XV-599 Review

manufacturer: Xaviere date: 03/12/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Xaviere: XV-599
The Xaviere XV-599 is an LP styled guitar with a mahogany body and set mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard. The XV-599 comes stock featuring GFS Crunchy Pat Zebra Humbuckers, Medium Jumbo frets and a 12 flat neck radius. The sustain is awesome and these GFS pickups sing.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 7.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 7.1 
 Reviewer rating:
 7.8 
 Users rating:
 6.4 
 Votes:
 39 
reviews (2) pictures (5) 20 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.4
XV-599 Reviewed by: UG Team, on march 04, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 239

Purchased from: www.guitarfetish.com

Features: The Xaviere XV-599 has a solid Mahogany body with a solid Maple top with a Quilted Maple Veneer. The neck is Mahogany with a Rosewood fretboard. The binding is maple and the purfing is hand cut Abalone. The neck radius is 12, which compared to the 9 radius I am used to is very flat. This has a Standard HH configuration with a pair of GFS Crunchy Pat Zebra Humbuckers. There are 2 volume knobs, 2 tone knobs and a 3 way pickup selector. Mine is the Aged Lemondrop finish, which is really stunning, and is very gently antiqued with a transparent matte finish. The volume and tone knobs even have a nice antiqued look to them. The tuning keys are sealed non-locking with a 14:1 ratio. They work well for non-locking tuners and I have no complaints. The fret markers are kind of a classic looking Diamond shape that I'm not explaining very well, which look much nicer in person than on the stock pictures from the website. The Aged Lemondrop finish darkens to almost Orange around the edges and is really stunning, with the wood grain showing through the finish. This guitar came with some maintenance tools and an instrument cable. I opted for this guitar to be shipped in a deluxe hardshell case for an additional $54. The black hardshell case supplied is very solid, no glue smell and looks nice. The Xaviere XV-599 has everything you would expect in an LP style guitar and is well executed in design. This is a very aesthetically pleasing guitar, and feels very balanced when worn standing with a good strap. I give this category a rating of an 8. Locking tuning keys, and the option to coil tap to single coils would have brought this up to a 9 or 10, but you can't expect those types of options at this price. // 8

Sound: The GFS Crunchy Pat Zebra Humbuckers are really awesome pickups. These GFS pickups are passive and medium to high output that have a real growl in their natural voice. I am impressed to no end by these pickups, coming in what is essentially a budget guitar, these pickups sound phenomenal. The mahogany body and set neck provide unreal sustain as you would expect from an LP style guitar. I played the Xaviere XV-599 through a Blackheart Little Giant, a Vox Pathfinder 15R, a Toneport UX2 with Gearbox, a Vox Tonelab ST , a Behringer V-Amp 2, and a Maestro by Gibson 4w Mini Amp. I ran the XV-599 through a Artec Duo Drive Blender, an Ibanez Tone-lok DE7, and a Dunlop Original Crybaby. The Xaviere really sounded great through everything, but especially through the Little Giant and the Pathfinder. These Xaviere guitars go a long way in the argument against high end brand name snobbery. The tone produced by the Xaviere is very thick and really has some punch to it. With a little tube distortion it really screams. I play mainly overdriven blues, hard rock and early thrash metal and the Xaviere XV-599 did a great job with each genre. I would say the ideal genre to match this guitar would be modern rock and hard rock. I do have to say, playing some Gary Moore licks through the XV-599, they sounded friggin awesome. I give the Xaviere XV-599 a rating of a 9 for sound and I stand behind that 100%. I expect comments about giving this low end guitar such a high rating in this category, but until you play one of these you just don't understand this guitar sounds awesome. The Xaviere XV-599 may not compete with a Gibson Les Paul in every category but I absolutely believe it competes with tone, punch and sustain. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This is where the Xaviere XV-599 loses some points. The neck was slightly back-bowed on arrival which caused some fret buzzing. This was very annoying and the truss rod had to be adjusted (loosened almost a full turn). The intonation also required quite a bit of correction. The neck pickup was raised a little too much and the Bridge pickup was too low. I corrected the height of the pickups, etc. I carried the guitar to a luthier because I was still getting a little buzz from the 2nd and 3rd strings in certain positions and they stated that the nut slots were too deep on these strings. I personally could not see this with my eyes, but a new nut fixed this. As an aside, despite the buzz I was getting on these strings acoustically, the guitar sounded fine through an amp, but any fret buzz drives me up the wall. The finish on this guitar was immaculate and the set in neck is tight in the pocket. The Abalone purfing and the maple binding are beautiful. I could find no flaws whatsoever in the finish. The fret edges are smooth, which was a surprise at this price. The neck is comfortably chunky. Not so thick that it is uncomfortable, but not so thin as an Ibanez or a Stratocaster about what you would expect on an LP style guitar. The back of the neck has a very satin-y almost sanded feel. After the set up there is no fret buzzing, action very low, neck is nice. My rating, based off of the condition this arrived, would be a 5. I do have to say that it isn't uncommon to receive a new from the factory guitar in any price range that requires some set up. After set up I would say this would rate at least a 7, and probably more like a healthy 8, but in good conscience I have to rate it in the condition I received it new from the manufacturer, and so it is a 5. // 5

Reliability & Durability: I have been playing the Xaviere XV-599 for a little over two weeks now. The Xaviere XV-599 is a very heavy and solid guitar. The wiring was checked out, and all the soldering was well done. The strap buttons are fine, no problems there. The finish seems like it would take abuse well. The Xaviere XV-599 really looks like it is designed to be a hard rock workhorse as well as being a gorgeous guitar. I would trust the Xaviere XV-599 no less than any other guitar for gigging, but I would never gig without a backup unless I had no other choice. The Xaviere XV-599 seems to hold its tuning very well, very solid and heavy guitar not a lot to say about reliability and durability. I would rate this as an 8. // 8

Overall Impression: The Xaviere XV-599 really gives some bang for your buck. After the initial set up I'm getting awesome tone and the feel of the guitar is really nice. Judging this guitar before a set up is very misleading. For more than what I paid for the Xaviere I could have gotten a low end Epiphone Les Paul that could not have compared in tone, because I have played a few of these Epiphone LP's and they do not compare with the stock pickups. Even after any cost related to getting a set up, etc., I still feel like you are coming out of it with a better guitar for less money. For overall impression I would rate this as a 7, because this is a beautiful guitar with awesome tone but it is still annoying to have to work on a new guitar, even if the price is super low. I am, however, very happy with this purchase today. // 7


- Brandon East (c) 2011

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overall: 8.2
XV-599 Reviewed by: pumpkinfarthrh, on march 12, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 239

Purchased from: Guitarfetish.com

Features: Not sure of year made, but it has to be recent. Its a model new for 2012. Won't bore everyone repeating all the specs, with the exception of one; the nec. Has the long-tenon neck; not even found on Gibsons any longer. Its in other reviews and easy to find. In my opinion, it makes the most score guitars relative to price paid and/or relative to its general class of peers. I also have a 2010 Epi Les Paul Standard Plain Top, and this guitar has all the same features as the Epi; exeption being the flamed maple top and purfling. So if you believe the Epi is the "standard" for an LP in this general price range, this guitar definitely matches the Epi, for $170 less. // 10

Sound: Been playing about 1 year. Mostly play rock, hard/classic rock; Guns, AC/DC, Zeppelin, etc. Been using it with a Fender Mustang 1; nothing fancy. But the Mustangs are cool because you can import various amp settings from other users and instantly have that sound. So I play a lot using amp settings for Slash, Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Angus, etc. Play at home mostly, and since I have a 10 month old kid, I use my headphones a lot. However, they are Dr. Dre Beats Studio, so they're tip top headphones. Overall, the sound is pretty "firey", for lack of a better word. The in-house pickups that GFS makes, at least for this guitar, are awesome for this style of music. They do pick up a little from electronic devices in the house. I went mad for a while until I read somewhere to turn off any lights in the house on a dimmer switch. It went from being stroke inducing buzzing to silent. Incredible. Anyway, if you're looking for a throaty, LP sound in the style of bands/players mentioned, that's what this is. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was set up fairly well. I don't mind if they're shipped in less than "playable out of the box" condition. I don't even see how that's possible anyway. Pickups were properly adjusted. Top bookmatched well. No flaws with regard to function of any kind. In terms of finish, frets could use a little more filing. They aren't awful, but the better I get, the more I notice such things and they're a bit rough. A few minor flaws in the gloss tucked in near the neck; only noticable if looking for it and at the right angle. The color is a bit lighter in person than it appears in pics on their website, but this is not a complaint. Not a compliement either. Pickup selector is a bit noisy. No problem in its function, but its a fairly loud click when changing. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I play for a few hours every night, but not under performance conditions. Again, comparing to my Epi, it feels every bit as sturdy. But based on reading countless reviews of guitars and guys that gig, etc., I'll just assume that it probably isn't quite as sturdy as an Epi, so I'll give it a 7. But I have no personal experience to base this on. // 7

Overall Impression: Hard/classic rock, i.e. Guns, AC/DC, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, etc. Excellent match for that music. Playing about a year. Epi LP Std Plain, J&D Strat, SX Strat, Epi LP Jr. If lost or stolen I would be upset. But being relatively new to the game, I might try to find another similar because I enjoy trying the various brands/styles and comparing. Still trying to find the right fit/feel for my taste. I'd also consider an Agile based on what I've read about them, but I'd buy it with the very same mindset I bought the Xaviere with. I love the look, the neck feels fantastic, and most importantly the sound. Take this for what it's worth; I am by no means a good player yet and I can not rip through solos yet, but I am an obsessive fan of a few of the bands I mentioned and I know what the guitars should sound like. And if you like that nuclear growl of Slash's Appetite sound or Coma, or Watch This from his most recent album, this guitar and the Slash setting on the Mustang amp, do a great job of getting that sound. To reiterate, I am not suggesting this guitar stacks up to a Gibson; I've never played a Gibson much less a model comparable to one Slash or Page play. But for someone who has a few hundred bucks and wants a great hard rock guitar, this will more than satisfy you. // 9

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