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Really Impressed with my Line6 Variax JTV69


I know this post isn't that timely as these have been out for a while, but I just got one and I've been quite impressed with the guitar. I've been out of the electric guitar market for several years, but the last guitars I owned were a Tom Anderson Cobra and a James Tyler Landau Classic. They were also my two favorite guitars I've ever owned.

At that time, the difference between a Tom Anderson and a James Tyler guitar and that of something you'd find at Guitar Center was considerable. I took notice when the James Tyler Variax guitars came out and thought the 69 might be interesting because it looked a lot like my old Landau Classic, but I assumed that it was no where near the quality or the playability of the real deal.

Last month, I finally decided to break down and get a JTV69 and a HD500x to use with my band. I ordered the JTV69 from Line6's refurbished page for $749. I told myself that despite looking like a Tyler guitar, that I shouldn't get excited about it because it probably wouldn't play or feel anywhere like the original. But I was wrong.

I'm a little blown away at how good it feels and plays. I took it to my local luthier and had him do a full setup on it. To be fair, it came from Line6 setup really well, I just wanted to give my luthier some business and also have him install a new pickguard on it along with making sure all the intonation was right.

Prior to picking the guitar up from him, I had only heard the guitar through the VDI interface to the HD500x and into my PA, which sounds surprisingly good; but at his shop I asked him if I could plug it into one of his tube amps just hear what the magnetic pickups sounded like and I was again pretty impressed. The magnetic pickups sound pretty nice for stock pickups. I played for a bit, then the assistant luthier popped his head around the corner and wanted to know what I was playing.

I let him play it for a while and it sounded great. He kept stopping me and asking me, "so this is a Line6 guitar?!" and I would explain it a bit. He kept remarking how nice it was, the neck, the fretwork, the pickups. At another point, he stopped and said, "This is a James Tyler guitar, right?" suggesting it was an expensive boutique guitar. I explained that Tyler designed the model for Line6. I told him I got it for $749 from Line6 and he was pretty surprised. He said if he sees someone trying to unload one of them for cheap, he is going to grab one for himself.

Anyway, I'm pretty impressed with this thing. I plan on keeping it around for a good long time. Even if I get bored with the modeling, the guitar by itself is one I'd choose to play.

Edit: I forgot to mention, I had him put a string tree on it and it eliminated the high E/B string buzz.

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I had one before in black. It was a wonderful guitar for the money. Some people don't like the neck
But I found it very comfortable and the magnetic pickup are really great also.


Gold Supporting Member
I have a 69 and 59. They are very well made guitars, comparable to my American Fenders. After a good setup, the playability is as good as any guitar I've played. The Tyler neck profile is different than most, but after I've adjusted to it, it's the most comfortable I've found. Since I've got a Helix, both the JTV's are my go- to gig guitars for the last 5 years.

When you add the modeling to the equation, plus the fact that the models are totally noise free, they really are an amazing instrument. Unfortunately, guitarists are very conservative in their attitude toward technology sometimes, and the JTV's aren't as popular as they should be.


Silver Supporting Member
I have a JTV 69S which I use for Drop D, Drop Db and whole step down tunes.
I use a Strat for the bulk of tunes as we are tuned 1/2 step down.
Like mentioned, as a standard guitar it's really good.
Modeling is 2nd only to the real thing.
If you have sweaty hands it's possible to have the modeling cut out if moisture gets in the saddle pocket that holds the piezo.
Had it happen to me but if you're aware you can prevent it.
I was using the JTV for the whole night but the cutting out made me start using a Strat and I kept using it as it sounds better 1/2 step down than the models.
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Gold Supporting Member
I liked my JTV69 when I got it, but not as much as a couple of my other guitars. But I really wanted to integrate it with my Helix, so I forced myself to play it more, knowing I'd get more comfortable with it. The stock neck had really nice acoustic resonance, but was a little too chunky for me and the fret wire a little too tall. I put a Warmouth mahogany neck with bubinga fretboard on it. I got the standard thin profile with SS frets. I'm much happier with it and it's the only guitar I use with the Helix, which is my band rig.
I like your new pickguard. Does L6 sell those?
Here's a pic of my new neck:

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