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Opinions on Stock Neck for JTV-89
by cuestix on 2012-07-20 10:28:47.1600

Hi all,

I've been seeking a new guitar with a fatter neck contour and bigger frets than my Variax700.

So far, the Variax700 has been a great instrument but never my main guitar. I'd attribute that mostly to the Variax not feeling as comfortable or playable to me. I use it when I want a tone that I know I can't match with my other guitars, but otherwise I don't turn to it first.  I suppose I could get it professionally setup and it might change my whole opinion of how it plays. I have a PRS and a Strat that I play most, with the PRS being better for blues since the neck is flatter and doesn't fret-out as easily as the Strat (a '62 reissue, 9" radius).  I've played the Fender Artist series SRV and Kenny Wayne Shepherd necks (thick oval or "C"-shape, and 12" radius, jumbo frets) and found them the most comfortable for my hands. The JTV-89 is even flatter radius and has jumbo frets, and I'm already happy with the "Spank" and "Lester" tones in the Variax700. So I've added the JTV-89 to my list of guitars to play before making a choice.

I hope to get to a dealer soon and try the JTV-89, but I'm wondering what others think of this neck.  Anyone with big hands have a JTV-89?


Re: Opinions on Stock Neck for JTV-89
by stheim on 2013-02-05 08:17:16.7970

I do have large hands.  All 6'2" of me that can't find motorcycle gloves that fit decently.  I own bunches of types of guitars and probably should learn to play bettter at some point, but I digress.  One of my guitars is the JTV-89.  It has become my workhorse due to the variety of covers I play with my band.  I'm mostly a rhythm kinda guy with the occasional kewl licks, but I like to model the original sound if I can.  The JTV's fret board radius is very flat and makes bends, barre and inverted chords easy.  The back of it is very narrow and only sort of rounded.  It's much like a wizard neck.  Mine came with some paint runs, slight dings and slightly out of set-up.  I had to tighten the tuners, fine sand the neck (long sanding block and 1000 grit sand paper) to get it smooth and playable. Once all the set-up was corrected, the neck smoothed, and new strings installed....  I absolutely love it!  I went back to my '59 round back neck on my Strat and just had a hard time with it!  Other than the fact that it is a very modded guitar in it's own right, I probably wouldn't play it, and just model it on the JTV!  The only remaining downside to the JTV neck is that the 1st string, high E, tends ot fall off the side of the fretboard.  It's quite narrow and the string is right against the end of the frets.

Re: Opinions on Stock Neck for JTV-89
by cuestix on 2013-02-05 08:33:40.9000

Thanks Stheim,

I've played the JTV-89 at the local Guitar Center and was surprised by how thin the neck contour is on the back.  The one I tried was properly set up and didn't show any signs of careless build at the factory.  Though our local Guitar Center has a very good tech and he might have made some adjustments.  Fit and finish were clearly good in any case, and no buzzes or intonation issues.  It played very nicely, definitely a great rhythm guitar, a little less of a lead instrument for my playing.  My Variax 700 is setup very well and I'm not sure I'd part with it easily, but the JTV-89 would be a great guitar for me. 

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