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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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Old 07-24-2014, 06:02 AM   #47
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Hey DSpell, do you know how much the alt tuning sounds different?
I've seen videos of the HD firmware and it sounds like they changed the alt tunings. They don't sound nasally when pitched up anymore.

I have a problem with hammer ons and pull offs playing wrong notes/warble sometimes, have they ever fixed that with the JTVs?
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:03 AM   #48
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I'm having great luck with the alternate tunings, but I haven't gone up in pitch as much as down. One of the goals of the JTV team was to improve the piezos, eliminate artifacting and make palm muting foolproof. By and large, I think the new LR Baggs piezos do that. Certainly the Graphtech Ghost piezos on the 89F do. I think some of the people who were doing transplants with the 500 guts swapped out piezos. Might be worth contacting Baggs and Graphtech and seeing what can be done with your 600.

It's a lot more fiddly to do alternate tunings on the 500 than it is on the current guitars. The 89F subs a few additional downtunings for some of the nice BluesG, etc., that are on the 59 and 69, but it's actually a piece of cake to change tunings on an ad hoc basis, simple to save them over the factory presets if you're going to use the new one more than Drop Bb, for example. And of course you can edit everything in Workbench.

I've got over nine months in on the JTV-89F now, and I'm very comfortable using it on a new band project that's about three months in, to the point where I think I may have to start dusting off the 500 to use as a backup for it. It's a modest cover band, and they want to tackle some of those songs that normally require either more guitar players, a double neck, or a lot of recording hijinks, such as Eagles, Doobies and Boston.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:39 AM   #49
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Quote:
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 have a stock unmodified and unused, and brand new variax neck shoot PM me if you are interested
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:57 AM   #50
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Modifications will void your warranty, so be sure to know what you want to do with your guitar. If you do so, you're free to do whatever with your guitar, but if it breaks down from an error of the occasional bad apple scenario, it'll cost you without the warranty.



As far as your response, I asked because I want to get a JTV model in the future.

My 600's alt tuning is good, but above the 12th fret on alternate tunings, it struggles a bit on hammer on and pull offs on the high e.

My question is, when you tune down (or whatever), if you do hammer ons and pull offs above the 12th fret, do you get any warble? It's a big concern of mine. I really hope they fixed that.

On topic still about alt tuning though, it seems like they improved the sound a bit, from what I've heard on videos. Tuning up sounds A LOT better. Tuning down, I'm not sure if that's been improved.

Tuning down is fine on my guitar, but it does get a smidge muddy in the high end. It's natural when pitch shifting, but there's ways to fix it.


One way is formant/timbre preserving, like this:

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Last edited by Clay-man : 07-25-2014 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:41 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Clay-man
Modifications will void your warranty, so be sure to know what you want to do with your guitar. If you do so, you're free to do whatever with your guitar, but if it breaks down from an error of the occasional bad apple scenario, it'll cost you without the warranty.


I understand. The only warranty claim I'm likely to have will be something to do with the electronics, and I'm not actually delving into those. The guitar itself has been rock stable (as far as the traditional guitar bits go) and the electronics trouble free.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay-man

My 600's alt tuning is good, but above the 12th fret on alternate tunings, it struggles a bit on hammer on and pull offs on the high e.

My question is, when you tune down (or whatever), if you do hammer ons and pull offs above the 12th fret, do you get any warble? It's a big concern of mine. I really hope they fixed that.


No warble. I understand what you're getting at, and Line 6 has traditionally called it "artifacting." It showed up mostly when the DSP was being overwhelmed a bit, and was most apparent on, for example, an alternate-tuned 12-string model. The (roughly) four-fold increase in DSP speed/power and some firmware modifications have vastly improved that. Pose this question in the Line 6 forums on the Line 6 site, and you'll get some honest answers from other users. They were aware of the issue (and of a palm muting issue with the piezos, etc.) from the older gear and included fixing those things as part of the new design brief.

Regarding headstocks; I'm not a fan of the Tyler style headstock, but in particular on my guitar, it's very much less offensive in person than it is on a photograph <G>.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:42 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
I understand. The only warranty claim I'm likely to have will be something to do with the electronics, and I'm not actually delving into those. The guitar itself has been rock stable (as far as the traditional guitar bits go) and the electronics trouble free.


I wish you good luck on wherever you wish to take your guitar to! I'm just telling you this because the 600 I got off of ebay was a bit sketchy, and sometimes I wish I've returned it, but for now, it's fine, it's a great guitar. I just needed to replace a piezo and work on the frets.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
No warble. I understand what you're getting at, and Line 6 has traditionally called it "artifacting." It showed up mostly when the DSP was being overwhelmed a bit, and was most apparent on, for example, an alternate-tuned 12-string model. The (roughly) four-fold increase in DSP speed/power and some firmware modifications have vastly improved that. Pose this question in the Line 6 forums on the Line 6 site, and you'll get some honest answers from other users. They were aware of the issue (and of a palm muting issue with the piezos, etc.) from the older gear and included fixing those things as part of the new design brief.

Regarding headstocks; I'm not a fan of the Tyler style headstock, but in particular on my guitar, it's very much less offensive in person than it is on a photograph <G>.


So this doesn't happen anymore? First is standard (no alt tuning) second is D standard (2 halfsteps down):

https://soundcloud.com/clay-man-2/a...e-very-next-day

I really hope so. I love my variax, but I can't lie that the warble that happens on pull offs isn't disappointing. You can try to work around it by playing in a certain way, but it's annoying.

As for the piezos on the JTV, I know they were designed for the Variax specifically. They seem close to the quality of the graphtech ghosts (Let's be honest, the first Variax piezos were sub-par).
It's why people swap their old piezos for a ghraphtech system.

The headstocks are ugly, yes, specifically the strat ones. I don't know why we can't just have a fender-esque headstock. It's one of the things that makes a fender guitar look badass, but instead we get this plank of wood with a few curves as a headstock.

I guess I can live with that, but man.
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Old 07-25-2014, 09:19 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay-man
It's why people swap their old piezos for a ghraphtech system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay-man
The headstocks are ugly, yes, specifically the strat ones. I don't know why we can't just have a fender-esque headstock. It's one of the things that makes a fender guitar look badass, but instead we get this plank of wood with a few curves as a headstock.




I don't think it's all that bad:



One thing you have to realize is that guitarists grew up with Fender and Gibson shapes, but that other humans on the planet haven't, and for a lot of people, the Fender headstock looks silly. My wife, for example, calls it "that guitar with the sort of knobby bulb on the top." I explained to a friend of mine that it was designed from the sign for the treble clef, and he said, "I don't know what that is, but it looks stupid."

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Old 07-26-2014, 01:08 AM   #54
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I wonder what your wife would say about the Telecaster. Lol
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:48 AM   #55
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Dspell: Someone said the warble is still a problem.

So this doesn't happen to you?:
https://soundcloud.com/clay-man-2/a...e-very-next-day
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:14 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Clay-man
Dspell: Someone said the warble is still a problem.


Remember, I'm using an 89F, which is the only Variax that's using the Graphtech Ghost saddles. Everything else is LR Baggs. Another thing to remember is that there are now two generations of the *new* JTV guitars (the 89F is second gen) and there are also two generations of the firmware (non-HD and HD).
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:35 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by dspellman
Remember, I'm using an 89F, which is the only Variax that's using the Graphtech Ghost saddles. Everything else is LR Baggs. Another thing to remember is that there are now two generations of the *new* JTV guitars (the 89F is second gen) and there are also two generations of the firmware (non-HD and HD).


Another post on the L6 forums says "It's there but nowhere near as bad as the example"

That's good. As long as you can tell what note it is, I'm good. A smidge of warble is nothing. Warble that makes it sound like you're playing a whole different note is awful though.
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