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Rating and Reviews: Line 6 JTV-89F Variax

This shred-ready axe packs high-gain humbuckers and a Floyd Rose -- plus Variax technology for instant alternate tunings and the sounds of 29 guitar models.

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"Amazing versatility!" submitted March 6, 2016

By Christopher Peiser in Drums, PA
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Musical Background: 30 years of playing guitar, mandolin and more.
Music Style: Christian Rock
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Overall: I have been eyeing up one of these guitars since the first Variax came out. This guitar is the perfect combination of style, flexability and function. It really is like having an arsenal of guitars at your fingertips. Sounds and plays beautifully! A great compliment for any Line 6 rig.
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"The last guitar you'll ever have to buy!!!" submitted July 17, 2014

By Mark G in Los Angeles, CA
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Musical Background: 20 years playing guitar as a hobby on and off with a short stint jamming in a band.
Music Style: Rock, Metal, Alternative, Blues, and Jazz
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Overall: I was looking into buying a new guitar that I could specifically keep in the drop D tuning. I was leaning towards a EVH Wolfgang Special specifically for the D'tuna designed Floyd Rose and had spent countless hours researching this model. Then, Zzounds dropped the price by $500 and it was in my cart ready for checkout. Right before I pulled the trigger though, I did one last search through the 6-string Electric guitar section and I am so glad that I did. I came across the James Tyler Variax model guitars by Line 6 and started to read a little about what these guitars are capable of and I said to myself, "No way, what's the gimmick?". First of all, I didn't even know that Line 6 was into manufacturing guitars. I thought they were just into amplifiers and effect pedals. Secondly, they had such a small selection of these guitars that I was very reluctant to even consider spending any more time researching whether this was a viable option for me or not. What made it even worse for me is that I couldn't even demo any of the Variax models at my local Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc. Then I came across the JTV-89F model and I became instantly more interested because of the graph tech designed Floyd Rose and that's when I decided to hold off on my purchase of the EVH and started my research. These guitars are a guitar players dream. Just the ability to switch tunings on the fly without turning a tuning key is well worth the purchase. The guitar is built with the utmost quality, the intonation is perfect, and throw in the ability to model different brand and model guitar tones with the turn of a knob pushes this Ax over the top. This guitar is setup for the musician to play very comfortably all while remaining versatile. Did I mention that it has a very sexy look to it?Long story short, this is the last guitar you will ever have to buy and you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead, arms if you want to play it. Only if Zzounds could take my wife as a trade in, I could then feel like i died and went to heaven.
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"I want to love this guitar...but having issues." submitted November 29, 2016

By Robert B in Detroit, MI
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Musical Background: I've been playing music well over 30 years. I am a guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and drummer.
Music Style: For the most part, these days, aside from writing music in my limited amount of spare time I am part of a music ministry at a ra
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Overall: I've had a Variax 700 and a JTV 59. I made the mistake of selling my JTV 59, but decided to give the JTV 89 a go. The playability is great on my hands, the fretboard is built wonderfully. It's a beautifully built guitar. My problem lies within the electronics. Although I'm hoping after a trip to an authorized Line 6 repair facility these issues will go away. My first problem is with string volume issues. The D string was too loud on all models, and the G string was too quiet on some. I managed to lower the volume by 70% using Variax Workbench, however I feel this probably wasn't the way it was meant to be. (70% volume reduction on a string is quite crazy.) I'm not the only one with this problem, however. It has to do with the Piezo. My other (minor) issue is the tuning knobs. The DADGAD is not DADGAD, it's DADGBE. This was corrected by utilizing one of the 2 custom tuning presets, however it leaves me with only one left. I've managed to deal with this by just creating specific patches on my HD 500X. It's not a dealbreaker, however. I wouldn't say I got a lemon, because I'm still enjoying this guitar, but for the price paid, I want these issues squared away, and I can bump everything up to 5 stars, because it has that potential to be my favorite guitar of all time.
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