Epiphone The WildKat Ltd Semihollow Reviews 5

I ordered the WildKat from Musician's Friend. I wanted to see it and play it before buying it, but no one in my town, Colorado Springs, CO (or Denver) had one to show. Musician's Friend has it in the printed catalogue for $499, and the case was $90. Just for your info, MF advertises free shipping on orders over $299, but for some reason that was never made clear, the case did not qualify for the free shipping and the guitar did (even though they were part of the same order)... My reasons for choosing this, even sight unseen is because 1)I liked the write up about it in the catalogue--it described a semi-hollow with a smaller body and I wanted something lighter and more comfy-- something I could wear for hours without hurting 2) I have an 18 year old Epi acoustic which sounds amazing (so I liked the name) 3) I put in an order for the Epi G-400 at the Guitar Center and they told me it would arrive in 4 to 6 months! I didn't want to wait that long. 4) Although I'm not a Beatles' fan, the Beatles' Casino ( not the Elite model), had a similar, if not the same P-90's and I know they sounded pretty good.

The finish is something you have to see to appreciate. The book shows the tuquoise one and my husband thinks it looks gay... (And I agree--there isn't much you can wear on stage to match that shade of blue.) But...I got the natural--and it was flamed! (It also comes in black flamed or opaque turquoise). It truly was beautiful and the Bigsby is COOL! The back was deep chocolate and the visual appearance was not at all dissappointing. As for the case--this is a case that was worth every penny.

Here a little thing that sucked: they had some really sticky cellephane over the 2 pickups and it took effort to get all the gum off. Next, MF has a 45 day return policy and just after that date, I noticed a curious blue spot forming underneath the clear coat. I guessed it to be a mold that was present in the wood. I couldn't return it at MF, so we called Epiphone and they had us go to an Epi dealer to justify a return, which they (Guitar Center) did, and Gibson handled it from there, replacing it with another within 2 weeks.

I really can't say enough about how good the thing looks. The ugly little photo does not show the cream binding, and the unique headstock, all the great chrome--it's built well. How's it sound? To play thru a practice amp, it sounds decent--honestly, the pickups aren't as versatile as a 3 setting could be...But I did record with it and it sounded amazing in digibits. Deep and mellow with the jazzy tone or tele twang at the higher frets. I had a hard time getting matched reverb because it had an ambience quality with no effects applied(going directly into recorder) that my vocal room could not replicate. And the neck was easy to play. It did great staying in tune, capoed clean, and thru a digi pedal-- hours slipped by (you know what I mean!)

I don't have any regrets buying it. I was rather impressed with Epiphone/Gibson. Sometimes it's an incident that gives a company's CS a chance to shine--and they did. They were really on top of it. And when they sent me the replacement, I was pleasantly surprised--the second one didn't have the chocolate back (which was very pretty), but this one had a caramel back--even prettier! And it was well set up. What makes me feel even better about it is that I'd prefer to have a 'real' Gibson too, but Gibson doesn't really have one to compare this to--and this one is just unique! I'm set for semi hollows for now. I wouldn't buy it as my first or as a beginner, but if you're just staring to play with/ in front of others, it's a great axe and a great price point! And of course, record with it! Arabella Gordon

Arabella Gordon rated this unit 5 on 2004-07-12.

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