GEAR 2021: Epiphone has lifted the curtain on a classy yet affordable signature guitar for Heart's Nancy Wilson. The Epiphone Nancy Wilson Fanatic has the compact singlecut body of the Gibson Nighthawk and is resplendent in a Fireburst Gloss finish.
Something of a forgotten Gibson design, the Nighthawk was introduced in 1993, showcasing more compact singlecut body shape than the Les Paul, with a deeper cutaway and shaper lower horn, and notably parked its bridge humbucker at an angle. Wilson's Fanatic takes this design and runs with it.
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The Fanatic has a dual-humbucker pickup configuration that sees an open-coil ProBucker 3 Slant fitted at the bridge and a nickel-covered ProBucker FB720 at the neck.
With a five-way pickup selector, master volume and tone controls, there should be plenty of range in the Fanatic's voice – which makes perfect sense for Nancy Wilson, as with Heart you've got guitar tones from across the rock spectrum.
The Fanatic is a looker. That Fireburst Gloss brings out the detail in the figured maple veneer, and the pearloid Twin Parallelogram fingerboard inlays give it a premium vibe. The body is bound in single-ply white. The headstock has the “pineapple inlay,“ while the controls are classic amber top-hat knobs.
As for the fundamentals, the Fanatic has a solid mahogany body, a set mahogany neck that's carved into a rounded C profile, an ebony fingerboard and 25.5" scale. It has nickel-plated hardware and comes equipped with a set of Epiphone Deluxe tuners and a string-through-body tailpiece.
And when you put together a guitar like this, it's only appropriate that it ships with a hardshell case.
In a statement, Wilson says the idea for the guitar dates back to the 80s when she and Gibson were working on some guitar designs.
“I was approached by Gibson to design a signature model,” she said. “I put pencil to paper to first design the body shape and chose a curvy female diminutive silhouette for the cut away. Many years later the body shape remains exact and the hardware I requested makes the Fanatic a solid citizen amongst the great rock guitar screamers.”
The Epiphone Nancy Wilson Fanatic has a street price of £469 / $529, and is available now.
See Epiphone for more details.