The Epiphone brand has had an interesting journey and even now that it has gained a lot of popularity it’s worth your time and observation. Initially, you would only opt for this brand if you didn’t have money to get a Gibson.
However, the situation has changed over time and it is important to note that the brand has expanded in several ways. It is even gone further and introduced other models which reach the quality and standard of Gibson. Epiphone Wildkat is one of the most notable additions of their lineup so far. This is one instrument that has brought notable changes especially to guitar stereotypes in so many ways.
The Epiphone Wildkat guitar
Could this be the Epiphone’s smartest decision? The level of craftsmanship that goes into these guitars makes them to be a lot more complicated in terms of building them than the regular solid body. Since they had something to say in a big way, they ended up making some adjustments and that is how they delivered a guitar that brings the semi-hollow performance at an affordable price that wasn’t in that category before.
This couldn’t go unnoticed and a lot was said. The adjustments made included:
1. The body and neck
Epiphone Wildkat is not the usual traditional semi-hollow with a center block of wood and a hollow body around it but instead, it has a hollowed out solid mahogany body. It gets this authentic feel from the flame maple veneer cover and the laminated top. A relatively nice rosewood fretboard and a modified LP profile are featured in the maple piece of the neck. If you compare the ES 335 with Wildkat, you will notice that Epiphone Wildkat is smaller and a bit closer to the Les Paul size.
Furthermore, if you were to put it against the previous model of Epiphone, you might say it is closer to the ES339 even though there are quite some significant differences. If you put it against Gretsch G5623 then it may look like a poor attempt to reaching to their market.
Having put all that into consideration, what matters most is the performance and not the aesthetics. The Epiphone Wildkat is no different from the original Epiphone. It has a smaller body with a semi-hollow guitar but it is remarkably comfortable to play. Epiphone has been there since the 1930s and has been a leader in arch top design. Epiphone Wildkat is now covered by the Epiphone lifetime warranty which features 24/7/365 customer service. They also guarantee the instrument from having defects in material or workmanship. When it comes to Gretsch, Epiphone Wildkat is still behind the Gretsch 5120 Electrometric.
2. Hardware and Electronics
Even on top-tier guitars, it is still a nightmare to deal with Bigsby tailpieces with vintage tremolo bridges. There are many people who gasped in disbelief when the specs of this innovation creation were released. They wondered how they chose to include these two components on such a budget instrument.
This was actually a huge gamble honestly. In reality, adjusting the tailpiece and the Adjust-O-Matic Tream Bridge will take a whole new level of patience when compared to the standard Floyd Rose. As long as you don’t go wild, the hardware works just fine with a whammy bar. The Wildkat takes a whole different path in terms of electronics when looking at a set of Epiphone P90 pickups.
Epiphone Wildkat fits in the backdrop of genres and the pickups are wired to individual volume knobs for the pickups, master volume, master tone, and pickup selector switch. It is not only a pretty average setup but it is also a practical one as well.
For them to maintain affordable prices and get the instrument on the market, they put the affordable pieces together in such a way that on a budget, you can still get a taste of the genuine semi-hollow guitar. It is actually made for blues and rock with two P90 pickups. This is because it not only has a great range and great projection but it also has a decent amount of sustain.
Imagine it also allows you to feel and enjoy the jazz territory? This is definitely a big deal especially if you consider many end up spending thousands on a semi and true hollows just for that occasion. It may not be a high-end model but it is quite chosen and it is worthy of an investment. The WildKat is pretty comfortable to play and even with the Bigsby, you will still feel in control. It is smaller in size and the fact that Epiphone went for an arched is partially the reason.
Although it is not the best semi-hollow body ever, the truth is that it actually offers a new angle especially when it comes to the various affordable options available so far. Since these guitars are quite affordable, then it would only be fair to accept some compromises whatsoever.
Furthermore, no model which offers some attributes without lacking others. When it comes to the grand scheme of things, Epiphone Wildkat has better solutions. If you still feel unsure of this model, then be reassured that it is worth your investment.
You can find Epiphone Wildkat in several distinct colors and editions including wine red, blue, white or black.
Epiphone Wildkat Studio Limited Edition
Epiphone Wildkat Wine Red Limited Edition
Epiphone Wildkat Royale
Epiphone Wildkat Blue Royale Limited Edition
Epiphone Wildkat KOA Limited Edition