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Main :: James Tyler Variax Guitars

Support community for JTV.

Before You Buy A JTV-69
by cloggins on 2012-12-27 13:35:17.0550

tl;dr: The Korean Varaix isn't worth the money, and Line 6 support had an epic failure. Do yourself a favor, and buy a Shecter or some other guitar that will be worh the money.

Before you purchase one, or the Dream Rig, please check out my story and some of the following stories...

Firmware woes:">">

JTV-69 Neck:">">

Or heck, just google the following: jtv-69 neck problems

Anyway, onto my story...

Prior to purchasing the Varaix, I knew of potential quality control relating to the neck and tremolo. There are several threads on the Line 6 forums which speak to the problems (see above), and solutions for those problems. The one bright note was that many of these threads spoke well of Line 6 support. Haivng faith in Line 6 (and some GAS for the Dream Rig), I pulled the trigger purchasing the guitar in February of 2012. Budget limits allowed for only the -69 and the Pod HD500. It was my intent to purchase the DT-25 at a later date.

Sadly, the first unit did have problems with the trem and neck. The purchase was made through Sweetwater (props to them). They quickly replaced the -69. The replacement unit also exhibited issues with tuning stability, and had flat spots on the back of the neck. I didn't want to be a pain, so I decided to live with it. Caveat emptor, as the saying goes. I just didn't want to spend the next six months of my life swapping guitars, because of poor quality control. In the end, it wasn't a horrid guitar. Had it gone no futher, I would have just taken my lumps and live with it.

Line 6 contacted me in early May in response to a customer survey I had completed regarding the Variax. The person I spoke with assured me that Line 6, "... would do whatever it took to ensure I was satisfied." He volunteered to replace the guitar with one that would work correctly. I took him up on his offer.

It took Line 6 over four months to deliver the replacement unit. Each inquiry of the status of the replacement would be met with another excuse. Heck, I had to prompt for status reports. The first delay was due to the lack of a bridge (I thought these things were manufactured overseas). The next one had a crack in the finish. It wasn't until I threw a fit months later that something was finally done. The replacement was finally received the first week of September. The condition of the replacement was, simply put, appalling. The unit was supposed to have received the personal attention of Tim Wilson at Tyler Guitars. The nut was over cut, the frets had not been leveled well, the strings were tied to the tuning pegs as if it didn't have locking tuners, etc. I had to pony up an extra $30 for a luthier to replace the nut to eliminate buzzing.

I again contacted the Line 6 rep to express my displeasure. I was met with the same litany of apologies. He offered to give me an amazing deal on a DT-25 to make up for my frustrations. Given that I was (mostly) happy with the HD500, and now that I had fixed the -69 myself, I thought I might at least see what was on the table. Sure, I was given an offer, and was informed that it was their, "Best accomodation pricing." Sadly, I could have purchased a new DT-25 retail and been within dollars of the price offered to me. Let me say that again... Their best accomodation pricing, was within the ballpark of what anyone could purchase retail. The fun part was when, literally a week later, they started their $500 off promotion for the Dream Rig. Putting the overall purchase price at less than what was offered to me.

That was the final straw for me. I'm pretty much done with Line 6 products at this point. If I had it to do over, I'd have gone w/ a Schecter guitar and Boss products.

As a side note, you'll often hear the comments that the -69 isn't a $1400 guitar. It's a $700 guitar with $700 worth of electronics. I now own two Schecters. One is a Diamond Deluxe 006, and the other is a C-1 Classic. Both were at or less than $700 when new. Both are far superior in fit and finish to the $700 Variax (with $700 in electronics).

Re: Before You Buy A JTV-69
by Line6Tony on 2012-12-28 10:38:48.9920

Hello Christopher. As Customer Support Supervisor, I truly apologize for the circumstances that led to your experience. As a company, please know that we do take Customer Service seriously and we want you to be happy with your purchase. I will contact you outside of this post to discuss the best resolution for your situation.

Re: Before You Buy A JTV-69
by dmpoole on 2012-12-28 10:45:59.7620

Before you buy a Schechter or Boss gear listen to my story.

I've been buying Line 6 gear for years with absolutely no problems at all and even owned a Variax 300 which was excellent.

In July 2011 I go tmy hands on a Tyler JTV-59 and it was th emost perfect thing I'd played in 42 years of gigging. In fact it was that good that I traded in a Gibson Les Paul Standard and Yamaha SG2000 6 weeks later to buy another one. I've had 17 months trouble free from playing the Korean Tylers and still look at them in awe. I've recently purchased a POD HD500 and so far that's been trouble free.

Just because you've had a bad experience doesn't mean we all will and remember that the majority of owners who post here are those that do have problems.

Re: Before You Buy A JTV-69
by Lurotex on 2012-12-29 01:51:27.3280

i bought my jtv69 just one month ago and it ha just returned cause the truss rod was broken...

the body design was orrible, it was cut so orrible.

i think the level of the quality control on this instruments is likely zero. or someone of you is trying to place on market some bad guitar

for recover money.

The only thing i know is that i bought a guitar few days ago and now i am absolutly sure that i don't see it for months so as my money,and this only for "negligence" of your work.

Re: Before You Buy A JTV-69
by spikey on 2012-12-29 12:45:59.8500

I asked here over a month ago where I might find a parts store for Line 6 JTV's... The spring cover on my 69 has broken, and altho its not a show stopper Id like to repair it. Not a single reply.... So clog consider yourself very lucky you got their attention because even a few of the experts here have stated that Line 6 doesnt read these threads any more......

Re: Before You Buy A JTV-69
by cloggins on 2012-12-30 04:36:34.8080

Update in status...

Thanks go to Line6Tony for reaching out to me to make things right. The details of the offered resolution are confidential. They can best bedescribed as generous. Once the transaction is complete, I will update this post again. As it now stands, it definitely seems that Line 6 is trying to set things right. That says a lot in itself.

Re: Before You Buy A JTV-69
by spikey on 2012-12-30 08:04:09.3140

Good for you.! Glad to see that Line 6 is helping you out, however Im curious to know why the deal was made confidential? You have pictures of Tony and his rubber ducky perhaps? lol....

I would think for customer relations sake, Line 6 would want the world to know how well they treated their unforunate customers in situations such as this. But thats just me... YMMV....

In any case congrats on your good fortune!

Re: Before You Buy A JTV-69
by cloggins on 2012-12-30 09:45:56.0120


There are two issues at hand here: Line 6 Support, and the quality of the 69 model.

Until this incident, I was an ardent advocate for Line 6 products. I regularly recommended them on the ‘net and in real life. My faith was such that, despite misgivings from reading the forms, I made my purchase of a Pod HD500 and JTV-69. The impetus for my post was the issues with support rather than quality of the gear (more on the quality later).

About the support...

You indicated that you've, "... been buying Line 6 gear for years with absolutely no problems at all..." That leads me to conclude that you've not had to deal with support for failed equipment. (Perhaps that's a false assumption.) What I would like to know is what would your attitude be if you had problems with your first 59, had to wait for months for it to be addressed, and then been (seemingly) lied to on several occasions while the company “handled” the issue?

Line 6 seems to be trying to make things right. Kudos to them. It gives me hope that it might be worth doing business with them in the future. If things work out, then I will be able to say that Line 6 was able to regain my future patronage.

About the quality...

Your guitar is the 59 model. It is a completely different instrument with a different set of issues as compared to the 69. I am not as well read on the 59, but have the impression that model is generally better than the 69. Also, the fit and finish of the 69 is no where near what similarly valued guitars are at these days.

It was a $1400 guitar. The typical quip is that it's actually a $700 guitar with $700 of electronics included. So, in comparing to other $700 guitars, it tends to fall short. Compare the fit and finish of a Korean 69 to that of a Schecter C-1 Custom or a PRS SE Custom 24 (both also made in Korea, both at $700). I think you'll find that the fit and finish on either of those instruments exceeds that of the 69.

The 69 is a sexy guitar. The modeling is outstanding. The ‘other $700’ of the $1400 price tag make it (just barely) worth keeping. It’s frustrating to have to buy an aftermarket neck to alleviate for a guitar in this price range.

Oh, and to address the question of why I bought something w/ a neck I didn’t like: I didn’t have a choice. I live in Dallas, TX. No stores in the area stocked the 69 (or any Variax). I dislike the looks of the 59. The 89’s stock alternate tunings are useless to me. My faith in Line 6 led me to believe that the complaints about the 69 were anomalies. So, I took the plunge... Based on my faith in Line 6.

Re: Before You Buy A JTV-69
by cloggins on 2012-12-30 09:48:25.0150


In the end, Line 6 is doing something to fix the issue. It's nice to know there are still companies like that. I've always liked their stuff, especially the Pod boards. I might avoid their instruments in the future, but they've managed to regain me as a customer (of their amps/effects).

Re: Before You Buy A JTV-69
by cloggins on 2013-01-16 03:25:29.6700


Line 6 did stand behind their product, and made things right with me. Though there were frustrating aspects of my experience with Line 6, it should be noted that in both cases they took the initiative to contact me. There's something to be said for that.

Props to Line6Tony for taking the lead, and ensuring that my situation was resolved. He is responsible for changing my attidute towards Line 6 from, "Never going to give them another dollar," to, "I'd at least consider it."

The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.