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Seymour Duncan pickups in James Tyler Variax JTV-59

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Hi guys,
I'm in the process of buying a JTV-59 guitar and, while I may like the stock magnetic pickups once I get the guitar, I was wondering if it would be possible to swap them if needed.
For the last 10 years or so I played a combo of Seymour Duncan SH-2 Jazz Neck and SH-6 Distortion Bridge pickups, so I was wondering if I could place them inside the JTV-59 in case I'll miss their tone. 

 

I read somewhere that it's possible as long as the pickups are in a resistance range of 7-8k, but I'm not sure I got it right nor if the SH-2 and SH-6 would fall into this category.

Do you have any direct experience with these or similar pickups into a Tyler Variax guitar?

 

Thanks a lot

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I just bought a used JTV-59 in an Ebay auction that has Seymour Duncan APH-2S (Slash set) in it, and I believe those are slightly hotter than a typical PAF pickup that would be in a Les Paul.  I should have the guitar by next Monday, but seller said that he used the magnetics the majority of the time.  I'm a new Helix owner, and am looking to take advantage of the greater control and functionality between the Variax and the Helix.

 

I am curious as to why the pickups could only be within a certain resistance range.  I would think that anything should work - as long as they are wired correctly.  If you have any specific on that limitation, please pass it along.

 

Thanks,

 

Todd

 

 

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Hi Todd,

that’s the post I read regarding the resistance:

https://line6.com/support/topic/2344-replacing-magnetic-pickups/?do=findComment&comment=203066

 

Also in that thread, a few posts before (link), the same user (Line6 tech maybe?) tells that swapping mag pickups on Variax gtrs and getting it right is a bit hit-and-miss, as the possible issues with 3rd party pickups are random. 

Cannot really understand why though, maybe is just a warning based on few bad experiences...not sure to be honest.

 

 

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Todd’s guitar pickups DCR 8.9k run a little above stated bulk resistance range of 6-8k.  See here: https://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup/slash-set

Probably not a major fail with that small amount overage.  

 

In OP case 7.5k Jazz Neck should be fine:  

https://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup/jazz-neck

 

But 16.6k HOT Bridge may likely throw Variax electronics into a tizzy?  

https://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup/duncan-distortion-bridge

 

I love to mod guitar pups but isn’t that the main point of Variax?  I would probably attempt to digitally model pickups into desired flavors before swapping out stock JTV59 pups.  They're good all around hum bucker pickups.  

 

Cool benefit of modeled pups for high gain playing is reduction of noise.  They run a lot quieter than magnetics for same amplification settings.  

 

If someone has a magnetic pickup guitar they like A/B comparisons can help match practically any favorite guitar pickup using Workbench HD.  

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2 hours ago, jerseyboy said:

I would probably attempt to digitally model pickups into desired flavors before swapping out stock JTV59 pups.  They're good all around hum bucker pickups.  

 

Cool benefit of modeled pups for high gain playing is reduction of noise.  They run a lot quieter than magnetics for same amplification settings.  

 

If someone has a magnetic pickup guitar they like A/B comparisons can help match practically any favorite guitar pickup using Workbench HD.  

 

I’d absolutely check the stock mags before pulling them out; who knows, maybe I’d like them and keep them on the guitar.

I’m only trying to understand if, in case I don’t like them, I’d be able to put something else in their place.

 

Ear-matching my fav Duncan pickups to the digital models inside the Variax using Workbench to fine-tune them, is certainly appealing but there still would be contexts in which having a couple of magnetic pups would be better (eg. for songs with a lot of palm muting, which I read is not great with the Variax models).

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Bear in mind, I wasn't trying to find a JTV-59 with different pickups than the stocks - it was just the only one (in Tobacco sunburst) that was in decent shape for a decent price.  There was one other on Ebay for less money that appeared to have a crack in the neck (seller listed it as a "cosmetic flaw," and one on Reverb that was selling for 900.00 plus shipping.  Originally, I saw the Duncan pickups as a bonus since they're an expensive set due to being a Slash signature product.  However, I had no idea that there would be a potential risk of an issue with the modeling circuitry malfunctioning due to the increased resistance of the magnetic pickups.  I did ask the seller if he had the original pickups, but he's indicated that he cannot find them (but would ship them if he does).  The guitar is already on its way, so I guess I'll see where things are at on both counts.

 

Thanks,

 

Todd

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Slash pups could be a cool upgrade and probably won’t adversely affect Variax operation.  

 

If others looking for JTV59’s buying refurbished from Line6 shop can be a wise option.  Currently a couple for about $960 but this is from mothership with warranty.  I’ve seen JTV59’s as low as $840 from Line6 up to a few weeks ago.  

 

https://shop.line6.com/hardware/factory-refurbished/?cat=90

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Use PUP's with DC Bulk Resistance of between 6k-Ohms and 8k-Ohms.

It's a tone color EQ thing.

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PSarkissian, I guess I really need to know if there is going to be an issue with my inbound (it's still being shipped to me) JTV-59 with having one of the pickups at 8.9 instead of 8.  The seller had offered a full refund since he couldn't find the original pickups for it.  I'm not sure how I'll deal with the auction results if you confirm that there will be an issue if the Seymour Duncan APH-2s pickups stay in the guitar.

 

Thanks,

 

Todd

 

 

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8.9k-Ohm, a bit of a warmer tone color than the factory pick-ups. You may or may not here the difference.

Beyond that, it shouldn't be a problem if it's wired correctly to the diagram in the Knowledge Base here in the Forum.

Duncans are pretty good.

 

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Thanks for responding, P. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be good with it. I'll post an update next week after I receive it. 

 

All the Best, 

 

Todd 

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On 3/7/2019 at 6:14 PM, psarkissian said:

8.9k-Ohm, a bit of a warmer tone color than the factory pick-ups. You may or may not here the difference.

Beyond that, it shouldn't be a problem if it's wired correctly to the diagram in the Knowledge Base here in the Forum.

Duncans are pretty good.

 

Hi,

could you please tell me if the Duncan SH-2 Jazz Neck (link) and the SH-6 Distortion Bridge (link) would work correctly as well?

Thanks a lot

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Received the guitar early on Friday, and played it a bit over the weekend. It's incredible.  I can't believe how good the acoustic models sound, including the resonators and 12 strings.  I loaded up some heavier tones with the Lester setting, and palm muting seemed to be pretty decent for me.  The magnetics (Seymour Duncan Slash set) sounded fantastic.  There were no issues in either normal (magnetic) mode or modeled mode (so far).  I own a Roland VG Strat, and I feel Line 6 does a far better job of implementing the modeling than Roland/Fender did.  The JTV-59 is a new reference point in modeling for me that I will see if I can tweak the Roland VG Strat to get closer to what the 59 can already do.  That will allow me to have a modeler in both a floating trem model as well as a fixed bridge model.

 

I'm going to throw some locking tuners on the 59, ebonize the fretboard, and put what I hope will be some tasteful vinyl inlays over the dots to dress it up a bit.  I'll throw a few pics up once that is done.  I'm loving the guitar so far, and am excited to kick it up a notch with programming things in the Helix for it!

 

All the best,

 

Todd

 

 

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Pick-ups usually come with a one sheet with info about it and what to do with it.

DC/Bulk Resistance should be in the specs.

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On 3/7/2019 at 1:48 AM, psarkissian said:

Use PUP's with DC Bulk Resistance of between 6k-Ohms and 8k-Ohms.

It's a tone color EQ thing.

Sorry but I don’t really understand this whole resistance issue: is it just a “tone color EQ thing” or having higher resistance magnetic pickups would cause malfunctions in the variax system?

 

Thanks

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It's a tone color thing.

Though impedance mis-match can cause problems in circuits,... if it's great enough.

Pick-ups don't induce much current. Most damage comes when people try to retro-fit active pick-ups

into a Variax without proper supply rail conversions and proper grounding.

 

Make use of the pick-up wiring diagrams i the Knowledge Base here in the Forum page.

 

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22 hours ago, psarkissian said:

It's a tone color thing.

Though impedance mis-match can cause problems in circuits,... if it's great enough.

 

good to know...so the 16.6k of a Duncan Distortion bridge pickup (passive) would cause issues or should it work fine? 

 

Thanks a lot

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The Duncan will just sound really dark in its tone EQ.

 

I think I also answered this one on the Variax FB page over the weekend. :)

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