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Cheap guitars are great, especially when they sound, play, and feel good. The Xaviere line of guitars from Guitar Fetish are definitely in the budget category, but they seem to deliver quite well in tone and playability.
Xaivere XV-570 Specs
- Body: Mahogany, Top: Maple (Guitar Fetish describes the thickness at ‘thick’
- Neck/Fingerboard: Mahogany/Rosewood
- Hardware/wiring is not name brand – not sure where these parts are sourced.
- Pickups: GFS Minitron Nashville Pair
The XV-570 is based on a Les Paul (they offer models based off popular guitar designs – mostly from Fender, Gibson, and Gretsch), but to me it feels almost more like a Gretsch. It really reminds me of a Pro Jet, although it’s quite a bit different given the more LP type body and the fact that it’s a semi-hollow. The silver sparkle and filtertron pickups are definitely 100% Gretsch, though.
The guitar has a solid mahogany body with a maple top, mahogany neck, and rosewood fingerboard. The electronics and hardware are not name brand, but they feel great. I wouldn’t see any need to replace the nut, tuners, or even pots, or bridge. It all works. The pickups are Guitar Fetish’s own GFS Minitron Nashville Pair, and for what you pay for them, they sound fantastic.
Filtertrons are really popular these days for a reason. They are humbuckers, so you get the sort of thick rich tone that you think about with humbuckers, but they are also nice and chimey. You could really say that they have qualities of a vintage style humbucker, a strat, and a tele. They don’t really sound like any one of those kinds of guitars, but you can hear qualities of them in them.
These GFS filtertrons (technically they’re minitrons) are really good. They cost about $35 each if you buy them on their own, but affordability aside – they sound great – particularly the bridge. It cuts through a mix nicely, but doesn’t sound shrill or thin. A great mix of grit, chime, and sparkle. The neck is darker (which isn’t a bad thing) and muddier (this is a bad thing).
What I really like
The highlight of the guitar for me is the that bridge pickup – it really does sound great. Plus the overall value of the guitar as a whole. You’ll pay $269 for the guitar, and that is a sweet deal. I don’t really feel like I need to change anything. You could certainly upgrade parts to get better tone or performance, but it’s ready to play (and play on stage) right out of the box.
I’m not a huge fan of the sharpness of the cut-away, but that’s a design thing. It’s a Florentine cut-away, which you find on some very high-end instruments. Other than that, I can’t really say anything that bad about the guitar. The headstock is a bit boring design-wise, but it’s not offensive (like a lot of budget brand guitars can be, including some Xaviere’s). Again, this is a cosmetic thing.
Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend the XV-570 for someone looking for a single-cut semi-hollow filtertron-equipped (that’s quite a specific wish-list, ha) guitar on a budget.
As a side-note, I purchased this guitar from the ‘blem’ section. It was marked down significantly, and then there was a 25% off sale on top of that. It was way below the normal price. The website said the blem was finish scratches on the back, but I didn’t find any. What I did find was build-up of the poly finish in the F-holes. Looks like someone got a bit sloppy when spraying (or manning the machine that was spraying). I’d recommend looking in their clearance section for blems – you can find some really great deals.