Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 133
the Xaviere XV-950
ibsonguildgretsch! Cumbersome as it
may be in word form, Xaviere's XV-950
gracefully combines attributes from the
The XV-950 employs a classic Florentine
cutaway body measuring a small-ish 15" at the
lower bout, 2" thick at the edge, (25/8" at the
arch), and is made
laminated maple front and back. There is
no center-block; instead, the 950 gets added
strength below the bridge with a 1/2" wide
"trestle" of wood to help prevent unwanted
feedback. Even at high volume, the guitar
holds its ground and does not squeal (though
you can still get some pretty sweet controlled
feedback on various notes). The neck is solid
maple and carved to a comfortable medium
C shape, and the 12" radius rosewood fingerboard is graced with "cloud"
position markers - a nice upgrade
for a budget guitar. The 14:1
tuners feel nice and sturdy,
as do the fully adjustable
metal floating bridge and
Electronics are straightforward. The
two Guitar Fetish GFS Nashville Retrotron
pickups each have Volume and Tone controls (the chromed-top metal hat knobs are
another cool upgrade) with the three-way
toggle on the upper bout.
Though it resembles a jazzer, the XV-950
is rockabilly at heart. The lead position is
twangy enough for chicken pickin' with
enough high-mid boink to rise above even
the most raucous band. In the mid position,
chord-melody and rhythm passages are
nicely balanced. The neck pickup delivers a
full-bodied tone perfect for comping behind
a soloist. As good as it sounds clean, it also
handles distortion very well. All settings
were very musical, making this an extremely
versatile guitar at any price.
The XV-950 played great out of the box and
was nicely set up, so no tweaking was necessary
to get this guitar gig-ready. The smaller body
feels comfortable, and at only 6.5 pounds, it's
as easy on the back as it is on the eyes.
Our tester was finished in vintage sunburst,
and five other colors are available, including
white and black with optional
gold hardware. And each is
available with an optional
Guitar Fetish vibrato.
If you're in need of a rockin' hollowbody,
the XV-950 is worthy of consideration.
Beyond being simply a nice addition to any
collection, it offers very high value. - Julian
Snark's Cellulolid picks are made using a proprietary process the company
says makes them less prone to breaks/
tears. The Snark Teddy picks use a
proprietary material called Neo Tortoise, which is stiffer than celluloid.
Each is available in four gauges.
Radial Engineering's Mix-Blender mixes
signal from two instruments or effects
using discrete Class-A/unity-gain buffers with level controls that do not color
signal, and its connections work at typical guitar-signal levels. It is housed in
14-gauge steel and powered by a Bossstyle 9-volt adapter or pedalboard brick.
ZveX effects candela
The Zvex Candela VibroPhase is a
candle-powered effect that uses a
Stirling engine with an eddy current
brake to create modulation patterns/
lFO wave shapes and rhythms using
interchangeable optical control discs.