Line 6 JTV-59 (Tobacco) Reviews4.5/5.0 based on 16 customer reviews
My Line 6 JTV-59 Variax has exceeded all my expectations. Housed in a deluxe padded gig bag, the guitar is stunning. The tobacco sunburst finish is flawless, the neck with its buttery-feeling rosewood fingerboard feels like an old friend, and the weight balances beautifully on a strap.
Plugging into my POD HD500/DT50 Dream Rig using just the traditional 1/4" output jack (which is snug and tight), the PAF-voiced dual humbuckers are sweet and warm but powerful - sounding like a good Les Paul. Using the included VDI cable in my POD's Variax input lets me switch between various single coil, P-90, Filtertron, acoustic, banjo, and even sitar sounds. Every setting with its five postions per bank sound wonderfully vintage and usable. And with Line 6's Variax Workbench software, my world of custom guitars beccomes limitless. I can pick body styles, pickups, and electronics in multiple configurations and these settings can be stored in one of the two custom banks on the guitar for instant recall later.
Though at first I was admittedly skeptical of the alternate tunings, I have since been blown away. The string tension does not change, nor does the guitar physically retune, but through my rig I can instantly play in drop D, open E, open G, or even baritone tuning. All of these can be changed and stored as well. All of the guitar models and tunings can track with my POD's presets, changing immediately with super-smooth precision.
If you're a guitar player in a cover band who doesn't want to carry multiple electric and acoustic guitars to a gig, the Line 6 JTV-59 is for you. You'll have an ulimited palette of awesome-sounding guitars at your disposal!
C H millard
from Coarsegold, Ca
April 26, 2013Music Background:
Intermediate level, Blues dance band, live performance not quite pro's yet...
Talkin' Bout My BabyBUY! BUY! BUY! THIS GUITAR !
That's all I got to tell Ya!
It's LOVE at first sight with a long term relationship to follow............
from Sandy Ego
March 28, 2013Music Background:
Line 6 JTV-59 (Tobacco)Tremendous guitar. Awesome neck - very playable. Nice warm 'buckers. Oh yeah and it has computer guitar simulation magic as well. The acoustic models are amazing. I can find nothing to not like about this guitar. And it's beautiful. Don't waste the money on a US made model, 'cause it any getting any better than this! Basically 3 grand more for a hard case and another battery. I don't think so
March 18, 2013Music Background:
Composer. Classical guitarist
Great studio guitarI work in the studio and compose many styles of music. I am a guitarist. I had been considering the purchase of a Martin acoustic and Gibson acoustic to balance out my Taylor. I was also lookin at buying a PRS electric or a Les Paul. So this guitar was made for me! The guitar itself sounds great and the models blow my mind. The folks at Sweetwater got me the guitar quickly and in great shape. I couldn't be happier.
from Boynton Beach, FL
January 11, 2013Music Background:
The simplicity of this guitar has allowed me to use the time I would be changing tunings, switching guitars, micing acoustics, etc...to focus more on the production side of things. It's helped me become an overall well rounded knowledgeable musician.
Updates FolksL6 has addressed the palm muting issues and fixed them with a free firmware update 1.9. *Rumor has it there will be all new HD guitar models and a new Variax Workbench HD in the next update which would be 2.0.
That's what I love about Line 6, About a month ago I just updated this guitar to the 1.9 firmware and the palm muting is really improved. They listen to the consumer and allow the instruments, PODS, amps, etc. to be updated instead of making us buy the newest version.
I was reading though the L6 online forums and saw people complaining about their JTV's not working as they should. Well they should of bought the guitar from Sweetwater. They make sure the guitar works, is setup properly, and even with this guitar, they test it to make sure the modeling works properly.
* By rumor, I mean it's going to happen very soon ; )
Sell your gear and get the entire dream rig- DT25 1x12, POD HD Pro or HD 500, and a JTV VAX.
It's pretty cool being able to control any parameter of any FX pedal right from my tone knob. For instance I can control the amount of drive from the tone knob, switch up the delay, the possibilities are truly endless.
November 6, 2012Music Background:
Line six VariaxThis guitar is awesome. Looks great, sounds incredible. Easy to lean all the basic functions. I haven't put it through the POD or used the additional software tools so can't comment on that however the sounds right out of the box are excellent. The 12 string shimmers and even the twang of e sitar is wild. This is no toy. The guitar has weight, the action is low, the neck is beefy and this guitar rocks. I was a little skeptical on the alternate tunings function but it works and I'm blown away. If you want a great functional electric. This is your guitar.
June 29, 2012Music Background:
Worship Musician, Recording Musician, Producer (22 years)
Great GuitarThis is a great instrument, and a useful tool. This is my first variax, although I have been using the PODs for several years now.
First the build quality of the instrument is great. There were no issues with the instrument that I could find. There is some comments about the neck being big; but I am a die hard ibanez player, and love thin necks. I also purchased a PRS SE24 a while back, and hated the neck on that instrument and eventually sold it to a friend. For some reason this neck just feels comfortable, and I am to shred on this guitar. The fretwork was really nice, which is usually a big grip for me on medium range guitars. The only issue I have had, which is not that bad, is doing chords where I need my thumb to fret the low string. I can still get it, but its a bit of a stretch. Keep in mind I do not have the biggest hands either.
I also wish the volume knob was closer at hand, as I like to change my dynamics, but I am making adjustments to my playing and using my foot pedal for that stuff now.
The guitar is gorgeous, and will be an instrument you will wan to pick up and play. I really like this color and style over the other models, and in person I am glad I chose it. The guitar is also quite light especially being a les paul type style, and having tons of electronics in it.
The sounds as as you would desire. I hear all the elements that I would expect out of the instrument models. I do not know if they are perfect, but the qualities I would want from a les paul, tele, strat, gretch, acoustic, they are all there and react as I would expect them to. Also there has been some discussion about the palm muting, and I did not find it an issues. It works like you would expect it to. The les paul model did not have the bite on the muting that I would like, but the les paul is not modeled with hot pickups that you would get the bite from. But you can get squeals and all the goods from it just like a normal guitar.
The guitar is easy to select and change models and tunings on and turn the instrument on and off, but I am currently working on programming my HD500 to do this for me.
This is a great guitar and I would highly recommend it for anyone that has a need for multiple guitars, or changing tunings. Even if you never engage the variax modeling the guitar is great.
from Boynton Beach, FL
May 7, 2012Music Background:
One of the best investments you'll ever makeI was never a fan of the LP style bodies, but every other Variax looks pretty lame compared to this one so I went ahead and took a chance. I am in love with this guitar. I use it with a POD HD PRO, DT25,which Line 6 calls the dream rig. It called the dream rig for a reason. Anything is possible with this guitar. People are blown away when I change to one of the acoustic models. I've owned a VAX 300 for a few years, but the JTV is in a class of it's own. The VAX 300 is nice but without any pickups they just don't compare. If you're going to buy one I highly recommend you do so soon, these guitars are not in any stores down here in soFLA and it took a while to get the guitar from Line 6 to sweetwater. I decided to go all or nothing so I got the G90 wireless system, stuck it in my rack under the HD PRO and now I don't have to worry about ripping cables out of anything. Of course I had to spend some time programming all of my custom presets to the guitar itself. It was well worth it, I can just plug in like a regular guitar 1/4th TS cable if need be and you have a great guitar even without the VAX pickups. Read the review in Guitar World this one go their gold award. Make sure to buy the VDI cable as well if you're going to use it with the HD 500 or HD PRO.
from Southside, WV USA
January 31, 2012Music Background:
Very busy southern gospel musician!
Very ImpressedI received my JTV-59 last week, after about a year of going back and forth on buying one or not. I am a very proud American and usually only buy American. I have had other variaxes in the past and build quality was not up to par and the acoustic models that I needed the most were lacking. I unpacked this one plugged it in and WOW what a difference. I am using a POD HD500 into a Presonus StudioLive and it sounds amazing. Since the POD HD is lacking an acoustic amp model I set up a FX loop into my fisman aura and now I push a button and have a great sounding acoustic that you can play like an acoustic and not get all kinds of weird sounds like the older variaxes when you played rythem. I am really impressed with all the new features such as the tuning knob and the updated models. I can make it sound like my favorite Tele set up with duncans, 250k pots, .47cap, where the older variaxs couldent get the sound I wanted. Love it thanks yet again Sweetwater Rep. Tim Harrington!
from Oak Harbor, WA USA
October 30, 2011Music Background:
garage band player, sound guy, hobbyist
Great GuitarThis guitar exceeds all of the hype you read. The sounds that come out of the mag pickups are very good and then you add all of the modeled guitars... what more could a player want?
The wait was worth it. It is really nice to be able to switch between accoustic and electric without the added bulk of a double neck guitar or mess with a separte stand.
I play through a diditech RP500 pedal and it sounds terriffic!
If there is any down side it would be the battery. I haven't had a problem with it dying on me during a performance, but you must be carfull and roll back the volume when not in use to conserve battery time. I plan to get a second battery - just in case. The other option is to get a HD pod pedal. I guess Christmas is comming...
from Cortland, NY
February 15, 2013Music Background:
Inspiring AxeI never thought I would go for something like this. I tried it and fell in love with it. It's a very good Les Paul type axe by itself. The various models are tunings are inspiring. I have gotten into styles I've never tried. I'm having great fun with the JTV-59. It's also a great looking and playing guitar. I have a home recording studio and it is nice to have the pallet of so many guitars available. My only criticism is the tuning pegs are a bit cheesy relative to the high quality of the rest of the guitar. I tightened them and some are still feel loose. I'll probably upgrade them. Also, it would have been nice if they included a nylon string/classical guitar sound.
from Cahokia , ILL USA
December 15, 2012Music Background:
just a player anything else would be braggin :)
The Plank For all OccasionsI was looking for another guitar that was a bit different from the rest , ke , so as a was researching around I seen the JTV-59 , bought one and it's quite the machine to say the least , there was a bit of tweeking to do to get it right for me but all are like that in some respect , I've been in working bands for about 35 years now and I would like to recommend that this Variax be part of your tool box a very very good all-rounder
from IOWA USA
April 19, 2012Music Background:
Pro Musician & Hobby Recording
Line6 JTV-59 Tobacco SunBurstI had watched the JTV release for a while, reading reviews and checking out the videos. My needs were were what this guitar does. #1 Alternate tunings for various cover tunes my band does. And #2 emulating various guitar voices for the same reason.
What I got was that and a little more. On its own magnetic pickups this guitar is a great upper-mid, sounding guitar. Good voicing and sustain. The fit and finish is very good for mass production. I "LOVE" the Tobacco SB finish. I'd rate mine as a AA. The guitar is solid and I have no concerns at gigs, stayed in tune even with major bending going on for a full 4 hour evening.
The modeling is something you will think about until... you have that moment that you are inspired by the tone and possibilities. For me, now it is natural to dial up and play and not think of the technology within. It is a guitar first with some cool technology behind the curtain.
The JTV-59 is not perfect, you may find you have to alter some ways you play to get what you want. Let your ears do the talking. For me the benefits are huge and the possibilities are endless. Play it through a acoustic amp or a PA for a demo of the models. I'm a believer.
Oh and a shout out to the Sweetwater Team: Thanks for all your assistance for selecting this specific guitar.
from Davenport, IA USA
June 7, 2011Music Background:
Weekender, playing in rock, country, bluegrass, and jazz bands for 35+ years. Still playing around 50+ shows a year.
Love this Guitar!I am very happy with this guitar, Line 6, and Sweetwater. We did have some "bumps" along the way. The demand outstripped the supply, and some un-forseen technical issues surfaced in the process. I ordered in October 2010 and received my guitar in May 2011. It did have a switching issue, that required the return of the unit to L6 for resolution, but the turn-around was very quick, and I was in the loop of the process. I feel that both Line 6 and Sweetwater provided very solid professional support. I appreciate it.
Now to the good part -- I received my guitar back and the next night used it at a gig, and it performed flawlessly, with great sound. My backup guitar never left it's stand, and I left my Ovation acoustic/electric at home. This last weekend it worked and sounded great, in an outside festival in 90 degree heat and high humidity for 2 nights in a row. Again, my backup stayed on the stand both nights. I use the JTV-59 hooked to my L6 X3L pedal via my VDI cable, which also powers the unit.
The finish is beautiful -- love the Tobacco sunburst. The guitar is very solid with great sustain, great fit & finish. The neck is different from my Epi LP Classic's 60's slim taper neck, but it feels good in my hands, and is set up well, with good action, no buzzes. I do like the mag pickups -- they are hotter than my LP, and hotter than the models, but have a very nice crisp and dynamic bite to them. the models are improved over my Variax 300, but part of the improvement in the modeled tone is due to the much higher physical buld of the JTV-59, I am sure, as well as the improved electronics of the processing.
While it was unfortunate, that I had a long wait, and some initial problems, that is part of delvelopment and release of a new product. There were many, many technical differences in the 59 as opposed to the first generation, and even between the 59 model and the 69 & 89 versions. My impression is that Line 6 learns from such issues, and will improve, and improve.
from Austin, MN
January 1, 2013Music Background:
worth the moneyIt does what it says to a point.. Some of the the models sound or feel kinda synth like... But over all especial after you record with it sounds spot on. I was playing Tangerine in one of the twelve string acoustics and there were moments where I was confused whats sound was the backing track I was playing with and which was actually me ( so dead on). Love the alt tuning (play allot of different tunings) at first seamed weird but got used to it. The sustain on this guitar is amazing especially in variax mode, chords just ring forever. The build quality is that of a 700 - 800 dollar guitar pretty decent. The bridge is a beautiful piece of hardware, both in looks and function. Other wise good guitar
from Daytona Beach, Fl
August 21, 2011Music Background:
Love ItFinal a guitar that matches the potential of the electronics... Feels right!
June 19, 2012Music Background:
47 years as a Singer Songwriter, Guitar, Keyboards.
Review The Line 6 JTV-59. Not a go to guitarThe Neck! I do not normally have time for writing reviews. But there is just toooo much praise of this guitar. Yes it does what it says . But if it is not a player. Then why bother
The neck is not right. It was sampled from a bunch of good necks. But the result is Too Wide - Too Round. Almost comfortable but not a player. And Why do you buy this guitar. So it can be your go to Guitar.
Make this with neck variations and I would buy one in a heartbeat. Like a PRSNeck , Like a Fender Neck, Like a gibson Neck. Not like a new neck shape. I had 3 other Guitar play this without using the models. None of them felt comfortable with the Neck.