What's the REAL take on the Tyler Variax

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Johnkenn, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Johnkenn

    Johnkenn Member

    Messages:
    250
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Now that it's been out a while...Just sound wise. I played with one a while back and some of the sounds still kinda had a peizo quackiness to them...BUT, I'm so tempted because it would be such a convenience in demo work...
     
  2. pcauchi

    pcauchi Member

    Messages:
    354
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Location:
    LI, New York
    A JTV-69US model is going to be my next gear purchase for sure. Hopefully I'll have the cash within the next month or so. Really want to get my hands on one of these things on the quick fast.
     
  3. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,862
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    When you are using the modeling, you have to be careful with your right hand about how you mute and watching out for the 'thumps' if you bang your palm on the bridge. That's been greatly reduced - for sure - since the Gen1 units and most every other Piezo on the market... from ANY company on ANY piezo guitar.

    It's nature of the beast. However, if you palm mute further back on the bridge and 'lighter' then it sounds really good.

    I strongly feel the Tyler/Variax is a very practical, functional and workable toolbox for the guitarist. It's my #1 gigging guitar now and I don't say that lightly.
     
  4. Johnkenn

    Johnkenn Member

    Messages:
    250
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    That's A pretty big plug coming from you, Scott. What do you think about the way the sounds? Are they there? Do they not still sound a little "plonky"?
     
  5. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,862
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    You know when the modeling is on; there's no arguing that. It's not the same 'connection' in the 'feel' department, anyone arguing that there isn't a difference between the modeling and the analog pickups is selling you something. I'm not. (!)

    But, that said - the end tones are extremely workable on stage; I use the acoustic sounds a LOT in my current band and it blows me and others away every time. You have to be articulate with your picking; you have to moreso watch what you do with your palm and the side of your palm on the bridge... just as you do with ANY piezo bridge (on any guitar from any brand).

    The models themselves are all very good. Some work better than others, the more whacked out you make it, the less convincing the results.

    I use the acoustic Jumbo and 12 string Jumbo a lot. A whole lot. They are really good; Line 6 just announced they've redone the acoustic models entirely for an upcoming free firmware update. That's fantastic.

    I use the Open G and DADGAD tuning a lot with those acoustics and they sound great. At low volumes. it's odd because you can hear the physical strings and your output doesn't match it at all... but on stage or with headphones on in a session... not an issue.

    Again, it's not the same, there is a obvious difference in the feel and experience of playing... but I've found this to be the best on stage solution I've ever used. It's very powerful to be able to do this on the fly.
     
  6. epluribus

    epluribus Member

    Messages:
    9,175
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Is that what the palm mute controversy has been about? I remember reading that way back when the first Variaxes came out. Played a bunch and had my opinions, but for me muting worked just like always...and I mute a lot. Hm...now I gotta go out and watch my hands and see if that's the deal...maybe I don't bang on the bridge very much. Never noticed really.

    --Ray
     
  7. jbealsmusic

    jbealsmusic Member

    Messages:
    890
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nepean, ON
    I think the palm muting issue (at least in my case) only really applies to "chugalug" high-gain tones. I played a JTV and never noticed any issues palm muting unless it was on a high-gain tone.

    IMO, anytime a person buys a new guitar with a bridge and pickups they're not used to, they have to modify their playing a little to get the sound they want out of that guitar. The Variax is no different.
     
  8. tonyhay

    tonyhay Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,595
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    The only issue i have with the JTV 59 is the neck. It's much bigger than my other guitars. But if you play one (or a 69) and like the neck, I agree with all the other comments here. The sounds and flexibility are really good. But for me, playability isn't quite optimum because I'd never normally want a guitar with this neck.
     
  9. Gtrman100

    Gtrman100 Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    So Cal
    I've had a JTB-69 Korean for about 6 months. Like Scott, it's my main gigging guitar, actually it's my only gigging guitar. I'm very happy with the sounds, especially as part of my JTV/HD500/DT50 rig.

    The guitar plays great, and the build quality is good. It's on par with your $1000 Ibanez or Fender, IMO. Initially, I thought the neck was a bit thick, but after living with it for a while, I really like it now. It seems to reduce hand fatigue in those 4 set nights, and upper fret access is really good.

    As far as muting goes, I had an original Variax 700, and gigged with it extensively- the JTV has a much better touch and attack envelope. You do get a bit of ringing sometimes when muting the strings if you hit the bridge with your palm. If you're doing djent music and need the really tight palm mute, use the mag pickups. The envelope of the modeled pickups just isn't as sharp as a real mag pickup. Line 6 added the real pickups to address this complaint, I'm sure. Plus, if the battery dies or the electronics fail, you can still make it through a gig, no problem.

    All in all, I'm really pleased with my JTV, have had no problems, and am really looking forward to the software update that will really increase the flexibility of the system. I'm wondering if it will change the sound of the guitar models, but I'm pretty satisfied with most of them. I'm not real happy with the P90 models, they don't have the grind of the real thing, and the Jazzbox and Gretsch models are a bit boomy to me. Other than that it's great.
     
  10. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

    Messages:
    3,323
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    Ya, I can't get a good sound out of the P-90 or Firebird models, but thats no biggie. The Jazzbox and Gretch models sound great clean, IMO. There are also a few good custom tones to be downloaded online. I found an Eric Johnson ES-335 tone download and it kills for clean tones. Also some Slash tones and Keef tones. The only other thing I think that would be cool is if there was a way to have digital readouts on the knobs, so when you stomp on the HD500 to go from Les paul- Marshall to Strat-Fender, you don't have to worry about turning the dial at all if you want to go from neck to bridge pickup.
     
  11. Dancing Frog

    Dancing Frog Member

    Messages:
    599
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    Odenton, Md
    I have a JTV-69 Korean, and it's a pretty good guitar for the money. I found it to be very useful in a pinch covering a variety of things. Although I am not a fan of many of models under distortion because they mud up a lot more than the originals, they do remarkably well clean. Also, the tunings can be a little dicey the further you get from standard, and there is an issue with the break angle of the high E over the nut. That being said, I am very tempted to get a USA version.
     
  12. bverdon

    bverdon Member

    Messages:
    31
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Well...sounds like this axe isn't for me... too bad
     
  13. Foss38

    Foss38 Member

    Messages:
    237
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Grand Bend, Ont.
    I would like to hear what others might say regarding 59/LP AND 69/Strat comparisons and why you decided on the model that you did.

    Cheers , Bob
     
  14. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    i have a korean jtv-69. i can mirror what is being said here about how high quality the guitar is and also that i think it sounds really good. EXCEPT i have been having problems with the 12 string models on my guitar. i have a thread on it at line6 and they have opened a support ticket to take it back and check it out. the problem is that on most of the strings, at all neck positions and open strings, there is a synth-y like overtone which can not be dialed out no matter what pod hd500 setting i use or cable (VDI or 1/4"). this overtone makes the 12 string sounds unusable but is not present on any other model.
    from what i gather, it is suspected to be a piezo problem. i really hate to be without my jtv-69 for the few weeks it will likely take but the 12 string models are a necessity for me. i am hoping the new software upgrade will come out before i ship the guitar off in hopes it will somehow magically fix the problem :(
    HTH
     
  15. hanales

    hanales Member

    Messages:
    889
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I think the new firmware allows you to program that into the patches on the HD500.

    Variax Control Mode (Global/Preset). Choose whether you want to assign Variax guitar models and Local Control settings globally, or on a per-preset basis. Alternately, you can get complete manual control by choosing not to control Variax settings with POD presets.

    New Input Selections. The new input selections — “Variax” and “Variax Mags” — allow you to assign any configuration of magnetic pickups and Variax models per POD HD preset. The new “Variax” input selection also recalls whether you were using mags or models per preset, allowing you to pick up exactly where you left off – no need for manual selection or input changes.
     
  16. gurumonkey

    gurumonkey Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    "Line 6 just announced they've redone the acoustic models entirely for an upcoming free firmware update. That's fantastic. "

    where is this announcement?
     
  17. Digital Igloo

    Digital Igloo Member

    Messages:
    3,362
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Here.
     
  18. toasterdude

    toasterdude Member

    Messages:
    1,597
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    I never got decent sounds out of the firebird but used to use the LP Junior and specials quite a bit on the old vaxes. I now use p rails in my JTVs and msotly use the p90s on the prails in conjunction with the models to get some cool sounds.

    For your last request, I had done a feature request years ago that I think would handle that in an elegant way.

    Under vax control I wanted a "bank mode" Say you were playing the LP model and the model knob is in LP position but as you said selected a strat tone via a pod patch. "bank mode" would switch not only to the strat model and pickup selection, but change the "bank" to strat. Now if ypu switch from pos 2 to neck pick up the POD knows you are in the strat bank and swicthes to the strat neck and not the LP as current behavior would be. Of course if you looked at the guitar it would sill appear to be in LP "bank" but that happens now any way when selecting patches via POD.
     
  19. toasterdude

    toasterdude Member

    Messages:
    1,597
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    I have 2 JTV 59s and several old variaxes both electric and acoustic. I may be the only person I have seen that is basically using mags and models together on virtually every patch.

    Just to make sure I am not going off the deep end I did a very informal blind test with 2 buddies that play guitar. Neither were Pros or tone snobs. . .lol.

    Using 2 different patches in my rig I played 3 choices:

    1- mag pickups going to both virtual amp rigs in my PODHD AXE II rig.

    2- Models going to both.

    3- models going through one amp/fx chain and mags through the other.

    Very informal of course but both players selected number 3 in both cases and did so quickly.

    Neither of the patches are really tweaked to be where I totally want them, and I think that will make the choice even easier.

    I have been using dual amp rigs pretty much exclusively for years. One amp panned har left and one panned har right with a 8-20ms delay on one. Having even slightly different guitar sounds feeding each chain seems to take it up another notch.

    In my 2 examples I was using clean patches on both. One patch had modeled strat in position 2 and the mags in the middle "quack" position on my prails in rails mode. Basically a strat sound and a "strattish" sound.

    Second patch was a custom tele patch on the model side with a tele bridge pick up and filtertron in the neck in neck/bidge position. Again the mags were the same quack position as above.

    On dirtier patches I usually hav models set to a custom LP bridge patch and the mags on bridge p90 setting. I did not test my two buddies but I personally hear similar differences. Enough diffrence that I have not played my old variax 500 xplant, that is my fave guitar. .. .in months. Once I get the JTV guts xplanted in that guitar I am sure it will be my number one, once again.
     
  20. Sash

    Sash Member

    Messages:
    93
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Location:
    London UK
    The other way of doing that and even more flexible would be if within the HD500 patch you could specify the model you required for each switch position.

    cheers
     

Share This Page