Some would say better, some the same, some worse. I have a 500 and a JTV-59 and thing it's a mixed bag for me but there are other very real reasons to upgrade, some of which Clay-man stated.
- The separate alt tuning knob is one of those things that you never knew you needed, no need for workbench and you can do an alt tuning on the fly just on the guitar and store it in about 45 seconds.
- You can now apply virtual capo and alt tunings to the 12 string models.
- I think the build quality is marginally better.
- True magnetic pickups (finally!). I can't speak to the 69 or 69s but the mags on the 59 are not too bad (although I may still change mine out). So if everything goes south in the middle of a set (piezo dies, battery drains etc) you still have a fully functioning regular guitar.
Also you may find that you can find good deals on a 69 or 69s if the "metal" look on the 89 is off-putting but I have noticed that prices seem to have gone back up in the last few weeks?
Just my 2 rusty pennies