Xaviere XV-820

Monday, June 30, 2008| by Will Chen

 

Guitarfetish is one of a handful of sites which truly balances affordability and quality and their Xaviere brand is a prime example. I recently got my hands on an ash trans honey XV-820 for review.

The review model featured a three piece body which is joined to nicely hide this fact from the front. The 25 ½” scale medium C shaped neck is comfortable with absolutely perfect fretwork the full length of the rosewood fretboard. I’m not sure of the exact fretboard radius, but it’s definitely not the round radius you find on many Teles and Tele tributes which is a big plus in my book. While they claim not to set the guitars up prior to shipment, mine arrived set up nicely with no buzzes and decent action. The neck feels great and bending is a breeze. To my surprise, even the stock strings were playable. Slightly raising the pickups is the only adjustment I felt necessary.

Solid is the word that comes to mind holding the guitar. There are no visible construction flaws and all the parts appear of high quality. The neck pocket, a spot where affordable guitars usually reveal flaws, is tight and clean.

The guitar holds tuning well, although the tuning peg action felt pretty stiff. I imagine they would break in after a while, but only time will tell.

One of the selling points of Xaviere guitars is champagne electronics on a beer budget. The XV-820 is fitted with vintage output GFS pickups (“Fat TC Alnico” in the bridge and the matching “Classic TC Alnico” at the neck) which live up to the hype. The bridge has all the twang and bite you would expect, but the neck was a very nice surprise. Tele neck pickups, especially in this price range, are often muddy and undefined. Not the case here. The neck retains plenty of definition as well as the warmth you would expect from a good Tele neck pickup. Very well done.

The XV-820 delivered across the wide tonal spectrum you would expect from a good Tele easily crossing from country to rock to jazz without issue. A sure sign of a good guitar is loosing track of time while playing, and I found myself lost quite a few times. However, as I mentioned earlier, the pickups are vintage output so don’t expect it to match the output of a humbucker or P90.

The volume knob is effective across the entire sweep however the tone knob is pretty subtle until the last quarter rotation.

All in all, the Xaviere is an excellent guitar in this price bracket which would easily sell for twice the price with a recognizable name on the headstock. I would not hesitate recommending this guitar to anyone searching for an affordable Tele alternative.

Price: ~$170 USD
Pros: Excellent playability, good tones
Cons: Tone knob could be more effective

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Filed Under: Xaviere, Reviews