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Epiphone Wildkat Metallic review

A great-looking Epiphone that's a little bit rockabilly, and a whole lot more…

  • £675
Kool for 'Kats: the Wildkat screams rock 'n' roll!

MusicRadar Verdict

This is a great looking instrument that sounds as valid for modern alternative rock as it does rockabilly.

Pros

  • +

    A high quality, versatile palette of sounds from a cool looking instrument.

Cons

  • -

    Rattling headstock badge. Tuning stability not always rock solid.

Epiphone's latest limited edition semi has more than a hint of a certain Mr Setzer about it, with the familiar Wildkat model given a lick of metallic red paint evoking fifties Americana.

Chrome Alnico P-90s and a Bigsby are anchored to a semi-hollow mahogany body with a substantial centre block, maple top and a set maple neck.

Although we had some initial tuning concerns, re-stringing with a heavier set of strings - in this case 0.012-0.056-inch - settled things down and seemed to compliment the general vibe.

The old-school chrome Epiphone badge on the headstock didn't sit quite ?ush to the headstock facia and rattled as a result, but this didn't come through the ampli?er, so only proved to be a minor irritation.

Sounds

Select the neck pickup, add a dash of overdrive and a pinch of reverb to taste and the result is a sumptuous smoky electric blues tone.

Flip to the bridge and there's more bite, although the overall tonality remains muscular and Gibson-like, despite the guitar's aesthetic nod to Gretsch.

Open tunings in combination with the bridge pickup proved to be a great platform for slide, with the Bigsby vibrato facilitating ghostly shimmers.

The solid centre block does a great job preventing unwanted feedback and the Wildkat remains reasonably well behaved even when treated to an excess of drive, although there's a raucous edge throughout that screams rock 'n' roll.

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