Frankfurt Musikmesse 2010: Line 6 Tyler Variax Interview

Though I knew that a lot of geektarists out there often ask how to put a Variax system into a standard guitar, I should have suspected that Line 6 would take that path.  But actually I never thought of it that way, so it was a very big surprise to me when I landed at the Line 6 Tyler Variax booth at Musikmesse. The result of the collaboration between luthier James Tyler and Line 6 is pretty awesome!

So I had a look on the guitars, and while looking 2 questions popped in my mind… Rich Renken with Line 6 answered these questions.

Here are the answers in the following video… Admire my talent for alternative close-up shooting (damn you flip cam)…   And by the way, I still can’t stand my voice (plus because of the noise I had to speak louder which altered my pronounciation. In general, as I’m not a native English speaker I am kinda proud of my pronounciation but not this time… gosh I sound awful)


To sum it up…

Why putting pick-ups on the Variax?


  • Aesthetic: A Variax is like Bob Geldof and his shaved eyebrows in The Wall movie… You know that something is wrong, and once you figure it out, all you can do is think about it! With the Tyler Variax they hope to bring more artists to play Variax guitars on stage! This reminds me of the Alive Inc gig. Their guitarist whose name is Tyler (what are the odds?) plays with a Variax on stage! The night of that gig I remember wondering for about 15 minutes what was wrong with his guitar until it hits me that it was a Variax! True story!
  • Functionality: No more batteries problems as there are relays in the guitar that automatically switch to the magnetic pickups in case you run out of battery. No more back-up guitar either.
  • If you get bored of your Variax, that’s kind of embarassing as you can’t do nothing with it… The Tyler Variax will still be a guitar that you can use!

Is it possible to blend the pickups sound and the model sound?


Not yet but that’s a feature they would see in the future. However it is possible to split the signal via a Pod X3… To me it sounds like a good way to blend the sounds but if they come with another solution (Pod free solution?) that could be great.

I tried the US Tyler Variax Stratocaster type very quickly, and unplugged unfortunately…  The neck has a strong Stratocaster neck feel, and the guitar is very comfortable. The demos performed at the Tyler Variax booth showed that the tone is also very close to that of a Stratocaster*.  As for the rest, it is a Variax.

One thing for sure, I would love to do an extensive tour of this guitar… Mr Line 6 please,  would you mind lending me one of these babies one day?

* Note: Unfortunately I couldn’t publish more sounds of the Tyler Variax after the interview as some of my videos remained stuck in the SD card for some mysterious reason!!

About Sem

I am the founder of Muzicosphere (that also exists in a French version). In 2011, I also created Guitar Fail, the Guitar LOL place to be. And before that I created GAS a GoGo, a gear giveaways blog in French.


  1. Roooh la VG… J’avais essayé aussi et je n’avais pas accroché non plus. Line 6 est largement au dessus de la mêlée sur ce créneau.

    Dans la vidéo Rich dit que la version US sera de 3699$ et hors caméra il m’a dit que la version coréenne devrait être autour de 1200$. On verra bien ce que ça donnera en France.

  2. Mince alors, j’avais jamais tilté sur le fait qu’il n’y aavait pas de micor sur une Variax…..Honte à moi !

    Je sais qu’il y a des gens qui installent le système Variax sur n’importe quelle guitare.

  3. héhé… Aucune honte à avoir après tout elle fait du son du coup si on ne fait pas gaffe on s’arrête à cet état de fait! 🙂

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