Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar 3-Color Sunburst 886830243332

Item #: 
H05503005002030
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The JTV-69 James Tyler Variax Modeling Electric Guitar offers an innovative design and boutique playing experience courtesy of master luthier James Tyler, and the world's most advanced guitar modeling... Click To Read More About This Product

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Overview

The JTV-69 James Tyler Variax Modeling Electric Guitar offers an innovative design and boutique playing experience courtesy of master luthier James Tyler, and the world's most advanced guitar modeling technology from the people who invented it, Line 6. Plug this guitar into any amp and hear all the models, all the tunings, and both acoustic and electric tones you've ever wanted. No more dragging around multiple acoustics and electrics to gigs or recording studios. Variax gives you an endless variety of sounds from classic acoustic and electric tones all the way to sitar and banjo, all in one instrument.

The JTV-69 features a beautiful flamed maple top, alder back, and a bolt-on maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. A recessed heel makes reaching the upper frets a breeze. The JTV-69 is loaded with a pair of single-coil pickups (neck and middle positions), and custom-wound humbuckers (bridge) designed by James Tyler. Controls include a 5-way blade pickup selector switch, a master volume & tones. A rotary model selector dials the 25 virtual guitars plus sitar, banjo, and resonator guitar tones. A rotary alt tuning selector lets you pick from 12 alternate tunings. Comes standard with a durable, padded gig bag with a stitched Line 6 logo and 2 pockets big enough for all your gig essentials.

Redesigned tremolo bridge
The JTV-69 has a redesigned tremolo bridge that offers improved tone and tuning stability. This design lets the string go into the bridge through the front of the tremolo, which brings the ball end as close to the saddle as possible, instead of stringing it through the tremolo block. This also makes restringing much easier. The knife edges and tremolo pivot posts were designed to provide nearly zero resistance. This, in conjunction with locking tuners gives this standard tremolo bridge much more tuning stability. A Graph Tech Black TUSQ XL nut keeps the strings from gripping and sticking. James Tyler Custom tremolo bridge is also fitted with an LR Baggs Radiance hex pickup system for sweet acoustic guitar tones.

Dual-core Processor
Dual-core processor delivers 4 times the punch. This new chip is smaller, faster, and more powerful. It has allowed Line 6 to run fuller, clearer models of guitar bodies and pickups; let all their models have alternate tunings; improved alternate tuning purity and speed; provided alternate tuning customization; and improved modes of operation and editing. The JVT sounds and responds surprisingly more like a traditional guitar.

Variax Workbench Software
Variax Workbench software is a virtual custom shop. This free software, which can be downloaded from the Line-6 web site, lets you create custom models on your computer and upload them to your JTV-59 via its built-in USB port. Choose from famous guitar bodies, pickups, pickup placement, tone and volume controls, and tweak away until you've designed the guitar of your dreams - without choking on sawdust!

This combination USB interface and software package for James Tyler Variax guitars allows you to see and hear the physical changes to your custom guitar in real-time. Ever wonder what a single-coil pickup would sound like on a hollow-body guitar tuned an octave down? Probably not. That's because it wasn't a reality - until now.

The Alt Tune Knob
Each James Tyler Variax modeling guitar has a dedicated Alt Tune knob. This knob has 12 settings, including two labeled "Model" and "Standard." Set to "Model," the Alt Tune knob lets you access the alternate tunings you created using Variax Workbench virtual guitar workbench software. These tunings are stored on your Variax's Model knob. Set to "Standard," the Alt Tune knob overrides saved tunings to set every model to standard "E-to-E" tuning. The Alt Tune knob's remaining 10 settings are the most commonly used tunings found in the popular genres of the day.

The Virtual capo feature lets you easily transpose any song to the key that suits you vocalist. And you can adjust your tuning on the fly without having to do on "Workbench" software.

Battery powered DSP
A proprietary lithium-ion battery delivers at least 12 hours of continuous performance. A 4-LED battery life meter lets you know how much rocking time you have left. Rolling down the volume knob when not playing will automatically put the DSP to sleep and helps maximize battery life. So even with your cable still plugged in, you will not be using battery power. DSP wakes up instantly when you turn the volume back up. The JTV-69 functions as a standard electric guitar whether the battery installed or not.


Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options. Includes gig bag.

Features
  • Variax models based on:
  • 1960 Fender Telecaster Custom
  • 1968 Fender Telecaster
  • 1968 Fender Telecaster Thinline
  • 1969 Fender Stratocaster
  • 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard
  • 1952 Gibson Les Paul "Goldtop"
  • 1961 Gibson Les Paul Custom (3 PU)
  • 1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior
  • 1976 Gibson Firebird V
  • 1955 Gibson Les Paul Special
  • 1969 Gretsch 6120
  • 1956 Gretsch Silver Jet
  • 1968 Rickenbacker 360
  • 1966 Rickenbacker 360-12
  • 1961 Gibson ES-335
  • 1967 Epiphone Casino
  • 1957 Gibson ES-175
  • 1953 Gibson Super 400
  • 1969 Martin D-28
  • 1970 Martin D 12-28
  • 1967 Martin O-18
  • 1966 Guild F212
  • 1995 Gibson J-200
  • 1935 Dobro Alumilite
  • Danelectro 3021
  • Coral Dano Electric Sitar
  • Gibson Mastertone Banjo
  • 1928 National Style 2 "Tricone"
  • Alternate tunings for JTV-69:
  • MODEL
  • STANDARD: E A D G B E
  • DROP D: D A D G B E
  • 1/2 DOWN: Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
  • DROP Db: Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
  • 1 DOWN: D G C F A D
  • DADGAD: D A D G A D
  • OPEN D: D A D F# A D
  • BLUES G: D G D G B D
  • RESO G: G B D G B D
  • OPEN A: E A C# E A E
  • BARITONE: B E A D F B
  • Includes padded gig bag made by G&G
Specifications
  • Top: flamed maple
    Back: alder
    Neck: bolt-on maple neck
    Fingerboard: rosewood
    Scale length: 25-1/2"
    Radius: 12"
    Number of frets: 22
    Nut: Graph Tech Black TUSQ XL
    Nut width: 1-5/8"
    Hardware: Chrome
    Pickups: Neck and mid pickups: Custom single-coil; Bridge pickup: Custom humbucker (wound to Tyler's specs)
    Electronics: Full Variax system
    Bridge: James Tyler Custom tremolo bridge with LR Baggs Radiance hex pickup system
    Tuners: Custom tuners
    Included: Workbench USB adapter, Li-Ion battery, and switching power supply
    Workbench software downloadable for free from Line 6
  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Line 6JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar
 
4.2

(based on 38 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

81%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (18)
  • Good tone (16)
  • Fun to play (15)
  • Solid electronics (13)
  • Good pick up (12)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (5)

Best Uses

  • Jamming (15)
  • Recording (15)
  • Practicing (14)
  • Small venues (9)
  • Rock concerts (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (15), Professional musician (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Good guitar, Variax much improved!

I've only had this for two weeks, but that is enough to review it.

First, the guitar itself is quite nice, though I'm sure the USA made versions are somewhat...Read complete review

I've only had this for two weeks, but that is enough to review it.

First, the guitar itself is quite nice, though I'm sure the USA made versions are somewhat better. This is still the same electronics (for the variax) as the more expensive models though and that is mainly what I got it for.

It stays in tune very well, as well as Ibanez guitars with zero-trems. (I don't do any radical dive bombing though)

Everyone wants to know if the modeled sounds are good... well, they are!
People want to know if the pitch-change works well, ... it does, so long as you don't radically alter pitch. For instance, the drop D, DADGAD and open G tunings are all very good. There is no noticeable delay between picking the note and hearing the altered pitch through your system.

However, there is a very noticeable "warbling" when extreme pitch changes are used, especially on the Baritone setting. I suspect that that is nearly impossible to fix with current chip-set speeds and bit depth. That's probably OK for kids who use tons of distortion. If you wanted to play clean country licks with the Baritone setting, forget it. The low notes have digital artifacts that even a beginner would hear.

The main thing I love about the guitar is that it is a GOOD guitar. Nice tuning machines, great bridge and trem, comfortable body, solid neck, nice fret work, and it plays in tune! Mine came almost perfect from the box, so I haven't tweaked it much yet, but I suspect it will be easy after looking at the fine components Mr Tyler designed. All the hardware is A+ quality.

The stock passive pickups are good too! Some may long for more power, others for more high end... that's always a trade off. Again Mr Tyler's experience shows here. The stock pickups sound very authentic. In fact, you can switch between the modeled strat and the pickups to hear there is little difference between the two.

Since alternate tunings ideally require different gauges of strings and a proper set-up on individual guitars, I have never messed around with them much. It is too expensive and too much hassle. About the only alt-tuning I have experience with is the Drop D and open G. So my personal reason for getting this was to experiment with other tunings. I find it especially helpful when students want to do new tunes by younger artists that always seem to favor alt tunings. For that purpose, this is a great time-saver and a great value.

I have a LOT of experience with real American Strats, Teles and Pauls, so I can attest those models are VERY authentic.

The acoustic models are quite good too, but they only sound really great through a FULL RANGE system. They are convincing enough through a regular guitar amp if you use a clean setting with ZERO distortion and the treble UP, but guitar amps never have the high-frequency content that acoustic simulation requires.

Therefore, I can recommend this to teachers, players who want different tunings and gigging musicians who need a versatile axe without carrying many guitars. If you intend to use the acoustic models much, be sure to use a full range system of some kind.

Complaints: Other than the digital glitches (warbling) on extreme pitch setting, I think the twelve-string models could be a little more in tune. It sounds like they intentionally detuned the octave strings to make the sound more "authentic." Perhaps that is what people want, but I would really prefer better intonation on 12 string settings.

So far, the battery life is as advertised, so I'm thrilled with that. My older model Line 6 variax ate batteries. The new technology has improved that greatly.

Overall, this guitar competes strongly with any other production guitar on the market, just as a plain guitar. When you add the modeling features, it becomes a no-brainer. Perhaps they will improve even more in the future as technology progresses, but I felt this was worth the investment now since it is almost perfect.

Unless the laws of physics suddenly change or human hearing evolves unexpectedly, this sounds as close to the real thing as you can get without investing MANY thousands. It sounds like great recordings of famous guitars.

At this price range, that is a heck of a deal.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Definitely try before you buy

Here were my problems:
1)Sticky Guitar Model Selector. Had to take off knob to be able to push stem to activate Selector. It was like the knob was too big for...Read complete review

Here were my problems:
1)Sticky Guitar Model Selector. Had to take off knob to be able to push stem to activate Selector. It was like the knob was too big for the hole it is set into. Might have been able to fix this, but then, that's not MY job. Is it? I could have damaged it further in the process.
2)6th string buzzed and lost all volume from 2nd fret progressively worse to 12th. At 12th and above, sat right against 13th fret. Possibly remedied by raising bridge, but that would've taken an experienced tech with the tremolo bridge involved.
3)1st string fell off the fretboard with the slightest bend downward. How do you fix that?
4)Tremolo bar would pitch down, but not up...not even slightly. Was it set up wrong?
5)Guitar Model sounds were, IMO, mostly cheesy. Not sure they were authentic or not, but Banjo, Sitar, 12-string Acoustic and Reso models were not. If this is what these sounds were meant to be, I think they are sorely lacking.
6)Manual shipped with product was too basic. Should have printed and included the manuals available online.
I might have been able to get items 1) through 4) fixed. But 5) is what it is.I'm convinced---and disappointed---that this particular guitar was not tested or set up between time it came off the line til it reached my home. If it had been played even once, it would have undergone repair immediately. This one totally missed the quality control test.
I'd recommend finding a store that has two or more of each model desired to test before making purchase decision.
If I just got a lemon, sorry for the criticism.

On a better note, can't say enough good about MF's return process. Accepted the return with no (well, very few) questions asked. Cost me only return postage via UPS (not much), took about 10 minutes on the phone (haven't gotten final credit yet, but I assume that's on the way). If I thought I'd just gotten a lemon, I'd get another one shipped and try it out, but unfortunately, I think I'll just get a fancy effects pedal and another guitar for alternate tunings.

Reviewed by 38 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Great All Around Guitar for not having to take 8 guitars

By slim

from Fresno, CA

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Less Equipment Required
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Ocationally Variax Losses Contiction

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • Small Venues

Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

I used to have to take 8 or 9 instruments on the road. Now I only take it, my Lap Steel & Mandolin. I use it with the Line 6 pedal board and a 4w Vox all tube amp.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Won't stay in tune if you touch the tremolo

By 1

from 1

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Tremolo issues

Best Uses

  • Recording

Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

Issues with tremolo. Found on Line 6 message board that many others had the same problem. I looked under the tremolo and saw that the insert for the tremolo arm is indeed rubbing against the body of the guitar not letting it move freely. I also see that the wires that attach to the trem unit do not move freely because of the location of the plug on the circuit board which impedes the moment of the trem itself. The blades of the tremolo which rest on the post are worn flat. This is brand new, and hasn't been used much at all, and they have flat areas on them with metal hanging off. Not what I expected from this product at all after it being advertised as "Superb, Excellent, Most versatile electric guitar on the planet, etc..." Having to do lots of work on this one to be able to use it.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Got a Variax JTV69 Again!

By treewiz

from Catskill Mts N.Y.

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Fret Buzz

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • Small Venues

Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

I bought one of the first run Sunburst JTV 69 and it had it's share of flaws, the neck was chunkier particularily up the neck, the tremolo had flaws and didn't stay in tune, the alternate tuning knob was way to tight to turn, the string nut was cut way off and the strings did not line up right on the beginning of the finger board the high E would slip off the board a lot. Sold it in 2011. I got one of the last JTV 69's here at Musician's Friend and let me tell you what a difference! This guitar is set up almost perfect if not perfect! The neck is perfect for my small hands! The Lake Placid Blue color is stunning and this ax really feels and plays great! I got a good one! alternate tuning doesn't warble as much as my old Variax, I may have to adjust the magnetic and piezo pick ups to tweak the little warble or ghost notes I hear (common with the Variaxs). I am so siked that I did not miss out in getting one of these again. They improved these Variaxs to my liking emensely! The guitar still comes set up with 10's gauge strings but I may live with these for now because this guitar is set up so good with them, not sure if resetting this guitar up with 9's will ruin it (buzzing strings ) The only con was a little mix up in the shipping instructions on Musician's Friend's end, but it worked out finally. I give it a 4 because as much of a great guitar it is, the models are not absolutely perfect but they do pass as really good. Anyway I love this Variax JTV69 and this one is a keeper, Thanks Musician's Friend for sending a GOOD ONE, I'm Lucky for sure.

 
4.0

Almost Fantastic

By Steve L

from South FL

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Huge Variety Of Sounds
  • Very Customizable

Cons

  • High 'e' Slides Off Fb
  • Onoff Switch Fails
  • On-off Switch Fails
  • Poor Quality Craftsmanship
  • Very Narrow Neck

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Small Venues

Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

So I've had this guitar for a couple months and I really wish I'd returned it. I think I got a lemon. I was initially so excited to have gotten it on sale and with the huge library of sounds it has but as I've played it more I've become very annoyed and frustrated by the narrow neck. To top it off, the edge of the frets are beveled at such an angle that it reduces the amount of usable fret causing the high 'e' to slip off the fretboard rather easily. From reading Line 6's forums it seems this was a manufacturing problem early on and I got an old one (2011) despite buying in 2014. The neck profile is not all that comfortable for me either, I'd prefer something like Fender's modern 'C' profile but that is a matter of personal preference, others may like it. Another problem is that the on/off switch frequently fails to turn the guitar on or off. If I remove the knob it works so it's a mechanical issue but a hugely annoying one. Those are my main complaints but really affect my ability to enjoy the guitar. Aside from those issues, the range of sounds it can produce, the various tunings and customizability make it a real marvel. A better neck and working on/off switch and this thing couldn't be beat. I would recommend this guitar but if you get one with the issues I had, return it immediately and try again.

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Truly an amazing guitar

By TOM

from So San Francisco, CA

Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

OK, I'm relatively new to the guitar scene and have purchased a few over the last 1.5 years (14). I'm 63 and had a severe stage of GAS. I've modified, changed pick guards, pickups, bought a few amps, etc. during the 1.5 years. Then I got a JTV-69 about a month ago. The GAS has subsided. When I got it I realized really I don't need the others. So,I may end up selling the others and just stick with the JTV-69 because it can closely emulate the sounds and feelings of the others. I will keep my Greg Bennett acoustic however. It's easy to play, stays in tune and fun to instantly change the sound with the turn of a dial when I wish. I'm very satisfied with the quality, feel and sound of this guitar. I also have the Line 6 DT25 and the POD500X I need to get all together at one time...to really see how this set up works. Fun days ahead!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing sound

By Kody

from JC, NJ

Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

This guitar is a blast to play. It provides you with the ability to change tuning, sounds, and instrument on the fly. The potential of this guitar is unlimited. It may take sometime to learn the ins and outs of the guitar but after you get the hang of it, it is amazing. It sounds great only as well with the hd effects. I recommend this guitar to anybody looking for total control and flexibility of their sound. It can't be beat.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Most versatile guitar I've ever played

By David

from Ogden, UT

Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

I travel about half of the year for work. I like to bring a guitar with me to work on my music and just to relax. For years, I tried to find the perfect travel guitar. I've had travel electrics and travel acoustics...and then I discovered the James Tyler Variaxes. I can now carry a guitar that I can get great electric and great acoustic sounds out of while still keeping it quiet in the hotel room. As a conventional guitar, it plays amazingly well. Tyler and Line 6 did a great job of making a very playable guitar. If the battery runs out, I can just play through the magnetic pickups. It has a very smooth neck, locking tuners and pretty versatile pickups. I really enjoy the tone that I get out of it. Once I activate the Variax electronics, the guitar really begins to shine. The sounds are a blast to play with and the alternate tunings are a godsend. If I feel like jamming in open G, all that have to do is rotate the tuning switch and play away. I can even program my own custom tunings. It does a very respectable job of modeling everything from a banjo to a "59 Les Paul with a sitar and some fine acoustics thrown in. At the current price, this guitar is a steal. It comes with everything you need to connect it to a laptop to develop custom guitars customize settings and has a great and very protective gig bag. I highly recommend this guitar for anyone who needs or wants to cut down on the number of guitars that they have to carry around.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Perfect Guitar for the Home Studio

By LesSages

from Provo, UT

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Tune Switch Knob Buzzes

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts

Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

I bought this for two major reason. One, recording with this thing in my home studio, I get zero pickup noise. That wouldn't be too helpful if it didn't also sound really great (number 2). I'm not really concerned about if the guitar models sound just like the guitars they were modeled after (and maybe they do). All that matters to me is that I have a huge selection of different sounds to choose from, and I can create my own in the Workbench software.

 
5.0

Not perfect, but close

By Madmead

from West Palm Beach, Florida

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording

    Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

    Even without the modeling feature this is an outstanding guitar. The neck is fairly beefy without being too large. The pickups sound as good as any guitar I own, and I have some high end ones. This thing just fits me, and it's hard to put down. The modeling is excellent with regards to electric sounds. The 12 strings are a little weak but useable. The acoustics are probably OK for a band situation where you're buried behind other instruments, but alone are not going to fool anybody. Same with resonator models. Sitar is a blast and nearly dead on. I love the alternate tunings, as I play a lot of slide. My favorite Strat style guitar is a Tom Anderson Drop Top. I haven't picked it up since I got this. I'm impressed.

     
    4.0

    Many guitars in one decent axe

    By GuitarMike

    from Tucson, AZ

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Decent Components
    • Multiple Tunings
    • Multiple Voices

    Cons

    • Neck Is A Bit Clunky

    Best Uses

    • Specialty Needs

    Comments about Line 6 JTV-69 Variax Electric Guitar:

    A fellow musician has this guitar, so I knew what I was buying. I needed a guitar that gave me some special sounds (12 string, acoustic, banjo) for some upcoming shows - didn't want to haul a bunch of extra instruments to the show. Guitar was setup fine right out of the box. The cap on the guitar voice knob was unattached on arrival, but a quick call to Line 6 and they sent a new one immediately. The JTV-69 gives lots of sound options, and the base guitar is sturdy and works well just as an electric guitar. The neck is a bit thicker/wider than I usually play, but it's workable. Versatile, decent quality tone, fun sounds, programmable. Worth the deal (especially since I got it with a rebate!)

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