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Desperate For Help. Thinking Of Getting A Jtv59


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#1 Jhatem81

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 06:37 AM

I have a chance to pickup a mint JTV59(tobacco) for about 800.

 

Right now my only guitar is a Parker TM 20. I mostly play in church settings.

 

Talk me in or out of getting this guitar

 

Main questions

1. Does it have resale value

2. Any concerns that its korean made

3. What happens when the electronics die? Can they be replaced or do you  just end up owning an overpriced Les Paul Copy guitar

4. Does it feel good (neck)

5. Does it feel like a real guitar lol.

 

thanks guys

 


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#2 TheRealZap

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 06:45 AM

1. yes, check ebay sold listings for a general idea... but you're getting it at a decent price.

2. most of the ones out there are Korean... mine is Korean and perfectly happy.

3. the guitars can be repaired, and currently getting service would not be an issue.

4. i like the neck, its kind of like a epiphone les paul or prs se type feel

5. completely... you'll be impressed that it doesn't feel like anything less than.


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#3 Jhatem81

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 06:50 AM

Thanks!


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#4 phil_m

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:51 AM

It feels like a real guitar 'cause it is a real guitar! Really, it is!


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#5 GearFarm

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:55 AM

Yeah...the more I play it, the more I like it as a "regular" guitar.

At rehearsal last night I only used the model/alt tuning for one song on my 69-S

Rest of the night it played the part of a standard Strat.


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#6 pheld

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 02:22 PM

1. yes, check ebay sold listings for a general idea... but you're getting it at a decent price.

2. most of the ones out there are Korean... mine is Korean and perfectly happy.

3. the guitars can be repaired, and currently getting service would not be an issue.

4. i like the neck, its kind of like a epiphone les paul or prs se type feel

5. completely... you'll be impressed that it doesn't feel like anything less than.

1. It may depreciate  a bit faster than a classic model/brand, but it's not bad.

2. There seems to be bit of variation in quality, or maybe I was unlucky with my first. The 5 upper frets on strings 1-3 were unusable due to buzz. I had to send it off for fret levelling (plek). The electronics are supposedly the same on both Korean and US-made models.

3. I'm a sceptic wrt repairs. Parts availability is questionable and may also vary a lot between locations. I've been told by my supplier that L6 is very restrictive wrt the distribution of parts and will only deliver parts to approved workshops. The electronics broke on my first JTV-59 within a few weeks. It took almost 4 months before I got a replacement. The distributors workshop was unable to fix it, which can only mean they had no access to parts. I got a new guitar under warranty, but that won't be possible once the warranty runs out. The replacement guitar was broken on arrival and I'm waiting to have it fixed or replaced again. I've been able to use the guitar for about 3 weeks in the 6 months I've owned it. I could have used it most of the time if I could have had access to parts to fix it myself as I do with the rest of my collection.

4. I like the neck. It is almost as chunky as my '89 LPC (50s neck-shape) and slightly wider which works well for finger-style.

5. It's a real guitar all-right. As a regular guitar, with magnetic pickups, it compares to other well-made Korean models such as the PRS SE-series. Then you've got the variax-electronics as a "bonus". The magnetic pickups are a bit hot if you are after classic LP-tones, but they can be swapped with whatever HBs you prefer.

 

At this point I'm on the fence wrt whether I'm going to keep the guitar or get my money back. The reason I got it was to be able to manage with just one guitar on a few occasions. It defeats the purpose if it is so unreliable that I always have to bring another acoustic and electric for backup.


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#7 diggerbarnz

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:55 PM

sweetest guitar I've owned in 40 yrs...& just got a 69 as well


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#8 snhirsch

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 05:00 AM

At this point I'm on the fence wrt whether I'm going to keep the guitar or get my money back. The reason I got it was to be able to manage with just one guitar on a few occasions. It defeats the purpose if it is so unreliable that I always have to bring another acoustic and electric for backup.

 

Are you in the US or elsewhere?  It seems that the quality of service from importers varies wildly depending on your location.


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40 years of Rock-n-Roll and proud of it!

 

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#9 pheld

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 05:12 AM

Are you in the US or elsewhere?  It seems that the quality of service from importers varies wildly depending on your location.

I'm in Norway. Yes, service levels seems to vary between locations, but there's no excuse for not selling spares. Even a ship doesn't take 3 months or more to bring parts from Korea to anywhere in the world. My fear is to be stuck with an instrument that is impossible to repair once the warranty runs out.


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#10 snhirsch

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 05:22 AM

Unfortunately, each independent importer sets their own policy in terms of how much effort they put into customer issues.  Obviously, Line6 has replacement parts in the US and probably has them available from shipping points in other countries (Korea at a minimum).  My guess is that the Norwegian agent is batching together orders and holding them until there's enough to amortize the shipping.  Why they are not required to pre-stock replacement parts is a contractual issue between them and Line6.  If there is no such requirement or it's not being enforced that does not reflect well on either party.


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40 years of Rock-n-Roll and proud of it!

 

PRS Custom 24 (1990) w/ GK-3 Hex PU

James Tyler Variax JTV-69(k) w/ Strat Neck

Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth

QSC K10 FRFR

 


#11 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:27 AM

My guess is that the problem with Variax is that there are not that many sold and the repair centers do not get enough in for service to justify stocking spare parts for them.  From the forum here it does seem to be worse outside of the US.


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#12 TheRealZap

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:59 AM

they don't sell "spares" as in parts to consumers... never have... they make those parts available to service centers, and those service centers sometimes sell to consumers.

in the case of the variax internals I don't think they are allowed to do so. no manufacturer will guarantee you parts for eternity.... 


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#13 phil_m

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:40 AM

The thing that's a bit difficult about the Variax is that it is tech-based product, but it's also a guitar. So guitarists aren't really used to thinking about guitars about something they'll use for a period of time and then have to replace. Most electric guitars can be easily repaired because they're based on simple circuits, and they're using components you can find about anywhere. The Variax is always going to be different. It's a bit more like a car or a computer. Even if you maintain a car or computer properly, it isn't going to last forever. There will come a time when spare parts won't be readily available. I don't know what the acceptable period is for that with a Variax. I suspect Line 6 plans to support them for quite a while, though.


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#14 friscocat

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 06:46 AM

Hi,

 

   I too am very interested in the new JTV guitars.  My hands are too arthritic to play my beloved acoustics anymore so I've taken up the electric.  But I don't like the electric sound.  I want the acoustic sound but I need the ease of electric playability.  These new variax models seem made just for me.

 

   But...... there are problems.  Apparently the modeling & tunings selector knobs are NOT very reliable.  Perhaps there are other parts of the electronics that also aren't very reliable.  For the budget price of $1300 or so this seems excessive.  Also I haven't played one yet (I can't find one in any of the local music shops) and I'm concerned about the sound quality issues I've seen raised on this and other forums.  Are the tones really good enough to use for an acoustic replacement?  I don't use altered tunings, I've never figured out their value.  If I can be convinced that the reliability and sound quality are there I'm ready to start shopping for one, probably the 59.  But I don't want to pay shipping costs for web purchases before I'm convinced of the instruments value.

 

   Thanks for your help.


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#15 phil_m

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 06:53 AM

Apparently the modeling & tunings selector knobs are NOT very reliable.  Perhaps there are other parts of the electronics that also aren't very reliable.

 

 

What are you basing this on? The comments here? I'd say like any electronic item, there will be issues with some of them. I don't think overall the JTVs are unreliable. Mine has certainly been rock solid since getting it. It's my main gigging guitar at the moment.

 

To me, when you look up the reliability of a product on the internet is always going to be hard to judge what the reality is. Because what you're dealing with is simply a bunch of anecdotal information most of the time. If you've ever looked up any info on cars online, you'd come away with the impression that all cars being made suck in one way or another. Invariably, no matter what model it is, there's always someone saying, "don't buy this! I have one and look what happened to me..." Then there's other people who say, "I've owned mine for 5 years, and have never had any issues." It's the same here. All I can say is that if there are legitimate manufacturing issues in electronic items they tend to show relatively early in their life. And Line 6 will honor their warranty. In my experience they go out of their way to make things right.


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#16 TheRealZap

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 07:24 AM

most of the knob issues you read about really are that silly plastic dial on the outside... a 3$ plastic knob...

i can't recall any instance of it being the pot, or the underlying electronics... (they may exist though, and just be rare)

a simple fix, or a new knob takes care of it... i think calling that a reliability issue is stretching...

perhaps a quality control issue of the supplier? perhaps some of the knobs they get are out of spec?

in any case, i agree you shouldn't have to deal with that given the price...

but it's an incredible instrument and i can guarantee you that Line6 will make it right if you have the issue.

 

Hi,

 

   I too am very interested in the new JTV guitars.  My hands are too arthritic to play my beloved acoustics anymore so I've taken up the electric.  But I don't like the electric sound.  I want the acoustic sound but I need the ease of electric playability.  These new variax models seem made just for me.

 

   But...... there are problems.  Apparently the modeling & tunings selector knobs are NOT very reliable.  Perhaps there are other parts of the electronics that also aren't very reliable.  For the budget price of $1300 or so this seems excessive.  Also I haven't played one yet (I can't find one in any of the local music shops) and I'm concerned about the sound quality issues I've seen raised on this and other forums.  Are the tones really good enough to use for an acoustic replacement?  I don't use altered tunings, I've never figured out their value.  If I can be convinced that the reliability and sound quality are there I'm ready to start shopping for one, probably the 59.  But I don't want to pay shipping costs for web purchases before I'm convinced of the instruments value.

 

   Thanks for your help.


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#17 ozbadman

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 09:44 AM

Are the tones really good enough to use for an acoustic replacement? 

 

That's for you to decide, but:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=j8E1Yw7ixtM


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#18 friscocat

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 10:40 AM

most of the knob issues you read about really are that silly plastic dial on the outside... a 3$ plastic knob...

i can't recall any instance of it being the pot, or the underlying electronics... (they may exist though, and just be rare)

a simple fix, or a new knob takes care of it... i think calling that a reliability issue is stretching...

perhaps a quality control issue of the supplier? perhaps some of the knobs they get are out of spec?

in any case, i agree you shouldn't have to deal with that given the price...

but it's an incredible instrument and i can guarantee you that Line6 will make it right if you have the issue.

 

Thank you for the perspective.  My understanding is that failure of the selector knob is such that it prevents the user from changing the emulation mode of the instrument when it fails.  Since my interest is exclusively in the ability to model acoustics that's the most important part of the instrument for me.  Your mileage may vary.

 

Since I'm unfamiliar with Line6 customer supportI don't know how to gauge how many knob replacements at Line6's expense I'll be entitled to.  I certainly expect it to be limited.  Which leaves me "concerned".  As a consumer.  But thank again.  It is an important issue for me.


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#19 friscocat

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 10:44 AM

That's for you to decide, but:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=j8E1Yw7ixtM

 

Thanks.  I've already worn out the you tube demos of the variax.  The reason I'm here is that I REALLY am impressed by the sound bites.  If the instrument is really a strat/LP competitor, both in quality & playability, then I'm even more anxious to get my hands on one.  But after reading about things like "warbling" & other tone "issues" here and on other sites I'm still hesitant.  A nice 30-day in-home trial is what I'm after.  I just can't seem to find any locally, yet.  I'm still hopeful.

 

Thanks again.


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#20 TheRealZap

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 10:44 AM

your understanding is not wrong... but the reason it does that is because the shaft opening in the plastic knob is too deep... so pushing the knob doesnt work since the knob is already touching the body of the guitar...

many users simply wad up a bit of paper like a straw wrapper or whatnot and stick it under the knob... problem solved...

(i'd still call and ask for a replacement knob, as it makes sense to do so...)

 

most of the frustration you read on here is people assuming the worst as they work to the root of the issue.

you have valid concerns, i'm just trying to add to your knowledge.

 

Thank you for the perspective.  My understanding is that failure of the selector knob is such that it prevents the user from changing the emulation mode of the instrument when it fails.  Since my interest is exclusively in the ability to model acoustics that's the most important part of the instrument for me.  Your mileage may vary.

 

Since I'm unfamiliar with Line6 customer supportI don't know how to gauge how many knob replacements at Line6's expense I'll be entitled to.  I certainly expect it to be limited.  Which leaves me "concerned".  As a consumer.  But thank again.  It is an important issue for me.


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#21 friscocat

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:00 AM

your understanding is not wrong... but the reason it does that is because the shaft opening in the plastic knob is too deep... so pushing the knob doesnt work since the knob is already touching the body of the guitar...

many users simply wad up a bit of paper like a straw wrapper or whatnot and stick it under the knob... problem solved...

(i'd still call and ask for a replacement knob, as it makes sense to do so...)

 

most of the frustration you read on here is people assuming the worst as they work to the root of the issue.

you have valid concerns, i'm just trying to add to your knowledge.

 

If this is true then that will alleviate my concerns about the selector knobs.  You should make a "sticky" thread for this topic here on this site.

 

Thanks again.  This is very helpful.


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#22 ur2funky

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:18 AM

your understanding is not wrong... but the reason it does that is because the shaft opening in the plastic knob is too deep... so pushing the knob doesnt work since the knob is already touching the body of the guitar...

many users simply wad up a bit of paper like a straw wrapper or whatnot and stick it under the knob... problem solved...

(i'd still call and ask for a replacement knob, as it makes sense to do so...)

 

most of the frustration you read on here is people assuming the worst as they work to the root of the issue.

you have valid concerns, i'm just trying to add to your knowledge.

 

I own four JVTs (it's a sickness, I know) and this is right on the money!


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#23 ozbadman

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 01:20 PM

Thanks.  I've already worn out the you tube demos of the variax.  The reason I'm here is that I REALLY am impressed by the sound bites.  If the instrument is really a strat/LP competitor, both in quality & playability, then I'm even more anxious to get my hands on one.  But after reading about things like "warbling" & other tone "issues" here and on other sites I'm still hesitant.  A nice 30-day in-home trial is what I'm after.  I just can't seem to find any locally, yet.  I'm still hopeful.

 

Thanks again.

 

Cool. Yep, I'm happy with the acoustic sounds and bought my first Variax 700 based on youtube videos. Every bit as good as the videos show.

 

JTVs IMHO are definitely not the same quality as a USA strat or LP. Closer to a Korean PRS or Mexican strat. You may get a good one, you may not. And that's the problem. It's not that the Korean can't make good guitars. It's that they can't make them consistently. Q.C. is not up to Japanese standards, so what you get is a little more of a lottery. But, Line6 support is excellent, so they will do what they can.

 

I'd buy online from any of the retailers that offer a 30-day money back guarantee. That way, you can trial it and return it if it's not for you (not very likely IMHO), or if there are any issues, your retailer will get it sorted for you (a touch more likely IMHO).

 

I have bought many things from the big/medium online music retailers, including guitars, and any issues have been handled well so I wouldn't have any concerns there.


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#24 pheld

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 03:59 AM

your understanding is not wrong... but the reason it does that is because the shaft opening in the plastic knob is too deep... so pushing the knob doesnt work since the knob is already touching the body of the guitar...

I can only speak for myself, but in my experience that is not the case. The on/off push-switch gets stuck when pushed in any but one or two of the rotary positions. It gets stuck even if you operate it with without the plastic knob on the shaft so it is definitely a problem inside the switch itself.


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#25 friscocat

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 05:52 AM

Cool. Yep, I'm happy with the acoustic sounds and bought my first Variax 700 based on youtube videos. Every bit as good as the videos show.

 

JTVs IMHO are definitely not the same quality as a USA strat or LP. Closer to a Korean PRS or Mexican strat. You may get a good one, you may not. And that's the problem. It's not that the Korean can't make good guitars. It's that they can't make them consistently. Q.C. is not up to Japanese standards, so what you get is a little more of a lottery. But, Line6 support is excellent, so they will do what they can.

 

I have bought many things from the big/medium online music retailers, including guitars, and any issues have been handled well so I wouldn't have any concerns there.

 

I'm not familiar with the Mexi Strats.  I am very familiar with the Korean PRS SE guitars.  These are extraordinary guitars.  Very high quality.  I think they are the best "budget" guitars on the market.  My current strat knock-off is also Korean.  I am very pleased with it as well.  Since I haven't seen the Korean JTV guitars yet I can't comment.  But if quality control is an issue I think I'll be able to spot it in the instrument itself.  Quality control inside the electronics is always a crap shoot.  As the originator of this thread laments Line6 doesn't make spare parts available directly to the consumer.  This complicates matters.

 

Thanks for the head's up.  I'll pay particular attention to the build quality, fit & finish, & quality of the components when I get my hands on one.


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#26 phil_m

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:17 AM

The Korean JTVs are actually at the same factory as the Korean PRS SEs. I believe the company that manufactures them is called World Music Industries.


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