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.