$vboptions[bbtitle]

How about these new Xavieres from Guitarfetish?

Pages : 1 [2]

jimbcac
March 15th, 2011, 06:42 PM
AM trying to upload photo..hope it works

Gnobuddy
March 16th, 2011, 12:34 AM
Sounds like a great deal.

Show us that horsey!
Okey dokey! I got home from work after sunset, so I had to take the photos using a combination of room lighting and the camera flash. That means the usual hot-spots, glare, uneven lighting, false colors, and other ills. Oh, well, it's the best I can do for now, so here goes - a few pics of the recently acquired pre-loved Dean Palomino!

As you can see, the trapeze tailpiece has a pretty design based on the shape of a treble clef. The bridge is basically a Gibson type Tune-O-Matic on a wooden base. The neck inlays have sub-inlays, diagonal strips of mother-of-pearl inset into the larger blocks of what appears to be rather unconvincing fake plastic mother-of-pearl. The binding and finish appear to be flawless. I did not take a close-up of the Strat-style five position pickup switch, but you can see it just below the lower f-hole.

In the close-up of the neck, you can just make out a thin haze of some sort of sticky substance that seems to be all over the fretboard - I'm going to give this fretboard a thorough cleaning before I replace those strings!

Just for kicks I weighed this guitar on our digital bathroom scale. The scale reads "8.2 lbs"; that should translate to about 8 lbs 3 oz. Almost up in Les Paul territory - as I said, the Palomino is built like a tank, and is about as heavy! I mean, how thick does the wood have to be to get a fully hollow guitar up over 8 lbs? :shock:

I know bathroom scales aren't the most accurate instrument at these lower weights, but this particular scale is unusually accurate as bathroom scales go, usually within a fraction of a pound of the correct weight according to the very expensive scale at my doctors office. So I'm somewhat inclined to trust the 8+ lb weight reading.

The absurdly tiny limits on picture sizes imposed by this forum keep me from posting better quality images, but hopefully these will give you a rough idea what this guitar looks like.

-Gnobuddy

Gnobuddy
March 16th, 2011, 12:36 AM
AM trying to upload photo..hope it works
Jim, based on my recent experience trying to upload pictures, the problem may very well be your image sizes - this forum limits you to uploading really tiny images, no more than 700 pixels across. Unless your digital camera was made in 1995, I guarantee the pictures coming off it are much bigger than that. So you have to use some sort of digital photo editing software to scale down the pictures before you can upload them here.

-Gnobuddy

crazydave911
March 16th, 2011, 07:21 PM
This weekend, I picked up a set of Gibson black knobs with gold tops I saw at a local guitar shop

Now that's what I call a match :smile:

Gnobuddy
March 18th, 2011, 11:36 PM
What a difference a month makes! This thread was started just over a month ago, and those beautiful photos in Jack's first post attracted so much attention. Everybody was excited about these guitars (myself included).

Now that a few people have got their XV-950 guitars and given us reviews, it seems most people have lost interest these guitars, and moved on, driven off by the quality issues reported in those reviews (once again, myself included).

What a pity, and what a lost opportunity for GFS. If the products had higher quality and the first few reviews had been glowingly positive, I'm sure this thread would still be humming with activity.

-Gnobuddy

Mad Kiwi
March 18th, 2011, 11:56 PM
But then the "higher quality" price would offset the attraction in the first place......

BGTele
March 19th, 2011, 01:01 AM
Hey, Penny Century!!!! Where is your review?? Did you send it back? Please tell.....

PennyCentury
March 19th, 2011, 03:19 PM
Hey, Penny Century!!!! Where is your review?? Did you send it back? Please tell.....

I picked up my Xaviere at the post office, unpacked it and everything was intact. At home, I made a list of the changes I need -- replace the black pickup surrounds and pickguard for cream, replace the rosewood bridge with a Tune-o-matic, and replace the chrome metal knobs with SG/ES345 type in gold.
The factory strings are unusable, and the metal knobs were tightened by applying masking tape over the posts, instead of using a flat bladed screwdriver to gently open the split shaft!

I won't bore you with pics of the stock version, since someone above has already posted pics of the surf green guitar -- but I will post pics when the work is dine.

Oh, almost forgot - the black selector switch handle also needs to be replaced with a cream colored one too.

Greg.Coal
March 19th, 2011, 05:41 PM
. . it seems most people have lost interest these guitars, and moved on, driven off by the quality issues reported in those reviews (once again, myself included).

What a pity, and what a lost opportunity for GFS. If the products had higher quality and the first few reviews had been glowingly positive, I'm sure this thread would still be humming with activity.Not so fast, GnoBuddy! This thread made me jump on a Craigslist Harmony hollowbody with a single P13 pickup a few days ago. It was a great buy; I'll post pics at some point when I'm home. I'm doing some neck work and the 55 yr old bone nut will probably need replacing; same for the Vol and Tone pots - which are mor like on/off controls now.

All is not gold with vintage instruments and there is probably a lot to be said for the imported hollows like the Xaviere and Dean Palomino's and others (like an Epi Casino).

Later,
Greg

tdu
March 19th, 2011, 09:09 PM
What a difference a month makes! This thread was started just over a month ago, and those beautiful photos in Jack's first post attracted so much attention. Everybody was excited about these guitars (myself included).

Now that a few people have got their XV-950 guitars and given us reviews, it seems most people have lost interest these guitars, and moved on, driven off by the quality issues reported in those reviews (once again, myself included).

What a pity, and what a lost opportunity for GFS. If the products had higher quality and the first few reviews had been glowingly positive, I'm sure this thread would still be humming with activity.

-Gnobuddy


Even if they just did SOME quality control before shipping them out. There are likely some really nice ones out there taking the price into account. These one's people have been receiving in this thread though clearly should have been sold as blems. Maybe waiting until the second run of these comes out is an idea.

slotrod65
March 19th, 2011, 09:42 PM
I would like to reiterate that I am very happy with my XV-950. Sure, it turned out ot be a blem, but GFA made good on it. If I wanted perfect, I would have sprung $750 at GC for a Gretsch 5120. Instead, I payed $240 for a unique hollowbody. For the price, I am very satisfied with what I have. The guitar plays well, and I did not have to do a full setup, which is rare on almost any new guitar these days. I have even decided to keep the stock pickups.

Engraver-60
March 19th, 2011, 09:48 PM
I purchased a Black ES-335 wannabee a few years ago that has a reversed Zemaitis headstock and similar aluminum badge & truss rod cover, and it even has push-pull tone knobs for coil tapping. Really pretty finish & excellent price (I gave $165 on eBay). They have excellent fit and finish and are worth the price.

Jack Knife
March 19th, 2011, 10:37 PM
I'm a little disappointed GFS wouldn't even respond to my request for an adjustment, but after a good setup this guitar really is quite fun! I'm not sorry I got it.

Colo Springs E
March 19th, 2011, 11:41 PM
This is my take after my own personal experience 2-3 years ago and reading the reports here... GuitarFetish and Xaviere guitars are hit or miss. Some ya win, some ya lose, others you invest time and/or money and get them right.

Your call if you wanna take the risk... I think I'll pass.

ITSGOTQUACK
March 20th, 2011, 02:10 AM
OK, now for the bad news:

First up is some burn through in the finish up near the headstock.

http://i632.photobucket.com/albums/uu49/slotrod65/024-1.jpg

And a little flying something deep in the finish:

http://i632.photobucket.com/albums/uu49/slotrod65/032-1.jpg

The finish here looks like it was touched while wet.

http://i632.photobucket.com/albums/uu49/slotrod65/038-1.jpg

Do these pickups look oddly angled?


http://i632.photobucket.com/albums/uu49/slotrod65/305.jpg

Man, that's just horrible. I'm going to go back and read the last few pages and see if you sent this thing back.

slotrod65
March 21st, 2011, 08:29 AM
Nope, I kept it. GFS gave me a refund of $60 since the guitar was a blem. Mechanically, it works fine. I am very happy with it.

KCKC
March 21st, 2011, 12:37 PM
Hey Slotrod,

I'm a bass player too! Looking at the amber one! Would love to get the "skeeter" upgrade as well! :mrgreen:

Would love to check out your vid review but it keeps coming up private? :shock: Any possibility of checking that out?

KC

slotrod65
March 21st, 2011, 12:47 PM
Hmm... I am not sure how I clicked that. I have just changed the setting back to public. Prepare to not be impressed. I am a hacker on guitar, but I enjoy myself, so that's all I need.

Big Burly
March 21st, 2011, 12:53 PM
I thought the guitar sounded great, slotrod65. Your playing is right up my alley, style-wise.

Gnobuddy
March 21st, 2011, 02:31 PM
Prepare to not be impressed. I am a hacker on guitar, but I enjoy myself, so that's all I need.
You're a true musician! One of the best ways to get a musician to smile is to hand her new and quite unfamiliar instrument and let her play around with it.

The only instrument I'm even remotely competent on is guitar, but I fool around with a bass guitar and keyboards from time to time for fun. On bass, the only way I can come up with a passable bassline is if I write out the chord progression and then work at it for an hour or so. On keyboards - well, I can't do anything even passably well on a keyboard! But it's a great tool for learning music theory, coming up with original melodies, finding chords to harmonize a melody, and so on.

-Gnobuddy

Gnobuddy
March 21st, 2011, 03:18 PM
Is anybody getting more traditional hollow body jazz archtop sounds out of their XV-950? And does anyone have any tips for me on how to get that traditional jazz tone out of these types of guitars? Control settings on amp and guitar, playing technique, etc?

So far I haven't got that tone out of my Dean Palomino. When I play it on the neck pickup alone it sounds rather a lot like a lightweight solid-body guitar with a clean single coil PU, or an acoustic steel-string guitar with a magnetic soundhole pickup and the treble turned down a bit. But I found a YouTube demo video of a Dean Palomino, and the musician playing in the video demonstrates some nice traditional jazzy tones.

In other words, it's not the guitar, it's me. Zero experience with jazz guitar here, so I don't know where to start to get that tone. Oh yeah, my amp is a little Super Champ XD upgraded with a bigger cab and a 12" speaker.

One curious thing I'm noticing: For some reason, the strings on the Palomino feel like they're at much lower tension than the same gauge strings on one of my Agile guitars with the same nominal 24.75" scale length. Weird, no? I wonder if the scale length is actually less than that published number?

-Gnobuddy

Disco Biscuits
March 21st, 2011, 04:09 PM
Is anybody getting more traditional hollow body jazz archtop sounds out of their XV-950? And does anyone have any tips for me on how to get that traditional jazz tone out of these types of guitars? Control settings on amp and guitar, playing technique, etc?

So far I haven't got that tone out of my Dean Palomino. When I play it on the neck pickup alone it sounds rather a lot like a lightweight solid-body guitar with a clean single coil PU, or an acoustic steel-string guitar with a magnetic soundhole pickup and the treble turned down a bit. But I found a YouTube demo video of a Dean Palomino, and the musician playing in the video demonstrates some nice traditional jazzy tones.

In other words, it's not the guitar, it's me. Zero experience with jazz guitar here, so I don't know where to start to get that tone. Oh yeah, my amp is a little Super Champ XD upgraded with a bigger cab and a 12" speaker.

One curious thing I'm noticing: For some reason, the strings on the Palomino feel like they're at much lower tension than the same gauge strings on one of my Agile guitars with the same nominal 24.75" scale length. Weird, no? I wonder if the scale length is actually less than that published number?

-Gnobuddy


For a jazz tone, I'd recommend putting your super champ on Voice 1. Use the neck pickup and roll back your tone knob to 2 or 3. If that doesn't work, you may need to look into some different pickups.

jimbcac
March 21st, 2011, 07:07 PM
I got two of em. The first one in natural finish. GREAT guitar, pleased all
around.
The other one is surf green. Got it as a Clearance item - described as
"Crack on the side".. Well the crack was caused because the upper
bout neck strap button screw was HUGE. I have never thought that
putting a neck strap button on the side of hollow guitar is a good idea,
however I knew that it was there. Which is probly why they used such a large screw.
HOWEVER the fretboard was also
pulled away from the neck for about 4" at the headstock. The only thing
holding the fretboard to the neck was the paint.
So when I tuned er up..sprrrooong..Well that was a fairly easy fix with
a hypodermic filled with titebond II. While I was at it I put a tusq nut on,
and a wilkinson roller bridge. However the neck is never going to be quite
right. That is ok. The guitar is playable. but I think that GFS really should
have a chat with the supervisor in charge of quality control at their Chinese
factory.
What I really wanted from GFS on this guitar was some touch up paint to repair where the paint broke on the neck. But they do not do touch up
paint..A point we may all make note of.
However the 'natural' finish guitar is really a good guitar and
well worth the money.

jim in gold bar

Gnobuddy
March 21st, 2011, 11:48 PM
For a jazz tone, I'd recommend putting your super champ on Voice 1. Use the neck pickup and roll back your tone knob to 2 or 3. If that doesn't work, you may need to look into some different pickups.
Thanks for the suggestion, Disco Biscuits (great username!). Yup, those are pretty much the settings I tried. I'll continue to experiment, I'm about to try a swap to heavier gauge strings (it's got 010's on it now). I should probably look up some jazzier chord voicings while I'm at it.

Hmm. Wonder if that YouTube demo had stock pickups on the Palomino or not.

-Gnobuddy

Gnobuddy
March 21st, 2011, 11:58 PM
I have never thought that
putting a neck strap button on the side of hollow guitar is a good idea,

Did they really put that screw into the thin plywood sides of the guitar? No solid wood block on the inside of the body to receive that screw?

I like that location (on the side, above the neck) for the strap button because it makes the guitar hang much better than the more traditional location on the base of the neck heel. The heel location makes the guitar want to roll over away from the player and face slightly top down, because its behind the guitars center of gravity.

I have a cheapo acoustic-electric guitar on which I installed a strap button in the same location as the XV-950, but I carved a suitably sized wood block to shape and glued it in first, so the screw goes into solid wood. No problems at all with that guitar. I would love to do the same with my semi-hollow Agile AS-820, but haven't figured out a way to install a wood block with nothing more than that tiny f-hole for access.

The only thing holding the fretboard to the neck was the paint.

Holy cow. And here we were thinking a fly in the finish was bad. :shock:
I think that GFS really should have a chat with the supervisor in charge of quality control at their Chinese factory.

I suspect the QC supervisor might be the factory owners pet hamster, judging by the quality of the QC work.

-Gnobuddy

Woody Duke
March 22nd, 2011, 01:35 AM
Is anybody getting more traditional hollow body jazz archtop sounds out of their XV-950? And does anyone have any tips for me on how to get that traditional jazz tone out of these types of guitars? Control settings on amp and guitar, playing technique, etc?

So far I haven't got that tone out of my Dean Palomino. When I play it on the neck pickup alone it sounds rather a lot like a lightweight solid-body guitar with a clean single coil PU, or an acoustic steel-string guitar with a magnetic soundhole pickup and the treble turned down a bit.
-Gnobuddy

You might try a set of flatwound strings; that will darken the tone, especially if you go with a medium to heavy gauge.

tdu
March 22nd, 2011, 07:37 AM
I'm a little disappointed GFS wouldn't even respond to my request for an adjustment, but after a good setup this guitar really is quite fun! I'm not sorry I got it.

Did you send a link to this thread when you emailed your request? I would have. It's in their best interest to resolve these situations when there is a thread on a forum this size. They have the option to save face by providing good customer service, which it seems they have for others in the thread. I'd email them again.

Disco Biscuits
March 22nd, 2011, 09:23 AM
Thanks for the suggestion, Disco Biscuits (great username!). Yup, those are pretty much the settings I tried. I'll continue to experiment, I'm about to try a swap to heavier gauge strings (it's got 010's on it now). I should probably look up some jazzier chord voicings while I'm at it.

Hmm. Wonder if that YouTube demo had stock pickups on the Palomino or not.

-Gnobuddy

Flatwound strings are great for jazz as well, though a lot of people aren't huge fans of them. They aren't good for bending, but if you are playing jazz you probably aren't doing a lot of string bends.

Birdmankustomz
March 22nd, 2011, 09:35 AM
Hey Slotrod,

I'm a bass player too! Looking at the amber one! Would love to get the "skeeter" upgrade as well! :mrgreen:

Would love to check out your vid review but it keeps coming up private? :shock: Any possibility of checking that out?

KC

I kinda want to dig little pockets in a guitar body and put bugs in it, like flies and wasps and such, then bury it all in clear :lol:

Gnobuddy
March 22nd, 2011, 01:34 PM
You might try a set of flatwound strings; that will darken the tone, especially if you go with a medium to heavy gauge.
Thanks for the suggestion! It's on my list of things to try. Right now there is a set of 0.010 Ernie Ball strings on the guitar, and I just bought a set of D'Addario Jazz Light 0.011's to try, but haven't installed them yet. If my fingers can adjust to that gauge and I'm still not getting the tone I want, I'll try some flatwounds.

I may need a new bridge, or at least some new saddles for the Palomino. The pre-cut slots in some of the bridge saddles are a bit too wide, so one or two of the thinner strings are making sitar-like noises every now and then.

Oddly enough, string bending with the 0.010's is surprisingly easy - the Palomino is supposed to have the Gibson Les Paul scale length, but feels like it's even shorter for some reason.

I usually use .009's on my electrics and .010's on my steel-string acoustics, so .011's or heavier gauge will require me to grow some tougher calluses - and risk re-awakening my RSI problems in my wrists and forearms.

-Gnobuddy

Teiscoman
March 23rd, 2011, 03:35 PM
Total newby here, lured in by the XV-950 reviews. I recently purchased an XV-910 in surf green (really more of a blue) and love it. I can't find anything really wrong with it--except for the amazingly cheap strings. I am impressed that they continue to leave black marks on my fingertips after a couple of weeks of playing!

Anyway, I love the 910 so much that a couple of days ago I ordered the 950--even though I'd read the reviews here, some of which gave me pause. Still, I've owned cheap guitars for many years--and still have my first, a tulip-bodied Teisco. (My user name indicates my mental disease.)

I appreciate all of the reviews here, especially the video reviews!

slotrod65
March 23rd, 2011, 03:39 PM
What color XV-950 did you order? Please let us know how it works out...

And change those cheap strings already! :shock:

Teiscoman
March 23rd, 2011, 03:58 PM
I ordered the surf green 950 to match the 910! I have a kind of "band" here where I work, and I may order the other guitarist to play one of the Xavieres when we next perform. Either that, or I'll just swap guitars during the set!

And, yes, I need to change the cheap strings. I'm just so lazy! I have only had a few chances to fire up the guitar through the raging Epiphone Valve Jr. (I have gotten rid of my larger amps), and the cheapies aren't bothering me when I just sit and play acoustically. I'm trying to decide what to put on, though. I play slide and prefer heavier strings. I have strung up an old Arbor Flying V copy with D'Addario flat-wound .12s and love the feel and tone. I may put flat-wound .11s on the 910.

Oh, I did make one change to the 910: the polepieces were set very high. I've adjusted them down some and will likely take them down even further. But I've been pleased with the bite from the rear P-90, and I can get some warm tones out of the front P-90, so I'm pretty happy so far. In the middle position, I get a hot tone with good girth.

I have an ESP Paramount PC-2V that I bought a few years ago from a local shop. It was the second guitar that I ever bought that played beautifully off the shelf. (The shop does a good setup job: I bought the other guitar--a gift for my daughter--from the same shop.) The PC-2V is, I think, one heck of a fine guitar, especially for right around $600. The Xaviere is not quite as good, but it's within shooting distance. For a truly budget guitar it's great.

I have high hopes for the 950! And I'm very hopeful I can coax feedback out of it more easily than I can out of the 910 . . .

kerc
March 23rd, 2011, 04:19 PM
Okey dokey! I got home from work after sunset, so I had to take the photos using a combination of room lighting and the camera flash. That means the usual hot-spots, glare, uneven lighting, false colors, and other ills. Oh, well, it's the best I can do for now, so here goes - a few pics of the recently acquired pre-loved Dean Palomino!

As you can see, the trapeze tailpiece has a pretty design based on the shape of a treble clef. The bridge is basically a Gibson type Tune-O-Matic on a wooden base. The neck inlays have sub-inlays, diagonal strips of mother-of-pearl inset into the larger blocks of what appears to be rather unconvincing fake plastic mother-of-pearl. The binding and finish appear to be flawless. I did not take a close-up of the Strat-style five position pickup switch, but you can see it just below the lower f-hole.

In the close-up of the neck, you can just make out a thin haze of some sort of sticky substance that seems to be all over the fretboard - I'm going to give this fretboard a thorough cleaning before I replace those strings!

Just for kicks I weighed this guitar on our digital bathroom scale. The scale reads "8.2 lbs"; that should translate to about 8 lbs 3 oz. Almost up in Les Paul territory - as I said, the Palomino is built like a tank, and is about as heavy! I mean, how thick does the wood have to be to get a fully hollow guitar up over 8 lbs? :shock:

I know bathroom scales aren't the most accurate instrument at these lower weights, but this particular scale is unusually accurate as bathroom scales go, usually within a fraction of a pound of the correct weight according to the very expensive scale at my doctors office. So I'm somewhat inclined to trust the 8+ lb weight reading.

The absurdly tiny limits on picture sizes imposed by this forum keep me from posting better quality images, but hopefully these will give you a rough idea what this guitar looks like.

-Gnobuddy

I had a Palomino that I stupidly sold. I had the one with the amazing three-color burst. Palominos are tone factories, but they are heavy!

Why did I sell it, I'll never know. :sad:

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll236/jkercado/IMGP0630.jpg

Sorry for the threadjack!

Gnobuddy
March 24th, 2011, 11:23 PM
I had a Palomino that I stupidly sold. I had the one with the amazing three-color burst.

That's burst finish is lovely!
Palominos are tone factories,
True, but most of the tones I'm finding are very Stratocaster like! Not quite what I was expecting!
but they are heavy!
Oh boy, are they ever! I think I could kill the proverbial ox with a blow to the head from a Palomino. (Disclaimer: I love oxen. No oxen were harmed during the writing of this paragraph.)

Why did I sell it, I'll never know. :sad:

Hope you find something else you like as much one day!
Sorry for the threadjack!
Nah, Palomino's have come up two or three times on this thread, mentioned as an alternative budget-priced archtop with a distant family resemblance to the Xaviere XV-950.

-Gnobuddy

Captain Obvious
March 25th, 2011, 05:02 AM
I had a Palomino that I stupidly sold. I had the one with the amazing three-color burst. Palominos are tone factories, but they are heavy!

Why did I sell it, I'll never know. :sad:

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll236/jkercado/IMGP0630.jpg

Sorry for the threadjack!


I had a Guild that looked a lot like the one in the middle but it had what I called "Veg-O-Matic" tone controls - like speed controls on a blender.

jimbcac
March 25th, 2011, 05:27 PM
Well like i mentioned I have two of em. One a "Clearance" guitar.
The other regular price. I have been playing the one I paid full price
for a LOT. In fact plan to play it at the memorial service of a friend
of mine tomorrow (Wabash Cannonball, his favorite tune).
The "Clearance" guitar is going to need some pretty extensive
work. However I got a Bigsby B3. So someday when there Is time
am gonna take the pickups out, redo the wiring a bit, and put the
bigsby on.
However as to the "Natural" color 950... I REALLY like it. It is replacing
my SX G6 as my favorite inexpensive guitar, and is a LOT lighter. Mostly
due to the fact that the G6 has a Mahogany center post that goes all
the way through the guitar, and the xv950 just has this 2x3" hunk of
God only knows what kind of wood - sitting under the bridge.

There will be some musicians at the memorial tomorrow that will
look twice at the name on the guitar headstock and wonder why I am not
playing a "name" guitar. I will hand the guitar to them and say

"try it you'l like it"

best

jim in gold bar

Jack Knife
March 25th, 2011, 07:40 PM
This is the best thread I ever started :mrgreen:

Daddy Hojo
March 25th, 2011, 11:13 PM
Is it just me or are there a lot of xaviere clearance guitars? Mine was clearance. I got a 910 for under $200. It seems that most people reviewing them on harmony central also have blem models.

Conspiracy theories welcome.

Greg.Coal
March 26th, 2011, 09:49 AM
Is it just me or are there a lot of xaviere clearance guitars?It makes sense that there will always be some and they sell returned guitars for a discount. But, the XV-440 (LP Jr-style) seemed to turn up a lot of finish blems and there was also a run of bad necks across model lines.

I regularly look at the clearance section and I can tell you that he moves a lot of this stock. It's probably a healthy sign that he can offer so many of those (that can cannibalize new sales) and not try to pass them as first quality new items.

This is a great era to get well-built guitars of all kinds . . . .

Greg

Gnobuddy
March 27th, 2011, 12:41 AM
For a jazz tone, I'd recommend putting your super champ on Voice 1. Use the neck pickup and roll back your tone knob to 2 or 3. If that doesn't work, you may need to look into some different pickups.
Just wanted to say "Thanks, buddy!" to Disco Biscuits for that advice. I re-read that and realised I'd been using channel 1, not voice 1 (on channel 2). Channel 1 on the Super Champ XD is the clean Fender sound, while voice 1 on channel 2 is the "tweed Champ" sound.

I went back and tried out the Dean Palomino, neck PU, amp on voice 1. Nope, sounded close to a Strat set to neck PU and tone turned down a bit. I turned down the treble knob on the amp a bit, and tried again. Nope, that's not it. I turned down the tone on the guitar some more. Nope, still not it, and now it sounds like a Strat set to neck PU and heard through a pillow over your ears - very muffled.

Somewhat discouraged, I was about to give up and turn the guitars tone knob back up, thinking I'd turned it down too far. But instead I gave it one last tweak - this time I cut the tone on the guitar all the way to zero, and tried again. And voila, suddenly there it was, that midrangey sort of classic jazzy archtop tone I'd been hunting for!

I have basically zero knowledge of jazz playing, and don't know too many chords more exotic than a major seventh. So I just tried out a short progression of a few of the more exotic extended chords I know - C9, Fmaj7b5, G+. Yup, that's the general sound I was looking for. All I need to do now (!) is learn how to actually play something remotely jazzy!

So it turns out that to get the tone I was looking for with this guitar (Dean Palomino), this amp (Super Champ XD with a 12" Eminence), and these strings (Ernie Ball .010 electrics), you have to turn the tone knob on the guitar all the way down to zero, and the treble on the amp almost all the way down as well. I had simply not been going far enough in that direction until now.

Incidentally, the P-90 pickups on the Palomino have a pretty bright and clean tone - they sound closer to Strat single-coils than Gibson P-90's. The P-90 pickups on my Agile AD-2300 have much stronger bass and a darker tone. I'm sure the bright pickups on the Palomino are part of the reason I had to turn the treble down so far to get that jazzy tone.

Speaking of jazzy tone, I just read in a guitar mag that Gibson had originally promoted the Les Paul guitar to be used for playing jazz, as an alternative to the big archtop jazzers Gibson was selling at the time. I'm guessing that decision is part of the explanation for the darker sound of the original Gibson P-90's, and then the Seth Lover humbuckers that followed.

I'm liking the Palomino more and more as I continue to play with it. I got all the gunk off the fretboard with 99% rubbing alcohol from a local pharmacist and a few of the cotton wipes my wife uses for removing makeup, then lightly applied some lemon oil and wiped it down before putting on the new strings. The neck is nice and fast now. The one remaining issue is the bridge. I'm really going to have to replace those saddles with the too-wide string notches.

-Gnobuddy

Teiscoman
March 31st, 2011, 04:00 PM
An update: I received the XV-950 yesterday. First impression: filthy! The guitar was dirty--and not in a good way. Clearly, someone had buffed it out and then lazily washed away the final buffing compound.

It had the obligatory loose volume knob in the box . . .

It did arrive with an extra: a Xaviere guitar cord, with patented "Tonekiller" technology!

In contrast with the 910, this guitar has a number of visible finish flaws: a drip (alongside the neck/top joint: not noticeable except when you're looking at it while playing . . .); a small, somewhat bluer fleck in the paint near the pickup selector switch; a small mark in the fretboard binding on the bass side near the ninth fret (perhaps from dressing the frets?); a poorly painted "join" between the face of the headstock and the headstock binding; some visible sanding marks on the fretboard; poorly filed string slots in the bridge (I'll replace that with a roller bridge anyway); somewhat poorly dressed frets; a tone pot turned so that the lugs are visible through the f-hole; a piece of flashing not fully cleaned off from the pickguard; cheaper-quality tuners than the ones on the 910; and one incredibly dry and filthy fretboard.

I'm trying to figure out the issue of the filthiness of the fretboard. I oiled the fretboard with lemon oil and rubbed it in--and my work cloth began turning black. I cleaned and cleaned it--but, after I finally had the guitar set up, the fretboard still left my fingertips black in very short order. I know that it's not the strings: I can take a clean cloth and rub down the fretboard longitudinally, and the cloth shows black between the strings, and clean where it's pressing down on the strings.

And this is also not the lemon oil. I played for a moment before oiling the fretboard, and my fingertips were immediately rendered black. My oiling and cleaning efforts made the fretboard cleaner--but it's still not clean.

I assume that the fretboard is either incredibly dirty as a result of the work done on it or has been dyed to make it darker. And that would be interesting, because the fretboard was not particularly dark before I oiled it up.

Also, I changed the strings on my 910 to D'Addario flatwound .11s--and it is still leaving my fingertips dirty. It appears that I'm gradually cleaning the gunk off the fretboard as I play, though.

So that's pretty much all of the bad stuff. The good things are this: I put some elbow grease and Martin guitar polish into the guitar, and it cleaned up very nicely. And after I spent some time on intonation and action, it played very nicely--even though the stock strings are pretty heavy. I'd guess them to be .11s. I love the light weight, and the guitar balances well. (But I'm using a wide strap that stays glued well to the shoulder.)

The guitar has an interesting sound acoustically. I swear that it sounds a bit like there's a filter in it--like a half-cocked wah pedal. It's not as loud as I'd have expected, but then it does have the "trestle" under the bridge, and I suspect that the coating of polyurethane paint is damping out the sound. (That may introduce the "notched" quality that I hear.) I imagine that the guitar will be louder acoustically in a year or so, once the polyurethane has a chance to off-gas more.

I haven't gotten to fire it up yet through an amp. My wife and three-year-old have been sick, and I didn't want to subject them to my sonic explorations. I'm not too worried about the amplified sound, though: that's why they make replacement pickups!

And here's the best thing: I was sitting across from my wife, quietly messing around on the guitar. She looked at it and said, "That really is a pretty guitar."

So there! It looks good, and it's quite playable. For less than three benjamins, it's all right by this ol' country boy!

Jack Knife
March 31st, 2011, 04:14 PM
Teiscoman, which finish did you get again? I believe you have nailed it on the fretboard making your fingers dirty. I think they've dyed the wood to make it darker. I cleaned mine with my usual Formby's deep cleaner and it still left my fingers dirty. Fortunately it does play away, so you'll be clean in a short time :mrgreen:

I'm completely happy with mine now that it's setup and cleaned/adjusted. Sweet guitars once you do the final setup that the factory skips.

Teiscoman
March 31st, 2011, 06:20 PM
Hi, Jack Knife--

I got the XV-950 in surf green. It's a little greener in hue and a bit more saturated than my surf green XV-910. Very pretty!

I'm thinking about getting a natural-finish 910 at some later date and swapping in some of the GFS Dream 90s in the surf green guitar--and putting a Bigsby and a roller bridge, pinning the bridge . . .

Cheers,

Teiscoman

Teiscoman
March 31st, 2011, 06:28 PM
A couple of additional notes about my 950: First, I don't like the knobs. I thought that I would, but they look a bit too bright. I'll swap those out. Second, the pickguard has to be made of the softest plastic that I've ever seen. After thirty minutes of playing, mine had visible scratches in it from my pinkie finger moving across it. I'm not sure that I'll do anything about it, but it's remarkable how little it took to affect it. (I am tempted to cut a piece of ebony veneer to the shape of the current pickguard . . .)

PraiseCaster
March 31st, 2011, 06:45 PM
This is the best thread I ever started :mrgreen:

I agree.

But I hate you too, for you are the one that started this bubbling, ever expanding GAS for the Nuge fix that I can only get with this guitar!

Ok, I dont hate you. But I do hope a flea bites you in your arm pit while your sleeping.

My wife is gonna kill me when I buy this guitar.......

tonetime
April 8th, 2011, 10:05 PM
OK, now for the bad news:

And a little flying something deep in the finish:

http://i632.photobucket.com/albums/uu49/slotrod65/032-1.jpg



:!:
:eek:

The entertainment value of this picture is off the charts, for some reason. Thanks for posting. I haven't laughed this long in quite a while. :eek:

DesmoDog
April 8th, 2011, 11:15 PM
:!:
:eek:

The entertainment value of this picture is off the charts, for some reason. Thanks for posting. I haven't laughed this long in quite a while. :eek:

Whoa, hang on there! This guitar was obviously built by/for a vintage Ducati enthusiast. It's a 750SS tribute guitar! :razz:

Teiscoman
April 9th, 2011, 01:59 AM
The bug photo is amusing. And then when you go over to the Guitar Fetish website, you can read about the "ultra-finicky luthiers" at GFS who set aside guitars with cosmetic blemishes . . .

And, with that said, I'm loving both my XV-950 and my XV-910--even though the 950 is still leaving my fingertips black . . .

tonetime
April 9th, 2011, 11:15 AM
The hilarious bug facet is certainly not going to deter me from leaping on one of those Xav. Telemasters. (In fact, I will request an embedded firefly in mine if possible.)

I'm sure this photo has already inspired someone to at least 'envision' a Bug-Laden amber finish on a future build.

Teiscoman
April 9th, 2011, 02:49 PM
A little update on the XV-910 and the XV-950: The 910 is definitely the better guitar, at least as received. I find the pickups on the 950 a little anemic-sounding: they're all right, but they don't have a lot of output, and I don't think that their character is all that inspiring. In terms of output, I can generate feedback with my Epi Valve Jr. cranked, but only on a couple of notes (C-sharp/D-flat and G-sharp/A-flat). The body must have a couple of resonant peaks at those notes. It may be that, as the finish ages further, the guitar will become more resonant and feed back more easily--but I think that I can generate feedback more easily with some hotter pickups. So I'm probably going to swap the Retrotrons out for some PAF-style humbuckers or a humbucker-sized P90. (Of course, I could go for a pedal--but why not have the sound I want straight out of the guitar?)

The 910 is very playable (especially with D'Addario flatwound .11s and some setup tweaks), and the pickups have a nice presence to them.

Jack Knife
April 9th, 2011, 03:47 PM
Dang, you got me wishing I had caved and popped for the red 910 they had on sale!

Teiscoman
April 9th, 2011, 11:47 PM
Jack Knife, I'm happy that I have both. I like playing the 950, even though it fights back a bit more than does the 910. And I think that, with some hotter pickups in it, the 950 will be a great machine!

Lerb21
April 11th, 2011, 12:43 AM
I finally set up my XV-950 the other day.

I adjusted the truss rod so the neck was almost straight. Bad fret buzz so I had to raise the bridge a little bit. There's still some buzz at the lower frets, but it's not heard when you're plugged into an amplifier. I had to sand down the 10th fret on the little e string though. There were some problems with the string fretting out on the 8th fret due to contact with the 10th fret. Fixed now.

I jacked up the pickups as far as they go. This thing screams, but I want to send them up even higher.

It's turned out to be a pretty darn good guitar once I put about an hours work into it.

Teiscoman
April 11th, 2011, 01:01 AM
Hey, Lerb--

Are you running your 950 straight into your amp? I find the pickups on mine a bit weak.

Best regards,

Dan, the Brain-Damaged Teiscoman

Jack Knife
April 11th, 2011, 08:54 AM
Man, I'm jonsing big time for mine now. I gotta get back to NM and play it!

Lerb21
April 11th, 2011, 11:59 PM
Hey, Lerb--

Are you running your 950 straight into your amp? I find the pickups on mine a bit weak.

Best regards,

Dan, the Brain-Damaged Teiscoman

Na, I'm using mine for Nuge duty so it gets a layer of the heaviest overdrive I got before it hits my Twin Reverb.


Plugged right into the amp though it does what it's supposed to I guess... it makes me sound like Duane Eddy in the Bridge and Middle and then sound like Billy Byrd or Hank Garland in the Neck...

I would like to put some PAFs in it to see how the thing would react though.

Teiscoman
April 12th, 2011, 12:12 AM
Hey, Lerb,

Sounds about right. With more volume or gain, I'm sure that mine would scream. But I'm running straight into an Epi Valve Junior. I just replaced the stock EL84 with a NOS Westinghouse 6BQ5 (and put in a JJ 12AX7). The 950 now sounds better, but it's still not a screaming demon. (But, man, does my ESP Xtone PC-2V ever sound tough!)

I was hoping that the 950 would feed back without any added gain or overdrive. I like it when a guitar is ready to feed back at a moment's notice. The 950 is not quite there.

Best regards,

Dan

toadman
April 12th, 2011, 12:42 AM
man! i want one with a bug in it!

Frudoc
April 17th, 2011, 11:20 PM
And look Ma, almost no bubblewrap!

http://i632.photobucket.com/albums/uu49/slotrod65/002-4.jpg



I think of all the crazy pics in this thread, this one has made me laugh the most. I mean, can you picture the guy at the warehouse watching Cops on some old TV, fillin his mouth with cheetos with one hand and shoving a couple pieces of bubble wrap down the box with the other.