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#2908136 - 02/08/18 02:13 PM N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat
A McLeod III Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 407
Loc: NawthEastern NC
....boy, it's been a minute since I posted anything here. Life attacked my consciousness a couple years ago and held me hostage. Things are indeed changing for the better. blush

A few days ago, a young man I used to teach bought this Epiphone Wildkat with a Bigsby over to my place to repair. The input jack had worked itself loose as well as the Master volume pot. Re-soldered these items and everything worked again. All was right with the world. Come to find out, he had been eyeballin' a Parts Strat w/Floyd Rose that I put together and he wanted to trade so....

....I am now the proud owner of this Wildkat. Does anyone here have any experience with this guitar? Can anyone tell me anything particular about them? I know it plays really nice (feels a whole lot like an ES 339 to me) and very solidly made. I just hate this damned Bigsby though. Here's a short video of me putting her through her paces. cool

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#2908144 - 02/08/18 02:37 PM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: A McLeod III]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 10854
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Nice lookin' ax, and sounds nice too. Of course, that could be 10% guitar, and 90% you..... wink

Name IS a blast outa the past though. Nice to have you back. smile
Whitefang
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#2908149 - 02/08/18 02:57 PM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: whitefang]
d Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 6803
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
Nice work !

Never played one.
From I've seen, they're kinda Gretschy but less costly.
Here're the specs from Epiphone (just in case)
Body Material mahogany
Top Material maple
Neck maple, Slim Taper “D” Profile, Glued-in;
Dimensions 24.75” scale
Nut width 1.68”
Fingerboard pearloid dot inlays
Fingerboard radius 12"
Neck Pickup P-90R Dogear Classics
Bridge Pickup P-90T Dogear Classics
Controls 1 Master Volume, 2 Pickup Volume, 1-Tone
Headstock Metal vintage-style Epiphone badge
Frets 22 medium jumbo
Bridge Locktone Tune-o-matic™/Stopbar
Tailpiece Bigsby™ B70 Vibrato
Hardware Nickel
Machine Heads Grover® 18:1
Color Antique Natural
Typical Weight (+/- 5%) 7.8 lbs

Here's someone else's YTube review that came up aft yer clip played. He replaced the pups on his.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwtHMFB_UTQ
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#2908180 - 02/08/18 04:26 PM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: d]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5574
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
I have a friend who owns one. Not the greatest guitar ever made, but a lot of fun. Kinda Gretsch-y, but a little hotter than that.

Definitely a decent choice for rockabilly, psychobilly, roots rock, and the like.

Edit: nice jazzy tone you coaxed out of it! like


Edited by Dannyalcatraz (02/08/18 04:28 PM)
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#2908211 - 02/08/18 07:23 PM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 11205
Loc: Northern California
My buddy had one and sold it as he didn't care for it. He didn't like the color which was a turquoise and had some tuning problems due to using the Bigsby. I liked the guitar and I thought it played very nice. I tried to get him to put a roller bridge on it and it would correct the tuning problem. He could have also added locking tuners. If I had one, I would make these two modifications and add the new USA made P90's that Epi is now putting out...and it would be sweet! Although you are making it sound good as is A! cool
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#2908283 - 02/09/18 07:38 AM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: Larryz]
d Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 6803
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
Not toi drag the thread too far off track but what tuning probs did the Bigsby induce ?
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#2908286 - 02/09/18 07:58 AM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: d]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 11205
Loc: Northern California
A lot of guitars use a Bigsby and other types of whammys over sharp edged bridge saddles like those on Gibson and Epi bridges. When tension is released and reapplied, sometimes the wound strings hang up a little and stay sharp or flat until you use it again or wiggle it. The problem goes away using roller bridge saddles which are smooth and therefor no hang ups occur. Locking tuners can also help as they don't allow the tuners to move with the whammy use (which is not a big deal as most of them usually don't move anyway). Strat saddles are smooth so no problems using them with the whammys. cool


Edited by Larryz (02/09/18 08:00 AM)
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#2908287 - 02/09/18 08:01 AM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: d]
jimmac Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 263
Loc: Jackson, Michigan
Nice video and sound was sweet. I to welcome you back. Jim

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#2908302 - 02/09/18 08:54 AM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: Larryz]
d Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 6803
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
Originally Posted By: Larryz
A lot of guitars use a Bigsby and other types of whammys over sharp edged bridge saddles like those on Gibson and Epi bridges. When tension is released and reapplied, sometimes the wound strings hang up a little and stay sharp or flat until you use it again or wiggle it. The problem goes away using roller bridge saddles which are smooth and therefor no hang ups occur. Locking tuners can also help as they don't allow the tuners to move with the whammy use (which is not a big deal as most of them usually don't move anyway). Strat saddles are smooth so no problems using them with the whammys. cool


Thanks.
My own, limited, exp w/ Bigsbies is their narrow pitch range. Aspects of their functional probs are Territory Incognito.
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#2908318 - 02/09/18 10:31 AM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: d]
Scott Fraser Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 5177
Loc: Los Angeles
Most tuning problems attributed to Bigsbys are really the result of binding at the nut and/or bridge. As Larry says, a roller bridge is one fix, as are TruArc & Compton bridges, which have a smooth curve rather than the sharp point of a Tune-o-matic. Also, many plastic nuts are not cut right to begin with, or are not cut for the gauge of string you're using, or have become notched from the string windings. Upgrading to a bone or Tusq nut, cut specifically for the string gauge you use should solve all your tuning issues caused when using any sort of whammy.
And if you just plain don't like the Bigsby, it's pretty easy to replace with a standard trapeze tailpiece.
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#2908324 - 02/09/18 10:48 AM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: Scott Fraser]
Danzilla Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 5495
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Glad you're enjoying it A! I wanted to like the Wildkat, but played a few at GC when they were having a big sale on them a year or so ago. They all seemed really stiff, unresponsive, and just.. lifeless. I was bummed, because I would have walked out with one at that price.

Still, good to see you again, and even better to hear you making some lovely tune-age on yours. Play it in good health!
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#2910353 - 02/17/18 03:53 PM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: A McLeod III]
bbqbob Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 591
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: A McLeod III
....boy, it's been a minute since I posted anything here. Life attacked my consciousness a couple years ago and held me hostage. Things are indeed changing for the better. blush

A few days ago, a young man I used to teach bought this Epiphone Wildkat with a Bigsby over to my place to repair. The input jack had worked itself loose as well as the Master volume pot. Re-soldered these items and everything worked again. All was right with the world. Come to find out, he had been eyeballin' a Parts Strat w/Floyd Rose that I put together and he wanted to trade so....

....I am now the proud owner of this Wildkat. Does anyone here have any experience with this guitar? Can anyone tell me anything particular about them? I know it plays really nice (feels a whole lot like an ES 339 to me) and very solidly made. I just hate this damned Bigsby though. Here's a short video of me putting her through her paces. cool


I like the vibey look of the guitar and your video makes it sound nice. Most of the nice sound probably comes from you though!

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#2910401 - 02/17/18 10:15 PM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: Scott Fraser]
skipclone 1 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 8173
Loc: Japan
Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Most tuning problems attributed to Bigsbys are really the result of binding at the nut and/or bridge. As Larry says, a roller bridge is one fix, as are TruArc & Compton bridges, which have a smooth curve rather than the sharp point of a Tune-o-matic. Also, many plastic nuts are not cut right to begin with, or are not cut for the gauge of string you're using, or have become notched from the string windings. Upgrading to a bone or Tusq nut, cut specifically for the string gauge you use should solve all your tuning issues caused when using any sort of whammy.
And if you just plain don't like the Bigsby, it's pretty easy to replace with a standard trapeze tailpiece.


Having a nut cut for a specific string gauge-if you`re dead sure that you`re not going to experiment with other gauges-sounds like a good idea. I have go-to gauges for both electric and acoustic at this point, but I would not rule out trying heavier strings.
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#2910536 - 02/18/18 06:11 PM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: A McLeod III]
Sound_Pursuit Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 70
Loc: Humble, TX USA
I enjoyed your playing. Nice jazz tone for a semi-hollow body.

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#2910879 - 02/20/18 06:36 AM Re: N.G.D. Epiphone Wildkat [Re: Sound_Pursuit]
picker Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13477
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Very nice. Cool guitar, cool playing too!
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