XV-500 review by Xaviere

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.2 (20 votes)
Xaviere: XV-500

Purchased from: Guitarfetish.com

Sound — 10
The guitar sounds really good. The pickups are the GFS PAF copies, which really do sound like the original PAFs from Gibson. The bridge pickup is nice and open sounding, bright and crunchy for some good classic rock, like a typical LP. Both pickups together give you a good level tone that is much mellower than the individual pickups alone. The neck pickup, however, is where this guitar REALLY shines. You can get some great bluesy tones playing clean, or with distortion, you can play hard rock or metal, that sounds amazing. The sound is a very nice deep tone that one would expect from a neck pickup on a Les Paul. For lead playing, I use the neck as I find the pickup much hotter and powerful than the bridge. The sustain on this guitar is incredible too, just like a real Gibson. The humbuckers don't buzz at all, and the pickups are very hot. You just have to barely touch the strings to get a sound out of the guitar. Right now, I'm using a Roland Micro Cube amp, which although can get you some great tones, does steal a bit of the guitar's natural tone, as it is a digital modeling amp. Still, however, you can still hear how good the guitar sounds. With cheap guitars, it's the amp that makes all the tone, but with a good guitar like this one, the guitar's tone stands out. I've tried it through a Peavey tube amp and the sound was like nothing else. Great bluesy tones on the neck, and good bright rock on the bridge. I'm a big Lynyrd Skynryd fan and this thing does the job well (neck pickup), especially in capturing Gary Rossington's signature sound that I love so much. I ordered a new bridge pickup from GFS only because I wanted something different; what's in there now is great and is a perfect PAF recreation, but I wanted to try something else.

Overall Impression — 10
I play classic rock, blues, and country, and this thing suits the part mostly for the rock and blues. I've been playing for a few years and have 5 or 6 other guitars, but this is my main player, and probably always will be. I'd definitely buy another one if this one was lost, Xaviere's are great, and guitarfetish has a bunch of amazing products at great prices. Before buying, I tried a bunch of Epiphones, but I prefer this to all of them. I love the look, but wish it had the mother of pearl inlays and chrome pickup covers, but I can Live without them. Great deal, great guitar, check them out!

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have played Live with this guitar and it can definitely handle it. Everything seems solid, and I will probably be playing this thing for the rest of my life, as it's a great Les Paul style guitar. Very dependable, beautiful finish, everything seems perfect, and will last.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Was decently set up out of the box, but I plan on getting it professionally done soon enough, as there is a tiny bit of fret buzz on the D string low down. In terms of finish, she looked great, and still does. I've changed the pickup rings to cream, but that is it. The tuners aren't anything special, so I have ordered new ones.

Features — 8
Les Paul style guitar, made in '07 or '08, I believe. Rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body, and flamed maple top. Single cutaway, tune-o-matic bridge, stopbar tailpiece. 2 volume and 2 tone knobs, pickup selector Switch, basically the same thing as a Gibson, only the cutaway is very sharp, and the inlays on the fretboard are not mother of pearl. Mine's the "Amburst Sunrise" color, which is very beautiful, very Orange. Bought it as a blem model, but I can only see one tiny scratch on the back of the guitar. Definately worth the price.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I hear these play like a dream... I'm planning on getting an '09 XV-550. I can't wait! And they're so inexpensive too. It's practically a steal.
    I've still got mine, man! Almost a year after this review, she still sings like the day I bought her! Great guitars!
    I'm considering buying one just 2 gig with b/c they are sooooo inexpensive. I'll buy two, one to play, and the other to completely smash on an upcoming gig. Yay everybody wins!!!