Price paid: $ 126
Purchased from: GuitarFetish.com
Sound — 8
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.
Overall Impression — 7
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.
Reliability & Durability — 6
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.
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
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.
Features — 7
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.