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mgamache

JTV 69 Tuning Stability

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I have had major issues with my JTV 69 staying in tune. It will not stay in tune for more then a few minutes (usually goes sharp). I have a replacement neck from Warmoth (that I love -- all maple Vortex with stainless frets). I had a guitar tech look at it and he recommended a Super-Vee Mag-Lok. I think this has addressed the tuning issue, but I hate the way it makes the trem feel. It's difficult to use it subtly (it would work okay for dive-bombs, but I am more of a Bigsby type player). Is this a common issue with this variax? I have also replaced the pups with Lace Sensor Rainbow pack and also love the mag sound now. I really want to stay with the variax, should I sell it and buy a new one? Do I need a USA version?  

 

note: Using Nanoweb 10's

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I can't say that my 69 goes out of tune any faster than my other guitars, because I do a lot of bending and I need to tune pretty often no matter what guitar I'm playing. But I find that on the upper frets, trying to find and hold pitch with a big bend is like shooting at a moving target. I also have a nice Warmouth neck with SS frets that I love. I plan on putting a Goldo Backbox on it to see if it will help. I have a gig next weekend, so I'm going to wait till after that to take it in and get done. I'll post back when I get it installed.

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Thanks for the comment. Just to be clear, I have two other Guitars with trems (a G&L American strat and a Reverend). They both are reasonably stable.  Yes, if I abuse the bar (or really aggressive bending) I'll have to retune. But, my variax will go out of tune without me using the bar and light playing (like chords only). I only use the trem on a few songs and *never* more then a tremolo effect. For comparison: I picked up my G&L that I have not played in six months and it was more in tune than the Variax was after ten minutes of playing. 

 

 

I can't say that my 69 goes out of tune any faster than my other guitars, because I do a lot of bending and I need to tune pretty often no matter what guitar I'm playing. But I find that on the upper frets, trying to find and hold pitch with a big bend is like shooting at a moving target. I also have a nice Warmouth neck with SS frets that I love. I plan on putting a Goldo Backbox on it to see if it will help. I have a gig next weekend, so I'm going to wait till after that to take it in and get done. I'll post back when I get it installed.

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I haven't had any issues with mine using nanoweb 10s, but I did do a little work on it when I first got it (5 years ago).

 

If you are sure that it is around the trem then a possible cause is that the cables from the trem to the circuit board are catching somewhere. In my view the cable they used is much to stiff and heavy for that location and it has to be routed very carefully.

 

There was a significant and very detailed thread about this that unfortunately is now in the archives:

 

http://uk.line6.com/supportarchivenew/thread/73637

 

Unfortunate because all of the images are no longer showing and stevekc had done a good job of documenting it all.

 

I did the mod to tie the cable to the trem as described, but I still had problems with free movement of the cable through the hole to where the circuit board is located.

 

My solution to this was to make the hole as frictionless as possible by cutting about 3 inches of braided harness sleeve like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/sourcingmap-Expanding-Braided-Sleeving-10Mx25mm/dp/B016XH6Q60/ref=sr_1_4 and using it to line the hole with the cable running though it.

 

My tuning has been perfect since except for large temperature changes obviously.

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You mentioned the Warmoth neck...you could always try locking tuners if you don't have them already.

 

In my experience, for a floating tremelo to return to pitch sharp is a bit odd...usually the strings will come back a little flat if you use the bar a lot. Makes me wonder if the strings aren't binding up in the nut slots. Can't think of anything else that would cause them to go sharp. Maybe lubricate the slots a little and see if that helps.

 

Also, it might be a stupid question, but are the strings new? If they're not properly stretched, you don't have a prayer of staying in tune with a floating bridge.

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I haven't had any issues with mine using nanoweb 10s, but I did do a little work on it when I first got it (5 years ago).

 

If you are sure that it is around the trem then a possible cause is that the cables from the trem to the circuit board are catching somewhere. In my view the cable they used is much to stiff and heavy for that location and it has to be routed very carefully.

 

There was a significant and very detailed thread about this that unfortunately is now in the archives:

 

http://uk.line6.com/supportarchivenew/thread/73637

....

 

 

That's handy info I may try and digest the post an work on it myself.

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You mentioned the Warmoth neck...you could always try locking tuners if you don't have them already.

 

In my experience, for a floating tremelo to return to pitch sharp is a bit odd...usually the strings will come back a little flat if you use the bar a lot. Makes me wonder if the strings aren't binding up in the nut slots. Can't think of anything else that would cause them to go sharp. Maybe lubricate the slots a little and see if that helps.

 

Also, it might be a stupid question, but are the strings new? If they're not properly stretched, you don't have a prayer of staying in tune with a floating bridge.

 

Good thoughts, thanks. But, I have locking tuners (I should have included that in the info). The nut slot is something my tech checked, but I may have to verify. Thanks for reminding me. When I finally got sick of the tuning the strings were a year old (I hate changing strings). I put new ones on and they acted the same, so I took it to my local tech. I really like the guitar and don't want to part with it.

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Good thoughts, thanks. But, I have locking tuners (I should have included that in the info). The nut slot is something my tech checked, but I may have to verify. Thanks for reminding me. When I finally got sick of the tuning the strings were a year old (I hate changing strings). I put new ones on and they acted the same, so I took it to my local tech. I really like the guitar and don't want to part with it.

 

Old strings like that will never stay in tune.  Did you stretch the strings after you put them on?  Again, as the other poster said, unless you aggressively stretch new strings you could lose a half step just playing a chord....

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Old strings like that will never stay in tune.  Did you stretch the strings after you put them on?  Again, as the other poster said, unless you aggressively stretch new strings you could lose a half step just playing a chord....

 

Thanks, my experience is that old strings are usually vary stable, but I changed them just incase and yes, I played with the new ones for a while. Also, my tech verified the tuning issue. 

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