Wildkat - what are your opinions/experience?

Discussion in 'Other Epiphones' started by NJDevil, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. NJDevil

    NJDevil Senior Member

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    I have never played one but they get rave reviews and from the youtube clips I have heard, have a wonderful full midrange tone with depth.

    Please share your thoughts as I am very interested in what seems like a good deal.
     
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  2. sasquatch

    sasquatch Premium Member

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    It's a very unique guitar and it does a Gretsch mash-up pretty well.
    I would recommend a roller bridge if it has a Bigsby
    but really is a nice one.
    I especially like the
    Wildkat Royale Semi Hollow Body with Bigsby Pearl White
    because it has that Penguin-ish style to it and doesn't cost 3k+
     
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  3. BlankinLoud

    BlankinLoud Senior Member

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    I own and like the Wildkat studio. It's a versatile, well built, affordable P-90 platform that's really in it's own category due to it's atypical body construction. (Hollowed out solid body.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
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  4. ramaglia375

    ramaglia375 Premium Member

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    Its a cool, unique guitar that with a little modding makes a great guitar. I have a koa model and really enjoy it.
    I did the roller bridge upgrade already with the squishy spring. Really smooths out the action of the Bigsby so highly recomended mod. Also ordered a wiring kit from Sigler Music.
    Lastly I will look to have the plastic nut swapped out before long.
     
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  5. NJDevil

    NJDevil Senior Member

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    It is like Penguin as mentioned above or a Gretsch 6120 jr. but I like the semi-hollow construction and the Koa top. I would switch the nut to Tusq or bone and probably put in a Tru-arc bridge that many Gretsch owners have. I have a one in my Gretsch 5126 and have an extra one in the package at home.

    I like the mid-range warmth of the neck pup from what samples I've heard but am a little concerned about being made in China although that is not a deal breaker.
     
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  6. musicmand

    musicmand Senior Member

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    I've wanted a Wildkat since they were released. When I was shopping for a P90 guitar, however, I ended up with the 339-Pro P90 as it was a little more full and punchy sounding. Ironic, because I ended up selling that guitar because it was too muddy for my rig.

    I will say that when I picked up the Wildkat in the store, it was easy enough to play, but when I picked up the ES339, it was night and day how much better it was.
     
  7. noobyXD

    noobyXD Member

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    They sell it in my guitar store and my friends and I share the same opinion of the guitar.

    1st impression - Wow that guitar looks cool

    2nd impression - Wow that is a cool looking guitar

    3rd impression onward - Wow that guitar actually look autistic

    No offense but that's how I feel. I would rather go for a Gretsch than the Wildkat
     
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  8. LDS714

    LDS714 Member

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    I have a Flamekat with mini-humbuckers that was modified from Bigsby to stop-tail before I got it.

    The mini-humbuckers don't really sound like the ones in a Firebird or Les Paul Deluxe. More mid rangy and less smooth on the top end. This guitar definitely has it's own sound. The master volume actually gives a lot of tonal variations when blending the pickups.

    It's been used as an 'alternate flavor' on everything from Americana to metal in my little studio.

    Playability is great, it's well-balanced and has a very comfy neck.
     
  9. Parabar

    Parabar Member

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    Mine is a 2001 Korean Samick made one. I've had it well over a dozen years and like it a lot. It's not one of my most frequently played guitars, but it's just right for certain things. To my ears it sounds like a Telecaster that's been taking protein and vitamin supplements --- beefier with more punch, and it dirties up nicely too. Nothing like a 6120 Junior or a Gretsch Jet/Penguin. The neck is very comfortable, and the chambering makes it not too heavy.

    They changed the wood specs when manufacture went to China, so I'd recommend looking for a used Korean one.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. NJDevil

    NJDevil Senior Member

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    I really like the sound of the Koa WildKat and actually like the idea of the heavier ones I know are out there that come close to 9lbs. .....around 8 lb 10oz. area. I am concerned about quality though as they are made in China and probably would need upgraded pots but I really do like the pups and especially in just the neck position.

    I know the sound I want and wisdom/common sense (I just need a bit because I have almost none!) tells me I should just swap out the neck pickup on my Edwards LP-92 that has hot Lollars and CTS 500k pots. Gibson P90s would give me the mid range warmth I am looking for. I know it's a different beast altogether because it is a solid body (light non dense mahogany but feels chambered) vs. the WildKat semi-hollow with open F holes.

    Ultimately, the sound I want when soloing clean from the neck only is the David Gilmour "Another Brick In the Wall" solo. .....that's just one example.
     
  11. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Senior Member

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    I have a friend who has been through 100s of guitars. He buys (not by intent, just works out that way) a new Epi every 20 years or so; '66 Casino, '88 Sheraton, '0? Wildkat. He's never bought a used Epi, or anything else new. As you can no doubt tell from the "100s" he has no problem letting go - but has never sold an Epi, either.
    So,to cut down to it - yes, I've played a Wildkat; it felt wonderful & sounded great (if you exclude me from the equation). I have a list of 19 instruments I must have; the 'kat isn't on it - but if the right confluence of price & timing occurred, I'd be quite happy to have one.
     
  12. Pennyman

    Pennyman Senior Member

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    I have an older WildKat (sunset orange), probably made in Korea around 2006 or so. I mostly use the neck or middle position, but that's just a personal preference. It's got a fairly chunky neck, which I like, since I spend most of my guitar life on acoustics.

    I find there's a very narrow range between "clean" and "crunchy" and it can sometimes be a little challenging to dial in that "just right" tone. That being said, it can do it all, if you're willing to work for it. Not sure if the newer versions are any different (better) in that regard.

    (FWIW - I installed a new wiring harness, which greatly improved the overall tone and lessened the hum.)
     
  13. GRASS

    GRASS Senior Member

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    I had one of these, cheap and nasty guitars. Glad I sold it.
     
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  14. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Member

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    I got mine in a trade for a Kramer Assault fr and was sure I'd flip it, but I did a good setup and put NYXL 9-42 strings on it and it sounded and played great.
    About 4 years later and I wouldn't trade it for anything short of a Gretsch.
    wkt.jpg
    I have added a roller bridge, which improved tuning stability between songs appreciably.
     
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  15. 1all's Pub

    1all's Pub Senior Member

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    I've never owned one, but have played several in stores and always liked them. Cool guitar. I'll probably never get one, but I do like them and am always drawn towards them.
     
  16. Campbell

    Campbell Senior Member

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    The Wildkat was my first Epiphone. I love it. It's very inexpensive. It's unique (not based on a Gibson model).

    Mine has the maple neck. They've been made with either maple or mahogany necks. They've been in solid production for some time now with slight variations (like the a fore mentioned neck woods), which might explain the just as many varied comments regarding her quality and sound.

    She won't break the bank so she's worth a shot. Mine has the Bigsby, but if the "studio" version were available at the time I got mine, I'd have opted for that one since it comes sans Bigsby.
     
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  17. madmusicltd

    madmusicltd Senior Member

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    I picked one up on CL a few years ago, not a bad guitar out of the box, but with a few mods it can be a pretty good guitar. First I replaced the nut with Graphtech tusk, Mine has the Bigsby, so a roller bridge is a must. The guitar is wired with a master volume, so there is like six feet of cheap wiring inside, I upgraded both wiring, pickups, and capacitor it made a huge improvement.

    wildkat2.jpg
    wildkat hardware.JPG
     
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  18. Fuelish

    Fuelish Senior Member

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    I have a '13 w/ antique natural (or whatever Epi dubbed it) finish .... I love the thing - looks great, sounds great in the right circumstance (same with my LP) and plays well. It's a bit heavier than I expected, but that's OK by me. My only gripe is that I should really play it more often. I'd say it's worth the $$$ (or was t that time, anyway). And yeah, as someone noted above, there are several feet of wire inside....LOL...I need to show it more love. Probably my 3rd most played guitar out of the 6 I have... The Epi LP and Squier Strat take 1 and 2 (the Strat is nearly effortless to play, like fluid.....same as my least played, a BMG - TOO many switching options, but plays like quicksilver). I certainly wouldn't discourage someone from picking up a 'Kat
     
  19. Campbell

    Campbell Senior Member

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    I had been thinking of putting the same kind of knobs on mine. Been putting it off for years though :p I also thought of the black P90's, as well. The roller bridge is another must on this (or any Bigsby equipped) guitar. In fact, ALL your mods are ones I had planned and yet been putting off, LOL (even the removal of the toggle switch "pokerchip"). Thanks for supplying my vision with actual pictures. Perhaps that will motivate me more. Looks great!
     
  20. madmusicltd

    madmusicltd Senior Member

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    Hi Campbell, I ended up going back to the original knobs, I thought they they looked the best on the guitar, I do like the black p90 covers over the chrome, and I also replaced the roller ABR (pictured) with a Wilkinson Roller bridge which I like better. You will need to put a few hours on your schedule as rewiring a Hollow body is a PIA! Here is the wiring diagram, as all the Photobucket pics I ever posted have disappeared! Grrr

    epi_wildkat.jpg
     

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