Gear Spotlight – James Tyler Variax Guitar

JTV Variax Guitar Model 69

James Tyler Variax modeling guitar

Hello, YourGuitarGuide here doing another review. This time on the Variax guitar.

I can Speak from experience, I own the James Tyler Variax 69. The modeling guitar, made by Line 6. “it Rocks!” It is a double cut away power house!

Line 6 tested top of the line Vintage guitars from Albert Kindly. Who is one of the top Vintage guitar collectors. They Tested all the unique tones to capture the classic vintage sound that the Variax Modeling guitar encapsulates.

With this guitar you have 25 guitars in one. It has 12 tuning, and also a virtual capo so you can instantly switch to any tone you are trying to capture. With this guitar you can switch tones on the fly, with one guitar selector knob.

From playing a 1959 Gibson Les Paul standard to a 1967 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar. It is so easy and fun to sound the same as the original recording.

James Tyler Variax JTV-69

JTV-69 is a regular guitar with two single coil pickups and on the bridge a humbucking pickup. That works like any electric guitar with magnetic pickups. At first it seems like just another electric guitar. It sounds great with the standard pickups. In addition to the pickups there is a Guitar Model Selector. On the onset it looks like just another knob controller, but when you push this knob in the double cut away Variax turns into 25 Vintage guitars with just a turn of a knob.

The Line 6 guitar has a battery that goes into the back of the body. It is a 10 hour Battery and is rechargeable. To play without the Line 6 Battery,

Line 6 makes an AB Foot switch. I have the Cable powered Switch, and recommend it so that you can play without the battery if you want. I still use the battery too. If you are going to use only the AB Switch it is recommended to remove the battery.

Click the link to Buy the  AB foot switch on Amazon. 

Line 6 Variax Guitar
Line 6 Variax Cable Powered Switch

Modeling has been around for years but line 6 has cornered the market with there modeling technology. It doesn’t stop at guitars, no this is just the beginning of the line 6 family.

Variax Battery Replacement

Line 6 variax guitar battery
Variax Guitar Battery

Buy the Line 6 JTV Battery on Amazon at a Bargain price. 

Modeling with the Variax Line 6 JTV-69

When in Line 6 Variax mode, the model selector switch is pushed in and there are 10 banks to choose from. First select a bank then in each bank there is 5 guitar models per bank. Which equals a lot of choices of Vintage sounds to choose from. The 5 banks can be selected by the use of the selector switch. Which has 5 positions, from the neck position to the Bridge position.

Pushing the Model selector a second time and the Line 6 guitar switches back to the magnetic pickups. At that very moment you are playing the James Tyler Variax guitar with magnetic pickups and without the Modeling. The Volume and Tone controls work the same as a fender strat.

In additin to the 10 banks there is also 2 banks that can be customized and Alternate Tuning. With the Variax guitar you can instantly switch between a set of customized alternate and drop tuning without affecting string tension or guitar play-ability.

Alternate tuning on the Variax guitar is as easy as moving a knob. There are 10 preset tuning on JTV-69 if that is not enough you can customize and set your own tuning. This is great if you want to instantly switch without using a Capo you have your own built in Capo. See the reviews from Amazon what other guitar players are saying about the Variax guitar.

Line 6 Variax Vintage Models

Earlier I mentioned the pickup selector switch has 5 positions that switches from bank to bank. The banks can be based on the same model of guitar. Except for the acoustic guitar bank it works strictly off of the Volume control. You can switch to different models of acoustic guitars using the selector switch.

Mode control knob banks are labeled as T-Model. Spank, Lester, Special, R-Billy, Chime, Semi, Jazzbox, Acoustic, Reso and Custom. Some of the JTV-69 Modeling guitars are as follows. The Labels are based off of the sound that the guitar makes. So you can remember where the style of guitar is located on the knob. If you can’t remember though there is a easy to read guide that comes with this guitar.

For example:

  • T-Model is based off of 1960 Telecaster Custom. This guitar was the first solid body guitar made by Leo Fender and was in production for over 50 years. It’s originally called the Broadcaster. Second Model under the same label is the 1968 Thinline Telecaster. This guitar made its way onto the seen when the weight of the light ash wood became to hard to obtain. Next on the Banks of Tele’s is modeled after the modified 1968 Telecaster. Fender Acquired this modified Tone by wiring the two pickups together.
  • Spank is the Classic Fender Stratocaster, First in the bank of modeled guitars is the 1959 Strat. Which has influenced more guitar design then any other instrument in the history of guitar.
  • Lester is modeled after Gibson guitars, the 1958 Les Paul Standard is the first bank. Les Paul the man and guitarist invented this guitar. Next bank is based off of the 1952 Goldtop guitar, it  is one of the first guitars in the Les Paul Series of guitars. Lastly the 1961 Gibson Les Paul Custom.
  • Special is based also on the Gibson guitars. The 1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior is the budget guitar in the Les Paul Series of guitars. Second is the 1976 Firebird V and third on in the bank is the 1955 Les Paul Special, Bob Marley loved this guitar because of its tonal Quality.
  • R-Billy is based off of the 1959 Gretsch 6120, This guitar was made with the Late Great Chet Atkins. Next bank is based on the 1956 Gretsch Silver Jet.

And That’s Not All!

  • Chime based on the 1968 Rickenbacker 360 and the 1966 Rickenbacker 360-12. The Later of the two guitars was made popular buy George Harrison.
  • Semi Based on the Great Gibson ES 335, the semi Hollow Gibson. Next bank is the 1967 Epiphone Casino. In 1957 Gibson Acquired Epiphone and produced the guitars.
  • Jazzbox is Based on the 1957 Gibson ES 175 and the 1953 Gibson Super 400 which is the last of the Archtop guitars.
  • Acoustic  modeled after 5 acoustic guitars and they are in short order the 1959 D28 Martin Flat top guitar. Next is the 1970 D12-28 Martin 12 string guitar. 1966 Guild F212 Jumbo Body 12 string. Last 1995 Gibson J-200, Elvis Presley played this one.
  • Reso This bank models the tones of the 1935 Dobro Model 32, Coral Sitar, 1965 Danelectro 3021 made famous by Jimi Hendrix. Then Gibson Master Tone Banjo, and a 1928 National Tricone.

 JTV Variax is Logical

As you can see the Classic Fender Stratocaster is vary versatile. If that’s not great enough, the tones that come out of this guitar are the same as the guitar you select. The Technology is such that you can’t hear the difference.

Rickenbacker has a distinct sound you can here it in the Beatles songs. The Variax guitar makes playing even better. Because you are able to hear that you are playing and sounding  just like the Vintage guitar tone you are trying to capture in the song.

What about the Gibson ES 335 another Vintage guitar Blues guitarists like BB King love the Tone. Here is another reason that makes the Classic Fender Stratocaster so worth every penny. That is you don’t have to buy an ES 335 and then a Rickenbacker and then a Gibson Custom. No you can buy one Variax JTV-69  guitar, and have all these Vintage models all rapped into one.

Variax Work Bench

Variax Guitar Workbench
Variax Workbench

Line 6 also supplies you with the ability to customize your Variax Workbench. With Classic Fender Stratocasterit lets you mix and match every guitar body, pickup and alt tuning.

Variax Guitar Models 

JTV Variax Guitar 89f
Variax JTV 89F

All the models  JTV 69, Classic Fender Stratocaster, Classic Fender Stratocaster have the same modeling, but they are built in the feel of the fender, Shredder guitar, and Gibson respectively.n the

In my opinion the JTV by Line 6 is a Must have for your arsenal of guitars. Buy the Line 6 JTV 69s on Amazon.

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Variax Guitar

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