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What Is Better?jtv Or The Old Variax 700?


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Poll: What Is Better?jtv Or The Old Variax 700? (54 member(s) have cast votes)

JTV or Variax 700?

  1. Variax 700 (5 votes [9.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.26%

  2. JTV (49 votes [90.74%])

    Percentage of vote: 90.74%

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#1 arislaf

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 02:54 AM

The sound, the design, the feeling, the look...

 

What is better? Vote and say!


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#2 arislaf

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 02:55 AM

For all of the above, exept the tone (for realism) , the best choice is the old 700...

The soul is better on 700 too...


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#3 ReverendLove

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 03:06 AM

The 700 is an ugly shaped piece of wood. Even the 300, 600 and 500 looked better. The 700 has neither style nor soul. They look like a log of wood for high school posers.
I was definetely shocked when they came out - an absolute design failure.
The JTVs, while I prefer the 69 for her surf style look, are real guitars with even that: Style and soul.


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#4 clay-man

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 03:24 AM

I had the misfortune to own a 700. Felt like Cr**, wouldn't stay in tune, even when I didn't use the trem (which I didn't use anway because of the horrible "PING" noises it made). JTV59 rules for me. Must try a 69 some time to see if the trem is better.

 

The reason it didn't stay in tune is because it had a crappy low quality nut. My 600 has a pretty sub-par nut as well, though it stays in tune if i don't use the tremelo.

I need to replace the nut with a graphtech TUSQ nut so I can use the tremolo actively.

 

Personally, I don't know about the 700, but I love my 600. The design was great. Looks like a Strat should. All that's missing are real pickups.

 

The JTV has superior features, definitely, but comparing the 69 to the 600, I prefer the way the 600 looks. The headstock looks awful, and I love the glossy finish on the maple neck on my 600.

 

I do however think the 59 looks absolutely beautiful, the only problem I have is the 3 way switch. While I know it's trying to keep in style of a Les Paul, I would find it annoying to having to use the push pull knob to switch between 1-3-5 to 2-3-4 pickup selection. If it had a 5 way switch blade, I'd love it.


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#5 TheRealZap

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:13 AM

the 69 headstock is beautiful.. so glad that they did not go with the James Tyler headstock... now THAT's ugly... (and the man makes GREAT guitars)

myTylerHeadstock.jpg

 

the 69, has grown on me alot since the first time i saw it...

I have a 59, aesthetically i like the 3 way switch... but i don't really like the way it works with the models... in the dream rig context, i can just force the mode though.

I voted JTV myself.


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#6 hurghanico

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:16 AM

The sound, the design, the feeling, the look...

 

for all the above aspects I prefer the 700..

 

to the people saying that it doesn't stay in tune:

I never had any tuning problem.. but it must be said that with any guitar if the strings are not mounted properly you'll get always tuning problems..

 

speaking about the style/look the only JTV that I find appealing is the 59, but if we speak strictly about style (something that makes it unique) the 700 wins hands down..


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#7 arislaf

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:34 AM

I believe only me and hurghanico will be for the 700..

I also never had problems with the tuning.


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#8 clay-man

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:57 AM

the 69 headstock is beautiful.. so glad that they did not go with the James Tyler headstock... now THAT's ugly... (and the man makes GREAT guitars)

 

 

the 69, has grown on me alot since the first time i saw it...

I have a 59, aesthetically i like the 3 way switch... but i don't really like the way it works with the models... in the dream rig context, i can just force the mode though.

I voted JTV myself.

 

The 69's headstock is a lot better than the JT headstock yeah. I guess I just dig the Fender-esque headstock a lot. I like the decals a lot as well.

 

DSC_06901.jpg

 

I also put a lot of home made decals on my guitar. They're easily removable if I decide I want to take them off or get sick of them.

 

guitardecals.png

 

I also made a custom label for my model knob. Since it doesn't have an LED, and I have a lot of overwritten slots, I thought it would be nice to make a label of my own.


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#9 phil_m

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:05 AM

I never played a 700, but I did have the 300. They all had the same electronics, though. I actually did like the neck of my 300 quite a bit, but as far as the sounds, they were OK, but not up to snuff with JTV. I think a lot of it had to do with the piezo saddles Line 6 used on the original Variax. I definitely noticed more "plinks" with the original Variax than I do with the JTV even before the HD update. With the HD update, I have to say they're all but gone.


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#10 TheRealZap

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:07 AM

loved my 600 back in the day... still have a soft spot for it... but i was never playing it so i passed it on...

i had added a bone nut and some planet wave autotrims....

i do like the stickers, mine was the sunburst model, so it didn't lend itself to that very well.

it was actually still mint after owning it like 7 years and playing the crap out of it.

 

The 69's headstock is a lot better than the JT headstock yeah. I guess I just dig the Fender-esque headstock a lot. I like the decals a lot as well.

 

 

 

I also put a lot of home made decals on my guitar. They're easily removable if I decide I want to take them off or get sick of them.

 

 

 

I also made a custom label for my model knob. Since it doesn't have an LED, and I have a lot of overwritten slots, I thought it would be nice to make a label of my own.


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#11 clay-man

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:24 AM

loved my 600 back in the day... still have a soft spot for it... but i was never playing it so i passed it on...

i had added a bone nut and some planet wave autotrims....

i do like the stickers, mine was the sunburst model, so it didn't lend itself to that very well.

it was actually still mint after owning it like 7 years and playing the crap out of it.

 

Totally understandable. 1st gen Variax is obviously outdated technology, but it's still great if you don't have a JTV, which is my case. I'm lucky I have a Variax at all.

It's best to let someone who will play it have it though. Sounds like you made some nice modifications.

 

Thanks about the stickers. I printed some images, layered double sided tape on the back and then glossy tape on the front to laminate it and prevent the ink from smearing. Looks great in person.

 

If you looked up close to the fake bridge pickup plate, it has "VARIAX" embossed in it like a Fender guitar.

 

Was definitely fun customizing. Looks great when you take them off still. 


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#12 ozbadman

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 09:16 AM

For all of the above, exept the tone (for realism) , the best choice is the old 700...

The soul is better on 700 too...

 

Couldn't agree more. The new sounds are better, but the style and build quality of the 700 is waaaayyyy above the JTV series. It's a shame. I'll say this: I'll never be buying a real James Tyler guitar.


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#13 ozbadman

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 09:27 AM

The 700 is an ugly shaped piece of wood. Even the 300, 600 and 500 looked better. The 700 has neither style nor soul. They look like a log of wood for high school posers.
I was definetely shocked when they came out - an absolute design failure.


Oh no Sir. I think you're referring to this:

 

the 69 headstock is beautiful.. so glad that they did not go with the James Tyler headstock... now THAT's ugly... (and the man makes GREAT guitars)
myTylerHeadstock.jpg
 


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#14 arislaf

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 09:34 AM

OMG, we are 3!!


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#15 jdenkevitz

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:10 AM

I do not own a 700 (electric) so I cant comment on that comparison, but compared to my variax 600, the JTV69 is much better build quality and design. I have played the daylights out of my JTV and haven't had a single significant issue in over 32 months of playing. I did have piezo problems on my Variax 300 and 600, and my Variax 700 Acoustic had an issue with its VDI Socket.


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#16 johnnyayyy

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:11 AM

In the past I owned a Variax 700, a 500, and a 300

 

I now own a JTV89 and two transplants I made out of the 500 and 300.

 

The workmanship on the 700 was far better than on the JTV IMO. Japan>Korea when it comes to building guitars, there is no way around that.

 

The design of the JTV (all models) is a huge improvement over the 700/500/600/300 IMO, WITH THE EXCEPTION of the headstock. I always thought the 700/600/500/300 body design looked terrible, a problem made worse by the lack of pickups.

 

The JTV69/89 headstock is not nearly as bad as the regular Tyler headstock (which may be the ugliest headstock ever designed) but not as good as dozens of other designs. the JTV59 headstock looks "okay" to me, tho a bit boring - I think the 500/700 headstock was maybe a little better. The 600/300 Variax had a much more attractive headstock shape than my JTV69/89 IMO, tho I am not really in love with the 600/300 design either- maybe if it had a different logo design it would be great, I think the basic 600/300 shape is pretty nice.

 

THE JTV89 BRIDGE IS IMO A BIG OLE PILE OF LOLLICRAP. I will be replacing it ASAP.

 

2.0 modeling by far outshines Gen1 Vax modeling IMO, though I enjoy playing my Tele Variax transplant more than I do my JTV (the Tele has a nicer neck and a Bigsby) I am currently using the JTV more often. It just sounds better.

 

Overall my vote goes to JTV by many, many miles.


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#17 TheRealZap

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:18 AM

one thing that surprised me is that the headstock on the 59 is the same as the 700 acoustic... those 2 guitars feel extremely similar! i mean weight and everything.. (save the obvious like controls, etc)


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#18 ozbadman

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:52 AM

So I have a number of Variax 700s, and just one JTV59 (I wanted a 69, but can't get past the ugliness).
 
I'm interested though: For those who don't like the look of the 700, is it:
a) the body shape

b) the natural wood coming through the lacquer
c) the neck/headstock
d) the lack of a pick-guard
e) the "weird" look of having no pickups.
f) all of the above
 
I'm interested as I personally find the 700 the most beautiful looking guitar I've ever seen. That being said, I could understand people not liking the lack of pickups, but the overall shape of the guitar, including the shaped top is very similar to a PRS to me (oh yeah, I guess PRS guitars are the most beautiful I've ever seen).
 
Just curious as to what people don't like about the look of the 700, for those who don't like it.


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#19 TheRealZap

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:55 AM

i mostly didn't like the price honestly... it was double the 300/600 price and offered just a bit of lipstick for the same functionality

i think it would have been better with pickups... cosmetically... but that goes for the other gen 1 variaxes too....


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#20 ozbadman

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:56 AM

I do not own a 700 (electric) so I cant comment on that comparison, but compared to my variax 600, the JTV69 is much better build quality and design. I have played the daylights out of my JTV and haven't had a single significant issue in over 32 months of playing. I did have piezo problems on my Variax 300 and 600, and my Variax 700 Acoustic had an issue with its VDI Socket.

 

Yeah, the 700 was a significantly higher build quality than the 600. Decent guitar though.


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#21 phil_m

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:05 PM

I'm interested though: For those who don't like the look of the 700, is it:
a) the body shape B) the natural wood coming through the lacquer
c) the neck/headstock
d) the lack of a pick-guard
e) the "weird" look of having no pickups.
f) all of the above

 

 

The lack of pickups is probably the biggest thing for me. The body shape would probably be the second. It looks very derivative of PRS guitars to me (the cutaway is the thing), and I just have a lot of negative associations with PRS in general. The other things aren't issues.

 

I actually have grown quite fond of my JTV69. The shape of the headstock doesn't bother me as much as the graphics, but that's a minor quibble.


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#22 ReverendLove

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:26 PM

So I have a number of Variax 700s, and just one JTV59 (I wanted a 69, but can't get past the ugliness).
 
I'm interested though: For those who don't like the look of the 700, is it:
a) the body shape

b ) the natural wood coming through the lacquer
 
I'm interested as I personally find the 700 the most beautiful looking guitar I've ever seen. That being said, I could understand people not liking the lack of pickups, but the overall shape of the guitar, including the shaped top is very similar to a PRS to me (oh yeah, I guess PRS guitars are the most beautiful I've ever seen).

Whaaaaat?

You described exactly what makes the 700 disgusting. That fake PRS look that is worse than those undisputable ugly PRS firewood.
I am always embarassed for people playing this horrible furniture of the 80s and ninetees (PRS) on stage. They're simply awkward.
They do not even look like guitars to me, probably like mutants born from a tête-à-tête between a one legged cello and a bedside lamp.
I never understood this and I never will. If - by any law - I would be forced to play these boards only, I would quit playin.

And JTVs look like guitars. And its better to imitate a strat or a paula than this painfully designed disaster.

BTW: The one, only and ever beauty ist the Gretsch Jupiter Thunderbird. There you see a bold, timeless and cool guitar.
 


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#23 TheRealZap

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:29 PM

I agree with most of your PRS rant.... however i can never unsee a quick google of this classic turd you think is timeless and cool....

that's buttass ugly! and i generally love gretsch guitars.

 


BTW: The one, only and ever beauty ist the Gretsch Jupiter Thunderbird. There you see a bold, timeless and cool guitar.
 


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#24 ozbadman

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:33 PM

Whaaaaat?

You described exactly what makes the 700 disgusting. That fake PRS look that is worse than those undisputable ugly PRS firewood.


I dispute your indisputably, but I did enjoy the rant nevertheless.

 

I think I like PRS guitars as I like looking at polished wood. Hang on, that came out wrong....
 

BTW: The one, only and ever beauty ist the Gretsch Jupiter Thunderbird. There you see a bold, timeless and cool guitar.


There I see a festering turd.... :)
 


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#25 ReverendLove

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:40 PM

I agree with most of your PRS rant.... however i can never unsee a quick google of this classic turd you think is timeless and cool....

that's buttass ugly! and i generally love gretsch guitars.

 

Hehe, I knew I will get in troble for writing this :-)
I just adore Bo Diddley and the Duchesse.


 

Attached Files


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#26 clay-man

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 03:56 PM

Yeah, the 700 was a significantly higher build quality than the 600. Decent guitar though.

 

I know that the 700 is the highest quality in the original variaxes, but is the 600 better build quality than the 300? I know the 600 uses basswood.

 

The one thing I didn't like about the original line up was that they were all strats with just different headstocks and minor design differences. The JTV line offers more variety in what you can choose, though i still think they should make a telecaster model.


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#27 ozbadman

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:19 PM

I know that the 700 is the highest quality in the original variaxes, but is the 600 better build quality than the 300? I know the 600 uses basswood.

 

The one thing I didn't like about the original line up was that they were all strats with just different headstocks and minor design differences. The JTV line offers more variety in what you can choose, though i still think they should make a telecaster model.

 

From what I understand the 600 was a better build quality than the 300, although I don't know why. People seemed to complain a lot about the guitar aspect of the 300, whereas overall people seemed fairly happy with their 600s.

 

I couldn't agree more with you about all the old Variaxes being Strat-ish. I think the current line-up covers a much broader group of people, which is great. I just wish they had used a different designer, and a Japanese factory.


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#28 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:26 PM

I own a 500, 700 Acoustic, and now a JTV69-S.  The 500 was great for it's time and so was the 700 Acoustic.  I really liked the 700 but I never could convince myself to buy one.  I did some upgrades on my 500 instead:  Locking Tuners (Planet Waves) an Ervana nut, and Ghost Piezo saddles.  It still plays great and stays in tune better than any of my other guitars.  I just recently purchased the JTV and I am still getting used to it.  The modeling is better for sure.  Not crazy about the Trem though.  I really don't use a Trem.  I don't find the JTV at all ugly - and I did not find the other earlier Variax models ugly either.  I like having pickups even if I don't end up using them much.  I am not sure why there are so many replies that Hate the look of some of these guitars.  I'm quite happy with mine.


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#29 clay-man

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:33 PM

From what I understand the 300 was a better build quality than the 600, although I don't know why. People seemed to complain a lot about the guitar aspect of the 300, whereas overall people seemed fairly happy with their 600s.

 

I couldn't agree more with you about all the old Variaxes being Strat-ish. I think the current line-up covers a much broader group of people, which is great. I just wish they had used a different designer, and a Japanese factory.

 

Aww really? Well, the thing that matters is if I like it or not. I love it.

 

300 was a strat with rosewood (I think)

500 was a strat with a LP headstock and an LP knob layout

600 was the closest to a regular strat, with a maple fretboard and tremelo

700 was a super strat

 

in my opinion ^


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#30 ozbadman

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:36 PM

Aww really? Well, the thing that matters is if I like it or not. I love it.

 

300 was a strat with rosewood (I think)

500 was a strat with a LP headstock and an LP knob layout

600 was the closest to a regular strat, with a maple fretboard and tremelo

700 was a super strat

 

in my opinion ^

 

Sorry, I got that in the wrong order. The 600 was a better build than the 300 :P I've fixed it in my original post.


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#31 TheRealZap

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:40 PM

I was going to say... the 600 was better :) 


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#32 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:48 PM

I think the 300 went too far on the cheap side.  The 600 was nice but not that much better than my 500.


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#33 clay-man

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:54 PM

I was going to say... the 600 was better :)

 

It's more expensive than the 300 so I'd hope so. It's nice to have a tremolo again after playing an SG only for years, though like I said, I need to replace the nut because it's making it unusable since the strings are getting caught in the nut.

 

How good is a TUSQ? The problem with my guitar is that it goes out of tune if I do bends, and I hate that, so I stretch the strings until bends don't detune the guitar, but then if I use the tremelo, it goes out of tune. It's a lose-lose situation, so I just use bends for now.


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#34 stevekc

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:18 PM

 

The problem with my guitar is that it goes out of tune if I do bends, and I hate that, so I stretch the strings until bends don't detune the guitar, but then if I use the tremelo, it goes out of tune. It's a lose-lose situation, so I just use bends for now.

 

 

I mounted  a SuperVee Mag-lok on my  floating "strat type" bridge guitars (Variax 600, JTV-69, and also works on old Variax 700 )  and now experience more stability, better tone,

 


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#35 clay-man

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:33 PM

I mounted  a SuperVee Mag-lok on my  floating "strat type" bridge guitars (Variax 600, JTV-69, and also works on old Variax 700 )  and now experience more stability, better tone,

 

 

While I think that would help stability a lot, my guitar still needs a better nut as well. I'll probably get them both someday. I just need to know what's the proper nut size to get and how to set it up.


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#36 Inerzia

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 05:52 PM

I like how my jtv89 plays, The neck is really comfortable and all, and it sounds better than my 700 ever did, modelingwise

(with the exception of the spank, semi, and jazz models, that I still prefer to the new 2.0 fw), but my 700...

I simply LOVE playing that guitar!

When I got it, my hands felt at home right away, and I just couldn't stop playing it. That's why I'm putting magnetic pickups

on it (pictures coming as soon as it's ready).
Never had any tuning problem with bendings, but I did have problems with the trem though, kicking some strings out of tune

whenever I used it. Don't ask me how I did it, but the fact is that, after some tweaking, I solved that too, and now it's behaving

as it should, that is, if you abuse the trem, strings will go out of tune, the same as they do on the best non-locking trems, but

for regular up to Beck-ish use, it holds.


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#37 Leftzilla

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 06:07 AM

I own a VAX 700, VAC 700, Jtv 59 and a JTV89f.  And while like others I definitely have a soft spot for my 700s the playability of the JTVs IMO is better especially the JTV89F.  I am not sure I understand why some people hate the 700 as I also think it has a striking and unique look because of the absence of pickups and the pick guard.

 

The headstock on the JTV89F is an improvement over the JTV 89 but I am not teribbly thrilled with it.


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#38 Ed_Saxman

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 08:26 AM

I like how my jtv89 plays, ...., but my 700...

I simply LOVE playing that guitar!

When I got it, my hands felt at home right away, and I just couldn't stop playing it. That's why I'm putting magnetic pickups

on it (pictures coming as soon as it's ready).

 

+1 This is the exactly the same situation as mine.
I bought the 89 Blood Red just because of the sweetwater offer. Initially planned to sell my Variax 700 later, but once I saw them both together, I realized that I could not sell the most beautiful guitar I have. The 700 looks more like a Jazz guitar to me (body shape, headstock, neck inlays, etc). I also love some PRS guitars, by the way.

I think I'm going to keep this guitar forever, and even if the electronics fail some day, I'll take it to a luthier to install a good pair of SD pickups.

 

Something like this:

Capturadepantalla2013-09-07alas181431_zp

Capturadepantalla2013-09-07alas181442_zp


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#39 hurghanico

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 08:35 AM

Something like this:

th_Capturadepantalla2013-09-07alas181431th_Capturadepantalla2013-09-07alas181442

 

I like the 700 original look without PUPs, but anyway those are nice pictures?..  where did you find them?


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#40 Ed_Saxman

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 08:42 AM

Here: http://ow.ly/i/3Ayj

Original post: http://www.guitarmas...ndpost&p=498326

 

It´s made by a brazilian luthier.

 

I also like the look of the 700 without pups, but we all have to assume that the electronics will fail someday. And I'm glad to know that even then I can still use the guitar, spending a little more money in the work of a good luthier.


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