Friday, June 13, 2014

Xaviere Sonic Blue Thinline Telecaster Customized

Here's a great guitar for cheap, cheap that I just sold to a friend of mine. I go through stages as I'm getting a little bit older where I think I don't need electric gear any more. I still play an occasional acoustic gig now and then, but my needs for an electric guitar only pop up now and then. So, whenever they do, I get all excited and I go on Craigslist and I buy an amp and a guitar and I find a pedal or two that are my go-to pedals, and I rehearse a couple of times and play the gig. Then I don't have anything else scheduled and I sit on my gear until I talk myself out of needing it again. Then a year goes by and I go through it all again. That's pretty much how I came to own this guitar in the first place, and it explains why I just sold it.

I was in need of an electric and I'd read a whole lot about the Xaviere brand guitars at the GuitarFetish.com website. Everything I read about these guitars was positive and the reviews at Premiere Guitar were excellent. They are not expensive guitars, and when you look at things like hardware and material choices, they aren't up to par with guitars that are five times more expensive. But that's kind of the point, right? I had noticed a long time ago that they had a sonic blue thinline telecaster-style guitar that was really cool. I wanted one. But they always seemed to be sold out. I guess I wasn't the only one. So I kept an eye out on eBay. The opportunity to play a full electric band gig came up and I thought maybe this would be a good way to obtain a Tele and still keep within a really tight budget. Then one day I found this guitar on eBay. Now it didn't look like the photos I'm posting...I did a lot of fixing up to get there...but I didn't spend a lot to do it.

When I found it on eBay, it was in rough condition. The neck and body were fine, so that's a good start. The neck pick-up was completely gone. The bridge pick-up had been replaced with a GFS Retrotron Surf 90 pick-up, also from the GuitarFetish website. These look like Rickenbacker pick-ups and they sound great. And, staying with the theme of this story, they aren't expensive. So, it had a good bridge pick-up, the controls were all loosey-goosey, and the back panel was barely hanging on. There were wires sticking out where the neck pick-up used to be and there was no pick guard. BUT...it was sonic blue, it was a thinline tele style guitar, the neck had a cool vintage amber tint to it, and I only saw possibilities. Oh, and there was a weird little sticker on the body of the guitar right under the controls. I bid about $50 I think and won the auction. Then it showed up.

The previous owner failed to mention that, under the little sticker on the body was a hole. Not a little screw hole, but a hole the size of maybe another toggle switch or knob or something. Miraculously, I had a sticker at home that was exactly the color of the guitar body. I carefully cut out a little circle slightly larger than the hole and covered it up. Next I tightened everything up and taped off the extra wires and tucked them back in the body cavity. I ordered a custom pick guard from Warmoth in a cool tortoise shell design. It only took a week to show up at my door and I started to put it on the guitar. I quickly realized that, since this wasn't an actual Fender guitar, the pick guard didn't fit exactly perfectly with the Xaviere layout. At this point, I wasn't too worried about perfection and I got out a file and did a little custom work of my own. Screwed it on and it looked good from about five feet away. In fact, this whole guitar looks awesome from about five feet away. Once you start analyzing it, the back control panel is held on with duct tape, the tone knob is still a little wobbly, the hole is covered with a sticker...etc. But guess what? This guitar plays and sounds awesome.

It's basically set up like a Fender Esquire...a Tele shaped body with one pickup in the bridge position. It's got that Surf 90 pickup and is twangier than Pete Anderson at a Dwight Yoakam concert. It's twangtastic. Yes, I could go on and on. But you get the point...it sounded great. And I have to say, the Xaviere neck is fantastic. It felt like a nice vintage instrument...and I'm not being paid by anyone to say that in case you're wondering. This is not an ad disguised as a story on a blog. None of my stories are. This is just an excellent guitar for the crazy price. All told I probably had a little over $100 in the guitar. $50 for the guitar plus another $25 for shipping. I think the pick guard was close to $40 shipped. And the sticker was free. I guarantee it was the best hundred dollar guitar I've ever played.

Well, so now some time has passed. I have another Fender Telecaster in my closet, and the Xaviere became expendable since I have no electric gigs and I need some cash money for an upcoming vacation. But how do you sell a guitar like this with such a weird story, but such great results? I posted a photo on Instagram (@jaimiemuehlhausen) and a friend fell in love with it. I told him it was his for a flat $100 and the deal was done. I'm happy it went to someone who will appreciate it give it a good home.

No comments: