Xotic is known for its plethora of sonic effect-pedal goodies, but its current guitar line also tends to turn heads.
The Xotic XSC-1 California Classic is an American Strat-style guitar that straddles the past and the present. It has an alder body, lacquer nitrocellulose finish, a roasted flame maple U-shaped neck, and Xotic’s proprietary Raw Vintage hand-wound pickups. With a tastefully relic’d body and parchment-colored pickguard, pickup covers, and control knobs (one Volume and two Tone), the California Classic also comes with Gotoh locking tuners, a Gotoh bridge with proprietary Raw Vintage saddles, and a five-way pickup selector.
Weighing in at 7.5 pounds, the California Classic is lightweight and has a smooth airiness of tone to boot. Twenty-two frets, a 12″ fretboard radius, and a nut width of 1.68″ (42.7mm) make this guitar a true performer’s instrument with a modern feel and vintage appointments. The pickups are old-style single-coils with a clean vibrant top end and a clear bottom that embraces immaculately complex amp tones. The second and fourth positions of the pickup selector offer spanky hum-canceling, while the individual pickup positions yield upper-echelon bubbly Strati-ness along with the expected 60-cycle hum when using gain.
With its seductive beauty and flat-radius functionality, it’s love at first sight. It’s an expensive-sounding guitar with a sparkling character that’s shockingly affordable for a guitar of this quality. It does the “Sultans Of Swing” thing like nobody’s business, yet with none of the difficulties that plague vintage Stratocasters. The California Classic rules the brighter, punchier side of the Strat spectrum, providing clear midrange bite, extreme funkiness, and a seamless connection between your ideas and your hands.
This article originally appeared in VG April 2017 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.