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Convince Me To Buy A Jtv Model Over An Original Variax


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#121 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 12:29 PM

When I got mine from Sweetwater I specifically asked them to put 2.0 on it as it had just come out.  They did that and were very responsive to my requests.  At least they make an effort to find obvious defects.  I still held my breath from when I ordered it until I had it fully checked out.  Mine was a "Demo" unit but there was no sign of use.  The plastic was still on the pickups, pickguard, and the back panels.


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#122 ColonelForbin

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 12:39 PM

Looks like Guitar Center is having a JTV sale~

 

JTV69

http://www.guitarcen...279-i2744639.gc

 

JTV59

http://www.guitarcen...056-i1548451.gc


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#123 radatats

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 12:43 PM

Just got my new VDI cable from best-tronics... absolute professional grade all the way, solid, complete connectors on each end, rugged, flexible cable, marked with details, velcro wrap...  about the same price as the Line 6 cable but individually made to order in their ISO 900 factory...  these guys are the best... (no, I don't work for them or receive any benefits!)

 

http://best-tronics....con/variax.aspx

 

Manufacturing: All Guitar-Cable.com cable assemblies are made in Best-Tronics' modern 60,000 sq. ft facility in Tinley Park, IL U.S.A. Every cable is 100% tested for continuity and isolation of the circuitry, we do not lot test. There is lot code traceability for every component used in each assembly as well as any operator who worked on the assembly. All cables are designed and thoroughly tested for quality, durability, and sound by musicians before we add the product to our line. We use WBT Silver Solder and our operators are trained per IPC/WHMA-A-620 standard. Guitar-Cable.com does offer some high quality import cables, however each is designated clearly in the description as "Import" to distinguish from the rest of our U.S.A. made assemblies.

Delivery: Every cable is custom made to order per your specific length requirement and usually ships out of our facility within 2-5 days. Cables orders can be expedited via a phone order for same day service at a 25% up charge. Bulk product usually ships the same or next day depending on what time the order is received. We ship UPS, Fedex, USPS, and offer pickup for local customers between the hours of 7:00AM and 4:30PM Monday through Friday (Saturday pickups can be arrange upon request).


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#124 johnnyayyy

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:54 AM

Not fair to blame Line6 on that kind of damage.  That happened after it left the factory. 

 

What evidence do you have to support this statement?  The JTVs are packed really well for shipment from Korea - for that kind of damage to the guitar to happen in shipping the packing would have to be damaged or destroyed in an obvious way, Oleus said the packing was secure and I am sure he has a better idea whether the damage was caused in shipping than anyone else here could possibly have, and writing the problem off to shipping damage makes posters here sound like they are doing damage control for Line 6.

 

The fact is QC at the factory is crap.

 

I am not at all surprised to hear they let a guitar go out with a busted tone knob after reading about the problems so many others have experienced and after buying a JTV of my own. My guitar never would have made it out of the factory if it were built by Gibson, Fender etc. - not even as a "second" - it would have been destroyed, at least the neck would have. Even the cheapest $99 Squiers and Epiphones have nicer necks than the one on my $1299.99 (I got it for less) JTV-89 - mine is the worst neck I have ever seen on any guitar built within the last 30 years.

 

If Oleus' bent tone knob were an isolated incident I could write if off, but it is just another story confirming that now is not the time to buy a JTV. I really hope Line 6 gets their lollipoppery together someday, I still think the concept is brilliant. But for now purchasing the guitar is risky, and no amount of the "haves" (those few who were lucky enough to receive fully working JTVs the first time) dismissing real problems that the "have nots" are experiencing (unlikely/improbable/implausible shipping damage) is going to change this. Really, it is the opposite of helpful.

`

I recall complaints of smashed/bent knobs and controls that the owners said could not have been caused in shipping being discussed here in the past, this is not a new problem.

 

Add it to the pile of reports of bad necks, bad bridges, ghost notes, guitars bricked during routine firmware updates, dongle that only works when it wants to, switches going haywire... what am I leaving out here...? Take all that in and the JTV looks like a pretty bad investment.

 

And like clockwork here come the lucky few (maybe 10  so far?) "haves" who received a fully working guitar the first time rushing in to say "I didn't have any problems with mine" for the hundredth time, because of course one guy saying a hundred times he had no problems gives the appearance there are a hundred guys who had no problems, and another poor sucker considering purchasing a JTV reads this and thinks he has a shot at getting a functional guitar... and sure enough here comes that same poor sucker again later with yet another tale of Line 6's total QC failure. Closely followed by those same Line 6 defenders writing off the problem.

 

Circle of life...

 

 

(someone PLEASE edit this video in a humorous manner, maybe the monkey could annoint the baby lion's head by spelling out the word "sucker", then hold up a JTV for all the other stupid  animals to see/freak out over)


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#125 oleus

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:02 AM

yeah, i really doubt the knob was damaged in shipment.  for the knob to be bent the way it was, there would likely have been surrounding damage to the guitar, or at least damage to that area of the box.  none of that was the case.    it looked like it was installed and bolted inside crookedly.  there wasn't even damage to the knob itself, it looked pristine, other than the fact that it was at a 45 degree angle to the guitar.  it could even turn all the way around, just at that 45 degree angle.

 

i already have the RMA form and return shipping, so I should have my replacement from ZZSounds by the end of the week.   I'll report what I receive.....


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#126 johnnyayyy

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:05 AM

Looks like Guitar Center is having a JTV sale~

 

JTV69

http://www.guitarcen...279-i2744639.gc

 

JTV59

http://www.guitarcen...056-i1548451.gc

 

Hmmmmmmm, interesting... it doesn't say "sale price", it says "new price"...

 

Theory: Yamaha buys L6, Yamaha has its own production facility which cuts out the middle man markup L6 was paying World Factory, Yamaha passes savings on to customer and sells waaaaaayyyyyy more guitars due to new lower price.

 

Very nice! My bet is the QC is going to improve in a huge way with Yamaha building the guitars. Seems there is hope for this concept yet!


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#127 ColonelForbin

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:31 AM

For what it's worth when I emailed them, Zzounds offered to price match the gtr ctr sale price.
And that does include the option to do their 8 payment plan. GC charges sales tax so that alone saves over $100 even when the two prices are equal. I would guess Sweetwater and other similar web stores would do the same offer to match
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#128 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:58 AM

Theory is not fact.  There is no way that Yamaha has had  time to take over any kind of production for Line6.  Not that they won't but the deal probably has not even been approved yet.  I still find it very hard to believe that any guitar factory would ship a guitar with such an obvious defect. 


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#129 johnnyayyy

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:01 PM

I still find it very hard to believe that any guitar factory would ship a guitar with such an obvious defect. 

 

Me too, but time and time again JTVs have been received with glaring defects - this is not a rare occurence and the more times it happens the less shocking it is. Still people keep ordering them, knowing full well what a crap shoot it is.

 

The real question is how has Line 6 been able to get away with this for so long - If this were a normal guitar I think no one would put up with this crap and people would have stopped buying them long ago, but the JTV is special/unique and still has no real competition. In my case I took my chances, got a bad one with huge obvious defects, but after all the stories posted here I realized sending back guitar after guitar waiting to find a good one would be a huge waste of time/effort/money and decided to keep the guitar and repair the defects myself.

 

Crooked/bent control knobs were reported by others in the old forums, I am not surprised Line 6 has made the old forums with all their complaints about the JTV disappear.

 

My bet is that some of the people here who say their guitars arrived with no problems have lower standards/less demanding playing styles than those with complaints. Some of the problems with my guitar went unnoticed until it was too late to return the guitar, I am sure the problems were there all along but I never noticed them until I played certain standard styles/techniques that the guitar did not like.


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#130 stumblinman

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:05 PM

Sweetwater would not match. I ended up ordering one through Guitar Center, but had it shipped to store so I could open it right there in front of them and make my decision. They had cherry in stock, but I wanted tobacco.

I was deadset against buying one, but with a Les Paul scale at that price I had to complete my dream rig. I'm a hypocrite!

For what it's worth when I emailed them, Zzounds offered to price match the gtr ctr sale price.
And that does include the option to do their 8 payment plan. GC charges sales tax so that alone saves over $100 even when the two prices are equal. I would guess Sweetwater and other similar web stores would do the same offer to match


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#131 johnnyayyy

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:10 PM

Theory is not fact. 

 

Thanks for the info.

 

Please replace "theory" with "wild speculation".

 

Ooooh, what if Yamaha is planning to blow out the JTVs and put the Variax tech into Yamaha designs...?

 

Yeccch, I don't like that daydream at all... I have never seen a sexy Yamaha guitar.

 

Wait, I found one - would love one of these with Variax capabilities, and I bet the neck sucks but is still better than the one on my JTV:

 

vintage-1970s-yamaha-burns-copy-electric


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#132 ColonelForbin

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 01:51 PM

Sweetwater would not match. I ended up ordering one through Guitar Center, but had it shipped to store so I could open it right there in front of them and make my decision.
 

 

That's probably the smart idea!I was considering doing just that, and GC mentioned they offer interest free financing for 12 months, which would have ended up being less per payment than the 8 installments from Zzounds. I just wasn't 100% confident in my ability to get approved for the credit; with the Zzounds offer I just need to have the $140/month, without needing a full $1,100 credit line. I am surprised Sweetwater wouldn't price match! Though none of the other online companies have updated their currently advertised pricing, so I am guessing it's a "Sale" rather than the "New" price.... We'll see what unfolds.

 

Funny, the G.C. by me also just has the Cherry in stock, and I also prefer the look of the Tobacco..


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#133 radatats

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 02:42 PM

My bet is that some of the people here who say their guitars arrived with no problems have lower standards/less demanding playing styles than those with complaints.

 

Cheap shots are uncalled for... my standards are no less than any other that just payed nearly a grand for a guitar sight unseen.  So far I can honestly say I haven't found the slightest thing I could complain about, from fit and finish to setup to playability.  Odds are the most likely to post on here are those that had issues.  Unfortunate but true.  To say those without issues have lower standards is total bunk...

 

If something should later rear it's ugly head I will let you know but until then I am enjoying what I bought without complaint...  thank you Sweetwater...


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#134 johnnyayyy

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:40 PM

Cheap shots are uncalled for... my standards are no less than any other that just payed nearly a grand for a guitar sight unseen. 

 

No offense intended, sorry you took that personally, I should probably have said "different standards" and "different playing styles".

 

Truth told, my standards in some areas are likely MUCH "lower" than other people's.

 

Example: I could care less about finish flaws or splattered glue or just about anything that did not directly affect the playability or sound of the guitar, whereas others here have had huge problems with the quality of their JTV in this regard. My JTV might well have some cosmetic flaws I have not noticed that would bother others here, I never really bothered going over it with a fine-toothed comb.

 

I have played many different styles of music in my lifetime, and for some of those styles of playing the problems with my guitar would have never been noticeable. In fact I could play a hundred different songs where the guitar's flaws never manifest themselves - I only do first string pulloffs and Travis picking occasionally and on certain songs and types of songs and these are the only areas where my JTV is unuseable. I assume everyone here has a different playing style and has different performance requirements for their guitars, did not mean to make one style sound superior to another as that is not my opinion.

 

 I think 90% of all guitar solos ever recorded could be played on my JTV without issue, and maybe 50% of all rhythm parts would sound right (most of what no guitarist would be able to perform properly on my JTV would be due to Variax palm muting issues).

 

So any guitarist who never does first string pulloffs or Travis picking and needs light to no palm muting capabilities would have standards not necessarily lower than mine but definitely different than mine and probably would have never had any issues with my guitar.

 

The problems with my guitar were not noticeable the first time I played it, or the second time... I used the guitar to do some acoustic strumming parts at first and think I only noticed the pulloff problem after a few weeks when I was recording a rockabilly solo. The sloppy bridge saddle fitment only became apparent when I was recording a country Travis picking bit some time later.

 

If you never Travis pick you may have different standards for performance than I do. If you never do pulloffs you may have different standards for performance than I do. If you never tune your guitar to D Standard you may have different standards than I do. Not lower, just different. There could be plenty of things you play that I do not that would be unplayable on my guitar, and vice-versa.


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#135 radatats

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:59 PM

No offense intended, sorry you took that personally, I should probably have said "different standards" and "different playing styles".

 

 

got it bro... appreciate the clarification.  I don't fingerpick so I probably won't notice those issues.  Everything else so far is a pleasure to play...


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#136 oleus

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 04:11 PM

I'm going to try and keep a positive attitude in hopes of good karma sending me a JTV69 in good shape.  Obviously i'll check the knobs before i unpack everything else; it looked fine at first, so I unpacked the charger, cords, etc, before realizing we had a problem. I even googled "crooked variax tone knob" to see if it was some strange intended design.  Since it did in fact turn all the way around, it probably would have been a functional tone knob if I had kept it.  But it just didn't seem like something I should accept on a guitar that costs 1K.

 

I really don't want the unintended irony of me starting a thread asking to convince me to buy one, and then being convinced, and then having to send two of them back.   I'm a Line6 fan, i've owned a Pod X3 Live, a 500 and now a 500HDx , and was a happy owner of a used Variax 500 that looking back I should have held onto to since it was perfect (i sold when the JTV's came out but then had a job change that made it difficult to re-purchase, and i had two non-variax guitars I was happy with).

 

So if i post about damaged product and being disappointed, I hope everyone here knows it's not that I have it out for Line 6.  


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#137 johnnyayyy

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 04:42 PM

I'm a Line6 fan, i've owned a Pod X3 Live, a 500 and now a 500HDx , and was a happy owner of a used Variax 500

 

So if i post about damaged product and being disappointed, I hope everyone here knows it's not that I have it out for Line 6.  

 

 

Same here, huge Line 6 fan/cheerleader, had the original bean, the XT, Vetta II, all three original Variax models... the JTV is the first bad Line 6 product I have experienced.

 

I still love L6 and have high hopes for the future of guitar and amp modeling, my frustration with the JTV has not soured me on the concept or the company.

 

I am anxiously awaiting whatever the new amp thingy is that they are unveiling this week, as usual with L6 products I expect it will be be a game changer.


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#138 johnnyayyy

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 05:02 PM

my standards are no less than any other that just payed nearly a grand for a guitar sight unseen. 

 

This reminds me of something I have failed to keep in mind.

 

Line 6 has said the value of the Variax electronics is around $600-700, which means if I paid $1000 for a JTV I am getting a $300 guitar with some fancy added electronics.

 

The neck on my JTV is sub- $300 guitar level, but I found a nice replacement neck for $50 and after I install it I will have a guitar that plays as nicely as any $1000 guitar.

 

The problem I think is I expected my guitar to play nicely for the amount of money I spent and I am comparing it to other more "professional" instruments I own and have owned in the past (Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, Rickenbacker etc.). I got my JTV new for $699 all in, which is about what L6 says the electronics alone are worth and I would have to agree.

 

So if I look at my JTV as some electronics I bought that came with a free guitar, I think... mmmm, even for free the neck is mostly unuseable IMO and should be destroyed, but I do like the body a lot.

 

When I bought it I was thinking I would be stripping out the guts and putting them into a transplant and $699 seemed like a good deal at the time for the guts, but once I had the guitar in my hands for some reason I forgot all about the transplanting plan and expected it to perform like a $699 guitar should. My mistake,

 

Aww, the neck is not really "unuseable", it is probably fine for 80-90% of what I need it to do, but every time the strings fall off the neck it makes me want to smash the lollipoppppppping thing. And it is only when I add in my frustration over the problems with the bridge and the tuning and the firmware bugs that I get really angry at the poor defenseless guitar. I just have to keep reminding myself it is a $0 guitar that came free with my kewl new Variax electronics and not a professional instrument and I will not be so grumpy about the whole thing.

 

Since there are no other $0 guitars I know of to compare my JTV to I guess it probably is the nicest $0 guitar on the market...


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#139 radatats

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 07:33 PM

I got my JTV new for $699 all in, which is about what L6 says the electronics alone are worth and I would have to agree.

 

 

so mine was $899 and now I am pissed that I didn't get it for $699... lol...  if what you say is right then actually, the $300 guitar so far is pretty good.  I hope it stays that way...  I have always rebuilt old guitars and made them players rather than spending a fortune on big names so if I find things I don't like I am not adverse to making changes.  Guess I have been lucky with all my L6 gear as I have had zero problems except for a faulty master pot on my original Spider 210 after 10 years... 


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#140 clay-man

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:20 AM

Same here, huge Line 6 fan/cheerleader, had the original bean, the XT, Vetta II, all three original Variax models... the JTV is the first bad Line 6 product I have experienced.

 

I still love L6 and have high hopes for the future of guitar and amp modeling, my frustration with the JTV has not soured me on the concept or the company.

 

I am anxiously awaiting whatever the new amp thingy is that they are unveiling this week, as usual with L6 products I expect it will be be a game changer.

 

I was mad at Line 6 when my GX crapped in under a year (warranty was out already though) because I was under a seriously small budget at the time.

 

Saw the Variax guitars and gave it a shot, Love it to death. Would kill for the HD500 as well. Also a JTV even though I just got my gen 1 Variax last year.


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#141 oleus

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 04:37 PM

Well. I got my replacement. I've decided to keep it, but I had to superglue the cap of the modeling knob. It was totally unattached and fell right off.

So I received two jtv's with knob issues. Seems out of the realm of random bad luck.

Everything else is perfect with it - neck is great.
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#142 oleus

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 05:03 PM

Just plugged it into my hd500x. Sounds fantastic so far. I'm not sure what fw it has , I'll hook it up to monkey later when my wife is off of the computer. But it works!
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#143 oleus

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 05:36 PM

Just saw it had firmware 2.0 btw via the hd500 menus.

So far I love the models and think it's a noticeable step up from the variax 500 I owned. The only acoustic that sounds right is the middle position but that's fine. I tend to like the chime / rickenbacker models but noticed the gibsons sound a lot better than I remember.

Amazingly the guitar seems to have been set up perfectly. It plays great. I like the lighting on the model knob that I had to fix (I'm being really careful with it for now).

I have a lot of learning to do as to what this thing can do with the hd500 that I might not be aware of yet, and I'm looking forward to making my own models via workbench on the custom knobs.

Other than "epic fail part two" with the knob, I'm highly satisfied after 30 minutes of messing around.
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#144 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 05:55 PM

If you have not already get yourself a good quality VDI cable to use with your HD500.  Glad you like your guitar!  My 69S came with 2.0 on it too and I have not tried anything else.  I really like the acoustic models.


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#145 oleus

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 06:00 PM

If you have not already get yourself a good quality VDI cable to use with your HD500.  Glad you like your guitar!  My 69S came with 2.0 on it too and I have not tried anything else.  I really like the acoustic models.


Could you recommend one ? I thought an Ethernet cable was all that was needed. What is the advantage of a cable upgrade ?
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#146 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 07:04 PM

You want a VDI cable with good end shells on it.  There is a poster here that sells custom cables that folks like.  The one from Line6 is stiff and not good at all.  I got mine from Guitar Cable.com and it is a very well made cable.  They make great braided guitar cables too.


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#147 oleus

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 07:13 PM

I have zero experience with alternate turnings but I am immediately loving the baritone option. I'm shocked how well this thing models alternates.

And my superglue seems to have worked, I have been turning the model knob with a little more "normal" force and it seems fine.

I guess I'll send line 6 a bill for my superglue :-)

This thing paired with the hd500 is amazing - just playing around with the unmodified pod models ( that I know are much maligned ) is giving me insane tones when I fool around with it.

I've been using quality studio monitor headphones (Sennheiser hd 380s) and the stereo imaging is quite impressive on some of the preset tones. At first I was hearing a lot of noise when I switched tone presets but realized I didn't have the variax set as global, when I was switching tones it kept adding the guitar and aux inputs , and even though nothing was feeding those inputs it was adding garbage.

I even messed around with the banjo sound like I used to do with my old 500. Good memories. A great guitar so far.

I'm going to put gs boomers on it soon but the first one I returned had a small tag about the strings it came with and this one didn't - in my anger about the bent knob I forgot what strings it said it came with. Should I go ahead and string it up with boomers ?
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#148 ColonelForbin

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:48 PM

I just got a JTV59. Tobacco. It arrived yesterday. I got to play it tonight.

Freaking. Awesome.

JTV59 > HD500 > DT 25.

Purely sweet tone.. did a simple patch or two with Plexi, wah,;comp, drive, verb and delay.

I have had this HD500 since 2010, and hands down the best its ever sounded. I used the VDI cable.

I am guessing here. But even the mag pickups sounded better. I think the JTV handles the A/D conversion better than the HD500.

Used the DI XLR out from the DT25 for the recording, sounds spot on

Last; but not least- the Epiphone LP case fits it perfectly.
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#149 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 06:28 AM

My JTV 69S came with D'Addario EXL 110's.  I like them  and will continue to use them.


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#150 oleus

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 11:51 AM

Re: strings. That makes sense, I could tell the strings were higher quality than the crud usually shipped with a guitar.

I'm loving the baritone tuning.
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#151 DarrellM5

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:17 AM

I'll be making my own comparison as my JTV 69 is supposed to arrive today and I own a very sweet Variax 500.  I bought my 500 new in 2004 and it has been flawless for me.  It has a nice neck, beautiful finish and has never had an issue.  I play it more than all of my other guitars combined.  I'll be doing some extensive comparisons between the 2 for the next few weeks and I'll be sure to come back and post my findings.  I'm no expert but hopefully my opinion will help future readers of this thread.

 

Also, I've owned the 500 for 10 years and didn't know I could overwrite all of the models until reading this thread.


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#152 egkor

egkor

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:15 AM

I'll be making my own comparison as my JTV 69 is supposed to arrive today and I own a very sweet Variax 500.  I bought my 500 new in 2004 and it has been flawless for me.  It has a nice neck, beautiful finish and has never had an issue.  I play it more than all of my other guitars combined.  I'll be doing some extensive comparisons between the 2 for the next few weeks and I'll be sure to come back and post my findings.  I'm no expert but hopefully my opinion will help future readers of this thread.

 

Also, I've owned the 500 for 10 years and didn't know I could overwrite all of the models until reading this thread.

 

To chime in, I have owned and used, and still use a Variax 500 (the Original Variax) since approx. 2005.  At that time the V700 had been out, and the V300 and V600 were just out and replacing the V500, which I got on clearance at my local GC.

 

Just got a JTV-69, CA Red, used and pristine (manuf. 3/2012), V2.0 models, at a local GC, at about 1/2 price of new.

 

So far I think it is an upgrade to the V500 w/ mags, better battery and management, locking tuners, additional selectable tunings.

 

Bottom line, I would have put my money into a current-generation Variax (like the OP did) rather than buy a previous-gen.  I think the current-gen is a better guitar.  I do plan to keep the V500, its still a versatile and in some ways inspiring axe.  But I would reach for the JTV first.  :)

 

-Gary K


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Live Sound: Line 6: m20d, 2 x L3t, 2 x L2m 

Variax:  JTV-69 (manuf. 3/2012), Variax 500 (manuf. ~2003)
Guitar Amp:  DT50 Head, Marshall 1936 2x12 cab (2xCelestion G12T-75)
Modellers:  POD HD500
Other:   Fender Strat HSS, MIM (~2012), Taylor 614ce (2011), Taylor 315ce (2010)





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