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Everything posted by johnnyayyy

  1. Unfortunaltely the dongles don't work very well with the JTV, if you want to avoid lots of frustration and the likelihood of bricking your guitar I recommend either buying or borrowing an HD500. You could always buy an HD500, do your updates, and return it. Yes, it sucks. Maybe eventually Line 6 will work out the kinks with the dongle but I wouldn't hold my breath...
  2. It still looks like it did in the pics I posted. It is fully functional and I have used it at a couple of shows the way it is now. It was a super easy transplant because I just put all of the Variax parts into a small project box and stuck that inside the body - there is no access to the Variax knobs or switching on that one, all changes in modeling, pickup selection and tone are performed by my HD500. After I put the red sparkle binding on the Falcon I realized it looked too xmas-ey , like a candy cane :lol: this really annoyed me (I despise xmas) and I decided I would paint it a different color and change the color of the binding, got distracted with a zillion other projects and never got around to repainting it so it stays as is for a while. I guess if I put the original pickups back in in it would be "finished", but I want to put some cool DeArmond pickups in and I will have to make mounts for them to work and that makes yet another project I may never have time to complete - who knows if I will ever really finish it... My Telecaster Vax transplant plays much better than the Falcon copy and is still the Variax I use most often, it probably will remain so until I do the neck and bridge swap on my JTV. For the record, I still have high hopes for the JTV, I am just disappointed and frustrated that I am going to have to do so much work and spend so much money to make it useable. I am sure after I get the JTV playable I will be back to singing the praises of L6 gear and being called a fanboy again :)
  3. The tuning problems I mentioned are not "normal" tuning problems. I have always tuned my Variaxes down one full step to D, never experienced any problem. Try this on a JTV and the modeling goes haywire - there are a few threads in these forums discussing this problem. Line 6's official word is the JTV is calibrated to work properly only when tuned to standard E tuning. I can work around this limitation by tuning my JTV normally and using the alt tuning function to drop the tuning a full step but it sounds pitch shifted, nowhere near as good as simply tuning my older Variax down to D. Once tuned my JTV holds its tuning as well as any other guitar. I have never owned a Variax 600, I did have a 300, a 500 and a 700 and can tell you the quality of the 700 was much higher than the 300 and a good deal nicer than the 500. My understanding is the 600 is better than the 300 but not as nice as the 700. My 700 was a well made guitar and I had no real problem with it other than the fact that I found it ugly to look at - great neck, stayed in tune well, etc. If set up properly your 600 should stay in tune as well as any Strat, even when using the tremolo - consider replacing the nut with a graphite version, the nut on my 300 was terrible and I believe the 600 nut is the same. You might also try searching Google for tips on keeping a Strat style guitar in tune, there are lots of things that can be done.
  4. I was expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs, i.e. complaining. One who complains is a complainer. I did not realize that was a bad word, my apologies if I have offended anyone. If there is a better word for someone who buys a poorly designed/shoddily manufactured product and complains about it please let me know and I will try to remember to use it in the future. "Negative reviewer" maybe? Is there some better place to get opinions/reviews on JTVs? Do you have real information on the opinions and experiences of "the general population of JTV owners" who do not post here? The OP was asking for a recommendation, is there a better place for him to go to get one? Yep. That is what he asked for and I am happy to give it to him. And if the neck and bridge and tuning limitations on my JTV didn't render it useless I would be saying something more like "Forget those older Variaxes with their corrosion/failure prone piezos, buy a JTV!!! Best Guitar EVAR!!!" Not the advice he was asking for. I am interested to know where you might suggest he go for more "fair and balanced" reviews of the JTV. Where can he communicate with the hordes of satisfied JTV owners, assuming they exist? I might have been one of those often referred to "silent and satisfied" owners as far as anyone here was concerned if my JTV had only one or two major problems requiring workarounds or limiting playability, I do wonder how many people bought a JTV with one or two issues and put up with them or worked around them because the JTV is such a great guitar in other respects - other than the neck issue and the bridge issue and the tuning issue I DO think the JTV is a great guitar, the same way I thought the original Variax was a great guitar in spite of its physical unattractiveness.
  5. I think the number of returned scratch'n'dent JTVs available at Musiciansfriend.com and other sites as discussed elsewhere in these forums should be a clue as to how satisfied purchasers are with JTVs in general. Either those websites are selling 10 times more JTVs than they are Gibsons and Fenders or 10 times the number of dissatisfied customers are returning them. I am not convinced Line 6 is selling many JTVs, at least not many that are not immediately returned - where are you getting your info on all of these "many, many more Variax owners who are very satisfied" who don't come to these forums? I have been coming here for years and have always been a huge Line 6 supporter, anyone can take a look at the 1000+ posts I made here before I purchased my JTV and see that I was not here to complain about Line6 products but to praise them shamelessly. My original POD Bean? Loved it! My Pod XT? It was the bees knees! I still have both of them! My Vetta II? What a cool amp! Sold it when my HD500 rendered it obsolete! My Variaxes? Loved them so much I converted them to cool looking guitars! Loved the Variaxes so much I couldn't wait to get a JTV! Finally, a Variax that didn't look weird! I really wanted to be in love with my JTV... weird tuning problems that weren't there on my older Variaxes? I can work around that! The strings fall off the neck when I do pull offs? Hmmmm, okay, I just won't do pull offs on that string anymore. Problem solved. Clickity-clacking noises from the bridge when I fingerpick? Uhhhhh,,, okay, that's three strikes, sorry JTV but you are out. I wanted to love my JTV SOOOOO MUCH that I spent a ton of time tracking down one of the few Ibanez necks that will work as a replacement (this Ibanez neck was only made for a couple of years on two different models). I wanted to love my JTV so much that I did some snooping around and found a GraphTech bridge that will solve the clacking problem. I WANT TO BELIEVE so badly that I still have not sold my JTV after 6 months of it collecting dust waiting for me to get around to someday make it playable. But on the other hand, at this point it would be more useful to me as a boat anchor and the temptation to get rid of it on ebay is great... I got it for next to nothing, I will not lose money if I sell it, but still, I WANT IT TO WORK so badly I keep hanging on to this bad relationship. So go ahead, tell this guy to ignore us complainers and buy a JTV, but I ignored the complainers and wish I hadn't. Really I don't come her just to complain about my crummy JTV, I come here to check to see whether any updates are available for my JTV or HD500 and read about peoples experiences with Line6 products and help people out when I can. And in my opinion telling the OP in this thread to steer clear of the JTV for now will be much more helpful than just telling him to ignore the complainers. Regarding used older Variaxes, I believe the only way to avoid the original piezos going bad is to never allow any moisture or dirt anywhere near the piezos - this can be accomplished either by: 1. NEVER playing the Variax, or 2. Only playing it under strict labloratory conditions, i.e. no humidity, no sweating, no dried skin cells flaking off, no contaminants in the air, best to just forget about ever playing a Variax in a smoky barroom... take it out and strum a few chords in your bedroom once in a while and they should be good for many years of service provided the previous owner(s) have maintained the same standards. Like you said, due diligence... ask to see the GuitarFax!
  6. I think that might be the best option at the moment. Buying a used Variax may still leave you changing piezos though - they will probably fail eventually. If you can find one where someone has already added a nice set of GraphTech saddles you will be ahead of the game, otherwise expect replacing them to be part of the Variax experience. I am planning to replace the Tyler bridge on my JTV with a Graphtech Ghost bridge, not because I love spending extra money on my guitars but because the stock JTV bridge is a poorly made piece of junk - the saddles do not fit properly into the slots on the bridge and they move around while playing and every time they touch the sides of the slot in the bridge they make a loud CLACK!!! sound though the amp. Same bridge on the JTV89 and the JTV59 - total garbage IMO. I have no info on whether the bridge on the JTV69 is any better, maybe someone else here will have an opinion. Another thing to consider - if you buy an older Variax and it breaks down it may be tough to get the parts necessary to repair it without buying a second Variax to cannibalize, but with a new JTV you will at least be able to get parts for a while.
  7. The alleged inferiority of the 2.0 Strats is not really a good reason to choose an original Variax over a JTV as you can always run the JTV with pre 2.0 firmware if you like. Same with lack of HD interface for Workbench issue - roll back the firmware and JTV becomes the functional equivalent of the older Variax.
  8. Poor design/poor craftsmanship, that is why this is happening. FYI, a standard 24 fret Jackson neck and certain 24 fret Ibanez necks will fit the JTV89 body with only slight modification to the neck.
  9. Looks like you were lucky enough to find one of the good ones. Good for you Charlie, you've got a golden ticket! Run for it Charlie! Run straight home and don't stop til you get there! :D Now take a look around the forum at all the people with complaints about the neck on their JTV and the many who have deemed it necessary to replace their necks and you may begin to notice you are in the minority on this. Do you remember reading about strings falling off the fretboard? If your guitar does not suffer from this problem, well, I envy you. Nah, not really, I already have a really nice Ibanez replacement neck for my JTV, when I get around to installing it I am sure I will be able to begin to enjoy my JTV. Then again I might just end up putting the JTV on ebay, I have lived this long without it and so far all it has been good for is collecting dust and disappointing me... For those of us with the guitars with shoddy workmanship it is a MAJOR FAIL. Not made up, not "BS". Hmmm, I have played a few JTV69s and have owned a few US Strats, I would think anyone who has experience with both JTVs and US Strats would be more inclined to think of your statement as "BS"... wait, maybe you have the US JTV...? I should hope those guitars are of a higher quality considering the price. Or maybe you have a defective/low quality US Strat...? I have had some Strats that were better than others, it kind of depends where and what year they were made, and even then you know what they say - "No two are the same". Maybe the Yamaha deal will help improve the QC on the Korean JTVs, til then I advise waiting. No BS. :)
  10. In the past I owned a Variax 700 and I currently have two Variax transplants, one made from a V500 and one from a V300. I also own a JTV89 Korean. My opinion: 1. The necks on the Variax 700 and the Variax 500 were both better than the one on my JTV89 - better fretwork, better woodwork. I prefer the shape of the 89 neck to the others but it is poorly finished, I am planning to replace it with a nice Ibanez Wizard neck. Korean Tyler neck = MAJOR FAIL 2. The bridges on my older Variaxes were much better than the one on my JTV. The biggest problem with my JTV89 is the crummy bridge. I have had the guitar since June but have hardly touched it due to the bridge making weird clacking noises when I play, I will not be able to use the guitar until the bridge is replaced. Tyler bridge = MAJOR FAIL 3. According to Line 6 the JTV has to be tuned to A440 for the modeling to work properly. This was not true of the earlier Variaxes, I have used my transplants tuned down to D standard for years with no problem but the JTV makes all kinds of weird noises when tuned to D. If you are okay with the look of the old Variaxes I think a V700 is your best option, with the 500 a good second choice. Honestly, even my bottom of the line Variax 300 was a better/more useable guitar than my shiny new JTV. Sad but true. I had high hopes for my JTV but it was a HUGE letdown. With a bunch of expensive parts and some hard work it will be useable and possibly great some day but at this point IMO the JTV is still not fit for human consumption.
  11. This makes it sound like the frets need some polishing, I would think rough spots on the frets are grinding the string in those spots. I know the fretwork on my JTV is not what I would call "good"...
  12. Comparing my JTV to my Ibanez side by side I am going to guess the difference in tension is caused by a different headstock angle and maybe a different body/neck angle. I notice the same difference in tension tho it doesn't bother me much and I would bet the increased tension helps with purity of tone going into the JTV piezos - I know when I downtune my JTV and the strings get loose and flappy it creates all kinds of problems with the modeling.
  13. I measured this once and came up with similar figures, I saw 2ms latency on the Tele model at the 1/4" output compared to a mic'ed recording of the same performance but failed to allow for 1ms per foot from the guitar to the mic - after compensating for that I get around 5ms latency on the Tele model and 8ms on the 12 string acoustic models, not too bad and not noticeable to me when playing. The latency increases when using the JTV's Alt Tune knob, it is 20ms total with the acousic 12 string models alt tuned all the way down to C which makes that combination unplayable for me - not that I would ever need the 12 string detuned to C but if it is one there it should probably be useable IMO. Original post and measurements: http://line6.com/support/topic/2215-variax-vs-axe-fx-pitch-shift/
  14. I agree, that would be better. Also I wouldn't have to do all that soldering on Zap's guitar :P I think this idea was posted on ideascale a while back, anyone who thinks it would be useful should go there and vote it up or repost it - the neutral body with a "no pickup" option should do what you are after.
  15. People love it when a band stops playing for 10 minutes after every song to tune... The only thing better is listening to them continue to play out of tune. I ran a recording studio for many years and made tons of money on people retuning after every take, and re-recording out of tune takes. Before that I wasted tons of money in other peoples' studios tuning and retuning, and have been the guy onstage taking 10 minutes to tune between songs (for many years I played a vintage Gretsch with a well used Bigsby that I enjoyed beating the hell out of live - it was always a miracle if it was in tune by the end of a song). I welcome our Autotune overlords, not because I do not know how to tune a guitar or am too lazy to do so, but only to save precious time onstage and in the studio.
  16. Erm, okay... are you implying that you believe this simple modification cannot be done? I don't know what that .gif means (are you the guy with the gas pump or am I...?) and I have no interest in adding this feature to my guitar (the mods I will be spending my time on post-warranty period are 1.a new bridge, 2.a Bigsby, and 3.a different neck - probably a nice Ibanez RG) but I would be willing to mod your guitar in this manner if you like. For a modest fee, of course. Feel free to PM me if you are serious.
  17. I have summed multiple piezos in the past (on an upright bass) then sent the sum to an onboard preamp with no problems... and the piezos in GraphTech Tuneomatics I used on my transplants were summed from the factory, the 6-in-1-out summing connector had to be removed and the wires split/stripped to work in the Variaxtransplants. Don't know what apllication that 6-in-1-out summing connector is made for but this tells me the piezos need nothing pre-sum... maybe I will do this with one of my GraphTechs when I get a chance. For Science.
  18. There is an easier way to get what you want that requires no modifications to the guitar. Simply roll back and reflash the firmware your guitar a few times, for quickest results use the Workbench dongle/hub - eventually you will receive an error code and all the modeled sounds will disappear, leaving you with pure, raw piezo output. Enjoy!
  19. I could easily do it if I wanted to but have no need for raw piezo output - also I will not be doing any mods at all on my JTV til the warranty expires, at that time I will be swapping out the bridge for a Graph Tech. To wire for raw piezo output: On the relay connect the 6 hot wires from the piezos to the middle strip of 6 pins, connect the 6 top pins to the same place the piezos were connected before on the variax , sum the 6 bottom pins with a bus wirre and run a connection from there to the 1/4" jack hot. Add a 9v battery and a simple on/off switch, toggling power to the relay on and off selects between sending the piezos to the variax guts or raw to the 1/4" out. If you choose the 6pdt slider switch instead of the 6pdt powered relay: 1. connect the piezo hot wires to pins 2,5,8,11,14,and 17 2. connect pins 1,4,7,10,13,and 16 to the normal conncetions on the avariax board. 3. sum pins 3,6,9,12,15,and 18 with a bus wire and connect to hot on 1/4" out Easy-peasy, shouldn't take more than an hour or so. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself any competent guitar tech should be able to do it for you.
  20. You could modify your guitar to allow you to select between routing the piezos to the Variax electronics or directly to the existing 1/4" jack with a 6 pole double throw switch or a simple on off switch with a 6pdt relay. This will void your warranty but is possible and would not be difficult or expensive.
  21. It was a narrow strip of Velcro (the soft fuzzy part) stuck between the saddles and the string slots. See the first pic shown here: https://www.google.com/search?q=variax+bridge+velcro&client=firefox-a&hs=ydG&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=b_ZSUsPbL43jigKciYHACw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1280&bih=587&dpr=1#imgdii=_
  22. I will be changing mine but will wait until my warranty expires - this mod I am sure will void your warranty
  23. I have been seriously considering buying a cheap older Variax and transplanting it into something like this: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/msg/4059839183.html
  24. GraphTech Ghost Wrap Bridge PN-8593-C0 specs from http://www.graphtech.com/products/product-detail/pn-8593-c0-ghost-loaded-resomax-nw1-wraparound-bridge---chrome?id=06eef684-d221-4fbb-8fea-0c0f97cb8f29 : Measure Post Spacing String Spacing radius Thread inches 3 7/32" 2 1/16" 12" 5/16 - 24UNF I just took a look at my JTV, post spacing is 3 7/32", it's a match.
  25. Ooops... I fixed the link, Ghost version @ $199.99 http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Graph-Tech-Ghost-Resomax-NW-Wrap-Bridge-CHROME-PN-8593-C0-/390539905816?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item5aedfe0b18
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