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Using JTV guitar without POD HD and DT25
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-06 09:38:15

Dear friends,

At first, I would like to thank you for the wonderful community that you have here. I have been following the threads and discussions for quite a while and now I finally decided to join. I am thinking of getting James Tyler Variax 89 guitar, but I do not have the POD HD and DT amplifiers. However, I do have an effects processor of another brand with the analogue drive section and the little Roland amp. I would like to ask if anyone had any experience of playing JTV guitars through the different configurations without the components of the "Dream Rig". I am mostly recording music directly to computer and I would like to know of how will this instrument perform in such situation. From what I've heard and the fact that this is a digital technology, it should fit the best. The only Line 6 gear that I have used so far is Pod Farm which has been awesome with the amp simulation and the various effects. I have few more questions, but will hold them back for now and will wait for the replies and thoughts. Any help is greatly appreciated and welcome!

Take a good care and stay safe!


Re: Using JTV guitar without POD HD and DT25
by phil_m on 2013-01-06 11:58:23

Even though I have an HD500 and a DT25 to use along with my JTV69, I still use it standalone most of the time. You can just use like a regular electric guitar. You just have to manually select the guitar models and/or tuning you want to use. It still works great. You also have to remember to keep the battery charged. If you never plan on getting something with the VDI connection, it would probably be worthwhile to pick up an extra battery. I have the US version, so it came with a spare, but the Korean models only come with one.

Re: Using JTV guitar without POD HD and DT25
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-07 03:03:37

Dear Phil_m,

Thank you so much for your reply and kind encouragement! I was originally planning on getting the Pod X3, but then it was suddenly out of stock and the new HD models were not available yet. It made me switch to some other gear since I did not have anything back then. I have heard some people say that the best results can be achieved only with the HD500 and DT25 bundle, but I believe that it is also because it allows people to get the most out of digital modeling and it is comfortable. The great thing about the new generation of Variax guitars is that it can also work as a regular electric guitar and it has a battery that can be charged. I know that the HD500 allows the use of A/B where a player can use two channels and add magnetic pickups to the tone of the modeling. Is it possible to have the best of both worlds without HD500? Is there a way to add magnetic pickups to the custom modeling tones?

May I ask what gear do you use when you are using your JTV69 as a standalone guitar? Did you feel much difference when using DT25 compared to the other amp? I believe that even digital modeling sounds different with each setup since the clean tone is what matters. Am I right? Do you think that there is a list somewhere of what are the most classic combinations of amplifiers with the guitar models that are included in JTV guitars? Like Rickenbacker is most associated with VOX AC30 amp. It would be interesting to know what amps and effects (other than HD500 and DT25) people found to suit the best. However, it makes me think that Line 6 gear might still fit the best.

Thank you very much again for the reply and for your time! Take a good care!


Re: Using JTV guitar without POD HD and DT25
by phil_m on 2013-01-07 07:15:39

My main gigging rig consists of a Deluxe Reverb reissue (although I sometimes use other amps) and my pedalboard. The M13 is still the cornerstone of the my pedalboard, but I augment it with analog OD and distortion, a Budda Budwah wah pedal, and some other things. I just really like the M13 and have been using it for over four years now, so I've not really been too eager to give it up. The main thing is that I'm the type of player who is generally more comfortable with getting my OD and distortion from pedals rather than my amp. It's probably because I don't really play anything that I need really saturated tones for.

I like the combo of the DT-25, HD500, and Variax, but so far I haven't made the plunge to use it as my main gigging rig. Part of it is that I'm in two bands at the moment, and I just haven't taken the time to fully develop all the patches I'd need. With setlists that are constantly changing, it would take a little while for me to do.

As far as your question about adding magnetic pickups to the modeling tones, the answer is yes, but I'm not sure if it's in the way you're thinking. You can create a dual tone on the HD500 where one side is using the magnetic pickups on the JTV and the other is using the modeling. You need to run both the VDI cable and a 1/4" cable from the Variax to the HD500 to do this, though. You can't blend the two together from the guitar itself, though.

Re: Using JTV guitar without POD HD and DT25
by markcockerill on 2013-01-07 07:31:06

Hi Denis

I have JTV69, HD500 and a DT50 head and 4x12

Along with the 69 and DT, I used the HD500 for a few gigs not long after I got it and it certainly has all the connectivity you could wish for but it just didn't work for me in a live setting. I have spent another small fortune building a pedal board with some of the finest pedals available and make use of the effects send and return on the DT50.

In terms of the JTV69, I only use it on battery power and use the Line6 Relay 30 wireless system. This suits me just fine and I only use modelling on the Variax as I have much better pickups on most of my other guitars and I truly question why I would want to use magnetic pickups on a modelling guitar never mind blending them with models, as far as I am concerned, they are there for emergency use only in the event of battery failure which hasn't happened yet. I pretty much use just Strat and Les Paul default models and occasionally the Tele. It is an absolute no brainer selecting the right guitar for the right song as they are right next to each other on the selector knob.

I often use my JTV69 direct into my Vetta, Mesa Boogie amps too and it still sounds fantastic with them.

The JTV when using models sounds pretty much like the real thing and will respond accordingly whether you play through a good amp or straight to a recording system.

If I may be so bold which I normally am, then can I just say a word or two on a question you asked regarding matching particular guitars to amp types. Whilst some may want to wallow in the nostalgia of the classic marrying of some of these guitars and amps, I personally don't get bogged down with that at all. I find it particularly annoying and mostly amusing to my ears when some guitarists try at great lengths to copy the exact tone of a particular guitarist's sound and fail miserably trying to play anything like the copied guitarist. My advice dude, find your own arsenal of tones and play like you're the one blazing a trail.

I love Line 6 stuff just about as much as I hate them for many various reasons, but when they're good they're very good.

Anyway dude, that's my take on it all.

Re: Using JTV guitar without POD HD and DT25
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-07 08:54:05

Thank you so much for your reply and for taking the time to tell me about your rig and the experiences. Such information is very helpful and valuable in making the right choice and getting the required knowledge about JTV instruments. I like the idea of your guitar rig and I am also the type of player who gets all the overdrive and distortion from pedals and not the amp. It gives more details and allows to be specific once you know what type of sound you are looking for. I always lean for the cleaner tones and strongly believe that it is the clean sound that gets the tone complete. Coming from the classical guitar background and progressive rock circles, I decided to have minimal amount of gear and the effects that hide the sound behind the wall of distortion. Being unpredictable in sound is what led me to James Tyler Variax guitars, the ability to change instruments on-the-fly without actually changing guitar. Some people and friends try to talk me out of getting JTV guitar, saying that it will only work and sound well with the HD500 and that the battery will always be an issue. In my own opinion, it will sound in a different way! But since I am mostly recording at home and write my own material, I can live with waiting for the battery to charge.

Yes, you understood me right about the dual tone option and thank you for confirming that it is only possible with HD500 and not possible with guitar itself. I have used this feature in the POD Farm software plugin and really liked the idea.

Thank you very much again for your time and attention! Take care and stay safe!


Re: Using JTV guitar without POD HD and DT25
by phil_m on 2013-01-07 09:10:43

Regarding the battery, if you are just going to be using the guitar at home, another option you could look at for powering the guitar is picking up an XPS or XPS Mini and using a TRS cable. You can buy the XPS directly from Line 6 here:

Re: Using JTV guitar without POD HD and DT25
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-07 09:19:53

Dear Mark,

Thank you so much for your thoughts and the reply! Thank you for being "bold" with me, but I really appreciate your being direct in your thoughts and opinions and the world would be much better if more people could be as sincere and truthful. After all, we all come here for help and at times we need to hear direct opinions that make us think and help us make our decisions.

Now let me explain why I spoke of the idea of blending the magnetic pickups with the modeling tones. You see, I have been using Pod Farm software for some time and there it lets you have two separate tone channels where you can put virtually anything, giving you lots of tonal variations and helps greatly during recording to get the right mix idea. For example, mixing heavier tones with acoustic guitar is one of the ideas. I might not understand this technology correctly, but it has been very helpful with the Pod Farm plugin. The pickups on JTV instruments seem to be very good and even if for the emergency only, their addition gives more life to guitar.

Now regarding matching guitar models to the amps, I agree with you completely and I did not mean it in a wrong way. Not trying to copy anyone's sound, but we can't deny that VOX AC30 will let Rickenbacker shine just the same way as metal players will smile wide when you offer them a chance to play through Mesa. Since I never had a chance to play the modeled guitars, I wondered what are the classic variations of amps that proved to be rich and useful and which would show the capabilities of, let say, Gretsch hollow body and Fender Telecaster. Being a singer/songwriter, I never had a wish to copy anyone's tone, but I think that listening, learning and taking something good from someone is never a bad thing. Most of us, if not all, picked up our instruments after we have heard someone playing this or that. I grew up with R.E.M. and I can't help, but use their melodic formula in my own creations. But I understand what you meant, - find your own voice, be yourself! I also understand what you meant when some guitarists go at crazy lengths and amounts of money to get the exact tone, not understanding that it is in the hands, in the heart and in the mind of particular performer. Modeling technology gives us a chance to use any virtual amp, so my question was mostly to hear what was good in someone's opinion and what proved to be confusing and not fitting at all.

Speaking of your experience with HD500, I understand the feeling and why it did not work out for you as well as the individual pedals. It was almost like that with me, too. I do too much tone experimentation and never keep to the strict rules, so I mostly use the tone and volume knobs on guitar when I want to change something, - make it brighter or darker. I believe that JTV lets you do that for the most models, except the acoustics which are equipped with the microphone positioning. The point is that it is universal and far from being limited to one type of gear only! Right? Hopefully, I shall get JTV89 one day and it will be a great recording guitar. 

Thank you so much again for your kind words and help! It means a lot to me. Take a good care!


Re: Using JTV guitar without POD HD and DT25
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-07 09:34:53

Thank you for the tip! Do they sell it only to US customers? I have tried to get it, but can only select United States as the country of residence. Do you know if anyone is selling it in Europe? I might ask my local dealer here if they could possibly get it from Line 6. The idea of powering guitar with the A/B box sounds awesome. Is this the only model that fits JTV guitars? Thomann (a large and one of the best music shops in Germany) has this model:  It says that it is for Variax 300 Acoustic and Electric models. Will such fit as well or it can be unstable? Thanks again!

Re: Using JTV guitar without POD HD and DT25
by phil_m on 2013-01-07 09:37:20

The XPS Mini will work, too. These power supplies work for all models of the Variax. The nice thing about the one I linked to is that it gives you the A/B capibility, too, which is particularly useful if you need to send the electric and acoustic models to different inputs.

Regarding internation shipping, I believe that you have to go through the dealer or distributor in your country.

The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.