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Line 6 JTV-69 - 3 Tone Sunburst, HSS Reviews

4.5 stars based on 9 customer reviews
  • from PA October 28, 2014Music Background:
    Weekend warrior

    Swiss Army Knife of Guitars

    I haven't had a lot of time to spend with this guitar, but based on the time I have been able to play it, I really enjoy it. Even without the models, the guitar is a great instrument. The passive pickups are good, I like the fact that they function without the battery, and the guitar feels good in my hands. I've not had the pleasure to play most of the actual guitars that the Variax models are based, but in playing with people who have had those guitars, I can say that they were impressed by the accuracy of the models (and we're talking real tone snobs who wouldn't play a digital signal if their lives depended on it!) Playing in a cover band, the guitar allows me to take a large range of tones and instruments to a gig within one package; all very convincingly.
    Highly recommended for someone who has to cover a large range of material without lugging around a ton of equipment! As far as the modeling and software capabilities, the software allows you to virtually create almost any guitar you can imagine. From plug and play into your favorite tube amp with passive pickups, to a one of a kind modeled guitar created in the software, this guitar is a winner.

  • from October 21, 2014Music Background:
    15 years playing, 13 gigging, and 8 teaching guitar. Amature recording/live sound engineer.

    Three stars (Really Good)

    What I like:

    This is a really nice guitar. It's designed well, the fit and finish were very good, and the locking tuners were a nice touch. It's a good deal smaller and lighter than an actual Strat, but it's not stupid looking. The stock pickups sound pretty good, but I hardly ever use them (I mean, why would you when you have pretty accurate imitations of some of the best electric guitars ever brought to market?) The tremolo bridge is very nice and reminds me of the system G&L uses on their guitars. I like the feel of the neck and the jumbo frets.

    My favorite electric guitar models include their Strat, Les Paul, Firebird, Gretsch 6120, ES-335, and L5. For digital recreations, these instruments really sing and respond well to playing dynamics. They also interact well with every amp or simulated amp I've played them through. Nice job Line6.

    The Workbench software is fun too. Very easy to use, and I've tweaked a few of the instruments that I wouldn't have used into models that fit my style better. I love that flexibility.

    Nice long battery life. I like that you can turn down the volume knob to save the battery without having to unplug.

    What I wish was better:

    The acoustic models really disappoint me. There are almost no midrange frequencies present, and I find them overly piercing and boomy at the same time. No good. They sound very synthetic if you're picking arpeggios and the processor just doesn't seem to have the power to consistently push out a well modeled acoustic low E. It's better if you're just strumming. Overall, if you're looking for an instrument that does electric and acoustic sound really well, the Taylor T5 is probably the way to go. The JTV easily does electric guitar better, but the T5 demolishes this thing when you want to sound like an acoustic.

    The 12 string guitars sound really bad. Again, it's particularly bad when you're trying to pick individual notes. The modeled high octave notes sound like a vocalist with a bad scooping habit. When strumming the 12 string models, it sounds less like an actual 12 string guitar and more like a 6 string going through a cheap chorus pedal with the wet/dry knob maxed out.

    The digitally altered tuning is a nice idea, but once again the processor on board this thing can't quite get it done. The higher your gain, the less noticeable the processing lag is. I might go to dropped D in a live setting where I'm not the featured rhythm instrument driving the song, but I'll certainly never record with the tuning digitally altered. Not quite good enough.

    Not a fan of the gig bag! Above a certain price point, all guitars should have tuners made of nicer material than snot colored plastic (are you listening Gibson???), included strap locks, and a nice hard case. For the price, the JTV should come in something better than ugly padded canvas with a zipper.


    Typical Line6. Loaded with features, but some features sound way better than others, and you’ll probably only use a few of them with any regularity. What the JTV does well it does fantastically well. In my opinion the strengths far outweigh the weaknesses, and this little guitar is worth the investment. I'm excited to see what Line6 and others do to make the next generations of digital guitars even better.

  • from alto, michigan May 25, 2013Music Background:

    good buy great service

    as usual, the service is great. talked with a rep and asked some questions. ordered it late afternoon Friday and arrived sat at 11 am. how do they do that? I need to learn more about all the sounds, but it was easy to just sit down and start playing from the get go.

  • from Norfolk, VA December 18, 2012Music Background:
    Worship Pastor

    Fantastic Guitar

    This guitar is simply amazing. The setup is great and it just feels right. The majority of the modeled sounds are great...a few of them sound a bit artificial, but they are the ones I would never use anyway. The digital capo is great, but when you start getting too far away (4-5 frets) from standard tuning with a modeled tone it starts getting a little weird. All in all it's a great guitar...even without all the bells and whistles it still feels like a solid instrument.

  • from Painesville, OH November 17, 2012Music Background:

    great guitar

    a versatile and user friendly guitar. really enjoy using the features as well as playing without them.

  • from Tyler, TX February 23, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician and Live Sound Engineer

    Amazing for the price!

    So, I've had it for a new days now and I'm OVERWHELMED with the amazing quality of this guitar! This would have given it a 5 but the pickups that come on it (not the modeled ones) are a little weak and I plan to swap them for Dimarzio's.
    Anyway, all the models in it sound perfect, it plays like a dream, and it's beautiful! If you're in the market for a guitar that can do pretty much anything, this is it!!!

  • from MN, USA January 17, 2012

    JTV-69 review

    From a sound stand point, the guitar is an A-. I love the acoustics as well as most of the electric model. I haven't found much use for the Rick or Jazz models. Maybe in time.

    Overall, the physical fit and finish was and A- also. The neck played great with no intonation or fret issues. Action was good, but I believe can be set a bit lower. The guitar was on par with my USA strat, both weight wise and playability. My strat stays in tune better than the Variax.

    Some of the negatives I have found. Many of the model seem way too loud. When compared to the magnetic pickups on the varaix or to my other guitars, the variax model guitars are much, much louder. This can be corrected with the varaix workbench software.

    The tone knob control has an odd quirk. If you have the tone full on, then slowly roll it back, the guitar volume gets noticeably louder. Kind of odd.

    There is a noticeable amount of noise when muting the string and working them trem. It sounds like a mechanical noise being picked up by the piezo pickups and then amplified.

    As mentioned above, there are some tuning stability issues when working the trem. Not sure where that is coming from. There is a good tutorial on the L6 website on how to improve tuning stability as it relates to the trem.

    I purchased the Variax as recording tool. I was especially looking forward to the acoustic model. I have no concerns about their tones. The electric models are also great. I have found killer tones with most models. The tuning modes are a godsend. They save me a lot of time retuning. I have found no issues with the tuning modes.

  • from Los Angeles, CA March 13, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Producer, Songwriter, Engineer


    i have been a Line 6 user for close to ten years, owning everything from Amps to Pods to most Variax models. This guitar, to me, is every bit the high quality instrument that I would have expected from the company that I have grown to love.

    My JTV-69 played amazing right out of the box. The action was perfect. Intonation flawless. I love the fact that they us the LI rechargeable battery. Charged it up for a couple of hours and got to work 

    The sounds are incredible. The acoustics, 12 string especially are really pretty spot on. The electrics are amazing. I own a few of the guitars that are modeled by the JTV and I was surprised at how dead on the models were.

    This guitar really is an innovation. Sure it's taken a while to get to market. And, yes, they are back ordered for months. But, trust me. It is worth the wait. I was able to get a 59 and a 69 and have absolutely nothing negative to say about either of them. They are pristine, beautiful instruments. Line 6 does it again!

  • from Long Island, NY February 9, 2011Music Background:
    Professional Musician over 30 years.

    James Tyler Variax JTV-69

    Ok I waited a very , very long time for this instrument. The Hype was awesome. The Guitar unfortunately was not. The setup was an atrocity. I spent three days setting this instrument up the correct way. And still the actions is slightly off. I have to shim the neck (typical problem with Korean made Guitars). Also the neck gets suddenly fat at the 6th fret and continues getting fatter all the way up. Very hard to get used to when you've been playing Parker Fly's for 10 years.
    Unplugged/Acoustically, the guitar rings loud and clear (BIG PLUS) the guitar has a lot of tone. The pickups that come with the guitar are really good! I wish they installed noise free single coils ( Hey if Fender can do it, so can Line 6).
    As for the "virtual" sounds most of them are spot on reproductions of the Les Pauls, Strats, Tele's etc.., By the way, all single coil sounds in the "virtual" settings are totally noise free. The "chime" sounds are a little cheesy(fake) sounding. The acoustics really need to be toned down a bit. They are really over the top and you get a some of piezo quack on them. I hope I can control this a little by plugging it into the computer and messing with the sounds via the downloads, which by the way , are free. Definitely a Good product, not great. Maybe the American Versions are much better, they should be, they're $2000.00 more than the Korean Versions. Oh Yeah one more thing. The locking tuning pegs are good, not great. They're too tall on the high E string. And the string does not sit properly on the nut and the note does not ring true. C'mon Line 6, I know you guys can correct these issues. I'll just fix mine myself. As for the neck, I might have to swap it out for a slightly thinner one or have it shaved 1/4 inch. We'll see. I do like the tone of the body and neck together, I would hate to mess with it.

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