...I probably didn’t have my morning cup of coffee when I first received news about the Line 6 Variax Shuriken. “How cool!” I thought to
I probably didn’t have my morning cup of coffee when I first received news about the Line 6 Variax Shuriken. “How cool!” I thought to myself. “Looks like Line 6 is making a Variax that has models of Japanese stringed instruments.”
But after a robust caffeine injection and reading further to find out that the instrument in question was designed in collaboration with 12 Foot Ninja guitarist Steve “Stevic” MacKay, I suddenly realized that I was mistakenly thinking of a shamisen (a banjo-like Japanese stringed instrument) and that the object in question was named after shuriken, the various stealth weapons (like throwing stars) employed by ninjas and samurai warriors.
Once I actually got the Line 6 Variax Shuriken in my hands, I realized that the weapon-inspired name truly fits. The Variax Shuriken boasts a unique custom body shape, 27-inch baritone scale length and several other features that are notably different than those of previous Variax guitars.
This is a truly modern instrument that’s ideal for visionary players who want to slay listeners with a vast repertoire of tones and tunings that are unexpected coming from a relatively streamlined and straightforward-albeit-futuristic-looking guitar.
At its core, the Variax Shuriken is an impressive guitar even before one ventures into the expanded creative capabilities of its Variax technology. It has a lightweight alder body with dramatic sweeping curves and contours that provide ideal comfort and balance, and the body is finished in matte satin black, which complements the black-finish hardware and sealed locking tuners.
The guitar has one standard pickup—a Line 6 mid-gain humbucker in the bridge position—plus an L.R. Baggs piezo pickup system built into the custom fixed bridge to simulate acoustic guitar tones and drive the Variax electronics. The bolt-on neck is crafted