The Drive Wildfire X2 guitar while manufactured in China has comparable quality to a more expensive line of instruments. At first glance you notice the unique shape of the body with its interesting Parker Nitefly ™ like double cutaway and 22 fret 24 ¾” set maple neck features an angled headstock with smooth tapered joint, for easy access to the upper frets. The body is thin and light and has a beautifully sculpted carved top, much like the Les Paul™ guitar by Gibson and Epiphone, and a scoop on the back in the style of a Fender Stratocaster™.
The fret board is made of rosewood with a trapezoid inlay as found on Gibson style guitars. The frets are fairly well done and noticeably smooth with minimal fret buzz when set up properly. The bridge and tailpiece are your standard Tune o Matic with stop bar tailpiece which is a commonly used design on guitars of this style to maximize sustain. The tuners are a geared closed type that while decent, tend to have slippage that makes for harder, less precise tuning.
The two pickups are chrome covered humbuckers . They have a decent sound for a stock pickup but most people will want to swap out for higher quality set. The knobs are simple, one volume, one tone and a three-way pickup selector switch. This gives you the choice of the rhythm or neck pickup in the upward position, rhythm and bridge in middle and bridge in the down position. While the stock pickups have a good tone, they tend to be muddy.
The set maple neck is a feature that is usually found on instruments in a higher price range. After inspection of the joint by removing the neck pickup you see that the tenon extends well into the body for a maximum wood to wood contact with no visible gaps between the joint and body as seen on lower quality instruments. Overall in my opinion, great craftsmanship, which makes for excellent tone.
As far as setup goes, the guitar tended to buzz on the open high e string. After a slight height adjustment to the bridge that was easily cleared up. I recommend taking it to an instrument shop and having a professional set it up for you. Starting off playing a incorrectly setup instrument gives you a poor sound as well as poor technique to have to compensate for the height of the strings.
I purchased mine in a local pawn shop for $99 USD. It came with no case or accessories as used instruments usually won’t. You can sometimes get lucky and get a case with the instrument or ask the sales person if they would throw one in for a minimal additional cost. Otherwise your local guitar store or Guitar Centers™ will usually have them cheap. New this instrument retailed for $129 but is usually found for less. As the brand is discontinued there is no information on current prices available.
In online reviews this instrument gets 7 out of 10 to 9 out of 10 ratings from people who have purchased one of these fine guitars. They also came in a deluxe flamed maple sunburst in a variety of colors labeled as the Wildfire X3. In my opinion, for the price your getting a much higher quality instrument than usually comes from China and with some minor upgrades to stock equipment, you will have yourself a rocking guitar that will blow your face off, not your budget. If you’re lucky enough to locate one, grab it up as they are no longer manufactured.