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capdoogie

Is anyone really happy with there Jtv?

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I want to really like these guitars but it seems there close but no cigar. Ghost notes, weird harmonics, necks being swapped out. Host of other problems. It seems like a lot of money for a guitar that is almost good. I purchased a new Jtv 59 and sent it back, tone control was as mess. Come on line 6 this guitar has great things going on with the tuning capability and modeling but just not quite there. I'll wait for hopefully there next incarnation. Rant from longtime line6 owner.

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That sucks that you haven't had a good experience. I love my 59. The first one I got from Sweetwater had problems. The replacement they sent was awesome. Is it perfect? Nope. But the acoustic tones and the alternate tunings alone make it worth the price of admission for me.

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I've owned at least 4 of them, and don't have any issues with them at all. so yes, count me happy.

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I actually after time making adjustment and modifications it is now my favorite guitar.  I Don't think its perfect but its my favorite.  I don't think you can have a perfect guitar for your self.  If something about it bothers you.  You can't just change things and expect it to sound or play the same afterwords.  I have modded guitars for years before I got the jtv59, I tried to have certain neck materials or profiles, a specific body or electronics.  Or a mash up of different guitar attributes I liked, only to get undesirable results in the end.  I am happy with my 59 though not at first but I adapted.  

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I'd love it if everything I own functioned better.

 

Am I happy with my JTV? Yes. Is it perfect? No. But show me something that is.

 

The alt.tunings have limitations, and the issue is mechanical. Crosstalk is the inevitable consequence of how piezo pickups function. There will always be issues with any tuning that alters the pitch of some strings but not others, or those that alter different strings by different intervals (ie the various "drop D" and open tunings). Those that are altering all the strings by the same interval (1/2 step down) will suffer fewer if any problems, as any mechanical coupling that results in one string's vibrations being picked up by an adjacent saddle(s) will be de-tuned by the same interval both times, so no harm no foul. I use the 1/2 step down tuning frequently (including live) with no problems, but the drop D tunings I find basically unusable. But it's not a "defect"...just a limitation of the technology. Can't blame L6 for the laws of physics. Might improve one day, might not...we'll see. Till then, I have other guitars when I need drop D.

 

Other instances of "Ghost notes" (other than the drop tunings mentioned above)...you got me. The only time I've heard dissonance with the 1/2 step down tuning, it has been due to hearing the guitar acoustically. I suspect this is probably the cause 99% of the time, yet it seems difficult to convince some that this is what's happening. Hearing the raw guitar is lot easier than you think. When not at rehearsal or a gig, I play seated in the "classical" position...neck is not far from my ears. Even in a less exaggerated seated position your head still isn't far away. Unless you're cranked to stage volume (or sufficiently deaf ;) ) you WILL hear those strings. You'll hear them on other guitars too, but since the notes coming from the amp are not being altered, there's no dissonance, and it's easier to ignore anything you're hearing acoustically. Headphones and/or sufficient volume solve the problem.

 

As for the necks, that's largely a personal preference issue. I loathed the stock neck on the 69,but not because there was anything "wrong" with it...other than the fact that it's built for tiny hands. Easily remedied, and the result is a better instrument.

 

So overall, I quite like my JTV. It does things that no other axe I own can do. Like all fancy gadgets heavily dependent on electronic wizardry, some things leave a bit to be desired. Over time, I suspect they'll get better.

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I'm glad to hear some of you are doing well with your Jtv. Sometimes on these forums its just the squeaky wheels. I would use the drop D and others. That is what these guitars are touted highly for, with modeling of course. I'll just have to wait on the next generation. Hopefully all the alt. tuning issues and other bugs will be fixed.

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I'm glad to hear some of you are doing well with your Jtv. Sometimes on these forums its just the squeaky wheels. I would use the drop D and others. That is what these guitars are touted highly for, with modeling of course. I'll just have to wait on the next generation. Hopefully all the alt. tuning issues and other bugs will be fixed.

Well that's just it...the drop D problem is not a "bug". Nobody screwed anything up. It's physics. Until a pickup is designed that is capable of completely isolating each string AND most importantly does NOT rely on physical contact with a vibrating string, the problem of crosstalk will persist. Whether or not that's possible is anybody's guess...I have no idea.

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I owned the Variax 500 for 11 years and I've had my JTV69 for 2. Neither guitar ever experienced any problems. Not the perfect neck shape for me but it's not a big issue. I enjoy the alternate tunings and haven't had any problems with Drop D. If I did, I'd switch to the mags and manually drop it down, which takes about a second. I even made some custom tunings to play some 7 string stuff.

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I live my 59. I grew up playing Gibson style guitars so it feels great to me. I haven't had any issues with tunings, weird overtones, knobs or the pickup switch. My bandmate who is quite particular about guitars, played it and said I should get rid of all my other guitars. I won't be ditching my PRS anytime soon, but I have done some rehearsals with just the 59 and it worked great.

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I love my JTV69US. It's been my main guitar for nearly three years now, and I've played dozens of shows with it since getting it. It's really been a workhorse. I really like the neck on mine.

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I have a 10 year old 500 and a 2 year old JTV69S.  Both work fine.  Are they perfect?  No.  They both play great after doing my own minor setup tweaks.  Modeling and alt tunings are two different things.  Alt tunings will always be a compromise.  All of the string and body mechanical vibration and feedback is different than the notes being produced.  How can that be perfect?  Some of the real tuning is going to leak through due to transducer crosstalk.  It works but it ain't perfect.  Real alt tuning isn't all that perfect either.  The guitar was designed to play at standard tuning.  But many players make it sound great.  I suspect that they have a slightly altered setup on the guitars that they play in alt tunings.

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I'm glad to hear some of you are doing well with your Jtv. Sometimes on these forums its just the squeaky wheels. I would use the drop D and others. That is what these guitars are touted highly for, with modeling of course. I'll just have to wait on the next generation. Hopefully all the alt. tuning issues and other bugs will be fixed.

 

Capdoogie, I notice that others have responded to this thread saying they have no issues with alt tunings, but it looks like you have been focused on the people who *do* have issues. If I had to guess, it sounds like you're hoping for a reason to save your money.  :) It's at least partly dependent on your playing style and genre whether the Variax alt tunings will work for you or not.

 

For example, playing rhythm and lead guitar on 90s-to-current covers, I have never had any noticeable bleedthrough or other issue on either of my JTV-69's, whether using drop D (for example, on "The Middle") drop Db (for example, "Shine" by Collective soul, rhythm and lead). Using acoustic sounds, I've seen no issues whatsoever playing songs in open tunings, drop D, DADGBD, or anything else.

 

Cruisin2, I'm guessing that you must either:

 

1) Own an instrument that's got significantly more crosstalk than my 69; or maybe

2) Play with a lot of gain and be running into harmonic feedback weirdness;

- For example, sustaining an E on the 2nd fret of the D string, with a lot of gain to trigger feedback

- The distorted E note resonates the acoustically-tuned low E string which starts physically ringing on an E...

- ...which is digitally tuned down to D, and sounds amplified like it's ringing on a D, which doesn't fit musically

3) Or, be using some particularly demanding technique that I haven't thought of.

 

What do you think - could one or more of those things be happening? I'm really curious what the critical factor is that makes our experiences with the alt tunings so different.

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Well it's good to see players come out and tell good things about there jtv's. I might have to give it another go. Maybe the 59 I bought and returned was a lemon?

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I've been playing my SG more lately, so I don't know. I love my JTV, but right now I've been taking a rest from using it as my main guitar, especially after I bought a morpheus pitch shifter pedal.

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'72 hendrix strat+fender prosonic custom shop retired after getting hd500+jtv69s...

 

post-1403107-0-53535200-1404982295_thumb.gif

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I bought a JTV-59 three months ago and really enjoy playing it. I bought it mostly for the acoustic and sitar sounds. I found the modeling pretty good. I liked the "Lester" model the best. The Strat sounds are"meh" to me but everything else sounds good and I have a Strat so no big deal.

 

The neck profile is a thicker than what I'm used to but after playing the acoustic models for a while it's nice to have a thicker neck to have something to "push" against (if that makes sense) a thinner neck would probably "feel" weird when playing the acoustic models. The 12 string and sitar models are some of my favorites and sound pretty natural to me.

 

As far as alternate turnings go I like the ability to play in drop-D with such ease and it really sounds good. I fiund that when using some of the more drastic alternate tunnings it's best to use headphones or make sure you monitor loud enough so you can't hear the acoustic vibration of the guitar. That's probably the overtones people are talking about because when you record with it and play the track back you can't hear it.

 

But here's where the problems start. About two weeks ago the guitar started acting funny; the modeling stared going in and out. I found this would happen after about an hour of playing and when I put the guitar down for a while it would be okay. But free an hour of playing the modeling when start acting up again. Then last week the guitar started cycling through the modeling while playing. I have tried reflashing the firmware several times and it's still messed up. Actually when I hook the guitar up to the variax workbench you can see on the screen the guitar cycling through the different models.

 

It's disappointing that a guitar that is only three months old is having problems. I bought it brand new from Sweetwater and the serial number on the guitar indicates it was made in 2015, well after all the known problems of the first few batches were made clear. So I'm sending it back to Sweetwater today and they are going to fix it or send me a replacement. But I wonder what is going to be in store for me after a couple of years with thing? Right now it's under warranty so no big deal, but only time will tell.

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I love my 89F. It's just when you visit forums you will often find ppl who come here for trying to fix a problem of find a solution to something.  And as mentioned a Variax is a very different guitar.  And it does take some dialing in to get it where you want it.

 

For me there was 2 things that I had to to be happy with it. First was to go back firmware 1.9. I really did not like the 2.0 and up firmware. I think it they sound way to thin and not anywhere close on most of the models to magnetic pickup. Others a very happy with the new versions and maybe it's the guitar piezos themselves. But that worked for me.  The second was the alternate tuning. Like everyone else I noticed ghost notes right off the bat. But then something interesting happened. I took the guitar by my local luither for standard setup, something I do on all my guitars. He fou2 high frets and fixed those and some minor setup stuff, which I've found is actually pretty normal to find on a lot of of the self guitars.  But to test it, I hooked up to small amp he had and was showing him the alternate tuning options and there was no Ghost notes at all. The acoustic thing really makes a huge difference depending on the volume level you playing at. At bedroom volumes I can hear it but at rehearsal volumes it pretty much disappears.  And on that there is NO other guitar that can even change turnings with the flick of switch. Maybe the Gibson E-tune come close butt they are not as fast as since they actually move the knob string gauge etc... all come into play on those unlike the Variax.

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Thanks Palico, I'm headed to a store that has the 89f. Your right, forums seem to only be filled with players with guitar problems. That's why I started this thread to hopefully bring out the ones with good jtv's. :-)

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'72 hendrix strat+fender prosonic custom shop retired after getting hd500+jtv69s...

 

holy crap! what do you have in that Prosonic, 24" speakers?  Must weigh a ton or is that a midget strat?  LOL...

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holy crap! what do you have in that Prosonic, 24" speakers?  Must weigh a ton or is that a midget strat?  LOL...

 

nope, i have the combo, with ®2-10†Custom Design Celestion speakers,  but believe me, she is  a really HEAAAAVY baby! {48 lbs= 22 kg}

the strat is an original vintage with the 3-position switch.

i have only added sperzel locking tuners.

 

http://www.mediafire.com/view/3q6wbb2o4tbjlhw/ProsonicComboCustomShop-Speakers.JPG

http://www.mediafire.com/view/qjwljr59ll1gqk3/FenderStratocaster.JPG

 

u can hear those two beasts in this old studio cover we have recorded 4 years ago;

signal chain:  strat-->prosonic-->mic--->recording console. 

no effects!

 

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Capdoogie, I notice that others have responded to this thread saying they have no issues with alt tunings, but it looks like you have been focused on the people who *do* have issues. If I had to guess, it sounds like you're hoping for a reason to save your money. :) It's at least partly dependent on your playing style and genre whether the Variax alt tunings will work for you or not.

 

For example, playing rhythm and lead guitar on 90s-to-current covers, I have never had any noticeable bleedthrough or other issue on either of my JTV-69's, whether using drop D (for example, on "The Middle") drop Db (for example, "Shine" by Collective soul, rhythm and lead). Using acoustic sounds, I've seen no issues whatsoever playing songs in open tunings, drop D, DADGBD, or anything else.

 

Cruisin2, I'm guessing that you must either:

 

1) Own an instrument that's got significantly more crosstalk than my 69; or maybe

2) Play with a lot of gain and be running into harmonic feedback weirdness;

 

 

- For example, sustaining an E on the 2nd fret of the D string, with a lot of gain to trigger feedback

- The distorted E note resonates the acoustically-tuned low E string which starts physically ringing on an E...

- ...which is digitally tuned down to D, and sounds amplified like it's ringing on a D, which doesn't fit musically

3) Or, be using some particularly demanding technique that I haven't thought of.

 

What do you think - could one or more of those things be happening? I'm really curious what the critical factor is that makes our experiences with the alt tunings so different.

I think there are a lot of factors that will determine how much of a problem crosstalk will be. Amount of gain, playing technique, and the individual tune in question top the list.

 

1) That is certainly possible. But I stumbled on a used JTV in a store recently, and was able to produce the same problem in seconds. I have no reason to expect that it would be different with another one.

 

2) What you're describing here is not quite the problem I experience, but it's a similar scenario, and would produce the same mud. Mine is related almost exclusively to palm-muting anything on the A string. Admittedly, this doesn't come up all the time...some songs I can make it work.

 

3) There's nothing outrageous technique-wise, but it's almost impossible to palm-mute anything without resting on the low E. Everybody in my band is a somewhat loony King's X fan...we'll often mess around with a bunch of their tunes when we're avoiding learning new stuff for our set list, lol. Lots of drop D and drop Db, and there are a lot of palm-muted pedal tones on the A string in the rhythm parts. Totally unusable for this kind of stuff...but like I said, sometimes I can make it work. Just depends on the tune.

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I've had my JTV 59 for a couple of years now. I gig with it as my primary guitar every week and I love it. 

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I have owned and still do a VAX700 and VAC 700, a JTV 59 and a JTV 89F and have loved all of these guitars specifically due to the tuning capability at first with the 700s and then really fell in love with my 89F.  I have never run in to the cross talk problem you seem to be having and have recorded two albums with both the JTVs and in case of one song drop the guitar and entire step and it worked great for what I was doing.

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I have owned and still do a VAX700 and VAC 700, a JTV 59 and a JTV 89F and have loved all of these guitars specifically due to the tuning capability at first with the 700s and then really fell in love with my 89F.  I have never run in to the cross talk problem you seem to be having and have recorded two albums with both the JTVs and in case of one song drop the guitar and entire step and it worked great for what I was doing.

 

Like I said above, tunings that are dropping all the strings by the same interval are not going to have a crosstalk issue. I use 1/2 down all the time, and have used a whole step down occasionally with no problems. Why? Because even if one string's vibrations are picked up by an adjacent saddle, both notes will be detuned to the same pitch, so there is no dissonance.  Such is not the case with the Drop D or Drop Db tunings, however. Problems arise when a given string produces an unaltered note through it's own piezo saddle, as well as through an adjacent saddle that is set to de-tune by a given interval. Drop D only alters the pitch of one string leaving the rest alone, and Drop Db alters 5 strings by a 1/2 step, and the low E by a step and a half.  Might not seem significant at first glance, but it is, and this is where the problems start.

 

For simplicity's sake, lets just take Drop D...so you're chugging away on the A string (NOT playing anything on the low E...keeping it muted). Resting your hand on the low E results in the propagation of vibrations from the A string reaching the low E piezo saddle, where it is detuned one whole step. The result? The A string producing tones through it's own piezo, and the low E string's piezo as well, where it's detuned...two tones are produced a whole step apart. Not a pleasant harmony.

 

Proving it is dead simple. Go into Workbench and turn the A string's volume to zero, then select Drop D tuning. Palm mute anything you want on the A string. I bet you $100 that you'll hear those notes coming through (albeit at a lower volume, but still clearly audible), unless you're able to completely avoid touching the low E in the process...this is easier said than done. Damn near impossible actually. If the A's piezo output is set at zero, yet you're hearing (detuned) notes produced by that string, then where is it coming from? There's no other explanation than the low E saddle "hears" the A string with palm-muting. Your hand is the conduit...it creates a physical connection between the two strings, and piezos being the rather sensitive devices that they are, grabs enough vibrations to generate a signal. I can reproduce it at will, and have done it with more than one JTV.

 

Granted, it's a specific set of circumstances...but one that happens to make certain tunes unplayable. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

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I've had my 59 and 69 for years now. I love them both, they are my only gigging guitars. The neck on the 69 took a bit of getting used to, but now I find it fine. Both guitars have always worked fine, never a problem.

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 Your hand is the conduit...it creates a physical connection between the two strings, and piezos being the rather sensitive devices that they are, grabs enough vibrations to generate a signal. I can reproduce it at will, and have done it with more than one JTV.

 

Granted, it's a specific set of circumstances...but one that happens to make certain tunes unplayable. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

 

That sounds like the most likely explanation to me. I bet that the specific songs and tones (and approach to palm muting, or not) that some of us use happen to never make this issue audible, while the combinations of tones & songs & palm muting that you and others use make it obvious.

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Had my JTV69 for a couple months now. been tweaking it a bit to fit me better, but love it.

Ive had my 600 for many years and added a 500 a couple of years ago. The 600 maple neck is still my favorite because i played it so long that the neck just fits.

The JTV is quickly taking over that 1st chair spot tho

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I was happy With my JTV-89, but the looks didn't do it for me. (just playing in my basedment, so didnt matter too much though)

 

Changed it to a JTV-69 US now, which suits me even better. Same great sounds, but I like the chunkier neck and the strat look.

 

The JTV-89 did need some setup though.

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I have a JTV-69S. I purchased it from Sweetwater. First one I sent back to them for a number of reasons. Got the second one, had real ghost note problems, sent it directly to Line 6 to look at. Line 6 admitted a problem, and pretty much fixed it. Not fully, but hey, that's piezo pickups. ( BTW, I've been curious what it would be like if they could combine their technology with the infrared Lightwave pickups used by Wilcox Guitars. ( http://www.lightwave-systems.com ) No piezo crosstalk! Now that could be the perfect blend!

 

Anyway, back to my story. I think the one mod I did which made my Variax a go-to guitar was my installation of an Earvana nut. Mine NEVER sounded in tune when I played open chords. The Earvana nut fixed that completely. It was a revelation. Now I want it on all my guitars! But, at $36 a pop, it may take me a while to get them converted.

 

I'm waiting for a major firmware update that fixes some remaining problems. Always kind of seems to me that Line 6 has lots of people in R&D to come out with new dazzling products, but not enough people to care for current customers. Oh well, just my experience.

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I love mine, and you're using the improper homophone for there. You mean their.

Allot of it is not perfect but really good. How else can you go from acoustic to Les paul mid- phrase? I play theater allot when I need to change instruments every 8 bars. Instead of bringing 4 axes, I bring one.

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12 hours ago, zorqay said:

I love mine, and you're using the improper homophone for there. You mean their.

Allot of it is not perfect but really good. How else can you go from acoustic to Les paul mid- phrase? I play theater allot when I need to change instruments every 8 bars. Instead of bringing 4 axes, I bring one.

 

Someone who twice uses a verb -- 'allot' -- in place of a common two-word expression 'a lot', should be careful of criticizing another's improper use of language... 

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I think they were generally overpriced, fairly ugly and the magnetic pickups were extremely mediocre at launch. They are sold as 1k+ guitars but really they aren't worth more than $600 (they compare pretty closely to guitars in that range and sometimes slightly worse, Indonesian PRS for example best the crap out of an Asian variax). The fancy electronics doesn't justify the price difference in my opinion. I definitely expected more, looks like Yamaha is bringing some expertise to the table and the new ones in my opinion are a step in the right direction.

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I have no idea how anyone can complain about these conceptually - manufacturing issues are something else if you've run into those.  I adore mine. Now, the first one I had something went wrong at just a year out with the high e string piezo, but fortunately I bought through Musician's Friend who had a 2 year warranty. I returned it for repairs, they realized it couldn't be repaired quickly, and sent me a new one (love Musician's Friend!).  My second one had weird harmonic issues with some of the acoustic models (5 & 1) when played on the fifth string ninth fret - but I spoke to Line 6 about it and they generously got it taken care of. I'm hoping from this point on it has no problems, because obviously if it keeps having issues that would begin to impact my opinion of purchasing such an expensive guitar, but I loved the Les Paul style of the 59, and it's gorgeous to look at. Its magnetic pickups sound great too and is just another cool option to have.

 

Beyond the repair issues though, it is my "go to" guitar.  I play a whole variety of stuff (badly - but I play it, and anything that helps most of the problems be user error the better) and this thing trumps them all. For example, the other day I was working on some Creedence Clearwater Revival. Occasionally those have varied tunings - takes one second on a Variax. Most of the time Fogerty uses a Les Paul - well it's there and I dial it in immediately. Oh, but wait, for "Suzie Q" he uses a Rickenbacker - well, that just took one second too and sounds spot on. Songs with acoustics instead of electrics? Or BOTH? Still easy.  Or if I play some Goo Goo Dolls (Iris with only FOUR strings, tuned BDDD - easy, Name tuned DAEAEE - easy - Big machine a strat with only four strings - EASY!). Joni Mitchell's bizarre tunings?  John Lennon requiring an Epiphone Casino? Beck with a Danelectro? A strat for Ray Vaughan or Eric Clapton? We haven't even discussed guitarists who love modifying their pickups endlessly, and the Variax lets me do all that garbage for free and even hear how it sounds on the fly.

 

Is it perfect?  No. I really hate when I'm in an extremely bizarre tuning and I can hear the modeled tuning in contrast to the true tuning - I have no idea how you'd fix that though, and most of the time if I turn the sound up on the amp or headphones I don't hear it. Does bleed exist?  Yeah - but the problems it creates are over stated. I assume the technology will get better, but here's the deal, I'm excited for it, and when it does, I'm already in line because I know how awesome the current version is.

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Ensemble/band mix context coupled with tonal/texture flexibility Variax provides very useful and convincing guitar parts.  

 

4qty Variax worth every Dime and then some…
 

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I am one who really likes my JTV69.It has been my go to for live gigging 2/3 times a week for the last couple of years.I started using coated Elixir stings on it a year ago and noticed an overall improvement in the modeling. As far as it being a cheapo Asian guitar.You can keep your lifeless PRS guitars.In passive mode my stock JTV is one of the best super strats I have ever owned .

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