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Xaviere (Guitar Fetish) guitars -- good, bad?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by fendorst, Dec 30, 2009.

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  1. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've never had one of their Teles, but did briefly own a Zemaitis copy. At first I really dug it because it was so cool looking. But it was sort of cheapish, and the neck had an issue (had a little bump along the treble side of fretboard... not sure if a true "twisty" or not). I was less than enthused with the return process (long story), but ultimately they allowed the return and refunded my purchase price. I think they've usually had a good reputation for customer service and their products, so maybe my experience was a little out of the ordinary.
     
  2. GeorgiaHonk

    GeorgiaHonk Tele-Holic

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    Xaviere teles...

    I bought the XV-820, the Xaviere tele in dark ash with a rosewood fretboard, and in my opinion it is a great bang-for-the-buck. The woods are topnotch and the fit and finish on mine was excellent. The negatives are the stock neck pickup (weak) and the stock tuners (slippage). For the small cost to upgrade simple problems like that, I think the Xavieres provide a quality platform. Sure, it cost a bit more than the SX, but I couldn't find the tonewood combination I wanted on the Rondo site.

    Of course, all mail-order guitars are a gamble, and somebody else's guitar may have awful woods and great tuners, so my experience is just that: MY experience.
     
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  3. Sharkblues

    Sharkblues Tele-Meister

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    I've been very tempted by the XV-825 "keef". I have a set of Keystones and a set of Rio Grande Tall Boys and need an inexpensive host.

    So how many pieces of wood are the bodies?

    Now that they are built to fit Fender necks and parts, has anyone tried?

    What do they weigh?

    Any pics? I've done searches here and google and have seen but 3 or 4.

    I have a XV-700 LP copy that's a thinner and weighs only 71/2lb that I'm very pleased with. It's not perfect, but neither am I.
     
  4. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Meister

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    I bought one of those XV600 kinda-sorta thinline clones a couple years ago. It's like a little "toy" guitar, but I actually kind of like it for just grabbing off the stand and practicing. It's so light, and it's very easy to play after a good setup.

    The pickups in this one are the "dream 180s," which I guess are some kind of weird hybrid pickup he came up with that seem to be halfway between a humbucker and a P90, maybe closer to a HB. I've never heard any of his other ones, but I think these actually sound pretty good. They can be jazzy, chimey, and they also have plenty of crunch and bite if you want it.

    The neck is a little thin (and has crappy thick lacquer on it) and the hardware is cheap as hell, all of which contributes to the "toy" feeling, but I didn't expect a lot for what they cost (I think it was under $150 then) and overall I got more than I expected. I want to get a CVC now, so my curiosity for the super cheapos has kind of evaporated, but for just a knock around guitar with decent tones I don't regret buying it.
     
  5. TNO

    TNO Friend of Leo's

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    I tried the JM copy and thought it felt and sounded cheap. The SX stuff is nicer for less money.
     
  6. nadzab

    nadzab Friend of Leo's

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    I used this to practice Ron Kirn's fret leveling technique. It needed a lot of other tweaks, but I was able to dial it right in, and it plays & sounds great. At the low price point, they're fun to tinker with, and I enjoy the challenge of turning a sow's ear into a silk purse. I actually bought the P-90 version of this one too, in natural, and I'll be working on it this weekend. That one has better fretwork than the one below (which was atrocious before the level), but it's got a lot of other problem areas that need to be addressed. I guess the bottom line is that you shouldn't buy these expecting them to be on par with more costly guitars, but if you're able to do your own work, they can be turned into real players (and they're easy on the eyes, too).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Sharkblues

    Sharkblues Tele-Meister

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    This is my XV-700 on the day i got it a couple years ago. Frets needed leveling, hardware no so great, but all in all I'm satisfied.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. jimbcac

    jimbcac TDPRI Member

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    I now own 2 Xaviere guitars. First one is a 560 (72 Tele thinline clone). This guitar
    has some issues, one of them pretty serious. However in fairness; GFS offered to
    have it shipped back at their expense, and refund my money. I kept the guitar.
    Why, Cause it sounds as good as the Fender 72 thinline I paid $700 for! I wish I had
    known about the XV guitar before I blew the 700 clams...
    The second guitar is a XV610.
    A semi hollow LP size and shape with soap bar P90s. I LOVE this guitar. I will grant you
    that GFS pickups are NOT Seth Lover pickups, however they do not cost $200 per
    set either, and sound plenty good for gigs, ore even for the far more critical ..me..
    Lets face it only another guitar player
    usually even NOTICES if you switch from the bridge to the neck pickup, much less
    if you are playing a $35. or a $100 pickup.
    Xaviere guitars are inexpensive, made in China, and maybe a little more prone to issues
    then USA made guitars. But gosh for less then 1/3 of what I paid for a used Fender,
    and after a little bit of my time; I prefer to play the XV560 to the 72 Tele thinline.
    Am now lusting after the XV910 - a 335 style semi hollow with p90 dog ears on it. Put a
    bigsby on, and zoweeee!!
    So if you are tempted to buy a Xaviere guitar go ahead. If you have a real problem with
    the guitar let them know about it. The guys that run GFS are responsive, reasonable
    folks.
    However I expect you will be absolutely delighted with what you get..

    jim in Gold Bar
     
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  9. jimbcac

    jimbcac TDPRI Member

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    photos of xv 560 and 610

    Here is a photo of both guitars. Again you can expect that you
    might have to change out a little bit of hardware/switches etc.
    Also consider that GFS is pretty new at this, and is getting better
    and better as time passes..

    Best
    J i g b
     

    Attached Files:

  10. speedy mcfeely

    speedy mcfeely Tele-Holic

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    I've got a telemaster in seafoam/ surf green. The body is kind of rough around the edges. Neck is ok, but not great. The tuners are passable but not good. I do however like the bridge, solid, large brass saddles. The pick ups are fantastic. The Alnico fatbody is awesome, so good that I put one in my CV50s. The case it came in is ok too. The thing to remember is that with hard case and guitar shipped is under $350... what do you want for $350?

    I would get a CV over and Xaviere. My CV tele is better than most high end teles, and a bargain. YMMV.
     
  11. GM60466

    GM60466 TDPRI Member

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    I like mine. It needs a little better input jack, but well worth $189.00


    G
     
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  12. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Meister

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    After getting my CVC, I have to say I'm finding that the Xaviere actually holds up surprisingly well. The neck is even a little bit thicker, and there seems to be just about as much gloss on the CVC neck.

    It could use some new hardware (and a new nut - the nut really sucks) to take it to the next level, but as is it's definitely a playable guitar that sounds really great. I'm more impressed now than even before getting the CVC, which I thought was going to turn out the opposite. Good value, no doubt.
     
  13. highwayman

    highwayman Former Member

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    I have an XV-610 and I find the quiality much better than the SX Tele i had.The only change i made was the saddles,the stock ones were horrible.The Dream 180 pups are dreamy!The tuners are fine and stays in tune really well.The neck feel is really nice, and the graphite nut is a nice touch.For the price its great and super cool looking.
     
  14. jimbcac

    jimbcac TDPRI Member

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    sorry blew it..

    Just noticed I had reversed the model numbers on above posting.

    The 610 is the 72 Thinline clone, the 560 is the LP Semi Hollow P90.

    When I got the 610 the holes drilled through the body were
    too small . I have NO IDEA how they strung the guitar at the factory. I
    had to remove the bridge/tailpiece and re drill the holes so I can change
    strings without removing bridge/tailpiece. I also installed a better pickup
    selector switch. GFS offered to pay to ship it back and refund my money..
    I own 25+ Agile guitars,(mostly AL3000/3100/3500) and several SX and Douglas (bless you Rondomusic)
    I would rate the XV 610 as of lower quality then the SX (well below the Agile)
    However the sound of those dream 180s is quite good, and like I said earlier
    once I put about $15. and some quality time with a soldering iron and drill,
    I got a pretty darn nice guitar. One that I am not at all afraid to gig with
    (well my "fans" are a very forgiving lot :)

    HOWEVER the XV 560 LP style semi hollow; is at least as good a guitar as the
    Agile 2800 - also a semi hollow LP style - that I own, actually; I think; a bit better.

    I have been in contact with a couple of the sales/tech folks at GFS and they really do make an effort to sell a good product and stand behind what they sell.

    Again these are not Gibson/Fender/Gretsch etc etc guitars. However they do compare well to the Epiphone/squirer/Agile guitar. The nifty thing is
    they are CHEAP. Where else can you get a pretty darn decent guitar
    with a case SHIPPED for under $300???????????????? So what If I gotta
    spend some time upgrading. How many times have I read about folks
    swapping out pickups/electronics/switches on Epiphone/squirer/Agiles..
    LOTS of times, in lots of guitar player forums...
    I kind of EXPECT to maybe have to polish the frets, redo the line up of
    some of the screwed on parts, and replace a thing or two on a $209 guitar.
    If the setup is not perfect...well the guy doing the setup is probly getting
    paid $2 per day and two months ago was growing wheat in northern China.

    And they get better every day. I expect that a XV guitar purchased in 2009
    is a very different guitar from one purchased now, because
    the GFS guys DO talk to the folks in the factory that are making the guitars
    to give input about quality issues..at least that is what they told me..
    and I believe everybody.....

    Culpably and perhaps a tad overwordily yours

    jim in Gold Bar
     
  15. highwayman

    highwayman Former Member

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    I had the same problem with my xv-610 ,I needed to redrill those string holes.I have to disagree about the SX quality.I find the Xaviere superior to the SX I had...Never again with the SX ,Maybe I just got a lemon but everything was super cheap on that guitar,the tuners were useless,hardware terrible ,pickups dreadful,and fretwork a joke.Maybe I will try a Douglass though.
     
  16. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Meister

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    Wow - you're right, I just checked the site and it says graphite nut. I was sure it was some kind of plastic crap. I think mine needs to be filed out more for the bigger strings I put on it, but at least now I won't feel that bad about not replacing it like I was planning to. Another check in the + column for Xaviere. :D

    I also had an SX strat and I sent it back. They don't compare in quality to the Xavieres, imho.
     
  17. GilmourD

    GilmourD Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm on the other end of the spectrum from you. I've got a VEH with gold cover in my Epi LP Custom and a set of greybottoms in my rendition of David Gilmour's Black Strat. I have to say I wasn't expecting much and ended up feeling as though they're just as good as any of the Seymour Duncans I've bought over the years. Sure, they're not Van Zandts, Fralins, or Bryan Gunsher's BG-Pups, but darn if I'm a happy customer.

    On top of that, Jay's always been good to me. I've bought some other stuff (just not any whole guitars) and he's always been willing to answer my questions even when I didn't buy anything and even paid shipping on the one thing I did have to return (steel block for import Strat bridge which I thought would fit the bridge I had which turned out to be an MIM bridge, this was before he had the MIM block).
     
  18. Anchoret

    Anchoret Friend of Leo's

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    That's exactly what I was expecting from that source. :(
     
  19. Fatmanstratman

    Fatmanstratman Poster Extraordinaire

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    Me too. I was amazed to read TGs comments, and was kinda scratching my head wondering which GFS pickups he has tried.

    Every pickup I've had from GFS has been superb (I've bought about 25 to date). The 62 Vintage Alnico is one of the sweetest bridge pups I've ever heard, and I have them in several of my Teles.

    If you like P90s, their "Dream 90" pickup is unbelievable - a friend who gigs twice a week with them is constantly being asked how he gets such a good tone, and he is always humble enough to put it down to the pickups.

    I also like their Vintage 59 Alnico humbuckers very much - they're never going to replace your PAFs, but they're a darned good upgrade for any Epiphone that comes equipped with humbuckers...:cool:

    Oddly enough, I have tried the Mighty Mites, but found them very "thin" indeed - I guess this just goes to show that tone is only in the ear of the listener, and we obviously don't all "hear" exactly the same thing.

    Isn't choice a great thing!....:cool:
     
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  20. Kerouac

    Kerouac TDPRI Member

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    I picked up[ an XV-585 a month or so ago... here's my review from another forum. Just as a heads up, I *did* buy a blem model for the savings, so I assume the regular models are in better shape! :)

    Pics (as links since I didn't resize):
    http://andymclain.com/pics/guitars/goldtop/xv585box.jpg
    http://andymclain.com/pics/guitars/goldtop/xv585case.jpg
    http://andymclain.com/pics/guitars/goldtop/v585incase.jpg
    http://andymclain.com/pics/guitars/goldtop/xv585body1.jpg
    http://andymclain.com/pics/guitars/goldtop/xv585back.jpg

    Pics of main blems:
    http://andymclain.com/pics/guitars/goldtop/xv585p90.jpg
    http://andymclain.com/pics/guitars/goldtop/xv585truss.jpg

    There are also a couple of minor finish irregularities that are only visible up close and some paint that overlapped onto the binding. The nut is also a bit sloppy, but there doesn't seem to be any string binding.

    Quick Review:
    It's pretty light, much lighter than my AL2000. The tuners (Grover-style) turn smoothly and I like them much better than the tuners that came on my XV-620. I'm mainly playing 25.5" scales these days so it definitely feels different to me, but it was a quick adjustment. It came out of the box pretty close to in tune with I'd say medium to medium low action, all depending on how you'd call it. I think the fingerboards may be dyed, because I had a lot of black come off on my fingers. If these are the GHS strings that they're selling in the store, I'm afraid I don't seem to like them much. Maybe it's just the scale length combined with the string gauge, but they felt a bit too spongy for me and I didn't like the Low E response. In complete fairness, that could also be pickup height as I think the bridge bucker is a little high. I forgot to check intonation, but if I have a break later today I'll look into that. I have a pretty busy schedule today so I won't be able to check in much until this evening, so lemme know if you have any other questions and I'll get to them when I can!



    Clips:
    http://andymclain.com/logic9clips/xv585/xv585clean.mp3
    http://andymclain.com/logic9clips/xv585/xv585tnt.mp3
    http://andymclain.com/logic9clips/xv585/xv585godofthunder.mp3
     
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