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Main :: James Tyler Variax Guitars

Support community for JTV.

New JTV89F owner
by dchernov551 on 2013-03-07 12:37:21

Finally!!! I am the new and very happy owner of the fabuluous James Tyler Variax 89F guitar! I received it three days ago and since then it did not leave my hands and I always keep watching it as if I am afraid that it might disappear. I am totally lost for words and I want to tell you that it is a miracle beyond belief and I had the tears in my eyes when I started playing and could feel all of my tonal dreams finally coming true. Guitar (I have Blood Red colour) looks amazing and the great thing about it is that it shines through the daylight and stays pleasantly beautiful as the lights go down. I feel so happy and I want to thank you all for being there for me, for helping me keep the faith, for helping me make my choice and wait for JTV89F version to arrive. I am going to keep it short for now, but will return with a longer message soon where I shall tell more of my thoughts and will share a story of how it was ordered, how it arrived and so on! Thank you everyone and thank you, Line 6, for bringing this magic into my life!

-- Denis

Re: New JTV89F owner
by AlphaScorpious on 2013-03-07 17:53:10

Congrats! I got my 59 4 months ago and haven't played any of my other "go to" guitars since.

Re: New JTV89F owner
by flynvgtr1 on 2013-03-07 18:29:22

Denis congrats!! Can you post some pics? Are there any other JTV 89F owners out there besides Denis and if so lets here from them.

Re: New JTV89F owner
by nevla on 2013-03-08 03:20:18

We need pictures! We need Videos!

I'm hoping to take a day off work next week to drive the 2 hours to the other side of London to visit a shop there, to hopefully trade in some old gear and order a JTV89F

Re: New JTV89F owner
by DaddyV on 2013-03-08 11:20:40

Congrats Denis!!!  I haven't played my other 10 guitars since I got my 59 either!!!

Re: New JTV89F owner
by dmpoole on 2013-03-09 05:24:28

I had both my JTV-59's in July/August 2011 and I still look at them with love in my eyes.

I also have never bothered with any of my other guitars.

I even sold a Gibson Les Paul Standard and Yamaha SG2000 because I would never use them again.

Re: New JTV89F owner
by clay-man on 2013-03-09 08:53:52

I'd honestly keep my guitars, just because I like physical variety too, but holy crap I love my Variax.

I'm sure with the 59 though, selling an LP is pretty reasonable since well, the 59 is an LP itself.

Re: New JTV89F owner
by fourthtunz on 2013-03-09 19:51:16

I've been on a line 6 kick as they seem to keep making more and more stuff that I want!

Question: Does that 89 play anything like an Ibanez?

I bought an Ibanez 3570 a month ago and I love it but have since heard about the 89.

I'm playing out and want to bring just 2 electrics, is the 89 good enought to be the main guitar?

I can't decide between the plain jane 89 and the one with the floyd.

How is the 89 vs another guitar with a floyd, stays in tune, good feel etc?



JUst got the spider valve HD 100 MK2 and also have the HD400 and the variax 300 guitar, which is pretty good but I want the JTV 89!

I think Line 6 IS seriously bringing it!!

Re: New JTV89F owner
by dchernov551 on 2013-03-11 19:58:15

Thank you for your message! I am sorry for the late reply. I shall do my best to answer your questions, now that I have JTV89F for a week.

Does JTV89F play anything like Ibanez? I would say that it does feel like an Ibanez from the RG series and speaking of playability, I would also put in in the list of high-end Ibanez guitars. Actually, I always loved Ibanez 3570, but never got a chance to play it. I believe that JTV89F stands in the same league.

Is JTV89 good enough to be the main guitar? It depends on the situation and your personal requirements, but I do not see why not. I really love the native humbuckers of my JTV89F, not to mention all the included models. Even if the battery runs out or you forget to put it in, you still get enough from the two PAF styled humbuckers included. And with all the great models (your native humbuckers sound included in the custom bank), you can use it with the various tunings. The response and the feel is fantastic and it gives a great opportunity to broaden your setlist with the songs that would not be possible to play without the guitar change. If I had a choice of only one guitar, then the JTV89 would be my choice. Of course, I would ALWAYS bring a second backup guitar that I know well, but it is only because I know that any guitar may malfunction for some reason when you least expect it, so it is better to be safe than sorry (especially when playing live).

I also could not decide between JTV89 and JTV89F. I bought the one with the Floyd and I am really glad I did! It keeps in tune really well with all the Floyd tricks and the response, the feel and sensitiveness are beyond belief. But then it is a product from GraphTech and I do trust them. I'm happy with the floyd. I had some negative experience with the Floyd Rose before, but this guitar took all of my concerns away when I tried the response of this particular floating bridge. As I already mentioned, it stays in tune really well.

Congratulations on your Spider Valve HD 100 MK2. It's great that you also have the HD400 and the Variax 300 guitar, - so you are already well familiar with the Variax technology and the wonders that Line 6 are capable of! Seriously though, I am sure you will LOVE JTV89F. Hope I could answer your questions.

Feel free to ask more! Take a good care!

Re: New JTV89F owner
by nevla on 2013-03-13 07:18:53

Have you noticed any latency issues with the 89F? Some comments i've read from Variax users are that you can hear a tiny delay between you playing and hearing the notes.

I take most reviews with a pinch of salt, but as a new owner i wanted to hear from someone who is really getting to grips with a new one.

I'm so excited about hopefully ordering one on Friday - and trading in some old gear to do so

Re: New JTV89F owner
by phil_m on 2013-03-13 07:41:50

My JTV69 is pretty much my main guitar now. I think people complaining about latency are pretty much full of it. I'm sure with pitch shifting some tiny bit of latency is introduced, but with any processing there's latency. Here's the thing about latency and electric guitars. For every foot you move away from your amp, you're introducing approximately 1ms of latency between what you're playing and the time you hear it. So if you're standing 10 feet away from your amp (which isn't all taht unusual) this 10ms of latency far surpasses any latency inherent in any DSP-based effect system.

Re: New JTV89F owner
by dchernov551 on 2013-03-13 09:00:16

Hey! I haven't noticed any latency issues so far with my JTV89F using three various setups. I played through the ACOUSTIC and the RESO models directly into powered monitors and there was no latency heard even with the alternate tunings enabled. I did not seek for it on purpose, but there was nothing that would disturb my playing in any way. After that I tried to play through the acoustic Marshall amp and everything sounded fine. The last setup I tried was with Nova System (my effects processor) and there was no latency heard even through the high-gain styles and the heavy delays involved. I tried to give it a go through the various tunings and different models and everything was giving me really good results. I tried recording all of the setups above and there was no latency heard in Ableton Live.

I know a lot of people might notice the latency here and there, but I also take them with a pinch of salt because each situation is unique and there may be reasons that are not related to Variax technology at all. Phil makes a very good point about the latency and electric guitars. Unfortunately, I do not play live at the moment, so can't tell you how it sounds with the stage setup, but I am sure that it would do well.

Hopefully, some pictures of my JTV89F will follow soon! I am very excited too about your plans to order JTV89F next friday and I wish you best of luck with your trading of gear. I know that you will LOVE it! Thank you and hope I could help a bit!

Re: New JTV89F owner
by clay-man on 2013-03-13 12:10:39

You mean the cable length right? I don't think standing closer to the amp or device is going to make it go through the cable any faster.

Latency is definitely a noticable attribute of things.

I believe the old Variaxes have even more latency than the new ones if they did update the pitch shifting algorithm (Some guy from Line 6 said it's virtually 0 latency, which is probably more like 2-3ms)

That much latency is absolutely fine though. I play 6-7ms on my M-Audio Fast Track Pro just fine, and that plus my 600's alt tuning latency is still fine, just a tiny bit noticable, but barely at all.

Re: New JTV89F owner
by silverhead on 2013-03-13 12:41:34

No - I think phil_m is talking about the speed of sound - 1,126 ft/s, or approximately 1 ft/ms. In other words, every foot farther you move away from your amp means it takes about 1 ms longer for the sound from the amp to reach you. That contributes to latency if you are measuring latency by your ears from when you strike the note on your guitar. So if you're standing 30 ft from your amp, the 30 ms latency you hear is caused entirely by that - not the guitar's DSP processing.

Re: New JTV89F owner
by jpelzel on 2013-03-13 17:53:09

How is the range of the trem? How low can you go before the piezo cuts out? How high can you pull up? Pulling up, do the piezo wires get in the way (they do in an Ibby that I have )?

Re: New JTV89F owner
by dchernov551 on 2013-03-13 21:05:36

The range of the tremolo is pretty decent from what I could tell. I do not really abuse the tremolo bar and prefer the accurate style of playing, but I am sure that it would respond well even to the dive bombs and other metal tricks. The sensitiveness is amazing and it responds and becomes the continuation of your hand. Graph Tech involvement has once again proven it's rightfulness and I am glad that Line 6 made the right choice, at least in my opinion.

I have tried playing various models and styles of music and the piezo did not cut out at all. I've tried to play the beginning of Final Countdown by Europe and the sound was still there as well as the tuning. I did all sorts of tremolo testing and guitar stayed in tune. It's been here for a bit more than a week and I did not have to tune it yet since I did it when the guitar arrived. I only had to do the basic precision tuning. How high can you pull up? Well, I could pull it pretty high, but I do not know what is considered "high enough" .

As for the piezo wires getting in the way? I am not sure I understand what you mean, but I did not nothing anything unusual or disturbing while I was doing the pulling up. Hmm... Sorry, if I miss the point.

All in all, I am quite content with the floating tremolo and glad that I've made this choice.

My detailed and thoughts and review of guitar is still to come. I added three really simple and basic sound clips of playing with JTV89F to my Soundcloud page. One track is done with the Nova System and two other tracks were done as the direct recording. Mind you, the first time I played this instrument and tried to record something, so there is nothing sort of flashy. Just thought I'd share in case someone might be interested.   The link is:

Take a good care!

-- Denis

Re: New JTV89F owner
by clay-man on 2013-03-14 01:13:05

Luckily I'm an amp modeling user.

Re: New JTV89F owner
by nevla on 2013-03-19 02:38:08

Cheers dude!

they didnt have an 89F in the shop, but they had an 89US so i at least got to try out the 'guts' of the beast.

They even got a HD500 and the Line6 DT amp out too. Awesome!

I realise the korean-made one wont be as nice as a US, but i'm hoping all the horror stories i've read about quality control at Line6 over the years were a minority.

I pick up the new axe in a few weeks!

One further question i had - does it come with factory guage 10s? I play have played 9-42 for nearly many years, so will need to go out and buy some 10s It'll be fun to try thicker strings again

Re: New JTV89F owner
by dchernov551 on 2013-03-19 21:03:11

Hello I am so glad that you could try the US version of the JTV 89 guitar! It's really important to test the "guts" first in order to see if it is your thing or not, if it really fits you or you would rather choose something else. Awesome, indeed, that they had HD500 there and Line 6 DT amp, so one can always try out the "Dream Rig" and see how it all works together and in action.

Sure, the Korean-made guitars will always feel different from the American ones, but from what I can say about my Korean JTV89F, it is very well made and so far I haven't found any flaws or anything that would take away from both electronic or the non-electronic parts of the instrument. I have read lots of horror stories about the quality control as well and was a bit frightened and worried about how it will turn out. But thankfully to Line 6 and the local official dealer, things turned out to be fine and I received an awesome axe.

It's great that you will pick up the new axe in few weeks time! I shall keep fingers crossed for you and will hope that things turn out fine! How did you like the American JTV89 and what do you think of the sounds and playability?

Oh, and regarding the strings gauge - mine came from the factory with the D'Addario 10-46 string gauge. I have also played 9-42's before, but these thicker strings give nice response. I am sure you will enjoy them! Sounds especially good with all the Jazz models with the bass notes.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Re: New JTV89F owner
by nevla on 2013-03-20 03:40:29

I loved the feel of the US model. I wish i could afford (or rather, justify to my wife!) the 89F-US but like you say, hopefully my korean one will be fine

The neck was a lovely shape, so i'm hoping it will be similar on the one i'm getting.

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