XV-890HH review by Xaviere

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (14 votes)
Xaviere: XV-890HH
1

Price paid: $ 239

Purchased from: GuitarFetish.com

Sound — 7
I play mostly rock/metal. Lots of 80's hair bands. However, I just turned 41 and I wanted something to go along with my other guitars, but look classy instead of looking like a shred machine. For that purpose, this guitar can bring it. I realize that everyone has their own taste in pickup sound, but these factory Crunchy Pat pickups seem fine. I had to back the bass side off a bit as it was overwhelming the treble, but otherwise, no complaints. Pickups can hit harmonics just fine. Not a ton of sustain, but enough. Sound leans toward a bright sound, as this is the nature of poplar wood. Only played on one of my setups, but at full volume and tone, I get a slight hum. Not sure if it was the guitar or the way I had my rig set up at the time. I was using a Line 6 mobile pod with my iPad at the time and had pulled up a user created tone. I was listening through headphones. I will plug into my DigiTech RP350 and do more testing after I post this.

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing on an off for 20 years. As I said, I play metal/rock with an emphasis on hair band stuff. I own 20 guitars: Dean, B.C. Rich, Douglas, Anthem, Shine, Floyd, SX, Gibson, Kramer, etc. The quality of this guitar for the price I paid is AMAZING (especially with the original Floyd Rose Special). I wouldn't hesitate to purchase it again. I've been looking at this axe for 6 months, but have seen no reviews, which is why I decided to write this up. I believe GFS partnered with ESP/LTD guitars to manufacture this axe (because of the paperwork that came with the guitar). If stolen, I would buy another one. I chose this axe because of the sweet looks, the quality hardware, and the transparent ocean blue color. Thing I like best is the overall quality and that there were no flaws on the guitar when I received it. Thing I like least is the small string offset toward the treble side. I may swap out the pickups or the pups at some point. That's all. Buy it!

Reliability & Durability — 9
If I gigged, I would not hesitate to gig with this guitar. It's solid. The hardware is quality. The original Floyd stays in tune fine. The finish is nice and seems like it would stand up to time. The strap buttons are anchored well. All around good job in this category.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I'm a HUGE stickler for action, fit and finish. I collect guitars, and if they aren't perfect when I receive them in the mail, I send them back. Thankfully, this guitar came out of the box nearly perfect. Cosmetically, it was perfect. Thankfully, the neck was straight and the frets were level. I've bought other GFS guitars that went back because they needed a fret job out of the box. This one is fine. No scratches, dings, etc. It just needed a setup. I tuned it, set the string action, checked relief, adjusted pickup height, made sure the Floyd was balanced, checked intonation, and that was it. It wasn't ready to play out of the box and needed a setup (all guitars do, so I'm not deducting points for this). Make sure you know how to set up a Floyd or just take it to your local guitar shop. My ONLY complaint, and this is a nitpick, but when the neck was glued in, the strings are *slightly* offset toward the treble side of the neck. Meaning there is less space from the high E to the neck edge (treble side), and more space between the low E to the edge of the neck (bass side). Not a huge deal, but not perfect, so I'm deducting a point here. If it were a bolt-on, I could just loosen the screws and pull the neck to one side to balance the strings, but I can't do that with this set neck.

Features — 9
Made in Indonesia, in 2012. 24 medium-jumbo nickel silver frets. Body is Popular. Top is flamed maple. Neck is SET, solid maple with a rosewood fingerboard. Superstrat style. Bridge is a GENUINE Floyd Rose Special. Passive Pickups. Bridge is a GFS Crunchy Pat, and Neck is also a Crunchy Pat. 1 volume, 1 tone. 3 way switch. GFS tuners with a locking nut. Included SIT strings, a whammy bar, and some allen wrenches.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    GazzaCee
    RndyW0 wrote: GAS Syndrome much? Haha, but on a more serious note that's an excellent review man. Sounds like excellent value with that Floyd on there as well. Couple of questions though, what amps have you been playing it through? Have you tried it through more than one amp?
    GAS stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome. You just said "Gear Acquisition Syndrome Syndrome much?".
    Xphyle
    Guys, the string offset is less than you are making it out to be. If it was bad, I would send the guitar back. It just isn't perfect. It's not like the high e strings is slipping off the frets or anything. Barely noticeable. A nitpick, as I said. I'll answer more questions soon.
    Seref
    You could fix the string spacing by getting a new nut blank and slotting it where you want the strings to be. A decent corian or graphite nut blank is like $7.
    saint_berzerker
    "My ONLY complaint, and this is a nitpick, but when the neck was glued in, the strings are *slightly* offset toward the treble side of the neck. Meaning there is less space from the high E to the neck edge (treble side), and more space between the low E to the edge of the neck (bass side). Not a huge deal, but not perfect, so I'm deducting a point here. If it were a bolt-on, I could just loosen the screws and pull the neck to one side to balance the strings, but I can't do that with this set neck." Holy living hell! You only deducted 1 point for this!?!
    sstony
    A set neck that is that is offset, thats more like -100 points and should have been rejected before leaving the factory. I do QC for guitars and if something like came my way it would have been trashed. Get your money back.
    RndyW0
    GAS Syndrome much? Haha, but on a more serious note that's an excellent review man. Sounds like excellent value with that Floyd on there as well. Couple of questions though, what amps have you been playing it through? Have you tried it through more than one amp?
    Xphyle
    RndyW0 wrote: GAS Syndrome much? Haha, but on a more serious note that's an excellent review man. Sounds like excellent value with that Floyd on there as well. Couple of questions though, what amps have you been playing it through? Have you tried it through more than one amp?
    So far, I've played it through a mobile pod via my iPad and it sounds great. But I dial in whatever tone I want. I have also played it through my Digitech RP350 which I have hooked up to my PC to record with. Again, it sounds amazing. I out through some studio monitors. I've also used it through a Fender Mustang III. Great modeling amp. This weekend I will play it through a Fender Tube amp and will report back. The more I play it, the more I like it. Think I will keep the pups, also. Money well spent.
    Xphyle
    One note. The picture above is an xv-890, but it has a different pickup configuration than what I have reviewed. My humbuckers are chrome. That one above has an SSH config and WHITE pups, which I feel are fugly.
    Xphyle
    Xphyle wrote: One note. The picture above is an xv-890, but it has a different pickup configuration than what I have reviewed. My humbuckers are chrome. That one above has an SSH config and WHITE pups, which I feel are fugly.
    Cool! They posted the correct picture! Ahhh just love that Trans Ocean Blue.