Looking For A Cheap Thin Body For Rockabilly

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Tyrannocaster, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    The Xaviere XV-570 with the vibrato is an interesting guitar on paper. But it's a Xaviere, LOL. I've got a few of their pickups - their Strat Lil Killers are awful IMO - muddy but loud, and the bridge pup is oversized physically so you have to enlarge your pickguard - ugh. However, I also have one of their humbucker-fits-in-a-P90 pups and that thing is very, very nice. Their bridges are okay, their pickguards have been very good - mixed bag all around. And of course when you read the reviews of their guitars, they are all over the place. But, like I said, on paper, these are interesting: semi-hollow body that's smaller than a 335 (appears to be LP size), GFS Minitron Nashvilles, and a vibrato that looks like it's probably at least a good as a Bigsby, not that that's saying much. But in hollowbody land, that's kind of what you have to do. And of course, the pictures make the thing look great. Yes, well, we all know about that! :)

    I'm looking for a lighter more comfortable guitar than a solid LP (and I want the semi-hollow body) or I would just buy an Agile but honestly, at the moment they just aren't showing anything on their site that I find interesting since I don't want a Paul-type guitar. There's only ONE Harm (ugly shade of blue, too) on the site for sale! Seems like Rondo has kind of switched its market, which happens, but they seem to have switched it away from me. A Gretsch DuoJet would fill the bill but it's a lot more money than I have or want to spend on what will be a special purpose guitar. The closest thing I have here is a 2006 Korean-made Epi Sheraton with coil switching Seymour Duncans in it - really a beautiful guitar and I like it a lot, but it's large and it doesn't have a vibrato, nor do I want to stick one on it. All my other electrics are solid bodies. Yes, you can play rockabilly on a Strat but it just feels wrong to me.

    Can anybody suggest something to check out? I have not totally ruled out actually trying one of the XV-570s but I am leery of that company. Jay has given me bad info in the past (no, Jay - there is NO quack between the pickups with a set of Lil Killers and I can prove it, no matter what your email said) and I don't quite trust them.

    Oh, and Happy Halloween!



    And I hope this isn't overkill, but it IS Halloween. This is a tune I did for YouTube with a lot of imagery from Halloween last year (I play the Theremin for the kids), but there's considerable guitar pron in it, too (BTW, that's an Agile LP 12 string in the video images, and there's also a Douglas Tele - the bound sunburst one):

     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
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  2. LongBlackTie

    LongBlackTie Well-Known Member

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    You will not regret a Gretsch electromatic. Its the sound of rockabilly, but its a lot more versatile guitar than you think.

    What's your budget?
     
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  3. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

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  4. Tsukiyomi

    Tsukiyomi Well-Known Member

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  5. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    From what I see, the Electromatic is out of my price range of about $300 unless I find a used one. The Liquid is a solid body and I have plenty of those already. Plus, they won't stand up. :) The Gravity is out because I don't like thinline Teles. That's just a leftover from being a pro player when they came out and were crappy guitars, but still, it's how I feel. That's a good price for the vibrato; I wonder how good it is - could be fine.
     
  6. golem

    golem Well-Known Member

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    Someone on this forum is selling a Cabronita (MIM or Squier?) they upgraded with Filtertrons. It sounds like it's slightly out of your budget, but no so far that it isn't at least worth mentioning. They also had another guitar in the same thread, that they upgraded that also seemed like it would be usable for rockabilly.
     
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  7. thepezident

    thepezident Well-Known Member

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  8. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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  9. RiverDog

    RiverDog Well-Known Member

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  10. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    That Wildkat looks interesting, although it is a bigger body than the Xaviere and I would have to replace the P90s, (ironically, I would replace them with GFS Liverpool Minitrons, LOL). But one other real problem with Xaviere which I forgot to mention is that they have absolutely no resale value. So, like other off-brands, they are better purchased used, plus (if you could find one, anyway) that way you could check it out first. I'm thinking that it's time to make the rounds of the local stores and just see what they have; it's looking more and more like I need to find a used axe. A used Jet would sure be nice...:)

    EDIT: really interesting piece here about the wiring in the Wildkat: http://award-session.com/pdfs/Epiphone WildKat Tone Mods.pdf
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  11. msc_

    msc_ Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I think a Telecaster of some sort is what you need and a thinline would fit what you want. For your price range, you have a lot of options and can actually find a lot of those options in a store as well as online.
     
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  12. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    I have three Teles already; I don't need another one. :) I'm really leaning towards trying to find a used Gretsch, I think. The Wildkat sounds great up to the part about the wiring; rewiring a hollow body isn't much fun at all. I've done it.
     
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  13. Dallas

    Dallas Well-Known Member

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    I've got an older 910....an Epi Casino sort of thing I picked up used. The p-90's sound quite good. Materials seem okay...fit and finish fair. (certainly not in the range of Gretsch...or even Epi) Neck is a little large for my taste but. From what I've seen and heard I believe the quality on Xaviere is all over the place so yours could be absolutely great. On this one, however, it took a helluva lot of fret and neck work to get the action to a point where I was satisfied. Hope you find what you're looking for.
     
  14. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    Cool vids and playing
    Good luck in your search.
    I have heard the mixed bag on the GFS guitars, hit or miss on the fretwork especially.
    Almost bought one of those Slick ones with a P90.

    I have liked their hardware and the pickups I have tried so far.
    I have a HB sized/ Mean 90 in an Epi SG Jr. that just rips!
     
  15. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    I got the casino coupe partially to cover the rockabilly thing but so far I haven't felt it that way. Not sure if it doesn't fit or I'm just not in the rockabilly mood. Mine had the p90s replaced with a5 buckers. Its a nice sized fully hollow with lots of resonance and can keep perpetuating sustain indefinitely.
    Looks like the 570 is a semihollow or maybe a hollowed out semi like a wildcat/thinline type. If it helps a friend had a very nice xaviere Very possibly this model . I don't recall the specifics but I got to play it and it was indeed a fine instrument. Played perfectly and looked beautiful. You don't hear that often about gfs but they can do it right if that makes you feel better.
     
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  16. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Well, I found an Electromatic Pro Jet on Craigslist here for $300 with HSC. I emailed him and told him if it checks out (and he still has it) that I'd pay cash for it on the spot. That's a pretty good price for one of these. If that doesn't work out, I'll find something, LOL.
     
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  17. Mickey

    Mickey Gandalf the Intonationer

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    But...but...but... isn't that a solid body plank thing instead of a hollow/semi-hollow guitar? :)
     
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  18. Partscaster

    Partscaster Well-Known Member

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  19. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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  20. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    The Gretsch Pro Jet is not a solid body. It's a semi-hollow.

    Partscaster, I don't want a 335-sized guitar for this; I already have a Sheraton and it's great but for this I want something smaller. (And let me say something about that, while I'm on the horn - I have owned two 1970s Gibson 335s, a 1960-something Gibson Trini Lopez (how many of you remember those? They made a Barney Kessel Trini Lopez and a 335 Trini Lopez - both with weird, Fenderish headstocks. Mine was the 335 kind. And I also owned a 1959 Gibson ES345TDC for several years until it became worth so much I just couldn't keep it. My point is this: my Sheraton is as good as any of them, including the beautiful '59. So sometimes you can get lucky comparatively cheaply.) The smaller body is what attracted me to the XV in the first place. I still think that, on paper, the Xaviere looks very good, but I am simply not confident about the company, nor do I relish the instant loss of money once you buy it. With shipping, it would cost as much as the Gretsch I am interested in locally.

    The Gretsch ticks the same boxes - small body, semi-hollow (though no F-holes), vibrato (Bigsby licensed, which I gather means "Bigsby didn't make it"), and pickups that at least nod in the Filtertron directon. And since this one is here in town, I can try it out and reject it without paying shipping back - big plus. And I was wrong about the HSC - it just has a gig bag. Bummer, but that's what you get when you look at something on a phone with a dinky screen.

    I have never played a Johnson. They might be great, but that one would require too much alteration to get where I want, and I really hate working on hollow guitars.

    I want to thank everybody who chimed in on this for the ideas. I might well not get the Gretsch, but you have all given me some thoughts to chew on.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
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