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differences from jtv?


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hi all, first time post here.


i was able to get some info from this thread:


i am interested in picking up a variaxe for my next guitar.  i would like to make an informed decision, but there is not  much info out there for this new standard build.  does it have more models, or less? has anyone played one of these?  interested in hearing about how the board feels (sticky bends, height of frets etc.).


i know yamaha is in the mix now, just wondering what they brought to line 6.  was hoping someone might be able to enlighten me, like what you would do in my situation etc.


ive played a variaxe once, and really liked it. hoping this new build doesnt stray too much from whatever i played before.

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I am definitely interested in this new Variax! price looks decent too.. For me, I have a JTV59, but never liked the design of the JTV69, so I never got one. This is a nice in between, the design changes moving the knobs to one spot looks better to me.


The slightly revised pickguard shape looks cool to me as well, and the headstock design is cleaner, a little better overall layout, look and design.


As for playability, time will tell.. It's at least encouraging to note that it appears they revised the string tree design from an earlier version as compared to what seems to be the end product design. Take a look at the Variax Standard on the Sweetwater page, looks a bit different. Pickguard and pickup colors reversed too!


I am guessing here, but I would imagine it's the same models currently on the JTV series.



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  • 4 months later...

I'm curious about how the new line stacks up quality-wise. I owned a JTV59 for about a year, and loved its versatility as a backing instrument. The electronics however was horribly unreliable. In particular the model-selector-knob just never lasted long. Its construction seemed pretty weak. My guitar spent most of its time in workshop, or waiting for parts to be delivered. In addition to repairs I received 2 replacements, but all had the same problem and I finally gave up. My hope is that some of Yamaha's attention to factory-standards and build-quality has rubbed off on L6. For now I'll hang out and keep an eye on peoples experience with the new product-line through the forums, but I may get one if it turns out to be significantly improved.

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One difference I saw in the video of podman01 unpacking his, was that it did not include the gig bag that the JTV's do... They're nice gig bags, but I buy hard shell cases for my guitars that I gig with. I do keep my 2 gig bags from my 59 & 69S for my other guitars, though. Like I said, they are good quality gig bags. It might not be a big deal, but, I'd think that would be part of the lower price of the standard -- how much, I don't know...


My first Variax 300 didn't come with a case or gig bag, either, so I bought one at the store I bought the 300 at. It's a Gator black plastic "universal" hard shell suitable for Strat's or LP's. My 59 took it over, now my 69S uses it, and I have an SKB LP style for the 59....



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Went over to Sweetwater's site -- they have a black Standard in their gallery, so I could get a closer view of some of the details to see the differences between this and the 69S, the closest JTV for comparison. The things I noticed:


1) Not made in the World Plant in Korea -- made in Indonesia -- the SN on this one begins with a "Y" instead of "W" as JTV's do.


2) The neck heel is not contoured like a 69 / 89, but more like a traditional Strat, so the neck bolts are in a rectangular pattern through a chrome plate - don't know if they are Strat spacing.


3) The strings are a through-bridge design, again like a Strat, where they are inserted from the back of the guitar.


4) The bridge is a 6 - screw tremolo design, like traditional Strats -- I actually like that a bit better than the 2 point pins of the 69 bridge -- it was a surprise to me when I took all my strings off the 1st time.... Bang, the bridge popped off the pins - I was concerned I hurt the finish... This could be seen from the regular single pictures in their normal PR releases.


5) The tuning machines are non-locking.


6) 2 string trees on the head stock opposed to none on the 69 -- again seen before. Guessing the tuners are not staggered heights due to this.


7) At 7 lbs 8 Oz, a few ounces lighter than a black 69S (7 lbs 11 Oz) in their gallery - not much of a difference, though. I've seen variances in weight between "identical" models in their gallery before...


8) Alt Tune knob down with the others like a 59, but again that's been discussed elsewhere.


That's what I saw in a quick look.



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