Variax JTV

I’m excited about the new Line 6 Variax guitars, but haven’t seen a lot of buzz about them yet. I’ve read a few reviews, and have gone ahead and ordered a JTV-69 (3-tone sunburst) but it won’t ship until freakin’ June! I love the retro strat look, and the 69 is the only model with a tremolo.
I’ve been using my Variax 600 extensively for six years or so, and love it. It’s great for recording, but I can understand the complaints about the piezo pickups and some of the models, so I’m really looking forward to the newest model.
Has any doper had a chance to get hands on? Anyone else even interested?

Interested, yes. Afford, not so much.

It is one of the Tyler-designed Korean made guitars? I haven’t played one, but James Tyler (a boutique maker known for guitars (mostly Super Strat variants) that some players swear by for their overall fit and finish, but which have the ugliest headstocksknown to man. It’s true - proven by government test.

Anyway, because the original Line 6 Variax got bad reviews for being at-best-service-able guitars, regardless of the whiz-bang Variax circuitry, Line 6 is reloading and brought in a big gun to design a more playable guitar. The reviews that I have heard are very good for the Tyler-made and pretty decent for the Tyler-designed, Korean-made ones.

However - the question is: do you need a Variax guitar? If you are either a gigging musician who needs that level of versatility to switch voices and tunings mid-gig, or a complete recording studio rat who needs a (relatively) inexpensive way to lay down tracks with different voicings and tunings, or just a complete gear geek who loves new tech, then fine. But if you want to be a good guitar player and gigging and recording aren’t your big priorities, I would say avoid it. They represent the antithesis of what I advocate, namely a super-simple tube rig that enables you to learn how to control the dynamics of your playing.

My $.02

He has been using a 600, WordMan, so he clearly knows what they can do and has use for it.

Oh, I know - I just like whining. “Back in my day, we used tubes - glass dagnabbit - and they glowed!”

But seriously, I welcome tech innovation while at the same time always worry about losing the feel of the guitar. By all accounts, POD’s and other multi-effect, modeling devices can be a real boon…if you have the need. It’s the folks who don’t have a need, but get caught up in the “ooo shiny” distraction of new gear that lose track of their actual playing. Those are the folks I have to watch out for - 'cuz we guitar players have to stick together…:wink:

I do wonder about the long lead time for these instruments, considering they were announced in March 2010. The line 6 folks took a long time to get a product page up with specs, and as of a few months ago the entirety of information available online for these guitars consisted of a blog. Whiffs of vapor to me, or at least design or manufacturing problems.

Is there any end-user (who doesn’t work for Line6) on Harmony Central or elsewhere actually in possession of one of these guitars who’s posted a review? I’ve poked around there and found none, though maybe Wordman would know how to dig one up, as I’m not much of a music forum geek.

I did a quick search on the Gear Page for “tyler variax” - an actual review in this thread… - link to a demo

Thanks for digging those out, Wordman!

So in total: one poster saw someone else playing one in a TV production. Another poster bought one and likes it. The third poster bought one and returned it, not happy. No other happy or unhappy owners in there.

Pretty thin stuff. To the OP: I’d proceed with caution.

I must be the recording rat WordMan mentioned. I love the versatility the Variax offers, and hope the new version overcomes the limitations of the 600. When I’m laying down tracks, I want to add Pauls and Strats and Semi- acoustics, Dobros…whatever. I’ve played out in the past and enjoyed it, but just don’t have the time now to commit to being in a band, so my home studio’s perfect for me. It’s not the best environment to work out the sonic capabilities of a tube rig. But the Variax, through the Pod X3 Live is great for recording. As I said I’ve ordered the JTV-69, but it won’t be here until mid-June. I was just hoping to hear results of an early field test.

Nom, of course, you are invited to the Great Ongoing Guitar Thread.
Because we got nothing better to do than talk about this stuff for hours and hours and hours.
Maybe you can help figure out what’s wrong with squeegee’s amp.