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Variax Purchasing Questions


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Hello all,

 

I live in Brazil and I am traveling to the US next month to buy me a James Tyler Variax guitar.

I was trying to get a JTV89F reserved for me a ta Guitar Center store, but this seems to be harder than it sounds.

The manager says they do not have it in store stock, the entire chain has only 3 units, and I should order it at a GC store as soon as I arrive in the US. I didn't like that idea since I'll be in the US for one week only, and if the guitar does not arrive I will leave the country empty handed.

So I decided to search other options. While doing that I got some new questions:

 

1. price for the JTV89F is US$ 1500, while JTV89 can be purchased for $750 at discounted price... is the only difference the floating bridge? Do you guys think a floating bridge is worth 750 dollars?

2. I am more a Fender guy than a Gibson on,.but I also like a humbucker in the bridge and I use 22 frets in some songs. I am also considering getting a JTV69 (about $800) instead of the 89F, since it has a tremolo bar and 22 frets, with a bridge humbucker on some models. There is no song I play right now that go all the way up to the 24th fret, and my use of the bar is always down (pushing the bar), never up. Is there anything on the 89f so much better than the 69, other than those features I mentioned I do not use?

3. I will need a case to bring the guitar in the airplane. I was thinking about buying a SKB. Will the 69 fit on a Stratocaster specific case? Any case recommendation?

 

Thank you all,

 

Marcelo

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1) Locking tremolos drive me nuts. You shouldn't need allen wrenches or screwdrivers to change your friggin' strings.       

2) If you're a Fender guy anyway, get the 69, you'll feel right at home. Nobody needs 24 frets anyway, it's just a conspiracy driven by the companies making the fret wire... ;)

3) I've tried my 69 in an official Fender case, fit like a glove, but I refused to pay $179 for it. Most strat cases should work.

 

When you get here, order whichever one you want from sweetwater.com (No, I don't work for them, just had very good experiences dealing with them). You'll have the guitar in 2 days, and they give you an extra year on top of Line 6's warranty. Whatever big chain music stores remain are a nightmare to deal with, as the staff rarely know anything. It's just like Congress, but with a drum room. I once had an agressively pierced/tattooed individual (who has probably never lost his car keys, because they appeared to be hanging from his nose) tell me that the MIDI foot controller I was looking for (which was 3 feet away in a display case) "did not exist". . I haven't set foot in one in years.

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Hello all,

 

I live in Brazil and I am traveling to the US next month to buy me a James Tyler Variax guitar.

I was trying to get a JTV89F reserved for me a ta Guitar Center store, but this seems to be harder than it sounds.

The manager says they do not have it in store stock, the entire chain has only 3 units, and I should order it at a GC store as soon as I arrive in the US. I didn't like that idea since I'll be in the US for one week only, and if the guitar does not arrive I will leave the country empty handed.

So I decided to search other options. While doing that I got some new questions:

 

1. price for the JTV89F is US$ 1500, while JTV89 can be purchased for $750 at discounted price... is the only difference the floating bridge? Do you guys think a floating bridge is worth 750 dollars?

2. I am more a Fender guy than a Gibson on,.but I also like a humbucker in the bridge and I use 22 frets in some songs. I am also considering getting a JTV69 (about $800) instead of the 89F, since it has a tremolo bar and 22 frets, with a bridge humbucker on some models. There is no song I play right now that go all the way up to the 24th fret, and my use of the bar is always down (pushing the bar), never up. Is there anything on the 89f so much better than the 69, other than those features I mentioned I do not use?

3. I will need a case to bring the guitar in the airplane. I was thinking about buying a SKB. Will the 69 fit on a Stratocaster specific case? Any case recommendation?

 

Thank you all,

 

Marcelo

 

1. The only difference is the bridge - but OH, WHAT A DIFFERENCE. The bridge on the JTV89 is crap and should be replaced IMO. The bridge on the JTV89F is high quality. If you bought the non-trem JTV89 and added the GraphTech bridge you would spend around $500 for the bridge and installation, plus you would void your warranty. Because of all this the JTV89F is well worth the extra $750 IMO.

 

2. The 89F will stay in tune better and longer (but is more of a PITA when changing strings), also I have seen reports here of broken strings on the 69 falling into the electronics control cavity and creating a dangerous situation. That said, I have the  non-trem 89 and if I could turn back time

(Oh, Cher... :wub: ) I would change it to a 69, not an 89F. The neck on my 89 is even crappier than the bridge and at least with the 69 I would have a wide variety of replacement necks to choose from, on the 89 replacement neck selection is extremely limited unless I have something custom made.

 

3. You can usually save some money when flying by removing the guitar neck and packing it in your luggage - I regularly travel with two guitars this way, I put the bodies in my carry on and store them in the overhead and carefully pack the necks in my checked suitcase with my clothing. If you transport the guitar in this manner you could buy a case when you get home, as I recall a standard Strat style case will fit the JTV69.

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3. You can usually save some money when flying by removing the guitar neck and packing it in your luggage - I regularly travel with two guitars this way, I put the bodies in my carry on and store them in the overhead and carefully pack the necks in my checked suitcase with my clothing. If you transport the guitar in this manner you could buy a case when you get home, as I recall a standard Strat style case will fit the JTV69.

 

That's a great idea...never would have thought of that, lol.

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Some players modifiy their guitars to make neck removal easier by using machine screw inserts.  Then they remove the neck whenever they travel on an airplane.

 

I would caution anyone to be careful about buying a JTV and taking it out of the country.  If you have any problems with it you will have trouble getting it serviced!  At least make sure you test it out before leaving the country with it.  Make sure that the USB interface works and that you have the latest FW on it and that everything works.

 

If you are a "Fender Guy" I would get the 69 or 69S.  I have the 69S and I am very happy with the build quality.  No bridge problems or neck problems on mine.

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Some players modifiy their guitars to make neck removal easier by using machine screw inserts. 

 

 

Maybe those guys are adding the inserts after they stripped/damaged the screw holes in the wood...?

 

I have had the necks on and off of my two main guitars for travel maybe 20 times each, I don't have machine screw inserts and have never had a problem.

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