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Author Topic: JTV-69 Tremolo Setup  (Read 2963 times)

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JTV-69 Tremolo Setup
« on: September 13, 2012, 06:19:26 PM »

from "HeyJoe" >
Hey Steve, I never knew if you you knew how grateful I was to you for whatever you did to get Line 6 to help me with my JTV-69 problems, had to send it back 5 times but finally with a new trem and neck I finally have what passes as a decent guitar build from Mark the Service Manager.  So, thanks again!

I'm very happy to hear this news - I remember the hell you were going through - Glad to hear Line6 did the right thing and got your issues sorted out and fixed.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 12:51:08 PM by Elantric »


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Re: JTV-69 Tremolo Setup
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2013, 12:25:52 PM »

JTV-69 Tremolo Setup
by stevekc/ elantric on 2011-10-30 12:01:34;sa=downfile&id=17

*NOTE: Any customization/modification performed will void the warranty if it results in damage to the guitar.

Tyler Variax JTV-69  - Trem Set-up   (for the Summer 2011 version)          Oct.30, 2011

Background: After a one year wait, when I received my JTV-69 in mid September 2011,  I was surprised to find the tremolo was not stable.

 So I contacted Line 6 and got an RMA # and my guitar was returned fresh from Line6 repair with a much improved stable tremolo.

(details here:)

But I thought there was still room for improvement. This document describes my findings.  I understand a large part of the secret to tuning stability is using the correct type internal piezo cable mount, and cable tie - both must be installed correctly- keep reading!

Of course Line 6 ships these guitars with the tremolo bar removed (and packed in the gig bag), and the Tyler Variax JTV-69 Owners Manual (as of October 2011)  makes ZERO mention of how the owner should properly install and adjust the JTV-69 tremolo bar, or setup the Tremolo. They do ship a bag of half a dozen Allen wrenches, but I quickly discovered many of these wrenches are the wrong size, while many crucial wrenches are missing.

My other Major complaint is with my new JTV-69 Tremolo bar. No matter what I tried, it seemed very wobbly and would always work itself loose after 30 minutes of play. I racked it up to yet another poor "off shore" design. As a prior Variax 700 and 600 tremolo guitar owner, I just assumed the JTV-69 trem bar and trem bar tension adjust set screw was identical to those older Variax's – WRONG!

I'm a luthier for 30+ years - (worked at Valley Arts Guitar in Studio City, CA  in the 1980's) and after a full tear down and rebuild of my JTV-69,  I have now discovered most of the secrets to obtain the maximum utilization of the JTV-69. I discovered undocumented features of the latest "Gen 2" design summer 2011 JTV-69 Tremolo Bar and Internal Piezo Cable Ties, so I have created this document to share what I have learned.

(I should note if you own a 2nd generation JTV-69 like mine, you  may be able to simply install the Tremolo Bar like a vintage Strat - that is,

How to Install the Tremolo Bar on the "Gen 2" (Summer 2011) JTV-69:

1) Be sure you have the correct "Gen 2" Tremolo Bar for your "Gen 2" JTV-69 Tremolo - it should look like this (see the threaded hole in the bottom) :

2 ) Push Tremolo Bar into the trem bar hole on the Bridge plate.

3 ) Gently rotate the tremolo bar clockwise until it catches the internal threads on the hidden internal lead screw.

4) Rotate the Tremolo bar 6 or 7 times clockwise until it bottoms out and sits fully down inside the bridge.

5) Adjust the Tremolo bar tension with the small Allen set screw that is located on the lower side of the chrome round collet on the bridge plate.

without all this disassembly! )

For Reference

First Generation JTV-69 Tremolo Bridge:

In the pic below, this is what the first generation (2010)  Tyler Variax JTV-69 bridge looks like – observe the “U shaped” cast area on the bridge plate where the trem bar pushes in.

Here is an internal view of the first generation JTV-69 Bridge – observe the cable tie locations to manage the two cables between the hexaphonic piezo bridge and the DSP PC board.

2nd Generation JTV-69 Tremolo Bridge:

In the pic below is the 2nd generation (2011) Tyler Variax JTV-69 bridge. Observe the new round shaped chrome plated mounting collet on the top of bridge plate where the trem bar pushes in.

Below is a picture of an INCORRECT INTERNAL PIEZO CABLE TIE METHOD. This is exactly how my guitar was assembled this past summer 2011 by World Music in Korea when I discovered my new guitar had major tremolo stability problems.

(details and a video of my original Tremolo Stability problem is here:)

I have since learned this cable tie method is INCORRECT!  This is what my guitar looked like BEFORE my RMA warranty repair at Line 6 :

Fast Forward 2 weeks later!

Upon return of my JTV-69 from Line6 warranty repair, I inspected the tremolo area and snapped some pics of the proper "factory authorized" piezo cable routing.

Below is an internal view of the second generation JTV-69 Bridge and piezo cable harness assembly – WITH THE CORRECT Cable clamp locations!  Observe the 1st white nylon cable clamp is attached to the bridge using a black  Allen panhead screw. I discovered this screw also serves as an "INTERNAL TREM BAR RETENSION SCREW", and secures the white cable clamp.


If you do not have a small cable clamp in your parts bin - if you are in the USA- go to hardware store, Lowe's , Home Depot or Radio Shack and get one of these similar Cable Clamps and modify it with side cutter pliers to resemble the official cable clamp above. Basically you want to have ONLY the lower screw mounting hole. Cut off the upper screw mount in the Home Depot clamp below:

Attention, there is an important 2nd hidden cable tie! In the pic below, observe the 2nd internal cable tie located out of sight, inside the cable feed thru hole to the DSP board inside the body. Securing these cables properly is mandatory for proper Tremolo operation. If the Piezo bridge cables are not properly managed with tie wraps placed at specific locations, they WILL  create friction as the cables rub against the body and become a constant source of tremolo instability.

and another pic of this "hidden"  black cable tie!

This Cable tie serves an important purpose.
 * With each use of the Tremolo arm and Bridge block movement the two piezo bridge cables to move back and forth  - the cable tie offers less friction / less surface area and opportunity for the two cables to get "stuck" and make the tremolo not return to zero  - as seen here:

NOTE - If you Break a string - Pay attention to any ball ends that may migrate to the DSP Control board cavity and cause damage

If you break a string - its very likely the broken ball end migrates thru this hole into the DSP board area

Where they can end up here  -(YIKES!)

Yellow circles indicate loose broken strings that have entered the DSP cavity - and WILL cause electrical damage.

(more discussion

The SuperVee Mag-Lok tremolo stabilizer is my Recommended mod to all JTV-69 owners. 
I have removed my Tremol-No -and replaced it with a SuperVee Mag-Lok
It has an internal Magnet that also serves as a " broke string ball end catcher" - and may save your JTV-69's DSP board from needless repair.

For additional details on all the JTV-69 tremolo setup -
download this doc;sa=downfile&id=17
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 06:38:50 PM by Elantric »
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