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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,reggie miles Variax Acoustic guitar (32) RE: Variax Acoustic guitar 19 Jun 07

I'm not an electric guitarist. I thought that what I was trying in the acoustic section of the store was an acoustic guitar plugged into an amp. This is nothing like an acoustic guitar. After hearing the various settings, I thought that the presets were mere shadows of the actual instruments that they were supposed to be representing. I didn't even think that it came close to imitating an acoustic sounding guitar.

If you want to play an acoustic guitar, classical guitar, mandola...why buy an electric gizmo that does a poor job of copying what you want and gives a lot of extra unnecessary junk in the package? This new toy is nothing more than the guitar equivalent of those home (insert brand name here) organs that so many folks now have collecting dust in their living rooms. I now see lots of those organs for sale at countless garage sales in perfect condition, other than the dust.

They're all pretty much the same beast. They include a percussion section with presets for various percussion styles that you can play along with like a rock, marching, cha cha and waltz rhythms, etc. They can model various instrument sounds too. Depending on the model some can sound a little better than others, but I personally wouldn't dream of trying to jump up on stage with one of these one-man bands and call it entertainment. That's just my own opinion but I guess that what you were looking for here. Sure, the organ might be able to closely approximate a whole percussion section but nothing beats a real good drummer. That said, I have seen some sales wizards on these units make them sound like a dream. I guess that why they were able to sell so many.

I look on this new gadget in the same way. Maybe it was the way the clerk suggested that I try it out while I was perusing the acoustic guitar section of the store. I felt skeptical from the start. Nothing that this modern version of those living room organs did met my expectations.

I've seen other players willing to spend the time to add that kind of band in a box type accompaniment to their act. I've even seen some totally program the entire thing and pump it out via a PA while they just stood there and noodled their guitar and sang along with themselves in little lounge scenes. While I was impressed by the effort, I felt as though something was lost in the translation. Just as I'll never own one of those organs, I don't think that I'll ever bring home one of these all-in-ones.

I think the designers of such modern toys will have to work a lot harder before I get impressed with their efforts. For my taste too much gets lost in the translation from true acoustic sound to analog or digitally reproduced imitation.

I too am one of those performers who will bring a number of different guitars to a gig. Each one of my guitars offers me something that the others cannot. This guitar offers me nothing I want. It is more a novelty than a tool.

Though I'm a player of novelty instruments, the saw and washboard, I don't think that this novelty is something that I'd add to my bag. I'm certain that with enough work put into practicing with it one might make this novelty guitar function within an electric show, but I don't play many electric shows. I'm primarily an acoustic player. I play acoustic guitars, acoustic saw (not electric saws) acoustic washboard (not electric washing machines).

Should some genius eventually decide to try to digitize the sound of a washboard and saw, and this is something that I doubt anybody is in a particular hurry to do, I think that I would still prefer the sounds produced by a real human playing a real instrument over the artificially produced variety.

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