XV-500 review by Xaviere

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 1
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 7.2 (20 votes)
Xaviere: XV-500

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: guitar fetish

Sound — 9
This is truly where this guitar stands apart in a sea of LP copies. I own a '83 Gibson LP Studio. Does the XV sound like a Gibson LP? Bottom line is no. My XV sounds like an SG/LP of fire! The pick harmonics are tremendous and the sustain seems endless. It has the bottom end close to a Les Paul and that bada-s mid/high bite of an sg. Clean tones are rich and full and the neck pickup is wound a little HOT so there is plenty of attack on hand when needed. The guitar is dead quiet thru my Mesa Triple and a slight hiss thru my old Hiwatt model t. I've been playing for 26yrs and worked for a sound reinforcement company as a tech. My guitar style is all of them as I love all music.

Overall Impression — 10
In the 80s if you bought a cheap Les Paul clone you got plywood with a bolt on neck, today you have something like this-unbelievable. This guitar is lightyears ahead of any plus top Epi that I've set-up and played. The woods are nice. The neck joint is so well done it looks handfitted. This is truly a great guitar for any type music. I am most pleased that someone is putting out a professional grade instrument at an entry level price in todays economy. Don't hesitate to buy one of these guitars.If it were stolen I would freak-out man. I own the '83 Les Paul Studio, 1984 SG, 1978 Strat, 1965 Gibson Hummingbird, 1988 Peavey Nitro/Active, 1986 B.C. Rich Mockingbird.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Built like a brick house. I bought this as a tote around guitar, you know just to carry to jam at pubs. I'm going to order a blem model fo that, because this guitar is so beautiful I'd be sick if it got nicked. Hardware is good/installed strap locks. The construction seems outstanding.

Action, Fit & Finish — 1
This guitar was IMO unplayable out of the box. No set-up at all. I've been setting up guitars for 2 decades - so no big deal. If you ART comfortable doing it yourself don't try. After cutting the junk strings off, I replaced them with a set of Dunlop 10s set the truss rod and action height. Adjusted the pickups and set the intonation. The frets are super nice "beautiful crown job and polish". No issues with the cut of the plastic nut "replace l8tr". This is one hell of a sweet playing guitar. Nice chunky neck/sweet frets. I'm giving it a 1 because of the non-existent set-up.

Features — 9
Standard LP configuration. Cherryburst with Flamed Maple Top.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I eceived my xv 500 4 days ago. I don't really understand the reviews here. The tuners are garbage. Almost all of the frets are not set properly. There is enough space to fit your fingernail under most of them. The pickups are muddy and imho unuseable. The finish looks nice although there are specs of what I assume is dirt inside the finish. This is my second one because the first one was far worse so I had to send it back. The plastic covers are so cheap its laughable. This is not a $200 guitar because you need to invest at least that much more just make it playable. This is my own personal experience so if you are happy with this guitar thats great, but due to the build quality and obvious lack of quality control I won't be buying any more gfs products.
    update: Well, I love this guitar now. But only after installing a set of Wilkinson tuners(great smooth quality for the price!), swapping out the pickups for Dimarzio 36th Anniversary dp103 neck and dp223 bridge single conductors with nickel covers. Then I took it in for a setup and new nut (when it arrived it buzzed so bad it was unplayable.) Guitar case from GF and strap locks and I am now into it for about $600. Is it worth it? Well, it really is a nice little player now but don't expect to buy one without putting some money and effort into it. I have ordered a custom Agile Al3000M in tobacco sunburst and gold hardware for about the same price including case. This would probably be a better buy and more dependable quality wise.