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shredjsx

Dagnabbit I tried a variax guitar today

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My only complaint was the neck.... And while I have replaced pickups, replacing a neck from Warmouth scares me a little.... other than that I do like the JTV69.

If you ask me, with the amount of fancy electronics in these guitars, swapping out the pickups is a much bigger gamble than replacing the neck. It's 4 screws...assuming that you can operate a Philips head screwdriver without ending up in the emergency room, you're good to go. Yes, I'm over-simplifying to make a point....but not by much.

 

The neck is your interface with the instrument...yes, you can acclimate to a degree, but generally speaking, you'll play better on a neck that you're comfortable with. It can make all the difference in the world sometimes. Ymmv...

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As long as you get a neck that fits, it's an easy swap.  Pickup swaps are easy also if you use passive pickups that are the same physical size.  I agree with cruisinon2 though that the neck is the critical interface between you and the guitar.  If you don't like the neck, get one that you like and you will like the guitar a lot more!

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I replaced my neck with a baked maple Warmoth with stainless frets and Gotoh rolling nut. It plays way better to me. Pickups were replaced with DiMarzio cruisers in neck and middle, AT-1 in the bridge. The pickup ring is the Seymour duncan triple-shot:

 

http://www.seymourduncan.com/accessory/triple-shot-flat

 

That allows me to coil tap the humbucker or put them in parallel.

This is my main guitar now. Sounds awesome and none of the mods were difficult.

 

 

post-472742-0-70900500-1447890617_thumb.jpg

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I replaced my neck with a baked maple Warmoth with stainless frets and Gotoh rolling nut. It plays way better to me. Pickups were replaced with DiMarzio cruisers in neck and middle, AT-1 in the bridge. The pickup ring is the Seymour duncan triple-shot:

 

http://www.seymourduncan.com/accessory/triple-shot-flat

 

That allows me to coil tap the humbucker or put them in parallel.

This is my main guitar now. Sounds awesome and none of the mods were difficult.

Those roasted maple necks seem to be the new "thing"...I've seen them pop up all over the place lately. Gotta get my hands on one for a test drive.

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Those roasted maple necks seem to be the new "thing"...I've seen them pop up all over the place lately. Gotta get my hands on one for a test drive.

They are so nice. Very stable, no finish = fast, and look great. Mine even came with some flame at no extra cost. You can even specify quatersawn for a little extra. I just need to take it to my luthier to have the fret ends dressed and polished. But it plays great as is.

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They are so nice. Very stable, no finish = fast, and look great. Mine even came with some flame at no extra cost. You can even specify quatersawn for a little extra. I just need to take it to my luthier to have the fret ends dressed and polished. But it plays great as is.

Can't go wrong with Warmoth, and stainless frets are the best thing since indoor plumbing. Just installed my 4th one on a Strat rebuild a few weeks ago. I'm surprised yours needed any fret dressing at all. They're usually pretty meticulous about that.

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Can't go wrong with Warmoth, and stainless frets are the best thing since indoor plumbing. Just installed my 4th one on a Strat rebuild a few weeks ago. I'm surprised yours needed any fret dressing at all. They're usually pretty meticulous about that.

 

The frets themselves are fine. Just the beveled ends are a little sharp for my tastes. It's perfectly playable as is. And polishing the frets is a luxury, but I love the way bends feel with polished frets.

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As far as the sound of which sounds better the JTV or the Original VAX 700, there are champions of both here on the forums.  In my opinion the JTV modeling sounds better along with the capability to detune on the fly.

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As far as the sound of which sounds better the JTV or the Original VAX 700, there are champions of both here on the forums.  In my opinion the JTV modeling sounds better along with the capability to detune on the fly.

 

Totally agree.  I owned the Variax 500 for 11 years and I've had my JTV69 for close to 2.  After about a year of owning both together I finally sold off the Variax 500.

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Totally agree.  I owned the Variax 500 for 11 years and I've had my JTV69 for close to 2.  After about a year of owning both together I finally sold off the Variax 500.

 

I actually have to say, I like the old modeling and new modeling, but after owning both generations of Variaxes, I have to say, the piezos on the old Variax are horrible.

 

When I hit the strings hard on the old Variax, it makes this quacking attack noise. None of my regular guitars can make that noise. I suspect it's the piezos being driven too hard. 

The new JTV piezos seem to not clip when I play hard, and it sounds very natural. The dynamics between modeling and magnetic sounds virtually spot on compared to my 600.

 

 

Now, I love both 1.9 (or, old modeling, which is the same modeling on the old Variaxes) and HD, but I think HD is more consistent to the guitars being represented, while 1.9 is more about personal taste and the ability to really diversify the guitar's tone. (Ex: 1.9 Rickenbacker is exaggeratedly thin and bassless, yet no Rickenbacker videos on youtube sound like that).

 

1.9 was probably more focused on nailing specific tones on songs, while HD was more about nailing what the GUITARS sounded like.

 

I don't know.

 

I still like the old Variax a bit, but the JTV really stepped things up when I got it.

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I too still have my VAX-700 but I haven't fired it up since the JTV's arrived.  (Though I would like to hear it through the HELIX).  The other issue is that if the OP wanted to purchase I am sure he could probably find one but there would be the issue of the 6 AA Batteries/Powering the guitar and lack of warranty.  And as you have say the older gen piezos.

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I play the same patches with my older Variax 500 as I do with all my other guitars.I can use my acoustic HD500 patch with my Variax or my real Breedlove acoustic and they work the same. I have some touring to do next year and the artists material will require having guitars tund down a half step and some drop D tunings as well.Debating whether to just get a decent JTV69 or try to deal with several guitars/ tunings etc...My Variax 500 has a dead VDI jack so until I fix that it is not useable for touring. I would like to hear any observations from any players who have done any touring with a JTV.

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well, jtv is THE touring guitar (ofcourse u need a second backup unit, possibly one of ur existing guitars, or a standby jtv)...

nother important thing is NEVER trust the power supply quality of the tour venues.

i always feed digital gear (HD500+JTV) via an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) with Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR).

 

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I've had my JTV69 for almost 5 years now. I like to play in alternate tunings so for me it was worth the price of admission. I still am not a big fan of the neck (it is too chunky) and almost sent it back when I got it. Over time I've adapted to it, but the functionality of the guitar, means I can bring one guitar to a gig and get alternate tunings, acoustic, resonator and other models. Normally I would bring 5. Would I replace it if anything happened to it? Heck yeah, my custom strat and other guitars are played rarely only because I can't put the JTV down.

 

The problem with the 700's is if your battery goes dead onstage you are effectively left with a canoe paddle. That's why they added the pickups to the JTV.

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I've had my JTV69 for almost 5 years now...I still am not a big fan of the neck (it is too chunky) and almost sent it back when I got it.

Why suffer like that for 5 years? This is easily remedied for as little as ~$120 for a Mighty Mite Strat neck...or spend a little more and go with a Warmoth. The warranty is long gone, so no issues there.

 

If you think you like the guitar now, you'll be thrilled beyond words with a neck that's playable.

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Well, I'm convinced....

I'm gonna go with a JTV69 and mod it...

However, if anyone is interested,

I'm changing some serious things around and am selling my current entire electric guitar collection. ( My wife just got diagnosed with cancer)

1 A first model special order ESP LTD Elite ST-1 Aqua ( Rare, before they changed the label to ESPII)

2 A Epiphone ES 339 Ultra with the Acoustic and USB hookups, only made them last year and discontinued them.

3 A G&L Asat Semi Hollow Bluesboy Tribute

4 A Epiphone Custom Special Edition Silverburst Les Paul ( Brand new I just bought it)

And my X3 Live to go with the package.

3k for the whole lot

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Well, I'm convinced....

I'm gonna go with a JTV69 and mod it...

However, if anyone is interested,

I'm changing some serious things around and am selling my current entire electric guitar collection.

If I were you, I'd hold off on selling every other axe you own until you see if you actually like the JTV. It's not a universal love affair...and you need to get a good one. Some of them have issues. Buy from somewhere with a decent return policy like Sweetwater.

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Ok guys... Guitar center decided to trade straight across with me for a Variax JTV 69 in sunburst or with the humbucker for my Epiphone ES 339 Ultra and my G&L Asat Semi Hollow Bluesboy....

 

I have played it and all of my gear is line 6 now....

Opinions, is it a good trade....

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Ok guys... Guitar center decided to trade straight across with me for a Variax JTV 69 in sunburst or with the humbucker for my Epiphone ES 339 Ultra and my G&L Asat Semi Hollow Bluesboy....

 

I have played it and all of my gear is line 6 now....

Opinions, is it a good trade....

I loathe trade deals. You never end up on the winning end. Plus, imho, playing the guitar in the store for 10 minutes is not enough to decide whether or not you really like it, or if it will meet your needs. You need to spend time with an instrument...especially this one. They have quirks. Piezos can be weird. And it's not always something you're gonna notice after just a few minutes of playing.

 

Buy it and live with it for a while. You can always sell the other axes later if you want...and the overwhelming likelihood is that you'll get more money for them that way than whatever their trade value works out to be.

 

And as much as I like my JTV, it's not so over the top wonderful that I'd part with 2 other guitars to get one.

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And as much as I like my JTV, it's not so over the top wonderful that I'd part with 2 other guitars to get one.

 

Mine is, to me.  If I could only keep one of the 12 guitars I currently have, it would be my JTV-69 with no hesitation.  I have a 12 string acoustic, 6 string acoustic, hollowbody and a USA made Strat that hardly ever get played.

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Mine is, to me. If I could only keep one of the 12 guitars I currently have, it would be my JTV-69 with no hesitation. I have a 12 string acoustic, 6 string acoustic, hollowbody and a USA made Strat that hardly ever get played.

I'll take the other 11...should I email you the address? ;).

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Lol....

So I bought it and LOVE IT!!!!!

 

I dealed on Black Friday and got it brand new for 599.00!!!

 

However, the USB adapter doesn't work!!!! I get a red light on the guitar side!!!!

 

It only links with the PC if it's plugged into my HD500x

 

Help?

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You have to plug in a 1/4 inch plug into the 1/4 inch jack to power it with the USB adapter. (and turn up the volume control)  But if you have an HD500x that is a much better way to go.  The USP adapter does not power the guitar.  It has to be powered by the battery which is turned on by plugging in a 1/4 inch plug.

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Yup, the USB dongle does not provide power, just communication. You have to use the 1/4 to turn on the guitar, or plug the VDI port into a POD device with a VDI cable.

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Lol....

So I bought it and LOVE IT!!!!!

 

I dealed on Black Friday and got it brand new for 599.00!!!

 

However, the USB adapter doesn't work!!!! I get a red light on the guitar side!!!!

 

It only links with the PC if it's plugged into my HD500x

 

Help?

Nice...$599 is a steal. Glad you didn't trade in the other guitars?

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I'll take the other 11...should I email you the address? ;).

 

I'll keep you in mind if I ever decide to go that route.

 

I wouldn't hold my breath though; not with my addiction.  I bought 3 more during Black Friday.

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I'll keep you in mind if I ever decide to go that route.

 

I wouldn't hold my breath though; not with my addiction. I bought 3 more during Black Friday.

Lol...what'd ya get?

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Lol...what'd ya get?

 

Charvel San Dimas Type 1 HH for $499

ESP LTD EC-401VF DMZ for $498

PRS SE Tremonti for $348

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Darrell

All GREAT guitars...

I have owned many LTDs over the years and love them...

The Charvel is a great buy, I've been looking for a San Dimas with a hum in the lead and a Single in the neck for years.... All three are an awesome buy

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I bought the JTV and after reading the manual and having to re-read my hd500x manual I love the sounds ( with of course my own tweeks and rearranging the stock banks..)

And the fact that it remembers my guitars per hd patches is awesome....

To bad we cans share Variax tones

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