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Epiphone Wildkat Question


1stGuitar
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Hi - I have recently taken up playing the guitar just over 8 months.  While I am a bit over “middle age” I really enjoy it.  But being fairly new, I am not all that educated on guitars in general. I come to this Community looking for some honest help/advise.  
I have been looking at purchasing a used Epiphone Wildkat Natural guitar with the Bigsby tremolo - 2012 Model. Looks in very nice shape, come with gig bag, setup and the bridge upgraded to a roller bridge.   The music shop that I go to said I can take It home for $349.00 US, done, out the door.  So my question is ... is it worth it, is it a fair price?  Any information/knowledge in regards to the wildcat would be most appreciate it.

In the past I have been told to stay away from Epiphone guitars.  I cannot totally say I understand why as I’ve played this guitar several times and it seems pretty darn nice. But that said I don’t want to get beat on it either.   Same folks frown on made in China guitars.
I look forward to the education from people who know a heck of a lot more about the things that I do. Thanks in advance for your help and suggestions.

Edited by 1stGuitar
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Welcome to the group 1stGuitar. Hope you enjoy it here, and gain a little knowledge and a few smiles while you're at it.

Try not to get confused with the USA-China-Korea-Indochina thing. EVERYBODY tends to think their guitar is better than the others. They all make good guitars and they all have had some clunkers. Find a guitar that looks and plays well for you. Then check to see when or where it was made. Epiphone has been around for a long time and their guitars are usually pretty well made where ever they were made. Of course if you like to sniff corks, none of the above will apply.

I don't own a Wildkat  and so can't comment directly about them but they seem to have a pretty good reputation. Checking Reverb for used prices, it looks like a 2012 for 349 would be about average price wise. And I would call buying local from a shop as a plus that would get you some backup support if you need it.

https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=Epiphone%20Wildkat&condition=used

I hope that helps. Good luck and have a good time.

Doug

 

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These are popular guitars, everyone that has one, likes it.  IMHO I think the price sounds about right too.  The roller bridge doesn't really matter one way or another, and some people swear it sucks tone..  I don't know about that, but just sayin...  Nothing for you to worry about, I'm sure it's fine..

you still need to use something to lubricate any spot the strings will ride over.  Give it a good once over, checking the truss rod is active, (eg: removes or adds relief) check all the electronics work, tuners, stuff like that.    One thing to know tho,, the P90s are single coil pickups.  If you like to play with over drive or distortion, they tend to get a bit noisy.  It's just how these kind of pickups are.  It's not a defect or anything you can "fix"  it's simply a characteristic with single coil pickups.  have fun with the hunt!

 

 

Edited by kidblast
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I absolutely LOVE my Wildkat!   It’s the perfect size for couch playing into the wee hours and sounds good even unplugged.  $350 is a good price-if it’s in good shape, buy it.   You won’t regret it.  If the seller has a case for it, get that as well because it’s specific to these guitars (335 style cases are too big, Les Paul cases are too small).  

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The Wildkat is a very good guitar (a great Rockabilly beginner guitar) but it's a bit temperamental due to the Bigsby/ trem bar/whammy bar.  If you love it and you like/trust the retailer, lay your $350 down.  If not, get an Epi LP special or a Squier Bullet on the internet from the big boxless for less than half the price.  Astounding quality for the extremely modest  cost.

Edited by Uncle Joe
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The only blemish that I can find on the guitar is on the back towards the bottom there’s a very small ding about the size of the mark/dot a ball point pen would make.  Other than that it seems very clean and well taken care of.  It does come with that gig bag.

The shop also has a pearl white royal that seems to be in excellent shape, 2012 model for the same price. But I just like the natural color one better for some reason.

Thank you for all the solid and candid advice it is certainly appreciate it. I will be at the shop Wednesday evening so if anyone has anything to add feel free to let it rip before Wednesday night. 

Oh more thing. The shop has a 30 or 45 day return policy.   Just throwing that out there. 

Edited by 1stGuitar
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The shop has a 30 or 45 day return policy.

That's pretty standard with most reputable stores,   is the policy limited to store credit only, or if they will actually refund your cash.   Big difference!  Of course a moot point may be if  you are sure you can find something else.

I wouldn't worry about small dings and minor cosmetics either,  after all, it's an 8 year old second hand guitar.  Bound to have some wear and tear blems.

 

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The nice thing about purchasing from a local store is the service.  If something goes whacky and you can't set it up/correct it yourself, you can just pop in and get it done for you.  Bring you wallet though.  That's what they do for a living.  I really enjoy my B-stock MIK Epiphone Wildkat.  I purchased it used and between the company that refurbishes the B-stocks and the player who owned it prior to me, it's a nice playing instrument.   Unique axe.  Small for a semi-hollow and the Bigsby is fun.  Plus if I scratch it I don't care.  It's a used B-stock, after all.  Good luck with it.  Get your practice time in and make that baby growl and sing. 

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On 11/11/2019 at 9:21 PM, 1stGuitar said:

The only blemish that I can find on the guitar is on the back towards the bottom there’s a very small ding about the size of the mark/dot a ball point pen would make.  Other than that it seems very clean and well taken care of.  It does come with that gig bag.

The shop also has a pearl white royal that seems to be in excellent shape, 2012 model for the same price. But I just like the natural color one better for some reason.

Thank you for all the solid and candid advice it is certainly appreciate it. I will be at the shop Wednesday evening so if anyone has anything to add feel free to let it rip before Wednesday night. 

Oh more thing. The shop has a 30 or 45 day return policy.   Just throwing that out there. 

Congrats on the new guitar, where's the pic? 😊

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Here is a pic of the new piece.  Picked it up last night. It is a 2014 model (originally thought 2012).  With gig bag and setup, $327.32.  Out the door after tax $349 even. 
I’m pretty sure this was a total GAS purchase on my part 🙂  Will it replace my Fender Telecaster Modern Player Plus?  Probably not. But I am digging the heck out of the guitar, And where I once thought I wouldn’t own an Epiphone, it has giving me a new respect for their guitars. It seems very well-made and rings like a bell. 
Thank you to all you guys for your input. It did help me along the way and I look forward to spending more time in this community.

17B48A9F-3575-4BAC-A0DC-986AA6E70938.jpeg

Edited by 1stGuitar
Typo in price. Fixed it.
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That's a nice Wildkat!

And no worries on justifications here,  it doesn't have to replace anything you already have, it's just another tool in the box to use. 

It will be different enough from the telecaster that you'll probably find you're playing/hearing different things that may not normally come to mind.

Just have fun!

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Thanks guys!  It is a fun guitar. They had a 2012 royal version of the guitar at the store for the same price. But no gig bag. That is the one that is pearl white with the gold hardware.   While it was nice and the Bigsby was a little stiffer to push out-of-the-way the antique natural one just sort of called out to me.  I have to say while it’s only been a couple days, I have no regrets.  Sounds great, feels great and fun to play. 
 

Yes, could not agree with you more kidblast.  “Another tool in the box to play”. Well put. It certainly has its own unique sound.  

Edited by 1stGuitar
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5 hours ago, Yorgle said:

Since acquiring my Wildkat several years ago, my LP custom (that I’ve had for over 20 years) hasn’t come out of its case.  I can’t say I even miss humbuckers.    

I hear you man. I am blown away at the clarity  and bite of the P90’s.  Like I mentioned, this may have been a GAS purchase by me, but one I don’t regret for a second. It is such a fun guitar.  It certainly has opened my eyes on the Epiphone original design line.    I have been looking for a used Gibson Les Paul studio, but this may hold me at least for a while. 😉

People have been mentioning to me about replacing the wire harness and pots in the wildcat. I understand there’s about 20 feet of wiring in there and the theory is upgrading the wire harness and the pots allow the P 90s to sing even more so.  Any thoughts on that? I am curious, as they sound pretty darn good right now.

 

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21 hours ago, 1stGuitar said:

People have been mentioning to me about replacing the wire harness and pots in the wildcat. I understand there’s about 20 feet of wiring in there and the theory is upgrading the wire harness and the pots allow the P 90s to sing even more so.  Any thoughts on that? I am curious, as they sound pretty darn good right now.

If you are happy with the way it sounds, play it! Try not to get all up in the wind about what others say. Most are probably just repeating what they read on The Internet anyway. Asian guitars have a reputation that all of their electronics are crap. Not completely true. I think it was more true 10-15 years ago than now but the image is still there. Enjoy your guitar and don't worry about fixing a problem until YOU think it is a problem. If you had bought a Gibson guitar someone would tell you it's an ok guitar but if you really want a great guitar you  should swap those pickups out for some (insert any aftermarket pickup brand here) pickups. And then the next guy would tell you it would be a great guitar if you got a better bridge. Blah Blah Blah.

So... play your guitar. When, and if, you think it needs upgrades you will know what needs changing and why.

P.S. On the other side of that, a quick search for Wildkat wiring harness shows that it's a pretty standard setup. But I would still wait until you see a need for it before I made any changes.

D.

 

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Smitchell - thanks for the Music-Go-Round info. Good to know. 
 

kidblast & dReit1 - thanks for talking me off the ledge!  You guys make very solid and valid points.
Was just playing for about an hour, it’s still a fun piece with some great sounds coming from it.  I was switching between my Fender and the Wildkat, and dang this Epiphone sounds sweet! 

This a good site and a good community.  Happy to be a member.  Thanks again for all advise and food for thought. Much appreciated.  

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It's REALLY easy to get caught up in what you will read out there. 

Some folks just can't help themselves, spend hundreds of dollars and countless hours changing and tweaking things, and then swear it sounds much better.   I wonder how much of this is a placebo effect  based on time and money invested?  Just listen with your own ears.    if it sounds good to you, then it is good. 

Besides the fact that changing all these parts out in a semi hollow is tedious, and if you don't know precisely what you're doing, you can hit a point of no return real fast.   Take the high road, if it's working, and it is, and you're liking it, and you are, just let it be.  

 

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  • 1 year later...

This is an old thread, so I doubt anyone is listening.  I got a Wildcat last Christmas (I already have a Strat Pro) because I wanted something I could bang on without an amp.  The only thing I'm not happy with is it is a devil to keep in tune.  I blame that on the neck being glued to the semi-hollow body, so when the body expand/contracts in heat, cold, humidity, the neck goes with it.  Just wondering how 1st Guitar likes his?

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