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JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by stevekc on 2011-11-10 10:47:06.9010

My JTV-69 has the E strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard.

My Low E is the worst.

FWIW - my JTV-69 is  serial # W11070xxx, which translates to 2011, July

See pics:

(Click each pic for full size view)

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I have sugested that my JTV-69 Nut appears to be cut with the string spacing set too wide for the available Fretboard width.

See  this thread

And Rich Renken replied:

"The issue is not spacing. The issue is the Korean factory and the bevel on the edge of the frets. That is why not everyone, in fact, not a lot of people are having this issue. The string spacing and neck width are exactly where James Tyler wants them. We have already contacted the factory and made sure that they don't bevel the edge of the fret more than a certain degree and to be careful when sanding and polishing the fret to not round that edge over. They build these by hand and sand and polish by hand so on some they go to far an make a nice ramp for the string to fall off of. You can definitely grab the neck and pull it toward you to get the high e away from the edge. Hold the guitar as if you were playing lap steel and just gently pull the neck to the left as you look at the front of the guitar."


Interesting -

So will Line 6 refret my JTV-69?

Because at present  when I attempt to play on the Low E string, there's only a 50/50 chance there will be a fret under the string. Most times it falls off the edge of the fretboard.

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by dkemusic on 2011-11-10 11:13:12.1660

The spacing sure looks too wide to me.


Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by stevekc on 2011-11-10 11:25:09.4460

dkemusic wrote:

The spacing sure looks too wide to me.



I will measure my JTV-69's Fretboard width at the Nut, it sure feels Much narrower than 1 5/8"  - which does not suit a guy like me with big hands who grew up playing Gibsons!  (Yep - I know I should of ordered a JTV-59, but I need a tremolo!)

I guess my JTV-69 Neck , after being perfectly cut by the CNC machine " with neck width exactly where James Tyler wants them. , spent a tad too much time in the sanding department at World Music .

Also the extra Wide string spacing of the JTV-69 Bridge is not helping in this issue either.

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by Chris_Wohlfahrt on 2011-11-10 11:52:31.5380


I had my setup guy bias the nut (which is too narrow for the slot by about 3/32") to the bass side of fretboard to make mine halfway playable.....


..... but I really think it needs a new wider nut with a narrower spacing (1/32" per string oughta do the trick)

Mine's an August build.  Cheers,


Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by ozbadman on 2011-11-10 13:56:50.8600


Looks like a design flaw to me. The bevel looks fine so it's either the nut, the bridge, or the neck alignment.

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by g_david59 on 2011-11-10 16:36:56.0040

I have been deciding between the 59 & 69 and the string spacing issue seems to be an issue with the 69.  I am a strat guy, but the issues with the 69 seem to be more prevalent.  Why is it a $499 mexican made Fender Strat does not have these same quality issues. I am not talking about electronic issues that are unavoidable is some cases. Just basic guitar nut/trem/neck/paint/fit finish quality issues should not still be rearing up after over a year of manufacturing. There should be a simple inspection that would not allow a guitar with an obvious defect (yes, this is an obvious defect to an untrained eye) to leave Korea.  I think Line 6 had a golden opportunity to elevate the product line and perhaps bring the variax line closer to main stream.  These obvious quality issues that persist are making me think twice about the 59 I have on order...I have a DT25 combo, Cab and HD500.... I am not a Line 6 hater by any stretch...

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by dkemusic on 2011-11-10 21:05:13.3390

I think they made a mistake going with World.


Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by stevekc on 2011-11-11 10:22:36.3970


I made these measurements on a few of my guitars, to compare the Neck profiles.

As noted in the table above, the JTV-69 has the narrowest Nut width at 1.6135 inch, and the widest E-E string spacing grooves cut in the Nut at 1.3815".

It leaves only 0.116" available fretboard under the E string, which after beveled fret edges is more like 0.055" inch available fret area under the E string before it fall off the edge of the fret board. For reference 0.055" inch is the thickness of a dime.

Also note the E-E Bridge string spacing is the widest on the JTV-69 too (2.1055"), which for me (as a Gibson guy used to 2.065" ) makes cross picking a tad too far, but I can adjust.

Link for typical Bridge specs is here:

At this hour all I can report is the Nut width on my JTV-69  at 1.6135" feels too narrow.

The stated JTV-69 Nut width is 1 5/8" (1.6250") , so mine falls short of that specification by 0.0115" inch.

In know on paper, 0.0115" inch does not sound like a big deal, but look at this pic to see my problem.

Look at the marginal fret contact area just to the right under the low E string.


Compare the above pic with my Variax 600 below:


By contrast, the Variax 600 has plenty of fretboard room on either side of both E strings.

My only choice is replace the current 1.3815" E-E spaced Nut with a Strat Graphtech nut with a narrower 1.363" E-E spacing.


Order a custom Warmoth Neck to my preference (Fat '59 LP  Profile, and Nut width of 1.75" )

But on my JTV-69 with a neck with a narrow nut width at 1.6135", forces me to cut a new  custom narrow spaced Nut to keep the E strings on the fretboard. But the end result creates a $1400 guitar with a neck that makes it damn hard to play a clean 1st position A7 chord, and not mute the open G string with my fat fingers.

Maybe I can sell my JTV-69 to a rich kid with small hands.

In the above table I included a new Jay Turser Strat for comparison.  That guitar plays great and has a wonderful fret job. I got it a couple months ago from during a one day sale for $55.

Bottom Line

The big issue for Line 6 's success with the Tyler JTV-69 in my

opinion is that World Music needs to be supplied with a proper

"Tyler Variax Minimum Dimension Specification Acceptance Checklist"

that gets signed off prior to shipping Tyler Variax's to the USA.

They need a good set of Mitutoyo Digital Calipers and have a final QC

guy in Korea measure all the critical Neck profile dimensions. If its

too narrow, it fails acceptance, and gets rejected.

Without guidance, you will take whatever they want to ship you that

week, and that not good for anybody.

When I worked at Ernie Ball  / Music Man 1998-2001, we had a big

problem with the guys in the sanding department removing too much wood

from a perfect CNC cut Maple Neck. As a result, the MusicMan Guitar

Neck Profiles were a "moving Target", and custmers had to play 5 of

them to find one they liked. But our European Dealers demanded we

deliver a consistent  product, so we had to enforce stringent QC steps

and re-train the production line workers.

  I'm sure you have a  similar problem today there at Line6 with the

Tyler Variax's, i.e. line up a population of ten "identical"  JTV-69's

and takes measurements on each one,  and record on paper the actual

Fretboard Width under the 1st fret, and you will find the Tyler

intended  1.625 (1 5/8) inch (41.27mm) Nut Width dimension will

actually vary +/- 0.050" (1.36mm)   - which is quite a lot!

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If you guys were smart - just change the spec on JTV-69 Nut width to

the typical "SuperStrat" Warmoth/Valley Arts type Nut Width which most

session players prefer:  1.687 inch (1 11/16") (42.85mm) and all these

problems of both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard will




  • Alder body
  • Bolt-on solid maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
  • 25-1/2" scale length
  • Tyler '59 neck shape
  • 22 medium-jumbo frets and dot inlays
  • 1-5/8" Graph Tech Black TUSQ XL self-lubricating nut
  • Sealed locking/staggered tuners (16:1 turn ratio)
  • Chrome hardware
  • Fully adjustable Tyler-designed tremolo bridge
  • L. R. Baggs Radiance Hex piezo pickup system
  • Alnico bridge humbucker and vintage-style neck and middle single-coil pickups wound to Tyler's specs
  • Master volume and tone knobs
  • Model knob and Alt Tune roller knob
  • 5-way selector switch
  • VDI (Variax® Digital Interface) for integration with Line 6 POD® xt, POD® X3, Vetta™ II amplifier, and other Line 6 products
  • Li-Ion battery (12 hours of play time), and international wall charger
  • Variax Workbench™ software and USB interface
  • Includes quality padded gig bag
  • Additional battery, charger and cable kit available separately

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by Chris_Wohlfahrt on 2011-11-11 12:11:00.9620

Hmmmm  Interesting stuff. 

I measured mine (old school without micrometer) and it is 1-5/8 of wood, but as you can see from my pic above, the ill fitting nut looks like it was destined for a neck as skinny as yours.  QC prob not expected on a $1400 instrument. 

I too have toyed with the idea of a nut with 1/4" spacing but dont think my chubby fingers could manage that either. 

Otherwise I am really digging this guitar.  At band rehersal last night we were jamming some Christmas bluesy tunes and I was amazed at how easy is is to get super tone out of this thing (compared to my trusty V300) 

I guess i'll just have to learn to avoid too much vibrato on the high e........

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by stevekc on 2011-11-11 13:33:11.7500

I guess I'm not alone, and this is a common issue for the JTV-69

Here's a thread on replacement necks for the JTV-69

So factor that

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Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by sfeinstein on 2011-11-12 08:23:46.2730

Wow, that is close. My JTV-69 is close but not as close as that. I am working a bit on my technique on how I grab the high e-string to make sure I have no falloff. To be fair, my Taylor 814 is also close to the end of the fret, albeit not as close as this pic.

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by mike-w on 2011-11-19 17:16:37.1320

So, why all the favourable reviews on the few Amercan guitars they released all of these months while we've been waiting?  The Korean guitars aren't living up to these amazing reviews.

Is it implied that this, and the noise issues on the VDI for that matter, aren't an issue on the American guitars?  If not, why not use it as a prototype and retool to more playable and quieter spec since their testers didn't report these issues?

I returned my first JTV-69.  One of the guitars I played was completely unplayable.  Try a "beginner" D chord and do a pull-off 2nd fret to open on the E string.

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by stevekc on 2011-11-24 09:17:22.0560

Update - Line6 swapped out my guitar for a replacement blue JTV-69 that arrived at noon yesterday.

Night and day difference - this new one is a keeper !

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Weird that a digital caliper reads that the new JTV-69  has identical 1.61" nut width as my old JTV-69, but the BIG difference is the edge of the fretboard is straight as an arrow between the Nut and the 22nd fret, with consecutively wider fretboard width at 1st fret, 2nd fret, 3rd fret 4th fret, etc.

By contrast my fretboard edge on the old Variax was not straight, it "bowed in" at the lower frets - providing very limited fret area under the E strings on the lower frets. , my theory is this was from too much sanding.

This new one does not suffer this problem, and is a keeper - problem solved! 

Thank you Line 6!!!

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by stumpsout on 2011-11-26 15:24:32.0630

Good to hear you're happy a true solution has come to you!

I looked at my neck and have the exact same problem and situation you described...hope I can qualify for this type of solution as well. The one i have is not what i would call a keeper, that's for sure. I'm very apprehensive playing it, and it's distracting. I have asked Line 6 today and am awaiting a reply with fingers, toes, and anything else i can muster crossed!

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by litesnsirens on 2011-11-28 09:07:36.9870

I actually went to the trouble of replacing the entire neck with a warmoth and I got one that is 1/16" wider at the nut (so 1 11/16") which improved it a bit but there are still times that my high e string falls off and the fret dressing on this Warmoth neck is perfect much steeper than the original JTV neck.  So I have a wider nut width the (same as my american strat) and steeper fret shoulders and it still happens. This never happens on my strat.  Never!! The only other difference I can tell is that the string spacing at the bridge is still wider on the JTV than the strat, and there is no way to adjust the spacing on the JTV bridge.  I'm currently trying to investigate options to replace the bridge or parts of it.  I don't even care if I have to go back to string through body.  That hassle is worth avoiding string slippage.

It's of little consequence to me whether or not the specs are exaclty like James Tyler wants them, I think the guitar should be playable for more than just strumming open chords in first position.  I would have changed the neck anyway, the original JTV neck is a little chunkier than I like which is too bad because was was pleased with the satin finish on it and wouldn't have had to sand it off.  But making adjustments to the bridge will be a big problem especially since it's most likely that 1/16" in spacing difference is all that is needed. 

I think it would be great is Line 6 would offer a retro fit bridge plate with the screw holes for the intonation screws set closer together.  That would be the easiest do-it-yourself fix for that end.  They could offer a replacement nut with closer spacing as well.  Even if they want to continue to claim that there is nothing wrong with the design and that it's supposed to be this way, I would happily pay for these replacement parts.  Just call them options for customizing your JTV to your playing style.  That way they can save face that the design is fine and then the 95% of us JTV69 owners that want to be able to play the guitar without the strings slipping off the frets can customize our guitars to meet our individual playing styles.  I'm sure the current spacing is perfectly fine for the other 5%.

Everything else about this guitar I love, I think the models are top notch and the alt tuning is just a killer feature and has made life so much simpler.  So I'm most of the way there, and as I mentioned I don't mind spending a bit more money to get the guitar to a state where it's perfect for me.  It's just that the bridge is so specific that it's hard to find a solution.

Re: JTV-69 - both E Strings falling off the edges of the Fretboard
by xtcguitar on 2011-12-02 12:30:00.9270

this has been my frustration with this guitar.. since they are replacing guitars, i guess i need to contact support.

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