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Author Topic: JTV-59 with Bigsby  (Read 2224 times)

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Elantric

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JTV-59 with Bigsby
« on: May 20, 2013, 08:04:28 PM »

This is not my own guitar, but I will soon be mounting my FTP to my JTV-59 and installing a Bigsby B7  - like this one by Anthony Lee at Harmony-Central
http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Electric-Guitars/James-Tyler-variax-JTV-59-upgraded/m-p/35360629#M4181242



I'll install the FTP Controller on top of the Bigsby tailpiece. Who would have known this was possible!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:17:06 AM by Elantric »
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utensil

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 05:28:03 AM »

that JTV-59 is sweet, made me want to post my JTV to LP with Bigsby transplant. I just finished adding the cut down FTP mag pickup and a 15 pin output via VGA style jack from which  either the triple play or GK external unit can be connected (mounted on strap). It's also got an 13 pin which is fed from the Graphtech Piezo's & hexpander preamp shared with the JTV circuit (i.e built in 13 pin and JTV don't work simultaneously but with new mag out any two systems work together). it's also equipped with Tronical robo tuner on it, which is a great product.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:21:07 AM by Elantric »
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Elantric

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 08:28:36 AM »

That guitar has a lot of tech! Good job.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:20:51 AM by Elantric »
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mbenigni

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 09:19:51 AM »

Quote
that JTV-59 is sweet, made me want to post my JTV to LP with Bigsby transplant. I just finished adding the cut down FTP mag pickup and a 15 pin output via VGA style jack from which  either the triple play or GK external unit can be connected (mounted on strap). It's also got an 13 pin which is fed from the Graphtech Piezo's & hexpander preamp shared with the JTV circuit (i.e built in 13 pin and JTV don't work simultaneously but with new mag out any two systems work together). it's also equipped with Tronical robo tuner on it, which is a great product.

Wow.   :o
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:20:35 AM by Elantric »
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Elantric

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2013, 11:00:36 AM »

This is a Line 6 Variax JTV-59 I bought 15 months ago during a Musicians Friend 2011 Xmas Holiday Sale  - it was a restock I got for $975

I think I found my #1 :)




Modifications so far

1) Upgraded to GFS Locking Tuners $32 - these are actually from the same Asian supplier that Line 6 uses and bolt right on -
http://www.guitarfetish.com/Sperzel-Style-Locking-Tuners-3x3-Chrome_p_1172.html


2) Mounted a slightly modified Bigsby B7 Tremolo Tailpiece (Ebay $107) ( inspired by Anthony Lee's JTV-59 with Bigsby)
http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Electric-Guitars/James-Tyler-variax-JTV-59-upgraded/m-p/35360629#M4181242

To make this work with the JTV-59 , I modified the Bigsby B7 by sawing off the mount on the upper right - this conflicted with the JTV-59 Bridge.
Then I drilled a new countersunk mounting screw hole directly under the Bigsby Spring. 


3) I'm more of a Gretsch 6120 tone freak, and prefer clean tones, so I swapped out the stock Line6 pickups for a pair of GFS Rectotron Liverpool PUs ( Ebay $50 for the pair)
 http://www.guitarfetish.com/Liverpool-Vintage-Alnico-Humbucker-Chrome_c_125.html


4) Mounted the pickups to a pair of Seymour Duncan Tripleshot rings - Can choose from Series. Parallel, or select which coil is active in single coil mode.
http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/accessories/triple-shot-mou/triple_shot_swi/




Might ask why add all these magnetic coil select solutions to a JTV-59 Variax? I'm rather picky about my tone, and clean Palm Muting tone is essential for my Surf Band, and despite the progress, none of these Guitar Modelling solutions  we discuss today can duplicate the exact tone I need to achieve clean Palm Muting tone   - (think Astronauts "Baja) for the sound I use regularly 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHbcU5ArqBQ

While I have over 7800 posts on this forum about Guitar Modeling, In 2013 despite all the breakthroughs I remain in the camp that still considers playing through a DSP guitar pickup modeller remains in the same realm as thinking an an iPad pinball game can duplicate the real deal Bally PinBall Game  -  If you close your eyes and imagine really hard, you "almost" get in the same ballpark as the sound of playing the real guitar, but there always remains a 2 dimensional quality on these systems we discuss, that a player with good ears will be able to pick out in seconds.     


5) I'm half way done with my JTV-59 Mods - Next I'll mount the FTP PU and mount the FTP controller on top of the Bigsby Logo on the tailpiece




« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 11:59:50 AM by Elantric »
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Orren Merton

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2013, 11:37:38 AM »

This is a Line 6 Variax JTV-59 I bought 15 months ago during a Musicians Friend 2011 Xmas Holiday Sale  - it was a restock I got for $975

I think I found my #1 :)

Modifications so far

Wow, fantastic work and upgrades! I love what you've done with it! I'm a big Filtertron fan myself, both of my Koll customs have PowerTrons. I'm very curious how the FTP will work on the Bigsby, I've got two guitars with Bigsbys myself.

Thanks for sharing!
Orren
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:19:48 AM by Elantric »
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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 12:06:05 PM »

I just finished these mods late last night, but so far I'm in love. Its one of those situation where "on paper" it appears there are too many liabilities, like managing the upper harmonic "ping" that could occur on the "non-speaking" string length between the bridge and the tailpiece - but in this case the Bigsby B7 has that additional Roller Bar that maintains a good downward pressure force on the Piezo bridge, and during my test drive late last night -All stock Variax Features and sounds work just like a stock JTV-59 - i.e. I do not hear any anomalies !

Also due to the normal "slop" and movement of the stock JTV-59 Piezo saddles (observed when you remove the strings ), this acts as an aid to maintain good tuning. Long term Bigsby Users out there know what I mean. 
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:19:20 AM by Elantric »
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whippinpost91850

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 06:20:53 PM »

Elantric, Looks pretty awesome. I've never heard of the GFS Rectophone pickups. How close are they to the 6120 tone?
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:19:33 AM by Elantric »
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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 07:06:52 PM »

Quote
I've never heard of the GFS Rectophone pickups. How close are they to the 6120 tone?

I find they do get extremely close to the tone and openness and clarity of my T.V. Jones Filtertrons used on my 2005 Gretsch 6120 Brian Setzer.   

These days I tend to keep the Gretsch at home since its become a bit valuable and represents a major loss if displaced or damaged at a bar gig.

http://www.gretschguitars.com/products/index.php?partno=2400110822




The GFS site lists several types of "RectoTron" pickup types. These are similar pickups to what Gretsch uses on the current Asian import 5120 
http://www.guitarfetish.com/Liverpool-Vintage-Alnico-Humbucker-Chrome_c_125.html


I had prior experience with the GFS  "Liverpool" Alnico models 7 years ago.
I once had a cheap hollowbody chinese Les Paul (since stolen) that I installed these same pickups (GFS RectoTron Liverpool) and always admired their tone,


GFS has many models and sound samples here
http://www.guitarfetish.com/GFS-Retrotron-Series_c_99.html


All mp3 sound  demos below are with the typical "both coils in Series" tone (they get even cleaner/brighter in "both coils in parallel" mode / and single coil mode sounds very much like my DiPinto in my avatar on the far left) )

The basic stock Liverpools (not the "hot" or Memphis) work best for my needs I do use The "neck Liverpool" type in the neck and the "bridge Liverpool" in the bridge.
GFS RectoTron Liverpool are described as Alnico V magnets, classic crunch, extra body and warmth


GFS RectoTron Liverpool Bridge PU demo
http://www.guitarfetish.com/GFS_WAV/R12_Clean.mp3
http://www.guitarfetish.com/GFS_WAV/R12_Dirty.mp3


GFS RectoTron Liverpool Neck PU demo
http://www.guitarfetish.com/GFS_WAV/R11_Clean.mp3
http://www.guitarfetish.com/GFS_WAV/R11_Dirty.mp3

« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:19:06 AM by Elantric »
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Elantric

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2013, 09:59:46 AM »

Finally was able to play my modified JTV-59 a couple hours last night,


highly recommended this setup - I classify the tone of this guitar as landing squarely in Gretsch 6120  zone.  I love the Bigsby too - and the stable bridge setup where I can always plant my Palm on the LP type bridge and never go sharp, like my other guitars with a Strat type tremolo bridge. 

« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:18:51 AM by Elantric »
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merman93

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2013, 10:56:14 AM »

Awesome Steve !! I love it !!!

I hope your transplant works out well. I remember you had a few problems with the 69 as an "early adopter". Are you not satisfied with the actual guitar, or is the PRS just more comfortable. I have a deposit on a black 69 with single coils and Maple Fretboard, and keep getting delay notices on delivery.
I know each new run seems to get better and better. Are they on 2nd or 3rd trem revision?
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:18:35 AM by Elantric »
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Elantric

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2013, 11:06:20 AM »

Quote
I hope your transplant works out well. I remember you had a few problems with the 69 as an "early adopter". Are you not satisfied with the actual guitar, or is the PRS just more comfortable. I have a deposit on a black 69 with single coils and Maple Fretboard, and keep getting delay notices on delivery.
I know each new run seems to get better and better. Are they on 2nd or 3rd trem revision?

In my opinion the JTV-69 is a pure result of flawed CNC Neck profile design for my needs on a very basic level. You must play 5 JTV-69's to find one that is playable.

Sorry for the rant - but the whole affair of the JTV-69 Neck width at the Nut is reminiscent of the bread in this famous sandwich

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypcSHTLlK8E

Remember I base all this opinion as a long term Les Paul Player. 

I cover some of the specifics in this thread
 
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=8612.msg61784#msg61784



In my opinion the JTV-69 has really odd geometry. With the wide E-E spacing of 2.1055 inch at the bridge, this leaves only 0.116 inch between the string and the edge of the fretboard at the 12th fret.
When playing, the JTV-69 has a tendency to have the E strings fall right off the edge of the fretboard, making basic hammer on riffs nearly impossible because the string to string spacing at the Bridge is too wide, for the Neck IMHO.


Compare the dimensions to the Jay Turser Strat - which is actually a great playing guitar with ideal geometry with more available fret under the string  - .15875 inch between the string and the edge of the fretboard at the 12th fret, compared with only 0.116 inch on the JTV-69.

Another issue is muscle memory - if you are like me and grew up playing fast cross picking riffs on a stock Les Paul / SG, - then a guitar with a wider E-E spaced bridge that is up to 0.1 inch wider than the Gibson can impact your technique and leave you a few missed notes at the gig if you don't adapt your playing style to the wider bridge.



So here is a list of the problems on the JTV-69.

*  JTV-69 Tremolo Piezo bridge has a very wide "Strat Vintage" E-E spacing of  2.1055 inch at the bridge.

*  JTV-69 Neck above the 5th fret meets my preference for a "Fat" Neck at .92" inch thick, but below the 5th fret the JTV-69 tapers down to a kiddie guitar dimensions being only 1.1612 inch wide at the Nut - I find the JTV-69 neck is just "too narrow" at the Nut for an average adult to play a clean 1st position A7 chord and maintain an open G string. Its rather like they dialed in the CNC machine with the goal of recreating the Neck profile of a '62 Strat - but failed miserably with a very narrow width at the Nut.

* Then to add insult to injury the stock JTV69 Nut has the string spacing cut just a bit too wide for the neck, the net impact of all the above dimension of the JTV-69 deliver an unplayable guitar, with both E strings having a tendency to fall right off the edge of the fretboard.

* The JTV-69 Floating Bridge never returns to center, due to the various methods Line6 informs World Music in Korea to route the bulky hex cable harness
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4AqSfrahEZg


I go into all more details of The JTV-69 Tremolo issues here - which I'm proud it became a sticky on the official Line 6 Tyler Variax Support Forum
http://line6.com/support/thread/73637



By Contrast the JTV-59 is a totally different experience, it feels very much like a PRS McCarty  or old Les Paul Neck Profile, and I feel right at home. 
     
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:18:19 AM by Elantric »
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merman93

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2013, 12:06:46 PM »

Sorry to bring up bad memories,.. I feel your posts over at Line 6 regarding the JTV 69 issues, are a perfect example of how providing potential customers with details of quality issues, can change production. GOOD JOB.

« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:18:01 AM by Elantric »
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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2013, 12:19:40 PM »

I feel your posts over at Line 6 regarding the JTV 69 issues

Speaking of Line 6 Variax issues, they used to make lefty versions...no more.

Orren
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 02:17:45 AM by Elantric »
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Elantric

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2013, 12:24:20 PM »

Quote
I feel your posts over at Line 6 regarding the JTV 69 issues, are a perfect example of how providing potential customers with details of quality issues, can change production. GOOD JOB.

Hey  - I do have my own set of established opinions based on my own needs, which may not be what others desire or want, and details I pick up on that are deal breakers for me, might me perfectly acceptable for others. If I spend my one hard earned money, and wait 2 years for a guitar, it better be right. Sadly the JTV-69 was not.

But I contacted Line6 Customer Service and they made it right - and actually my last two gigs the JTV-69 +HD-500X (with GK-3 to drive GR-55) was my guitar rig of choice 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 03:09:57 PM by admsustainiac »
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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2014, 08:07:31 AM »

Regarding all the comments on the Line6 JTV-69, I too had major string spacing issues and sent it in under RMA and everything was resolved.

I just bought  a  black JTV-59 and am modding it now with the help of Shelly Ferrell of Nashville Fretworks. I will be replacing the GOTOH piezo bridge with a LR Baggs  piezo T-Bridge and a Bigsby over a Vibramate (yes, two sets of anchors installed). Leaving the stock pickups in place for now as I am happy with them through my ValveKing 100 full stack, but they will be potted in 50mm chrome covers along with a LP style pickguard and black selector switch plate. GOTOH locking tuners will round it out.
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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2014, 06:08:57 PM »

Modifications so far

1) Upgraded to GFS Locking Tuners $32 - these are actually from the same Asian supplier that Line 6 uses and bolt right on -
http://www.guitarfetish.com/Sperzel-Style-Locking-Tuners-3x3-Chrome_p_1172.html
(Image removed from quote.)

Thanks for this tip. Ordered these today as I have been looking for a drop in replacement locking tuner set for my 59.
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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2014, 12:49:13 PM »

I found GOTOH locking tuners on Philadelphia Luthier's Supply, then negotiated with Sweetwtaer to order them at a lower price.
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Re: Shelly Ferrell of Nashville Fretworks Bails on JTV-59 with Bigsby Project.
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2014, 12:08:58 PM »

After over a month of empty "I'll start it next week" and "I'll start it next Tuesday" Shelly Ferrell of Nashville Fretworks bailed on my project to upgrade my new JTV-59.


I picked up my disassembled guitar and a box of parts this morning.


In my opinion this is a very disappointing level of customer service and very unprofessional.
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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2014, 12:34:46 PM »

Quote
In my opinion this is a very disappointing level of customer service and very unprofessional.



Realize that many repair shops live and die by Customer Satisfaction (in this era of internet social networking its particularly crucial)
Its  for this reason the top shops will actually turn down,  any repair/mod if they are treading unknown territory with no recourse to solve the problems created by a poor choice of components

IMHO 90% of piezo loaded bridges spell disaster for the gear we talk about specifically due to mechanically induced adjacent string vibrations creating "crosstalk" that poses huge problems for Alt Tunings,  PU modelling etc.

Its this specific reason why Antares Autotune internal DSP Luthier kit and Fishman Tripleplay use divided hex magnetic pickups -(listen to me now and believe me later)

After using my RackVax recently,  I hear/feel the benefits of using a GK-3 with the Variax DSP Electric Models. They sound more natural and real and allow normal Palm muting techniques.

I now am considering putting the Tyler Variax guts into a small box and then mount Variax Control knobs in yet a smaller box I can mount on a mic stand waist high to change PUs adjust volume etc 18 inches away from my normal guitar controls.
Then use any GK3 guitar to drive it, like the Rackvax I helped Corey design.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2014, 01:38:03 PM by Elantric »
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whippinpost91850

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2014, 01:37:22 PM »

After Buying a JTV89 to gut and make a Lefty, I was wondering is it possible to replace the Piezo pickups with a GK pickup? I'm sure I'm going to miss the ability to palm mute ( which I use a lot) and am also concerned about the crosstalk in alternative tunings.
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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2014, 01:40:26 PM »

Im working on a drop in small PC board that allows a raw GK3 mag PU only to drive the tyler variax guts.
No delivery schedule yet

Elantric

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2014, 01:45:55 PM »

Also considering adapting the tripleplay too.

Provides full wireless guitar modeling and MIDI.

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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2014, 03:07:17 PM »

Im working on a drop in small PC board that allows a raw GK3 mag PU only to drive the tyler variax guts.
No delivery schedule yet

Also considering adapting the tripleplay too.

Provides full wireless guitar modeling and MIDI.

This is exciting news Steve. I will be watching this topic closely!  :)
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Re: JTV-59 with Bigsby
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2014, 12:15:33 PM »

Im working on a drop in small PC board that allows a raw GK3 mag PU only to drive the tyler variax guts.
No delivery schedule yet
Count me in Steve, I would love to give this a try befor I just sell my JTV89 and forget the Lefty build. thanks Paul
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