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TomyGun

Difference in Models - Variax JTV

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Hi,

 

I am about to pull the trigger on a New JTV. My question is this. Is there one model / body style that seems to have better construction / less problems. 

 

I am reading so many things here about problems with selector switches, bridges, and necks that I am looking to have see if one style seems to be a little better than another.

 

Also does the body style affect the modeled sounds? Does the Les Paul style body make the Model'd Les Paul sounds better? Strat etc. Or does the bridge and electronics not care?

 

I like the LP body but I hear that the 5 way selector or the Strat is easier to learn for changing mods. But then I read that the 5 way sticks sometimes.. So I think you can see what I am trying to figure.

 

I have real Strats and Les Pauls so I can play either if I need those actual sounds. I totally get the part what I prefer playing and also what pick-ups sound like unplugged. I can figure that part. 

 

 

So in summary: 

 

1) Mods Sound Difference Between Bodies 

2) Better Neck (E String slipping off) Between Bodies

3) Less Electronics Problems - Between Bodies

 

 

 

 

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The models should sound identical between the different JTVs - there may be slight variations but nothing obvious.

 

Best neck depends on your personal preference - if you like LPs then go for the JTV59, if you like strats then go for the JTV69, if you like slim fast Ibanez style necks go for the JTV89.  The one major plus of the JTV69 is that if you don't like the neck you can easily swap it out for one that you prefer as it is a standard strat replacement size - so you can alter things like radius, neck width and nut, thickness, frets.

 

There have been an assortment of electronic problems reported over the years for all the models at one point or another as well as quality issues.  The bottom line is that if you get a good one you should be fine - if you get a bad one then keep sending it back till you get a good one.

 

I have both the JTV59 and JTV69 and I prefer the JTV59 but then again I do generally prefer LPs.  In my opinion the JTV59 is a very well made quality guitar.

 

Go for the style of guitar that you like best and the one that has the mag pickup style that you would prefer - or if you are very particular about the type and feel of the neck then go for the JTV69 with a view to getting a replacement neck that is perfect for your taste - or if you absolutely must have a trem then go for the JTV69.

 

Hope that helps.

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Well, for what it's worth, here's my experience with the JTV-69 Strat-style model:

 

I'm currently on my second one. The first developed a problem in the modelling electronics and I went back to the store and exchanged it.

 

BOTH guitars have played great and sounded great acoustically. And the heel joint is something you seldom see on Strat style axes.

 

On my second JTV-69, I've had the passive neck pickup crap out but I think it may only take some contact cleaner to fix this. I love this guitar, the sound, the passive pickups, the tremolo, and the modelled sounds. If my favorite tech can't easily fix the dead-pickup glitch, I'll probably return the guitar to Line6 for warranty repair. 

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The models should sound identical between the different JTVs - there may be slight variations but nothing obvious.

 

Best neck depends on your personal preference - if you like LPs then go for the JTV59, if you like strats then go for the JTV69, if you like slim fast Ibanez style necks go for the JTV89.  The one major plus of the JTV69 is that if you don't like the neck you can easily swap it out for one that you prefer as it is a standard strat replacement size - so you can alter things like radius, neck width and nut, thickness, frets.

 

There have been an assortment of electronic problems reported over the years for all the models at one point or another as well as quality issues.  The bottom line is that if you get a good one you should be fine - if you get a bad one then keep sending it back till you get a good one.

 

I have both the JTV59 and JTV69 and I prefer the JTV59 but then again I do generally prefer LPs.  In my opinion the JTV59 is a very well made quality guitar.

 

Go for the style of guitar that you like best and the one that has the mag pickup style that you would prefer - or if you are very particular about the type and feel of the neck then go for the JTV69 with a view to getting a replacement neck that is perfect for your taste - or if you absolutely must have a trem then go for the JTV69.

 

Hope that helps.

 

So the sound/sustain/palm mute is basically the same while modeling. As the electronics can adjust those as you desire.

 

I like the swappable neck idea.

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Well, for what it's worth, here's my experience with the JTV-69 Strat-style model:

 

I'm currently on my second one. The first developed a problem in the modelling electronics and I went back to the store and exchanged it.

 

BOTH guitars have played great and sounded great acoustically. And the heel joint is something you seldom see on Strat style axes.

 

On my second JTV-69, I've had the passive neck pickup crap out but I think it may only take some contact cleaner to fix this. I love this guitar, the sound, the passive pickups, the tremolo, and the modelled sounds. If my favorite tech can't easily fix the dead-pickup glitch, I'll probably return the guitar to Line6 for warranty repair. 

 

 

How long is your new varax away when you send it back for repairs. That is something that would not really work for me. Spending that kind of cash and then sending it back and forth several time for an extended time. It seems that all I read is that they are breaking all the time. That is why I am looking to see if one model has less probs than another.

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So the sound/sustain/palm mute is basically the same while modeling. As the electronics can adjust those as you desire.

 

I like the swappable neck idea.

The physical characteristics of the JTVs will have an effect on how they sound and how they play just like any other guitar.  A hardtail guitar will feel and sound different to one with a trem.  But these differences do not make a significant difference to the modelled sounds.  The modelled LP played on a JTV59 will sound almost identical to the same model played on a 69 or an 89, same goes for the STRAT or TELE model or any of them.    The subtle differences from the physical make up of each JTV really doesn't matter.  The important thing is to pick the JTV style of guitar that will suit you best in terms of feel and playing style and whether you need a trem or not. For me the feel and playability of the neck is the main thing, and I happen to like the 59 as it is.  But I also bought the 69 because it gives me the option of having a neck fitted that will be my ideal spec.   Hope that helps.

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So the sound/sustain/palm mute is basically the same while modeling. As the electronics can adjust those as you desire.

 

I like the swappable neck idea.

Stock JTV neck is a crime against nature, imho. If you have tiny little fingers, you might love it...otherwise, prob not. And the headstock looks like a cross between the business ends of a field hockey stick and a cricket bat.

 

Fortunately this is all easily remedied, though it will require some extra cash.

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Stock JTV neck is a crime against nature, imho. If you have tiny little fingers, you might love it...otherwise, prob not. And the headstock looks like a cross between the business ends of a field hockey stick and a cricket bat.

 

Fortunately this is all easily remedied, though it will require some extra cash.

 

So the 69 is the way to go for the neck upgrade if I need it. Thanks

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So the sound/sustain/palm mute is basically the same while modeling. As the electronics can adjust those as you desire.

 

I like the swappable neck idea.

 

The JTV uses piezo pickups embedded in the bridge saddles for modeling. They sense the strings from under or even *behind* your palm if you're palm muting, so it's not 100% exactly spot-on perfectly the same.

 

The hardware and software people obviously put a lot of hard work into it, though, because for the modest palm muting I do (along the lines of classic rock; no metal), I don't notice any difference. It's a big improvement over the original Variax, which had a pronounced "ping" type sound when palm muting (I have owned Variax 500s and 300s). The JTV now sounds fine for my styles.

 

However, if you play metal styles / genres that use extensive palm muting, you should test it out before the return period is up. Best case, it'll be fine; worst case, there'll be something in the sound you won't be able to put up with. Most likely case, you'll need to slightly change your technique (move palm to right over the bridge saddles) and end up with a compromise you're happy with.

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59

Pros: Piezo Bridge, sustain on  normal pickups, mahogany body

 

Cons: neck non swappable, 3 way switch.

 

69

Pros:neck, 5 way switch, alder body

 

Cons: Piezo elements, a hell to replace them

 

89F

Pros: mahogany body, 5 way switch, floyd rose tremolo with graphteck piezo

 

Cons: has the smallest fretboard from the 3, if you are not shredder u gonna hate it.

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Tomygun -- I took my second JTV-69 back to the store a couple days ago. Took it to the tech and asked his opinion on dead neck pickup. He pulled the pickguard loose and tested heck out of that pickup and its connections. Finally said, "The pickup itself seems defective. And that means you'll have to return it to the factory, since I'm not licensed by Line6 to do this kind of repair."

 

I was REALLY bummed. A cold solder joint, a pickup selector switch in need of some contact cleaner, these would've been no problem. Even though I'd thought it would be no problem returning this guitar to Line6 and waiting for it to come back from factory....I looked around the store and found a Fender Artist model, for a bit more than the JTV was. They allowed me to exchange guitars. So I can't answer your question about how long it takes to do an instrument return to Line6. Sorry about that. 

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Tomygun -- I took my second JTV-69 back to the store a couple days ago. Took it to the tech and asked his opinion on dead neck pickup. He pulled the pickguard loose and tested heck out of that pickup and its connections. Finally said, "The pickup itself seems defective. And that means you'll have to return it to the factory, since I'm not licensed by Line6 to do this kind of repair."

 

I was REALLY bummed. A cold solder joint, a pickup selector switch in need of some contact cleaner, these would've been no problem. Even though I'd thought it would be no problem returning this guitar to Line6 and waiting for it to come back from factory....I looked around the store and found a Fender Artist model, for a bit more than the JTV was. They allowed me to exchange guitars. So I can't answer your question about how long it takes to do an instrument return to Line6. Sorry about that. 

 

Urgh. I am sure you are bummed.  What the heck is it that they come out with a $1,100 guitar ($2,000 list) that seems to be a beta still all these years later. I just find it hard to roll the dice. Good Build / Bad Build. I guess if I lower my expectations about the build quality and be prepared to just  return I might get it worked out. Thanks for the straight dope in this guitar.

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As far as the necks go -- they are different. I'm 6' 6" and have big hands. I have both the 59 and a 69S - see the attached pic's. I don't really have an issue with either the 59 or 69S neck size. I think it's all in personal taste...

 

Dave

post-98161-0-41455300-1421714335_thumb.jpg

post-98161-0-25036200-1421714351_thumb.jpg

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Neck and Scale Length make a big difference and everyone has their own taste.  That's why we need the different guitar models even though they have the exact same DSP generated models.

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Urgh. I am sure you are bummed.  What the heck is it that they come out with a $1,100 guitar ($2,000 list) that seems to be a beta still all these years later. I just find it hard to roll the dice. Good Build / Bad Build. I guess if I lower my expectations about the build quality and be prepared to just  return I might get it worked out. Thanks for the straight dope in this guitar.

Well, life goes on. I'm getting to know this 19-year old F_____ Eric Clapton Strat I brought home in exchange for my ailing JTV-69, and am much more confident in this Clapton Strat's durability despite its age. I kinda hate to say this on a Line6 Variax community forum, and this may well be my last post here. But when I'm convinced of a guitar's quality and dependability, i'll stand up for it all day long. My second JTV had awesome action and acoustic response. The electronics, though.... :-(

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Well, life goes on. I'm getting to know this 19-year old F_____ Eric Clapton Strat I brought home in exchange for my ailing JTV-69, and am much more confident in this Clapton Strat's durability despite its age. I kinda hate to say this on a Line6 Variax community forum, and this may well be my last post here. But when I'm convinced of a guitar's quality and dependability, i'll stand up for it all day long. My second JTV had awesome action and acoustic response. The electronics, though.... :-(

 

Well with much reservation, I am still getting the Variax because of this support forum. Line6 should take heed to being proactive with problems like the people here on this forum that don't get paid by line6 but actually pay their salaries through their purchases. How Ironic.

 

Line6 needs to be like amazon and make it easy to return and quick to fix these $1,000 +++ purchases at least until they get a good name for their quality. Or they will keep wondering why they don't get the traction with their lines that they deserve. They may be making a profit but they will never make their mark in the upper echelons on Gibson and Fender if they don't get a clue to their real problems. They have a real opportunity to do it with the innovation that they are bringing.

 

Stay tuned.

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Whichever model you decide to go for don't be too fazed by 'all the problems' reported on the various forums. I am sure all those postings with problems are completely genuine but just bear in mind that for every problem post there are probably hundreds of problem free guitars. It's just human nature.......people who have a problem tend to shout about it far more than those who are happy. Those of us who work in retail know this better than anyone!

 

Good luck with whatever you decide. Assuming you don't get a problem JTV ( ;) ) you'll love it!

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Yes, let me respectfully say that I myself only tried 2 Korean-made JTV-69's, both in the same store and the only Tyler Variaxes in stock in my area.

 

Both guitars had electronic problems and I didn't keep either one.. But I can honestly STILL say without reservation that the second JTV-69 played like butter, had an awesome fingerboard and trem system, and would ring like a bell when chords were played on it acoustically. 

 

But I also remember how many JTV owners on this forum seemed to say they own 2 JTV's in case one breaks down. 

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It's sad that after so long in the market, Line6 is still plagued with quality control issues.  I never even considered the pre-Tyler Variax guitars because of consistently negative comments about build quality. 

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It's possible that the writeups were talking about a different model.  At the time I knew nothing about Line 6 other than the fact of their guitars having no mag pickups.  I want to say it was one of the British magazines, since they are more likely to call a spade a spade than US guitar media where they tend to like everything (and reviews are about 1/4" deep).

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after reading issues people have had w/they're rigs, makes a gullible person like myself THINK there's a problem @ times - 1st I had a warbling sound out of nowhere w/my 59  turned out to be the ceiling fan as suggested on forum!  - the model knob came loose(but still functioned) glued back on, & volume pot is noisy but is quickly remedied w/a few turns.

My 69 high E seemed to roll off fret board - luthier reset neck...voila, & most recently after failed attempt w/maglok install & I had a tremsetter put in, now it's a different animal (feels like hardtail) & could almost go w/lighter strings.

Love them both...just wanted to pay $1200 for a whammy - which I STILL haven;t received yet - patience grasshopper

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It's sad that after so long in the market, Line6 is still plagued with quality control issues.  I never even considered the pre-Tyler Variax guitars because of consistently negative comments about build quality. 

 

 

I never owned the other models, but IMO the Variax 700 has a good build quality..

 

very close to a PRS in shape..

 

made in japan by Fujigen, which manufactured also several Ibanez guitars, Squier, etc..

http://www.daeschler.com/articles/fujigen/

 

http://mi.fujigen.co.jp/

I am with Nico on this, the build quality of the 700 was great, far better than the JTV, better quality of wood, better setup, better shape, better fretboard... Better everything (except modeling)

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Never said it is bad, just jtv is better on modeling than Variax .

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Remember that as a general rule, people are WAY more likely to complain if unsatisfied than to post how happy they are

 

this is true of most things not just guitars

 

thr very nature of the SUPPORT forum suggests this is the reason it's here to a large extent:'help I am having this problem...'

 

I am EXTREMELY satisfied and I think the quality is great and I am used to some very nice guiysts

 

a lot of people complain about the neck in the 69

 

i LOVE it!!! (Maple fretboard too)

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Well I got my guitar.

 

Unexpected Journey. (all good)

 

Drove about an hour and half to PitBull Audio because they had several JTV's in stock. I had my mind made up for the jtv-69. They were waiting on a few other customers and said that they had the 69's in the warehouse. But they would bring one out for me in a minute. I saw that they had a 59 Cherry Burst on the wall, so I grabbed it off the wall and plugged in. Not battery so I just was checking out the feel and mag pickups. Right away this guitar felt like I had played it for years. fret board felt better than my LP standard. seemed to be able to play cleaner, like there was a fraction of an inch more room. It was just great. I couldn't wait to see the -69. In a few minutes they brought out the -69 and opened the box. I picked it up and it felt like a baseball bat sawn in half. fret board was nice, but felt a little rough on the sides (like it needed a little sanding). I sat and played for a while and I just could get that same feel that I had with the -59 a few minutes before. I knew from this forum that I could switch out the Neck and was prepared to do that. But......that 59 feel.

 

I have horses, and I have learned from experience and a few broken bones you get the best horse, not the best looking. So I thought hey I got to check the -59 again. Yep is was a dream. So I said, I really don't want this in Cherry Bust, do you have it in tobacco? They did, brought that out. It felt good like the Cherry but not quite as silky.

 

So I now own my last choice in color, but my new favorite player.

 

My impressions, first day plugged into my hd500X and my DT25, wow this thing sounds like crap. Did a lot of reading about settings, PRE-amp, line inputs and Variax settings, and then on the second day.... WOW....I can't put this thing down.   Sound IS AWSOME and MODELING IS FANTASTIC on most of the settings. Even the few like the acoustic and 12 strings that sounded bad on the next few days, once I found the acoustic settings in the playlist HD500x play list, another day of WOW. I can not see how this is not going to be the main guitar that I play. I have a Gibson LP Standard, Fender Start and a Taylor acoustic (and others). And the versatility and options have inspired 3 new songs in styles that I have never really worked on, JAZZBOX  and also with DADGAD in 12 string. 

 

I am satisfied beyond all expectations. I am a believer. Thanks to the great guys on the support forum for all there info.

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Very nice to hear.  You will find the HD500 stock sounds are pretty much designed to show off the effects and placement capabilities.  I found very few useful but grabbed some great stuff off of custom tone to tweak to my desire and am very Happy.  I have a 59 and an 89F and the 89F is one of my favorite guitars ever.  I also have a VAX 700 and VAC700 all of these work flawlessly.  My VAX 700 was purchased from a local store and every other Variax I have owned came from Musicians Friend (VAC 700) or Sweetwaters (both JTV's).  So for anyone else deciding about buying a Variax based on the forums let me go on record that I have purchased 4 Variax's that work and continue to work flawlessly.

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My 69s was from Sweetwater as well. It has worked flawlessly and was setup great. Imo, they are a good choice to buy from

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