Epiphone and Nancy Wilson join forces for the Fanatic signature model

Epiphone Nancy Wilson Fanatic
(Image credit: Epiphone)

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.

The hardware I requested makes the Fanatic a solid citizen amongst the great rock guitar screamers

Nancy Wilson

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.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.