Robert Gill, on november 22, 2010 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 169
Purchased from: Guitarfetish.com
Features: Body- Solid 3 Piece Poplar
Neck- Solid Maple with Maple Fingerboard with Graphite Nut
Fingerboard Radius- 12"
Tremolo- Vintage USA spaced, Steel Baseplate, Full Sized Sustain Block
Frets- 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
Pickups- GFS Vintage Alnico Staggers- Calibrated Set
Tuners- Sealed Die Cast 14:1
Scale Length- 25 1/2"
Width at Nut- 1 21/32"
Depth at 1st Fret- 0.75"
Depth at Heel- 1.05"
Came with Allen Keys to adjust bridge // 7
Sound: I play mainly rock/blues/punk. This is a really great guitar for blues/jazz/rock(its a Stratocaster copy, so anywhere you'd use a strat, you could grab this). The single coil pickups can't really dish out chunky power chords but thats fine, its not that kinda guitar. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the pickups. Even though it was a budget guitar, I found these pickups to be really punchy and felt that they easily outclassed the stock pups on my Mexican Strat. There was even a hint of warmness which I don't really hear in a lot of single coil pups. The guitar sustains reasonably well(again, its a strat) as the neck pocket was very well cut. The way the guitar is routed is really strange, rather than having an HSH or SSS routing for the body, A GIANT RECTANGLE(any pickup combination could fit including HHH) was chosen. Despite this I didn't sense any lack in sustain or tone. The pickups were wound so positions 2 and 4 were noise cancelling but the other positions were more or less quiet save for the normal 60 cycle hum(The pickguard came "shielded" with what I'm pretty sure was just a few square inches of aluminum foil, does the job I guess). The selector Switch was a little "meh" in terms of noisyness(one of those budget switches, non switchcraft style). Not to say that this guitar is a one trick pony, but it can basically get any tone that a Standard SSS Strat can achieve(its versatile, but has limits)
*I eventually opted for a HH config with a coil tap option* // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: Ok. This is where the guitar really SHOULDA lost points, but my scoring based on after I had the guitar set up(myself). The guitar DID NOT COME SET UP PROPERLY AT ALL. I'm not familiar with Guitarfetish's policy on set ups but the action was really, really badly thwacked when it arrvied. The strings were wound in a terribly Derpy fashion and seemed to have rusted at the factory before shipping it to me. The bridge comes set up neither flush to the body nor, floating but rather tilted toward the other end about 2 degrees (they are done this way for tuning stability reasons I think) and it works perfectly fine. The nut was cut more or less perfect.
I chose a "British Racing Green Finish" and its very nice looking. Shiny and no imperfections as far as I could tell. It seems like a very THIN finish however and dings really feel like you're getting close to the wood. (I personally like thinner finishes unlike the ones on the older Mexican Strats that basically scabbed off after a few dings)
The Frets were cut just fine but they didn't seem to be filed/polished right. Past the 13th fret I get some serious roughness when I bend(still very playable just kinda annoying).
AFTER setting it up(restring, truss rod, bridge adjust, intonation, NO fretwork needed) it plays real great. The neck is amazing(stays nice and straight, gloss finish VERY similar to Squire Vintage Series) for a guitar in this price range. Its really an awful shame that this was the case because newer players may think that this budget guitar was unplayable when all it needed was a decent set up.
This guitar gets an 8 POST SET UP(a very minor set up). I would have given it a 5 or 6 otherwise. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I'm not the kinda person to bring a $2000 Les Paul and start pummeling the crap out of it on stage. I'm really rough with my guitars and budget guitars are really good for being thrashed around.
This is where the guitar will lose the most points, as 60% of the hardware was utter BAWLS. I couldn't believe how craptastic this hardware was...rusted pickguard screws(they were already cheap screws, but they managed to get crappier ones for the backplate), a DENTED football jackplate, Strap buttons looked like I got them out of a $.25 machine. The Soldering job was REALLY BAD(100% functional(more than decent pots), but really poor craftsmanship) the creme pickguard and white backplate were made out of this single ply material which looked like it had been cut with a pair of plastic safety scissors(very poorly cut). I BROKE THE TREMOLO BAR IN LESS THAN 15 MINS AFTER GETTING THE GUITAR.
This guitar really WOULD NOT LAST in the long run considering the quality of the components I just mentioned. The reason this category doesn't get a 0-1 is because of what parts they got RIGHT.
-Perfectly fine budget tuners(14:1 ratio, stayed in tune as much as any other guitar without a locking mechanism would)
-Bridge (very nice and solid feel, FULL sized inertia block. Bent Steel saddles, nice chrome, came with VERY good Tremolo springs)
-Neckplate(Thick, solid, came with a weird black neck plate guard thing...goes in between body and neckplate...eventually ditched it for cosmetic reasons)
They basically got the MOST IMPORTANT components right. You'd really need to replace ALOT of the hardware if you wanted to gig with this on a regular basis(which is what I did, cost >100 to bring the guitar up to at least an 8) // 6
Overall Impression: So. Very soon after getting the guitar I opted to get strap buttons, locking tuners, new screws, and new tremolo bar. I really love this guitar. But stock out of the Factory...its really not something I'd be comfortable with. But for 169 its a STEAL. These guitars are REALLY GREAT FOR MODDING. Just keep all the decent components and you're more than golden. I wish I could score the guitar based on my modifications but I can't as it would be a terrible, terrible injustice.
I DID swap out ALL of the stock electronics but that was a personal preference as I wanted Humbuckers with a coil split(HH w/ Custom 5 way Switch coil tap, Got everything I needed from Guitarfetish and Guitarelectronics)
You really can't ask for more considering this price range and I'd recommend this guitar to ANYONE who wanted a more than decent Strat Copy. Good Neck, Good Body, Good Pups. Solid for the most part. Just don't expect it to hold together through a session with Jonny Greenwood unless you swap out alot of hardware. AND GET A DAMN SET UP(too many budget guitars aren't set up right and it saddens me).
I can only give this guitar a 6 for my overall impression :'( But...after fixing it up to my own specs I'dve given it at least an 8. If it were stolen I'd surely get another one and make the thief lay on his belly and take a dump. The Bottom line is: IF YOU WANT A GREAT CHEAP Strat for >300, GRAB THIS AND MOD THE HELL OUT OF IT. Worth Well over $169 worth of bacon. // 6
yankleber, on october 03, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 126
Purchased from: GuitarFetish.com
Features: For whose doesn't know Xaviere guitars are exclusively sold at GFS website. They are made by demand to them, and you won't find it for sale anywhere else, and the fact they sell it directly to the consumer is one of the reasons why their prices are unbeatable. The normal price of this guitar is USD 169, 00 but I have paid only USD 126, 00 because it was in the clearance section of the site due to small cosmetic blemishes. Every week they check their stock after such guitars e put them in the clearance page giving awesome discounts. It is very important to mention that they ensure that guitars are fully playable and have no functional issues, being burned on clearance only because the finishing blems.
There is a long time that I have flirting Xaviere guitars, for two reasons: first because they are cheap and second because there are very good wordings about them, specially in USA. If you don't believe me, check Youtube for "Xaviere Guitars" and watch videos: personally I never have seen no one cursing about these guitars. So, I finally took my decision and ordered this axe and after two weeks or so it finally came here (I am from Brazil).
The XV-870 is a clone of Fender Stratocaster. This one is Vintage cream colored, Strat body, maple bolted neck with rosewood scale, medium frets, three single coil pickups, 5-way switch, 3 volume/tone controls, tremolo bar, 6-in-a-row tuning machines, anyway, a true Strat copy. It came with a free cable and two Allen wrenches for truss rod and saddles. Regardless it was told that it had cosmetic issues, I found only a small painting crack in the top joint of the body with the neck, something that I could find at any other guitar sold as perfect. // 7
Sound: I was after a Strat guitar for some time, as there was a lack of its characteristic tone in my setup, specially for strumming. I play mainly pop, rock and Indie and this sound really added a lot of "plus" in my style. The amp I use is a Vox VT-15VR with valve reactor technology that allows to modeling several different amps and has built-in a complete set of effects (saturation is made with gain into the valve section). The sound of the guitar has too much punch and boldness than I supposed (surprising for single coils) without to lose that nice sparkle and twang that only a Strat guitar has.
I really loved it! Nonetheless, its electrics is not as good as I would like and it sucks a lot of (loud) noise from external sources. I believe that this is due to bad shielding, and I am about to entirely remake the solders and full the cavities with aluminum heavy duty foils, so it should help some. Also, if you don't like to hear feedback sound, do not crank up your amp gain knob too much - at least if you are too close to the amp. Since I got this guitar specifically for clean strumming, it won't be a problem to me. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: As many of guitars, the strings came higher than I would like but not bad at all. The neck is extremely smooth and bends/vibratos are like a dream. Pickup adjustments are just fine and all strings seems to sound at the same level, and also all the pickups are very well balanced. I have found an issue in the bridge hole where the tremolo bar is attached. Seems to me that the female screw (in the bridge) is spoiled as the bar cannot be attached as it supposed to be (perpendicular to the body), as if you try to do that you will keep just turning the bar into the bridge hole forever and it never will attach. Instead, you have to push it against the hole while you turn and then it get attached, but it get unaligned and then you have to use some strength to keep screwing it until the position you want.
Then, instead the bar keep pending when you are not holding it, it just stay where you leave it - so after to use the bar in the middle of a solo you have to push the bar down (while you should only release it). I think that if I keep putting and removing the bar all the time, one day (in a very near future) both screws from bar and bridge hole will get permanently spoiled. Since I keep my guitars on wall mount hangers, I will keep the bar definitively on the guitar so it won't be a real problem for me. However I think that this is a serious functional problem that shouldn't be in a brand new guitar.
Well, unfortunately it is not all. There are two bad tuning machines also. Although the guitar can tune and keep in tune well, the tuning machines of G and D strings has some internal gear issue that makes you turn about 1/4" back before it start to lose string and about 1/4" forth before it start to tighten string. Again, I think that a brand new guitar shouldn't have such problem.
Since this is a guitar bought in a clearance sale, I wouldn't mind about these issues if they were advertised. However, GFS insists to tell you that other than the cosmetic problems the guitar is perfect, but the two problems pointed above recalls me something that someone that will put this guitar on the road should repair before; and no one buy a brand new guitar thinking about to replace parts. Again, since I have other axes and this guitar was bought to complement my sound and I never gig, it won't be a real problem for me. However, it doesn't diminish the seller blame.
I have written to GFS and reported the issues, but I didn't get any response from them till this moment. // 5
Reliability & Durability: It looks like to be solid and well built, but I wouldn't trust too much that the tuning machines will last too long, because what I have reported earlier. All the rest is OK. I think that this guitar can used without any backup in a gig. The painting seems to be very solid. // 6
Overall Impression: Regardless the functional issues, I loved this guitar. It was extremely cheap and even spending some bucks to buy replacement tuners and some time shielding it, that's fine and I am still happy with the purchase.
If you want a good guitar with very good playability; if you don't mind that eventually you have to invest some (very small) cash to fix some problems; and if you don't want to break the bank, this is the guitar for you. It is surely too much better than a Squire and than mostly of Strat copies. And it does the job.
I didn't regret about my purchase, and if I could back in time I would buy it again even knowing about the shielding, tremolo bar and tuners issues. If it would stolen, I would buy another one. // 7