Epiphone Wildkat quick impressions

This happened last month but I simply didn’t have time to post this.

I’ve always liked the Epiphone Wildkat. For a start, it is an original design, unlike most Epis that are “budget versions” of Gibson models.


The flame maple top is truly gorgeous and the licensed Bigsby vibrato adds plenty of cool factor. Other nice appointments include Grover tuners and unique headstock design.

One thing that struck me was how heavy the Wildkat felt for a semi-hollow. This thing probably weighs more than my hardtail Strat. It could be due to the fact that the Wildkat is really a chambered solid body as opposed to a true semi-hollow like a 335/339.


The mahogany body actually looks more like sapele to me with all that streaking. The overall gloss finish was decent enough for a guitar this price. Retail for the Wildkat is $559 in this part of the world.

Looks like a nice one piece body here until we scrutinise a lil’ more.


Here you can see (near the strap pin) that the body was made from multi-pieces of wood, but the back has a really thin veneer to give the illusion that this guitar has a one piece body. Very clever. The neck is also made using multiple pieces of wood. No complaints here really, just trying to learn more about how guitars are made.

This one came to me with wonky action – the treble strings sit much higher than the bass strings. We gotta do some adjustments.

But first, some Bearclaw Special to pamper it.


Bob helped me with the fretboard. Here he is inspecting it after I oiled the board and gave the frets a good shine.

OK, no pictures to show, but I lowered the saddle height for the treble strings by turning the thumbwheel clockwise.

To be honest, the Bigsby made it a pain to restring the Wildkat. 🙂

It looks really good though.


General notes while playing the Wildkat – the P90s here really have some GROWL to them. These Epiphone pickups do have some balls. I know this sounds cliche, but the P90s show plenty of grit when you crank up the dirt on the amp. One main dislike here is the noise you get from the pickups. Perhaps a noiseless P90 is the way to go for the next project.


*The guitar has since been sold because Guitarbear is now officially a Stratobear. 🙂 So no more tilt-back headstocks or 24-3/4 inch scales!




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