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Thread: Xaviere XV870 Photos & Review

  1. #1
    Addicted to solder.... duhvoodooman's Avatar
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    Default Xaviere XV870 Photos & Review

    Let's start out with the photos. Here's how the guitar looks now, three days after I received it. Thoroughly cleaned up, protective plastic removed, and neck properly oiled. Photos are taken in daylight, to give most accurate idea of the actual color. I was in a shaded area of my front porch, so the only thing I did was to brighten them a bit so that they didn't look artificially dark:



    Brief review to follow shortly....
    DVM's Ever-Expanding Gear List:

    Guitars - '05 Gibson Custom Historic Series '59 Reissue (R9); '11 PRS Studio; '08 Heritage H-555 Semi-hollowbody; '12 Fender American Standard Stratocaster; '89 Fender Strat Plus; '10 Agile AL-3000; '12 G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-hollowbody; " Kwik-Keef Konvertible" '09 Squier CV '50s Telecaster; '10 Squier CV Telecaster Custom; '12 Squier Vintage Modified Cabronita Tele + Bigsby; '12 Xaviere XV-890HSS w/ FR Trem; '12 Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE; '71 Yamaha FG-300

    Amps & Cabs - Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 10" combo; ultra-modded Fender Blues Junior; Vox AC15 Heritage handwired 1x12 combo; Allen Sweet Spot kit amp; BYOC Tweed Royal kit amp (switchable 5E3/5F1 hybrid); Homebuilt 1.5W Firefly Head; Epiphone Valve Jr. combo + mods; Jet City Picovalve 5W head; Drive 2x12 cab w/ Celestion G12M Greenback + G12H30; AB Custom Audio 1x12 cab w/ Celestion Alnico Blue (UK made)

    Pedals/Effects - Too many to count, including TONS of DVM's Home-built Pedals - See some of 'em HERE and HERE, TOO!

    DVM's Gear Photos
    Visit MY WEBSITE!

  2. #2
    Addicted to solder.... duhvoodooman's Avatar
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    I purchased THIS Surf Green Xaviere XV870 Strat copy from GuitarFetish.com last weekend, and it arrived on Wednesday (I'm only about 150 miles away from their location outside Boston, MA). Here are the basic specs, as listed on the above linked product page:

    Body - Solid 3 Piece Poplar

    Neck - Solid Maple with Rosewood Fingerboard with Graphite Nut

    Fingerboard Radius - 12"

    Tremolo - Vintage USA spaced, Steel Baseplate, Full Sized Sustain Block

    Frets - 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver

    Pickups - GFS Vintage Alnico Staggers- Calibrated Set

    Tuners - Sealed Die Cast 14:1

    Scale Length - 25 1/2"

    Width at Nut - 1 21/32"

    Depth at 1st Fret - 0.75"

    Depth at Heel - 1.05"

    Average Weight - 7.25 lbs.

    I ordered it with no case, and it arrived securely double-boxed and well packed. Upon unpacking it, I found the guitar came with a trem bar (of course!), inexpensive 8' cord, and Allen wrenches for truss rod and bridge-piece adjustment.

    Upon initial inspection, I was pleased to see that the quality of fit and finish looked to be very good, overall. The finish of the body and neck appeared flawless, and I like the tint of the neck--slightly amber but not too dark, as I've seen with some of the SX Strats. The rosewood fingerboard was obviously in need of a good oiling and the frets were a bit dirty here and there with what looked to be a polishing compound residue, but I expect to do some clean-up on a new guitar straight out of the factory carton. All the hardware mounting looked tidy and professional. The lone flaw I could see was a poor job of finishing around the cut-out line of the pickguard. The cut was rather uneven and ragged looking in several spots, though a few minutes with a piece of fine sandpaper would resolve that quickly enough.

    The overall feel and playability of the instrument was also very good. The neck is dead-straight, as good as I've ever seen. Set-up was excellent, with a nice, fast action. There was a very slight amount of buzz on a couple of frets with the low E string, but it appeared that the bridge piece was just set a bit too low for that string, so a quick adjustment cured that problem. I haven't checked the intonation yet with a tuner, but it's very close by ear. The frets are of a medium gauge, and the neck has the noticeably flat feel that you'd expect with it's 12" radius. The neck profile is what I'd assume they call a "D", and neither particularly thick or thin. I find the guitar very comfortable and natural feeling to play.

    The strings were, as expected, cheap and a bit corroded, but I always expect to have to restring a new guitar, so no surprise there. The tuners work well, making small pitch adjustments nicely and holding tune quite well. No buzzes or rattles from any loose hardware--everything seemed to be tightened down well.

    Plugging in the guitar to my Fender Blues Junior, I was greeted by a very sweet, clear vintage Strat tone from the GFS Vintage Alnico Stagger pickup set. Very nice! The tone from all three pickups was typical of their position, and positions 2 and 4 on the 5-way switch "quack" nicely! The pickup resistances for neck, middle and bridge measure 5.2K, 5.2K and 5.4K, respectively--very much vintage range values. However, while playing around with the switch positions, I noticed a fairly significant assembly mistake had been made--the #4 position was not hum-cancelling, as it should have been, though position 2 was OK. The bridge and middle pickups had been switched during assembly, causing this behavior. While only a minor inconvenience to me, because I do my own tech work, this could be a significant annoyance to someone else who had to return the guitar or take it to a shop for the fix. To be fair, the guitar still sounds great, even with the mistake, and a little position 4 hum probably won't even be noticed by many players. After all, positions 1, 3 and 5 hum anyway!

    The electronics work well, with no scratchiness or other anomalies evident. I did notice that the linearity of the controls was rather poor, though. The volume knob's major effect was between 7 and 10, and the tone pots did most of their work between 1 and 5. While I was "under the hood" fixing the swapped pickups, I checked the pots and found that the volume used a linear taper 500K pot, while the tone controls both used audio taper 500K's. This is backwards from what I usually see--audio taper for volume and linear taper for tone. They work well enough, but their useful span is just shortened, making fine adjustments a little trickier. I'll probably change them at some point, but they're fine for now.

    I don't use a trem bar much, but this one feels pretty beefy and fits snuggly. The three springs hold it down tightly, so it only works to relax tension at this point. I don't like the tuning hassles of a floating trem, so I'll leave it that way. It's very stiff now, but I expect it will limber up some with use.

    No, Tone, I still haven't tried out the truss rod adjustment, because the neck is just perfect as is!

    Well, that's about all I can think of for now. If anybody has any questions, just chime in!

    Overall DVM Rating: **** 4 out of 5 stars, with the factory assembly issues mentioned above holding the XV870 back from a 5-star rating.
    DVM's Ever-Expanding Gear List:

    Guitars - '05 Gibson Custom Historic Series '59 Reissue (R9); '11 PRS Studio; '08 Heritage H-555 Semi-hollowbody; '12 Fender American Standard Stratocaster; '89 Fender Strat Plus; '10 Agile AL-3000; '12 G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-hollowbody; " Kwik-Keef Konvertible" '09 Squier CV '50s Telecaster; '10 Squier CV Telecaster Custom; '12 Squier Vintage Modified Cabronita Tele + Bigsby; '12 Xaviere XV-890HSS w/ FR Trem; '12 Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE; '71 Yamaha FG-300

    Amps & Cabs - Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 10" combo; ultra-modded Fender Blues Junior; Vox AC15 Heritage handwired 1x12 combo; Allen Sweet Spot kit amp; BYOC Tweed Royal kit amp (switchable 5E3/5F1 hybrid); Homebuilt 1.5W Firefly Head; Epiphone Valve Jr. combo + mods; Jet City Picovalve 5W head; Drive 2x12 cab w/ Celestion G12M Greenback + G12H30; AB Custom Audio 1x12 cab w/ Celestion Alnico Blue (UK made)

    Pedals/Effects - Too many to count, including TONS of DVM's Home-built Pedals - See some of 'em HERE and HERE, TOO!

    DVM's Gear Photos
    Visit MY WEBSITE!

  3. #3
    Regular Fretter Tone2TheBone's Avatar
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    That's a really pretty guitar Bob. Very very nice. The surf green color is exactly like my Fender's.

  4. #4
    Regular Fretter Duff's Avatar
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    Default Waiting anxiously

    Can't wait for the review.

    That is a nice looking guitar and I could see getting one. I have been thinking about getting one for a couple weeks. Looks like a nice strat with possibly some great sound with those GFS pickups. Are they stacked single coils?

    I like the sea foam green. I don't know what type of neck I like best, but the maple boards are usually coated with poly that I have noticed peels off on older guitars, and the rosewood is porus and can be oiled. I really like the idea of oiling the board and do it frequently with mine. There is supposed to be a darker tone with the rosewood as well.

    It'll be interesting to get the whole review on the tone of the guitar and the pros and cons.

    Good luck with it,

    Duffy

  5. #5

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    All this talk of the Xaviere's ordered one last night

  6. #6
    Addicted to solder.... duhvoodooman's Avatar
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    Cool! I expect you'll like it. I'll be interested to hear if your switch position 4 cancels hum or not.

    BTW, I've got the full review posted above now....
    DVM's Ever-Expanding Gear List:

    Guitars - '05 Gibson Custom Historic Series '59 Reissue (R9); '11 PRS Studio; '08 Heritage H-555 Semi-hollowbody; '12 Fender American Standard Stratocaster; '89 Fender Strat Plus; '10 Agile AL-3000; '12 G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-hollowbody; " Kwik-Keef Konvertible" '09 Squier CV '50s Telecaster; '10 Squier CV Telecaster Custom; '12 Squier Vintage Modified Cabronita Tele + Bigsby; '12 Xaviere XV-890HSS w/ FR Trem; '12 Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE; '71 Yamaha FG-300

    Amps & Cabs - Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 10" combo; ultra-modded Fender Blues Junior; Vox AC15 Heritage handwired 1x12 combo; Allen Sweet Spot kit amp; BYOC Tweed Royal kit amp (switchable 5E3/5F1 hybrid); Homebuilt 1.5W Firefly Head; Epiphone Valve Jr. combo + mods; Jet City Picovalve 5W head; Drive 2x12 cab w/ Celestion G12M Greenback + G12H30; AB Custom Audio 1x12 cab w/ Celestion Alnico Blue (UK made)

    Pedals/Effects - Too many to count, including TONS of DVM's Home-built Pedals - See some of 'em HERE and HERE, TOO!

    DVM's Gear Photos
    Visit MY WEBSITE!

  7. #7
    Regular Fretter street music's Avatar
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    That is a very nice looking guitar, I bet it sounds great.

  8. #8

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    This will be the third XV870 to cross my door step one was a gift,went yesterday to double check position 4 and it is ok, the one that some scumbag took from me was also ok although I did change the pots out for smoother roll off in volume and tone.

  9. #9
    Master Fretter Eric's Avatar
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    Default

    I just read this now, and I found it interesting what you found about the linear and audio taper pots. That's how the 335 copy (XV-900) I bought from them is as well, at least on the volume knobs. It annoyed me to no end until I found out about the logarithmic audio pots, at which point I thought it might be related to that. I suppose knowing that it's not necessarily a defect makes me feel a lot better.

    Good to know and nice review.

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