The Epiphone Wild Kat semi-hollow archtop has got to be the steal of the century! If it had a price tag twice as high, you’d still consider it a good deal. Right now we have two in stock, one in Antique Natural and (our favorite) one in Translucent Black, which actually looks a bit more like a dark burgundy. Naturally, the first thing you notice is the two-piece book-matched flame maple top with body binding and real bound f-holes. The maple set neck (it’s glued in, not bolted on) has a profile that feels a lot like a ’59 Les Paul, with a fully bound, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard and simple white pearl or abalone dot position markers. A really classy touch is the binding, which has a vintage look to it – the color reminds us of great old guitars that were gigged in smoky clubs until the white binding turned into a dark cream color. It’s quite striking.
There are two “dog-eared” Gibson P-90 pickups with Alnico magnets onboard. P-90s are popular again, and for good reason, they are capable of delivering a bit more bite than most humbuckers (mainly because they’re actually single coil pickups), but you can roll down the tone control to get you into that warm Santana-like sound. They really scream when played through a good amp with overdrive or by using a good distortion pedal. But the real surprise comes in the form of a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece, which sits behind a bridge that looks and works pretty much like a Gibson Tune-O-Matic. While there are better vibrato tailpieces for guitarists that like to really bend up or down by a semitone or more, the Bigsby is great for adding some animation to notes and chords (which almost sounds like a chorus effect). The vibrato arm ends just in front of the treble pickup, where it’s easy to give it a wiggle without manual gymnastics. Finally, there are two volume controls, a master tone, and master volume plus a standard three-way toggle switch. This would be a fantastic complement to a Strat, but without breaking the bank.