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Epiphone Emperor Swingster - Orange Reviews

4.5 stars based on 14 customer reviews
Questions about the Epiphone Emperor Swingster - Orange?

Questions about the Epiphone Emperor Swingster - Orange?

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  • from Olympia WA January 24, 2016

    Kills competitors.

    Far better guitar in both sound and playability when compared to similar hollow body guitars around the same price point. Excellent construction. It felt MUCH more sturdy in my hands than the similarly priced Gretsch's. The Gretsch's felt like a toy, and sounded thin. The versatile pickup options are definitely sweet. No complaints here!

  • from Rocky Mountains January 13, 2015Music Background:

    I love it!

    I've owned this guitar for a few months now and i'm very happy with it.
    It was not set up very well, very high action and back bowed neck.
    Fit and finish is excellent though and the guitar is just beautiful!
    After finally getting it set up to my liking it is a great playing guitar. Change the string first thing, they are dead sounding.
    The pickups are amazing with the push/pull feature! The bigsby is very nice and different with the Chet style arm.
    This is my first hollow body and I was surprised at the feedback, but after I figured out the quirks ... WOW! Amazing tones and very nice features make this my new favorite! And ... as mentioned by another reviewer, orange sounds better!

  • from Port Townsend, WA October 13, 2014Music Background:

    Nice! REALLY nice!

    I've had this guitar for 9 mo. now, so I feel I'm ready to review it. The pickups are the best I've ever heard, the fit and finish are excellent, the balance and feel are perfect (for me). It's the most 'playable' guitar I've ever owed, and I've owned plenty. This thing does it ALL! With the tapped coils in both positions, you can get any sound you want (and, yes, the orange ones sound better! :)
    The only thing that could be better is the case. It doesn't accommodate the lever for the Bixby, but the guitar is 5 stars EASY, and compressing the lever doesn't hurt anything.

  • from Pennsylvania September 21, 2013Music Background:
    Former Pro, Current Hobbyist

    Great Choice

    Without a doubt, this is the best guitar I've ever owned. Sound, playability and the way it feels in your hands all get an A+. The Chet Atkins bar on the Bigsby is a plus.

  • from Aroostook County, ME USA August 24, 2013Music Background:
    Producer, Engineer, Tone Enthusiast

    Meh, who's to complain?

    Finish is so-so, not set up as advertised, had a couple of small nicks in it and doesn't come with a case that fits.

    On the plus side-- you get a MONSTER of a guitar in a $700 Epiphone that will curl your toes! Love the tremelo set-up-- hands down, the best design. I'm impressed with what it is and have no remorse.

    Sales rep is a can-do guy and I like to think of him as "my account representative at Sweetwater."

  • from N Texas March 29, 2013


    Absolutly love the sound, tone, playability and looks of this guitar!

  • from TAMPA FLORIDA December 25, 2012Music Background:

    emperor swingster


  • from Dallas,Teas July 19, 2012Music Background:
    I own my on Recording Studio. SOngwriter, Singer, Rock, Hard Rock, Punk, Grunge..and..CountryWesternSatanicRythem&Blues!!

    SweetWater - Epiphone Swingster Orange

    This is a beautiful Guitar!!...I have owned the Gretch Orange guitar as well. There is NO comparison. With the GROVER tuners...Bigsby with the curved Trealo bar...instead of the Gretch style thick bar...is a Great Addition. Plus...Having the 2 Humbuckers with Puch/Pull Coil tapping is a Feature U cannot get on a Gretch or Gibson Hollowbody. And if U could it would prorbaly cost you $4000!!!.....ALL of this in a Guitar that lists for $650 bit plays and looks like a $4000 guitar. I have owned 2 Greth Hollowbodies and a Gibson Hollowbody..Being a Huge BEATLE Fan. And this Guitar Blows them away with its Looks..Standard Featues...and of course the Money YOUR NOT PAYING for the Name!!!....Thanks to My Sales Expert..Tyler Moore for FInding Me YET..Another DIAMOND in the ROUGH!!!...

  • from Austin, Texas January 27, 2011Music Background:

    Surprisingly Good dare I say Excellent

    Yep, 5 star rating. And here is why.

    I A/B'd this guitar against a Gretsch g5120 for over an hour.While the two guitars look the same they are two different dogs. I play professionally making most of my income on playing so I needed a non expensive hollowbody for some of my tunes. It was either one or the other I was taking home.

    The Gretsch rocked and had a creamy dark tone and the neck was very nice. I had to turn up the treble on the amp to get really any highs out of it. ( tried 3 of them and they were the same). The g5120 would be a great guitar to gig with. It had that acoustic guitar sound down and could go into rockabilly mode really fast.

    The Epi can flat out rock and has much more tonal capabilities with the push pull pu's. The pu's in this guitar are BRILLIANT. I will not be changing these pu's out. They give and give. I threw a Rat distortion and a Durham Sex Drive on it and it handled it like butter. I like that while using the Chorus I switched to single coil and I got a clean clear crystal sound out of it. I tried it on a few different amps. The AC30 handled it nicely with no problem and allowed that jangle to come through. On a Fender Super Sonic 22 it was killer with the fat tone applied. On the Twin I had a bit of a problem with feedback. Deluxe handled it well.

    What I do not like about the Epi is the neck. It is way to tight. But I adjusted the string height and it made it more playable with my big fingers. But the Gretsch has a more roomy neck and is a bit more forgiving.

    So I give this puppy 5 stars because for the price and what you get is amazing. And make sure you get the right case for this guitar. Get the newly released Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II with the slight rise. The old one does not work well with this guitar.

  • from Hewitt, NJ November 6, 2010Music Background:
    40 years playing guitar.


    This guitar is outstanding right out of the box. Visually this guitar is worth the money. The binding . Bigsby Tremolo, Flame maple sides and back make this instument worth far more than its price tag. Unplugged it has a nice mellow tone that is plenty loud enough and will hold its own agaist any acoustic. But, plugged in is where this guitar shines. It rings. The switchable tone controls are excellent and give you a wide variety of sounds. I have a Gibson Les Paul, Fender Deluxe Plus Strat, 52 reissue tele and an Epiphone SG. This Swingster measures up to them all in playability. I give it 5 stars. If this guitar has caught your eye, I say go for it. You won't be disappointed.

  • from New Hampshire, USA July 15, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-pro multi-instrumentalist

    One of My Top 3 Favorite Guitars

    PROS: drop-dead gorgeous piece of work from the vibrant orange paint to the headstock - everyone comments on it; audience and fellow musicians alike - they love it. The humbucker warmth and power is better than any Gibson Les Paul I've played on. I can't get over the tone of these pickups. The single coils (push/pull tone knobs) are OK, but don't expect a Strat. It holds the tuning beautifully - the Grover machine heads are first class. The Bigsby "wire" tremolo/whammy bar is really cool and the end of it fits in the pocket of my hand for great control. Great fingerboard, neck, and action. My guitar came set up in absolutely perfect shape. The Epiphone luthiers know what they're doing. I was immediately impressed.

    CONS: change the strings - they're awful. The "Rhythm/Treble" toggle switch isn't great... it emits a lot of static when I have to switch between the three modes, and this is pretty annoying (hence only the 4 stars).

    For $700, I cannot believe I could find a better guitar designed to do everything! Though I still prefer my high-end single coil guitars, this Swingster is better than any of the much more expensive Gibson's I own or have tried out. I can play anything on this guitar - hard rock, blues (my main reason for loving it so much), jazz, rockabilly... it's just a great all-'round guitar with an emphasis on Blues. As a side note, of all my guitars, only this one is able to produce the Jimmy Page Les Paul humbucker brilliance of the Led Zeppelin era, and the Peter Green tone he achieved during his tenure with John Mayall. What a bonus.

  • from California, USA October 23, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician

    Love my guitar...only had 2 issues so far

    I bought this guitar a couple years back when the dark grey color was available. I love the way it plays and sounds. The only things that bothered me about it were, the bigsby "chrome" started fading almost as soon as i got it, and the input jack kept popping in. Not a deal breaker, but it can get very annoying when you have to go through the process of relocating that jack almost everytime you plug the thing in.

  • from Nashua, NH March 12, 2015


    I had given this guitar a great review awhile ago, but after 10 months of playing it - and there probably isn't more than 60 hours on it - I already need to return it to Sweetwater for repair! The neck pickup just stopped working... The jack is so loose, I can't keep a good connection. Very frustrating indeed, because it was such a great guitar for about 8 months, but for $800, I think I should expect a decent level of quality out of Epiphone... I was expecting this guitar to work for at least 20-30 years, not for less than ONE year! The great news is that Sweetwater didn't hesitate for a moment to work with me. They are willing to take the guitar back and rework it so that (I hope) it will work for at least a couple more years. Shame on Epiphone... Since the '70's they've struggled with basic quality issues. I bought this Swingster because I had heard that "Epiphone is under new management and has their act together". I have to say, after my recent experience with Epiphone (NOT Sweetwater) that they still have a long, long way to go to improve customer satisfaction. It's a beautiful LOOKING guitar, but the wiring and pickups are total crap. I will most likely upgrade to Gibson pickups, pots and switches - when - I can get this thing to work... Good luck to those who are willing to "the a chance" like I was....

  • from September 10, 2016

    2 times unlucky epiphone swingster

    i had problems with the bridge on the first one and after a very long process of failure in trying to fix it they replaced it with another one . now i have another problem with the bridge . there's a buzz i can't get rid of and yes it's from the bridge .the first guitar would slip out of the notch when bending a note .with the next bridge it seems they have deepened the notch but the strings now seem to be hitting in two areas on the notch .i waited for more than a year for the first guitar to be fixed and it was a gift but i'm not waiting again . i'm trading this one in on anything but an epiphone. quality control is lacking in my opinion...

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