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JTV Quality Concerns
by gerlin on 2013-02-11 10:29:16.0950

I am looking for a versatile guitar to use for home use, I do not gig professionally, I play at home, occasionally with friends and do home recording just for fun.

So, I don't really care that much if models match the originals perfectly, or even if the sound is not quite there in some of the modeling settings. I think the JTV (Korean) should be a great match for what I plan on using it for.

What does concern me is all of the posts I have read about initial quality, functionality not working after a few weeks, as well as several complaints about JTVs with problems being returned from Line 6 service with the issues not being resolved. As usual, many of these threads end without knowing the final outcome.

Even though I do not plan on using the guitar professionally, I want something I can expect to look right, feel right and be reliable.  I have to admit, I am the type that gets kind of ticked off when something does not work they way it is supposed to.

I am aslo well aware that forums in general have far more negative comments than positive ones. Since with the Variax, I think there are many reasons to visit the forums other than serious problems (such as software update info, etc), I am hoping that I can get a somewhat balanced opinion on the guitars.

So that leads to my questions...

Should quality/service concerns stop me from buying one?  Would you buy yours again?

I have read most of the threads here (I've read too many obviously, that's why I am concerned), I am not looking for anyone to re-post their issues, just really to let me know whether you are a happy customer or not.

At this point I am thinking about the 89 (or 89f) due to neck profile, though I am very interested in general satisfaction with the with the whole line of JTVs.

I really appreciate anyone taking time to respond. Honestly, I am really hoping to hear from some happy customers.



Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Benni2407 on 2013-02-11 10:54:07.2910

Hello Lou,

I own a JTV-59 (Korean) and I am absolutely happy with it! Had some little issues (a bad pickup and -selector knob, cosmetic problems with chrome coming off the bridge), but what you get for your money is so much more than just a guitar! Really amazing!

And I got one of the early JTV-59s, which became famous for their issues. It should be much better now!

Hope this helped a bit!



Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by AlphaScorpious on 2013-02-11 12:45:10.4370

I got my JTV-59 Tobacco Burst (Korean) 3 months ago. I ordered it from the Beaverton, OR Guitar Center and when I went in to pick it up I brought my HD500, laptop and backing tracks and put the guitar through it's paces. When I got it home I changed the strings to my beloved GHS Boomers Light 10s and upgraded the firmware. I have had no issues at all. One thing that might have turned off someone else was a cosmetic issue in the grain of the cap - it looks like a blond streak. Personally, I think it gives it a unique character and it also makes it pretty recognizable if it were ever stolen. Would I buy another one? Yes, if they put a Floyd the 59. In fact, if I had the disposable income, I'd drop dime on a Custom Shop version.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Inerzia on 2013-02-11 13:57:23.2210

I'm also quite happy with my 89.
The pickup selector has been failing since the beginning, but a spare is on the way.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Geo888 on 2013-02-11 14:25:27.2710

These quality concerns are what stopping me from buying a new JTV guitar. It's sad that a company like Line6 cannot assure quality to its products. I am already an owner of a Flextone III amplifier, a Vetta II and a pod HD500. But when having to do with instruments paying 1200€, quality control should be present.....I am really disappointed reading about the problems in the forums with JTV guitars. The potential of these instruments exists....but quality seems to be a bit of disapointment, at least for Korean models.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by gerlin on 2013-02-11 14:35:31.1970

Thanks for your response, a quick question...

Is Line 6 sending you the part so you can put in, or is this just something you ordered somewhere?  Do you know if parts like the switches use plug-in connectors, or will you have to get out the soldering irion (I don't think that would be good for the warranty).

I could live with having to swap out a switch or something, as opposed to sending a new guitar for service for a few weeks.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by gerlin on 2013-02-11 14:51:09.5860

I guess we have the same concerns.  It is my understanding that the US models use the same electronics, switches and hardware (other than the tuners) as the Korean models.  I expect the build would be much better and hopefully the quality control much higher, though for the $3800+ price I have seen here in the US, I don't see I would go there.

I know it is a totally different animal, though for about $1650, I can get a new US made Music Man John Petrucci 6 with the Piezo bridge.  I know it does not do any of the really cool stuff the JTVs do, though for the difference in cost it is hard for me to trade quality for features. (I don't think I have ever heard a bad thing regarding their build quality).

Like you, I just wish the quality was there with the JTVs.

I'm still hoping I get more positive feedback that will convince me to take a risk with the JTV.  I know I can buy and return one, though I am just as concerned about long term reliability.

Thanks for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate it.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Geo888 on 2013-02-11 15:08:07.3090

Thank you too gerlin,

You are from US I am from Greece, in another continent! but no matter how we have different habbits, cultures as consumers we have the same concerns!

I am really interested in the idea of Variax but I also have in mind that I spent 1100€ for a Fernades Retro Rocket Elite (with sustainer) and the quality of the instrument was amazing not like my JS1000 Ibanez but awesome...Never had a problem with it...And this guitar was not built in Japan but in China,  the quality control was there though.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by snhirsch on 2013-02-11 15:15:31.2360

I've been a happy JTV-69(k) owner since last October and have no quality complaints about the instrument at all.  I did end up replacing the neck with a Mighty-Mite rosewood fingerboard Strat model, but that's personal preference.  My unit was for some reason missing a tremolo spring, but the Line-6 folks sent me a full set of (3) gratis and all's well there. 

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by gerlin on 2013-02-11 15:22:20.3130

I'm glad to hear that you've had no major issues.  I was originally thinking about the JTV-69 model, though I don't think the neck was for me.  It also seemed like the "69" had more issues (in the forum) than the other models, which also a concern for me. They maybe they have just sold more (I m sure they have sold a lot more than the 89 model.)

Was the neck swap much work?  Does a Strat syle neck just bolt on the 69 (and then adjust as needed)?

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by phil_m on 2013-02-11 15:39:07.5030

My perception is that though there are some problems that show up here, overall it seems like the overall qualityof the JTV line is doing better. In the beginning, there were a few issues that were more systemic, but it seems things have gotten better. When you compare the JTVs with the older Variaxes, it seems like the number of complaints has really diminished. I also think that with electronics, there's always a chance of something failing, but I think Line 6 does go out of its way to make things right for people.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Geo888 on 2013-02-11 15:45:51.2720

The problem is when losing faith to a company.

.but how can you be sure that he guitar that will be shipped to you is not part.of the problematic lines of production?

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by TomR00 on 2013-02-11 16:46:33.4900

You can put me down as a happy customer!!

I watched this board since the start of the JTV production and saw the problems with the early production runs. Then in the spring/summer of 2012 the complains on this board seemed to drop dramatically. So in 11/2012 I ordered a JTV-69S Gold/Korean from Sweetwater, had it in 2 days. Opened the package and it was flawless! Serial starts with 1208xxx so I think it was made in August of 2012.

I've had not problems what so ever, no switch problems, no battery charging problems, no string breaking problems, it's been perfect. I like you do not gig, only play at home or a friends house.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by snhirsch on 2013-02-11 17:43:08.8900

Was the neck swap much work?  Does a Strat syle neck just bolt on the 69 (and then adjust as needed)?

Yes, basically.  The scale length, width at the bottom and pocket size are identical.  Mighty-Mite necks come without mounting holes drilled, so you either have to do it yourself or wimp out like I did and pay a tech to do it.  I had to fuss a bit with the neck set angle. Ended up building a tapered shim by layering 2" wide masking tape (saw this on the internet) and cutting it to shape with an X-acto knife.  After a few rounds of truss-rod adjustment, I'm delighted with the results.  I really tried to like the original neck, but it was just too narrow at the nut for my fingers and the frets were like railroad ties compared to my other instruments ('68 Les Paul, PRS Custom 24 and US Strat).  This stuff is subjective, of course, and your mileage may well vary.

The only other mod I made was to install a Super-Vee MagLok on the tremolo system.  I'm super fussy about tuning and there's not a floating tremolo in existence that holds pitch well enough to suit me.  The Mag-Lok gives you a positive point of return for the mechanism without preventing you from pulling the pitch up.  If you don't touch the bar, it acts like a Tremo-No and prevents movement on string bends.  With even a light touch on the bar, it "breaks loose" from the magnetic hold and lets you dive to your heart's content.  Again, maybe not for everyone, but I think it's a terrific gadget and I'm planning to put one on the PRS and the Strat.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by gerlin on 2013-02-11 17:53:09.6070

Thanks for all the info.  If I decide to go the 69 route and decide I don't like the neck, at least I know it can be switched out fairly easily, especially if I get a predrilled neck, I read another thread saying the Warmoth Strat holes seems to fit fine.

I have a PRS Custom 24 as well, though  I don't like to play it when I am just having fun in the house, I am always worried I am bang it into something, or the dogs are come and bite it.

Thanks again for the very useful info.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Inerzia on 2013-02-11 20:32:12.1250

The normal procedure would have been me having to send the guitar to the distributor's workshop, but I can't wait that much time, so I had to negotiate really hard, and finally they'll send the piece and they'll swap it here, at the shop where I bought it. They count as qualified enough not to void my warranty. After all it's just a selector, it's not rocket science to change it. It's been a while since I opened the back plate, but I seem to remember that the cables were soldered to the connector, not plugged.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Inerzia on 2013-02-11 20:38:01.9460

Well, as you can see above, Geo, I've had some problems, and still... that won't stop me from buying a JTV-89F...
What I mean is, ok, they should be ok in the first place, but once the problem is solved, you have a very inspiring musical tool.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Krontab on 2013-02-11 20:54:32.0770

I have had no major issues other than a bad firmware flash. Reflash fixed it. It needed a setup as it played a bit clunky from the factory. Once that was done it has been great. I had less issue with this guitar than I have had with the rest of my guitars. I purchased a jtv59 black.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by gerlin on 2013-02-11 21:04:11.1670

Again, I really appreciate everyone taking the time to post here.

If I did my math right, it looks like so far there are 3 responses with some type of issue (none major) and 3 without physical hardware problems.

Though, I believe all 6 are happy with their JTVs when all is said and done.

This certainly gives me a more warm and fuzzy feeling than I did when I wrote the original post.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by gtrman100 on 2013-02-11 23:38:37.5860

Let me add to the warmth and fuzziness- I've had a JTV69 since mid 2011 with no problems whatsoever. It actually fell out of my gig bag onto the parking lot(I accidentally "relic" ed it) and other than a broken tuner, it's been perfect. I've probably done 40 rehearsals and gigs with it. I bought a 59 in December, haven't had it long, but it's been perfect too. I actually like playing the 59 better, it seems like a slightly better instrument, but the 69 is very good too.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by mekonrider on 2013-02-12 10:10:51.3120

I bought my JTV69 2nd hand about 6 months ago. The modelling selection knob is sometimes a bit 'sticky' but other than that I'd have no problems with it. No broken strings, no fretboard string slippage or dodgy electrics.

I'm considering a neck swap as I feel the neck is neither one thing or another in feel terms. I've got an Ibanez with a wizard II neck on a US standard Fender strat and it's not as good as either of those (even though they are doing different jobs). For what I play on the JTV I think I'll go with a neck swap at some point. It's still competent though, so it's not like your playing will suffer or anything.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by klarkkentster on 2013-02-13 09:54:21.7500

I bought a JTV 69 (Blue) in January of this year and hope to have it this week. I have reassurance from the Regional Line 6 guy and my local store they will stand behind any issue I have.  I think if more people were aware of the capabilities of the guitar...more folks woul dhave one. I think alot of people are scared off by technology simply unaware of the potential.  I hope Line 6 improves their efforts on educating dealers and the public. (demo's at stores etc ) I play in a worship setting... there isnt a guitar made that is better suited for this environment.  I'm excited to start playing it.

I have to belive there a large popolation out there that have had zero issues with their JTV...... when we have issues we seek out resolve...forums, tech support etc.... when all is well... we play!!!!!

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Jeffsco on 2013-02-13 13:20:08.2270

My local pro shop has 2 Korean JTV' s on display. On both of them..the accuracy of the Fretwork is quite bad. Even at a medium action there is substantial buzzing. I build guitars as a hobby so  I know that a truss rod adjustment or action change will not fix it. A shame when you invest that much in a guitar that it needs a fretjob right out of the box.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by phil_m on 2013-02-13 13:45:59.0250

That's not the normal action of the frets, though. I actually had noticed a few guitars at my local Guitar Center where the frets were pretty bad, and I let Rich Renkin, the guy who was the product manager at the time, know about it. A few weeks later, that store had gotten some new ones in, and those frets were fine.

Honestly, the fact that guitars with obvious issues are getting displayed is at least partly the fault of the dealer. A dealer should do things like check the setup and playability of a guitar before they put it on display. There are some guitars that just need sent back to the factory. This happens with all manufacturers. I used to work at smaller store, and we had to send guitars back every now and then (Fender and Ibanez were the top selling guitars in that store), and we never really had huge orders.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Nipp on 2013-02-13 13:56:19.4680

TBH you get that with Gibson LP Standard as well - I did. Spent 3 days to get setup decent. Tross rod adjustment - it was sent from germany to sweden - so humidity is very different - neck bends.

That's a $3000 guitar.

Give the shop a chance to at least do a proper setup of it - humidity in Korea is probably very different from that store.

I do tross rod adjustments twice a year to keep the neck as it should be. Relative humidity here is 35% in winter, and about 70% in summer.

It does not have to be a bad guitar because of a bad setup. Doing a setup is part of regular maintenance, just as changing strings and doing intonation are.

Just like any acoustic instrument - they are individuals. Find the one that is better - they are all different. You don't expect even quality on this pricerange instruments. Even Gibsons are different.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by snhirsch on 2013-02-13 15:26:42.1440

klarkkentster wrote:

I think if more people were aware of the capabilities of the guitar...more folks woul dhave one. I think alot of people are scared off by technology simply unaware of the potential.  I hope Line 6 improves their efforts on educating dealers and the public. (demo's at stores etc )

Another major issue that scares off potential customers is the almost complete lack of stocking dealers.  I had to drive 500 miles round-trip to Boston Guitar Center in order to put my hands on one.  The local GC could get one in, but (a) I'd have to give them my credit card and (b) I wouldn't be able to compare the JTV-59 and 69. 

Even after driving to B-Town, the staff at GC were not terribly familiar with the instrument and no one there was able to demo it with an HD500.  That essentially cost them a sale.  I eventually bought an HD on eBay, but probably would have sprung for it at the time if anyone knew anythng about it.  Really poor marketing and dealer training, IMHO.

I'm now very happy with my JTV-69 and HD500, BTW.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Geo888 on 2013-02-15 13:28:09.8650

Today I played with a JTV-59 Korean...

The finish of the guitar...pretty good....frets no buzz at all even when I asked for the seller

To lower string action...pickups? Awesome....

Now magnet switch... A small hiss sound when exchanging positions....variax model switch  ready to fall out of the body when trying to move

Back from the first position....

Surely a nice guitar regarding sound feel of fretboard but these small details left me worrying if I should 1300€ for it....

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by klarkkentster on 2013-02-15 13:33:59.5380

serial number?

I am hearing from the Line 6 folks they are currently putting a bunch of focus on quality. I am assuming the one you played is an older serial number.

My local dealer has 59, 69 and a 89 if anybody wants one....  they ship.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by gerlin on 2013-02-15 13:48:54.2760

It seems it may be true (about newer ones having better QC).  I regret in my original post I did not ask for the first 4 digits of the serial numbers (which I understand is year and month) when asking for owner's experiences.

At this point I am really leaning towards taking a chance on one after I get my tax refund.  In my mind I go back and forth between the 69 and 89 models.  I am likely going to have to order it unseen, so I am thinking it may be safer to buy a 69s or 89f, since these are new models.

I can't tell anything about the guitars at Musicians Friend, though at Sweetwater it looks like the standard 69 models they have are all about a year old. The 89 models are even older.

Going with a 69s or 89f would also (hopefully) reduce the chance of getting one that has already been returned.

Again, thanks to all that have responded.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by klarkkentster on 2013-02-15 13:59:39.9790

I love how the 69 feels.... 89 feels like my old RG570 wizard neck.

If I could get a 89f for the same $ i would go for that one I think.

The neck was too fat for me on the 59.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by gerlin on 2013-02-15 14:01:42.6430

Did you really mean you "love how the 69 feels"?  I would think you would not like the 69 neck (I think it is the same as the 59)  if you like the 89 neck.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by phil_m on 2013-02-15 14:09:34.2530

The 69 and 59 necks are pretty different. I like the 69 neck. I don't really know what to compare it to, though. It's definitely different than a Strat. It has flatter radius, for on thing, and it's a bit narrower at the nut. But it's isn't totally unlike a Strat. I played a Strat for years, and I have had no issue going to the 69 neck.

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by gerlin on 2013-02-15 14:17:19.3210

Thanks for the info.

The line 6 site states "Tyler '59 neck shape" for both the 59 and 69.  I thought I had read that in the forums as well (not that that really means anything).

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by Geo888 on 2013-02-15 14:30:18.0510

I didn't check the serial number....But the fact.that we such a game.seeking for serial.number

And dates of clear....Line6 is not a.serious company....

What means that now they are more focused in.qc...Mercy!

Re: JTV Quality Concerns
by klarkkentster on 2013-02-15 14:41:16.2080

59 and 69 are considerably different to me.

59 bigger fatter

69 - leanish

89 - wizardish  flat wide

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