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Variax Jtv 69s Questions About The String Spacing

jtv 68 jtv 69s string spacing

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#1 drschultz

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 03:17 PM

Hello, I am seriously considering purchasing a JTV69s. My concern is that I just recently tried out a JTV69 (not s) and when I did a simple D chord the high E slid off the neck. I read some topics on the forum about the issue and it seems the a new nut would help the problem. My question is this: Is this still a problem with the JTV69s? Has anyone had this problem on the 69s? Will line 6 cover this issue as warranty? There are a few guitar centers in my area but none have the 69s which mean I have to order it. I do not want to be in the position of ordering sending back and repeating. Any suggestions or help would be great. Thanks! drs


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#2 TheRealZap

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 03:41 PM

they do  cover it under warranty, but i believe that they've addressed it in production, and to my knowledge I've not heard of any s models having the issue.


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#3 davidb7170

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:13 PM

I have the 69S, and have not had any of the string slipping off the neck problems reported on other 69 models. I got mine last October, right when they were announced and available - got mine from Sweetwater. They had it in stock at the time, I ordered it on Saturday, it arrived on Tuesday.

 

One thing to remember is the saddles can shift side to side like a strat's, but can be repositioned to an extent -- don't know if that has anything to do with the reported problems, but I noted it when I changed the strings the 1st time... Sweetwater did a good set-up on it, but I always tweak my set-up's to my own tastes on any guitar I get when I put my own favorite brand & gauge of strings on. Height, neck relief, and intonation change from size to size AND brand to brand. My preference is for GHS Boomer 0.042 to 0.010 gauge.

 

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#4 MikeMaben

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:16 PM

they do  cover it under warranty, but i believe that they've addressed it in production, and to my knowledge I've not heard of any s models having the issue.

 

Do you know what they did to address the issue ? I"ve had a 69 for 2 weeks and the e slipped off once.

(coulda been me). I don't see how a nut change could fix it cuz it's not slipping out of the nut. I do need

to drop the string height some at the bridge end, maybe that'll help ?

I too would endorse Sweetwater as their warranty and after sales tech support is quite good.


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#5 TheRealZap

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:56 PM

I don't have a specific answer, but the answer that I'd heard was that they tightened up the specifications.

even if they told me what specifically changed i'd have gave them a blank stare and said.. "so it's ok now" and that would have been that. :)

 

Do you know what they did to address the issue ? I"ve had a 69 for 2 weeks and the e slipped off once.

(coulda been me). I don't see how a nut change could fix it cuz it's not slipping out of the nut. I do need

to drop the string height some at the bridge end, maybe that'll help ?

I too would endorse Sweetwater as their warranty and after sales tech support is quite good.


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#6 MikeMaben

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 03:40 PM

I don't have a specific answer, but the answer that I'd heard was that they tightened up the specifications.

even if they told me what specifically changed i'd have gave them a blank stare and said.. "so it's ok now" and that would have been that. :)

 

Okeedoke, thanks :)


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#7 stevekc

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 07:43 AM

In my opinion the 2010-2011 era JTV-69 is a pure result of flawed CNC Neck profile design for my needs on a very basic level. You must play 5 JTV-69's of that era to find one that is playable.
Hopefully they fixed this with the current production JTV-69 and JTV-69S

Sorry for the rant - but the whole affair of the early 2010-2011 era JTV-69 "too narrow" Neck width at the Nut is reminiscent of the bread in this famous sandwich
7281680786_3eb5dab79d_z.jpg




Remember I base all this opinion as a long term Les Paul Player.


Variax_Neck_Comparison
Variax_Neck_Comparison_111111.jpg

In my opinion the JTV-69 has really odd geometry. With the wide E-E spacing of 2.1055 inch at the bridge, this leaves only 0.116 inch between the string and the edge of the fretboard at the 12th fret.
When playing, the JTV-69 has a tendency to have the E strings fall right off the edge of the fretboard, making basic hammer on riffs nearly impossible because the string to string spacing at the Bridge is too wide, for the Neck IMHO.


Compare the dimensions to the Jay Turser Strat - which is actually a great playing guitar with ideal geometry with more available fret under the string - .15875 inch between the string and the edge of the fretboard at the 12th fret, compared with only 0.116 inch on the JTV-69.

Another issue is muscle memory - if you are like me and grew up playing fast cross picking riffs on a stock Les Paul / SG, - then a guitar with a wider E-E spaced bridge that is up to 0.1 inch wider than the Gibson can impact your technique and leave you a few missed notes at the gig if you don't adapt your playing style to the wider bridge.



So here is a list of the problems on the JTV-69.

* JTV-69 Tremolo Piezo bridge has a very wide "Strat Vintage" E-E spacing of 2.1055 inch at the bridge.

* JTV-69 Neck above the 5th fret meets my preference for a "Fat" Neck at .92" inch thick, but below the 5th fret the JTV-69 tapers down to a kiddie guitar dimensions being only 1.1612 inch wide at the Nut - I find the JTV-69 neck is just "too narrow" at the Nut for an average adult to play a clean 1st position A7 chord and maintain an open G string. Its rather like they dialed in the CNC machine with the goal of recreating the Neck profile of a '62 Strat - but failed miserably below the 5th fret with a very narrow width at the Nut.

* Then to add insult to injury the stock JTV69 Nut has the string spacing cut just a bit too wide for the neck, the net impact of all the above dimension of the JTV-69 deliver an unplayable guitar, with both E strings having a tendency to fall right off the edge of the fretboard.

* The JTV-69 Floating Bridge never returns to center, due to the various methods Line6 informs World Music in Korea to route the bulky hex cable harness

* it's easy to spot a "problem" early JTV-69 with the bad necks. Find a straight edge steel yard stick and hold it along the edge of the JTV-69 fretboard. Perhaps as a result of over zealous neck sanding at World Music, some JTV-69 fretboards "bow in" at the area around the 7th to12th fret. Stand in front of the guitar and look at the fretboard straight on, and observe the "hourglass"fretboard shape on a problem JTV-69.

After waiting a year, it took Three warranty replacement JTV-69's until Line-6 could locate one with an acceptable straight fretboard for me back in Nov. 2011



I go into all more details of The JTV-69 Tremolo issues which I'm proud it became a sticky on the old Line 6 Tyler Variax Forum
http://line6.com/support/thread/73637




By Contrast the JTV-59 is a totally different experience, it feels very much like a PRS McCarty or old Les Paul Neck Profile, and I feel right at home.

I added a Bigsby B7 to the JTV-59 and finally I'm very happy.

http://line6.com/sup...with-bigsby-b7/


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#8 phil_m

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 08:21 AM

I have a 2012 JTV69US, and it's pretty much my main guitar any more. I can't say I have any real issues playing on the neck. There have been a few times when the E-string has slipped off the neck up high, but that is mainly a result of me being sloppy. I've had the same thing happen on Strats and a Jazzmaster, for instance. I also don't have any problem playing an open A7 and keeping the G string ringing (I actually just tested this to make sure I wasn't lying). Overall, I find the neck very comfortable.


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#9 stevekc

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 08:23 AM

After waiting a year, it took Three warranty replacement Korean JTV-69's until Line-6 could locate one with an acceptable straight fretboard for me back in Nov. 2011.
I suspect the JTV-69US ( at 3 times the price ) should have a great neck

But today I MUCH PREFER to play my JTV-59 with Bigsby.
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#10 thorneven

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 08:34 AM

Straight fretboards is a problem on most new, in-store guitars I've tried.  Gibson, Fender, Rickenbacker,  many that I've tried.  They just don't make 'em like they used to as far as I'm concerned.  But my 59 is pretty damn close.


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#11 snhirsch

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 04:13 PM

I agree 100% with regard to the JTV-69 neck.  Between the jumbo frets and the pinched string spacing at the nut it was not a lot of fun to play.  After fighting with it for a couple of weeks I swapped in a Mighty Mite Strat neck with compound radius fretboard.  Plays like a dream now with no adverse effect on the sound.

 

Even with the wiring dressed properly and the tremolo checked carefully for binding it would not come back into tune reliably.  My solution was to install a SuperVee "MagLok".  Can't say enough good things about this gadget.  It has a tiny impact on the feel of the tremolo, but makes up for it by ensuring that things come back to pitch right on the button.  Unlike some of the other locking devices I've seen, this one will let you bend upwards.  

 

Two modifications I couldn't live without!

 

So here is a list of the problems on the JTV-69.

* JTV-69 Neck above the 5th fret meets my preference for a "Fat" Neck at .92" inch thick, but below the 5th fret the JTV-69 tapers down to a kiddie guitar dimensions being only 1.1612 inch wide at the Nut - I find the JTV-69 neck is just "too narrow" at the Nut for an average adult to play a clean 1st position A7 chord and maintain an open G string. Its rather like they dialed in the CNC machine with the goal of recreating the Neck profile of a '62 Strat - but failed miserably below the 5th fret with a very narrow width at the Nut.


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#12 spmartin

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 09:36 AM

I am considering changing the neck on my JTV-69s. Do you think there would be any problems if I were to change the scale length of the new neck to, say 24.5". If it is in tune, the modeling should not be affected, should it? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


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#13 bob1474

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:03 AM

Hi- JTV69-just replaced the stock neck (rosewood) with a neck from a Variax 600, which I always liked. No mods needed. Plays like a dream now and intonation is spot. Haven't had a chance to play the JTV with the stock maple neck. Anybody know if that neck is different than the regular stock neck ?  (closer to 600 style?)


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#14 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 04:20 PM

My JTV69S neck is just the way I like it.  String spacing is spot on and centered.  Very playable.  I prefer it over my Strat neck.  Mine is fairly new from Sweetwater in late August.  I had to do a little adjustment to the string heights and the Low E intonation was off a bit but I sort of expect a new guitar to need a setup.

 

Scale length is a big deal to some folks.  You can change the scale length if you change necks but you need to stay with a scale length that suits your taste.  For me I do not like the shorter scale lengths that you find on many Gibsons.


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