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#21 markcockerill

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 02:23 PM

My transluscent blue 700 with the whammy was made in Japan. It has a far far better finish than that of my red JTV69. I took the neck off the 700 and bolted it to the JTV, arh, that's better, a playable instrument. The 69 neck is a lump of firewood with frets stuck on it.


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#22 Mr_Arkadin

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 04:19 PM

I really like my 600 a lot. I think the people who say the old Variaxes are ugly are FOS. They just don't like it because of the missing pickups.

 

Maybe you could tone things down a little. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just because someone doesn't like what you like doesn't mean they're full of anything. It means they have a different opinion to you.

 

I always thought the originals were a bit bland in design - and no it was nothing to do with the lack of pick-ups - in fact I thought that was quite funky looking. I like odd guitars. The Variax isn't odd, it is (in my opinion with no shite involved) it's just a little, in modern parlance, meh. Not bad but not innovative either.

 

I think the 500 had the best headstock.


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#23 Spiderplayer7

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 11:06 PM

I've got a 700 electric trem in black - I bought it new - I play it through an HD500. I really wanted to buy a JTV, even though I love my 700 (because of reports that the JTV modelled sounds are better) so I went looking for a JTV (these are not easy to find in the UK). Found a store that stocked the JTV-69K and tried it out. Sorry to say this, especially as I know lots of people love their JTVs, but I hated this guitar, just hated it. I thought the build quality was poor, the chrome hardware looked cheap, it was heavy, the headstock looked cheap, but most of all I found the neck horrible. Fingerboard too flat, frets too high, nut cut too high etc. I never even bothered to plug it in - I was really disappointed. So I tried out a JTV-59K, hated that too for similar reasons (and this one was much heavier than the 69). Then I found a store which had a US-made JTV-59 and I hated that too - it was finished better (but this one had developed a crack in the lacquer around the neck joint - ok, that could have been a shipping problem) but it still had the same neck profile, and the price was just crazy. But my old 700 - fantastic neck, great tuning stability, not too heavy, feels great on a strap and so far has been utterly reliable. The only thing I don't like is the trem arm - it sits a bit loose in the bridge. 

 

But buy a JTV - no, I don't think so!


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#24 clay-man

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 11:26 PM

I've got a 700 electric trem in black - I bought it new - I play it through an HD500. I really wanted to buy a JTV, even though I love my 700 (because of reports that the JTV modelled sounds are better) so I went looking for a JTV (these are not easy to find in the UK). Found a store that stocked the JTV-69K and tried it out. Sorry to say this, especially as I know lots of people love their JTVs, but I hated this guitar, just hated it. I thought the build quality was poor, the chrome hardware looked cheap, it was heavy, the headstock looked cheap, but most of all I found the neck horrible. Fingerboard too flat, frets too high, nut cut too high etc. I never even bothered to plug it in - I was really disappointed. So I tried out a JTV-59K, hated that too for similar reasons (and this one was much heavier than the 69). Then I found a store which had a US-made JTV-59 and I hated that too - it was finished better (but this one had developed a crack in the lacquer around the neck joint - ok, that could have been a shipping problem) but it still had the same neck profile, and the price was just crazy. But my old 700 - fantastic neck, great tuning stability, not too heavy, feels great on a strap and so far has been utterly reliable. The only thing I don't like is the trem arm - it sits a bit loose in the bridge. 

 

But buy a JTV - no, I don't think so!

 

Does your trem arm come with a screw to tighten the arm? It seems to loosen over time, but it's nice to gauge how loose you want the arm. I prefer it not to fall down so I can grab it quickly if I set it close, but also easy to swing 180 out of the way.

 

Also, I think the reason why the JTVs sound better is because their piezos are better. The LR bags used on V1 variaxes are honestly kind of poorly done, at least for the Variax. A lot of people say graphtech ghosts make the guitar sound a lot better.

 

I don't know what LR baggs did to the JTV piezos, but they're definitely a lot better than the x-bridge copy piezos.


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#25 Spiderplayer7

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:13 AM

Hi there,

 

Yes, it comes with a screw to tighten the arm but unless I tighten it completely it has about 3mm play in it before the bridge moves. And then it's impossible to remove the arm without an allen key to get it into/out of its case. I really hate this arrangement and wonder why any manufacturer uses any method other than the tried and tested screw-in arm (I've got a strat with a Callaham bridge and it's perfect - the arm screws in and out, there's no play at all in it - why would anyone have any other system?? Anyway, that's my only gripe with my 700 - oh, and the strap buckle broke on the gig bag...

 

As to the differences in sound between the old and new Variaxes, I haven't really heard the JTVs anywhere except on YouTube etc. but I'm prepared to accept that the JTVs sound better - but by how  much, I wonder - 10%, 30% - can this even be quantified? Even if they sound 100% better I disliked the guitar itself so much that I'll stick with my 700 - until it eventually dies... I'll worry about what to replace it with then...


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#26 clay-man

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:50 AM

Hi there,

 

Yes, it comes with a screw to tighten the arm but unless I tighten it completely it has about 3mm play in it before the bridge moves. And then it's impossible to remove the arm without an allen key to get it into/out of its case. I really hate this arrangement and wonder why any manufacturer uses any method other than the tried and tested screw-in arm (I've got a strat with a Callaham bridge and it's perfect - the arm screws in and out, there's no play at all in it - why would anyone have any other system?? Anyway, that's my only gripe with my 700 - oh, and the strap buckle broke on the gig bag...

 

As to the differences in sound between the old and new Variaxes, I haven't really heard the JTVs anywhere except on YouTube etc. but I'm prepared to accept that the JTVs sound better - but by how  much, I wonder - 10%, 30% - can this even be quantified? Even if they sound 100% better I disliked the guitar itself so much that I'll stick with my 700 - until it eventually dies... I'll worry about what to replace it with then...

 

Like I said, people varified that modeling is the same besides the new acoustics. upcoming 2.0 will make new of all the models, and hopefully bring in new ones as well. The change in sound is definitely mainly from better piezo pickups on the JTV.

 

I personally like the Variax's arm. I think it's nice to gauge how loose it is and be able to spin it around all the way. With a screw arm, you can't really control the looseness of the arm, and I don't like it too loose (ie falling in front of my playing field or getting in the way of the knobs).


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For a minute there, I lost myself.

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#27 Spiderplayer7

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:10 PM

Well, I'll probably give a JTV a go sometime through my rig just to see what the sounds are like. I'm not sure I'll ever get over my feelings about the guitar itself, though...

 

I know what you mean about screw-in arms getting in the way - for some reason the Callaham bridge does this well - if you screw it right down it stays in position but if you back it off one revolution it swings. Another great bridge I've used is he Parker one on the Fly models. 

 

My gripe with the 700 trem bridge isn't about swinging or not, it's the 2 - 3mm of play that you get when you grab the arm before the bridge moves (the Callaham and Parker bridges don't have any play). I've tried different length grub screws, various types of tape and washers at the base of the arm to try to pack it out but nothing works. IMO it's just  a bad design...


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