Just received my back ordered JTV-69.
This is one fine guitar IMHO. The User interface is perfect and the workmanship initially is very good.
All the online pics of the Lake Placid Blue JTV-69 make it appear to look like a Blue Variax 600 - which is Nothing like the actual Lake Placid Blue JTV-69. My guitar looks more like a factory Metalic Blue '64 Chevy Impala. I'm extremely happy with this guitar.
This is just an awesome guitar. But the Neck Profile at the nut is a tad slimmer than the one I played in 2010.
(I prefer chunky larger neck profiles)
The Gotoh Staggered 16:1 tuners may need to be replaced ( the "G string is very touchy) they appear to be very similar to these:http://www.guitarfetish.com/Now-STAGGERED-Gotoh-style-Locking-Tuners-Sperzel-Style-String-Lock-_p_514.html
I see they now include the Variax Workbench USB hardware module. Which might partially explain the higher MSRP prices this year
A few minor complaints:
* Line 6 provides a tool bag of 6 allen wrenches - but none of the included wrenches are the proper size for the "wilkinson style" Tremolo bar tension set screw. No worries as I have plenty of tools here.
As Delivered out of the box, I found the Neck and Middle pickups to be set too close to strings. Due to magnetic string pull from the pickup magnets , this creates un-wanted warbeling when you fret notes above the 12th fret on the low strings. (same classic phenomena occurs on real stock 1961 Strats too)
So I had to lower the bass side of Neck and Middle pickups, and all is good now.
I find the JTV-69 Vibrato Bridge to be excellent. This is the first Variax that I can play Jeff Beck Whammy harmonics and not have problems with notes falling out due to strings not making contact with the Piezo bridge midway thru the dive bomb.
Only negative mark would be when raising the pitch with the bar, it may not always return to pitch (stays a tad sharp) because the internal bulky Piezo cables may come into contact with the internal feedthru hole to the DSP board. As the cables make contact with the feed thru hole, they may become "stuck".
Luckilly a swift push down on the Tremolo Bar (to lower the pitch), and let go and everything comes back into tune.
Great Guitar, great design this time arround ( this my 4th Variax)
The internal JTV DSP does have twice the horsepower of all prior Variax's.
Older Variax's used a Motorola/Freescale DSP56367
The JTV Variax use a DSP56725: 24-bit Dual-Core Symphony DSP http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=DSP56725&nodeId=0127959D9D
The JTV Alt Tuning is now amazing and warble free for me.
BTW - the JTV Li-ION Battery appears to be identical to a Sony NP-F570