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What Is Better?jtv Or The Old Variax 700?

  

95 members have voted

  1. 1. JTV or Variax 700?

    • Variax 700
      17
    • JTV
      78


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ReverendLove, I gave u a plus 1 up, you are straight forward guy and I apreciate it! We are ok ;)

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My two beauties, head to head. Time for a threesome?

DSC_0002EDITED_zps64c7a8e5.jpg

 

Sorry, redhead, but I still love my blonde. I hope you do not get jealous. She is not, at all.

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I like that, girls. keep it up.

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Beautiful necks....

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Her cleavage is allways motivating.

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And those pretty shoulders...

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Perhaps it is better that we all go to bed. No one has to go now. It will be much better if we stick together.

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By the way, redhead, have you ever been experienced?

DSC_0021_zps96d44961.jpg

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Oh my...These curves...This body...There are many times I believe the 700 is better than a woman...

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By the way, the blood red is finally the best color from the JTVs...

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I forgot to state the obvious here:

Another thing the JTV has against the old Variaxes is that the JTV has superior piezo pickups.

 

We've all seen the "My X string is quiet and noisy" thread multiple times. In fact, I was one of those people, and had to replace my D string piezo, and this is weeks to 1 month after just getting my guitar.

Not only that, but the sound quality of the piezos are higher too. They were high enough for people to notice a difference between old Variaxs and the JTVs even prior to the HD update, and the old JTV firmware had the same modeling as the old Variaxes.

 

But like I've said, the old Variaxes are still amazing if you don't have a JTV. I still think they hold up in the guitar world, and can still easily fool people as sounding like the real guitars they're modeled after. Just think of it as a nice budget Variax, cause that's what I did.

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you're right, but luckily there are also the Graph Tech Ghost saddles

http://www.graphtech.com/products/product-detail/pn-8000-00-ghost-strat-tele-style-pickups-import-spacing---6-string

you can mount them on a old Variax and they are probably much better than the JTV ones..

 

taken from their specs:

Ghost pickups contain a custom engineered piezo crystals that is encapsulated in a set of String Saver saddles. The ghost saddle pickups have a natural compression effect so you can play as hard as you want without overloading the input channel or experiencing the dreaded piezo "Quack".

 

I have 2 Variaxes with GraphTech Ghost bridges and 1 JTV and the GraphTech bridges/saddles are around 9,999,999,999,999 times better than the JTV bridge/saddles IMO.

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+1 This is the exactly the same situation as mine.

I bought the 89 Blood Red just because of the sweetwater offer. Initially planned to sell my Variax 700 later, but once I saw them both together, I realized that I could not sell the most beautiful guitar I have. The 700 looks more like a Jazz guitar to me (body shape, headstock, neck inlays, etc). I also love some PRS guitars, by the way.

I think I'm going to keep this guitar forever, and even if the electronics fail some day, I'll take it to a luthier to install a good pair of SD pickups.

 

Something like this:

th_Capturadepantalla2013-09-07alas181431

th_Capturadepantalla2013-09-07alas181442

 

Wow, that 700 looks pretty nice with pickups... bet L6 would have sold way more if the looked like that from the factory

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I had a 700.  Now a JTV59.   I like everythinga bout the 700 except the back of the neck.   I have never been a fan of the satin feel on the back of the neck.  I guess, as a child of the 60's, I grew up with lacquer on the neck and like it. 

 

As for the look of the 700, I though it was very pretty in the cherry sunburst.  It would have benefitted greatly from the addition of a maple (flame) top.   I would have still had the 700 if it had: maple top, set neck, finish on back of neck.

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Another thing the JTV has against the old Variaxes is that the JTV has superior piezo pickups.

 

Well, that may be, but the fact is that my 700 hasn't failed and my JTV is starting to.

The piezos on the 3rd and 4th strings are damaged (the strings have carved their way in)

and they're giving me a nasty "quack" sound when I play hard.

What do you, people, recommend to replace them? Should I replace them all for new ones? Same brand? Other?

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It's funny, I like the look of my Cherry Burst 700 over my Lake Placid Blue JTV69.  But across every other dimension, the JTV69 is a much better instrument.

 

Cheers,

 

Crusty

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I definitely like my JTV59 more than my V700 which I haven't touched since I bought the JTV.  The V700 is a nice guitar but for me JTV is better in pretty much every way.

 

Dan

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Well, that may be, but the fact is that my 700 hasn't failed and my JTV is starting to.

The piezos on the 3rd and 4th strings are damaged (the strings have carved their way in)

and they're giving me a nasty "quack" sound when I play hard.

What do you, people, recommend to replace them? Should I replace them all for new ones? Same brand? Other?

 

I don't think the JTV piezos are open to public for purchase, unless you maybe send in your guitar for repair.

 

I got a new piezo for my 600 directly from LR Baggs because their X-bridge piezos are virtually the same as the Gen1 Variax piezos.

 

The problem with the Variax is that they have their piezos exposed, which can lead to damaging them from string friction or sweat corrosion over time. The ghost piezos are encased in the saddles so they don't really get corroded. 

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The thing I really did not like about the original Variax Piezo's was that they relied on contacting the strings for their grounding.  Every once and a while I would get a bad connection with associated hum.  The Ghost piezo's have a ground wire on each one which I connected to the flex ground in the Variax 500 bridge.  No hum and far more output.  I had to turn the string volumes down to about 50%.

 

I have not looked at the JTV piezo connections to see if they are grounded individually the way they should be.

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The thing I really did not like about the original Variax Piezo's was that they relied on contacting the strings for their grounding.  Every once and a while I would get a bad connection with associated hum.  The Ghost piezo's have a ground wire on each one which I connected to the flex ground in the Variax 500 bridge.  No hum and far more output.  I had to turn the string volumes down to about 50%.

 

I have not looked at the JTV piezo connections to see if they are grounded individually the way they should be.

 

This. I had so much grief with my Variax when I got it cause a few weeks after I got it, the D string piezo went out from bad ground connection.

I fixed it by putting copper wire between the piezo and saddle, but I tried pressing it in further to make sure the piezo was in as deep as it could be and I ended up breaking the grounding. I tried taking it out and accidently broke the signal wire, and the piezo was ultimately unusable now.

 

LUCKILY I bought a new x-bridge piezo from LR Baggs (Piezos were out on Line6 and there were rumors of them not stocking them back up anymore)

And I soldered the new piezo's wire to the old piezo's wire.

Works great now. No more signal going out when I use the whammy bar.

 

After that, I freaking love my guitar.

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Hell, after installing the graphtec to my V700 the sounds gone even better!The tones become more bright and vivid (although the Les Paul standard become a bit usseles, replace the bank with a custom only), the acoustics sounded far better even from the JTV 2.0!!!I love my 700, is the best guitar I ever had...

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More pics of a VAX 700 with magnetic pickups, this time in a S-S-H configuration:

 

DSC00036_zps366349d8.jpg

 

DSC00037_zpsbc2c9d6c.jpg

DSC00038_zpsf4b70630.jpg

DSC00039_zps070cec49.jpg

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By the way...I have a question that maybe you can help me solve.

Regarding overall building quality ... What price range would correspond to a Vax 700 guitar as if it were a normal guitar?
(I mean, the price could have had sold new as a standard electric guitar)
 Of course, we must take into consideration the price of the magnetic pickups, so if we assume that it had a couple of Seymour Duncan humbuckers –something like the SD Hot Rodded set: SH-2N + SH-4 JB
–, How much do you think that would cost this –made in japan– guitar sold new? (and not necessarily under the L6 brand)
 

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I´ve found the photos here: http://www.voxhumana.nl/index.php/nl/photo-galeries/102-variax-700-met-extra-pickups

 

It´s made by a dutch luthier.

 

As I said earlier in this thread, I really like the shape and color (among other things) of my variax 700 amber, so I'm seriously considering putting on humbuckers (take a look at post #40 ), but that would be the day that the electronics stop working, for use as a standard electric guitar. For this reason I have asked that question to you (mentioned in my previous post)

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.....

but in any case if the electronics fails some day I think that you'll find easily some replacement parts

 Not necessarily. The only easily available replacement parts are the external parts - knobs, switches, jacks, piezos etc and whatever plug-in chips/boards are associated with them. If the internal electronic chips/boards fail (e.g. the motherboard) the only way to get them is to buy another Variax 700 and cannibalize it (or buy the parts from someone else who has done this). Line 6 does not sell internal electronics for the Variaxes.

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Agreed. The point is that you can't buy motherboards directly as replacement parts from Line 6. They are only available by cannibalizing from an actual Variax guitar, whether you do it yourself or buy the parts from someone who has done it.

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But can I but the pots and wire harness from Line 6 or a service center?

I don't know. In the past I have purchased things like knobs (not pots), VDI/14" jack assembly, pickup selector switch assembly, pickguard, and piezos. I would suggest you call Line 6 and ask them to point you to your nearest parts supplier.

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But, you can always replace the individual chips and other components on the board, can't you?
or is there any single component on the variaxes that is exclusive to L6?

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These products are fully embedded proprietary systems. The internal components are not swappable/replaceable like your average computer; you can't expect to replace the processor chip with a faster or more powerful chip that you might buy off-the-shelf at your local computer store. I don't expect you would end up with a working Variax if you replaced anything on the motherboard.

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I know that, Silverhead, and I don't mean that, I mean actually soldering things to the board, getting your hands dirty, assuming you have the knowledge.
There was a time when people used to repair electronic stuff, instead of throwing it away when it broke.

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I imagine there's alot that you could fix on the board.... although some things like the processor itself would require a machine to replace.

but your common resisters, capacitors, and diodes etc... should be doable.

there are lots of 3rd party vendors who do this exact thing with motherboards out of apple laptops...

which of course have the processor machined onto the board.. as well as other proprietary chips... 

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I actually liked the look of my 700.  I had no shortage of people asking me about my guitar between sets.  It was a beautiful gold color with great grain and the lack of pickups made for a cool, clean modern look IMO.

 

HOWEVER, the JTV destroys it in everything that really matters.

 

JTV modelling is WAY better, especially with the removal of what came to be the ice-pick-to-the-eardrum ping on the old VX.  Not very noticeable at first but if you played the guitar a lot (like I did) it came to be that little thing that drove me crazy.

 

Intonation on the 700 was awful at first, But I was finally able to fix it by gently filing the nut, and then I replaced the nut altogether with a graphtech nut.  It was a good girl after that.

 

The trem on the JTV will also keep playing way deeper into a dive than the 700.  Getting a 700 with a tremelo bar was really a waste.  You could add tremelo with the thing but you certainly couldn't go deeper than a whole step down without the sound disappearing totally.  I haven't measured it on my JTV but its vastly improved.

 

Right now my only complaint on the JTV is how incredibly heavy it is.

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"Right now my only complaint on the JTV is how incredibly heavy it is."

 

 

What great motivation to start lifting weights at the gym  :D

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Heavy guitars usually sound great.   My 69S isn't any heavier than my Strat though.

Strange my 69s is way heavier than the strato !!!

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"Right now my only complaint on the JTV is how incredibly heavy it is."

 

 

What great motivation to start lifting weights at the gym   :D

 

Four day a week crossfitter here.  Maybe because my workouts are so exhaustive, I yearn for something lighter to avoid over-training.

 

As an aside, I had a chance to play it side by side with a Taylor T5 and a Taylor 600? series acoustic.  I would say that it approximates the T5's tone but was noticeably sterile vs the real acoustic.  Suprised? Not really.

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Gotta say, I owned a Variax 700 MIJ and it was really "meh" as a physical instrument... nothing special or anything I felt any connection with... It was a dreadful set up put of the box and the tech at the dealer was the worst butcher I have come across... Even after all the hassle and expense of trying to get it playable it was still "meh".... Did not have a soul or that mojo that meant it wanted to be played. Not experienced that feeling since buying a really cheap guitar in the 80's.

 

This really put me off the MIK JTV especially the extra £'s on top. Having said that, I waited for a deal and got a JTV-59p at less than I paid for the Variax 700 and despite it being back at line 6 to try and fix an issue with the modelling ... As a physical instrument it is head and shoulders above the Variax 700. I really hope the modelling issue can be fixed otherwise it will have to go... I have decent guitars already that feel great and have the mojo, Fender Custom Shop, fender USA, gibson standard and custom, Martin's etc and despite the claim, the variax does not replace those real physical instruments.... And in all honesty I do not expect it to.... But as a playable workhorse, it is nearly there.

 

It just need to be taken up a notch in tech and reliability, which we hoped the JTV would be.... It is a step in the right direction... But still needs improvement..... iMHO

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Matter of fact, now, that I work on workbench the strato pick ups, only the acoustics sound better at my Variax 700, and of course the body is still higher class than the JTV's

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The more I play my 69 the less I want to go back to the 700.

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The more I play my 69 the less I want to go back to the 700.

BucF16, by the way, what graphteck nut you order? I like to replace mine too. Also I would like to order some gold sperzel tuner keys, witch one to order?

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I really don't know why you'd want to use an old gen variax over a JTV. Even if you think it sounds better ,you can just switch to old firmware on the JTV and it'll sound the same.

 

The hardware is more nice, the trem actually works and stays in tune, and you have an alt tune knob which is insanely helpful. I'd kill for a JTV for the alt tune knob alone.

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I really don't know why you'd want to use an old gen variax over a JTV. Even if you think it sounds better ,you can just switch to old firmware on the JTV and it'll sound the same.

 

The hardware is more nice, the trem actually works and stays in tune, and you have an alt tune knob which is insanely helpful. I'd kill for a JTV for the alt tune knob alone.

If you are refer to me, honestly, the V700 has the only fretboard that i really like (from all of my guitars), plus the missing pickups give it a very nice look

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Ah. Yeah, my 600 is the best playing guitar I have, even though the b string has level issues near the 12th fret from trying to level out a ding in it, but after messing around it is pretty great, just needs to be shaped a bit better with a crowning file.

 

I can also agree about the missing pickups, it makes the guitar look mysterious, though I did make decal pickups after some guy did that to his Variax on youtube, I was bored I guess, comes right off fine though.

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