line 6 Variax Bass 700

This week we take a look at the Line 6 Variax Bass 700, an interesting bass that was produced during the 2000’s. It included special modeling software to reproduce tons of classic bass sounds, ranging from a ’61 Jazz Bass to a ’03 Thumb to bass synths. The Variax used piezo bridge saddles to capture each string’s vibrations, then signals were shaped by Line 6’s software algorithms to recreate the physical and electrical properties of the modeled basses.

Line 6 Variax Bass 700 - sunburst

Its special electronics required a batteries, but also came with a special footswitch power supply, which also acted as a DI with a level switch to toggle between instrument or line level. Controls on the bass included Volume, Blend, Tone, and Model Select knobs. After selecting a model, you could switch between variations of each model by pressing down on the Volume knob. This would give you different years of models to choose from, or just different models from a certain era.

Check out this demo to get a feel for how it works:

Other features of the Variax Bass 700 included a contoured alder body, a maple neck, a rosewood fingerboard, and Black or Sunburst finishes. It was discontinued in 2007.

Line 6 Variax 700 Bass Features:

  • Contoured alder body
  • Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
  • 21 medium profile frets
  • 1.5˝ nut width
  • 34˝ scale length
  • 10˝ fingerboard radius
  • Standard 1/4˝ guitar cable output jack
  • Digital I/O RJ45 jack for future updates and additional sounds
  • Included XPS-DI direct box and power supply features:
    – 1/4˝ standard guitar cable output for connection to any bass rig
    – XLR balanced output for sending signal to a recording console or house PA
    – Powers the Variax Bass using included TRS cable
  • Powered by XPS-DI or on-board batteries (six AA or one 9-volt)
  • Custom-fitted heavy-duty gig bag
  • Available in Black or Sunburst

Variax Bass 700 Models based on:

  • 1961 Fender Jazz Bass
  • 1960 Fender Jazz Bass with flatwound strings
  • 2004 Fender Deluxe Jazz Bass
  • Fretless 1961 Fender Jazz Bass
  • 1963 Fender Precision Bass
  • 1958 Fender Precision Bass with flatwound strings
  • 1977 Music Man Sting Ray
  • 2003 Modulus Flea Bass
  • 1971 Rickenbacker 4001
  • 1963 Rickenbacker 4001 with flatwound strings
  • 1966 Danelectro Longhorn Bass
  • 1963 Höfner Model 500/1 with flatwound strings
  • 1963 Gibson Thunderbird 4
  • 1966 Gibson EB-2D with flatwound strings
  • 2002 MTD 535 35-inch scale
  • 2003 Warwick Thumb
  • 1978 Alembic Long Scale
  • 1984 Steinberger XL2
  • 1968 Hagström H8
  • 1994 Hamer B12A
  • 2003 Tacoma Thunderchief
  • 1949 Kay M-1
  • Inspired by classic Moog MiniMoog bass sounds
  • Inspired by modern bass synth sounds

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