FWIW, I played a 500 for many years, and although it was the perfect utility guitar for me, the power issues were a major PITA, so I finally got rid of it in 2014. The battery issue was this; the guitar was only reliable when using good quality carbon AA's but went through them so fast I would unplug the guitar during breaks to preserve them. I got two additional battery cassettes and kept one backup near the stage at all times. In an attempt to save cost i tried NiCAD's, but High MAH NICAD'S didn't have as much starting current when fully charged and lasted maybe an hour. There's nothing quite as frustrating as having the guitar start that damned "blinking on and off" during the solo I waited all night to play. Anyway, those issues have kept me away from the JTV guitars but, to my own amazement, today i will be trading something for a nearly new JTV 59S. I am experiencing guarded excitement about having another Variax, and more than anything else, I hope the battery it uses does become a problem.