Line 6 JTV89 Variax Guitar

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Line 6 Variax Guitar JTV89
Line 6 Variax Guitar JTV89

Y’know… I like Line 6.  I like them a lot, actually.  Be all end all?  Not quite.  Good bang for buck?  Definitely.  However I can’t help but wonder where they will draw the line with their whole modeling angle.  Here we have the Line 6 Variax modeling guitar.  A guitar built to model not just other guitars, but other tunings.

I shall refrain from holding my tongue and express that from a guitar with this kind of capability I would like to have seen the list of models include a better ratio of different guitars, rather than having such a heavy selection of Gibsons, and of all the tunings available most are X-step down tunings.  However in its defense having the ability to model a sitar as well as a banjo is awesome in my book and the tuning knob could be used as a reverse capo.  The ability to change tunings so quickly could lend itself to some creative song writing in the right hands.

Though this is a very young concept and I am very interested in seeing what they do with it in the future.  In its current state, alongside the JTV59 and 69 models all three share the same guitar models, but are built for different feels.  The 89 is built for shredding as Line 6 has made every attempt to abolish the secrecy around that.  I like the idea that in the future they would do things to separate the three to model guitars more common to the angle they’re approaching.  In the meantime you can custom make your own models on your computer and load them onto your guitar via USB port.  Clever bastards.

The guitar is built of mahogany with a bolt-on maple neck and a rosewood fretboard.  It houses two PAF-style alnico humbuckers, a dual-core processor all powered by a lithium-ion battery that can supply about twelve hours of playing in one sitting and if you’re forgetful like me (who has his pedals sitting still plugged in and on from several hours ago) you need not worry for the battery automatically goes into hibernation whether the cable’s plugged in or not.

Video Demo:


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Kyle Smitchens

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.

2 thoughts on “Line 6 JTV89 Variax Guitar

  • February 18, 2011 at 10:16 AM
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    “…and of all the tunings available most are X-step down tunings. ”

    Those are just the “stock” tunings. You can actually overwrite any of those tunings with your own custom tunings using the “virtual capo” feature.

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  • February 19, 2011 at 5:50 AM
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    Yeah, I’d caught the tone modifications, but I honestly missed the tidbit on the tuning. Whoops. My mistake. A guitar like this lends itself to a large proportion of reading, so it’s easy to miss a detail or two.

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