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Should I bother with a JTV?
by Spiderplayer7 on 2012-11-19 04:02:14.3520

Hi there. So I bought an HD500 a could of days ago - I've done one gig already with it and got a fantastic sound with minimal tweaking (so far). I also went into my attic and got out my old Variax 700 electric (in black), polished the frets, oiled the fingerboard and changed the strings. And I'd forgotten what a great playing guitar it is - a bit heavy for my tastes, the trem arm is hard to adjust, and sadly someone beat it with the ugly stick but it's got a great neck and a great action. I was thinking of selling it and treating myself to a JTV (I like the look of the JTV 69S) which could make a great partner for my new HD500.

So, what do you think - especially those who've owned both original 700s and JTVs. Is it worth the money to get a JTV or is the 700 not much different (I know the different feature sets, BTW, alternate tuning knob etc.). I'm really looking for any opinions around the differences between them, not the facts of what they have or don't have. Thanks in advance.

I guess I was hoping that the old Variax 700 would be garbage (so I could easily justify a JTV) , but I'm very surprised (trem arm excepted) at how good a guitar it is. Please help....

Re: Should I bother with a JTV?
by petef on 2012-11-19 04:32:45.4080

I did/do not have a 700, but do have a JTV-69K (and just purchased a JTV-59PG), I use an HD500 at my weekly gig (7 hours of background music) and the 69.  The flexibility it gives me is fantastic and the combination of the HD and JTV is magical.  I do play through FRFR (QSC K10s) and venue/set is mostly soft jazz standards, classic rock, some country and blues.  For this I use the 335/L5 for most, the strat and tele as well as acoustic (6/12) for eagles and boston...

It (the combined JTV and HD500) is a great combination and I highly recommend it.  I'm switching to the 59 due to a better fit for this use (don't use the tremelo that much, want the better neck of the 59).  May sell or just keep the 69 (need to replace the neck...has the 1st string issue and frets are worn alot).

Re: Should I bother with a JTV?
by snhirsch on 2012-11-19 05:08:48.9540

The JTV-69K + HD500 + K10 combination is a definite winner, and probably not just for polite music-making.  I started working with that exact setup over the weekend and the sound is incredible.  Great at lower volumes, and from the brief testing I did at competition levels it should be fine for rock-n-roll stage use too. 

My 69 is going into the shop to be refit for a Mighty-Mite strat neck.  I really tried to like the stock neck, but it's way too narrow at the nut, has an odd width-to-depth ratio and the frets are like railroad ties compared to my beloved PRS Custom 24.  Just couldn't get used to it.

Re: Should I bother with a JTV?
by phil_m on 2012-11-19 06:07:39.3860

I've never had a 700, but I did have a 300 for a while. I liked the 300, but I never really played out all that much (actually the neck on my 300 was one of my favorites). Now that I own the JTV69, it's kind of my goto guitar for rehearsal and live shows. It's just so convenient. To me a big selling point is the fact that it has magnetic pickups as well as the modeling. It just adds another layer of versatility, plus it added peace of mind knowing that if the battery dies or the electronics ever fail there's a built in back-up.

Re: Should I bother with a JTV?
by mlong on 2012-11-19 07:49:22.2660

I've had a 700trem since 2003, bought a 300 as a backup 5 years ago and bought a  JTV69s about 2 months ago. Overall, I think it is a better built guitar than my 700. The new features are very nice and while the mag pickups sound good, I've always hated the single coil hum. So at some point, I'm probably going to put Kinman noiseless pickups in it. Is it as nice as a PRS, Suhr or other highend guitar - no -, but my Variaxes get almost all of my playing time and have for almost 10 years. 

Edit -  Oh, I also really like the neck on it. I know that others have had problems and the shape style or whatever isn't right for them. For me, I like the neck better than my 700. And its GOLD!!!  

Re: Should I bother with a JTV?
by petef on 2012-11-19 08:01:11.7110

Just a note on my JTV69K, I preorded it and it is below SN 200 IIRC.   It had the early neck and tremelo issues.. newer 69s aparently have a changed nut and better care in fret bevel.  The tremelo is also a new version (with internal wiring changes as well)..  Still, it is a great combination with the HD500..

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