Xavier XV-900 from guitarfetish.com initial review

I’ve built my guitar collection up a bit recently. The latest is a semi-hollow body guitar similar to a Gibson ES-335. This one is from guitarfetish.com model XV-900 in the natural finish. I picked it up with a tweed case and got some of the nickel strings knowing that the strings that come with it will likely be pretty bad.

Looked pretty good upon arrival. The case had a couple dirty marks and the guitar was rather dusty. But I got new strings installed and did some setup in short order. It didn’t need too much although it was buzzing quite a bit out of the box. Turns out the truss rod was way too tight. I loosened it up so the neck was basically flat. Also, I lowered the action and raised the pickups. Intonation was pretty much spot on so no adjustment there needed. I think the nut could be cut a little lower so the action can be even lower still but I don’t have any experience doing that and it’s not that bad anyway so I think I’ll leave it as is. One thing that I did find was that the hole in the tailpiece for the G-string was just a little too small for the new string’s eyelet to fit through. A little annoying but I got it in there with some persuasion. Otherwise, the frets seem to be leveled and dressed pretty well. No obvious issues there at first glance.

As for tone, this thing really has a huge range. Switching from bridge to neck pickup and adjusting the volume and tone knobs really offers a ton of variation. More so than my les paul and my strat I think. Part of the reason may be the pickups themselves. These are guitar fetish’s fat pack alnico humbuckers which are often used as upgrades from stock pups. I find them to really swing from one spectrum to the other (clean to crunchy) really dramatically with tone and volume adjustments. They go from really muddy to really bright and anywhere in between. I do find that the brighter side is quite good and allows the primary frequencies to shine through distortion and fuzz better than my other guitars.

Anyway, here are a few pictures for you:




Otherwise, I’ve noticed a few other minor issues. The pickguard has a really minor scratch down the middle. The tailpiece has a few scratches on it. The wiring inside held by double stick is loose. The knobs kind squeak (I think there might be styrofoam stuck in between the knob and the body), and the fretboard is a bit dry. All barely noticeable and otherwise fixable for the most part. One thing that I was a bit disappointed by was the three piece neck. Not sure it really makes any practical difference. But nevertheless, would have been nice to have a one piece. The finish otherwise is quite nice. I really dig the natural finish.

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7 Responses to Xavier XV-900 from guitarfetish.com initial review

  1. Patrick Sullivan says:

    I had a Hamer Sunburst years ago that had a 3-piece neck. They said it would have less of a tendency to warp or twist. Not a bad thing at all.

  2. DM says:

    Hi Jason – I’m about to order the White/Gold version of the Xaviere XV-900. Just wanted to make sure you are happy with the guitar – I think your post was from July of 2013.

    I’m really yearning for an ES-335 copy and I like the price and specs and look of the Xaviere. Agile used to make one with the “Mickey Mouse” horns but now the AS-820 has floppy ears – and the price for the Agile is a little higher – even after figuring in the overpriced shipping from guitarfetish.com

    I can’t stand the Epi Dots or Artcores (yeech) so it is down to Agile and Xaviere.

    I’m a big fan of Agile/Rondo/Kurt and have never dealt with Guitarfetish, but I will say that Stan in Customer Service at Guitar Fetish has responded well to a couple of my questions. But nobody beats Rondo for customer service and standing behind their products. I’ve bought two guitars from Rondo in past – but I just want the ES-335 look – and your positive review of the sonic/tonal range with those GFS pickups is encouraging.

    Please let me know if the XV-900 is still doing well after a year of use – that the neck is still straight, the electronics still work, etc! ha ha All the best – Please email me directly.Thanks

  3. jason says:

    Hi DM – I’ve found Rondo products to be higher quality for the price to tell you the truth. So in retrospect, I woud have gotten the Rondo instead of the guitarfetish one. That said, I haven’t actually had the Agile version but I can tell you that I’ve been really happy with the Agile version of the strat. Much nicer fit and finish than the Xaviere. Even my lower end Rondos have been nicer (I have a Douglas semi-hollow tele and a SX solid body tele.)

  4. DM says:

    Jason – thanks for the followup comment about Rondo. I have not visited your site since Sept 2014. Just as an fyi, way back in late Sept 2014 – right after I saw your site and positive review, I went ahead and ordered the XV-900 in White Gold. My card was charged but a couple of days later I got an email from GuitarFetish telling me that when they checked their warehouse to pack and ship the guitar, they discovered that the remaining inventory of these guitars in this color/hardware (so they said) were damaged so they had to cancel the order. They did issue a prompt refund to my credit card. So they handled the refund properly for sure. However, I noticed it took them at least FOUR MONTHS to reflect this “out of stock” notice on their website! I emailed them a number of times over this -so that they would not have customers go through the same hassle that I went through. Quite bizarre -don’t know if it was a bait and switch tactic to try to get people to order a substitute XV-900 guitar in another color (?) or what or that they are just totally messed up in terms of their organization and internal communications. Anyway, the web site, after a number of months (around 4 as I recall) finally showed that this white/gold model was “OUT OF STOCK.” I might add that I had a series of emails with a guy named Stan at GuitarFetish who was helpful in answering some of my questions about the company and guitar etc. I might add that before I ordered, I asked Stan a number of times if he could confirm that the XV-900 White Gold was in stock and he never responded. He was in the customer service area and also was responsible for installing tremolo units and doing other custom installations… but it appeared that he was not in touch with their warehouse at all – they must isolate the warehouse from everybody else? So at this point after this weird experience with my order and lack of updating the web site to tell others that the guitar is not in stock… I’ve given up on the company. Just too flaky for my tastes – I just trust Kurt at Rondo so much more – if something is wrong with an Xaviere guitar and I had to get it resolved I don’t know if I can trust that they will take care of it -I know that they have some good pickups and aftermarket stuff that gets good reviews – so it is a mixed bag – but I’ll pass on ordering guitars from them. If you don’t like a Rondo guitar, that is it, send it back at no additional shipping cost. I’ve ordered 3 guitar in past from Rondo – a double neck ED 1275 copy, a telecaster copy, and the acoustic/classical Godin Multiac copy. And I”m happy with all of them. To be honest I had not visited your site since last September 2014 but am now back in the market again and giving a 335 type of copy serious thought – and it looks I’ll be going with Rondo/Agile. I can live without the “no Mickey Mouse horns” I guess – I guess the Rondo’s have more or a Gretsch body look. By the way, I like the smaller 339 style bodies that is made by Epiphone. I like the 339 size – more Les Paul in size and more comfortable. But have you seen the necks they are putting on all the Gibsons (and I believe Epiphones) these days. The new 2015 necks are SO FAT – the nut width and fretboard is much wider – same string spacing but way too much “edge” on the fretboard – makes it very uncomfortable to play. I know Epiphone has mixed reviews but I bought an Epiphone Wilshire reissue in white that I am very happy with – the only Epiphone I have. So I”m not down on Epiphone at all.. except for the wide necks! Go into a guitar store and check it out – it will blow your mind – I think it is a real dumb move by Gibson and Epiphone to make the wider necks – supposedly to keep the strings from slipping off from “bends.” Seems super unnecessary – oh well, we will see. Thanks for your post. If you would please send me a direct email when you get this – I may not be back on your site for a while! Take care –

  5. Alan says:

    Ive been dancing back and forth whether to get a Rondo or a GF instrument to keep handy as a cheepie guitar.
    While on the GF website, I visited the “Luthier Specials” page under the Clearance Section and this may be what makes me decide: an unusually large number of semi-hollow XV-900 and 910 guitars are there with cracked neck joints. One had a neck completely detached, with one photograph revealing a very shallow and – IMO – unsubstantial dovetail glue joint.
    If this guitar came with a long-tongue neck tenon that glued well into the neck block, I would give it a lot of consideration. But sorry to say, in spite of the intense finishes and glowing endorsements of the pickups, a guitar with an inherently weak neck joint is a non-starter.
    If they get around to rethinking that joint, it will be a contender. I’m just surprised no reviewer has noticed this yet.

  6. Manish says:

    hello Jason, DM & folks following this,
    Indeed I’m joining this very late, but i guess not to late to share a musical experience about similar topic I’ve wanted to discuss about. I have a guitar fetish’s Xaviere XV910. Absolutely love the guitar. I do also have the epi339 and DM I totally agree with the neck being think and uncomfy, however the XV910 is a delight to play with. I bought it used so I did not have to deal with the initial setup issue. But I must say the give a run to companies like epi(not that I do not like epi) some of my favorite guitars are from EPI. My point here is that I’ve been wanting to get an XV900 my self to replace the epi es 339. Playability being my number 1 reason. But since I have the Xaviere guitar and I see the built quality and the pups response, I’m more than willing to take my chance.

  7. Manish says:

    Also would like to take this opportunity to thank you to facilitate your opinion regardless.

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