James Tyler-designed Double-cut Guitar with Variax Modeling
29 Amazing Instruments in One
By combining patented, industry-leading Line 6 digital modeling technology with boutique-style craftsmanship, James Tyler® Variax® is the only guitar in the world that can sound like an entire collection of vintage instruments—28 models, plus the James Tyler-designed guitar itself. No more dragging piles of instruments to gigs or recording sessions. JTV-69S gives you an endless variety of guitar sounds—from classic acoustic and vintage electric tones all the way to sitar and banjo, plus the onboard SSS pickup configuration—in a double-cutaway, 25-1/2” scale-length guitar designed by one of the world’s finest luthiers.
18 Vintage Electric Guitars
When it comes to electrics, we’ve included 18 incredible instruments to take you from classic rock sounds to blues, country and more. Featuring meticulous models of Strat®, Les Paul® and Rickenbacker® guitars, among others, your James Tyler Variax provides instant access to the guitar tones favored by the world’s most famous players. Whether you’re performing or recording guitar, Variax gives you an amazing breadth of sounds for all styles of music.
Electric guitars based on*
- 1960 Fender® Telecaster® Custom (the first commercially successful solidbody electric guitar, which has powered the Nashville sound and many rock and jazz guitar luminaries)
- 1968 Fender® Telecaster® (lightweight, chambered body with traditional electronics to deliver a variation of the classic Tele® sound)
- 1968 Fender® Telecaster® Thinline (the two pickups are wired in series for a more powerful sound)
- 1959 Fender® Stratocaster® (popular with legendary guitarists Jimi Hendrix (“Foxy Lady”), Stevie Ray Vaughn (“Pride and Joy”), Eric Clapton (“Layla”) and many others)
- 1958 Gibson® Les Paul® Standard (Gibson’s first solidbody electric design, a collaboration with popular guitarist and recording pioneer Les Paul)
- 1952 Gibson® Les Paul® “Goldtop” (the first model of the Les Paul® series; this version features a P-90 pickup in the bridge position)
- 1961 Gibson® Les Paul® Custom (this particular incarnation of the Les Paul® Custom offers three PAFs)
- 1956 Gibson® Les Paul® Junior (features a flat mahogany slab and simplified electronics: a single P-90 in the bridge position)
- 1976 Gibson® Firebird V (neck-through construction and Epiphone® style mini-humbuckers deliver good sustain and a biting, trebly sound)
- 1955 Gibson® Les Paul® Special (a second P-90 provides greater tonal options—and helped make the Special a favorite of reggae legend Bob Marley)
- 1959 Gretsch® 6120 (developed with country guitar whiz Chet Atkins, often associated with the “twangy” sounds of Duane Eddy, Eddie Cochran and Brian Setzer)
- 1956 Gretsch® Silver Jet (light weight with resonant tone; the black version was favored by Cliff Gallup, original lead guitarist for Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps)
- 1968 Rickenbacker® 360 (popular with players looking for something a bit extraordinary, like Ed O’Brien of Radiohead)
- 1966 Rickenbacker® 360-12 (the distinctive jangle of the 12-string Rickenbacker® was a significant part of the ‘60s rock sound)
- 1961 Gibson® ES®-335 (blends the tone and sustain of a solidbody with the balance and aesthetics of a hollowbody; popular for jazz and blues)
- 1967 Epiphone® Casino (John Lennon was particularly fond of the Casino, and continued to record with it after the breakup of The Beatles)
- 1957 Gibson® ES®-175 (a popular and enduring choice for jazz guitarists, with sharp “Venetian” cutaway, fancy fingerboard and humbuckers)
- 1953 Gibson® Super 400 (based on the version with P-90s; Scotty Moore and Elvis played a Super 400 in the ’68 Comeback Special)
10 Amazing Acoustic and Eclectic Instruments
JTV-69S makes it easy to switch between electric and acoustic guitar sounds on a moment’s notice. The acoustic guitar collection features beautiful six- and twelve-strings, jumbos and a “parlor,” ideal for a variety of genres and playing styles. Line 6’s breakthrough acoustic guitar modeling technology gives these five models breathtaking depth and detail, capturing the subtle nuances of string vibration through the soundboard and the tonewoods of the original modeled guitar body. You can take your tone even further—from country music stylings to the sound of the Indian subcontinent—with the inspiring dobro, sitar, banjo and Tricone models.
Acoustic and eclectic instruments based on*
- 1959 Martin® D-28 (the Dreadnought (or “D”) body combined with ebony back and sides produces a full sound ideal for flatpicking)
- 1970 Martin® D 12-28 (Martin added six more strings to the successful D-28 to capitalize on the current folk music trends)
- 1967 Martin® O-18 (this smaller “parlor” sized body with mahogany back and sides has a balanced tone ideal for finger-style playing)
- 1966 Guild® F212 (a jumbo 12-string that provides the elusive combination of volume and clarity)
- 1995 Gibson® J-200 (often played by flashy country and western artists, and was a later favorite of Elvis Presley)
- 1935 Dobro® Alumilite (based on an unusual specimen with an all-aluminum body that emphasizes midrange)
- Danelectro® 3021 (favored by Jimmy Page, Danelectro made great sounding guitars from Masonite and lipstick tubes)
- Coral/Dano® Electric Sitar (get the buzz and drone of a sitar without having to learn a new instrument)
- Gibson® Mastertone Banjo (introduced in 1925, this quickly became the definitive Bluegrass banjo)
- 1928 National® Style 2 “Tricone” (uses three 6-inch cones mechanically coupled to the bridge to amplify string vibrations)
1 Finely Crafted Guitar
Designed in the tradition of the classic 25-1/2” scale, bolt-on neck, three-pickup solidbody, JTV-69S features an alder body, a 22-fret maple neck carved to a comfortably rounded Tyler '59 profile and an ebony fingerboard. This time-tested design yields the bright, percussive snap and bite that characterize this breed of guitar, with plenty of bluesy warmth when required.
Access Alternate Tunings—Instantly
Imagine going from “Brown Sugar” in Open G to “Kashmir” in DADGAD with the twist of a knob. JTV-69S provides immediate access to 11 alternate tunings, so you can stay in the creative moment instead of spending quality time with your tuner. You can mix and match any tuning with any instrument—and also create your own tunings on the fly with Virtual Capo. It’s easy to save your custom tunings, either to the open Model slot on the Alt Tune knob, or to one of the other alternate tuning slots.
- 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)
Create Custom Instruments with Variax Workbench
Variax Workbench™ is your personal custom shop—with a twist. The software takes you far beyond what’s possible in the physical realm, so the only limit is your imagination. Mix and match the 28 instrument body models (solid-body, semi-hollow or hollow) with any of the 17 pickup models (single-coil or humbucking) to create unique guitar tones or celebrated classics. You can fine-tune all the details of each tone, or change your tuning to Open G, DADGAD, Drop D, or anything else you can imagine, without ever needing a tuner. Once you load your custom instruments into your JTV-69S, it’s easy to access them with a twist of the Model Selector or Alternate Tuning knobs.
Designed by James Tyler, Master Luthier
Spot-on, industry-leading modeling is only half of the James Tyler Variax story. Equally important are the innovative design and boutique playing experience provided by master luthier James Tyler. Tyler’s visionary concepts and meticulous attention to detail have made his guitars the top choice of world-renowned session players and performers—and made him the perfect partner for the Variax guitar series. Each James Tyler Variax guitar was designed by Tyler and is built to his exacting specifications to ensure exceptional playability.
James Tyler has made a career of understanding what makes vintage instruments so phenomenally playable, and applied this expertise to the James Tyler Variax modeling guitars. Since the feel of the neck is one of the most important aspects of a guitar, he chose a proven design inspired by his custom work—and designed the neck joint to provide absolute access to the upper frets. Tyler used four neck mounting ferrules, eliminating the need for a neck plate and allowing him to carve away even more wood from around the neck screws. Crafted from premium tonewoods, JTV-69S sounds and feels incredible.
Expertly Wound Pickups
After decades of partnering with other manufacturers to spec pickups for his custom guitars, James Tyler began winding his own pickups in 2007—and has since released more than 30 variations. Drawing on this vast expertise, Tyler carefully designed the pickups for the JTV-69S guitar. A nod to the traditional format, JTV-69S features an SSS pickup configuration complete with three vintage-voiced single-coil pickups that are loaded with alnico magnets and wound to James Tyler's precise specifications.
Custom Tremolo Bridge
One of the most integral parts of any guitar is the bridge, where seemingly small changes can mean huge differences in tone and tuning stability. Tyler leveraged years of experience to design the James Tyler Custom Tremolo bridge for the JTV-69S, which provides the smooth vibrato action that characterizes this breed of guitar. Each string enters the bridge through the front of the tremolo, which brings the ball end as close to the saddle as possible—facilitating re-stringing. The knife edges and tremolo pivot posts provide nearly zero resistance which, in conjunction with locking tuners, deliver exceptional tuning stability. It’s also easy to intonate, and simple to set up the action.
In parallel with Tyler’s work on the single-coil pickups, Lloyd Baggs and the team at L.R. Baggs spent an incredible amount of time developing, perfecting and testing the ultra-sensitive Hex (polyphonic) piezo pickups, which deliver great accuracy and tonal purity. The hex pickups feature separate outputs for each string, facilitating separate processing and amplification.
Premium Nut, Tuners and More
A high-quality guitar nut also plays a critical role in maintaining tuning stability and extending the life of your strings. As you hit the strings on a guitar, they flex, retract and move in the nut—and if they bind even a little, you’ll end up quite out of tune. That’s why Tyler chose the precision-engineered, self-lubricating Graph Tech Black TUSQ XL nut, which allows the strings to move—and enhances the JTV-69S guitar’s performance and tone by bringing out hidden harmonics in each note.
JTV-69S features die-cast, 16:1 tuners for precision tuning control. The tuners are permanently sealed and lubricated to work smoothly for years to come—without slipping or binding. The staggered-height design pulls the strings down lower onto the tuner, increasing the angle of the strings over the nut to ensure good tone. The locking tuner also makes it quick and easy to restring the guitar. It all adds up to great sound, convenience and exceptional tuning stability.
Play for 12 Hours—Or All Night
JTV-69S features a long-lasting, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which delivers at least 12 hours of playing time on a single charge. It also features a four-LED battery life meter, which lets you know how much time you have left. To get the most from each charge, simply roll down the volume when you’re not using the guitar, and the electronics will go to sleep after just a few seconds. And thanks to the pickup bypass function, you can always use the guitar without batteries.
Headed out on the road? Pick up some extra batteries and chargers in our accessories section, or check out the optional cable power kit.
Get More from Your JTV-69S
Unlike a traditional guitar, James Tyler Variax modeling guitars can expand their capabilities over time. Line 6 is continually working to refine Variax technology, so be sure to check Line6.com for updates that enhance your James Tyler Variax guitar—and the way it integrates with your other Line 6 gear.
*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®, Guild®, Stratocaster®, Tele® and Telecaster® are registered trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. Gibson®, Dobro® ES®, Epiphone® and Les Paul® 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. Coral Sitar® is a registered trademark of Jerry Jones. Danelectro® is a registered trademark of Evets Corporation. National® is a registered trademark of Kaman Music Corporation.
- Solid Alder Body
- Ebony Fretboard
- Solid Maple Neck
- Single Coil Pick-Ups
- 3-Tone Sunburst Finish
- Chrome Hardware
- Quarter-Sawn Maple Neck
- 25-1/2” Scale Length
- James Tyler Custom Tremolo Bridge