The magnetic pickups do not get used at all for the modeling, so they will not affect the sound of either humbucker, or all single coil models. The modeling is all done through the piezo pickups in the bridge and the electronics in the guitar.
The difference between SSS & HSS will be apparent when using the guitar in magnetic mode.
I just got my JTV-69S this week from Sweetwater -- it's an SSS in shoreline gold -- very pretty. I agree that between the HSS and SSS configuration that there would not be any difference in the sound of the models. The difference would be in the mag sounds. I've not been a fan of the HSS configuration or "super-strat" as some call it, as it will normally have pretty noticeable volume and sonic differences between the humbucker and the single-coils.
This is my second JTV, my first is a TBS 59 with HH configuration. I've been gigging with it for about a year and a half, and I love it. My backup was an Epiphone LP Classic that I also love, but found if I broke a string on the 59, there were quite a number of songs that I could not do, as I make use of the JTV's special tunings. I can fake it with the non-Variax as long as I don't need a drop tuning, etc. With this new one, I can use it with all my special tuning needs. I did have to duplicate my set list in my POD HD500, and tweek the patches where I use the mags. This is because the signal level of single coils is quite a bit lower than the humbuckers on the 59. It's this way for all single-coil versus HB guitars. I had to substitue some models for some patches that I usually use the mags and need the HB sound. I will switch the set list depending on which instrument I'm playing.
I've been a strat player for a good 30 or so years, and have started loving the HB sound of the LP and 59 mags, but it a refreshing change to have the strat sounds and also the HB sounds of the models. I'll be using it tonight in it's first gig out tonight.
Now -- to the modeling. I have a Variax 300 that I used prior to my 59, and noticed differences in some of the modeled sounds other than just the acoustics, of course, as that was the major improvement over the first gen in modeling. Now I notice differences between the 69S's and 59's modeled sounds, as well. The model sounds are VERY close, but there are some differences between the 2.
I believe the difference in constuction and tone woods used in the 2 styles do influence how the modeling interacts with the physical build of the instruments. The LP style with mahognany body with maple cap and the set mahogany neck versus the strat style ash body with maple bolt-on neck introduce different resonances that the piezo pickups transmit to the processor, so have different overtones, etc that do make for some innate variance beteen the 69 & 59 models. I'd say the LP models sound a bit more like LP's in the 59, and the strat models sound more like a strat in the 69. The more massive mahogany of the 59 is a bit darker in sound and the 69 sounds a bit brighter. It's just the difference between the physical types of guitars.
Everything influences everything... I say vive la differance...
Thanks Dave for the very informative post.
You answered my question on the LP model. I own a LP and love the sound of it thru the HD500 (especially with the new amp models)
Also use a Tele, that I love this guitar.but have been looking a getting a Strat, but now looking at the JTV 69S.
I have a JTV 69S (Black/Maple) coming to a local store where I can give a try with my set up of HD500 and DT50.
Another question, How does the updates affect the sound? I don't know if I can get the latest version for
the JTV without purchasing it.
Again thanks for taking the time to answer
The 69S that I got had the 1.71 firmware in it. It kind of surprised me, as this guitar was manufactured in August of this year (by the serial number), and the 1.82 update was released in May of this year. I expected it would come with the most up to date firmware, but it was not the case.
I played with it for a few hours or so before I udated it to the current 1.82. I prefer the control options of the 1.8X firmware, that forces the use of mags or models without having to switch the model lnob with the POD HD500. Prior to that firmware, I had to manually switch -- it's just more convient in my case as I make a lot of use of the mags, and have patches that I jump to with models and back to the patch with the mags, plus the HD500 can store special tunings per patch without the need for creating a custom tone and storing it.
The sounds themselves were the same (except for the acoustics, of course). The thing I did notice before and after was the level of the mags versus the models changed. Before the update, the 69S mags compared to the strat models were about the same volume. I would have to look at the light on the model knob to tell which I was playing. After the update the relative levels changed so that the mags have less relative volume than the model (comparing strat models to the 69S mags). It's relative, so I could not say if the volume of the mags was lowered or the volume of the models was increased. I have not measured the levels, and it would be pointless now as I'd have to re-install 1.71 then 1.82 to make before and after measurements.
With my 59, early on in the firmware 1.7X versions I had noticed my mags were quite a bit louder than the models when using the VDI cable, and quite a bit softer than the models when using the 1/4" jack, even with another amp and no POD HD500 or my older X3L pedal. I had brought this up in the forums looking for an adjustment - some adjustable trim pots inside the guitar. I found out there are none -- it's all in the firmware. At a suggestion from the forums, I lowered the height of my bridge pickup on the 59 to reduce its signal level, and that worked. Then when I updated to the 1.8x firmware in May, I saw the relative volume of the models more on an even keel with the mags -- again, comparing the mags of the 59 to the LP models this time -- gotta keep apples and apples for comparison, as the modeling also replicates the relative volume differences between strats and LP's, etc.
I used the 69S at last night's gig, and liked it, though I will have to tweek my HD500 some more for the it, as I expected. Making sound settings in my practice room at home is always different than playing out live, I switched to my 59 after the first set (we play 2 - 2 hour sets in our band). It took me literally months to get my sounds on the HD500 tweeked up for my 59 -- still working on it. I expect the same process with the 69S. I can tell I'm getting there when the changes I make become more minor, then less and less need to mess with it. I want to get to the point of playing more with the new amps models in the HD500 firmware. Of course wouldn't you know it, when I went to update the 69S firmware, the new HD500 firmware was finally released, so I did that at the same time. You have to be careful not to change too mush at one time, then you have a hard time telling where differences start creeping in, and whether it's one thing or the other....
By the way, firmware updates are free. You hook your JTV up to your HD500 with a VDI cable, hook the HD500 up via it's usb to your pc or mac, and you don't have to go through the little usb interface and the foibles people seem to be having with that. I now have 2 of those (from my 59 and 69S) that I've never unwrapped and hope I never have to. Sounds like you have an LP & a tele, but this will be your first JTV. I really recommend getting a standard VDI cable, not the short little thing that comes with your JTV. The standard one has the rugged connector on both ends and is meant for use live. While you can use the one included with the guitar, it's meant for use with the little usb interface, You can also use a standard ethernet cable in a pinch, but I would recomment it. You step on your cord and you can do serious damage to the jack on either the guitar or the HD500. The ends on the standard VDI cable are rugged.
My take on it.
Thanks to BigChase52, something I overlooked as I am learning about these guitars via forums.
Also thanks a bunch for giving so much info.
I know all to well about tweeking less and less. as this is what I have done with the HD500 to achieve tones,
This I feel is the beauty of the POD HD500, OPTIONS! of tones,
And the JTV will give more options,
I will give this guitar some serious checkout when it arrives at the store. I'll call them to get the VDI cable also,
sounds like a should have.
Again thanks to both and will be looking forward to seeing this guitar.
Howdy! I wanted to chime in here and say, "Thanks!" to Dave for his excellent responses and taking his time to shed a little light on this subject. I'm completely torn on simply buying a JTV, not to mention which one - 59, 69, 69S - US not being a financial option for me. Having a couple LP's makes me think going the SSS route would be the best option and all the questions I had were addressed in Dave's reply.