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Support community for JTV.


JTV at NAMM
by chuskey on 2013-01-14 04:46:12

Anyone catch this announcement:  http://line6.com/news/general/1387

I">http://line6.com/news/general/1387">http://line6.com/news/general/1387

Ihad heard mention of the 89 model with Floyd Rose before, but it sounds like the whole Variax line and workbench are getting a "HD" makeover.  This could be awesome!  I always felt like Line 6 was going to put the JTV line out there for a while and see what happened before going back and redoing the modelling.  Since the that part really hasn't changed much since the beginning.  I'm excited to see what they come up with. 



Re: JTV at NAMM
by sparkyERTW on 2013-01-14 05:09:34

"...free Variax HD upgrade enhances all James Tyler Variax guitars with an entire collection of pristine HD instruments."

My prediction? The forum filled with "my patches don't sound right any more! Stop changing stuff, Line 6!!!"

I for one welcome our HD overlords



Re: JTV at NAMM
by chuskey on 2013-01-14 06:03:20

That would be the tough part of running a company like Line 6, no matter what you do people are going to gripe.  Not that it's all unwarranted, Line 6 hasn't always made the perfect decisions.  But if you don't like a FREE update don't install it.  Nobody's forcing anybody to

I'm excited about the update.  I really like my JTV-59, but it's always been a little disappointing that the models and workbench haven't changed since I started using them years ago with the old Variax line. 



Re: JTV at NAMM
by TomR00 on 2013-01-14 17:27:57

I was just about to reply, "You don't think there going to make this compatible with the current JTV's do you???" But looks like you are right! Wow I'm amazed, they could have used the excuse that the old JTV processor doesn't have enough power to run the HD software.

Thanks Line6



Re: JTV at NAMM
by killergege on 2013-01-15 02:20:14

Oh Oh !

Can I whine ? Can I whine ?

This guitar is announced too late ! I already bought a Variax 89, and it has no floyd !

Can I get one for free ?

Seriously, I'm thrilled to read more about all those nice things... NAMM seem too far now.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by nevla on 2013-01-15 04:07:43

Oh please Rock Gods - grant us the gift of the JTV89 with Floyd Rose!

I've wanted one ever since i saw the original 89 and realised i couldnt live without a trem. C'mon..... *fingers crossed*



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Rewolf48 on 2013-01-16 05:40:18

I can't wait!

Oh... err I will have to won't I?

Last year we had the HD update announced at NAMM but it took months to appear.

New Workbench, "entire collection of pristine HD instruments" - not sure what the latter means as the current instruments are supposed to be HD, but it would be nice to be able to add a pair of Dimazio super distortions to a virtual guitar which you currently can't do because you have to use the two pickup models to simulate a high gain humbucker.

Workbench is desperatly in need of a refresh, but most of all it really needs proper documentation so that it is clear how to model a guitar... oh dear they didn't do it last time, who thinks they will this time?

If they want a quick fix that would be really nice, then have the HD set the JTV Bank not just the preset



Re: JTV at NAMM
by sparkyERTW on 2013-01-16 06:25:25

I'm not sure the current instruments are 'HD'. The sense I got from everything Line 6 has said so far is that they're pretty much based on the same models/algorithms as the original Variax, only with the alternate tuning de-coupled and some better tracking on stuff like the 12 strings. There were some changes when it came to the acoustics and palm-muting, but that might have been achieved through post-processing after the main guitar model.  So with 'HD', they might be suggesting that the modelling/algorithms are being overhauled like they were for the Pod HD series, perhaps even using some of the same techniques/technology to do it.

I agree, Workbench needs a major overhaul. It's slow, the UX is outdated (it still shows the body style as the original variax, for pete's sake), and I don't think their reliance on Java has done them any favors in terms of being able to make it nicely maintainable (you'd think it would, but clearly major Java revisions brought a lot of breakage).  Personally I'd like them to open up the MIDI/SysEx spec for the Variax and let software devs in the community go nuts (look at how awesome the user-made DT Edit has turned out), but I'm sure I'll be commuting to work atop a airborne swine before that happens.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-16 07:03:35

Sounds like great news are coming our way! I am one of the people dreaming of getting JTV89 guitar and the possibility of Floyd Rose sounds like a dream!

Now the news of the free HD upgrade for all the JTV models sounds even more interesting because it might allow the people at Line 6 to show us more of what this guitar can do, let alone let us use all the new and improved capabilities. Unfortunately, I haven't played any of the Variax models in the past, so I won't be able to compare, but I could track the POD evolution in sound even through Youtube videos! Surely, something great is going to happen! Finally, a company that always brings free upgrades and takes care of doing something new and exclusive is hard to beat!

8 days and almost 3 hours left until NAMM 2013 Let's keep fingers crossed! Rock on!

Denis



Re: JTV at NAMM
by adessmith on 2013-01-18 13:43:54

I hate it when marketing teams use the term HD to describe something. It has become a buzzword which really means almost nothing. I saw a pair of "HD" sun glasses the other day! LMOL

Aside from standardized video formats, HD doesn't really mean very much. (And in the early days of HDTV even that wasn't very concrete, with anything above 480i being considered HD)
At some point someone stepped in and decided that 480p was "enhanced definition", 720p and 1080i would be called "HD", and some refer to 1080p as "Full HD"

Soon you will have another class of video formats weighing in at 4096p, which will be coined "Ultra HD", or "4K".
Personally, I hope the term 4K sticks, because at least it means something and is less likely to turn into a buzzword.

In terms of audio, Exactly what HD means is very much subjective, and, so far, undefined.

What exactly makes a sound "High Definition"? I wish industries would decide on a spec for this (maybe any digital audio recorded at or above a certain bitrate).

I wonder what Line 6 considers "High Definition"....

Whatever the case, I am excited about what should be "improved" models. I'm sure they will be sampled in a way that exposes more detail, and sounds more "real".
They definitely made some sort of big improvement when they jumped to HD modeling in the POD products. Hopefully we will see a similar jump in modeling quality with firmware 2.0.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-18 15:45:45

A very good post, Adessmith, clear and to the point! Actually, I am also one of the people that was surprised to hear the term of HD used for the audio specifications. When we speak of the vision or the portrayal (transfer) of visual information to the viewer, we can actually use the term "high definition" for the description of characteristics which are speaking of a certain frame point which is more accessible to the human's eye and so on. But to keep it right on topic, I would say that the term has been used literally everywhere and, as you said, there are even sun glasses with the HD!

When Line 6 came out with the POD HD series, I was wondering what do they mean with that and how does it relate to the audio. I was asking myself If I needed some addition gear to let the "high definition" be heard. Actually, there should be some standard table which would define (maybe there is?) what is "high definition" and what is not. Like the conversion of sampling or the compression of sound or the clarity or any other qualities that some educated sound engineers would understand. Vinyl will always sound special, CD will always sound different and then mp3 files will always differ, depending on the source of the material and the skills of the person doing the conversion. When POD HD's just came out, I was reading the opinions of numerous people that it did not sound right and that the sounds are muddier and not as clear as the POD X3, for example. Few months later people tweaked it, gave it a listen and there appeared more positive comments and opinions.

Now speaking of James Tyler Variax guitars, I could hear the improvement with each update even via Youtube videos and samples online. The sound was getting clearer and more natural. When we are watching HD TV channels, it feels more natural, right? Maybe it is the same with the sound? Can it be that the guys at Line 6 found a way to capture more of the sound patterns, more of the frequency range and the depth? This topic is interesting to me and I am glad that you mentioned it! Hopefully, we will hear the improvement after the promised update!

And all the best to Line 6 at the upcoming NAMM 2013



Re: JTV at NAMM
by bmberry99 on 2013-01-21 14:22:55

I visited the Line 6 premises in Rugby UK with my JTV 59  having got a problem with what I can only describe as a harmonic overtone and a most discordant note which is most pronounced when playing in open G and mainly when playing single notes on the Top E and B string. This was heard by two technicians and they tried two of their own guitars with similar results, they came to the conclusion that it was the design of the guitar which allowed other strings to give a harmonic feedback unless the other strings were damped. However when I got back home I tried other open tunings with similar results which is not how a guitar should behave. On searching the line 6 website I have found numerous similar complaints which have not been addressed on different settings on the guitar which makes me suspect that there is an inherent fault with the piezo bridge. There is a long discussion about this fault with Line 6 at this link http://line6.com/account/tickets/edit/195441">http://line6.com/account/tickets/edit/195441">http://line6.com/account/tickets/edit/195441where a number of people have experienced the same problem. Line 6 do say in their last posting that there is a limitation in their system which I believe is the processor not being able to cope



Re: JTV at NAMM
by bmberry99 on 2013-01-21 14:29:08

The above link might not work but please try this   http://line6.com/support/thread/89814">http://line6.com/support/thread/89814">http://line6.com/support/thread/89814



Re: JTV at NAMM
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-21 16:49:09

Hmm... Could it be that the new firmware upgrade that has been promised can somehow fix this issue? If the "HD upgrade" uses different kind of algorithms, coding and tracking (if I am not mistaken), then it may somehow ease the load on processor and give a different result? I am sure a resolution does exist. If the guys at Line 6 came up with such a revolutionary guitar that has totally changed the world of guitar, I strongly believe that they will find a way to get this fixed, too. Staying honest and open to people is the key. They listened to the customers of first generation of Variax guitars and created James Tyler guitars with numerous improvements. If they continue listening to the customers and taking care, they will be granted success and the answers will be given. Line 6 did a great job of giving us all a chance to play and use the things we could only dream of and they take a special place for many of us. Let's hope things go well for them and for us, too.  



Re: JTV at NAMM
by bmberry99 on 2013-01-22 05:23:11

If you have a JTV guitar I would be interested if your guitar displayed the same problem when used in the way I previously described, :-)



Re: JTV at NAMM
by sparkyERTW on 2013-01-22 08:20:51

It will. As does mine. They all will

As the Line 6 tech support pointed out, it's simply a matter of sympathetic resonance; vibrations from one string resonate through the saddle and bridge plate, inciting vibrations in other open strings that have a tendency to resonate in response to that frequency.  Octaves are the typical case; hit a G on the low E string, and the G string will faintly vibrate to create some faint overtones.  We don't even tend to notice because the overtones are consonant; they blend perfectly with the fretted note.

This is where the alternate tunings creates problems.  Even though in the alternate tuning you might have just played an F with the Variax's processing, the string itself is still vibrating at the frequency of G, inciting the G string. The overtones of the G with the F create dissonance.

To be clear, it's not a fault with the piezos or the guitar in general; it's behaving exactly as any guitar naturally would.  The problem stems from the Line 6's on-board DSP fighting with what a guitar naturally does.

The trouble, as Line 6 pointed out, is deciding what to do. It's difficult for the software to tell whether a string is vibrating because it should be vibrating purposefully or sympathetically, and if sympathetically whether it should be dampened or whether it should be let to ring as it naturally would. It would mean analyzing the vibrations of the 5 other strings to evaluate what to do.

If they have managed to work in the processing to do this, awesome for them, it truly is a major achievement. But knowing what's happening and the type of processing necessary, it's unlikely.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by mdmayfield on 2013-01-22 13:56:14

Not only that, but this can't NOT happen on any real guitar that uses audio pitch-shifting instead of physical string tuning to achieve alternate tunings. Roland VG-8/88/99/55 does this too.

The only ways to avoid it are to carefully damp strings to compensate with your playing technique, or to physically tune the strings on the guitar with the tuners, instead of pitch-shifting the sound electronically.

Or, use something like a Gibson Robot Guitar, which physically retunes the strings with motorized tuners; or one of these: http://www.yourockguitar.com/">http://www.yourockguitar.com/">http://www.yourockguitar.com/whose strings don't actually make any acoustic sound, and therefore don't resonate with each other.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by bmberry99 on 2013-01-22 13:57:42

I think the part where you talk about the F being played and the string vibrating at the frequency of G makes sense, the Peavey AT-200 displays similar characteristics  although on both guitars the dissonance is more evident on open G tuning than any other tuning?  I have also tried the Roland G-5A VG Stratocaster which hardly shows a trace of this problem, the main difference I see on their design is that the piezo is installed as a seperate entity to the bridge?

Roland G-5A VG Stratocaster



Re: JTV at NAMM
by phil_m on 2013-01-22 14:05:11

The VG Strat is using a hex magnetic pickup (not a piezo system) and converting the signal to MIDI. I would imagine that the magnetic pickup might not be quite as sensitive to sympathetic resonance, but as the commenter above noted, it can still happen.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by bmberry99 on 2013-01-22 14:42:02

Some interesting points coming out here, Thanks to all



Re: JTV at NAMM
by linz on 2013-01-22 15:46:59

The VG strat doesn't convert to MIDI, it's still modeling in the same way as the Variax. Roland's VG pitch shifting has always been a bit better than the Variax's, but the better tone modeling in the Variax more than makes up for that to me.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by phil_m on 2013-01-22 16:23:00

Yeah, I was confusing the VG Strat with the other MIDI enabled Fenders with hex pickups. In any case, the hex pickup is magnetic, not piezo.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by clay-man on 2013-01-23 00:40:15

Sounds really awesome. Hopefully the models get a high precision revamp and it can make a lot of the naysayers drop their jaws.

One of the things Line 6 has got over these people trying to get in the digital guitar stuff is that their modeling is already more high quality than most of them try for.

I can't wait to see the new stuff. I hope new Workbench can still work with old model guitars, but it really does need to be updated to suit the new JTV lineup. Hopefully Line 6 can please both parties, or maybe have like Workbench 2.0 so old users can download Workbench 1.0, like with their POD Farm stuff.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by clay-man on 2013-01-23 00:40:49

Wouldn't modeling magnetic pickups sound awful? I always thought Line 6 used piezos because it captures all the tonality of the strings.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-01-23 03:31:09

clay-man wrote:

Wouldn't modeling magnetic pickups sound awful? I always thought Line 6 used piezos because it captures all the tonality of the strings.

I thought Variax system were emulating the guitars inside with samples, and math calculations.

Isn't piezo only used to capture pitch and level of each string?

Then they can send anything on output basically from those calculations, and the chosen tuning and capo position.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by silverhead on 2013-01-23 05:45:46

I think there must be some degree of tonality captured as well. Otherwise - why would we ever need to change the strings? It should sound the same regardless of string life; but it doesn't. There is  tonality embedd in the string vibration; I think it must be picked up to some extent as part of the processing and it is noticeably affected by string age/wear.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by mlong on 2013-01-23 05:54:44

Nipp & Silverhead,

Variax does NOT use samples for the sounds. It does use the sound/tonality of the string captured by the piezo and then uses the DSP to change the tone and response of the sound. That is why the Variax doesn't have latency/tracking issues like you do with MIDI/sample systems where they have to detect the pitch - that takes a number of cycles of the string frequency and that is why lower pitch sounds track more poorly. In other words 1 cycle of a low pitch string takes more time(longer wavelength) than 1 cycle of a high pitch string(shorter wavelength). Make sense?  



Re: JTV at NAMM
by adessmith on 2013-01-23 06:15:49

Nipp wrote:

Isn't piezo only used to capture pitch and level of each string?

Pitch and level data sounds an awful lot like midi.
I would think its a little more complicated than that. My Variax picks up fret buzz, palm muting, squeaking and scratching on the strings, etc...
If if was only capturing pitch and level I would think it would be extreemly difficult for it to figure out those sorts of noises and re-create them.

It would be truly remarkable if the sounds we hear from our Variax guitars is actually converted to something similar to midi data, and then output through some sort of built-in sampling engine, and output in real time without any noticable delay.

If you have ever botched a firmware update on a JTV, you might find that you get a very bland "void of life" signal from all the model selections on the guitar.
It appears that what happens here, is that the "models" have been deleted, and all you are hearing is the unprocessed sound from the piezos.

It seems to me that line 6 has come up with some clever algorithms to "undo" the coloring the guitar adds to the output, to create flat, dull, signal with no "color", and then put the models on top of that.
The thing with piezo pickups is it doesnt take much to do this, because they dont pickup much of the guitars tonal characteristics. Also, this could be done on a a "per string" basis, and then combine the signals AFTER the DSP has done its magic on each string.

HOWEVER, there is obviously some additional pitch tracking going on in order to create the synthetic strings on the 12 string models.
I'm not sure about anyone else, but I have found the 12 string models to be very artificial sounding...
I think what we hear with the 12 string models is a very heavily processed signal, mixed with a completely synthetic signal.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by mlong on 2013-01-23 06:26:47

adessmith wrote:

HOWEVER, there is obviously some additional pitch tracking going on in order to create the synthetic strings on the 12 string models.
I'm not sure about anyone else, but I have found the 12 string models to be very artificial sounding...
I think what we hear with the 12 string models is a very heavily processed signal, mixed with a completely synthetic signal.

I'm pretty sure that there isn't pitch tracking going on. That adds too much latency. Since they change the pitch per string, they don't need to detect/track it, all they need to do is shift it the prescribed amount per string. If you've ever used pitch shifters, its easy to understand the artificial sound, especially when you shift it quite a bit such as an octave.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by adessmith on 2013-01-23 07:32:10

mlong wrote:

Since they change the pitch per string, they don't need to detect/track it, all they need to do is shift it the prescribed amount per string. If you've ever used pitch shifters, its easy to understand the artificial sound, especially when you shift it quite a bit such as an octave.

I was thinking about that when I wrote the bit about the 12 string models.
I regularly use Ableton Live, and occasionally will change loops and tracks to a different key. I always know I can only go a few steps in either direction before it starts sounding bad. They have some complex pitch shifting algorithms which you can choose from depending on the source material, but it always seems if I move up or down more than 1 or 2 keys it just doesnt sound natural anymore.

I seem to remember reading something about improved tracking between the original varix guitars and the JTV stuff.
However, it might have just been some incorrect information someone posted on the forum.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by smegolas on 2013-01-23 14:23:52

Ive just come accross the James Tyler Variax guitars and I'm really interested.  Im trying to follow the discussion on the problems here.  Are they a deal breaker or do you guys still like your JTVs?  I dont hear these problems on any youtube samples.  Also, the JTVs have been out for a few years and Im assuming they are still using the same processors they always have, which means they must be getting a little long in the tooth.  Is there any speculation that a new breed of JTVs are on their way with newer processors, batteries, etc?  I would hate to buy one only to have a newer version come out soon afterwards.

Thanks



Re: JTV at NAMM
by phil_m on 2013-01-23 14:34:36

I love my JTV. I wouldn't expect the JTV line to be discontinued for quite a while yet. Line 6 is going to be announcing a new "HD" update at NAMM for the JTV line, and that is going to apply to all existing JTVs. Plus they just released 3 new JTV models a few months ago. I'd feel pretty comfortable buying one now.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by smegolas on 2013-01-23 14:49:51

Thanks.  I didnt mean the JTV would be discontinued, just "upgraded" with a new processor or whatever.  I know a 4 year old computer is getting pretty long in the tooth, just wondering if it would be the same with a 4 year old Variax chip.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by TheRealZap on 2013-01-23 14:56:44

a reasonable thought...

but i think we're more likely to see a rise in L6 profits or a lowered price before we're see an upgraded processor...

obviously with the announced HD upgrade the JTV is currently not working to capacity with the processor it has....

the HD update may change that... but i suspect they'd recoup some of that R&D before they release a vax with updated processing.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by snhirsch on 2013-01-23 17:42:22

The Variax is a unique instrument that uses a lot of technology to get its sound.  You should be prepared to adjust your playing style and setup preferences to get the most out of it.  The bottom line for me is that it sounds just amazing.  The definition on the lower strings is like nothing I've heard from a conventional guitar.  It's the sound I've always heard in my head but could never seem to dial in.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by mlong on 2013-01-23 18:56:12

smegolas wrote:

Im trying to follow the discussion on the problems here.  Are they a deal breaker or do you guys still like your JTVs?  I dont hear these problems on any youtube samples.  Also, the JTVs have been out for a few years and Im assuming they are still using the same processors they always have, which means they must be getting a little long in the tooth.  Is there any speculation that a new breed of JTVs are on their way with newer processors, batteries, etc?  I would hate to buy one only to have a newer version come out soon afterwards.

Thanks

I love my JTV69s, I also still love my 300 and 700. The JTV is a better guitar on many levels than the prior ones. The JTVs don't use the same processor as the earlier 300, 500 and 700 models. I think they said they have 4 times the processing power of prior models. Some of the sounds aren't perfect, but they are usable. Even on my 300/700 I've used the acoustics a ton and the 12 strings on many occasions. How else can you do a song that starts with a 12 string acoustic intro, strat in the verses and les paul in the power chorus? Are they perfect? No, but there is nothing else out there that gives me the versatility of the Variax.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by adessmith on 2013-01-23 21:15:01

Now that I have got my hands on a variax which is functioning correctly, I love this guitar more than any guitar I have ever played.

Maybe if you do a lot of open tunings there are still some issues, but for me I have no problems. It's is simply amazing!



Re: JTV at NAMM
by clay-man on 2013-01-23 21:58:25

Hi. They definitely did updates with the modeling in the JTV compared to the old Variaxes, maybe not heavily, but there are changes, I just think they probably don't think they're satisfied 100% just yet so they want to be thorough this time.

I'm just hoping that the newer JTV HD firmware stuff does all the new stuff that the JTV does but just better and even more accurate this time. The JTV was already pretty amazing when it came out, and now they're reworking it to make it better even more? That's crazy.

I hope they finally work out all the kinks like that palm muting problem 100% once and for all, and I hope other stuff like the bigsby chime when you mute the rickenbacker is still in tact. I really can't wait to hear what the HD version sounds like, and maybe they'll add brand new models that we never seen on the variax before.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-01-23 23:44:51

smegolas wrote:

Thanks.  I didnt mean the JTV would be discontinued, just "upgraded" with a new processor or whatever.  I know a 4 year old computer is getting pretty long in the tooth, just wondering if it would be the same with a 4 year old Variax chip.

Yes, that is part of my concern too. The only downside with an instrument with electronics - second hand value really drop once a new generation arrive.

Can you even upgrade your Variax700 with electronics for HD version?

First I thought to throw away my Fender and Gibsons and get a JTV-59US, to get that extra with the build. But pricing of the US made is so high - and second hand value is most probably really bad - since it's based on electronics as well.

You would really want some kind of warranty that you for a reasonable cost can implement the next generation electronics if you spend the money?



Re: JTV at NAMM
by phil_m on 2013-01-24 06:21:36

I don't ever foresee Line 6 resorting to doing anything like actually upgrading the electronic guts of these guitars. The fact is for the cost of labor involved in doing that, they could probably manufacture a brand new guitar once they become available. That's what happens with electronic equipment.

I think people need to think of the Variax more as a tool than as a collector's piece. Even if you buy it and you get 7-10 years of use from it, it was probably worth the investment if you're a working musician. I also think I'm probably being conservative with that lifespan. I don't see why if it's cared for, it shouldn't keep working. The question is will something new come out that will make someone want to stop using the old technology at some point. I'm sure it will happen. It always does. The Variax is really more akin to an electronic keyboard than it is a typical electric guitar.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by sparkyERTW on 2013-01-24 06:45:58

Well put.  Variaxes are workhorses, not showcase pieces.  You don't complain about resale value on your favorite hammer.  I know 2-3 years down the road when the next generation John Bolin/J. Baklund/Roger Sadowsky Variax comes out that the resale value of my JTV will be half or less than what I paid for it, but I will have wrung every drop of value from those lost dollars.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-01-24 08:14:00

phil_m wrote:

I don't ever foresee Line 6 resorting to doing anything like actually upgrading the electronic guts of these guitars. The fact is for the cost of labor involved in doing that, they could probably manufacture a brand new guitar once they become available. That's what happens with electronic equipment.

I think people need to think of the Variax more as a tool than as a collector's piece. Even if you buy it and you get 7-10 years of use from it, it was probably worth the investment if you're a working musician. I also think I'm probably being conservative with that lifespan. I don't see why if it's cared for, it shouldn't keep working. The question is will something new come out that will make someone want to stop using the old technology at some point. I'm sure it will happen. It always does. The Variax is really more akin to an electronic keyboard than it is a typical electric guitar.

Since there is the US-line of instruments as well - that cost well over what most Gibsons do - that kind of makes you compare a bit.

I would not buy a Gibson for $4000 if I sort of knew it would be worth nothing on 10 years. You probably buy it for keeps. High quality selected woods just get better by the years as it dry etc.

So I use the same reasoning for getting a US-made JTV. The US-made JTV has a price tag of $4600 here. It's about what you pay for handbuilt custom guitars from wellknown builders.

But the electronics part - that is what is short lifespan. If you are lucky it actually works as well as when you bought it 10 years later - but there are more improved models, outperforming the old ones - making second hand value degrade..

I never meant that Line6 should do anything for free - but if giving customers that kind of upgrade warranty would be great - and remove an obstacle. If it cost $1000, fine, but make it available for those going for at least the US line of instruments. An authorized Line6 workshop for JTV make it up to date. And the instrument you lived with for so long - can live on regarding the electronics as well.

I don't buy instruments in that price range just knowing it would be throwing money away. And I guess Line6 should think about these matters. Now that they have a real nice instrument from JTV - and not that toy that Variax was when it was released - they attract players for the instrument itself as well.

So I would like to keep this high quality instrument when next generation Variax comes along - and be able to upgrade it regarding electronics.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by mlong on 2013-01-24 08:20:28

I agree. It would be interesting to know how many of the US JTVs that they have sold. I can't beleive its been very many.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by phil_m on 2013-01-24 08:30:20

Perhaps they will offer an upgrade to the US owners, but I would still be somewhat surprised. But in any case, it's not like when a new version of the JTV comes out, the old one becomes a brick. If I buy a car this year, it doesn't become useless in five years when a car with newer technology comes out. Eventually, though, it will lose most of its value. And a car is much more substantial investment than a guitar.

But again, I'd compare the Variax to a keyboard, and spending several thousand dollars on a keyboard isn't exactly unusual. But in a few years, the current model will likely be replaced with something more powerful. It's just the way of technology. I would say that if resale value is the primary driver for what instruments you buy, the Variax might not be the best choice.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by adessmith on 2013-01-24 09:04:10

This is another way to think about it:

The Korean JTV's run around 1500, and it is speculated that about 1/2 that is the guitar, and the other 1/2 is the electronics.

The US version has the exact same electronics, just in a "better" gutiar.
So If you buy a $4800 US model, you are paying about $4,000 for the guitar, and $800 for the electronics.

Dont forget that the JTV also functions as a traditional guitar if you bypass all the electronics.

Take the DSP out, and you still have a $4,000 guitar. So even if the DSP stops working, you still have a really nice USA James Tyler guitar.

In this way, I would say the JTV is a better investment than a high end keyboard. When the keyboard is outdated, you have an old piece of technology worth very little (It doesnt convert into a highly crafted piano). When the JTV is outdated, you still have either a $700 or $4000 quality guitar.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by TheRealZap on 2013-01-24 09:05:42

the JTV89F has its own page: http://line6.com/jtv-89f/

real">http://line6.com/jtv-89f/">http://line6.com/jtv-89f/

realpictures rather than photoshop it appears



Re: JTV at NAMM
by klarkkentster on 2013-01-24 09:10:03

http://youtu.be/IcLw9LbjIAU

">http://youtu.be/IcLw9LbjIAU">http://youtu.be/IcLw9LbjIAU



Re: JTV at NAMM
by sparkyERTW on 2013-01-24 09:14:01

Less than an hour to opening of NAMM.  Time for ridiculous, non-sensical, and outright absurd speculation that will result in underwhelment through to crushing disappointment once the announcements are made :

"Variax HD upgrade enhances all James Tyler Variax guitars with an entire collection of pristine HD instruments"

'instruments'... not 'guitars'... could that mean... kotos, dulcimers, and lutes, oh my! Wait, this is 'HD' I'm not thinking big enough... Trumpets, saxes, and french horns! Pipe organs and clavinets! Bucket basses, Keytars!... wait, this is going down a bad path...

" all-new Workbench™ HD software—giving you new ways to customize your guitars and capture unique tones"

'New ways'... we've already got bodies covered and most of the electronics. Neck swapping! Bridge swapping! Nut modelling! Pickguard material! 'Scratchy pot' simulation so it feels just like my poorly-maintained Strat!

'Capture'... oh my god... it's going to add Kemper profiling technology so we can 'capture' our own guitars!  Sweet Jesus!



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-01-24 09:15:20

phil_m wrote:

Perhaps they will offer an upgrade to the US owners, but I would still be somewhat surprised. But in any case, it's not like when a new version of the JTV comes out, the old one becomes a brick. If I buy a car this year, it doesn't become useless in five years when a car with newer technology comes out. Eventually, though, it will lose most of its value. And a car is much more substantial investment than a guitar.

But again, I'd compare the Variax to a keyboard, and spending several thousand dollars on a keyboard isn't exactly unusual. But in a few years, the current model will likely be replaced with something more powerful. It's just the way of technology. I would say that if resale value is the primary driver for what instruments you buy, the Variax might not be the best choice.

A JTV comparison is maybe better with a smartphone or computer that relies so heavily on software.

10 years ago I bought a used Roland D-50 which arrived mid 80's. And I sold it a couple of years later and made some profit even. So there is always a demand for good products - but it's not software driven to the same extent.

Buying a Korea JTV the electronics is most of the cost - maybe 70% or so.

Getting a US JTV electronics is about 15% - so more payed for eternal values kind of - it's this equation I'm trying to make sense of.

Thanks for your input anyhow. The conclusion for me is getting a Korea JTV eventually - but keeping the set of guitars I have now.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by adessmith on 2013-01-24 10:04:42

sparkyERTW wrote:

"Variax HD upgrade enhances all James Tyler Variax guitars with an entire collection of pristine HD instruments"

'instruments'... not 'guitars'... could that mean... kotos, dulcimers, and lutes, oh my! Wait, this is 'HD' I'm not thinking big enough... Trumpets, saxes, and french horns! Pipe organs and clavinets! Bucket basses, Keytars!... wait, this is going down a bad path...

LOL...
I hope they will mail free re-labeled modeling knobs for current JTV owners.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by adessmith on 2013-01-24 10:11:42

sparkyERTW wrote:

Keytars!... wait, this is going down a bad path...

Haha...
A guitar with a digital model to sound like a keyboard which was modeled after a guitar...

That's a guitar (or is it a synth?) with an identity crisis!



Re: JTV at NAMM
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-24 14:14:28

Hehe I wouldn't mind the addition of bouzouki and (if it is even theoretically possible) the addition of Chapman Stick Wish I could be at NAMM at the moment! Keytar with identity crisis That made me smile!

Youtube clip for JTV-89F sounds and looks nice! I wonder if these will be sold in Europe as well since it is a limited edition?



Re: JTV at NAMM
by clay-man on 2013-01-24 18:47:52

I always thought the Variax could enter the guitar synthesizer demograph. Roland pushed their guitar synth to do modeling, so why can't Line 6 do the same and push guitar synthesis?

It's probably because that's not really what the product is about, and the Variax is supposed to be around guitars and string instruments.

I hope they add more guitar models, like SGs, Jaguars, Jazzmasters, and all the good stuff.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by adessmith on 2013-01-25 06:00:18

clay-man wrote:

I hope they add more guitar models, like SGs, Jaguars, Jazzmasters, and all the good stuff.

I would like to see more models like this as well, but I dont think we will.
It seems that line 6 picked the most popular guitar styles at far ends of the spectrum, intentionally, to cover all the "sonic territory".
For the most part, you can pick the "closest thing", and tweak a little to get really close to the sound you want.

For instance:

Using some creative EQ with the Lester setting can probably get you really close to an SG.
The Spank setting in the "center/neck" position can probably get you pretty close to a Jaguar.


You could probably get closer to the Jaguar in workbench with custom pickup positions... If you removed the bridge pickup and moved the center pickup further out.
Do the same thing, but use P-90s for the Jazzmaster... I think those pickups were closer to P-90s than the strat style single coils.

A lot of the differences in these guitars have more to do with weight, scale, and feel than tone.
Arguably, from your list, the Jazzmaster might be the least "obtainable" with the current options on the Variax (at least on paper), mainly because I think they had some funky pickups that werent used on any other guitar. They looked like P-90's, but were different in some way. I dont know how close they sound to a P-90 or regular single coils... maybe there isnt enough difference to matter...
For this reason, we are probably more likely to get a model for the Jazzmaster than, say, a SG or a Jaguar.
I cant imagine they would ever model both the Jaguar AND the Jazzmaster.

If they took the easy way out, they would model the Jaguar and then say the Jazzmaster is "too similar" to the Jaguar. I think the better option would be to model the Jazzmaster. That would give us another pickup option in workbench. We could also change the pickups in the Jazzmaster to normal single coils to get something more like the jaguar.

I dunno... just my 2¢



Re: JTV at NAMM
by phil_m on 2013-01-25 06:18:49

Regarding the Jazzmaster, I've mentioned this several times here (kind of start feeling like a broken record after awhile , but because of the nature of the forums, I know not everyone sees every thread), but I have an AVRI Jazzmaster, and to my ears, the Chime model on the Variax actually comes pretty darn close to how my Jazzmaster sounds. And that's without tweaking it all in Workbench. If you think about the old "toaster" pickups on those Rics aren't too different than the single coil pickups on a Jazzmaster from the 60's. If I wanted to try to build something closer to the Jazzmaster given what the Variax already has, I think I'd try putting the Ric pickups on one of the Fender bodies. But really, like I said, the stock Chime model is pretty close.

I think what people forget when they ask for all these different models of guitars is that many times the sonic differences between them are more esoteric. Would most people be able to tell the difference between a recorded Jazzmaster and Jaguar playing through the same rig, for instance? Or, for that matter, could they hear the difference between an SG and a Les Paul. I'm not saying there aren't any, but when you get down to it, those guitars are going to sound very similar. It's the experience of playing them that's different. Playing a short-scale Jaguar feels very differerent than playing the standard scale Jazzmaster. But you can't really replicate that with the Variax.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by karmicfreak on 2013-01-25 06:56:47

Looking at this chart http://www.vettaville.nl/div/Variax%20Reference%20Sheet%20II.pdf">http://www.vettaville.nl/div/Variax%20Reference%20Sheet%20II.pdf">http://www.vettaville.nl/div/Variax%20Reference%20Sheet%20II.pdfI was reminded that there IS a model of a Gibson SG in the Vax - Lester 4 is a 61 Les Paul Custom, later renamed the SG.  It has 3 PAF's set up, but with Workbench, you could insert a pair of P90s or whatever, and customize Robbie Krieger, Angus Young, or Frank Zappa's guitar.  The funny thing is, not every chart of the Variax shows the right instrument, so you might have been unaware.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-25 07:04:54

Well said, Phil! It's the feel of playing specific guitar that plays an important role, but the sound differences, as important as they are, are created by hands of the player and the various additional gear. Your example of Jazzmaster (saw you mention this before thank you!) and the Rickenbacker sound with a pair of the old "toaster" pickups is only showing us one more time that we can, at least, get close to the desired sound.

Does Variax Workbench software include the list of already included models (like guitar bodies, pickups, etc) or does it include something that we do not have in the original JTV guitar? I have never used it and couldn't find the manual yet, so was wondering. I know that it allows additional tweaking and it made me think of my current guitar - if only I could tweak it a little. Now I wonder when will Variax Workbench software upgrade happen.

And do you happen to know if there is any MIDI or modelling emulation of Chapman Stick existing? One of my "dream guitars" has a GraphTech Ghost System (Piezo preamp + MIDI Hexpander). Do I understand it right that I would have to buy something like Roland GR33 or similar products? Actually, one of the reasons why I started looking for information for Variax guitars. Even though I do not have POD HD, I can still play this guitar through what I already have without having to buy (not so cheap) guitar synths.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by merman_96 on 2013-01-26 05:11:54

Forget about Variax for a quick second, and look at prices of "non-variax" Tyler guitars, very high dollar, comparable to USA made PRS, and Gibson. Buying a USA TylerVariax is like getting the Variax for free, as it is not more expensive than a James Tyler itself. And the Asian made JTV's are increasing in Quality. They were always good, but there were some well publisized issues with the 69 trem, and 59 switch on the first run of guitars, but the units coming from Asia now are on par with any manufacturer .



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-01-27 02:47:19

dchernov551 wrote:

Hehe I wouldn't mind the addition of bouzouki and (if it is even theoretically possible) the addition of Chapman Stick Wish I could be at NAMM at the moment! Keytar with identity crisis That made me smile!

Youtube clip for JTV-89F sounds and looks nice! I wonder if these will be sold in Europe as well since it is a limited edition?

Yes, a bouzoki would make me go for a JTV right away. Have more ethnic stuff coming - would be excellent usage of this technology.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by dchernov551 on 2013-01-27 17:28:38

Yes, an addition of bouzouki would be fantastic, especially because there are few tunnings that the players use from traditional Greek and up to the Irish and Scandinavian types. Ethnic stuff would be great because ethnic instruments are quite rare and having a chance to get them in guitar would make it a priceless instruments for those into folk/world music and those willing to experiment. This technology with the alternate tunning knob would, indeed, open the road for the ethnic instruments. Let's take Oud, for example. The one from Godin costs a fortune.  



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-01-28 02:15:15

adessmith wrote:

Nipp wrote:

Isn't piezo only used to capture pitch and level of each string?

Pitch and level data sounds an awful lot like midi.
I would think its a little more complicated than that. My Variax picks up fret buzz, palm muting, squeaking and scratching on the strings, etc...
If if was only capturing pitch and level I would think it would be extreemly difficult for it to figure out those sorts of noises and re-create them.

It would be truly remarkable if the sounds we hear from our Variax guitars is actually converted to something similar to midi data, and then output through some sort of built-in sampling engine, and output in real time without any noticable delay.

If you have ever botched a firmware update on a JTV, you might find that you get a very bland "void of life" signal from all the model selections on the guitar.
It appears that what happens here, is that the "models" have been deleted, and all you are hearing is the unprocessed sound from the piezos.

It seems to me that line 6 has come up with some clever algorithms to "undo" the coloring the guitar adds to the output, to create flat, dull, signal with no "color", and then put the models on top of that.
The thing with piezo pickups is it doesnt take much to do this, because they dont pickup much of the guitars tonal characteristics. Also, this could be done on a a "per string" basis, and then combine the signals AFTER the DSP has done its magic on each string.

HOWEVER, there is obviously some additional pitch tracking going on in order to create the synthetic strings on the 12 string models.
I'm not sure about anyone else, but I have found the 12 string models to be very artificial sounding...
I think what we hear with the 12 string models is a very heavily processed signal, mixed with a completely synthetic signal.

Interesting - thanks for explaining.

You mean it might be a little like the Aura system for acoustics - some kind of EQing of the guitar itself, as I understand it?

But then it would need to be different on the 59, 69 and 89-models as well, I guess. Since raw guitar sound would be different.

I really must make a visit to a music store and play one. I wondered a bit over scratching strings, pinch harmonics and stuff - and if all that works, it's nothing less than amazing.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Inerzia on 2013-01-28 09:35:49

All those techniques work, and probably every other too.
The only one (in my experience) that doesn't work as it should, is palm muting.I mean, it works, but you'll notice the difference.
Piezo pickups deliver a different attack sound, kinda more metallic. Successive updates in firmware have tried to compensate that and, as of now, you can't hear that metallic clang, but the attack is muddier, so... it will work, and it's not a "bad" sound, per se, but it's not what you would expect.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by sparkyERTW on 2013-01-28 12:11:45

In case anyone hasn't come across it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgbDHv-ukFI

Note what Sean had to say when asked about the 'HD' models (highlighting key points):

"We've also announced - not sure on the timetable yet - we're re-doing all of the HD models.  So basically we're going back through, taking the same guitars... we have a lot more control now over string decay, magnetic poles of pickups, and all sorts of stuff. So we're going to go back through and update all the guitars."

So it looks like at very least we can say the following:

- Firmware update's drop date is still pretty up in the air

- Probably no new guitars, pickups, etc.

- More authentic sustain characteristics

- More authentic pickup response characteristics



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Krontab on 2013-01-28 12:42:34

At least he didn't demo with the new firmware and then tell us we couldn't have it for months



Re: JTV at NAMM
by clay-man on 2013-01-30 20:33:41

I'm pretty sure the guitar is 100% nonsynthetic and is just input processing.

The Variax is NOT a Midi guitar at all.

MIDI is digital information of what note is being played, velocity and other things, but carries NO information of the soundwave, just the note/pitch/velocity/other, which is sent to a computer to tell it to produce a synthetic note.

The Variax I believe is reading 6 different inputs from each piezo, then the computer processes it through algorithms and other means of processing, which shapes the sound into what the guitar model you have selected is supposed to be. It's impulse response technology.

The reason why piezos are used is because magnetic pickups already subtract a bunch of frequencies from the string's tonality, so it would be impossible to model a magnetic pickup.

A piezo pickup video I watched made a good point: "Piezo pickups aren't for acoustic guitar emulation, but to capture the string's tonality and richness, having a flatter and broader frequency response than magnetic pickups. From 10-100khz frequency response." So it's obviously an intelligent choice to use piezo pickups for pickup modeling.

As for pitch tracking, I believe alternative tunings do a bit of tracking, but nearly all pitch shifters do some form of pitch tracking.

Pitch tracking however DOES NOT mean midi or synthetic sounds being generated, it is just altering/processing the sound still.

The only Variax I can say does ANY synthetic sounds is the Bass Variax with one of it's synthetic models.

Summary: Sampling/synthesis does not equal modeling.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-01-30 22:29:55

clay-man wrote:

I always thought the Variax could enter the guitar synthesizer demograph. Roland pushed their guitar synth to do modeling, so why can't Line 6 do the same and push guitar synthesis?

It's probably because that's not really what the product is about, and the Variax is supposed to be around guitars and string instruments.

I hope they add more guitar models, like SGs, Jaguars, Jazzmasters, and all the good stuff.

I think midi solution would extend JTV to a no-brainer for still a big bunch of guitarplayers - including me.

The threshold to make such an addon-box is really low, as I see it.

a) They have separete sensor on each string

b) they know and have pitch tracking

That's all that is needed - and identify pitch as note and send as midi and done.

It would open up much more with midi than a few more guitarmodels.

And the knowhow they have - will probably make a better midi guitar solution than anybody.

So a addonbox connected to VDI, with VDI through and having midi out - that I would go for.

Leave the guitar as it is - just give us the midi solution as well.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by snhirsch on 2013-01-31 05:12:48

Given that the new firmware was not even demoed at NAMM, my crystal ball suggests that holding your breath for it is not a good idea.  But I agree that announcing the ongoing development without a firm delivery date is preferable to demoing a prototype and then waiting months for general release.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by toasterdude on 2013-01-31 05:46:17

Nipp wrote:

phil_m wrote:

I don't ever foresee Line 6 resorting to doing anything like actually upgrading the electronic guts of these guitars. The fact is for the cost of labor involved in doing that, they could probably manufacture a brand new guitar once they become available. That's what happens with electronic equipment.

I think people need to think of the Variax more as a tool than as a collector's piece. Even if you buy it and you get 7-10 years of use from it, it was probably worth the investment if you're a working musician. I also think I'm probably being conservative with that lifespan. I don't see why if it's cared for, it shouldn't keep working. The question is will something new come out that will make someone want to stop using the old technology at some point. I'm sure it will happen. It always does. The Variax is really more akin to an electronic keyboard than it is a typical electric guitar.

Since there is the US-line of instruments as well - that cost well over what most Gibsons do - that kind of makes you compare a bit.

I would not buy a Gibson for $4000 if I sort of knew it would be worth nothing on 10 years. You probably buy it for keeps. High quality selected woods just get better by the years as it dry etc.

So I use the same reasoning for getting a US-made JTV. The US-made JTV has a price tag of $4600 here. It's about what you pay for handbuilt custom guitars from wellknown builders.

But the electronics part - that is what is short lifespan. If you are lucky it actually works as well as when you bought it 10 years later - but there are more improved models, outperforming the old ones - making second hand value degrade..

I never meant that Line6 should do anything for free - but if giving customers that kind of upgrade warranty would be great - and remove an obstacle. If it cost $1000, fine, but make it available for those going for at least the US line of instruments. An authorized Line6 workshop for JTV make it up to date. And the instrument you lived with for so long - can live on regarding the electronics as well.

I don't buy instruments in that price range just knowing it would be throwing money away. And I guess Line6 should think about these matters. Now that they have a real nice instrument from JTV - and not that toy that Variax was when it was released - they attract players for the instrument itself as well.

So I would like to keep this high quality instrument when next generation Variax comes along - and be able to upgrade it regarding electronics.

I have spent a bunch of cash on transplanting variaxes. The most expensive one cost just about what a US JTV would have cost. Instead of dropping almost 5k on a guitar that looks like it's Korean cousin, I got a guitar that is totally unique with the specs I requested. I was very nervous about the exact issues you quoted above.

However, I had a nice transplant that already held variax 500 "guts" and was able to have JTV guts put in it pretty easily. The only downside was I had to buy a 1300 guitar to get those "guts". I will soon have 3 "gutless" 59s, and 2 "gutless" 69s. I was able to buy a set of "guts" on ebay to do a 6th JTV transplant.

I was thinking that if there was a new version of variax down the road, I would have to decide if it was worth buying 6 more guitars only to raid the guts. I guess at that point I could have returned the 59 guts to their donor bodies, and then put the new guts in the xplants.

I was also hoping that the newer models would just have a new board and work with current DVI and piezo tech. The fact that all my JTVs will now get better with just a firmware upgrade is great news!

I had commented on this very issue when the JTVs came out. For most people buying a $1500 guitar that someday becomes obsolete is a whacky concept. A $4,600 guitar? Really whacky concept! At the time Rich Renken sort of said that they would try and keep that in consideration when doing future generations. Of course, Rich is no longer at Line 6 and that was not even close to an official promise or announcement.

I never had interest in getting a US model as for that type of cash I want a guitar that is custom made to my specs or one that will hold resale value. However, if I was absolutely in love with the US version I would be fairly confident that in the future I would be able to cram some new guts in there. Luckily that seems like it would be at least a few more years down the road.

Also, if they make the JTVs even better with upgrades to HD, I am not sure what a new gen would have to make me have to buy one. Maybe with the new HD upgrade, Line 6 can concentrate on doing new body styles and guitars. Teles, acoustics, basses, flying Vs etc etc etc. I don't see the same level of people complaining that the JTV sounds "sort of" like a real guitar, as was the case with the original variax. The current level of medeling is pretty darn good and if the improvements to HD models is similar to the leap from POD X3 to POD HD, we are all in very good shape!!!



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-01-31 08:56:06

toasterdude wrote:

Nipp wrote:

phil_m wrote:

I don't ever foresee Line 6 resorting to doing anything like actually upgrading the electronic guts of these guitars. The fact is for the cost of labor involved in doing that, they could probably manufacture a brand new guitar once they become available. That's what happens with electronic equipment.

I think people need to think of the Variax more as a tool than as a collector's piece. Even if you buy it and you get 7-10 years of use from it, it was probably worth the investment if you're a working musician. I also think I'm probably being conservative with that lifespan. I don't see why if it's cared for, it shouldn't keep working. The question is will something new come out that will make someone want to stop using the old technology at some point. I'm sure it will happen. It always does. The Variax is really more akin to an electronic keyboard than it is a typical electric guitar.

Since there is the US-line of instruments as well - that cost well over what most Gibsons do - that kind of makes you compare a bit.

I would not buy a Gibson for $4000 if I sort of knew it would be worth nothing on 10 years. You probably buy it for keeps. High quality selected woods just get better by the years as it dry etc.

So I use the same reasoning for getting a US-made JTV. The US-made JTV has a price tag of $4600 here. It's about what you pay for handbuilt custom guitars from wellknown builders.

But the electronics part - that is what is short lifespan. If you are lucky it actually works as well as when you bought it 10 years later - but there are more improved models, outperforming the old ones - making second hand value degrade..

I never meant that Line6 should do anything for free - but if giving customers that kind of upgrade warranty would be great - and remove an obstacle. If it cost $1000, fine, but make it available for those going for at least the US line of instruments. An authorized Line6 workshop for JTV make it up to date. And the instrument you lived with for so long - can live on regarding the electronics as well.

I don't buy instruments in that price range just knowing it would be throwing money away. And I guess Line6 should think about these matters. Now that they have a real nice instrument from JTV - and not that toy that Variax was when it was released - they attract players for the instrument itself as well.

So I would like to keep this high quality instrument when next generation Variax comes along - and be able to upgrade it regarding electronics.

I have spent a bunch of cash on transplanting variaxes. The most expensive one cost just about what a US JTV would have cost. Instead of dropping almost 5k on a guitar that looks like it's Korean cousin, I got a guitar that is totally unique with the specs I requested. I was very nervous about the exact issues you quoted above.

However, I had a nice transplant that already held variax 500 "guts" and was able to have JTV guts put in it pretty easily. The only downside was I had to buy a 1300 guitar to get those "guts". I will soon have 3 "gutless" 59s, and 2 "gutless" 69s. I was able to buy a set of "guts" on ebay to do a 6th JTV transplant.

I was thinking that if there was a new version of variax down the road, I would have to decide if it was worth buying 6 more guitars only to raid the guts. I guess at that point I could have returned the 59 guts to their donor bodies, and then put the new guts in the xplants.

I was also hoping that the newer models would just have a new board and work with current DVI and piezo tech. The fact that all my JTVs will now get better with just a firmware upgrade is great news!

I had commented on this very issue when the JTVs came out. For most people buying a $1500 guitar that someday becomes obsolete is a whacky concept. A $4,600 guitar? Really whacky concept! At the time Rich Renken sort of said that they would try and keep that in consideration when doing future generations. Of course, Rich is no longer at Line 6 and that was not even close to an official promise or announcement.

I never had interest in getting a US model as for that type of cash I want a guitar that is custom made to my specs or one that will hold resale value. However, if I was absolutely in love with the US version I would be fairly confident that in the future I would be able to cram some new guts in there. Luckily that seems like it would be at least a few more years down the road.

Also, if they make the JTVs even better with upgrades to HD, I am not sure what a new gen would have to make me have to buy one. Maybe with the new HD upgrade, Line 6 can concentrate on doing new body styles and guitars. Teles, acoustics, basses, flying Vs etc etc etc. I don't see the same level of people complaining that the JTV sounds "sort of" like a real guitar, as was the case with the original variax. The current level of medeling is pretty darn good and if the improvements to HD models is similar to the leap from POD X3 to POD HD, we are all in very good shape!!!

Cool, did you do any Gibsons or Fenders or something?

Yes, they could make a concept that if you send in your old engine - that you can upgrade to nextgen for reasonable money.

US-version - worst case scenario is that the electronics breaks down alltogether. If that generation electronics is no longer available for replacement then you are really stuck with a wreck.

So general policy to be able to upgrade old guts is probably good customer relations.

Best is if you can do it just for the new features. I guess there are new processors that support more memory to be able to hold more models etc. More stuff supported for VDI, maybe a MIDI addon box that is on my wishlist.

I asked Line6 in May 2012 how much headroom is left in current engine - if any ethnic stuff is coming.

Answer: "Even though there is headroom in the technology to add different modelling, at this time there is no news what will be added in future. News and updates are made public over our website."

I looked on site - and the only thing close to News is the blog, and that was last updated in May 2012. Not so impressive.

I'm holding back on my Buy-button - since I feel there might be a new generation around the corner. So that policy is holding me back - maybe others too. I think it would be better to reveal as soon as it's decided almost, if within current generation, that:

- We expect to implement Jazzmaster, Bouzoki, nylon stringed guitar, ballalajka, mandolin as a payable upgrade of current version in the next year.

But since I don't know if a new gen is coming I'm postponing pressing Buy.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by phil_m on 2013-01-31 10:52:09

I'm confused as to why you think that the JTV line is on the verge of being discontinued right after they just released three new models and invested R&D into what seems to be a pretty big software upgrade. Those typically aren't the moves a company would make if it's planning to release a new product line meant to supercede an old one right away. My personal guess is that the JTV has at least a few more years left before there's something new. For one thing, what competition is there right now? The only other real player in the game is the Fender VG Strat, but that seems to be a lot less popular than the Variax. There's the Gibson Firebird X, but that's like the New Coke of electric guitars.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-01-31 13:27:21

phil_m wrote:

I'm confused as to why you think that the JTV line is on the verge of being discontinued right after they just released three new models and invested R&D into what seems to be a pretty big software upgrade. Those typically aren't the moves a company would make if it's planning to release a new product line meant to supercede an old one right away. My personal guess is that the JTV has at least a few more years left before there's something new. For one thing, what competition is there right now? The only other real player in the game is the Fender VG Strat, but that seems to be a lot less popular than the Variax. There's the Gibson Firebird X, but that's like the New Coke of electric guitars.

Maybe I'm paranoid - I don't know - but L6 is not even have a link to what they did on NAMM. Their blog is updated in May 2012 and I found no News tab anywhere.

Summing up - they don't keep us informed.

It's been other people posting links in forum that gave us anything what they did right now at NAMM.

L6 give us nothing.

It's hard to plan ahead when you are not well informed.

I don't think it's the time that governs when a new generation is coming - it's the need for new hardware to do what they need to do - more processor power or more memory with even less power consumption or something like that.

Why is there already iPhone 5 released?

Apple want everybody with a 1-4 to buy a 5.

Something is improved - nothing much.

Lifespan on software driven products is very short - and becoming even shorter.

I like to prepare making investments and be able to plan ahead.

L6 is not making that possible.

What about this guy on forum that just bought a JTV-89 and now saw JTV-89F announced?

Will he be able to go in a shop and as a good will gesture be able to switch it - as he said he wanted?

I would certainly be mad experiencing something like that.

That's my thoughts over this.

Thanks for your concern anyhow.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by killergege on 2013-01-31 13:49:11

You have the news at the bottom of the main page. The full link is http://line6.com/news/general/

It's">http://line6.com/news/general/">http://line6.com/news/general/

It'snot really detailed, but there are some things (at least the NAMM's announcements).

And yes I'm a bit disappointed because I'd love to have a 89F, but I enjoyed my 89 for more than a year, and waiting all that time to get my hands on the guitar would have been painful . So even knowing the release date of the 89F, I would probably not have waited that long.

It seems that Line 6 announces products some time before. I don't see any 89F in stores here in France, nor any availability date so I don't know if it has really been released. I think the Stagescape has been announced a few months before the actual release.

And the Variax update is announced but will probably be released in a few months (and the forums will be full of "Does someone know the release date ?").

So yes, we don't know long-term Line 6's plans, but we regularly have some news before the actual release of the products, so you can anticipate a bit. And you don't have to buy a product as soon as it is released (with electronic products, that's not always a good idea... you should wait a few months until the main bugs are fixed ^^).

Don't take me wrong : I'd love to have details on what is planned and know what products we'll see in the next 12-24 (or more) months. But I think Line 6 is not handling that so badly.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by phil_m on 2013-01-31 13:53:19

I'm not sure what you mean that Line 6 doesn't have a link for what they did at NAMM - they have the JTV-89F up on the main page as one the four things scrolling through. They also have a news link on the site that has this. http://line6.com/news/general/1394">http://line6.com/news/general/1394">http://line6.com/news/general/1394

Also, if you like Line 6 on Facebook, they are quite active in posting things there.

Personally, I do think you are being a bit paranoid, but it's your money and your decision. I think the consumer electronics  and the musical equipment industries are still pretty different animals. The sales numbers for an iPhone or other smartphones absolutely dwarf anything Line 6 sells, so Apple can recoup their R&D costs and manufacturing costs pretty quickly. It's a bit different when dealing something like a guitar. It costs a lot of money on the front end to mass produce these things, so companies aren't just going to make something new for the sake of making something new. They'll try to sell the existing technology as long as they can. That's why I think the JTV line still has a good while left. For instance, the first Variax was introduced in 2002, and the JTV wasn't released until 2010. From what I see the JTV seems to be having more success than the earlier Variaxes, so I don't see why it would be discontinued anytime very soon.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by YirWaffy on 2013-01-31 13:56:03

Sweetwater, here in the US, is, perhaps, the first vendor to get the 89F. I posted about it last week:

http://line6.com/support/thread/91015?tstart=0

It">http://line6.com/support/thread/91015?tstart=0">http://line6.com/support/thread/91015?tstart=0

Itlooks like they've shipped their first batch of black ones and are expecting new ones soon. The Blood Red ones are supposed to be in stock next week.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-01-31 20:58:43

phil_m wrote:

I'm not sure what you mean that Line 6 doesn't have a link for what they did at NAMM - they have the JTV-89F up on the main page as one the four things scrolling through. They also have a news link on the site that has this. http://line6.com/news/general/1394

Also, if you like Line 6 on Facebook, they are quite active in posting things there.

Personally, I do think you are being a bit paranoid, but it's your money and your decision. I think the consumer electronics  and the musical equipment industries are still pretty different animals. The sales numbers for an iPhone or other smartphones absolutely dwarf anything Line 6 sells, so Apple can recoup their R&D costs and manufacturing costs pretty quickly. It's a bit different when dealing something like a guitar. It costs a lot of money on the front end to mass produce these things, so companies aren't just going to make something new for the sake of making something new. They'll try to sell the existing technology as long as they can. That's why I think the JTV line still has a good while left. For instance, the first Variax was introduced in 2002, and the JTV wasn't released until 2010. From what I see the JTV seems to be having more success than the earlier Variaxes, so I don't see why it would be discontinued anytime very soon.

Thanks.

That news link - where is that on line6.com?

I thought I looked everywhere.

Really expected a separate menu item for News - like most vendors have.

Closest thing to News would then be Blog on the menu.

I'm on the newsletter email list - and got info about 1.9 update in October and something in november.

Nothing - zero - zilch on the 89F????

I don't use Facebook - don't fancy the agreements you have to make.

You are most probably right about duration of JTV as such - but nobody really knows.

Now that v1.9 firmware came, one wonder is there 2.0 around the corner and payable update?

That means I should wait a while - getting the 2.0 to start with.

What is L6 policy in these cases - free for buyers last 3 months or something?

I looked closely at 59 model this summer - and now this fall came 59P.

If I would have bought 59, I would be disappointed, liking P90 style of pickups.

Somebody at forum got 89, and was disappointed that 89F came so soon after.

Maybe I'm asking for the impossible.

I had my own business(small) for 16 years and think I know a little about running a business and marketing - and just feel I don't ask for too much - keep me updated so I can make plans!..

Keeping music stores and customers updated goes two ways

- music stores can suggest something for a customer knowing the needs - happy customer and is coming back to that store

- customers knows this and that is coming in the next months - waiting to get that rather than getting something else now - happy customer

-L6 is having higher degree happy customers

Current policy - nobody knows anything

- L6 wants customer to buy now - disregarding upcoming products might fit better - may produce unhappy customer

L6 is afraid to produce customers that is waiting to buy.

But I react exactly that way - waiting - not knowing anything about what's around the corner.

I guess we are diffferent as people - some of us like to make plans and some buy on impulse.

89F looks neat - but as usuall - nobody knows when it arrives(europe, scandinavia).

Talked to music store this week .- they don't know either nor agent/distributor for my country

And is firmware 2.0 payable upgrade and around the corner - well, we don't know that either?

I'll make a support ticket and see what their policy is - if any.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by ChristianArnold on 2013-02-01 05:42:20

We DO know update 2.0 is a free update, like all updates concerning their pedals and guitar are. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgbDHv-ukFI I know you have to search this information out, but if you really want the info, search it out.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by silverhead on 2013-02-01 06:08:30

Nipp wrote:

That news link - where is that on line6.com?

It's at the bottom of this (and every) page on the website, right there as a separate item just like you suggest.

Nipp wrote:

.....

Now that v1.9 firmware came, one wonder is there 2.0 around the corner and payable update?

That means I should wait a while - getting the 2.0 to start with.

........

L6 is afraid to produce customers that is waiting to buy.

But I react exactly that way - waiting - not knowing anything about what's around the corner.

I guess we are diffferent as people - some of us like to make plans and some buy on impulse.

V2.0 firmware has already been announced as a free update, just like all Line 6 device firmware updates. And, like all firmware, it will be downloadable at any time - so you don't need to delay your purchase. In fact you'll have it sooner by buying now and being ready for it the day it is available, as opposed to wating for the production units containing the new firmware to hit the retail inventory.

As for you preference to wait for the next generation of technology products, well... that's a personal choice. But there's ALWAYS a next generation of ANY tech product pending. I'm sure there will be an iPhone 6 coming soon, just as iPhone 5 was released not too long after iPhone4. This applies to any smartphone product line. Have you bought any of them? Do you ever buy a new computer, or are you constantly deferring your purchase knowing that there will be a better one in 3 months?  It's not a matter of buying on impulse - it's a matter of buying at all. I make buying decisions based on what a product will do for me today, not what it (or some other speculatively pending product) might do for me sometime maybe soon.

... and don't forget, line 6 competitors would also very much like to know what their product plans are......



Re: JTV at NAMM
by Nipp on 2013-02-01 11:03:35

silverhead wrote:

Nipp wrote:

That news link - where is that on line6.com?

It's at the bottom of this (and every) page on the website, right there as a separate item just like you suggest.

Nipp wrote:

.....

Now that v1.9 firmware came, one wonder is there 2.0 around the corner and payable update?

That means I should wait a while - getting the 2.0 to start with.

........

L6 is afraid to produce customers that is waiting to buy.

But I react exactly that way - waiting - not knowing anything about what's around the corner.

I guess we are diffferent as people - some of us like to make plans and some buy on impulse.

V2.0 firmware has already been announced as a free update, just like all Line 6 device firmware updates. And, like all firmware, it will be downloadable at any time - so you don't need to delay your purchase. In fact you'll have it sooner by buying now and being ready for it the day it is available, as opposed to wating for the production units containing the new firmware to hit the retail inventory.

As for you preference to wait for the next generation of technology products, well... that's a personal choice. But there's ALWAYS a next generation of ANY tech product pending. I'm sure there will be an iPhone 6 coming soon, just as iPhone 5 was released not too long after iPhone4. This applies to any smartphone product line. Have you bought any of them? Do you ever buy a new computer, or are you constantly deferring your purchase knowing that there will be a better one in 3 months?  It's not a matter of buying on impulse - it's a matter of buying at all. I make buying decisions based on what a product will do for me today, not what it (or some other speculatively pending product) might do for me sometime maybe soon.

... and don't forget, line 6 competitors would also very much like to know what their product plans are......

Thanks for giving me News - I don't know how I missed it. I was expecting top menu item I guess. News is rated lower by L6 it seems. My bad...but I miss timestamps - why, subscribing to News are you not getting an email for every new entry????

And info about 2.0 - really good to know, thanks.

Time of purchase - yes, with regular acoustic or electric guitars, I kind of go by needs today as you are. Nothing is to be expected like

- "now there are new string guages to choose from"

or similar.

But everything with electronics is different - for me anyway. Synthesizers, computers, amp and guitar emulations etc. You really have to be careful for a couple of reason not to be screwed:

- new upcoming version around the corner - or not. If about one year since last - you even expect a new version soon, common knowledge kind of.

- if new hardware version - the one you've got drop in second hand market value - and if you plan to make a swap it will cost you.

Competition - you are right in general, one reason to surprice market. But in the case of JTV - what is competition like, is there any?

If L6 on beforehand tell that upcoming 2.0 firmware will contain this and this - what exactly should competition do about that?

What it would do, really - is making people that thought they get a Bouzoki to get a JTV and wait for upgrade. Or a nylon string or whatever. Maybe there would be a sale in music stores on Bouzokis, I don't know, and flood the market. Could be, but a bit far fetched.

In case of amps - you are right all the way. Plenty competition there.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by phil_m on 2013-02-01 12:03:28

Are you planning on writing a song with a rippin' bouzouki solo or something? Is that what's holding you back for jumping on the Variax train?

I understand your hesistancy to a degree. I just don't see the Variax line undergoing a major hardware upgrade for a while. I think I'd expect something new on the POD and/or effects side of things before that. I don't have any insider information. I'm just looking at the market and Line 6's current offerings. I also don't think you announce a major software upgrade at NAMM for a piece of equipment you're planning to phase out relatively soon.



Re: JTV at NAMM
by dchernov551 on 2013-02-01 14:08:37

Yes, I agree, it can take any amount of time, but they should really take as much time as necessary and avoid hurrying up! It's an artistic process after all and it takes time. Right?

And to make the waiting a bit easier, I want to share a great video that I found on Youtube. Hopefully, it's ok to post a link here in this thread.

Line 6 James Tyler Variax JTV-59 + POD HD 500       Hear and see for yourself! And no, it is, of course, not the HD update! But well worth a listen!




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