Last week we wrote a piece asking, you, the reader, if Xaviere Guitars are junk. The responses we received in the comment section was significant to our research and the debate was a great success. We’ve spent some time reading through the comments and determined that a handful of folks, out of a 100+ comments, posted their bad experiences from GuitarFetish and Xaviere guitars, while many posted their positive experiences.
UPDATED READ: I Purchased an Xaviere XV-550 Guitar and Here Are My Thoughts
The Argument –
One of the most shared arguments by our readers is ‘even big companies have their fair share problems’, we agree 100% — that’s indisputable. Some readers rebutted the arguments by pointing out that Xaviere sales-ratio is much lower to companies like Gibson, Fender.. or even RondoMusic (Agile guitars), therefore, the bad experiences should be lower than it currently is — which that also makes sense. After all, you can refer to Harmony-Central’s review section to see that Xaviere XV-500 guitars have 28 reviews with 3 or 4 bad reviews that stand out, while Agile AL-2000 guitars have 68 reviews with 3 bad reviews that stand out. What does this mean? Does this mean these guitars are more hit and miss than other budget guitars, and does Jay from GuitarFetish always take care of his customers?
The Cause –
Some G-V readers had the impression that we were unjustly criticizing GuitarFetish and Xaviere Guitars, which is the farthest thing from the truth; we love high-quality, low-priced guitars. But the question remains the same; is Xaviere the best they can be? That’s why we are asking our readers for their personal experiences with the company.
Let’s take a look at the more positive side of the Xaviere guitars, with this, we’ll turn to some Harmony-Central reviews to see what the people are saying about these guitars; their own hands-on review:
By guitarboy63 – XV 500: “I ordered an XV-500 blem. $179.00 US plus $98.00 US for shipping. Being a blem, I wasn’t expecting perfection, but when I opened the box, it was stunning! This is a Les Paul style guitar with GFS Crunchy PAF pickups.”
By Martin Mc Andrew XV 550: “The factory setup was non existent and was completely unplayable out of the box. After a full setup I couldn’t believe the quality. It plays better then ANY Gibson LP I’ve played. Shocking but true. The neck is like butter! “
Readers Reaction –
This brings us to our readers biggest disagreement. The readers reaction to “Xaviere Guitars are JUNK?” article was claimed to be more one-sided, bias and only pointed out the negative reviews from Harmony-Central and hands-on reviews from message forums. While we did point out one of the biggest concerns from GuitarFetish customers, which was poor customer service, we also emphasized–from the user-reviews–how nice the guitar sounds with GFS pickups. The positive reviews for GFS pickups was overwhelming excellent. However, we did have one comment out of 108 from a G-V reader stating that he thought the GFS pickups were muddy. Obviously, until we can get our hands on some Xaviere guitars for a full, balls-to-the-wall, Gear-Vault review, we cannot recommend or condemn GuitarFetish and Xavier guitars.
Let’s take a look at some of Harmony-Central reviews on how players love the sound of their Xaviere guitars:
By Cedric Lejeune – XV 500: “The pickups are great, combinations with split give a nice range of different sounds, they are not just gimmicks. Sound wise it sits somewhere between a SG and a Les Paul, can really sing. I was surprised by the quality of jazzy tones I could get using my Fender Music Master but I use it mostly on rock leads and rythms where my Carvin Vintage 16 does a great job.”
By HermG – XV 800: “Everybody seems to be pretty much in agreement that the sound is excellent. I do too. I play through an old Musicman 130 HD and a carvin AG-100. The quality of sound is truly excellent.”
As you can see, Xaviere guitars do have positive reviews that go along with some of it’s negative reviews. Does the pros out-weigh the cons? You decide.
We’ll leave you with a Xaviere XV-550 video demo courtesy of razberyjamdeltaV
This article and the previous article should never have been posted in the first place. Your methodology is so asinine that it’s ridiculous that people are taking this serious.
If you want to do an article on a guitar, get the FACTS. Citing posts that people have submitted on various online forums is laughable. Unless you personally know the individuals whose posts you cited, there is no way to authenticate or validate their information. You have no idea if the person is a 13 year old kid who can only play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or it is seasoned veteran with years of musical experience making the post. If you want to get an idea about what “real” musicians think of a guitar, hand them that guitar, let them play it, then ask what they think. Don’t just peruse internet forums to pick out bits and pieces from sources that have no credability!
I don’t know anything about Xaviere guitars, never seen one, and never played one so don’t confuse this comment because I’m trying to defend something. I simply see a HORRIBLE attempt at an article here with so many flaws that the author should be embarassed. I honestly hope that you take a closer look at your work and try to do better in the future.
I have two Xaviere guitars, XV-870(Strat) and an XV-510(Les Paul). It is true that they’re customer service is lacking. They don’t have a phone number to call, and the only way to communicate with them is through email. I believe they operate this way to keep their overhead low so they can keep costs down. As far as the quality of guitars they produce, it is my opinion that they are pretty decent. I did not experience any problems with either guitar, and they were pretty damn good out of the box. Neither one of them had any cosmetic issues, but both did require professional set ups. I have since purchased more expensive high quality instruments, but I must say I still pull out my Xavieres to play from time to time. I especially liked the Les Paul copy, and did not change a thing to it. I play it just as it was sold. They are fun decent guitars, and the are REALLY cheap! I hope this sheds some light on your debate, and I would definitely recommend these guitars.
greetings, just got my xaviere xv-550 semi hollow les paul the other day.Guitar arrived(in case)very well packed,tobacco sunburst very nice(real top),beautiful mahogony back,neck is between thin and baseball bat so perfect,frets are done nicely and set pretty well,definetly a looker.Upon closer examination some paint flubs around corners and f-holes,but keep in mind $326 to my door with a case,I can live with what will not be seen unless you point it out.Here is what work was done to guitar,changed out cheep plastic nut with a bone nut,adjust neck(not bad)which responded easily and stayed,adjusted intonation(only 2 out)and tightened nut on volumn pot.thats to be expected with any guitar not set up from local guitar shop.NOW heres the good stuff, guitar plays beutifully,the pickups are incrediable(hot and vintage)don’t lose highs when volumn turned down(to me best I’ve had at that). I have 40 years playing experience,all types of music,professional and jamming,I own 15 guitars(61’gibson es 165,fender big apple strat,custom telecaster,gibson firebird,hagston 12 sting,get the idea,I KNOW HOW IT SUPPOSED TO FUNCTION.This guitar is utterly amazing in sound and is a joy to play,they answered my e-mail promptly.This guitar will be taking my tele’s place on the bandstand,IT ROCKS AND SPEWS JAZZ BLUES RIFTS LIKE NOBODYS BUSSINESS.RECOMENDED HIGHLY,THANKS FOR LISTENING
Thanks for posting such a thorough review Glenn. I’m glad you are enjoying your guitar. I’m sure others will find your post helpful. Keep rockin!
I recently purchased an Xaviere guitar. I did my research and just like this article I heard hit and miss stuff. On the otherhand it was disposable money for me because I work many hours(12-16 a day, 6 days a week) and barely have the time to crank up my Peavey and play/record some Sabbathy tunes at home. I have an Epiphone Les Paul, a Jackson King V, and previously owned a BC Rich Warlock to name a few. Decent stuff that I paid $500-$800. I keep cheap guitars because a little fretwork and some new pickups really help plus alot of meth heads and crackheads live in the surrounding area. When I received my XV-510 I was shocked at the finish on it. It’s a quilt top amber sunrise and while it wasn’t the dark amber color that’s on the site it still looked great. I showed it to family members who were surprised at the price I paid. When I plugged it into my amp, I had a better tone than my Epiphone. I can achieve the sludge tones my favorite bands had whether it was EyeHateGod, Neurosis, Minsk, Isis, Godflesh, Buzzov-en and etc. I don’t need to fiddle with the EQ much on the amp. I did get to compare it soundwise to a coworker’s 50s Gibson Les Paul which was pretty good. He picked up my guitar and played it. He was surprised with how well it felt and sounded. Minor fret buzz and a loose jack but that was all he could complain about. These are my two cents. I’m about to buy another 510 but a vintage sunburst and install GFS’s Fat Pat pickups and see how that goes.
Great post Jeremy! Glad to hear you like it. I was going to buy a Xaviere for a full hands on review and give it away for our next guitar giveaway… but went with something else to giveaway. Their guitars do look very sexy.
I just received a Xaviere 500 Les Paul type design, all solid mahogany with 3/4″ figured maple top. I must say this is stunning. Fortunately the setup was minimal… some intonation and pickup height. I took a chance with this purchase because of the price. An original Gibson LP or Epiphone high end was a bit out of my reach. I’m a mostly a studio musician and needed a different sound. I have Strats. Right away I was satisfied with the sound and controls responses of the XV500. The neck is fast and comfortable. This is now a very welcome addition to my stable. Look… many of the high end guitar manufacturers also have some bad results. I’ve played some. It’s a chance you take sometimes.
I just bought one of these things. A clearance special for like $165.00. It’s supposed to be cosmetically blemished but I can’t find any issues. It’s a semi hollow body LP style guitar with P-90s. The quilted maple top is spectacular. It plays great right out of the box although I have put a heavier guage string on it. Action is decent (I may lower it a bit)and it has the feel of a ’60s Gibson hollowbody. Very springy and easy to play. Not sure what gives a guitar that quality. Some have it some don’t. I’m a strat guy but have some Les Pauls also. This guitar sounds really nice. I think it’a more about the wood than the pickups. I’ve had a few Epiphones and they all sounded like crap. This guitar definitely blows them away. If this thing had the large jumbo frets you typically find on high end American guitars it would kick ass. That’s really the only improvement I would make. For the money these guitars are a no brainer. I’m going to buy one of the Strat style guitars next. Cheers!
I’m in my mid 60’s and have been gigging since my early teens. In my youth there weren’t very many quality guitars that I personally could afford. Things have changed for the better and at my time of life I can now pretty much afford any guitar I desire. I currently own twenty-seven electric guitars ranging from less than two hundred dollars thru Les Pauls from the Custom Shop. I’m not collecting them to collect them, I keep the ones I really enjoy playing. In the past twenty or so years I’ve bought about sixty electric guitars and gotten rid of the ones that just didn’t measure up for one reason or another.. I’ve found that name and price does not always mean the best or worst quality. Fact is, I’ve gotten rid of some really expensive guitars that just didn’t cut it. What it comes down to in the end is that two guitars built the same day, same brand, same model, same color, one number difference in serial number, are still two different guitars, and can feel and sound different. I’ve found that there are great cheap guitars and lousy expensive guitars. Not to insult anybody, but some comments on the net are made by very young inexperienced posters. Kinda like:
“I’ve been in the Army all day and I like it…..”
I’ve never bought a guitar that I haven’t played first. If you do, you are taking the chance that there man be some defect, shipping damage, or what ever that will cost you – if nothing more than time – to get corrected. I do however like the looks and prices I see on the Guitarfetish website………hmmmmmmm….
Now I wouldn’t send Gibson a check for six thousand dollars for a mail order guitar, but for the prices at Guitarfetish, I’m tempted to gamble.
My review of the second XV-510, I noticed one small blemish and once again I had problems getting the old strings out. The ball ends of the strings are simply very big and get jammed in. The blemish looked like a crack underneath the laminate but it’s barely noticeable. I still love the tones I get out of it when connected to my Peavey half stack. I even took the suggestion from a producer/recording engineer I talked to at a bar, Sanford Parker, and see what overdriven tones I can get out of it from a small $20 first act practice amp. I used my MXR Carbon Copy, my Fuzzhugger Algal Bloom, my Fuzzhugger AB-Synth, my Electro-Harmonix Big Muff, Electro-Harmonix Ram’s Head Big Muff, and my Electro-Harmonix russian Big Muff. I could coax some great sounds no matter what. It simply has a great tone no matter what you use. Take my word or not but I’m going to convince buddys in bands about it.
Oh and by the way, I own two Xaviere guitars. A strat and a tele ” keefe” and they are both great guitars. I do agree that they all need set up and a string change out of the box.
Like several posters here, I own a number of quality guitars, both basses and 6-strings and have built a number as well.
It was parts and pickups for the builds that got me to GuitarFetish in the first place. I’ve had a number of orders now and some of them were pretty large. Errors in order picking are not uncommon and are not responded to when pointed out. Cost wise, it’s not worth pursuing. Most of the 250K pots I got were junk and several simply didn’t work and took re-wiring an entire guitar before I suspected the pots.
Pickups: All round, pretty good. P90’s I like alot and are the best pups I’ve had from them yet. I plan on testing the Fuller-trons in a current thin-line hollow tele build.
Bass Pups: The MM bass pickups was a bit thin, bu the P-Bass set was solid.
Their newer releases seem superior. Had good results with humbuckers and traditional neck tele pickups.
I tried GFS tele pickups in a build as a test; the tele “rail” pickup were worthless and may have been discontinued, as was a standard tele bridge pup that even for a tele, microphoniced excessively. GF used to claim their pickups where as good as the high end boutiques; however, compared with the Joe Barden’s I eventuality opted for in the tele and Jazz Bass, they don’t rate, but, they are also only a fraction of the price.
The Neovin and Professional Series may be a whole lot better, but I haven’t tried them. At the price though, I would certainly risk a set to try them out.
Their pick guards, knobs and the like are excellent as well.
Currently rebuilding an Esquire 51 with a GFS P90 and a 180 in the bridge and like the result.
Overall, they ship fast, prices are good but are sloppy at pulling large parts orders.
I had a fairly negative experience with Xaviere guitars and Jay. This was a couple years ago. Ordered a Zemaitis copy that looked cool as all get-out, but there was a bump on along the neck that made setting it up difficult. I also just thought the guitar seemed pretty cheap and so decided to send it back. Jay was not easy to work with, and told me that particular guitar was a blem (it wasn’t listed that way!) and therefore no return was possible. I had to threaten calling my credit card company and contesting the charge and then he finally caved. Not a good experience, but this was 2-3 yrs ago, so maybe things have improved. -eric
Eric, I decided to purchase one after doing a lot of research. A couple of years ago they had terrible QC but then people started posting pictures on Harmony Central’s forums. Jay is a frequent poster on Harmony Central and most of his business derives from forums like that. I’ve seen a few posts which then he offered refunds probably to save his reputation.
I will state that I looked at the Xaviere link from Guitar Fetish, just because they offer an ES-335 copy for under 300 bucks. I have bought a pre-wired pickguard through them to put on a Squier II Strat copy. After trying to make it fit, I gave up and transferred the electronics to the original pickguard. I must say, the single coils have phenomenal output and sound quality through an old Sunn Concert Lead with a 412 cab. I would definitely by electronics though them again.
I read an article in VintageGuitar magazine that praised the xv-700 that they were reviewing. Totally cool looking black Zemaitis rip w/ zebra pickups. When I saw the price I made a note to give one of these things a try(I can’t afford the real thing) then I lost the mag, so was kinda SOL. I finally remembered the website and purchased an xv-700( this is the slimline model,7#’s I don’t think they have ’em anymore) It was a blem but after careful scrutiny I couldn’t find a problem. The thing screams and the neck is like buddah.For $266.00 for S&H and a case even if you decided to smash it it would be worth it!
I own 2 XV-500’s (The LP version), bought as a blemish, and play them live all the time. I run them through a Hot Rod Deluxe, with Boss Overdrive and Chorus. These things rock ! All I did was adjust the action a little and change the strings to my trusty Ernie Ball Slinky’s. Both pickups are great,and the blemish is just a little clear coat run that you can’t see unless I point it out. We play at least twice a month, to anywhere from 50-200 people, and have had people to ask me where I got these guitars at ! The rest of my bandmates love the tone I get from these babies, plus they look really great. Don’t be afraid to try them, you will love’em ! I will buy more.
I own two xaviers. Bought the JT90 last september(2010) and more recently their 445 model which is their version of epiphones LP SC with p90’s. The one common denominator with most of their guitars are the tuners and the fret jobs. The JT-90 needed only a normal setup and some minor fret dressing. The inline tuners work as well as any of the higher end guitars I have. Plays really well and is a very nice instrument. The 445 needed much more work. Fret job was the worst I’ve seen and the tuners just wouldn’t hold. Neck needed to be completely adjusted thru the truss rod. On the up side, It was a blem,and they were very slight. Its a stripped down guitar which is exactly what I wanted with this instrument. Gloss black with all chrome hardware. Very simple and elegant looking just as their promo says. The tone out of their P-90’s kills.I have an epi 56 goldtop reissue with P-90’s that I really love. But this 445 has more of a snarl to it. Bright with some real bite. Has a sound all their own. Very different from the epi. Both the JT90 and the 445 play well, extremly well but they both had to be set up properly. I wouldn’t hesitate to order from them again but you have to expect to do some work on them. Frets seem to be an issue for most as well as the tuners. I’m an old rocker with more than forty years playing behind me. The xaviere line, at least the two I have, were worth putting the work into. I have 12 guitars. These are deffinatly the cheapest ones I have, but they play very well up against my more expensive instruments and they offer something very different.
I received the XV-900 which is a copy of the ES-335 and I’m impressed. The flamed lemon drop finish on the website doesn’t do it justice. Overall well made with binding, and a very solid block of mahogany from the neck to the end pin. The frets will need some dressing (too high) and the tuners slip occasionally. It has a very bright tone, and with some fiddling on the bass, mid & treble it offers a lot of tone, plus it holds up very well with overdrive and distortion. I would definitely buy another one.
I bought the XV599 lemondrop LP copy. The first one they sent me was not acceptable. I think the order picker mistakenly put a return into the case and shipped it. Anyway, I sent pics of it and the UPS people picked it up within 3 days. A week later I received the one I have now. The guitar is even better looking than the pics in their advertisement. Plays like a dream and sounds better than some higher end guitars. I did have to lower the action a bit (personal preference). The weight on mine is right at 8.5 lbs. Really light for a solid LP style, and it really does have a 3/4 maple cap. Amazing. $318.00 total with a great case, and a finish that is just fantastic.
I can’t believe you would review a brand without even playing one.That’s just wrong.You could potentially damage this companys reputation based on just hearsay.I bought a $2200 Gibson that I had to return because it buzzed so bad I couldn’t even set it up properly.I’ve owned Ibanezes that I got rid of because they just never felt right.I own Epiphones and a Squire that are great guitars.I currently own an Xaviere XV-500 gold top w/crunchy pats.An unbelievable value for the price.If I’m not mistaken Harmony Central is operated by Guitar Center.Hmmmmm…Kinda fishy.(They love selling inexpensive guitars and probably don’t like alot of competition.Hmmmmm…)Most inexpensive guitars are mass produced in other countries and shipped in bulk to the dealers in the US.They don’t always inspect all of them and sometimes you get a lemon.That’s the risk you take when you shop online.
If I am reading the article correctly, the article states that G-V wants the readers to share their experience with Xaviere guitars. I don’t know why someone who has not tried or purchased this brand would want to comment. As for myself, I own one, and will definitely purchase another, if and when the mood strikes me. As a “lower priced” guitar nut, I also have a Rogue copy Hofner violin bass that really kicks butt on the solo switch, overal great sound/playability. The pick guard is pretty flimsy, I think it will be removed soon.
Hi – I bought an Xaviere XV-600 about 6 years ago for $164 when I was looking for some P-90 pickups. I thought “wow, cool – for less than I had budgeted I can get two P-90’s attached to a whole guitar”. Since then I have put my other guitars away and have made about $9,000 playing in local rock bands with that guitar – get great compliments on my sound every time. Used the extra money to buy an XV-500 (Les Paul), XV-620 (Tele Deluxe), and an XV-900 (ES-335). Still smile every time I strap one on or someone comes up to talk guitars. There’s no great mystery to making these classic guitars anymore. The components are all readily available at very high quality. It’s just how much you personally care about the nameplate on on the top.
This is a true hands on review of the XAVIERE XV-500.
The Guitar is not bad for what it is, but remember people, it is cheap for a reason, the pots are not alpha, they are chinese knockoffs, the woods are decent, and the top is a real flamed maple top, but that’s where the high marks end.
the frets leave more to be desired, reminded me of a cheapo Harnmony starter guitar, the frets needed to be leveled and crowned, the setup was terrible, after tweaking the guitar, it played decently, GFS pickups, they try to be something they are not, they sound like weak 490 series gibson pickups, the tuning keys needed new bushings, the orginal ones were dry and cracked, I replaced all of the electronics with CTS pots and switchcraft parts, I put in dimarzio paf’s, now the guitar actually sounds good, all in all in my opinion Rondo music’s agile is a better buy all around, you don’t have to mess with the guitars from Rondo as much as this one, and the majority of the agile’s are made in Korea, big difference in craftsmanship, also I do want to say that Guitar Fetish is a Joke, I purchased parts from them before on ebay that were supposed to fit a USA made les paul, and they didn’t, when I contacted them, all I got was excuses, I had to go over their heads to get a refund, this will more than likely be the last Xaviere I ever buy, gonna trade it or sell it, my comment, you get what you pay for, you can wish in one hand and crap in the other, which one get’s filled first?.
I recently bought an XVJB Jazz bass. I ordered an ivory model with a dark pick guard but they sent a solid white one. I decided I could live with it. The quality and sound of the bass was good, very comparable to my Squire Standard Jazz but for less money. I noticed it doesn’t hold its tune very well and the D and G strings got very twangy and I have not been able to rectify that issue myself so it’s gonna go to a guitar shop to get fixed. I assume it’s just the result of a very cold winter up here. For 189 bucks, it’s not a bad instrument.
I purchase one of the Tele hollow bodies with P90’s. Plays fine, sounds fine, the pups have plenty of bite, the neck pup Sounds full and rich. The tuners aren’t great, I’ll replace them with sperzles. Other than that, no complaints, I have Fenders, gibby’s, a heritage H535 and H150. I wanted something with P90’s for slide, this fit the bill perfectly, now I play it all the time. I’m not going to part with my other guitars but I will continue playing this guitar live, it’s got a very cool vibe.
I build guitars as a hobby, every guitar I own, I built myself. I must say that for anybody who buys a guitar from another country and expects it to be playable right out of the box, these people must be uneducated regarding guitars, ect. I get tired of seeing people post their reviews with this sort of criticism. Do some research, educate yourselves and understand for a couple of dollars, you’re getting a steal, so plan on doing the setup yourself or paying a professional to set it up for you and stop your whining about your China made guitar. It is what it is! You can always spend a few more $$ and improve yor axe.
Ok these guitars do not come set up learn how to set up or go have it set up I have a the XV-620 thinline tele Xaviere. It plays amazing after i changed the strings and did a full setup and intonation on it. The neck is smooth as glass and the pickups in this thing sound very very teleish with a little more bite, think keith richards or anything of that sound, plays what I want perfectly and the tuning is rock solid after using some nut sauce on the nut and saddles. I do a lot of old double stop bends and behind the nut bends. Stays in tune sounds good and plays great. No it’s not comparable to my 1972 fender tele thinline and no it wont beat a nice american tele but damn for 160 b-stock pink thinline tele it’s a killer deal and it does what I wanted it to do. So word of advice if you buy one please change the strings and have it setup before you even judge it. JUST GET IT SET UP
i’ve bought a fair amount of stuff from gf the last few years, and though i’ve not bought an actual complete guitar from them i’ve been happy with most of my purchases. yes, ‘customer service’ kind of sucks (i guess i’m dealing with the owner), though the tech person does get you specific information you ask for pretty quickly, and there’s good documentation to help with installation at their web site. for me the thing now is fender squires made in china are so dirt cheap (especially used) and the quality, aside from a crappy set-up and marginal pickups, is excellent. you’re only paying $60 or $70 for a guitar, and tons of nice aftermarket parts will fit it perfectly! like most factory direct retail outlets, at gf you end up paying a lot for shipping and handling. like $100 on a guitar that costs $180! that shifts the balance for me. (guitar center doesn’t usually even charge a shipping fee if you have it sent to your local store for pickup!) i use guitar center on line’s used stuff for big items and gf for upgrade parts. most all the gf pickups i’ve bought i really liked. there have been a few exceptions, but everyone’s ears are different, so that’s to be expected. synopsis: as for general quality, gf stuff is a good value. and if you know what you want, it’s a lot easier to be pleased.
yes, assume you are going to need to invest $60 or so for a good, professional set-up.
Guitarfetish Instruments are well designed. The finishes are as good as any guitar on the market. They are not exact copies, they have character of their own. The pickups that come with the guitars, are similar to the model that they mimic. The GFS custom pickups and the Redactives pickups are sweet.
I first got involved with Guitarfetish because I wanted to have a Strat style guitar with a Brian May pickup scheme, six switches and three Burns Duosonic style pups. They had everything including the pickguard and the treble boost in an onboard EQ. I bought their Jazz style bass and installed Red active pickups. It plays and sounds outrageous. I put my 72 Jbass away. I tried their Tele, but did not like the neck. The cases are okay, but not the quality of a Fender or Gibson. Pricewise, If your a guitar snob, pay the two grand for the brand you want. Guitarfetish is a reasonable alternative for the musician who wants to take the less expensive approach. When you make it you can buy whatever you want.
I purchased an Xaviere XV-555 in transparent purple over flamed maple. The price delivered to my door was $238.00. And I gotta say it’s the best $238.00 I’ve EVER spent.
The guitar arrived on the projected delivery date, packaged nicely, wrapped in a thin foam wrap and packaged in two boxes. Next time I think I’ll order a case for my new guitar, if not just for safety sake.
The guitar had no cosmetic flaws, and the setup was pretty close (not perfect). Subtle intonation and neck adjustments were needed to set it right. The tremolo is a bit tricky to keep it from going out of tune, but this issue I was sort of expecting with a licensed Floyd them.
The pickups did indeed sound FANTASTIC. I was so impressed that I’ll be ordering some GFS Crunchy Pat’s for another guitar I currently own.
The only issues I experienced was the tremolo cover and screws were MISSING…NON-EXISTANT, and the bridge pickup ring snapped a couple weeks after the purchase. HOWEVER… the guys at Guitar Fetish were quick to rectify the problems with the shipment of a new Tremolo Cover Plate. A new set of Pickup Rings (both bridge and neck!), but it seems the replacements they carry aren’t exactly like what was used when shipped from Korea. The replacement’s profile was a bit higher than the stock rings. But the guys at Guitar Fetish promptly sent me out a lower profile set of pickup rings that did the job nicely.
Guitar Fetish’s service is great. They are prompt, courteous, and very willing to make sure your guitar plays as it should. But it would be nice if you DIDN’T need to rely on their Customer Service. I’ve only purchased one guitar from GF, so I can’t really make a informed judgement on their business as a whole. My impression *as others had mentioned) is they appear to be running on a thin margin to keep prices down. I will be buying another guitar from GF soon, so hopefully next time my experience will go smoother.
Overall, the guitar is a fantastic instrument, regardless of price. I’ve been playing guitar semi-professionally for 35 years, and I own Gibson Les Pauls, Fender Strats, and small arsenal of other guitars. so lets just say I know how a guitar should play, and these Xavieres play great.
I have to agree with the article. I purchased one of their ‘best’ acoustics. All solid wood, bone nut, etc… It was crap. Looked like a return with a bad neck and bad glue job. There were blemishes in the finish and the pegs were cut poorly so that two of them stuck out and could not be pushed in level with the rest. The fret ends were sharp and the guitar needed humidity.
Now I am not one to bitch about a 400 dollar all solid would guitar having blemishes, needing to be set up a bit, and maybe even a little fret work would have been fine, but the neck was crap. It was bent towards the body at the 14th fret. There was no possible way to get that guitar playable at the higher frets without removing the neck and using heat to bend it and then reattaching neck…and they said all of their others of this model had same issue…
Needless to say I had to have a refund and I HAD TO PAY for the shipping back to get the refund. Basically I paid 70 (shipping to me and back to them) to hold a junk guitar for a day. Their customer service was far from top notch as some have suggested. They were indignant and rude.
I have had nothing but great service from GFS. Very first purchase was a HOt rails type pick up for my sons Dean Flying V. It arrived quickly, and sounded amazing. Even the guys at the shop were pretty impressed when we plugged it in. I also purchased an XV_130SCE – Sunburst Cutaway Acoustic-Electric, Solid Spruce Top, Mahogony back and sides for my son. For 130 bucks, it is amazing and plays and sounds great. no set up needed out of the box. If I have to nit pick it, we did have some frets filed at the ends of the neck. Electronics are great. and my most recent purchase. I bought a set of Brighton Rock strat pickups. If the pickers messed up, it was in my favor. I got the full set when I only ordered the middle and the neck. AND the added a middle and neck. I checked my bill, I was only charged for the middle and neck. So I got a full set for free! I also ordered the Liverpool humbucker. Let me tell you all these pick ups are HOT HOT HOT. Not a single complaint form me. I also have a friend who ordered the LP copy and pick ups and he likes his also. I don’t expect a lot for sub 300, but I will tell ya its a great surprise when it far exceeds your expectations. OH an BTW people. EVERY guitar needs a set up out of the box and new strings. you just dont see that at a store cause they have already done quick checks, then offer a free one after (If they are worth walking in the store for)
I bought a XV-910 a couple years ago, and am quite happy with the purchase. It’s a beautiful guitar, and it plays and sounds great. I was not happy with the bridge that came with it because of some problems with strings binding, but I emailed them and they responded by sending me an upgraded bridge at no charge. Completely satisfied with the purchase and the service. I buy parts from them as well, and have had no issues. I bought one of their guitars as a gift for my nephew, and will buy another for myself in the near future. From what I’ve seen, best guitars for the money.
I purchased an XV-845 Thinline Tele form Guitar Fetish. It is fitted with goldfoil pickups. The guitar looks well built. The fit and finish is comparable to instruments costing much more. I measured the neck using a caliper and it is exactly the same dimensions as a 2001 Mexican Strat that I own. The back of the neck is slightly flatter and quite comfortable to play. Out of the box the guitar sounder great and the intonation was nearly perfect. (not quite but I’ve had Gibson and Fender that were much worse). The strings were set a little high so I set them at the recommended spec for a Fender Telecaster using a feeler gauge and readjusted the intonation. This is now my favourite guitar. It feels good and it sounds good. I own Fender (Strat and Tele), Gibson (Les Paul Custom and SG Supreme), Hagstrom Tremar Swede. The Xaviere cost a fraction of the cost and plays and sounds just as good if not a tad better. It does help to do a setup or have someone do it for you but you will have to do that no matter how much you spend. I hope this helps anyone looking to buy.
Not Actually, i am quite happy with mine.
I bought a Xaviere JT 100 from guitarfetish and I am super happy with it. Played and felt great out of the box. The real story with it is the pickups. They are fantastic. Really hot, lots of bite and detail. I’m gonna be ordering a couple more guitars from them. A couple of their Tele models, the XV-830 and the XV-845.
Have you ever played Agile Guitars? If so how would you compare?
I bought a used Xaviere XV 560. I work with a luthier in South Carolina (JMB Guitars, by Jack Michael Bouknight, 803-924-7009). I’ve been working with Jack for years, and we were able to set up my Xaviere pretty easily. Some nut, action, and fret work needed. The p90’s sound good but a bit dark. I hate that these guitars come without a pickguard to cover up the ugly wiring inside the f-holes. Otherwise, a good guitar, especially for the $100.00 I paid for it. Xaviere should make it clear how to pronounce the name. I assume it sounds like savior with a Z sound for the S. Sincerely, Mickey
I have 2 Xaviere guitars! One a strat knock-off with maple neck, is a good guitar, not great, but good and a super value! The other is a Zimaitis style, that I have owned for 9 years now! This guitar absolutely KICKS ASS!! I rate my PRS Core Custom 24 Ten Top as the only 10 I own, my Washburn KC90V a 9, my PRS S2’s Mira & Studio are 8’s, my Gib Les Paul Deluxe is a 7.5, as is my Fender Strat. Having said that, my Xaviere is Zimaitis style is a hard 7!! That thing hangs right in there with the best guitars on the planet! Stays in tune, always sounds great, and plays like a dream! Oh and by the way… it looks killer!! Worth 5 times what I paid for it, no doubt! I have also owned Baker, Carvin, Shecter, Fernandes, Westone, Aria Pro II, BC Rich, etc…. Is a Xaviere as good as a Paul Reed Smith? NO, BUT, It’s a great guitar, that anyone can afford, and can play professionally and get compliments on your sound! My Xaviere’s will be in my collection for years to come!
Does Xaviere still make the Zimaitis -style guitar?
Far from junk. Closer to being top notch actually.
Being an owner of these guitars, I cannot agree with Randy’s statement. You can work on them to make them better, they are not even remotely close to top notch.
I have 2 Xavier LP’s original setup wasn’t the best but once I set up the truss rod neck had upbow but after I adjusted the Truss rod, and set up the intonation they play fantastic. I showed them to a couple of Session guitar players I know and they were so impressed with the great playability They asked how much I paid for them they started
at $1500 as their first guess, I had to laugh they were very impressed at how they played and when I told them how muck I paid they were in complete shock and could not believe it. Never judge a book by its cover and all the negative posts usually they had never owned or played a Xavier guitar and had no idea about them but They were very impressed with them. Setup is very important and when set up properly They are better than most Gibsons and Epiphones. I also have a Schecter 7 string and a MIM Strat That need a proper setup and I want to replace the neck with a roasted maple MIM Fender neck and put the original MIM neck on my Xavier Strat after I want to do a new Swirl paint job on the body. It’s alder just like a Fender and will look great when I finish with it.
After playing my PRO500 and reading these comments, I’m fully expecting Gibson to buy Guitarfetish by the end of the year…
I would not be surprised, Gibson makes great expensive Acoustic Guitars Like Martin.
Guitarfetish makes some great guitars too some even better than Gibson. Epiphone which has been around longer than Gibson Makes Great guitars most are better than what Gibson makes especially an SG and others. Gibson would be very smart to do this. My only concern is that Guitarfetish’s prices will go up (Big Bummer) I have been considering doing a Tele build using GF’s body, especially their XGP series. Hey Earl Slick who played with Bowie is selling his signature guitars there. They can’t be that bad regardless what other people think most of whom have never owned much less played one.
I’ve never seen junk with figured maple bone nut and brass parts. No it’s not 2500.00 fender or Gibson but so far I don’t have anything like a Walmart first act or Ibanez gio. Those are junk. What you can expect from guitar fetish is better than any thing entry level with the same price tag at sweet water. That has been my experience. I’ve had to set up high dollar guitars just the same for them to be playable. Guess it depends on what model your getting and what your comparing it too. As far as Fender basses I paid squire price and got next to American Quality without any set up. Fender USA does not even instal bone nuts unless it is a custom shop model. I’m looking at the same wood and metals . And the feel and tone is satisfactory and only paid a fraction for it. Same with the tele. Gibson styles maybe another story. I don’t think anyone expecting a les Paul will be as happy by looking but idk. But no complaints on the fender styles here at all. Which is why I own a few. I wouldn’t repeat buy otherwise.
Before I read your “Junk” review of Xaviere Guitars I had watched all the guitar reviews for the Xaviere Pro 500 series (Les Paul Copy) that I could find on Youtube. Some of the videos were by prominent guitar reviewers, in fact two of those videos are posted on the Guitar Fetish site. One guy takes the guitar apart to see what’s inside. They were great reviews. I also checked out video reviews of guitars made by Fire Fly, Harley Benton and the Vintage brand by Wilkinson and determined that the Pro 500 was better made, better sounding and have better wood selections, a better finish and solid hardware. So I think the issues occurring with Xaviere are with the distributor, Guitar Fetish. They appear to be shipping out flawed guitars from the distibution center and they don’t take phone calls, only emails. This is an operations issue. That can destroy a company’s reputation. If Guitar Fetish can tackle those issues, the reviews will get much better. I am scheduled to receive my guitar this week and I will know better. So next time you review a company and “amp up” its flaws, get the product in your hands first. Also research the company, write to them if they don’t answer the phone and ask them about their business structure and how they operate. Another words, be journalists! Don’t just rely on a few bad customer experiences to blog about.
Here you go Alan – This is a guitar I bought from start to finish from GF. https://gear-vault.com/my-thoughts-xaviere-xv550-guitar/
It now sits in the corner and collects dust. It looks nice siting there.
They are hobbyist guitars. Certainly not fit for a beginner, but rather for someone wanting to “fix” something to make it better and playable. After the costs of fixing the issues, you could buy a mid level Agile guitar or a nice MIM Strat.
I’m revising my opinion based on new information. I realize my original comment was seven years ago, but my Xavier guitar has really deteriorated over the past few years. The frets got corroded and rough to the point where I need to re-dress them. ALL of the gold hardware is corroded and pitted. It looks 50 years old. I try to keep my guitar room at a constant 50% humidity for my acoustics, which are all in great shape, but my Xavier has turned into junk.