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Wildkat tone test & comparison (Gretsch & Tele)

Sada Yairi

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Some months back I acquired a beautiful Wildkat, and I've barely played my Dot since. I have a friend, a pro musician, who's currently on holidays and lonaed me two of his guitars while he's away - a Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120-1959LTV and custom luthier-made thinline tele (usual tele pickup arrangement).


I decided to do a tone test of my Wildkat against both the Gretsch and the tele. Firstly in terms of price, the Wildkat retails in Aus for $999. The Gretsch retails for $4600, and the tele was $2000 when purchased just on 20 years ago (who knows what that would make it to buy new now).


I played all three guitars through my Valve Senior, firstly set up to play clean and all evenly balanced, and secondly set up to play with more gain and with the settings I normally use (bass & treble up, mid down, some reverb). I played the same few songs on each guitar, and just kept switching between them to get a really clear grasp of the difference in tone etc. The tele surprised me with the amount of resonance it had. It's the smallest body of the three, and I didn't think that even being a semi would give it much resonance, but I was mistaken. I particularly enjoyed the neck pickup (not surprisingly; I'm not generally a bridge pickup kind of guy). The most disappointing thing I noticed was with the Gretsch. I enjoyed the bigger body (coming from a classical guitar background), but I really didn't like the TV Jones pickups. They just didn't have the warm fat sound I was expecting. I actually didn't even like them as much as my Dot.


Overall, I really liked my Wildkat more that either of the others. I was suprised - I thought even with my inherent bias toward the Wildkat that I'd have to begrudgingly admit that I liked the tone of the other guitars better (or at least of the Gretsch). I just love the tone of the p90s, they're great. I enjoyed byeing able to do a side-by-side test to get a clear picture, and I'm also very pleased with the result. Who know's what GAS I would have acquired if I'd liked one of the others more...

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It's good to get some independant testing results. Shows that "Money Does Not Equal Tone".


While I realize that tone is a purely subjective thing, it's good to get an actual side by side comparison of these different guitars done by someone with no axe (pun unintended) to grind.


I am of the opinion that no matter what name is on the guitar, every one of them is a bit different.

You could have 10 of the same model hanging on the wall, and every one of them would be slightly different, with maybe 1 or 2 of them standing out from the crowd.


This is one of the reasons I have to get my hands on a guitar and play it before buying.

It does seem that quality control has gone downhill in some areas.


And thanks for confirming what lots of Kat owners are saying.

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Great read.


I would have expected that you might like the more expensive guitars as well but I'm glad that you took the time to show what Wildkat owners have been saying.


These things rock.

[thumbup] big +1

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