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"Newbie" asking about the James Tyler Variax line...

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Hi folks,


Just started looking into the Variax line of guitars - particularly the JVT 59 and 69...


Although new to this, I've been playing for a long time.  I'm old now, and downsizing my collection of high-end Bakers, Linhofs, and Fenders.  It's time.  


The Variax lineup is especially appealing to me.  I'm more of a strat and tele guy, but I really like the look of the JVT 59.  In terms of the sounds you can get out of these, it seems that they are pretty similar to each other?


Is the US line THAT much of an upgrade over the Korean-made versions?  


I'm only noodling these days on the couch - this could be a nice thing to have, under the circumstances.  Agree or disagree?


Thanks in advance.  I haven't been a newbie in a while!



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The only difference in all the JTV models as well as the Standard and Shuriken, US or otherwise, is in the physical build. The modeling is the same in all of them. The sounds of the models are more than 'pretty similar to each other'; they're identical. Each model has its own set of mag pickups and they do sound different.

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If you are more strat or tele, than the 69 because the neck is close to a strat

The 59 is more a big Gibson neck


 About the Sound

I had a Standard before strat neck , very confortable

now I own a 59, and for me the 59 sounds better, but the neck is bigger

No depends the strings quality and the gauge aswell

I play for years with 46-10

And one day I decide to change and go for 49-11 and that's it, sounds better on acoustic, metal 

Now I put always 49-11, but everybody have another opinion!



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I don't.

But then I have Variax and a couple of the kind of real guitars that are modeled. But nice to jump through some different guitars

during the course of a piece of music when using Variax. I try my best to give them all equal playing time.


Beginning to see the fun that Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin have doing that, as they both have their collection of guitars,.... and Variaxes.

Mr Howe has a 700 Electric and a JTV, and Mr Rabin has a blue JTV-69.




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On 3/16/2022 at 4:56 PM, marcwormjim said:

….. Though, if you’re just playing at home and using the Variax to feel like you’ve replaced a variety of guitars, you’re likely to eventually ditch it for the one you miss most.

That’s not been my experience. I got my JTV-59 when they first came out and still use it almost exclusively. In fact I tend to pick up my rebuilt Warmoth Variax 300 more often than my vintage Les Paul Deluxe which, sadly, has sat in its case for most of the last 10 years.

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Thanks, folks, for the comments.  Helpful discussion...


Well, I pulled the plug on a JVT 59.  It's beautiful, and I'm digging it.  After hacking away on some really fine instruments, I'm pretty impressed with the build.  


While I've got you, I think an immediate need is to replace the tuners.  Where would I find the specs on what would fit?  I've always liked Hipshot and Graph-Tech.  Any preferences?


And thanks again.  Really appreciate the help here...

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