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I wonder if there is much difference in the sound between your two guitars when playing unplugged? When I got my Korean, the maple / rosewood neck gave it a real nice acoustic tone and sustain. I lost some of that with the mahogany / bubinga neck I got from Warmouth, which is thinner than the maple. I can't say whether any of that translates to when I'm plugged in and playing next to a loud drummer, but acoustically there was a difference.

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Nice video. I really like the white and maple US that you bought. I put a really nice Warmouth neck on my Korean JTV69 and it's now my #1 for gigging. Since I set all of my Helix patches up for the Variax, I'm concerned that if something happens to mine, I'll be in a panic for the next gig. So, I'm thinking of getting a backup. But since I still only have about $1,200 in mine and have a neck with SS frets which I love, I'll probably go Korean again and change the neck. But for home use, I would consider a US version. I'm sure a lot of guys will find your video useful when trying to make that decision for themselves.

I'm slowly entering the same boat with needing my Variax for songs and if something happened to it during the set, I'd be screwed without a backup. Problem solved for me! If you are looking for a backup guitar, you could get the new Variax standard and save yourself a few bucks.

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So after about two weeks of playing my JTVUS, here are some random observations...

The build quality is head and shoulders above the Korean counterpart.

Example..on the Korean, you can feel the sharp edges of the frets on the neck. Not enough to make the Korean unplayable. It's just something you notice when you play a guitar where the frets that aren't sharp.

 

I have 10-46 gauge strings on both guitars. I'm not sure why, but the US model feels like I'm playing 9's. There is a fluidity when bending strings. It almost feels like the neck is scalloped. There is no resistance.

 

The neck on the US is way better. All strings stay in the nut without jumping out. I am a satin finish neck person as opposed to gloss. My US is satin. Not sure if the fret material is different but the frets feel better.

 

Acoustically, the Korean is louder and the US sounds broader if there is such a thing. Maybe even warmer sounding, and that translates to the guitar when amplified. The US sounds much warmer than the Korean even though the pickups are the same.

 

I've also compared the JTVUS to some of my better guitars (particularly my Tom Anderson, Fender Select, Pearlcaster and Suhr)

and this guitar sits firmly and comfortably with those.

 

It's awesome to go into my guitar dungeon and pull any guitar off of the wall and have it be amazing. The JTVUS is that. You pick it up and it feels like butter.

 

While the Korean model is a good guitar, it isn't amazing compared to my Suhr. My Suhr is Amazing! And now so is my JTV US. It is on par with the best of my collection.

 

But the $4000 question is, "is it worth the $4000 they are trying to sell it for? HELL NO! Not to me.

I'd say if you can find one in the $1,500-$2,000 range, you are getting a really well made guitar that is on par with some of the best guitars out there without a doubt.

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Just wondering was the price for the USA. Compared to the Korean model. I herd that the USA models are so much more. And the imfomation I got was. The USA model body is different in places. The tuners are supposed better. And that was it other than more costly. My Korean Variax JTV 69 has been made and assembled really well. Neck to body snug fit no gaps. Beautiful frets. Here in Australia I payed $1800.got changer battery.workbench usb adaptor hub. Variax lead. Allen keys.6.of them all different sizesizes. Sounds great. I have a USA fender stratocaster HSS with the HUMBUCKER made by Tim Shaw. They call it the shawbucker. It's a beautiful guitar. The variax is very nice to play. Love the neck being maple on both guitars love the satern feel. Here the USA Variax start at $6000.custom shop. Anyway love to here your reply thanks and I'll look forward to your input. Have a good day from Ron in Sydney Australia 2148

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Maybe what's being made today is improving on the small things that do matter. I've just bought the variax JTV 69 .And I watched a video about the Korean model. But on mine I can't fault it. Only that the neck could of had a bit more width on it. But my frets are very well rounded. The switches feel fine. The volume and tone are nice and smooth. I watched a video about the Korean model and the US model. The Korean variax the neck had a gap between the body and the neck. The shape of the USA models body was shaped different. He seem to think the staggard tunners on the Korean weren't as staggard. Look the same to me. He also pointed out the 5way selector switch was not the same. And the screws holding the neck on where not counter sunk enough. As the US model. And the finished paint work was not as nice. I was told by a fellow music shop owner. That the Korean model Variax JTV 69.that the bridge pickups and other parts are made in the USA. Electronics made in China as they are one of the best for electronicale parts. The stamp on the back of my Korean variax says manufactured in us. Assembled in korea.maybe they have gotten better over time. All the work on mine is quality. If I had to Change anything I would maybe get a wider neck. Anyone who has changed the neck are you changing because you want a wider neck. And if you have and now happy with what you have changed. Could you let me know what side and brand and where from and cost I would love to here your input. Thanks from Ron. in Sydney Australia 2148.And hope everyone has a great day. Rock on Rockers

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The neck size and shape on any bolt on electric guitar has a lot to do with the sound of it.Jeff Beck plays those big baseball bat thick necks for a reason. I will avoid changing the neck on my JTV as long as possible as it contributes much to the bigger tone it gets.Little skinny neck equals thinner tone.This is what I have found after 30 years of neck swapping on many many bolt on electric guitars.

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The neck size and shape on any bolt on electric guitar has a lot to do with the sound of it.Jeff Beck plays those big baseball bat thick necks for a reason. I will avoid changing the neck on my JTV as long as possible as it contributes much to the bigger tone it gets.Little skinny neck equals thinner tone.This is what I have found after 30 years of neck swapping on many many bolt on electric guitars.

 

Acoustically, I agree with you. But the more processing you do, the less effect that will have on the tone. Case in point, the Petrucci series of guitars from Music Man, like the JP15. It has one of the thinnest necks you'll find on an electric guitar. I wouldn't describe John Petrucci's tone with Dream Theater as thin.

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I ordered a custom Warmoth neck for my JTV last week, specifically due to the nut width. I like a 1 3/4 inch nut, and a thick neck. Any neck that fits a fender supposedly fits the JTV 69 series (pocket dimensions are the same). I would much rather buy a Korean model and put a custom neck on, than pay for a US JTV, especially whereas what makes this guitar so special is the modeling.

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Sorry.I was specifically referring to Stratocasters and Telecasters with single coil pickups. Not super strats like John P plays with humbuckers and Mesa amps and judicious processed gain boosts.Much of what Jeff Beck / Robin Trower/ Eric Johnson etc...do is very different.Much more straight into the amp players.Thats more the way I play as well. So the neck mass becomes more important .Trower specifically plays Stratocasters with large headstocks for the additional mass at that end of the instrument.Yes you can always compensate with more processing/ gain boosts after the guitar I agree.I just dont do it that way much anymore.I remember a very good player and friend of mine bought one of the first Steinberger headless guitars. Everyone was very excited! That guitar sounded like total crap unless it was heavily processed lol! Absolutely awful. At least the JTVs are made out of wood lol!

 

We all have different theories about this stuff.I would also add that Mr. Petrucci plays at a very very loud volume which also changes the neck factor.At more moderate volumes the neck differences are much more apparent. I have played the Petrucci model acoustically.I did not like it at all.But I am not that kind of player.

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Has anyone replaced there neck on there Variax JTV 69 with a wider neck. Iam looking maybe doing this but need some input. What would be a good neck. Keeping the standard,s up as I don't want to put a cheap neck. I like the feeling of my Fender standard stratocaster. The same satern silky smooth feeling of the Maple neck. Allthou my frets on my Korean variax are as good as my USA Fender.But I don't want to remove the neck on my fender. It's setup is perfect. With the adjusting key at the back were it bolts on to the body. I don't want to disturb it. Should I buy a warmoth neck or fender. And on the back of my variax JTV 69 there is a stamp where the Stamp.it says. Manufactured in the USA. Assembled in Korea.? The mind boggles

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I remember a very good player and friend of mine bought one of the first Steinberger headless guitars. Everyone was very excited! That guitar sounded like total crap unless it was heavily processed lol! Absolutely awful. At least the JTVs are made out of wood lol!

Those things were a travesty, lol...like putting strings on a shoe box and a 2x4.

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Has anyone replaced there neck on there Variax JTV 69 with a wider neck. Iam looking maybe doing this but need some input. What would be a good neck. Keeping the standard,s up as I don't want to put a cheap neck. I like the feeling of my Fender standard stratocaster. The same satern silky smooth feeling of the Maple neck. Allthou my frets on my Korean variax are as good as my USA Fender.But I don't want to remove the neck on my fender. It's setup is perfect. With the adjusting key at the back were it bolts on to the body. I don't want to disturb it. Should I buy a warmoth neck or fender. And on the back of my variax JTV 69 there is a stamp where the Stamp.it says. Manufactured in the USA. Assembled in Korea.? The mind boggles

Warmoth all day long...

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While I had a minor electronix issue when my JTV-89F arrived, I am glad I did not get the USA version.  YMMV

 

If I paid this price for just the guitar, no Variax electronics, it would have been a good deal.  Build, fit and finish, this guitar is FLAWLESS.  

 

For perspective, I'm comparing in person to 6-string and a 10-String hand made MCS guitars, Ovation GS (think super strat) from the 80's, and other Hamer custom shop, BC Rich etc.. I have owned.

 

I do not banter words like "flawless" around.  The highest grade I have ever given a guitar is 9.9, because I can always find something.  This guitar gets a 9.9.  I haven't found any flaws, but I count other things too such as I can't get the tops of the pickups to be perfectly parallel with the bottoms of the strings, and I think they surround on the bridge pickup should have a steeper angle to match the body.

 

These are things most people don't care about...  so while for me it's a 9.9, it's really a 10.  

 

The neck plays like buttah...  the frets are perfectly rounded/tapered to the neck.  The finish is gorgeous.   

 

I would expect this kind of fit and finish from a guitar in a much higher price point....   I have actually paid more for other guitars that were NOT as good as this one.   

 

Trust me, I'm not being a fanboy.   I had a Carvin that was a very similar guitar, USA Made, cost at least twice as much, had nearly everything I like in a guitar, my favorite pickups, frets, neck etc etc..   I never warmed up to it and sold it.    This JTV-89F has moved into the #1 spot on day one.   

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... as I can't get the tops of the pickups to be perfectly parallel with the bottoms of the strings

 

LOL same here on a 59! That drives me crazy ;)

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I'm very happy with my non-US JVT-69S. Yes, it had some quality and setup issues. The nut still need to be replaced - its not cut properly and can't be fixed. But overall this is a very playable instrument. What I found is that polishing the frets and using some good neck oil along with a good setup made a huge difference in how the guitar feels and plays. Its a simple thing to do and well worth the time and effort. I suspect this level of detail is one thing that people really notice in different guitars.

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Photos do not do justice but here's a look.  

 

Samsgs,

 

Do the necks feel different or very similar profile wise? I see the US model has the truss rod adjuster on the body side as opposed to the Korean on the head stock side, so they are making the necks differently in that matter was curious if it continues onto the neck profile as well. 

 

Jd

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