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I was looking for a tobacco sunburst JTV-59 but had a terrible time locating one in a local store anywhere from Seattle to Portland. Online retailers (Musician's Friend, Sweetwater, etc.) kept going out of stock every time I was ready to order.  I finally got one from Full Compass, which I have not dealt with since the 90's. I was worried about missing the rebate window while waiting for stock to be renewed. 

 

The model I got was priced at $999, less the $150 mail-in rebate.  But I expected it to be new, and the one I got had scuffs on the gig bag (could be from shipping), minor scratches on front and back, dust around frets, above nut, and in cutaways. Also, my serial number indicates it was made 3 years ago. Makes me think this was a demo model, but it was not sold that way. I am feeling a bit ripped off, and debating whether I should return it and ask for a new one. Everything works like it should. 

 

I noticed that Sweetwater (the only retailer I know who shows actual pics and serial numbers of their stock) has had older serials on their last 6 or so JTV-59s. Were these discontinued? Line 6 website doesn't mention that. I know Yamaha acquired a majority ownership in Line 6 almost a year ago. Are they selling through old stock in preparation for releasing something new? I know Line 6 can't really answer that, I'm just trying to figure out what to do here.

 

I really love the JTV-59, the way it plays and looks. I could probably clean off the dust and ignore the scratches, but can't forget that I paid the price of a new one for it and it's 3 years old!  

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I would absolutely return it; call someone and yell at them; and then demand that they send you a replacement and give you a further discount for your trouble.

 

I've been a victim of the same thing in the past (from MusiciansFriend) and that is just not right!

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The JTV models are not built on a weekly basis  - instead Line6 places on order with World Music in Korea, and they are built in large batches.

 

When you register the guitar serial number is when you can determine if the guitar had a prior owner.

 

I know this is hard to hear , but the Tyler Variaxs are not "flying off the shelfs" at the local dealer, and most Dealers are simply trying to move existing inventory, some which have been sitting at the dealer for 3 years 

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Thanks blouie, took your advice and called them.  First thing I asked was "Was this supposed to be a new item?" They said yes, and I told them it's not. Of course they told me I "got a smokin' deal", to which I answered "Yes, the same smoking deal I could get from any other authorized dealer but for a guitar in much better shape." They said they sold it for less than they purchased it for (don't you love it when retailers do that?) Totally not the issue here. The issue is it's supposed to be new but it has major signs of usage and it's been around for 3 years. 

 

They asked for photos. After taking the photos and looking at them on the computer, this is a lot worse than I thought. I've had guitars for years and they don't look this bad!  Dents, scratches, dust, some of the models on the dial don't light up when selected. They said they got this unit from Line 6 only 2 months ago. It may end up that Line 6 needs to make this right. Full Compass obviously doesn't have a replacement for me. 

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Thanks blouie, took your advice and called them. First thing I asked was "Was this supposed to be a new item?" They said yes, and I told them it's not. Of course they told me I "got a smokin' deal", to which I answered "Yes, the same smoking deal I could get from any other authorized dealer but for a guitar in much better shape." They said they sold it for less than they purchased it for (don't you love it when retailers do that?) Totally not the issue here. The issue is it's supposed to be new but it has major signs of usage and it's been around for 3 years.

 

They asked for photos. After taking the photos and looking at them on the computer, this is a lot worse than I thought. I've had guitars for years and they don't look this bad! Dents, scratches, dust, some of the models on the dial don't light up when selected. They said they got this unit from Line 6 only 2 months ago. It may end up that Line 6 needs to make this right. Full Compass obviously doesn't have a replacement for me.

I'd demand a refund if they don't have another one for you, then just wait for Sweetwater to get one in stock...they won't treat you like something they just scraped off their shoe. I got my 69 from there and it was a 'scratch and dent'. Same price you paid, and it took me about an hour of staring at it to find the 'scratch'...some tiny little swirls in the lacquer on the back near the strap button. Anyway, point is Sweetwater will be infinitely more pleasant to deal with.

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I bought a "Demo" from Sweetwater and it  was pristine - not a mark on it.  They had pictures of the actual guitar and they were very detailed.  If they sold it as "New", it should hot have been out of the box enough to gather any dust on it.  That being said, if it's in great playing condition, you might want to clean it up and keep it.  How it plays is more important than how clean it is.  It's always a gamble to buy a mail order guitar of any kind.

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Thank you for the advice!  Never dealt with Sweetwater, but I hear lots of good things about them. I almost purchased from them twice, but they sold out right before I could place my order.

 

I did send photos to Full Compass of the problems, but I also contacted Line 6 directly, asking how I should proceed since the retailer does not have a replacement. They said the retailer should issue an RMA for me to return the old unit, and also a request to Line 6 to ship me a replacement. If the retailer does not do what they are supposed to, they said I could accomplish the same thing dealing with Line 6 directly, the only drawback being a longer turnaround as they'd want the old unit before they shipped a new one out. But it's good to know that option is available. 

 

I have not figured out yet if JTVs are so scarce because most players aren't that interested (low demand causes low production volume), or if they are just selling out as fast as retailers get them. Guitar Center told me they don't have enough to stock them in stores (they keep them in a central warehouse which can be ordered from), but that when they do show up in a store, they sell quickly. 

 

As for the guitar itself, I think the design and modeling are very well executed. I was surprised how good the acoustics and resonators sounded. No, not exactly like the real thing, but very usable. I was not so impressed with the "Semi" and "Jazzbox" types, but I have to consider I'm running through a Yamaha THR 10 (mini amp) for an interface, and a Pod HD could make a big difference. For a guy like me who can't afford or store many different types of "real" guitars, this is perfect. 

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I know this is hard to hear , but the Tyler Variaxs are not "flying off the shelfs" at the local dealer, and most Dealers are simply trying to move existing inventory, some which have been sitting at the dealer for 3 years 

 

Yup.  My JTV-69 was officially new, but had been on the wall at GC Boston for so long the strings were rusty. 

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I have not figured out yet if JTVs are so scarce because most players aren't that interested (low demand causes low production volume), or if they are just selling out as fast as retailers get them. Guitar Center told me they don't have enough to stock them in stores (they keep them in a central warehouse which can be ordered from), but that when they do show up in a store, they sell quickly.

 

As versatile as they are, they're still a niche product. Many players, even serious ones, don't know they exist. I get the "What kind of guitar is that?" question at gigs pretty frequently, and its always a player who asks.

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Okay, so this finally got resolved. The dealer did not have another Tobacco Sunburst JTV-59 so they had to order directly from Line 6, and they drop shipped to me. I place the original order on December 1 and finally got what I ordered and paid for on December 29!  The new Variax is in great condition and much better than the previous copy. 

 

Line 6 customer service was great. I only dealt with one person, but they were very helpful. I contacted them because the dealer (Full Compass Systems) said they had ordered a replacement a week earlier and they had not received a status update. It's not good when the customer has to call the seller and manufacturer just to keep things rolling. But Line 6 sent the replacement out the day I called them using expedited shipping. 

 

Now I can finally register the guitar and send out that rebate form. I'm not happy about the month of hassle and waiting, but I am happy with the replacement (which actually looks and feels like a new guitar instead of a beat up demo). 

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Glad it got resolved for you, but I'd suggest you never be an early adopter, like many of us were. I ordered my JTV-59 Tobacco Sunburst from Sweetwater in October 2010, and due to many early production issues, did not receive it until May 2011, and had to ship it right back as it had the infamous 3-way switch issue... They were very fast in the turnaround of the fix.

 

In October 2012, I ordered my Shoreline Gold 69S from Sweetwater on a Saturday, and got it on the following Tuesday -- they had it in stock, so it really depends on a lot of circumstances....

 

I think that retailers can be d!cks, but I never had trouble with dealing with either Seetwater or Line 6 directly.

 

YMMV.

Dave

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I'd demand a refund if they don't have another one for you, then just wait for Sweetwater to get one in stock...they won't treat you like something they just scraped off their shoe. I got my 69 from there and it was a 'scratch and dent'. Same price you paid, and it took me about an hour of staring at it to find the 'scratch'...some tiny little swirls in the lacquer on the back near the strap button. Anyway, point is Sweetwater will be infinitely more pleasant to deal with.

 

Hate to say it but I feel the need to!  The last guitar I got from Sweetwater (PRS) was "set up" by them before they sent it to me and it was a complete wreck.  I ended up having to spend money to get it set up - and I'm not talking about "because of my 'preference'".  The floating bridge was fully pegged against the body (not level), the neck relief was not correct and the lower strings buzzed aweful.

 

These retailers really need to leave stuff alone in their factory "sealed" condition.

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Sort of getting off topic but wanted to tell how Sweetwater came to my aid after getting my bucks. I bought my last JTV (their last gold top P90 59) and it was set up perfect for me but the VDI connector was bad on it. It was a Dent and Scratch, with none of either. I called my rep and he sent a pick up tag for it and shipped it back fixed - I would have exchanged but there were no more gold tops left. I had purchased a ESP/LTD 5 string bass from them earlier and the B string tuning machine was bad, just would not ever hit a tuned position. I had spent money on a pro set up on it. They shipped a new bass and credited my Sweetwater Card with the amount I paid for the set up which was impossible but nevertheless charged for by the tech after I sent a copy of my receipt via email to them.

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When I bought my JTV69S from Sweetwater, there had just been a big FW update.  I asked them to update it for me so I did not have to risk that going bad.  They did so and when I received it the FW was updated to 2.0 and the guitar was in excellent playing condition.  Not perfect but it only needed a bit of tweaking on the Low E and A at the bridge to eliminate a slight string buzz.  I will use them again the next time I purchase a guitar.

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Hate to say it but I feel the need to! The last guitar I got from Sweetwater (PRS) was "set up" by them before they sent it to me and it was a complete wreck. I ended up having to spend money to get it set up - and I'm not talking about "because of my 'preference'". The floating bridge was fully pegged against the body (not level), the neck relief was not correct and the lower strings buzzed aweful.

 

These retailers really need to leave stuff alone in their factory "sealed" condition.

I didn't say they were great at set-ups. I said they are really good about returning problem items, or otherwise making it right for their customers.

 

Frankly, if you have a guitar shipped to you and it arrives in anything resembling playable condition, you just got lucky. A guitar that spends 2-3 days, or maybe a week in and out of various trucks, with wide swings in temperature and humidity, is not terribly likely to be ready to go right out of the box, I don't care how well it was initially set up...and if it is, it's just dumb luck.

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