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June 2017 Giveaway

Line 6 JTV-69 Variax HSS - Lake Placid Blue Reviews

4.0 stars based on 12 customer reviews
Questions about the Line 6 JTV-69 Variax HSS - Lake Placid Blue?

Questions about the Line 6 JTV-69 Variax HSS - Lake Placid Blue?

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  • Casper
    from Kernersville, NC May 13, 2015

    Answer to Prayer

    As a veteran player and songwriter, having access or ownership to just one or two of the vintage/legendary instruments, represented within the modeling structure of the JTV, would be a dream come true. I would be in debt for the rest of my life, but a dream come true. But Line 6 has place the dream and more within reach. Being a church musician and needing access to a varied and diverse group of guitars in a necessity. We play it all, Gospel, Jazz, Latin, Contemporary, Rock, etc., the list goes on and on. I have been juggling guitars for years now as the Primary Rhythm Guitarist and attempting to make quick and smooth transitions between songs is quite difficult. Enter the Variax JTV. No more switching between, Strat, to Paul, to Acoustic and back again. Now I strap on my Frost Blue JTV and I am ready for whatever our P&W leader throws my way. Let alone the ability to change tuning on the fly. I couple my new JTV with my HD 500 and I truly feel like there is nothing that I cannot do. I truly don't have words to express my thanks to Line 6. And to all you critics, yes, it is not exactly the same and yes, it might not fit everyone's playing style or hands but for me it is the guitar I have been looking for, for a long, long time.

  • Joe
    from VERMILION, OH May 3, 2015

    Great Guitar

    I bought this in the Sun Burst finish. Very Versatile, the modeling is great. We have recorded resonator guitars, banjos and acoustic guitar sounds, very realistic. It is worth having a professional setup, it makes the guitar so much more fun to play. The alternate tunings are good, but not great. When the modeling is off, the HSS magnetic pickups sounds very good!! I would recommend an extra battery.

  • Josh Green
    from United States March 5, 2015Music Background:
    40 years multi-instrumentalist

    Guitar sounds great but HD Workbench would not activate through My Line 6 X3 Live system

    I tried the JTV69 HSS over the past month and had to return it to Sweetwater. I experienced some of the same things others had in regard to model sounds being very weak and the modeling knob needing to be pushed several times to activate. In addition, when I tried to run using the VDI cable (which needs to be purchased separately) through my Pod X3 Live I could not operate the modeling knob at all. I could maybe troubleshoot my way around it but the final straw was when the string buzz started at the fifth fret after only playing the instrument for a few hours. I think it might have to do with the Tusque nut but I am not sure and Line 6 support could not help either. I am not a working musician anymore so maybe these are things a better tech could work out. I have 20 years as an IT specialist so the tech is lacking in my opinion. I did give Line 6 a chance to straighten it out but they are quick to get you off the phone as I also had issues with a Line 6 Ampify 150 that Sweetwater made right for me by replacing the unit. The Sweet care guys are just great! I really was looking forward to just needing the one guitar for drop and alternate tuning but the models even though they are updated to the HD just were not beefy enough to use in my home studio. I would not even consider trying to use them (if I was still performing professionally) onstage.

  • Rik Hobbie
    from Southern California November 13, 2014Music Background:
    playing 51 years, guess it's in my blood-

    Now I have room for all my guitars!

    I sold my 1963 Mustang that I got when I started guitar lessons in the 5th grade in my sophmore year of college, (wish I still had it) so I could by a Rickenbacher 4001 Bass. I have many of the guitars that the JTV-69 has modeled (just not the vintage). I bought this model a couple of months after buying the JFT-59P gold top with P90's. Both of the guitars play very well and sound great with the magnetic pick-ups as well as the modeled versions.
    When I am looking for a particular sound for a rythum or lead part these guitars are HUGH time savers, I can audition the guitar tones when tracking with a twist of the knob and a toggle or two without unplugging one hanging it on the wall taking down another (maybe the 335) checking the tuning, so on and so on. Usually by the time I get done with all of that my focus is gone and maybe the inspiration. Another great feature is that the models are dead quiet and that saves alot of work while tracking and mixing using a mike or direct in.
    I compared the modeled version of the Les Paul P90's with the magnetic pickups and noticed that the magnetic pickups held the sustain a little longer and had a tinge more growl than the modeled one but I was able to bump the gain just a touch and achieve the same feel.
    Another thing that I am beginning to explore are the alternate tunings that are built into the guitar. Never have been into that but it is fun to play with and learning a little too. Holding out on the other half star for when these guitars are old friends. Playing since "63. (First rock song I learned was "House of the Rising Sun" Eric Burton and the Animals "64
    Thanks to Kenny Bergal and Matt always helpful and knowledgeable

  • pat lindgren
    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.

  • Justin
    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.

  • Tom
    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.

  • Rich
    from United States October 20, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Great sounds but serious quality issues

    This is not a well crafted instrument. The fretwork and design of the neck are such that the high- and low-E strings easily slip off of the fretboard. The bridge sticks when using the vibrato, causing the strings to go flat and will not return to pitch rendering the vibrato useless (unless you like going out of tune). The model selector knob does not always engage (turn on/off)when pushing down. Most of the sounds are good but the instrument is either poorly made, or poorly designed, or both. Very disappointed by this purchase and would not recommend this guitar.

  • Henry T Braswell
    from Raymond, Mississippi, United States February 7, 2012Music Background:
    Guitarist & Eternal Student of Music; Past and Future Pro Musician and Teacher

    This could very well be the only guitar I'll ever need!

    Marty Faley at Sweetwater set it up perfectly and the tuning stability is un-frigging-real! The emulations of the various guitar models are fantastically realistic with absolutely no processor delay. I can't wait until my instructor at Berklee College of Music On-Line makes a comment on my "tone" as he has in the past (Most comments on my tone during the graded assignments have been general but his specific comments on the reverb relate, unbeknownst to him, to the Eventide Space(-Factor?) Reverb and Beyond pedal!--Also purchased at Sweetwater). Wow!!! I think I've found the guitar that is the only guitar I'll ever need to own. Repeat: Marty Faley set it up perfectly and the tuning stability is un-frigging-real! The emulations of the various guitar models are fantastically realistic with absolutely no processor delay. I wanted 3 single-coils as most of the other guitars I own have dual humbuckers, but the HSS coil configuration sound really good by itself (with no battery installed), but the guitar models...wow....they sound beautiful. My wife really wanted me to order this guitar once she found out it had a Coral electric sitar emulation, and she and I are huge George Harrison fans; she just melted when I played his "Within You, Without You" upon receiving it. The various and numerous tuning modes are an added triple-plus. If this Korean-made model is so over-the-top (meaning superbly) fabulous, I'm really curious what the US-made custom shop models have to offer that are over and above the far-less expensive overseas models? I know you get 2 batteries with the US-made models, which is great, but what does paying 2 to 2.5 times the price get you? I really don't know or care. This model is out-of-sight and the Lake Placid Blue color is gorgeous, especially for me, who owns only white, red, and black models, except for the recently acquired transparent blue Steinberger Synapse TranScale, which is a miracle unto itself.

    The only complaints I have are related to the battery-power system and the Advance Guide as mentioned in the Pilot's Handbook, which is no longer available on-line as stated in the Handbook; the hefty Li-Ion battery has to be recharged almost every day, and it's a hassle to have to unplug the guitar output cable every time I take a "long" break from practicing and studying to conserve battery life. I've yet to verify that the typical battery life is 10-12 hours. At this point, it really doesn't seem to matter if I have to recharge it daily or every other day. I plan on looking for a spare at Wally-Mart or elsewhere; the battery appears to be a fairly common type (7.4 Vdc, 2200 mAhr) except for maybe the terminal connections; the spares from Line6 are probably expensively overpriced.

    I can repeat this enough: This could very well be the only guitar I'll ever need. I love the way it plays, sounds, feels, and looks and as far as I'm concerned, Line6 has hit a world-series grand slam with the JTV-69. It's cheap at twice the price!

    More review comments to come later in this semester.

  • Rickysound
    from Memphis January 6, 2012Music Background:
    Weekend Warrior

    A Fun Toy

    I bought this for myself as a Christmas present. Here's my summary:

    Alternate Tunings. The idea that I could play songs in different tunings just by twisting a knob really appealed to me. I've always wanted to experiment with learning to play in different tunings, but not enough to retune my guitars over and over. That's the main reason I purchased the Variax. Needless to say, when I plugged it in on Christmas day and found all the alternate tunings were WAY off, I was more than a little disappointed. For example, in Drop D, the low E string stayed in E, but the A string dropped to G! I had to search the internet until I found a forum where someone explained how to reset all the tuning (the manual does not explain). It took three attempts, but the reset appears to have taken and the alternate tunings are working.

    Modeling. The guitar allows you select from many different sound-emulating models: Les Pauls, Teles, acoustics, a Ric 12-string, even a banjo (which actually sounds pretty cool). The problem is that the tones sound ... well, modeled. I've read reviews about people using this as a gigging guitar, so they can switch sounds to get any sound they want, but I just can't see that. I play in a Memphis oldies/classic rock band and I would never consider using this at a gig. The tone just isn't there (nor the playability - see below). Also, I would worry about the battery running out, leaving you soundless mid-song. If you leave your guitar plugged in, the battery will drain. I charged the battery, left my cord plugged in and the next day it was dead.

    Build Quality and Playability. This Korean model is definitely not terrible build-quality. It looks great, and overall seems to be good qulity. But it's not a very playable guitar, at least as compared to my other guitars. The frets are too high for one thing.

    Overall. While some of the above sounds negative, this guitar is incredibly unique. Now that I've apparently got the alternate tunings working, I'm looking forward to playing around with them and learning something different (I've always played in standard tuning).

  • Steve Feinstein
    from San Antonio, TX November 30, 2011Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician

    A versitile guitar

    I've had the JTV-69, lake placid blue, for just about 3 weeks. I have lots of oohs and aahs on the look and color of the guitar.

    I used it in a gig the first weekend after I received it and we have several gigs coming up where it will be used. I brought my acoustic as a back up guitar to this gig, but never picked it up, so at my next gig, just the jtv-69 will be there.

    This guitar is fabulous and does so many things. I've programed in capo 1, capo 2, capo 3 and capo 5 since we sing songs with those settings. It took a while to get the technique down to change alternate tunings, but once in, they stay. If I want the original settings back, I can either hook it up to the workbench software and flash it back or just change it back.

    Its great to be able to sound like a tele for our SRV covers, and then like a Rickenbacher for our Beatles covers, and then like a Martin for our acoustic set, etc. I bought an A/B box so I can send the electric signals to my amp, and when we do our acoustic set I can send the signal to our PA.

    Battery life has been excellent, and I like the way you can push a button to see how much charge is remaining.

    The only reason for the 1/2 star deduct is the fact that the e string is too close to the fret edge especially at frets 1 - 4. Occasionally I pull the string off - I am working on adjusting my technique to deal with issue, but I should not have to alter my technique.

  • Floyd
    from Aurora, CO USA May 16, 2011Music Background:

    Simply Amazing

    If you are contemplating it, do yourself a favor and get this guitar. I assume if youíre reading this then youíve overcome the powerful reservation surrounding modeling. So I will just get to it.

    The JTV-69 is amazing. This latest Variax represents the brilliant marriage between old-world luthier craftsmanship and workable revolutionary technology.

    The guitar:
    The look of the guitar is familiar but a bit more curvy than a Strat. The cutaways are a bit deeper and the heel is contoured for better access to the upper register. Controls are easily accessed, though the alt tuning knob is a bit tough to manipulate on the fly. The tremolo is smooth and feels great. The graphite nut greatly adds to the guitarís tuning stability. Though Iím dating myself, I must say you canít wang on this thing like a Floyd Rose and expect it to stay in tune. But for subtle vibrato, itís great. The arm does not screw into the socket; it just pops it. The arm is nice and tight and holds it position relatively well.

    The neck radius is 12Ē so chording and soloing are comfortable. The neck profile is thick enough to feel substantial but not so much so that it feels like a baseball bat. Frets are well dressed.

    The magnetic pick ups are great. Iíd originally thought Iíd swap them out but will not be doing so. The humbucker is pleasantly hot and responsive. The single coils sparkle and chime and when you add some dirt they have a gnarly throaty growl.

    Without the Variax modeling, this guitar is a joy to play.

    With the modeling... all the models in the JTV are better than previous incarnations of Variax. The alt tuning knob is just awesome. One thing to note is you have to be playing at a loud enough volume so that you canít hear the dissonance between your alt tuning and your guitar in 440. Workbench lets you deep edit and build custom tunings and guitars at your leisure.

    I havenít written much about the modeling aspects of the JTV, honestly because there isnít much I can add to the conversation. Line 6 has built a reputation and company on modeling classic amps, effects, and instruments and this latest Variax lives up to that legacy. What makes the JTV so amazing is that Line 6 managed to pack all of the emerging tech into a beautifully crafted guitar.

    As a side note, this was my first transaction with Sweetwater and they were incredible. The guitar arrived well pack, perfectly set up, and I was playing it within minutes of getting out of the box. The sales engineer I worked with did of fantastic job of keeping me updated at every phase of my purchase and also contacted after to make sure I was satisfied. Iíll be shopping with Sweetwater again.

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