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I've been using a Variax 700 for almost 10 year now and love the guitar,but have been thinking with all the improvement in the tech maybe an upgrade is something i should consider. For me I consider the 700 to be a solid 10. Neck is perfect, stays in tune forever it seems like, weight is good can't really say enough good things about it. Not really interested in the 59, but the 69 is interesting. Neck profile becomes a question for me as I hear in other reviews its larger and that might be a problem for me. The 89f looks to be closest to what i'm looking for. Are the necks similar? Is the over all build quality in the same league as the 700? it's actually a few $$$ less then what i paid for the 700.


All my gear is about 10 years old now with the exception of the POD HD Bean I just got. I use the 1/4 jack to my pedals and POD to a Valve Jr and my XLR to a PA for acoustic. I have yet to "plug" into a computer or download patches or any of that stuff. I only play in my den now and wonder is it even worth it to change things out, If the tech is that much better though i'd certainly like to give it a try.

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If you're in it for the "upgrade," there's lots of debate already happened on the pros and cons of the JTVs from many angles - some prefer the original modelling, some prefer the newer, etc, etc... There is distinctly a gap in connectivity with the (now) older Pod HDs (300-500), and the later variaxes - the 500X, and Helix, are aimed at the JTV/Standard user. I can't remember exactly - I think JTV/Standard can't connect to Workbench HD via Pod HD 300-500. Not sure about PodHD... This MAY be a non issue, if the USB connection thingy actually comes with the purchase of a new JTV/Standard.

You best search the forums more for info on that, as Line 6 aren't exactly shouting out information regarding their deficiencies, (read, inexplicable lines drawn in the sand), like this, from the rooftops...


Clearly one of the things the JTVs have over the legacy models (300-700), is the ability to use magnetic pickups and modelling simultaneously. I thought having stereo capability on the HD500 was a game changer, but surprisingly, I rarely use it, so maybe this feature would actually be rarely used by me also, if I owned a newer variax.


If you just want another variax, (upgraded features of the JTV/Standard aside), maybe look into a second hand 700, or even transplanting the guts of a cheaper 2nd hand one (300/500/600) into your ideal guitar style clone - I'm guessing Strat, or pointy 80's Floyd Rose type thing. If you're planning to upgrade to Helix (even though at this stage even IT doesn't FULLY support complete connectivity), apparently it WILL happen one day, so by all means, dive in! Sorry, I clearly can't help with the JTV89/700 comparison, but I bet there ARE users who have both on here...


Oh, and as an aside, regarding connecting your variax outputs from both jack, and VDI simultaneously, APPARENTLY it's allegedly a no-no....

Once again, this piece of information is to be found in discussions herewithin, but I've NEVER seen anything formally put into print format by the powers that be at Line 6, to inform the end user of it. Apparently you risk frying a component onboard one of the PCBs. I have done it with great ignorant abandon, and regularity for around 18 months, without blowing up onstage - not even once! I don't doubt that it HAS happened to some variax users, but I HAVE NOW TOLD YOU - don't do it.

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All my gear is about 10 years old now with the exception of the POD HD Bean I just got..... I have yet to "plug" into a computer or download patches or any of that stuff....


I never owned a 700 so can't comment on your main question. But now that you have a Pod HD Bean you should definitely get familiar with using the USB connection to your computer. Downloading patches is the least of the reasons for that. The main reason is for backing up your presets using the HD Edit program. The second reason is to update the firmware. Since you got the HD Bean recently it may not have the most recent firmware. Do you know if it does? If not you should update it.

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