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The original Line 6 POD changed the way in which guitar players could create their ultimate tones. Never before had it been so easy to get a great guitar tone without the need for a real guitar amp or pedals. This "amp modelling" technology was developed so that it could be fitted inside a guitar & re-create the tones of many other famous guitars. Whilst the original Variax range of guitars included some clever technology, the actual guitar itself didn't really capture the imagination! So how do a technology company like Line 6 make a guitar that guitarists can fall in love with?? Simple - go to one of the most respected custom guitar builders in the world, and get him to design it. Meet James Tyler, maker of the incredible Tyler range of guitars. A small army of pro players use Tyler guitars - guys like Mike Landau & Tim Pierce to name just two - and they wouldn't play these guitars if they weren't top quality. Mix a leading guitar technology company like Line 6, with a revered guitar maker like James Tyler & you get something pretty special...
The Tyler Variax Range
You get a choice of guitars in the new Tyler Variax range. Firstly, you can choose to go for the excellent value, Korean made, "Designed by James Tyler" range. Or, you can go for one of the USA made Tyler Custom Shop models, built in the same place, to the same standard as a regular Tyler guitar. In both ranges there are 3 basic shapes - a classic ST style double cut (JTV-69), an iconic arch top single cut (JTV-59), and a contemporary "shred" style guitar (JTV-89). In the "Tyler Designed" range, you get a limited selection of colours in each model, and the features stay the same regardless of the colour. On the Custom Made USA Tyler Variax models, the choice of colours & options is vast - as you'd expect on a custom made guitar.
In terms of the technology, all the new James Tyler Variax guitars contain a hugely improved version of the original Variax technology. Everything from the tones, the tunings, the controls & the battery life have been improved. For a full list of the features, see the spec list below.
Here's what James Tyler & Line 6 say about the JTV-59 Variax
Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax 6-String Modelling Electric Guitar, Singlecut, Custom Wound HH Pickups, Piezo Bridge, Variax Technology, Mahogany Body With Maple Top.
Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax - the next generation of Variax modeling guitars, designed by renowned luthier James Tyler, to deliver the tone and feel of the finest boutique instruments and optimum tonal performance of Line 6 digital guitar modeling technology.
Through patented Line 6 guitar modeling technology, the Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax can reproduce the sounds of an entire collection of 25 vintage electric and acoustic instruments, and a dozen custom tunings.
The modeled instruments include solid-body, semi-hollow guitars and hollow-body electrics with a variety of pickup configurations, six- and twelve-string acoustics, and other guitar-related instruments including a resonator, banjo, and an electric sitar.
The Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Variax reflects the innovative designs of James Tyler in each curve, component and control. Acclaimed for his attention to detail in making custom, hand-crafted instruments for the most discerning players, James Tyler has designed guitars for the world's most respected guitarists and sought-after session players including Steve Lukather, Michael Landau and Dan Huff.
Line 6 JTV-59 James Tyler Designed Variax main features:
- James Tyler spec radius choice, finish, shape, reach of high frets, neck joint stability and more
- Custom bridge designed by James Tyler
- Custom piezo pickups designed by LR Baggs for Variax modeled output
- Magnetic pickups custom-wound to Tyler specifications for traditional guitar output
- Graphite nut by Graph Tech for stabilized tuning
- Astonishing advancements in tone, pitch tracking and response
- Instant visual feedback from backlit model selector
- 25 guitar models - a complete collection of classic acoustic and electric instruments
- Dedicated tuning selector provides immediate access to eleven tunings...on the same guitar, during the same set, session or song
- Virtual capo feature lets you set and save alternate, drop and capo tunings with a simple touch of the fingerboard
- Virtual guitar workbench software to create your dream guitar through unlimited customization of Bodies, Pickups, Controls, Tunings
- Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery system lets you play for 12 hours
- Body Mahogany with Maple Top
- Neck Set neck mahogany with rosewood fingerboard
- 24 9/16" Scale Length
- 12" radius
- 22 frets
- 1 11/16" GraphTech nut
- Custom Tyler designed bridge
- Custom Tuners
- Custom Dual Humbucker pickups wound to Tyler's specs
- Handcrafted in Korea
25 guitar models based on*
- 1960 Fender Telecaster Custom
- 1968 Fender Telecaster
- 1968 Fender Telecaster Thinline
- 1959 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
- 1959 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
- 1959 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"
*All product names used herein are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Line 6. These trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the products of those manufacturers whose tones and sounds were studied during Line 6's sound model development. Fender, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Strat and Guild are registered trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. Gibson®, Les Paul®, ES, Dobro and Epiphone are registered trademarks of Gibson® Guitar Corp. Gretsch is a registered trademark of Fred W. Gretsch Enterprises, Ltd. Rickenbacker is a registered trademark of Rickenbacker International Corporation. Martin is a registered trademark of Dreadnought, Inc. Danelectro and Dano are registered trademarks of Evets Corporation. National is a registered trademark of Kaman Music Corporation.
BIG ADVANCES IN VARIAX TECHNOLOGY
The attention-grabbing details and designs of James Tyler Variax guitars may be dominating the conversation but, just like any good story, it pays to dig a little deeper.
Each James Tyler Variax sports some big advances in Line 6 Variax technology. Many of these advances will pop up as separate blog posts but, for now, wet your whistle with what's to come:
- 1. The Lithium-ion battery delivers 12 hours of continuous play time.
- 2. Improved piezos and bridge offer pure polyphonic tone transference while addressing various requests from users of first-gen Variax.
- 3. The new Dual Core processor allowed our crack engineering team to improve on key areas of our modeling technology. This provides richer and more authentic-sounding models than ever before.
- 4. We added an Alt Tune knob that instantly provides up to 10 different tunings including Drop D, DADGAD, Open G, and Baritone.
- 5. Virtual Capo can get you to any tuning that you can think up - instantly and on the fly. You can save your new creations in any of the 10 spots on the Alt Tune knob.
- 6. Variax Workbench is now included with each and every guitar. All it takes is your imagination and one USB slot to bring new guitar sounds to life.
- 7. Blending mags and models. Got a POD X3? Use its powerful dual tone modeling and routing options to process the magnetic pickups and a guitar model through two different amp and effects chains simultaneously.
- 8. Backlighting on the Model and Alt Tune knobs gives easy identification on dark stages. (Pressing the Model knob switches between models and magnetic pickups.)
TUNING THE TYLER VARIAX
Imagine going from a Stones tuning to a Zep tuning with the twist of a knob. Imagine having more foxy in your Foxy Lady because you are tuned to Eb without touching a tuner. Imagine playing slide guitar without lugging an extra axe. Imagine being ready to play in D because your singer is having a trouble with the original key.
Imagine no longer. Variax Alternate Tuning technology makes it possible, and puts a dozen different tunings at your fingertips and instantly accessible.
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, which is Line 6's 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 hand-picked for each style of James Tyler Variax guitar.
- JTV-59 Tuning Modes
- 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
Anonymous review via Feefo | Purchase date: 19 October 2014
Great instrument. Third Variax I've bought - all impressive. At the price for this one, ridiculously good.
David | Purchase date: 15 September 2011
I had the earlier Variax's with been in a weddingfunction band, the tunings and different guitars were good and it saved having 3-4 different guitars on a small stage, I never liked the not having pickups look either
Enter the JTV-59, wow what a guitar, this is more of a normal guitar (still works without a battery in on mag pickups) with an option for the Variax if you want it. The models have greatly improved, as have the tunings so much better than the earlier one, I was jamming with a friend who has a strat (USA Deluxe) with Bare Knuckles and you really couldn't notice any real difference on the Spank model, although I'd still prefer the real pickups, it's great to only have one guitar for a gig, I use humbuckers most of the time while gigging with 4-5 strat songs, so I got the JTV-59 and has I said the strat sounds are great and so are the acoustics!
The guitar finish is excellent and I believe they are made in the PRS SE factory, it needed setting up for my taste but I'm really pleased with it and will be my No1 gigging guitar (I own a Les Paul and USA strat along with some others) The mag pickups are pretty good to, I compared them to my Les Paul Bare Knuckles and although there was a slight difference it wasn't a lot.
The guitar is also designed for easy access to the 22nd fret, very nice to play.