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General questions from a perspective owner

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Howdy,

 

This is my first post on the forum and I'm seeking some help.

 

I'm looking to purchase a Variax, but don't know what model to get? I'm a big stickler for neck shapes. My main guitar is a Musicman Axis (if that helps) I like shreddy necks, but not Ibanez thin necks. Think EVH/Charvel San Dimas type necks.

 

1) What is the neck of the 89' like as compared to the 69'? Which guitar will get me closest to a Axis/ Charvel neck feel? I read somewhere on the forum that a stewmac neck is a drop-in replacement. Is that true? Would the mounting holes need to be redrilled?

 

2) The big reason I'm interested in a Variax are the tuning options. I play in a lot of different tunings- the weirdest being DADF#AE. I picked it up from a Third Eye Blind song, and use it all the time now. Is there a way to save that tuning? The 89 and 69 come with different tuning options. Which is better? If I got the 89, could I change the tunings. I don't tune super low. I think I'd like the tuning options of the 69' more, but might like the neck of the 89' more. 

 

3) I read somewhere about high gain guitar modeling. What are the guitars? In the workbench, would it be possible to pair a hig gain pickup with a jazbox type guitar? The Living End is one of my favorite bands and I'd love to emulate their tones. 

 

4) I played the Standard at a GC and liked the neck, but felt the frets needed a good polishing or SS frets. I played the 69 a long time ago and never played the 89' How do all these guitars compare?

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1) 89/89F are more like the Ibanez, while the 69/69S are more like Strat necks.

Yes, more than likely some re-drill with 3rd party necks.

 

2) Interesting that you mention Third Eye Blind,... I've serviced Kevin Cadogan's

JTV-69 a couple of times. It has a third party neck, and he did a number of user saved

Models using those odd custom tunings. There are a standard set of Alt Tunings,

but there is also the Workbench HD that allows you to do and save custom patches.

It's a bit of work, but he likes the results.

 

As far as which is better, the question is,... which is better for you. Play one, spend

time with it, get the feel of it. A guitar is a personal thing that speaks to your musical identity.

 

3) With Workbench HD, choose your body, pick-ups, hope the pick-ups are oriented

polarity wise to one another, string gain and detune,... etc.

 

4) 89/89F are more like the Ibanez, while the 69/69S are more like Strat.

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1) 89/89F are more like the Ibanez, while the 69/69S are more like Strat necks.

Yes, more than likely some re-drill with 3rd party necks.

 

2) Interesting that you mention Third Eye Blind,... I've serviced Kevin Cadogan's

JTV-69 a couple of times. It has a third party neck, and he did a number of user saved

Models using those odd custom tunings. There are a standard set of Alt Tunings,

but there is also the Workbench HD that allows you to do and save custom patches.

It's a bit of work, but he likes the results.

 

As far as which is better, the question is,... which is better for you. Play one, spend

time with it, get the feel of it. A guitar is a personal thing that speaks to your musical identity.

 

3) With Workbench HD, choose your body, pick-ups, hope the pick-ups are oriented

polarity wise to one another, string gain and detune,... etc.

 

4) 89/89F are more like the Ibanez, while the 69/69S are more like Strat.

I noticed he was using a variax and keep watching this video to gain some insight- 

 

Kevin is a hugely underrated player! The tone he got on the first 3eb album is one of the best I've ever heard.

 

If the 89 has a Wizard neck, I think I'll skip it. I can't find the 69' anywhere to play :(  I guess its between that and the yamaha.

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That's the one I've worked on.

Orange Cream Cicle with the a third party neck.

He has custom tunings saved in it. It's a sweet play.

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If the 89 has a Wizard neck, I think I'll skip it. I can't find the 69' anywhere to play :( I guess its between that and the yamaha.

Get the 69. If you don't like the neck (some do, some don't...the nut is VERY narrow) at least you have replacement options. If you don't like the neck on the Standard, you're stuck with it.

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I have a '69 JTV. The stock neck was kind of chunky for me and the frets a little tall. I put a Warmouth Strat replacement neck on it and it's now a player, and my main guitar to use with my Helix. I ordered the Standard Thin profile, 6150 SS frets. I had no holes drilled, because my understanding was that two of the predrilled holes would have been off. So I had the luthier that did the install drill the holes.

Here's a pic of the new neck. It's mahogany, with a Bubinga fretboard, compound radius, Earvana compensated nut. I had a Variax decal made because I don't like plain headstocks.

20161119_120709_zpsm1sfkapl.jpg

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I have a '69 JTV. The stock neck was kind of chunky for me and the frets a little tall. I put a Warmouth Strat replacement neck on it and it's now a player, and my main guitar to use with my Helix. I ordered the Standard Thin profile, 6150 SS frets. I had no holes drilled, because my understanding was that two of the predrilled holes would have been off. So I had the luthier that did the install drill the holes.

Here's a pic of the new neck. It's mahogany, with a Bubinga fretboard, compound radius, Earvana compensated nut. I had a Variax decal made because I don't like plain headstocks.

20161119_120709_zpsm1sfkapl.jpg

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I noticed he was using a variax and keep watching this video to gain some insight- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kXiVnKWyFU&t=764s

 

Kevin is a hugely underrated player! The tone he got on the first 3eb album is one of the best I've ever heard.

 

If the 89 has a Wizard neck, I think I'll skip it. I can't find the 69' anywhere to play :(  I guess its between that and the yamaha.

If that video does not convince someone about how amazing these guitars are then nothing else will do it.

 

I am a little too old to have this music be my classic rock now lol!

but I love these songs and Kevins innovative fresh take on the electric guitar!

 

thanks for posting this!

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Hey, so I ordered a white S/S/S JTV69. It should be here in a bit and when I get it maybe I'll post pics. I played a Tyler studio elite once. If its anything like that, it should be good.

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Hey, so I got the guitar and I fully charged the battery and nothing is happening when I use the variax knobs. No light go on. I just get the magnetic pickups. Am I doing something wrong or do I need to exchange the guitar (for a non defective model)?

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Sounds weird to me. Does the indicator knob near the battery enlights 3-4 LEDs?

Do you have a 1/4" mono-jacked cable inserted.

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Sounds weird to me. Does the indicator knob near the battery enlights 3-4 LEDs?

Do you have a 1/4" mono-jacked cable inserted.

Yea, I tried 2 different cables. The battery compartment lights showed all 4 lights for a fully charged battery but all I got were the mag pickups. . the variax system was DOA. I just shipped it back to musicians friend for an exchange. Otherwise, it played nicely. I even fooled around with the workbench. There's not option for body wood in the workbench, is there?

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There's been a problem with these friggin' model knobs since day one. On some, you simply can't push it down far enough for the switch to engage. Most of the time it can be fixed by carefully removing the knob, and inserting a small shim (thin piece of cardboard, even a small piece of balled-up paper)inside above the post. That usually takes care of it.

 

Nice to know that after 6+ years, the same sh*tty part continues to be a problem.

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There is a real spacer fix for that.

One of the things I check when a guitar comes in for servicing.

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There is a real spacer fix for that.

One of the things I check when a guitar comes in for servicing.

As far as I'm concerned, "real" and "functional" are the same thing...particularly if one can get it working inside of 5 minutes, skipping the 2 week round trip, cross-country excursion in a USP truck. Either way, it's a stupid problem to have 6 years out from a product's introduction.

 

In the long run, less time and money would be spent designing a part that works without an after-the-fact "fix".

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