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Epi NightHawk

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I am looking for opinions from players who own the Epiphone Nighthawk. It appears to have much to offer for the money. I like the pickup config. and quality of construction. I understand that Seymour Duncan has a replacement pickup that fits the rear position. I would want to play it and hear how it sounds stock. Epis usually do sound better with higher quality pickups in most cases. Does anyone play a Nighthawk and have some input? Thanks.

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Welcome to the Forum and yup I have the Honeyburst(in avatar). Plays smooth, great looks and very versatile. Good choice [thumbup]

That's my puppy,Floyd,watching over the Hawk.

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Love my nighthawk! I have one in the fireburst finish. First, as you said, a lot of guitar for the money. It's dressed up like a much higher end guitar. Full of tonal possibilities with the three pups and a coil splitter. I would like the bridge pup a little hotter but for now I can live with what I have. Plays real smooth. Gots lotsa twang to it.

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I own a Epiphone Nighthawk and had it for awhile and then decided that it needed more tone and fullness so I did replace the neck and the bridge pickups with Seymour Duncans and also changed the two pots and the five way switch with all American parts which now I had to change the knobs to a knurled chrome type. You might call this crazy but if you only could hear the difference it made on this guitar you would not believe it. Such a total different guitar. I would highly recommend doing this switch out. If not the pickups then just the 500k pots alone made such a big difference.

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Welcome here, Twanged! That's interesting about your mods. I've been wanting to get the nurled knobs for mine too, just figured it would make the pulling up on the coil splitter a litter easier. While I'm overall happy with pickups, I'm intrigued with your pots. What pots did you replace with?

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IMG_0204.jpg

 

the most 'fenderish' Epi [thumbup]

 

I don't feel/hear the need to change the stock pickups [-(

 

Very lightweight ( 2,4 Kg ~ 5,3 lbs )

Very versatile ( 9 different pup settings)

Very well made

Thats one SWEET lookin' Hawk Pete! [thumbup][thumbup] That Black Satin finish is nice.It compliments those great neck inlays.

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On the volume just make sure it's a good audio taper, I used CTS 500K Audio Taper Precision Tolerance Guitar pots,the audio taper does not have the abrupt change over a short travel :rolleyes: The best is to go with the standard values of 500k for humbuckers and 250k for single coils and just play with the different values of capacitors. I found that the pots and the five way switch are crap. It's not if they will fail it's when they will fail. I had my nighthawk for awhile and started to see deterioration of the electronics that it came with, so I changed them. The people that don't change them will eventually see. Have fun playing these guitars they are a blast. And Thank you for your kind words by saying welcome to this site and I know I will learn more about these guitars here.

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Hi folks,

New to the 'board and interested in the Nighthawk Reissue. Looks like a great guitar w/lots of tonal possibilities at a great price point.

 

I've been seeing some confusion about the fretboard material. Epi lists it as ebony, and Epi Customer Service people are reported as quoting the specs from the Epi site. But, I'm seeing people questioning that, claiming their 'boards are rosewood. May not make a difference to whether or not I succumb to GAS/SGF and flirt yet again w/the MGL (marital guitar limit). But, it would be nice to clear up the confusion so I'd know what I'd be buying.

 

Just out of curiosity, if anyone knows more about the specs on the Nighthawk neck besides the D-shape profile, that would be handy too.

 

Also seen some reviews that suggested the action on some of them was very high and difficult if not impossible to get down to a reasonable level. What's your experience been w/the out-of-the-box quality?

 

I have an ES-175 Reissue and, other than a loose pot wire (bridge volume) and a mildly scratchy pot (neck tone) it was outstanding overall quality, finish, action and playability.

 

Also, for those asking, there are custom slant SD 'buckers for the Nighthawk (in JB and '59 types) and several SD mini-buckers. Probably preaching to the choir there, but just in case...

 

In advance, thanks for any advice or info!

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The other guitar player, in our band, uses one! He LOVES it, and it's completely "Stock!" [thumbup]

 

CB

 

Thanks for the reply, CB. Good to hear. Any idea whether the fretboard is ebony or rosewood? B)

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Thanks for the reply, CB. Good to hear. Any idea whether the fretboard is ebony or rosewood? B)

 

Mine has ebony, but I have heard of others with rosewood.

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Mine is rosewood. Bought it just recently, about 2-3 months. I could be wrong, but it seems that when they first announced it they were to use ebony and apparently did at first. But i think they switched at some point. The epiphone site says ebony still, but the gibson site shows it as rosewood. Personally i'm really glad mine is rosewood, as i don't like ebony boards.

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On the volume just make sure it's a good audio taper, I used CTS 500K Audio Taper Precision Tolerance Guitar pots,the audio taper does not have the abrupt change over a short travel :rolleyes: The best is to go with the standard values of 500k for humbuckers and 250k for single coils and just play with the different values of capacitors. I found that the pots and the five way switch are crap. It's not if they will fail it's when they will fail. I had my nighthawk for awhile and started to see deterioration of the electronics that it came with, so I changed them. The people that don't change them will eventually see. Have fun playing these guitars they are a blast. And Thank you for your kind words by saying welcome to this site and I know I will learn more about these guitars here.

 

 

You know Audio Taper is a log pot that has most of the change at one end of the pot don't you.

 

Linear is the one with a more constant change.

 

pottaper.gif

 

Audio taper is tuned more to the way our hearing works. The way I've been looking at it is if you are going into distortion or similar and using your volume to clean up then the effect isn't going to work like your ear. The audio taper is going to give a more abrupt change than the linear pot which will give a more constant change.

 

Each has it's own plus and negative points there is no definitive right answer. Just avoid cheap pots. Or buy a few of each and experiment.

 

I just put three linear pots V/V/T into a T-bird and I prefer it to the Log vol I put into another bass. I also swapped out the two log tones in that one to linear and again prefer the change.

 

 

A treble bleed is supposed to be a big improvement tooin the Nighthawk. It's on my list once all the basses are sorted.

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You know Audio Taper is a log pot that has most of the change at one end of the pot don't you.

 

Linear is the one with a more constant change.

 

pottaper.gif

+1

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Audio taper is tuned more to the way our hearing works. The way I've been looking at it is if you are going into distortion or similar and using your volume to clean up then the effect isn't going to work like your ear. The audio taper is going to give a more abrupt change than the linear pot which will give a more constant change.

Thanks for the explanantion and posting the graph, I've always wondered why anyone would want a log taper. Now I know!

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Thanks for the reply, CB. Good to hear. Any idea whether the fretboard is ebony or rosewood? B)

 

I think it's ebony, by the looks of it. We're on "hiatus" now (lost our drummer..again!), so

I'll ask him, or check it out, further, when we get back together. We all live in different

towns, and he's terrible about responding to e-mail! LOL

 

CB

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Mine has ebony, but I have heard of others with rosewood.

 

I also have an Ebony fretboard. I did notice that it is now listed as having a Rosewood fretboard. I pre-ordered mine as I had been trying to get my hands on one for a while, so got mine 2/20/2011. One of the earlier ones and I am glad I did. [thumbup]

 

I copied the website for the Nighthawk into a word document on 1/22/2011 and it listed the fretboard as ebony.

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See the attached document

Copied from the Epiphone website:

 

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Return of a New Classic... The Nighthawk Custom!

 

Specifications

Body Material: Mahogany

Top Material: AAA Flame Maple Veneer

Neck Material: Mahogany

Neck Shape: SlimTaper; D-shaped

Neck Joint: Glued-In

Truss Rod: Adjustable

Scale Length: 25.5"

Fingerboard Material: Ebony w/mother-of-pearl "Crown" inlays [thumbup]

Fingerboard Radius: 12"

Frets: 22; medium-jumbo

Bridge Pickup: Slant NHT Humbucker; 4-wire

Middle Pickup: NSX Single-Coil

Neck Pickup: NHR Mini-Humbucker; 4-wire

Controls: 5-Way Slider, Master Volume, Master Tone with Push/Pull Coil Tapping

Bridge: Nighthawk full-adjustable; String-Thru body

Nut Width: 1-11/16"

Hardware: Nickel

Binding: Body and Fingerboard

Machine Heads: Grover 14: ratio

Colors: Fireburst (FB), Honeyburst (HB), Trans Amber (TA), Trans Black (TB)

Optional: Hard Case

Warranty: Epiphone Limited Lifetime

Epi Nighthawk.doc

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And then look at this page on gibson's site for the epi NH and scroll down to the fingerboard spec....

 

http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Designer/Epiphone/Nighthawk-Custom-Reissue/Specs.aspx

 

Point is, it's BOTH. There are ebony and rosewood boards. Mine is rosewood. Why one site says rosewood and the other ebony, you can speculate all you want. But the fact is there are examples of both. I think chances are good they made it with ebony at first, then changed due to cost or supply demands etc.

 

And note this at the bottom of the page...

 

In order to continually improve the design, quality and performance of our instruments and to make use of the best materials at all times, Gibson reserves the right to change specifications without notice.

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By coincidence, I happened to be at a Epiphone event yesterday and asked the reps there about the rosewood vs ebony confusion. They had no idea why some are ebony and some RW ! I even mentioned how of the info on the epi site and the gibson site(they have epi specs there too) one says RW and the other says ebony. They were suprised to hear that. Likely something at the supply level and they use whatever is plentiful at the moment. But the one they had at the event was RW. I much prefer RW so i'm glad the one i got was. The 2 that have showed up at GC after i got mine were both ebony.

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