Opinions/Experience with Line6 Variax JTV-59

cybermgk

Singin' the body lectric
Premium Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2011
Messages
14,651
Reaction score
20,563
I just purchased a Demo (in excellent almost new shape, 3 TINY scratches). It's a 2019 manufacture, Black, with the Ebony fret board).

Those that have a JTV-59 what are your general opinions? Mind you, I am a modeler guy, so that part really appeals to me.

In particular, I am curious about the these items (as NO ONE around here has one, so it's just vids and reviews to go on.

1. Neck, It says JTV 59 neck. I have heard it's chunky. But how does it compare to Gibson necks, Where does it fall on that spectrum?

2. How sticky, or not is the gloss neck finish? I really like my nitro and satin poly necks

3. How are the Humbucker pickups on their own. I've read most think they are great, but I trust folks opinions HERE.

4. Any mechanical or digital issues?
 

tzd

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
6,276
Reaction score
4,263
1. Neck, It says JTV 59 neck. I have heard it's chunky. But how does it compare to Gibson necks, Where does it fall on that spectrum?
It is very rounded, similar to Gibson 50's neck. I get along with this neck better than my Gibson 50's neck. Has a very nice rounded neck joint that makes it easy to access the 22nd fret.

2. How sticky, or not is the gloss neck finish? I really like my nitro and satin poly necks
It is the same finish as you would find on gloss poly PRS SE or ESP LTDs made by WMI in Korea.

3. How are the Humbucker pickups on their own. I've read most think they are great, but I trust folks opinions HERE.
They are fine normal humbuckers, nothing very special about them, but also nothing bad to say about them. If you put it on the Variax Les Paul model, the modeled humbucker sounds more compressed than the real humbuckers.

4. Any mechanical or digital issues?
Yes. I shipped it back to Line 6 once to replace the entire digital board and switch, under warranty. The switch got stuck when pressed.

I also have intermittent connection issues when using the Variax cable (basically an ethernet cable). Bought 3 sets of cables, both Line 6 branded and custom made, but had issues with all of them at one point or another. I think it's because the cable's basically an Ethernet cable, and the connection points are crimped, and they are prone to bad connections.

Also have issues with the pickup selector switch cutting out when switching positions. This was solved by occasionally spraying deoxit. It seems to oxidize more easily than my other guitars.
 

hbucker

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2007
Messages
3,846
Reaction score
1,511
It's been years since I picked up a Variax in a store. The last one I played was actually a decent enough player. I don't remember any specific issues with how it played, which was much more like a Fender than a Gibson.

The Variax hangs its hat on how many different sounds it can provide. No arguments here. Seems valid.

My only observation comes from the feel perspective. On a forum where we micro-analyze the feel of different tube sag, compression, ss/modeling vs. tubes, string gage, action, scale length, pickup nuances, radius, neck feel, fretboard width, feel of different finishes, tonal feel of different woods, etc. etc. etc. - And how all of these seem to make or break any player's experience with the gear they're playing... I think it's significant if that a person is playing a guitar that feels more like a Fender but sounds like a Les Paul. Or the difference of going from a Tele pickup to a Super Distortion on the same guitar and how sterile the experience might be from a feel standpoint, even if the tone is dead-on

I've got no axe to grind (see what I did there?) with the Variax. I just see it as a useful tool for home recording or maybe for a copy band than a guitar that would be someone's go-to instrument. Not a preferred tool, but a useful tool.

For those who read this and the Variax is their go-to guitar because it's awesome, I celebrate that on your behalf! You win! Keep doing what you're doing!

I just see the Variax as a somewhat niche instrument that has a lot of practicality, but may be lacking in many of the nuanced areas that generate discussions on forums like this one.

That's my opinion. Hope you get a lot of use out of yours.
 

tzd

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
6,276
Reaction score
4,263
I just see it as a useful tool for home recording or maybe for a copy band than a guitar that would be someone's go-to instrument. Not a preferred tool, but a useful tool.
Yep I only use it if I had to play Hotel California in my set!
 

fleahead

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2012
Messages
4,020
Reaction score
6,103
I have a 1st gen 600 - one of my fave guitars - and I have had many guitars in over 45 years. Fit and finish is outstanding, I love the neck as well as any Fender style I've have. And once I tweaked the models it is currently my #1, I only break out Patty Lou when I need a real LP that only she delivers. Not that I am really playing anymore but I love my Variax. Also had a 4 string 700 bass that I wish I never had to sell.

FB has a Variax users page, I HIGHLY recommend it as there are Line 6 guys there with oodles of info, lots of users detailing their ups and downs.
 

cybermgk

Singin' the body lectric
Premium Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2011
Messages
14,651
Reaction score
20,563
It's been years since I picked up a Variax in a store. The last one I played was actually a decent enough player. I don't remember any specific issues with how it played, which was much more like a Fender than a Gibson.

The Variax hangs its hat on how many different sounds it can provide. No arguments here. Seems valid.

My only observation comes from the feel perspective. On a forum where we micro-analyze the feel of different tube sag, compression, ss/modeling vs. tubes, string gage, action, scale length, pickup nuances, radius, neck feel, fretboard width, feel of different finishes, tonal feel of different woods, etc. etc. etc. - And how all of these seem to make or break any player's experience with the gear they're playing... I think it's significant if that a person is playing a guitar that feels more like a Fender but sounds like a Les Paul. Or the difference of going from a Tele pickup to a Super Distortion on the same guitar and how sterile the experience might be from a feel standpoint, even if the tone is dead-on

I've got no axe to grind (see what I did there?) with the Variax. I just see it as a useful tool for home recording or maybe for a copy band than a guitar that would be someone's go-to instrument. Not a preferred tool, but a useful tool.

For those who read this and the Variax is their go-to guitar because it's awesome, I celebrate that on your behalf! You win! Keep doing what you're doing!

I just see the Variax as a somewhat niche instrument that has a lot of practicality, but may be lacking in many of the nuanced areas that generate discussions on forums like this one.

That's my opinion. Hope you get a lot of use out of yours.
The JTV-59 I purchased is an LP. single cut analog.
 


Latest Threads



Top