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Old 08-25-2013, 09:47 PM   #41
Clay-man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
I was in Rich Renken's office at Line 6 just before they officially announced the JTVs and quite a bit before they announced the DT series. At the time, he had all three Variax models in samples, and we were looking them over. I was, at the time, more interested in the 59 (the LP-alike) and told him I wanted to see one with a Floyd on it. He glanced up, did one of those "Cough" numbers that covered the words "Third shelf" and waggled his eyebrows. Behind me was a bookcase cluttered with his car models and other toys, and sure enough, on the third shelf was a Graphtech LB163. I've been waiting ever since. And of course they didn't put it on the LP model <G>.

They may just be changing the hardtail version a bit; the upside down headstock wasn't particularly popular, particularly since Tyler has a canoe paddle of a headstock on the poor things. The 59's headstock is nicer looking, but I guess that wouldn't do for a "metal/shredder" guitar, eh?


Someone on the L6 forums put a bigsby on his 59. Was pretty good. Probably voids the warranty though.

I think the 59's headstock uses the Variax 500/700 headstock shape, at least that's what someone told me.
I am not a fan of the James Tyler headstocks at all. Maybe swap out the neck, but again, that'd void the warranty.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:49 PM   #42
dspellman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay-man
Someone on the L6 forums put a bigsby on his 59. Was pretty good. Probably voids the warranty though.

I think the 59's headstock uses the Variax 500/700 headstock shape, at least that's what someone told me.
I am not a fan of the James Tyler headstocks at all. Maybe swap out the neck, but again, that'd void the warranty.


I'm just going to leave all that alone. Might have the frets glued and PLEK'd if they need work. If I get *really* ambitious, I might put a Sustainer on it, but not for a good while. I'll mostly work with it dead stock (since it's got most of what I really need on there already).
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:40 PM   #43
Clay-man
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Originally Posted by dspellman
I'm just going to leave all that alone. Might have the frets glued and PLEK'd if they need work. If I get *really* ambitious, I might put a Sustainer on it, but not for a good while. I'll mostly work with it dead stock (since it's got most of what I really need on there already).


I've heard stuff like a sustainiac having trouble working with a Variax? I donno why. Maybe only if you're trying to use 1 power source.
Shouldn't be a problem if you set it up right.

Frankly I want to hear what a Variax with a sustainer sounds like, especially with the sitar, banjo, and acoustic stuff.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:57 PM   #44
dspellman
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Originally Posted by Clay-man
I've heard stuff like a sustainiac having trouble working with a Variax? I donno why. Maybe only if you're trying to use 1 power source.
Shouldn't be a problem if you set it up right.

Frankly I want to hear what a Variax with a sustainer sounds like, especially with the sitar, banjo, and acoustic stuff.


I don't know that you can use the Variax power source (the new Lithium batteries) for a Variax anyway. Since the Variax can run off the power coming through the ethernet-like Variax cable as well as both the onboard battery and the TRS 1/4" cable, things could get tricky trying to piggy back. On my other sustainer-equipped guitars, I've even separated the 9V power sources for things like the Chandler Tone-X from the sustainer's 9V.

I'm not at all sure how the sustainer would work with the Variax modeled guitars; for me, it would be up to Gary Brawer (San Francisco) to figure all that out without generating a squealing mess. Chances are he's already been in the guts of one; he's the go-to guy that Fernandes recommends when you need one of their sustainers installed on this coast. Fact is, I think he's the go-to guy for Sustainiac on the West Coast as well. Certainly you'd have to do away with the neck magnetic pickup on any current JTV Variax, but you may be able to squeeze a single coil-size stacked humbucker into the same pickup ring as would accommodate the single-coil-size sustainer driver (as he's done on my other guitars).

It's not a cheap installation; the Sustainer itself runs about $250 for the kit (I'm not sure about the Sustainiac version) and if you're going to put the circuit board anywhere but in the control cavity, you have routing for both the board and the battery box:




This implementation puts the sustainer controls behind the bridge (Floyd, in this case) on a standard guitar, out of the way:



Unfortunately, however, on a JTV 89, the Variax circuit boards live in that location, so there'd have to be some fancy footwork done to get things where you want them. This is the back of the 89, but the 89F has the Floyd spring cavity rout right in the middle of all of that (black one). Where do you put it?


Last edited by dspellman : 09-06-2013 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:37 PM   #45
ext1jdh
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For anyone interested in the acoustic models straight out of the Variax...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAw4...IUiUa9BS1gmXwJw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB4L...IUiUa9BS1gmXwJw

I know my playing sucks. Not the point of these vids.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:36 PM   #46
dspellman
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Just thought I'd pop in here again --

I got the JTV-89F a week or two ago. The Blood Red version (I've got way too many black guitars).

I'd actually ordered it in early August, and it was backordered (I think Line 6 was taking the time to get the HD firmware installed on these). I'd asked the local Guitar Denter to make sure that I was getting a new, unopened box, and I picked it up at the store (in case there were glitches). I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it arrived in tune (!) and with a great setup. Action was very low without buzzing (and trust me, I hit every fret). Frets were NICE.

In terms of playability, this was a NICE guitar. I was really expecting to have to work it over a bit (I've got two other Variaxeseses). Everything works as advertised, no glitches. Since I know there aren't a lot of these out there, I know there will be questions, so have at it.

While I'm a long-time LP fanboy and I'm well aware that the 59 and 69 (LP and Strat) designs are more popular, I think this version may actually be the best design of all the Variax guitars.
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