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MF MD HG Ask Our Gearheads 07-08-14

Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar Lake Placid Blue 

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Product #H05503
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Overview

  • 1960 Fender Telecaster Custom
  • 1968 Fender Telecaster
  • 1968 Fender Telecaster Thinline
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $1,999.99
  • Your Savings:
    up to - $1,200.00
  • New Starting At:
    $79999
7 Used From $791.99
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    $1,399.99 Silver Coverage

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  • Black

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Gold Coverage: (What’s This?)

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See All Line 6 Solid Body Electric Guitars
Line 6

The latest Variax technology in a finely crafted guitar.

The JTV-69 James Tyler Variax Modeling Electric Guitar offers an innovative design and boutique playing experience courtesy of master luthier James Tyler, and the world's most advanced guitar modeling technology from the people who invented it, Line 6. Plug this guitar into any amp and hear all the models, all the tunings, and both acoustic and electric tones you've ever wanted. No more dragging around multiple acoustics and electrics to gigs or recording studios. Variax gives you an endless variety of sounds from classic acoustic and electric tones all the way to sitar and banjo, all in one instrument.

The JTV-69 features a beautiful flamed maple top, alder back, and a bolt-on maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. A recessed heel makes reaching the upper frets a breeze. The JTV-69 is loaded with a pair of single-coil pickups (neck and middle positions), and custom-wound humbuckers (bridge) designed by James Tyler. Controls include a 5-way blade pickup selector switch, a master volume & tones. A rotary model selector dials the 25 virtual guitars plus sitar, banjo, and resonator guitar tones. A rotary alt tuning selector lets you pick from 12 alternate tunings. Comes standard with a durable, padded gig bag with a stitched Line 6 logo and 2 pockets big enough for all your gig essentials.

Redesigned tremolo bridge
The JTV-69 has a redesigned tremolo bridge that offers improved tone and tuning stability. This design lets the string go into the bridge through the front of the tremolo, which brings the ball end as close to the saddle as possible, instead of stringing it through the tremolo block. This also makes restringing much easier. The knife edges and tremolo pivot posts were designed to provide nearly zero resistance. This, in conjunction with locking tuners gives this standard tremolo bridge much more tuning stability. A Graph Tech Black TUSQ XL nut keeps the strings from gripping and sticking. James Tyler Custom tremolo bridge is also fitted with an LR Baggs Radiance hex pickup system for sweet acoustic guitar tones.

Dual-core Processor
Dual-core processor delivers 4 times the punch. This new chip is smaller, faster, and more powerful. It has allowed Line 6 to run fuller, clearer models of guitar bodies and pickups; let all their models have alternate tunings; improved alternate tuning purity and speed; provided alternate tuning customization; and improved modes of operation and editing. The JVT sounds and responds surprisingly more like a traditional guitar.

Variax Workbench Software
Variax Workbench software is a virtual custom shop. This free software, which can be downloaded from the Line-6 web site, lets you create custom models on your computer and upload them to your JTV-59 via its built-in USB port. Choose from famous guitar bodies, pickups, pickup placement, tone and volume controls, and tweak away until you've designed the guitar of your dreams – without choking on sawdust!

This combination USB interface and software package for James Tyler Variax guitars allows you to see and hear the physical changes to your custom guitar in real-time. Ever wonder what a single-coil pickup would sound like on a hollow-body guitar tuned an octave down? Probably not. That's because it wasn't a reality – until now.

The Alt Tune Knob
Each James Tyler Variax modeling guitar has a dedicated Alt Tune knob. This knob has 12 settings, including two labeled "Model" and "Standard." Set to "Model," the Alt Tune knob lets you access the alternate tunings you created using Variax Workbench virtual guitar workbench software. These tunings are stored on your Variax's Model knob. Set to "Standard," the Alt Tune knob overrides saved tunings to set every model to standard "E-to-E" tuning. The Alt Tune knob's remaining 10 settings are the most commonly used tunings found in the popular genres of the day.

The Virtual capo feature lets you easily transpose any song to the key that suits you vocalist. And you can adjust your tuning on the fly without having to do on "Workbench" software.

Battery powered DSP
A proprietary lithium-ion battery delivers at least 12 hours of continuous performance. A 4-LED battery life meter lets you know how much rocking time you have left. Rolling down the volume knob when not playing will automatically put the DSP to sleep and helps maximize battery life. So even with your cable still plugged in, you will not be using battery power. DSP wakes up instantly when you turn the volume back up. The JTV-69 functions as a standard electric guitar whether the battery installed or not.


Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options. Includes gig bag.

Features

Variax models based on:

  • 1960 Fender Telecaster Custom
  • 1968 Fender Telecaster
  • 1968 Fender Telecaster Thinline
  • 1969 Fender Stratocaster
  • 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard
  • 1952 Gibson Les Paul "Goldtop"
  • 1961 Gibson Les Paul Custom (3 PU)
  • 1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior
  • 1976 Gibson Firebird V
  • 1955 Gibson Les Paul Special
  • 1969 Gretsch 6120
  • 1956 Gretsch Silver Jet
  • 1968 Rickenbacker 360
  • 1966 Rickenbacker 360-12
  • 1961 Gibson ES-335
  • 1967 Epiphone Casino
  • 1957 Gibson ES-175
  • 1953 Gibson Super 400
  • 1969 Martin D-28
  • 1970 Martin D 12-28
  • 1967 Martin O-18
  • 1966 Guild F212
  • 1995 Gibson J-200
  • 1935 Dobro Alumilite
  • Danelectro 3021
  • Coral Dano Electric Sitar
  • Gibson Mastertone Banjo
  • 1928 National Style 2 "Tricone"

Alternate tunings for JTV-69:

  • MODEL
  • STANDARD: E A D G B E
  • DROP D: D A D G B E
  • 1/2 DOWN: Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
  • DROP Db: Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
  • 1 DOWN: D G C F A D
  • DADGAD: D A D G A D
  • OPEN D: D A D F# A D
  • BLUES G: D G D G B D
  • RESO G: G B D G B D
  • OPEN A: E A C# E A E
  • BARITONE: B E A D F B
  • Includes padded gig bag made by G&G

All the guitars you've ever wanted in one amazing instrument.

 

JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar Specifications:

  • Top: flamed maple
  • Back: alder
  • Neck: bolt-on maple neck
  • Fingerboard: rosewood
  • Scale length: 25-1/2"
  • Radius: 12"
  • Number of frets: 22
  • Nut: Graph Tech Black TUSQ XL
  • Nut width: 1-5/8"
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Pickups: Neck and mid pickups: Custom single-coil; Bridge pickup: Custom humbucker (wound to Tyler's specs)
  • Electronics: Full Variax system
  • Bridge: James Tyler Custom tremolo bridge with LR Baggs Radiance hex pickup system
  • Tuners: Custom tuners
  • Included: Workbench USB adapter, Li-Ion battery, and switching power supply
  • Workbench software downloadable for free from Line 6
Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
Line 6JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar
 
4.1

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (6)
  • Good tone (4)
  • Fun to play (3)
  • Solid electronics (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming (3)
    • Practicing (3)
    • Recording (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (4)

    Reviewed by 9 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-9

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    (5 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    "Its not you , .........its me"

    By tsull75

    from Dallas TX

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Rock Concerts

      Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

      First and foremost I would like to thank MF for thier time and exclent service they bent over backwards for me on this and it was greatly appreciated. The only way to put this was like when you breakup with that great girl friend, you know the one that was smoking hot but had breath that would knock over an elephant, or had a laugh that makes a baby cry! "its not you, its me"
      Im neurotic, and my ears are just to old school, I have owned maybe 12+ guitars ranging from American made to the finest Japan has to offer in a Team J-craft Ibanez to just plain old korean made Telecaster. Sowith that to compair to, without a doubt I thought the JTV-69 is a great sounding guitar. On its own or with the variax system, the feel was great, the pickups are up there with some of the best Ive heard. The thing I loved most about this guitar hands down was the satin finish on the neck. I had no issues with the frets, or the variax button, like some have had. I really liked how it fit my big clumsy hand. I also had 2/3rds of the "Dream Rig" an HD500 to go with the JTV-69, and played this thing from morning to night for several days. Creating some excellent tones and textures, but at the end of the day it was my ears that could not buy the sound, and my head I could not wrap around the system. Not technical wise just sound wise, I did own a L6 X3Live befor this and used it with tube amps and a pair of Rokit 5's, so I was used to and prepaired for the tweaking. As cool of a system as it is I just could not do it. Now that being said would I recomend this guitar and system? Yes. Try it it out it may be the one for you, and for studio stuff this thing is a dream come true For players who need a wide veriaty of tones and sounds who could ask for more. So again like we all have had to tell that girl (or guy) friend at one time or another, that was the hottest, sexxiest, and the whole package, "its not you,.....its me ".

      Comment on this review

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Versatile, impressive.

      By docrock

      from atlanta, ga

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Jamming
        • Practicing
        • School Bands
        • Small Venues

        Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

        When I first got this guitar, my son was playing my Martin DR through my Pod x3 live. Because I was hooked up through variax port on the Pod, we were both able to play at the same time, with the same effects and volume. I switched the Variax over to accoustic and set the tone for Martin and we could not tell the difference between the two. He was extremely impressed and believe me, he is 19 and nothing impresses him much! We played some Bob Seger and the variax would definitely fool an audience. Again, I could'nt tell which guitar was playing what. I also have a strat and I have played it for years. The variax model for the strat is fantastic. I haven't picked up my strat in months.

        If you want a guitar for recording, go with an original. If you want a guitar for gigging, this is the most versatile guitar there is and adds a lot of tools to your toolbox. It's durable, well built and keeps it's tune better than any other guitar I own.

        This guitar seems to be loved or hated, but in my opinion, it's the perfect gig guitar.

        Comment on this review

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Definitely try before you buy

        By EADGBE19958

        from Bradenton, FL

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Alt Tunings Fantastic
        • Good Feel
        • Nice look

        Cons

        • Fret Buzz
        • Limited Tremolo Bar
        • Many Sounds Are Cheesy
        • Sticky Git Model Selector

        Best Uses

          Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

          Here were my problems:
          1)Sticky Guitar Model Selector. Had to take off knob to be able to push stem to activate Selector. It was like the knob was too big for the hole it is set into. Might have been able to fix this, but then, that's not MY job. Is it? I could have damaged it further in the process.
          2)6th string buzzed and lost all volume from 2nd fret progressively worse to 12th. At 12th and above, sat right against 13th fret. Possibly remedied by raising bridge, but that would've taken an experienced tech with the tremolo bridge involved.
          3)1st string fell off the fretboard with the slightest bend downward. How do you fix that?
          4)Tremolo bar would pitch down, but not up...not even slightly. Was it set up wrong?
          5)Guitar Model sounds were, IMO, mostly cheesy. Not sure they were authentic or not, but Banjo, Sitar, 12-string Acoustic and Reso models were not. If this is what these sounds were meant to be, I think they are sorely lacking.
          6)Manual shipped with product was too basic. Should have printed and included the manuals available online.
          I might have been able to get items 1) through 4) fixed. But 5) is what it is.I'm convinced---and disappointed---that this particular guitar was not tested or set up between time it came off the line til it reached my home. If it had been played even once, it would have undergone repair immediately. This one totally missed the quality control test.
          I'd recommend finding a store that has two or more of each model desired to test before making purchase decision.
          If I just got a lemon, sorry for the criticism.

          On a better note, can't say enough good about MF's return process. Accepted the return with no (well, very few) questions asked. Cost me only return postage via UPS (not much), took about 10 minutes on the phone (haven't gotten final credit yet, but I assume that's on the way). If I thought I'd just gotten a lemon, I'd get another one shipped and try it out, but unfortunately, I think I'll just get a fancy effects pedal and another guitar for alternate tunings.

          Comment on this review

          (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Good guitar, Variax much improved!

          By GEO

          from USA

          About Me Professional Musician

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Good Feel
          • Good Tone

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

              I've only had this for two weeks, but that is enough to review it.

              First, the guitar itself is quite nice, though I'm sure the USA made versions are somewhat better. This is still the same electronics (for the variax) as the more expensive models though and that is mainly what I got it for.

              It stays in tune very well, as well as Ibanez guitars with zero-trems. (I don't do any radical dive bombing though)

              Everyone wants to know if the modeled sounds are good... well, they are!
              People want to know if the pitch-change works well, ... it does, so long as you don't radically alter pitch. For instance, the drop D, DADGAD and open G tunings are all very good. There is no noticeable delay between picking the note and hearing the altered pitch through your system.

              However, there is a very noticeable "warbling" when extreme pitch changes are used, especially on the Baritone setting. I suspect that that is nearly impossible to fix with current chip-set speeds and bit depth. That's probably OK for kids who use tons of distortion. If you wanted to play clean country licks with the Baritone setting, forget it. The low notes have digital artifacts that even a beginner would hear.

              The main thing I love about the guitar is that it is a GOOD guitar. Nice tuning machines, great bridge and trem, comfortable body, solid neck, nice fret work, and it plays in tune! Mine came almost perfect from the box, so I haven't tweaked it much yet, but I suspect it will be easy after looking at the fine components Mr Tyler designed. All the hardware is A+ quality.

              The stock passive pickups are good too! Some may long for more power, others for more high end... that's always a trade off. Again Mr Tyler's experience shows here. The stock pickups sound very authentic. In fact, you can switch between the modeled strat and the pickups to hear there is little difference between the two.

              Since alternate tunings ideally require different gauges of strings and a proper set-up on individual guitars, I have never messed around with them much. It is too expensive and too much hassle. About the only alt-tuning I have experience with is the Drop D and open G. So my personal reason for getting this was to experiment with other tunings. I find it especially helpful when students want to do new tunes by younger artists that always seem to favor alt tunings. For that purpose, this is a great time-saver and a great value.

              I have a LOT of experience with real American Strats, Teles and Pauls, so I can attest those models are VERY authentic.

              The acoustic models are quite good too, but they only sound really great through a FULL RANGE system. They are convincing enough through a regular guitar amp if you use a clean setting with ZERO distortion and the treble UP, but guitar amps never have the high-frequency content that acoustic simulation requires.

              Therefore, I can recommend this to teachers, players who want different tunings and gigging musicians who need a versatile axe without carrying many guitars. If you intend to use the acoustic models much, be sure to use a full range system of some kind.

              Complaints: Other than the digital glitches (warbling) on extreme pitch setting, I think the twelve-string models could be a little more in tune. It sounds like they intentionally detuned the octave strings to make the sound more "authentic." Perhaps that is what people want, but I would really prefer better intonation on 12 string settings.

              So far, the battery life is as advertised, so I'm thrilled with that. My older model Line 6 variax ate batteries. The new technology has improved that greatly.

              Overall, this guitar competes strongly with any other production guitar on the market, just as a plain guitar. When you add the modeling features, it becomes a no-brainer. Perhaps they will improve even more in the future as technology progresses, but I felt this was worth the investment now since it is almost perfect.

              Unless the laws of physics suddenly change or human hearing evolves unexpectedly, this sounds as close to the real thing as you can get without investing MANY thousands. It sounds like great recordings of famous guitars.

              At this price range, that is a heck of a deal.

              Comment on this review

              (10 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Try before you BUY !!!

              By Mr. Truth

              from WI.

              About Me Professional Musician

              Pros

              • Good Feel

              Cons

              • Flat Sound

              Best Uses

              • Recording

              Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

              There are a few good things about the new JTV 69, and a lot of bad ones. First, it's digital and sounds like it. Im sure the kiddies will have fun playing with the knobs though. Most of the guitar models are weak, except for the ones you want. The Les paul, Strats, and tele's models are ok, but NO WHERE NEAR the original. The banjo, and Sitar are convincing. The 12 string electrics and acoustics are abizmal. The build is good except there is no relief for your hand at the nut on the trebble side. Look at how the headstock joins the guitar at the nut by the high, or first string, compared with EVERY other MFG. difficult due to the lack of space needed, and very obtrusive in the open positions. The Neck does feel good , but you WILL have to get used to the string spacing. The absolute best feature of the guitar is the tuning wheel. It works very well and has spaces for your own tunings. Hardly enough to justify the price tag though. Mt suggestion is to wait until the next generation comes out and they have had time to make the much needed adjustments. But you will still have to suffer through the sterile world of digital. I can see it being used in the studio, but thats about it. The virtual capo takes at least 15-20 seconds to finalize and is useless for live. Trust me...I wanted this guitar to work for me . I am tired of hauling the 4 guitars needed for my shows. The JTV 69 did not come close to giving me the tones I needed. True, there are bells and whistles, (most of which you will find sub par) but guess what... bells and whistles are CHEAP. Not the JTV 69. Do the right thing and buy the needed gear and disipline yourself like I have, and bring it to every show.

              Comment on this review

              (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              JTV69 - Much Improved Variax

              By Art Braun

              from Columbia, Mo.

              About Me Experienced

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Pick Up
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Jamming
                • Practicing
                • Recording
                • Small Venues

                Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

                This is my second Variax guitar and I have to say it is a major improvement over the Variax 500 that I have owned and gigged with for the last eight years. I decided to upgrade from my Variax 500 and Pod XT Live to the new Line 6 Dream rig so I purchased this JTV 69 along with a Pod HD500 and DT 25 112. The whole rig is outstanding. The guitar is a huge leap forward from my old one with a better feel, better neck, improved bridge, and tuners, and models that sound much improved. Having magnetic pickups is also a nice touch. The acoustic Models and the alternate tunings are just fantastic. I had to put in some time setting up the guitar for my tastes including just a bit of leveling on the frets,a neck adjustment, along with changing out the stock strings for the ones I usually use and re-intonating but that comes with almost any new guitar and between me and my luthier it was setup in a few days. Now I'm programming the complete setup for the band setlist. Great job Line 6!

                Comment on this review

                (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Quite the Versital recording guitar

                By keith Murphy

                from monroe,wa.

                Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

                all and all A nice Guitar and some very Good usable sounds.....Plays well,allthough It took me a Little while to get use to the Neck and the string spacing..........But now everything seeems to be Going well...
                good feature set..everythings there that you need.....
                Build quality is very good.......Feels Good In your hands and Plays well.....Love having all the Sounds to write songs in my studio........a Great "All Around" Instrument.
                Great value......where else are you going to have all these guitars and other stringed instuments,for this price........VERY Cool!

                Comment on this review

                (14 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                JTV-69 guitar

                Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

                Overall, I must rate it very high. The versatility offered by the JTV-69, with multiple guitar modeling and ability to instantly change tunings, is unique and valuable/ highly utilitarian to any musician. And in my opinion the quality is up there with the best (see above comments on quality). Without reservation, I would recommend this product to other musicians.
                The sound output quality is excellent. Regarding features....the versatility is unparalleled in the emulation of many models of guitars, and the ability to instantly change tunings.
                Extremely high quality in my opinion, including in comparison to some other leading brands of guitar that I own/have owned/have played. I have never found an instrument yet that was impossible to critique in some way, but I definitely feel this product holds its own among the best. Overall, I am quite impressed with the quality as related to the finish, playability, speed and feel of the fretboard, pickups, and pot controls.....again, considering it both standalone and in comparison to other leading brands.
                Taking the quality and versatility into consideration versus price, my opinion is that the pricing offered by Musician's Friend on this item is a good value.

                Comment on this review

                (18 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Some thoughts on the JTV-69 guitar after many gigs

                By roccotanto

                from miami beach

                Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

                I was never a fan of the first generation of Variax guitars. They were ugly, not very playable, and if the batteries were dead in them, you were stuck with a boat paddle, or a "crowd control device"Enter the Tyler Variax - designed by one of the best boutique guitar makers ever, James Tyler. And they also have standard magnetic pickups that work like a normal guitar, as well as all Tyler designed hardware. YES!The JTV-69 is the perfect guitar for the average working guitarist like me -- I am not a grammy winning touring guitarist who has a rack of guitars and a tech to hand them to him. I work 3-4 nites a week playing bars, private parties, corporate gigs, and studio sessions.The Tyler Variax allows me to carry ONE guitar that can cover dozens of sounds and tunings. I can switch from a Tele in open G tuning for a Stones song, to a Les Paul and Marshall for Guns & Roses, and to a Sitar for some trippy 60s hippy action.I have played the 89, the 69, and the 59 models of these guitars. The 69 is my favorite, followed by the 59, and the shredder 89 coming in third.The new generation of variax electronics are MUCH better than the first ones, and you can FINALLY do alternate tunings on a knob that are not tied to whatever model you are using.Overall, this guitar gets a 9 out of 10. I think the frets need a little more final polishing, and the guitar needs to be set up by a pro to YOUR specs once you buy it.But this guitar, paired with the HD500 pedalboard makes a MONSTER of a rig. This is the future, might as well get on board now!

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