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JTV-59 Future Upgradability?

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Hi all, brand-new owner of a JTV-59.  I am seriously impressed with this guitar; I currently own American Fender Strats, Teles, and a Gibson '59 Historic Reissue.


I was considering a custom shop Tele, saw this on the wall, got curious, tried it and quickly fell in love.  After all, two Teles is enough right?  :) 


Anyway, I'm very happy with the tone of the magnetic pickups, the profile of the neck, the fit, and finish.


As far as the modeling goes, it really depends on the actual model.  Very happy with the Tele, and the acoustic tones are decent and wonderful to have.  Most of the others are very good.  Alternate tunings seem to struggle just a little with latency, but it's not too bad.


Workbench is pretty awesome so far, but I have to play with it a little more to understand its full capabilities.


But as I am exploring this guitar, I realize the technology has been around awhile - these guitars appear to have been introduced some time in 2011 right?  It makes me think a technical refresh or new line is due to be released... which would disappoint me a little given I just bought this one.


Consequently, what I am hoping is for Line 6 to keep the wonderful base guitars and release new guitars with upgraded internal technology that could be retrofitted to this pre-existing/older JTV line.  I'm sure an upgrade wouldn't be cheap (a few hundred bucks anyway), but it would make sense given the approach we guitarists have to keeping our guitars!


Thoughts, comments or insight?  Thanks!

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(Wrote this yesterday, but it wouldn't post for some reason. Probably more than you want to know, but I'll throw it out there, anyway...)


Ordered my first Variax -- now called the Variax 500 -- before they were released to the market. I also have a barely-played Variax 600 and a JTV-59, which is my 'main' guitar these days. 


I actually prefer the feel of the less-expensive 500, and even -- for the most part -- the sound of its lower-tech, non-HD models,  over those of the JTV. These days, I play the JTV most often because of its mag pickups. For the first several years I had it, I continued to go to the 500, leaving the JTV in the case most ot the time.


The 500 and my PodXT Live were constantly connected to one another for many years via VDI, but that started to become unreliable -- subject for a different post -- and I've also begun to use Amplifi devices which lack VDI functionality. That means having to deal with batteries. I'm tired of feeding AA batts to it, and use a Relay G10 wireless, so I can't use an XPS footswitch/power supply. The battery for my JTV isn't worth a plug-nickel, so I use the mag pickups for practicing so as not to be frustrated with the batteries going flat on me. When I want to use modeling, I bite the bullet and switch over to battery power. 


Commenting on your post a little, my experience with these suggests that you're not likely to see what you hope for. The progression seems to be the development of new guitars as the hardware capability increases. There may be some subtle changes to the hardware in currently-supported Variax models, but, to my knowledge, these changes are limited to those that have yet to leave the factory. Psarkissian may chime in to correct what I get wrong, but I don't know of any hardware upgrades being made available to owners of older, out-of-production models, and certainly none that are entrusted to end-users to perform. I imagine that a newer circuit revision is occasionally put into an older Variax that has been returned for repair/service, and the original hardware version is no longer available, but I highly doubt that this is what you're hoping to see.


Anyway, enjoy your JTV -- happy to see that you're such an enthused new user!

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Hardware upgrades ain't happening...


And given that it's been years since any major firmware updates for the current generation of Variax, I'd say even that's a long-shot at this point... whatever's coming next is very likely to be entirely it's own thing, with no backwards compatibility.

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Version 2.22 firmware is about a year old if I recall.

Ever the contrarian...


I didn't say there've been no updates whatsoever...I said "major" in new or updated models, noticeable improvements in existing functionality, etc etc.


The OP is concerned about future enhancements to the JTV he just bought. To that end, what was in 2.22 that would be of any concern for a JTV owner? Nothing...from the official description:


"This firmware is the factory firmware for Shuriken Variax. The f/w adds support for the variax brand. Users of JTV and Variax standard guitars will see not difference in functionality other than version number."


Prior to this one, you gotta go back to 2014 for an update that boasted "smoother model switching". Even farther back for new models. So like I said, it's been years since anything had changed substantially...and that won't change no matter how it's spun, or how fancy the verbiage.

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Well,... don't know how major it is, but v2.21 was up'd to v2.22 to flesh out a few things

and accommodate the Shuriken. Standard first came with v2.21 firmware.


Don't mean to be a contrarian, you're essentially right. Just filling in a few holes like I do.

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I have a pretty big investment in my JTB-69S, new magnetic pickups, new nut, really good setup, etc. Its a very nice guitar at the point, models or not. I sincerely hope that if Line6 produces a new Variax line, that the new hardware can be retrofitted into the current JTV line. This would be a good way to leverage new sales to existing customers. I’d pay for it in a heartbeat.

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What's most important IMO is backward compatability for the VDI interface. I was pleasantly surprised at how well my old 700 works with the HD500X... same for my JTV-59 and XTLive.


Since L6 always designs new guitars hand-in-hand with new electronics, I think Variax circuit/hardware upgrades, though perhaps possible, would be cost prohibitive... and marketing-wise, not a likely option.


I've simply come to accept each instrument as is. Considering how great they are, it's not hard to do.


BTW this topic was partly covered here...

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  • 3 years later...

Late to the party but just picking up a used JTV-59 this week. It took me a while to finally get my hands on one that I could play long enough to decide the neck really does feel good in my hands and the mag pickups sound good to my ears, so even if the electronics lose their function the guitar will still get played. Similar to my VG Stratocaster, it is still an American Standard Stratocaster with all that sound and playability even if the electronics die. The JTV-59 will give me more of electronic fun stuff to play with, and I like it has an ON/OFF switch.


With the way electronics shrink, and considering it is a decade since these were designed, I would think building the next gen as a swappable board could be relatively easy. If someone at Line 6 wants that to happen... If the desire is to make the routed area as compact as possible for the next gen, then we maybe out of luck.

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