Overview and Final Score: 8.1
I’ve been singing the praises of GFS pickups for some time now, but I’ve never actually had the chance to try one of their Xaviere guitar products until now. The Pro845 immediately caught my eye as both an affordable and awesome alternative to Fender thinlines. My Pro845 came in the beautiful sunburst finish with a Maple neck joined to the Alder body. A Graphtech nut, Mother of peal pickguard, and GFS Gold Foil Humbuckers wrap up the surprisingly premium features on this sub-$300 beauty. The 25.5″ scale length Tele is also incredibly lightweight and comfortable, with 22 easy to reach frets and string-through body construction.
The GFS Gold Foil Humbuckers are incredibly versatile and sound great through the resonant, thinline body. They sound more clean and clear than warm, giving them a distinct single coil-like tone but with higher output and no buzz or hum. The pickups in both positions were very responsive to the attack of your pick or fingers, staying jangly and full of chime when lightly played, before churning out more mid and low-end muscle when you dig in. With a little bit of overdrive and distortion, classic humbucker tones were easy to coax out. This made it easy to go between playing The Killers, Rage Against The Machine, and Coldplay without needing to change guitars. When played clean, you were left feeling a little wanting for more of a full, well rounded tone that usually get out of humbuckers. The PRO845 is certainly a better option for players who want more sparkle than depth.
I was surprised by how well the guitar stayed in tune, even though the die cast tuners really should be replaced. The string-through body design really helps stabilize the bridge and added a ton of natural sustain though. The finish on the Maple neck felt a little thin for my liking, but was still above average in comfort. On the bright side, the neck feels thin and fast, despite their website describing it as “not fat, just beefy” thanks to added “chunk”. I much prefer the slim feeling of this neck though, and think it inspired me to move around between many different positions while playing. Plus, it balances the lightweight Alder, semi-hollow body nicely.
Finish & Construction: 8
The finish on the Sunburst model I received is stunning, it actually looks better than the Sunburst finish on my Fender Stratocaster. The hardware was also well polished and clean, giving it a really high quality appearance. The tuners and pots feel a bit cheap, and likely could use an upgrade, but they were overall non-offensive as they didn’t really interfere with the tuning stability or tone shaping. That’s more me being picky, but still worth noting for those who may want to get this guitar and just spend a few bucks on modifications. The construction does seem better than expected for the price, with good action, little to no fret buzz, and no dings, scratches, or signs of poor finishing.
I think the fact that you can get such a quality guitar for around $230 is insane. As some one who loves cheap gear, I’m used to handing out scores like this to something in the $400-$600 and being really happy with the bargain I got. This guitar is more comparable to a higher end Squier model than it is to the similarly priced low end Squier Affinity or Bullet series. The Gold Foil pickups shimmer, sparkle, and chime giving you many tone shaping options, and the overall design is just beautiful. Having a thinline Tele has always been a dream of mine, and I feel like I fulfilled that dream for a few hundred less dollars than I expected to pay!