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gdgonzal1

JTV-69 Headstock String Tension Trees

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I have to believe I am not the only one experiencing this but I cannot seem to locate another thread on this topic so I thought I was start my own.  It seems obvious that the D,G, B & E strings don't have enough angle breakage behind the nut to stop string ringing (and I don't mean the musical way, I mean the annoying way) so I am not sure why the headstock is not angled more or it doesn't come installed with string tension trees.  In fact the E string is damn near parallel to the bridge from the tuning post across the entire length of fretboard which make this have a lot of tension.  I have checked the neck with a notched straight edge and verified the proper relief using Fender strat specs (because I couldn't find any for the Variax) and everything is maintained properly.  I even verify the fingerboard radius and ensure it was reflected within the bridge saddle heights so as far as I can determine this guitar is setup properly.  I have therefore decided to install after-market string tension trees.

 

Have anyone else experienced this?  Did you use string tension trees or try to shim the neck?  

 

Just curious for any lessons learned on addressing this issue.

 

Thanks

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1413347286_1680636585_JTV69.PNG

 

You do have the factory stock "staggered height " locking tuners on your JTV-69? - These are supposed to provide a downward  break angle of the string length above the Nut. String Trees = drag and Friction which can present tuning problems after whammy bar tremolo use.   

 

There is an "anti Floyd Rose"  school of thought among a few "Super Strat" guitar players who prefer staggered height tuners and lubricated Tusq Nut  and floating strat style bridge  - with a proper set up this type configuration holds a few advantages for many playing advanced techniques  - ( Adrian Belew, Jerry Donahue, Jeff Beck) 

 

But if things are NOT set up just right on your JTV-69- the configuration James Tyler was aiming for with the JTV-69 design can be a big source of instability that JTV89F Floyd Rose locking Tremolo players never have to worry about. 

 

Also Many Variax folks advise its best to "tame" the excess harmonic ringing of the "non speaking" string length ( between Tuner and Nut) with string dampers or elastic hair scrunchies   - and most report this strategy improves the Variax DSP created Guitar modeling tones, and improves the DSP generated  Alt Tuning sounds - ( less warbling anomalies).

 

Picture24-1.png

 

 

jennifer+batten+guitar+damper.jpg

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...

 

There is an "anti Floyd Rose"  school of thought among a few "Super Strat" guitar players who prefer staggered height tuners and lubricated Tusq Nut  and floating strat style bridge  - with a proper set up this type configuration holds a few advantages for many playing advanced techniques  - ( Adrian Belew, Jerry Donahue, Jeff Beck) 

 

...

 

Also Many Variax folks advise its best to "tame" the excess harmonic ringing of the "non speaking" string length ( between Tuner and Nut) with string dampers or elastic hair scrunchies   - and most report this strategy improves the Variax DSP created Guitar modeling tones, and improves the DSP generated  Alt Tuning sounds - ( less warbling anomalies).

 

Do you any examples of the advanced playing techniques? I'm interested in seeing what can be achieved with a 69 trem that you cannot on a floyd rose.

 

Regarding the strings ringing out on the headstock, I used some velcro strips that really seem to do the trick. Sounds much better with the strings dampened at the headstock.

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I use some "sticky backed felt" immediately after the Nut on my JTV 69. Dark brown can barely see it, unlike a scrunchy 

 

The most recent detailed discussion is here: 

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/111-make-your-variax-sound-100-better/

 

Some much older discussions on the archive:

http://line6.com/supportarchivenew/thread/58759

http://line6.com/supportarchivenew/thread/83512

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...*youtube links*...

 

Thanks for the links.

 

Forgive my ignorance, but in the 1st and 3rd videos, could the same effect not also be obtained by using a floyd rose?  See I've only just got a JTV-89f after having a JTV-69 for 6 months (currently in repair) and I'm finding I can do a lot more with the floyd rose than I could with the 69 trem. That said however I'm still very much a novice guitar player, and I'm certainly not well versed enough in tremolo usage to really make a judgment.

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Do you any examples of the advanced playing techniques? I'm interested in seeing what can be achieved with a 69 trem that you cannot on a floyd rose.

 

Regarding the strings ringing out on the headstock, I used some velcro strips that really seem to do the trick. Sounds much better with the strings dampened at the headstock.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the links.

 

Forgive my ignorance, but in the 1st and 3rd videos, could the same effect not also be obtained by using a floyd rose?  See I've only just got a JTV-89f after having a JTV-69 for 6 months (currently in repair) and I'm finding I can do a lot more with the floyd rose than I could with the 69 trem. That said however I'm still very much a novice guitar player, and I'm certainly not well versed enough in tremolo usage to really make a judgment.

 

If you guys want to discuss advanced techniques then please create a separate post on this topic.  It's extremely inconsiderate to hi-jack someone else's post so please show some decorum and abide by rules. 

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If you guys want to discuss advanced techniques then please create a separate post on this topic.  It's extremely inconsiderate to hi-jack someone else's post so please show some decorum and abide by rules. 

 

lol some people on this internet :)

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1413347286_1680636585_JTV69.PNG

 

You do have the factory stock "staggered height " locking tuners on your JTV-69? - These are supposed to provide a downward  break angle of the string length above the Nut. String Trees = drag and Friction which can present tuning problems after whammy bar tremolo use.   

 

There is an "anti Floyd Rose"  school of thought among a few "Super Strat" guitar players who prefer staggered height tuners and lubricated Tusq Nut  and floating strat style bridge  - with a proper set up this type configuration holds a few advantages for many playing advanced techniques  - ( Adrian Belew, Jerry Donahue, Jeff Beck) 

 

But if things are NOT set up just right on your JTV-69- the configuration James Tyler was aiming for with the JTV-69 design can be a big source of instability that JTV89F Floyd Rose locking Tremolo players never have to worry about. 

 

Also Many Variax folks advise its best to "tame" the excess harmonic ringing of the "non speaking" string length ( between Tuner and Nut) with string dampers or elastic hair scrunchies   - and most report this strategy improves the Variax DSP created Guitar modeling tones, and improves the DSP generated  Alt Tuning sounds - ( less warbling anomalies).

 

Picture24-1.png

 

 

jennifer+batten+guitar+damper.jpg

 

 

I use some "sticky backed felt" immediately after the Nut on my JTV 69. Dark brown can barely see it, unlike a scrunchy 

 

The most recent detailed discussion is here: 

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/111-make-your-variax-sound-100-better/

 

Some much older discussions on the archive:

 

http://line6.com/supportarchivenew/thread/58759

http://line6.com/supportarchivenew/thread/83512

 

Well after experiments with some dense foam to deaden the sympathetic vibrations from behind the nut I still wasn't happy.  There was still the issue with the tension of the higher strings because of a lack of angle (yes I have the original tuners which are height staggered) so I decided to do a couple of things.  First I ordered a replacement nut from Line6 via Compass, it's pre-slotted so it's up to whatever their specs are and it seemed right on as far as nut action and raised the height on the G, B & E strings slightly.  Next I ordered some Blk TUSQ string trees and installed them per their recommended specs and removed the foam I had previously put in place...guess what, viola all my issues have been solved.  In my opinion James Tyler's specs are off; there's just not enough angle on the headstock solely from the staggered tuner.  That's why everyone is experiencing all these issues with sympathetics vibrations; now with the string trees in place you can see all the strings now have the correct angle that matches that of the Low E.  Hope this helps others experiencing this issue.

 

1413532034_1991388206_B4.JPG

 

 

1413532134_64783752_image1.JPG

 

 

1413532138_2044376856_image2.JPG

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 In my opinion James Tyler's specs are off;

 

 

I agree - If the JTV-69 had a angled headstock and a wider Nut width, it would a lot better guitar IMHO.  

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I agree - If the JTV-69 had a angled headstock and a wider Nut width, it would a lot better guitar IMHO.  

 

I am with you on the angled headstock, I have a Variax 700 and it has this.  Not sure about the wider nut, as it stands now the JTV-69 has a fingerboard as wide as an aircraft carrier's landing deck.  At this point I am thinking about just putting on a new neck maybe from Mighty Mite.  Thanks for your insights and comments.

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I am with you on the angled headstock, I have a Variax 700 and it has this.  Not sure about the wider nut, as it stands now the JTV-69 has a fingerboard as wide as an aircraft carrier's landing deck.  At this point I am thinking about just putting on a new neck maybe from Mighty Mite.  Thanks for your insights and comments.

 

?? Are we talking about the same instrument?  The stock 69 neck is exactly the same width as a strat at the body and narrows down smaller than a strat at the nut - too narrow for my fat fingers.  Had to put on a Mighty-Mite neck to get more width. 

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as it stands now the JTV-69 has a fingerboard as wide as an aircraft carrier's landing deck.

If you're missing one or more fingers, maybe....

 

It has one of the narrowest nut widths around...seldom seen on anything else out there. Take a ruler over to GC and measure the nut width of any 10 guitars hanging on the wall. Most, if not all will be wider than the 69.

 

As for replacements...if you're gonna spend $120ish on a mighty might neck, save another hundred bucks or so, and see what Warmoth has in stock. You won't be sorry.

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It has one of the narrowest nut widths around...seldom seen on anything else out there. Take a ruler over to GC and measure the nut width of any 10 guitars hanging on the wall. Most, if not all will be wider than the 69.

Agreed! Its MY single biggest complaint of the JTV-69, due to the "too narrow Nut", 1st position chords are a bit cramped for my big hands 

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Agreed! Its MY single biggest complaint of the JTV-69, due to the "too narrow Nut", 1st position chords are a bit cramped for my big hands

Ditto...at first I wondered if I had suddenly forgotten how to play. Couldnt grab most open position chords without muting at least one string...it was maddening. No longer an issue with the new neck...

 

Oh, and totally off topic, but for anyone who has never played on stainless frets...give it a try. Recently re-fretted another axe with stainless, and I'll never go back. It's like playing on glass...effortless bending and no more grind and polish work...at least not for a good looooooong time. I'll probably wear out before the frets will...lol.

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Hi all,

My JTV69 has some annoying buzzing on the A an low E strings, when strummed with light-medium pressure, but not with open strings (I am not an heavy picker).

 

The guitar was taken to a "guitar tech" and he could not sort it out ???

 

So, I have decided to try and resolve this by my self... Looking for possible causes, my attention spilled on the "staggered height " locking tuners.

Here I see that the tuners are placed at random... What I mean is, that the length of the tuners are not stepping down evenly. For example, the low E tuner is shorter than the A tuner... The B tuner is shorter than the high E one. Is this normal? ...or should them gradually step down from tha low E to the high E?

 

Going back to the strings buzz... The first 4 fretted frets give no buzz, from the 5th and all the way to the 21th fret will produce buzz, even with an higher action and neck relief. Any help will be greatly received.

Next I am considering dampening the back of the saddles.

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So, I have decided to try and resolve this by my self... Looking for possible causes, my attention spilled on the "staggered height " locking tuners.

Here I see that the tuners are placed at random... What I mean is, that the length of the tuners are not stepping down evenly. For example, the low E tuner is shorter than the A tuner... The B tuner is shorter than the high E one. Is this normal? ...or should them gradually step down from tha low E to the high E?

 

Unless something has changed, the JTV-69 tuner set has (3) different shaft heights.  Low E and A are the tallest, followed by D and G, then B and High E (which are the shortest).  If your instrument has a different arrangment then something is wrong.

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Yes, you are correct. I took them out, measured and re installed them back on but placing a straight edge along all the front (on top) of the posts, it shows gaps between some of them and the straight edge! So the headstock thickness is not even. In fact,the headstock, when viewed on its edge, it shows a definite bend, hence the high E tuner seems longer than the B one.

 

Can someone confirm this is normal, or it is a duff job?

Thanks.

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Raise the action at the bridge on those strings.  I had to do that on mine when I first got it.  The Low E and A were too low at the bridge.  Easy adjustment.

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Maybe I expect too much... not knowing exactly what guideline measurements relate to a very low, low, medium, medium high and high action I can only guess what action I actually have.

 

I fine tuned the truss rod, bridge height, saddles, springs claw and now have a 1.7mm clearance for the low E string at the 12th fret (top of fret to bottom of string). Is this considered a low or medium action?

 

Playing on clean amp, light to medium gives only occasional buzz, partly due to bad work carried out on the frets by a recommended guitar tech.

A few slightly uneven frets, incorrect use of tools, visible scratches parallel to the frets, bad crowning, never polished frets and gauges in the fretboard by the sides of the frets. I asked to replace the nut but he insisted on shimming it! Now all of the strings are sunk in the nut and the high E, B and G strings sound like a sitar. To top that. HE NEVER GLUED THE NUT, hence it has moved up on occasions, when bending strings.

 

Have to buy and fit a new nut. I believe it is the same as the fender?

 

From now on, only I will be working on my guitars!

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The JTV-69 is narrower at the nut than a Strat, with correspondingly smaller string spacing.  I don't think a pre-cut Fender nut will work out very well.

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Sounds like that guy was a hack!  Learn to do it yourself is my advice.  I had some buzz on the Low E and A when I got my 69S.  I just raised the saddles slightly on those strings.  Buzz is bad with modeling.  If you replace the nut, you need to get the string spacing right.  Not sure if you can get one that matches the original but if not, you have to make your own from a blank.

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Thanks for your inputs, guys! I will have to check it properly, but I will start a new topic as I have drifted away from this thread's topic... Sorry.

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Just wanted to say that I experienced some buzzing/zinging at the nut of my JTV-69s.  After discussing the issue with my Sweetwater rep, I sent it back and they determined that the break angle across the nut was not steep enough just using the staggered tuners.  They cured the issue by installing the exact same Tusq string trees shown in the earlier post from stevekc.

post-1891372-0-76937500-1422549059_thumb.jpg

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In my opinion, the stock Korean JTV-69 tuners do not create enough downward pressure on the higher srings (B, and E). I experienced a high E string that kept jumping out of the nut slot when I first got my JTV-69. I switched to the same hipshot locking tuners that are used on the US version of the JTV-69 and have had no further issues. The string posts on the staggered Hipshot tuners are shorter and that made enough of a difference for me.

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How about shimming the tuners from behind the neck? Is this feasible? That would lower the tuner... But what would one use?

 

I am surprised though, as mentioned on an earlier post, the high E tuner, although being the same size of the B string one, it is shorter when mounted on the headstock. ????

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Changed all of my strings for the first time and noticed it was pretty difficult because of the lack of angle. I hate to use the term, but between the tuner string hole location and the headstock angle...design flaw. It happens. Nevertheless, I really do love the Variax. Just looks a bit of an ongoing project. Glad there are a lot of people on this forum with ideas.

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I had a vax 300 that I liked the FEEL of the ’69 was a deal breaker for me. Having said that, I would be interested in trying the new Yamaha VAX because I play their acoustic guitars…

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Adding a string tree was certainly the job that was needed for my JTV-69 Variax.

 

I chose the Black Tusq XL, and took my G&L Skyhawk as a guide.

 

I marked off the desired depth of the pilot hole with painter's tape on my drill bit, tapped a dent at the desired location as a starter, then drilled the hole and screwed in the string tree.   With the parts in hand, the job took only minutes.

 

No more dud, thud, ping on the first string!!  

 

Honestly, I'd have to say it's a mistake not to have a string tree be stock on the JTV-69.   The shallowness of the headstock angle calls for one.

 

Otherwise though, it's a fine guitar.  Neck is straight, and feels great.  Action is low.   And of course the magical Variax electronics! 

 

So, take it from a newly happy camper, if you are having dud, thunk, ping or ring problems on strings 1 or 2, installing a string tree is what you want to do.  Cheers!

 

--

Update:  Decided to go all-in and install the 2nd string tree, for the 3rd and 4th strings.  No regrets!

 

 

 

Variax JTV-69 with String Tree.JPG

Skyhawk with String Tree.jpg

Black Tusq String Tree Package.jpg

IMG_9031.JPG

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