Last Friday, I ordered a JTV59 in Cherry Burst as a so-called "scratch and dent". The reasons for this are articulated in the thread I made then called "Another drink of the Kool-Aid on it's way" or something similar. This is what I think so far, 3 days in.
First of all, the fit and finish on this "scratch and dent" guitar is very good. I had to give the truss rod a quarter spin to knock a low E string rattle out, but otherwise it is very good. I cannot thus far detect a scratch or a dent, other than in my wallet. I also have a POD HD500 and I connect it via the VDI cable I also ordered, and the output goes to a Boss RC-30 and on to a mixer which feeds a pair of Tech21 Power Engines. I realize that I am still just scratching (pun intended) the surface of this rig, but I can tell you all that so far I am impressed with the guitar itself. It plays and feels very nice in my hands, and even if ultimately the modeling aspect turns south, I feel I could just play the guitar with the included humbuckers because my other guitars are either Stratocasters or a Telecaster. I was never the hugest fan of a Les Paul style guitar, but this guitar is changing my mind and making me wonder why I felt that way. Mostly, it was the simple fact that I just dig single coil, Fender clean tone with a bit of overdrive above all other sounds -- almost. The other side of me is a rock and roll animal that likes the sounds of hard riven guitars into a Marshall or Mesa amp.
In any event and that aside, the models in this thing are mostly very good, and especially the non Fender models. I don't say that because the Fender models are necessarily "bad", but I have three MIA Strats and an MIA Tele so I am measuring against those. I like the convenience of the guitar however and being able to quickly switch between a fender style sound into a Blackface model and a Les Paul into a Marshall at the flick of a switch is excellent! I have thus far spent a LOT of time on the Gretsch Silver Jet model played into plain vanilla Soldano Crunch model and the aforementioned Paul -> Marshall Plexi combination. I have also played with the acoustic models, but I have a question at this point about that; Given my rig, what amp model do the majority of players use to provide a pristine sounding acoustic? Any help there would be great...
The 12 string models are fairly decent too, and only if you listen very critically can you sense the processing behind the sound. I find it pleasant to hear in any event, and I'm not making Carnagi Hall any time soon anyway lol. One of the reasons I was so attracted to this guitar was it's ability to model acoustics AND the ability to gin up alternate tunings quickly and easily. With that, I guess I have a complaint, although an answer to my question above about which amp model folks use with acoustics may solve it. When I play alternate tunings in acoustic models, I get a very strange overtone happening. What I have fiigured out is that I am so close to the guitar itself, that even though the tuning is changed when played through the Power Engines, I am still close enough to the string itself that I hear it's actual sound as well. This sort of screws up the whole sense of ambiance obviously, and any advice on how to deal with this is also appreciated.
All in all, I feel good about my purchase and I am happy with the quality of the guitar. I figure I have a new learning curve to ascend in a new type of guitar rig, and the upside far outweighs the effort I have to make in the end. In my situation now (couch player), this setup gives me a lot of tonal options and if I can get used to thinking WAY outside the box, I can actually create new and fun textures nobody else has ever heard, right? Right...
Dream big man,