Line 6 JTV-59 Variax - Black

James Tyler-designed Modeling Electric Guitar with Contoured Mahogany Neck and Body, Flame Maple Top, 2 Custom Humbucking Pickups, and Switchable Models and Tunings - Black
Line 6 JTV-59 Variax - Black image 1
Line 6 JTV-59 Variax - Black image 1
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Line 6 JTV-59 Variax - Black
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The Ultimate Recording Guitar

The Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax with Variax HD software gives you the amazing ability to create any guitar tone you need for studio or stage. The JTV-59 James Tyler Variax is also an amazing instrument in the conventional sense, and the ability to select different HD instrument models, HD pickup models, and alternate tunings on the fly sets this guitar apart from all the rest. And with the incredible Workbench HD software, you can fine-tune your Variax tone more than ever. Built to the specifications of master luthier James Tyler, the Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax is your ticket to unlimited tonal excellence.

Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax Solidbody Electric Guitar at a Glance:
  • Variax HD Upgrade and Workbench software give you unlimited tonal potential
  • It's like owning dozens of different instruments, plus your own workshop
  • Designed by a master luthier for top-notch performance and playability
Variax HD Upgrade and Workbench software give you unlimited tonal potential

This Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax packs the latest Variax HD upgrade, bringing you more stellar models of rare vintage electric guitars, classic acoustic guitars, and exotic instruments. You'll be blown away once you start exploring these with the Workbench HD software, which gives you more tonal control and all-around tweakability than you ever thought possible. Create your own unique instrument model, then use Workbench HD to fine-tune individual string pitch, string volume, pickup position, and much more. You've never tweaked your tone like you can with the JTV-59 James Tyler Variax!

It's like owning dozens of different instruments, plus your own workshop

Right out of the case, your Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax comes with dozens of impeccable instrument models. Rare vintage electrics, fabulous acoustics, and even exotic instruments are waiting at your fingertips. The latest Variax HD software brings you more stellar HD instrument and pickup models than ever before, and the real magic happens when you tap into the Workbench HD software. It lets you combine your favorite body styles, pickup models, and components to create your own unique instruments. You're guaranteed to be well-equipped for any studio or stage situation with the Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax.

Designed by a master luthier for top-notch performance and playability

With its mahogany body and carved maple top, the Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax is built just like some of the most beloved guitars ever made. It was designed by master luthier James Tyler, who has created instruments for countless session players and performers. Equipped with pickups custom-designed by James Tyler and wound to his exacting specs, you'll find the JTV-59 James Tyler Variax to be an amazingly playable guitar even before you ever try out the superb modeling technology.

Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax Solidbody Electric Guitar Features:
  • Innovative guitar with onboard instrument models, pickup models, and on-demand alternate tunings
  • Included HD upgrade gives you even more HD instruments and HD pickup models than ever before
  • Workbench HD software lets you fine-tune individual string pitch, volume, pickup position, and more
  • Solid mahogany body and carved maple top offer rich tone with excellent note definition
  • GraphTech nut and custom tuners give you top-notch tuning stability and reliability
  • Completely designed by master luthier James Tyler, including custom-wound pickups
  • Includes lithium-ion battery, switching power supply, and Workbench USB adapter
The Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax is like a Pandora's box of tone!

Why Buy Your Guitar from Sweetwater?

See how Sweetwater goes to great lengths to give you the very best online guitar buying experience. From our online Guitar Gallery that allows you to see and select the exact instrument you want to our 55-point Evaluation process and our in-house guitar techs, we take the guesswork out of buying your next guitar online.

Additional Media

Electric Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Body Type Solidbody
Body Shape Singlecut
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Number of Strings 6
Body Material Mahogany
Top Material Carved Maple Top with Flame Maple Veneer
Color Black
Neck Material Mahogany
Neck Shape Tyler '59
Fingerboard Material Rosewood
Fingerboard Inlay Dots
Number of Frets 22, Medium-jumbo
Scale Length 24.56"
Nut Width 1.687"
Bridge/Tailpiece Tyler-designed Wraparound Bridge
Tuners Sealed Tuners
Number of Pickups 2
Neck Pickup Vintage-style Alnico Humbucker
Bridge Pickup Vintage-style Alnico Humbucker
Controls Master Volume, Master Tone, 3-way Selector, Guitar Model Selector, Alt Tune Selector
Case Included Gig Bag
Manufacturer Part Number 99-250-0105

Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
Write your review

Constantly Inspired by my JTV-59

I picked up a B-Stock deal on the black JTV-59 in March, and still can't find any flaws on this awesome instrument. Everytime I pick it up, something new comes out of the collaboration between my fingers and the host of tonal options available with this guitar. First off, this guitar is a well made, well balanced, solid performer. Quality hardware, smooth frets, stable tuning, a comfortable neck (even for my small hands), and very good sounds from both the humbuckers and the piezo bridge. Stand alone, straight into an amp, it sounds excellent, and is so versatile. Being able to change tunings with just the turn of a knob is priceless for playing along with and learning new songs for the cover band I play in. When I mate it with my HD500X, the possibilities become endless. It has not let me down one bit, on stage or in practice. I had been scoping these out for a while, so glad I made the investment in my guitar playing. As usual, Sweetwaters service was impeccable from sale, to delivery, to follow up, thanks again Micheal and your staff.
Music background: Passionate Hobbyist / Weekend Musician

JTV-59 TS Great Guitar

I used the JTV-59 in combination with an HD500x for a three day spiritual retreat. They performed flawlessly while I switched from acoustic to electric, to bass sounds for different songs. I had already used them a few times in the praise band at church for their five song sets. The spiritual retreat was 72 hours with lots of music. Thank you for these products and the great service from Sweetwater.
Music background: Christian Musician


Starting with cosmetics/appearance: This guitar is beautiful. Enough said! Feel: It's roughly 8 lbs, it feels solid and the hardware is also very solid. I.e. there are no loose tuners, knobs, switches, etc. and they don't feel like they would snap easily, either. The neck feels just like a top-notch Paul Reed Smith, to which I have played a few. I'd take this guitar over a PRS any day. The only negative mark I'll add on feel is that the neck becomes very fat where it meets the body (about the 17th fret), which makes it very hard to keep your dexterity on the bassier strings, if speed is your thing, but this doesn't affect my playing style at all!Sound: With the Variax modeling turned completely off, you run straight through the humbuckers that are shown in the photo, which sound amazing. The lead position sounds beautiful compared to many other guitars, which have entirely too much treble and not enough bass on the lead position, this guitar is balanced perfectly, in my opinion on the lead position. The rhythm position is adds a lot of low end, just the right amount, and also remains crystal clear, whereas many other guitars lose all the treble on the rhythm switch, causing a very muddy tone. I give this guitar's rhythm position 5 stars! The middle position, on the other hand, I believe sets the pickups out of phase (if you don't know what that means, look up "phase inverter" on a search engine and see what that means for humbuckers--it's usually described as a slight volume drop and a "nasal" sound--very unpopular). Now, on to the Variax modeling...The possibilities become endless at this point! The modeling is rather spot on, although I've found that the Les Paul models (including the Juniors) have a bit too much lows. The Fenders are spot on, the Gibson ES-335 is possibly my favorite for cleans ("Semi" model with the white light on). The sitars, banjos and resonators are cool to play around with, but I have no practical use for these, so I will say that I'm pleased with them, simply for lack of experience with these instruments. I bought this guitar for the tuning flexibility mainly.The Variax Workbench is a very handy piece of software that allows you to absolutely 100% customize this guitar. In your custom slots (you get 10, I believe), you can pick any of the preloaded bodies (which makes a big sound difference, believe it or not), any of the preloaded pickups (my favorite are the P90s) and you can program that patch to play any tuning you want, as well. What's more is that you can move the pickups to any position you want. I.e. you can slide the virtual position of the pickups as close to or are faraway from the bridge as you want, down to the .01"!!! Like I said, 100% customizeable. But, as with anything ever made from Line 6, there is a very steep learning curve, so you will be sitting behind your computer and guitar for at least 8-12 hours before you can "kick the training wheels off."This guitar is built with great quality! Is 100% customizable and can accurately emulate DOZENS of guitars in ANY tuning and you can switch between any of these presets in the blink of an eye! I have a song with my band where I start off the intro/verse using a 12-string acoustic in standard and then switch to a distortion for the chorus, using Les Paul model with a B-E-A-D-G-B tuning, and I'm able to go back into the verse to the 12-string, back into the chorus with the Les Paul and so on, virtually seamless!It is expensive, but it is worth it! This guitar costs less than just ONE of the classics it models flawlessly, so I consider that a good bargain. If you play in one band and stick to the same tuning, same sound, same genre, this guitar isn't so much for you. It's for the guitarists who want multiple tunings, multiple sounds and the versatility of multiple guitars, to whom I would absolutely recommend this guitar!
Music background: More-than-a-hobby for 14 years, gigging, recording, covers, originals, etc.

Line six Variax

This 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.
Music background: Musician

You will NOT find more versatility anywhere...

Disclaimer: I am a Line6 endorsee... however, there is NO written agreement that I must talk nicely or talk at all about this product, so this review is my own opinion apart from that very casual "business" relationship. I have highly recommended Line 6's products for years, and this is the one I've been most happy with, at least initially. Also, for the way I do music ("two-voice guitar") this guitar ONLY works well for me with the POD HD 500, so I have only really used it in that context. This guitar is not for everyone. If you are looking for an absolutely perfect rendering of all the guitars, played by themselves through a great amp, with every facet of the sound perfect... that's impossible. If you have the money, just go buy the dozens of guitars that are modeled in here. If you are looking for great sound in the mix with the band, and need to play a lot of different guitars, this is for you. So I'm weighting this review towards that second person, and giving it 5 full enthusiastic stars. You can NOT find more versatility in an instrument than in this guitar. All of the different sounds are very convincing, the ability to fine-tune them with the Workbench software means that you can change them even beyond what is available (including some really "wacky" pickup combinations that you'd NEVER find or install in a regular guitar, but can try out with this one rather easily). Tele? yup. Acoustic? Oh, yeah (although there is a strange "mid-range hump" that you have to tame with eq... not much different than a piezo equipped guitar, and easily done with a combination of "virtual mike placement" in the Workbench software and EQ in whatever you are connecting to). The magnetic pickups sound great to my ears, too. Blending two sounds, either two different electric sounds (mags + modeling) or an electric and acoustic, with the HD 500 is a WHOLE lot of fun. I like the Tele model a lot, the Gretsch model, and the Strat. The 12-string Rickenbacker is an insane amount of fun as are the acoustic 6- and 12-string models. Those and the built-in magnetic pickups are the ones I'm using the most, although I am OFTEN using the built-in magnetic pickups with an acoustic model, processed separately. One thing! The octaves up on the 12-string guitars (especially the G) have an occasional odd warbling issue that really doesn't affect how I play, except for 12fret harmonics (which are sometimes an issue). Line6 has hinted that this might be addressed in the imminent software update, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and edit this later if needed. (Even if they don't fix that, I'm still enthusiastic about my 5-star rating.) There are very few "what is up with that" "blemishes" found in my sample, such as a tiny finish flaw on the back of the neck (that I didn't even notice for about a month and doesn't affect playability) and some weird grooves in the fingerboard right next to the frets, which you also have to look really hard to even find. These are the kinds of things I'd never expect to see in a top-quality US-made instrument. However, the instrument more than holds up with others in its price class, including US-made Fenders (my Variax is the Korean-made one, not the US-made one, which I have not even seen). The weight is a little less than a good Les Paul (there is a LOT of wood routed out for the electronics, so it's similar to a chambered Les Paul). The neck is pretty chunky, like a 50s Les Paul neck. Just the way I like it. The guitar plays, handles and balances very very well. The action and setup were spot-on when it arrived. I only needed the tiniest neck adjustment after a few weeks (totally to be expected in a mahogany instrument that moves to a new climate), and I raised the action just a smidge (I like my action higher than many). The fretwork is outstanding, the neck is totally straight and level, and the quality of the hardware seems to be rock solid. There have been some reports of the knobs and switches giving problems on early units, but I waited a year after they came out, and my instrument has no issues with any of those things. (I will admit, however, that I think the knobs are butt-ugly up close, but look fine from normal distance. The VDI cable is a minor pain to plug in (you really can't strap on and then plug in, the guitar gets in the way of itself and you have to open a "door" and then plug in the VDI cable), but once you have it plugged in, you're good to go. With the HD 500 this is a REVELATION in tweakability and sound variation. Running the Workbench software will probably be necessary for anybody, as I had to equal out the levels of the different models (to my taste) and raise them to match the volume of the magnetics (which I lowered a lot... because I like my pickups low off the strings.) Also, with the Workbench software, you can create any pickup combo you can imagine (as long as it's only two pickups, you can't do three or more). two humbuckers in the exact same spot? no problem. A lipstick pickup and a Filtertron at odd angles out of phase on a hollow-body Jazz box? No problem... I think this might be a cool guitar for somebody experimenting with odd sound combos to figure out if they want to buy a specific guitar. I think the sound combinations on this guitar might be nearly infinite, but most of us will go with the tried and true. One small thing. I am a guy that likes the pole pieces on my neck pickup "out" a bit and the ones on my bridge pickup "in" a teeny bit. Somebody at Line6 must agree with me, because that's how my guitar arrived, which is nice, because the pole pieces on the pickups seem VERY stiff compared to other guitars, and I appreciate not having to adjust them. Lastly, some have reported an issue with "palm-muting" strings, and indeed, when you palm mute on this guitar (when using the modeling sounds) you have to adjust how you do it, because it responds differently than regular magnetic pickups, especially with very high-gain sounds. I don't use those high-gain sounds and can report that I have very little trouble with this issue on the electric sounds, but a little bit on the acoustic sounds, where I find I need to adjust more. Line 6 is apparently improving this for the next update, but even without that update, I am still satisfied with the way this works on my guitar. You should definitely check this guitar out in person if you can and see if this issue is one that does or doesn't affect you and your playing style. I can't highly recommend this product enough!
Music background: Pro Church Musician
See also: Modeling Guitars, Line 6, Line 6 Modeling Electric Guitars, Line 6 Solidbody Guitars