Price paid: $ 179
Purchased from: Guitarfetish.com
Features: This Xaviere is an obvious Thinline Tele copy. A few guys at Sam Ash even speculated that it could have been made in the same factories as the squiers. It was made in 2010, probably in Korea, maybe China. 22 medium jumbo frets on a 2 piece Maple Neck. Neck itself is a single piece of nice satin finished maple and the fretboard looks like bleached maple. I am astounded at how comfortable and fun this neck is. To me it feels kind of like the perfect combination of a Melody Maker and a charvel, its flat and kind of wide but still retains just enough chunkiness to still have that tele feel.
it's a Semi-hollow with two GFS dream 180 humbuckers, a single volume, single tone and a 3-way switch. The bridge is just like a tele bridge except with a rout for a HB. The tuners it came with are sturdy but I'm replacing them with locking tuners very soon. I ordered it with a hard case, strap locks and locking tuners. The straplocks are Dunlop style, but in my opinion are better. The hardshell case is similar to an oldschool Fender case. And it came bundled with an extra cable and allen key to adjust the truss rod. I haven't yet tried the locking tuners, but I trust they'll be good quality
I would have liked coil tap to come installed in this guitar as the Humbuckers are already set up for coil tap. Besides that minor issue (I'd probably use coil tap rarely anyway) this is an amazing deal for the money // 9
Sound: In my opinion this is where the guitar shines. The sound of a semi-hollow with moderately hot pickups is amazing. I use it with my Zoom G9.2tt through the line input to my Peavey centurion half-stack. OD/distortion settings are drool-inducing. I can get that cranked tube stack sound at relatively low volume. The pickups are "vintage-voiced" and "hot", I suppose that's an adequate description. I'd say that's it's bassy and bluesy with a pretty crystal clean, but this thing begs to be played distorted. She screams and howls like a mad woman once you dig into those upper frets and sounds deep and throaty when playing rhythm and chords. She can hum a little with alot of distorion and no noise gate, but most guitars do, and I don't mind.
I typically play hard rock/ metal/ pop-punk and a bit of classic rock. This baby handles those first three especially well. And I am really surprised at the tonal variety between the three options of p/u combinations. My only qualm with this guitar would be that the tone pot does very little to your sound anywhere other than 0 or 10. Anywhere imbetween those numbers and it all sounds the same. Without a doubt this guitar sounds like it costs 3-4 times as much. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: Ok, realize before reading on that this is the least important section and regardless of how this guitar arrives it still a ridiculous deal for the money. When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find it practically in tune, a slight turn on the B string and boom. 10 seconds out of the box and I was already playing it. After my initial hour or two of not wanting to put it down while playing it unplugged, I started examining the guitar.
I noticed a little black mark underneath the tuners, there were little bits of unpolished wax all over it, there was dust between the P/us, the fret work was done hastily and could have been a bit more caring. Most upsetting upon my first examination, the tone and volume pots were installed crooked. I installed the straplocks and when doing so (without any drilling) lots of paint chipped off around the tuning pegs. The worst part about all of this was that the pickups would cut in and out on my amp, any time I moved the volume pot or the pick up switch, the sound would cut out and I'd have to shake the Switch around to get the sound back. I took it to a tech at Sam Ash and since we're friends he fixed it for free by rotating the pot away from the switch.
Overall, not the condition I was hoping the guitar would arrive in, expecially considering I paid the extra 50$ to have it shipped in a hardcase. // 5
Reliability & Durability: This guitar is pretty solid, nothing feels like its going to fall out, and even though it's really light it still feels very sturdy. The hardware is fine, and even though I'm replacing alot of it, it would have been fine just as it came. I will probably be able to play this guitar for the next 30-40 years as long as I take ok care of it, the paint might eventually wear out, but I would love that. When I gig with this I'll probably bring a backup, but that's mostly because I would bring a backup guitar with every guitar I ever gig with. Overall, exactly what I wanted, a durable guitar that I can wear in. // 10
Overall Impression: This guitar is amazing for what I need, I've grown up on fenders and squiers but have always played modern heavy-gain music. This guitar is a near perfect combination of the feel and the sound I want. I've been playing seven years and I've owned 9 guitars including this one. This is undoubtedly my favorite guitar of all of them. The only thing that would have made me happier with the purchase of this guitar would have been if I could have purchased it as a blemished item instead of paying full price for B-stock.
That being said, I bought this guitar so I wouldn't have to worry about damaging something that will be worth real money one day. This will in all likelihood never be a collector's item so I don't have to feel bad about wearing the sucker in. If this guitar were stolen, I'd buy this guitar again the next month, but if I found the guy who did it... I'd kill him. As it is I'm going to buy another Xaviere in a few months, and a bunch of my friends are going to buy them too. I love the sound and the feel, I hate that the black finish shows every time I have ever touched it. I've compared it to Squier and Fender teles, this guitar sounds just like a 72' thinline but I like the neck better, the body of the Fender is more hollow, but that's okay, I like mine just the way it is. Like I said earlier, Coil-tap and B-stock would have been nice, but in all actuality for twice the price this guitar would have been a steal, for it's current price it's unbelievable, if you want one and your questioning whether it's worth it, it is.
I'll be putting up a video review of this guitar on Youtube in a few weeks, just search the model name and you'll find it. // 10