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USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by player99 on 2012-05-10 04:57:26

Can anyone tell me the differences between the US and Korean models?

Is it worth the extra money to buy the USA versions?

Anyone own either that got to try the opposite before buying?

I am looking at the JTV69 models. 

I have heard th USA necks are better, and are more precise, like a PRS CE VS a USA PRS worth $4000. Apparently the company making the Korean JTV'S also makes the PRS CEs.

Any insight or comment appreciated.



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by silverhead on 2012-05-10 05:06:32

player99 wrote:

Can anyone tell me the differences between the US and Korean models?

Is it worth the extra money to buy the USA versions?...

The differences are entirley related to the build/construction quality of the guitar. From a features and functions point of view there is no difference. Whether the increased cost is worth it amounts to personal preference; there's no 'right' answer.



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by player99 on 2012-05-10 05:18:13

Thanks but I know that.

I am hoping for some honest assesments.

Thanks



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by TheRealZap on 2012-05-10 05:24:42

i've played both versions usa and korean... the finish and selection of finishes are realy nice on the USA versions...

the 69 in particular also has a quatersawn neck.

the primary difference is going to be in the hand crafting and attention to detail that each of the USA guitars recieves.

if the money was not an issue, i'd 100% go for the USA model... money is always an issue though.



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by player99 on 2012-05-10 05:38:18

Thanks. Are the pickups the same?

Anyone with experience with either and or both your opinion is appreciated.



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by TheRealZap on 2012-05-10 05:59:33

the pickups are the same...

originally they were going to be different, and some early USA prototypes have the originally spec'd seymour duncans.

but any new USA models will have the james tyler spec'd pickups same as the korean models.

(the tuning machines are also different on the USA models, hipshot tuners i believe)

keep in mind just like every other guitar manufacturer like fender for instance....

there really isn't a "wow" thing you can point to that makes it all worth it...

it's a combination of many parts being a little bit better, that adds up to an overall nicer instrument.

it all comes down to attention to detail... those details are what you get with the handcrafted USA models...



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by merman_96 on 2012-05-10 08:00:11

Regarding this topic;....

I am interested in purchasing a single cutaway guitar, and as I already have a considerable amount of Line 6 gear, including a JTV 89, the JTV 59 is near the top of the list, (and the Variax circuitry would be a bonus).

My concern is although Tyler had developed a considerable reputation for designing Super Strat type guitars, as far as I can tell, he had never done anything other than a 25.5 scale guitar previous to the JTV-59.

I am wondering if this guitar was designed elsewhere, and manufactured at World/and Wildwood as the other JTV's, and only Branding it a Tyler.

The guitar Im most interested in is extremely similar to the JTV-59, (could be her long lost twin !!), the FGN Expert Flame.

l-3.jpg

It features a long tenon design, and is true to the Les Paul scale. Note the switch rout is very similar to the US model.

l-2.jpg

in fact, the only significant differance is the headstock design, and that on the JTV, the D and G strings tuner holes are farther in than 95% of 3 x 3 guitars, (Hipshot tuners use an extension on those tuners to clear the headstock).

The differance in price between the 69 and 59 models made at World are about $100, (7% increase). The differance between a US JTV 69, and a US JTV 59 is nearer to a  grand, (27% increase). That is strange.

Disregarding the Variax circuits, and judging on the guitar, mag pickups, etc. does the US made JTV 59 feel like a $3,900 guitar? I'm really not considering the Korean 59 at this time, but the US model is a possibility.

I would really appreciate any input from owners of the US model.



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by player99 on 2012-05-10 10:56:39

Are there no jtv owners who will comment on their guitars?



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by MerlinFL on 2012-05-10 14:05:54

Sure - I've posted tons of comments about my JTV-59US as well as my JTV-89KN. 

Have you looked to find any other people posting what they think of their JTV guitars by using the search feature?

A very simple answer to your query is that I'm very pleased with my 59US and 89KN.  I have a prototype 59, so it's not exactly like the photos you are seeing from merman_96.  One thing easy to spot is that mine does not have an indented toggle switch cut into the guitar body.  Mine is more like a typical Les Paul in that regard.  It also has an identical headstock to my pair of Variax Model 700 which I thought was rather interesting since the other guitar models have completely unique headstocks.

Here's a photo of my 59 next to one of my 700 - you'll see very clearly, they are identical in every aspect of shape. Obviously, different tuners, different truss rod cover, and different logos.  I even got into an argument once about my thoughts that the Line 6 name was fine and the person I was arguing with was from Line 6 who said..."Why would anyone take seriously a guitar with the Line 6 name on it?"  Kinda funny as I certainly did, but then again - I'm not someone who worries about appearances, just function and credit where credit is due.  Go figure?

DSC00677.jpg



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by merman_96 on 2012-05-11 03:49:42

Thanks for your reply MerlinFL. I have, with great interest, read most of your posts, and watched several of your you tube vids from down in Florida. I was hoping to see if any other owners of the US 59 might pop out of the weeds and bestow us with their knowledge. It's always good to get as many opinions as possible. But I greatly respect your opinions, and eagerly anticipate all of your vids, really.

Btw, the pics that I posted, were of the Fujigen made FGN Expert Flame, not of a jTV, which emphasizes my point of how they could be cousins.



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by MerlinFL on 2012-05-11 14:53:45

Thanks for your very kind regards about my posts and vids.  I'm glad that some are getting benefit from my experiences and those issues I choose to discuss based on either many posts by frustrated owners or help-seeking individuals.

I'm really not sure why more JTV owners have not posted demos, especially the model 59 owners.  It seems most of the attention has been going to the model 69 which I know nothing about as I've never been a fan of any Fender design guitar.  Nothing wrong with aproven piece of musical equipment, but just never sat well with me or my playing style.

Thanks again and I hope my forthcoming vids are as useful to you and anyone else as those previously posted.

Take care,

Neal



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by MerlinFL on 2012-05-11 15:01:04

merman_96 wrote:

Regarding this topic;....

Disregarding the Variax circuits, and judging on the guitar, mag pickups, etc. does the US made JTV 59 feel like a $3,900 guitar? 

A someone who has a prototype US made model 59, I would say "no" to your question.

I have a $3,000.00 real Les Paul from the Custom shop of Gibson and as much as that guitar is amazing in it's construction, I'd never spend money like that again on any guitar.  Far too many guitars made by far too many companies that are just as good, feel just as nice, etc., etc. to spend such very serious amounts of money for one instrument.

BUT - do not take just my opinion for anything.  This is your decision and I think you should be able to check out the US version vs. the Korean version before having to choose.

Take care,

Neal



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by GeeTah on 2012-05-11 16:01:43

Hey there Player 99:

I've seen this thread and I don't speak up much, but I'll try to help you on this one.....

We have three JTV-59s, one US and two Koreans. We tour all three of the 59s and all are reliable mechanically.

As for the difference I can tell you that it is "subtle" but significant. It's like a Mexican Strat vs. USA Custom Shop Strat - or an Epiphone Paul vs a Custom Shop Paul. It's that kind of difference. The Mex Strats and the Epi Pauls are nice, Gibson Asia and Fender Corona do great work. For the money (which is always a factor) you can't beat them. Same with the JTV 59s. I can say that sonically our two Koreans are identical, but the US59 is just plain "different" and definitely better - it's more alive and harmonic in a very pleasing way and it just plays better overall.

Yes, as noted above, the electronics in all three are identical. But, just because the electronics are the same, that doesn't mean the Koreans sound the same as the USA's. As one of my good friends at L6 put it to me a while back - just because the guitar "models" doesn't mean that it doesn't also react to and benefit from the more lively and resonate tone woods which the USA has. There is a difference.

But again, I will offer that - definitely - the differences are subtle. At a visual glance and a quick listen and a couple of seconds playing, you might not see/hear a difference. It's when you get "deeper" that the differences reveal themselves - stuff like how sweet and buttery the neck is on the USA vs. the Korean (which is also good, but tends to be "edgy" sometimes - especially at the ends of the fret wires), the quality of the rosewood fretboard is very different and much more supple and open on the USA - really holds up better (stays more playable) when we do outside venues in higher temperatures and humidities. The fit and finish on the USA is - in a word - perfect. The fit and finish on the Korean is - in a word - good.

I can say that the 59US is every-bit as well-made as any of our Gibsons, Fenders, Rics or Tom Andersons. I will also say that the Korean feels good too though, but more like what you get from a PRS-SE (World Musical makes them too). Again, the Koreans are good and we had two of them before we ever got the USA model. One of our Koreans is now a very high-mileage guitar for its age and is holding up really well.

I would say that, if you have any doubts about which to get and you're not sold completely on the JTV concept in general, definitely go with the Korean - because it is a really good value (IMHO) for everything it brings to the table. Plus, if you're playing pro, having two is pretty much a must anyway. Then, you can always opt into the USA later - or keep the Korean in good shape and sell it when you can get your USA. Or get another Korean in a different finish (which is what we did) as your backup. Most of the top USA online retailers offer a fairly liberal return policy, so that might give you an opportunity to pick up a Korean, play it a few days and see if it is "your" guitar and if not, maybe be able to return it without losing anything.

Hope I was of some help to you - good luck.

Blessings,

Bradley GT



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by player99 on 2012-05-12 04:18:01

Thanks Gee Tah, that was pretty much what I was thinking it would be...



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by player99 on 2012-05-12 05:45:26

I was thinking GeeTah, do you think it could have something to do with the power of suggestion? You know if someone pays more for something they will think it is better even though it might not be?



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by spmartin on 2012-05-20 10:59:43

Above and beyond all the subtle differences in the USA vs. Korean - I think the price difference would be a non issue if they just offered PREMIER customer service for the USA model buyers. How about an over night replacement service for the USA buyers? How about a special 800 number to a real person (i.e. concierge service) to get your question answered or your tech problem fixed without a wait on the phone?  How about special or early release firmware updates for them? Maybe, a once a year clinic for those owners that would be hands on learning experiences?

This would not only be a great value add to the product, but would be great PR for Line 6. It also might really jump start the sales on that line of guitars. There are many ways to add value to a product like this, and it keep folks from looking to "features" as the only distinction that justifies the higher price.

Thoughts??



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by MerlinFL on 2012-05-21 18:49:39

Very interesting suggestions.

Some have been submitted others I've personally not seen before your post. 

Either way - I wish you the best of luck in getting Line 6 to give these thoughts any consideration.



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by player99 on 2012-05-24 22:16:31

I don't want to see the Korean jtv owners to be treated like 2nd class citizens. Purposely holding back fixes to justify the usa models? No way would that be good for biz.



Re: USA James Tyler JTV Variax VS the Korean JTV
by davidb7170 on 2012-05-26 10:44:27

I agree -- since there are a TON more Korean JTV owners than US JTV owners, they just alienate their main customer base.

The decision to go for a guitar in this price range was a leap of faith for me, as I have not been convinced that the "intangibles" of the extremely over-priced units like pre-stressed LP's, or "relic'd" strats with rust & finish gouges and burns are really worth $10K or whatever. I'll buy a good instrument and put my own marks on it, than you very much, at a fraction of those costs...

I was THIS close to getting a Gibson LP trad pro (about $2K) right about the time the JTV's were being first publicized. I had toyed with it a few times, but every time I came close, I compared it to my Epiphone LP Classic amber quilt top that I paid under $500 for (sweet guitar, btw) and couldn't see 4X quality or sound difference for 4X price, mainly just to get "Gibson" on the headstock... If the perception is there and the cost is no big deal, go for it...

Dave




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